October 9, 2019
Day two of our surprise trip started with a quick breakfast at Starbucks across from the hotel, so very convenient for someone who loves her Starbucks, even if I have to settle for decaf these days.
While walking toward the harbor, we saw some very cool curved LED light poles on Broadway Street. Each pair of lights curl around each other, almost like they are being buffeted by the wind. I tried to find out more information about them without success. I’d like to know who designed them.
Our first stop was at the USS Midway. We had visited two years ago, but we know we didn’t see everything, so we enjoyed touring again. The Midway was commissioned in 1945 as the largest warship in the world, too large to go through the Panama Canal. During its 47 year history, it operated in Vietnam, leading the evacuation of Saigon, it operated in Operation Desert Storm and rescued Americans who were fleeing the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991. The ship was decommissioned in 1992, and opened as a museum in 2004. Much of the gear worn by the sailors was made by Stearns Manufacturing right here in Minnesota.
During a two hour Flagship Cruises harbor cruise, we explored both the north and south ends of the harbor, going under the Coronado bridge, seeing the America’s Cup Stars and Stripes Yacht tacking nearby, and paying a visit to some sea lions and waterfowl.
Dinner tonight was at the Searsucker in the Gaslamp Quarter, informally known as the Gaslamp District, followed by a performance of The Man of La Mancha at the The Horton Grand Theatre, named for Alonzo Horton, an 1860s developer. The musical was a production of the San Diego Musical Theatre, and was simply delightful. None of us had seen this musical before, although we were somewhat familiar with the story of Don Quixote. I’m still singing.
Listed as an historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, Gaslamp consists of a little over 16 blocks in downtown San Diego. This area was originally developed in the 1860s, on land owned by Alonzo Horton, and was mostly lit by electric arc lighting, not gaslamps. However, the gaslamp was chosen as the symbol of the neighborhood during urban redevelopment in the 1980s. The district is home to 94 historic buildings, which now house restaurants, nightclubs, galleries, museums, theaters, boutiques and more, including Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop, the perfect place for some late night dessert. It was all I could do to walk out of there without a few pounds of candy to supplement the pounds I added with the ice cream!