22 February 2017

Sunset Cliffs walk

We woke up around 7:30 after almost 10 hours of sleep. Woot!

We made coffee/tea in the kitchen, had cereal/milk, then headed out for a walk. We started heading on Bacon away from the downtown area where we bought groceries, toward Sunset Cliffs. We zig-zagged along seawalled streets until we ended up on Sunset Cliffs Blvd at Point Loma where the Sunset Cliffs trail starts. It was windy and sunny, around 65 degrees.
It was lots of rugged coastline and crashing waves. The houses along Sunset Cliffs are mansions. All with different types of architecture and clearly well-designed. Not to mention expensive.

We walked to Sunset Cliffs Park where we found (and used) porta-potties then turned back. When we got back to Point Loma, we had lunch at Little Lion. It’s a very small place, maybe 8-10 tables, inside and out. We sat outside. Al had a BLTA on ciabatta; I had a Californian on ciabatta. Both were really good. Al’s had thick cut bacon and avocado. Mine was a multilayered work of art with strata of avocado, organic greens, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, white beans, aioli, some sort of cheese, and roasted red pepper. It was way tasty. Their offerings were heavy on organic, vegetarian, and high quality/homemade ingredients.
Little Lion restaurant
Californian Sandwich

After lunch, we walked a half block back toward the ocean to a mini trailer converted to a street side coffee shop. They served coffee, tea, smoothies, hot dogs and granola bowls. I got a ‘Wave of the Day’…a latte with espresso, caramel, steamed almond milk and vanilla flavor shot. It hit the spot!
Surf Check coffee trailer

The guy running the place was very chatty…asking where we were from (Iowa) and if that was where Boise is (no, that’s Idaho) and if Iowa is one of the ‘square states’ (mostly…although he might not have been talking about geography). A woman and her 2 boys were having lunch and overheard the conversation. She was from Iowa, been in San Diego for several years.

They recommended eating at Mitch’s (as did cousin Keenan), Balboa Park (as did the woman on our Uber ride, Nico’s (best breakfast burritos) and OB farmers market (we were already planning to go). We thanked them and headed back to the room. We’d walked just over a 5 miles by the time we got there.

We took a power nap before heading out again.

We went to the dead end, down the stairs and along the sea wall to the pier. Yesterday, we’d only gone as far as the café. This time we walked all the way to the ends of both branches. On the way back, there were men working at the pumping station that’s between the restrooms/café and short. We asked what it was pumping…drinking water out or dirty water back. It was waste water back to shore for treatment with the other Ocean Beach waste water.
Stairway between the sea wall and the end of Narragansett St.
Waste water pumping station midway along the pier

There were people looking in the tide pools near the end of the pier when we got back so we decided to poke around in them too. We found lots of sea slugs (some as long as my forearm), some shell-crusted anemones, and one small crab (dead). We got caught by an incoming wave and soaked our socks/shoes.
Tide pools next to the Pier

We walked back to the room for dry socks then headed out to the farmers market. We arrived just at opening, 4:00. We stopped at fruit vendors and got passion fruit, blood oranges, navel oranges, a cherimoya, a sweet lime (which, despite its name is lemon-yellow…it is sweet, though), and kumquats. Food items at all the stalls could be sampled. We tasted cheese, pasta, a greens smoothie, pistachios, almonds, and crème brulee in addition to all the fruits we bought. We also bought a mini pecan pie that was to die for. We ate it standing on the sidewalk by the pie seller.
 Awesome mini pecan pie from the Farmers Market
We did a loop of the market…basically up one side of the block and down the other. That loop took an hour. We ended up right in front of the liquor store so we got another $3.25 bottle of wine.

By then, we thought it was supper time so we went the rest of the block to the ocean, because we hadn’t been there before. We thought we’d go down the side we were on and back on the other, window shopping for dinner. We ended up at OB Brewery, a place recommended by a woman we chatted with on the pier earlier. We split an appetizer of garlicky hummus and pita points then a shrimp and grits entrée. Both were delicious and the total bill was $20.
After supper, we headed back toward Bacon St. That was where the market starts. Since we were close, we thought we’d see if the pie seller still had a mini pecan pie left. He didn’t. We decided to finish the loop around the market and picked up a mango Italian ice ($3.50). Yum!!

With the sun going down, there were a LOT more people at the market now, and some vendors that hadn’t been there the first time we looped it.

There is a certain vibe in the area. You see a lot of young adults with masses of dreads, bare feet, baja hoodies, and a kind of…unkempt look. There are young women in yoga pants or pencil leg jeans with rips or cut threads. Men who don’t have dreads have man-buns, lots of tattoos and piercings (facial). Some are minimally covered while others have multiple layers of baggy or flowing fabric. Most of the colors are muted or drab. Many are wearing skullies. One guy we saw several times on our Sunset Cliffs walk was jogging in board shorts, T and skully. They had a very 60’s Hippie look, except without the tie-dye. 60’s hippies had the hair thing going on but, back then, it seemed more a “natural” statement than anything. With the OB hippies, it seems more like neglect or disregard than anything. Clouds of marijuana smoke would be common to both.

Dogs are everywhere. Most businesses have water bowls outside the door for dogs. The farmers market had signs up saying, by law, no dogs are allowed within 20 feet of food for sale. It was universally ignored. One woman we spoke with yesterday joked that anyone living in OB was required to have a least one dog. It doesn’t seem much of a stretch!

By the time we’d finished our second loop of the market, I was getting chilly and wanted to head back. At 57 degrees, with no sun to warm us, the wind was downright brisk. By the time we got back to the house, my phone said we’d walked over 7.5 miles!