Thursday, February 9, 2017

San Diego Whales and LA

We continued the whirlwind schedule with Mike and Sherri squeezing as many SoCal sights as possible into one week. The weather was changing with more overcast skies expected so that dictated what we would do and when we would do it. 
Mike and Sherri have never seen whales, so high on their list was a whale watching cruise. On Saturday it was a bit cool and breezy with six to eight rolling waves but the sky was clear making it a great day to be on the water. We opted for the 3-1/2 hour Hornblower Whale Cruise on a bigger boat where we could be inside or outside.
San Diego is a great place to see Gray Whales in the winter as they are making their 12,000 mile round trip from the feeding grounds of the Bering and Chukchi Seas to the mating and calving lagoons in Baja California. Our first sighting was the fluke of a diving whale.
 The spouts of water as they blow out air is what you need to look for to find them. Here are three whales traveling together. I got many pictures of nothing but water.
They all three dove together and I managed to get two of the flukes. 
Another fluke. It was neat seeing these huge animals with the city in the background. We saw eleven whales, some traveling alone and others in groups of two or three. 
A whale spy-hopping, where they extend their heads up to ten feet out of the water to look around. We have seen whales in Newfoundland, Alaska and California and we never get tired of seeing these magnificent animals.
The whale cruise comes out of San Diego Bay so you get a great view of Point Loma with the lighthouses, Coast Guard station and Cabrillo National Monument.
San Diego Harbor and skyline. If you want to see whales San Diego in the winter is a great place with a 96% chance of finding them every day.
Mike and Sherri wanted to say they have been on Route 66 in every state and wanted to go to Santa Monica where it ends on the pier. Sunday was a cool overcast day but great to drive to LA to avoid the worst of the crazy California traffic.
Sherri and Mike at the "End of the Trail". They have not driven the whole route but they have now been on Route 66 in the seven states it crosses.  Very cool!!
There were several entertainers on the pier singing, playing and selling their CDs. Here is Nanc with Lenny Hoops who did a great Louis Armstrong. There were quite a few acts, but not nearly as many as you will find in Key West.
We have never been here and found the Santa Monica Pier a worthwhile stop if you are in LA. All the people, the amusement park and a great beach make for a fun day. 
Mike and Sherri checking out all the places they have been along 2448 miles of Route 66.
The amusement park is very neat with many kids rides, a roller coaster and a tall Ferris Wheel, all on the pier over the Pacific Ocean.
The old carousel with hand carved horses is also very neat. We opted not to go for a ride.
We wanted to show Mike and Sherri how the 1% lives so we went to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Mike wanted to stop at one of the upscale stores, Prada, Cartier, Tiffany, etc. to buy Sherri a gift, but fortunately for him we could not find a parking spot, saving him a few hundred dollars.
The last thing on their LA to do list was to see the Hollywood sign. We got a good look from a distance while driving around the Hollywood and Vine area where the stars on the Walk of Fame are located. It was then back to San Diego for a couple more days of exploring before Mike and Sherri head back to WashPA.  What a great road trip it was!

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