October 10, 2019
On this, the final day of our surprise trip, we had time to explore on our own. We took an Uber to La Jolla, about 12 miles from our hotel. It would have been possible to get there by trolley or bus, but that would have taken almost two hours, time better spent enjoying the weather.
This lovely seaside community, which is located within the borders of San Diego, is home to several art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Native Americans called this area “mat kulaaxuuy,” meaning land of holes, not sure why. Spanish settlers called it La Jolla, which may derive from their pronunciation of the Native American name, or simply be a misspelling of “la joya,” meaning the jewel. In any case, La Jolla’s nickname is “Jewel City.”
We walked to Ellen Browning Scripps Park to see the sea lions. This park was named for the female scientist, teacher, and journalist who moved to La Jolla in 1897. Along with her brother, James, she published the Detroit Evening News in the 1860s. Other newspapers were added as part of the Scripps Publishing Company. Ellen later invested in another brother’s (EW Scripps) chain of newspapers. Ellen had been educated as a scientist and mathematician at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, one of the few colleges to admit women in the 1800s. Her love of science led her to leave much of her fortune to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. She was a founding member of the La Jolla Women’s Club, which still functions today. Ellen Browning Scripps was inducted into the California Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007.
Both seals and sea lions enjoy the beaches of La Jolla, but today, we saw only sea lions. There is a difference. Seals have shorter front legs compared to those of the sea lions, and can only creep on land while the sea lion can raise its body and use its fins to navigate. The sea lion has visible ear flaps compared to the seal’s ear holes without flaps. Most noticeably, the sea lion is noisy, as was evidenced by several today.
A little shopping, a little lunch with a view, and back to the hotel to pack for our return home.
I must say this experience was delightful. We was very impressed with The Vacation Hunt and don’t hesitate to recommend them. The only surprise was the destination, all else was handled with great attention to detail. All we had to do was show up!