California – Ocean Beach, San Diego

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach was the first place we landed when we arrived in San Diego as a friend of mine had an Airbnb and offered it to us for 10 days before Christmas. It was so nice to have a destination to head for once we had arrived. The original plan was to find a hotel and figure it out from there. With the Airbnb cottage, we at least were able to spend Christmas in a cottage and not a hotel.

This was the windswept town Christmas tree by the beach. It was decorated with small, inflatable beach balls.
The town Christmas tree at night.
Sunset on Christmas Eve from the Ocean Beach pier.

Not to deviate from talking about the Ocean Beach neighborhood, but since I am talking about Christmas, I thought I would share that we spent a few days before Christmas with David’s side of the family. He has an aunt and cousin who live in Loma Linda. Aunt Helen’s son, Bill and his family live in Texas and Alaska. Bill and his children/grandchildren stayed in Ocean Beach and the relatives from Loma Linda came for a day.

It was so wonderful to see Bill again and to meet that whole side of the family. I have been married to David for close to 31 blissful years and honestly, thought I would never meet them. What a wonderful gift to spend the Christmas holiday with them all!

Christmas Day, David and I drove to Oceanside (about 35 minutes north from Ocean Beach) to spend the day with our nephew, Patrick, who has been living out here for close to 4 years. He treated us to a lovely Christmas dinner of ham, fish, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, green bean casserole, and corn! I was very impressed with Patrick’s culinary abilities…they are much better than mine!

A Christmas feast!

Patrick, his sweet little doggie, Abby and me Christmas, 2018.

The day ended with a nice walk along the beach. Patrick is fortunate enough to have the beach in his front yard!

Oceanside Beach and pier…a nice ending to Christmas Day!

Now, back to Ocean Beach…It is a quirky little community. I describe it by saying “they never got the memo that the 60s decade is over!” There are many people – young and old – walking around in tie-dye clothes, hair with dreadlocks or whatever other “hippie look” they might create!

The downtown area is built around the beach and they, too, have a pier.

Veternas Plaza is between the beach and downtown. You can see the sign for OB Surf Lodge, which is a popular restaurant on the outer edge of the OB shopping area.
Veterans Beach is a popular area for musicians and aspiring entertainers in aerobatics to come to hone their skills and for others to watch.
Ocean Beach Pier
If you look on the pier, towards the right side, you will see the person sending bubbles toward the beach!
The children below were loving trying to “catch” the bubbles…so much fun! You never quite know what you will find at Ocean Beach.
Looking down Ocean Beach from the pier and on the other side of the jetty is…..
Dog Beach! This is where pet owners can bring their dogs to run off-leash. As you can see, it is a popular spot, especially on a Saturday morning.

Funny story about Dog Beach! David and I were walking around the beach saying hello to any dog who would stop long enough from playing or fetching a ball to say hello to us. We were walking back towards the “people beach” when I stopped to take a picture of the pier. There were two large dogs romping behind me…the next thing I knew, I was flat on the ground. One of the dogs had “body checked” me in his excitement of playing with his buddy. David didn’t see it happen as he was looking the other way. When he turned to tell me something, he found me sprawled on the beach….”What happened to you?” he asked. I was just laughing….it all happened so quickly. I told him and he helped me up and brushed me off. Although I am fine, my camera is a little worse for wear thanks to the fall!

We were on the beach the Saturday before Christmas. The yoga instructor was in the Christmas spirit with his Santa hat!
We visited the pier several times. It was a fun place to watch the surfers and fishermen to see what they were catching.
Around Christmas time, there were some great waves for the surfers.
I was able to get this great picture of a pelican, too.
One day the waves were extremely high and washing over the pier. The “powers that be” closed the pier to keep anyone from getting hurt or washed overboard. Sadly, shortly after I took this picture, the pier was permanently closed due to damage caused by the waves. To my knowledge, they are hoping to reopen it on Memorial Day weekend, 2019.
The birds seemed to enjoy having the pier all to themselves.

There is quite a busy downtown area of Ocean Beach with gift shops, several restaurants, bars, coffe shops, grocery stores, banks, library and post office. The population is about 11,500 people.

Wednesday afternoons from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, there is a farmer’s market on Newport Street, one of the main streets for Ocean Beach. It is a great farmer’s market with organic veggies, fruits, food trucks, a variety of other vendors and live music. It is a fun place to hang out to be part of the beach community funky vibe!

Ocean Beach is on a hill, which made morning walks good and challenging. I would often walk up a hill on one street, cut over and walk down the next street until I made my way over to Sunset Cliffs Nature Park.

Looking up a palm-lined street and once at the top…..
…the reward of the view.
Another view….it was worth the challenge of the hills and so good for one’s health!

Sunset Cliffs Nature Park is 68 acre of land, along the ocean, dedicated as a park in 1983. It is a beautiful spot to enjoy the views of the ocean as well as looking towards Ocean Beach and the pier.

Sadly, the cliffs can be very dangerous. On a much to regular basis, someone stands to close to the edge and fall in. Often, you will hear the rescue helicopters flying overhead. One day, I saw the water rescue team practicing repelling over the cliffs for a simulated rescue.
There is beauty on a sunny day or a cloudy day.
Birds hanging out at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park on a chilly, cloudy morning.
Ocean Beach is a very artsy community. If you keep an open eye, you will be rewarded with the creativity of others. This mosaic was along Sunset Cliffs. I am a huge fan of mosaics, so discovering this made me smile!
It wouldn’t be fair to share Sunset Cliffs without a sunset! Here you are….

Odds and Ends for Ocean Beach….

I enjoyed my morning walks. I was never quite certain what I would discover. When we first arrived in December, the weather tended to be overcast in the mornings but one day, we had clear, brilliant blue skies. I just had to click pictures of the palm trees against the blue!

There is a company of parrots that live in Ocean Beach. I just looked up to find out what a “group” of parrots is and they are called a “company” or “pandemonium of parrots.” I so love the “pandemonium” description for a group as that is what they created was true pandemonium when they flew around with all of their squawking. It usually happened in the very early mornings and again, in the early evenings.

Along with the squawking parrots, were the airplanes taking off from the San Diego airport. The San Diego airport is literally downtown. The airport was built on what used to be a smelly, tidal marsh, Dutch Field. There was a proposal to build an airport in that area because it was close to downtown, the post office, and the train station. Have you ever flown into San Diego? It is considered the fifth most dangerous airport in the US…not a warm, fuzzy feeling. If you have flown here before, you will know that landing planes skim the top of the downtown buildings in their approach. Planes taking off, fly directly over Ocean Beach. You can pretty much set your clock dialy to 6:30 AM when the planes start to take off. It is loud…especially when you are sitting in your backyard. It was one of the many reasons that we decided not to make Ocean Beach our permanent neighborhood.

This was another picture that I took on my morning walk. It was around Christmastime. Coming from Maine, it is rare to see a bush of poinsettias. This was a treat!
The plants here in CA are so different from the Northeast. Thanks to the arid conditions, people tend to decorate with succulants and cacti.
Here is more random art that I discovered on my walk. It was along the sidewalk.
I think that it embodies Ocean Beach’s free-spirit vibe!
So does this van advertising a popular hamburger joint in Ocean Beach – Hodad’s! It is always crowded with a long waiting line on the weekends. Do you know what Hodad means? It is a nonsurfer who spends his time at the beach pretending he is a surfer!!!

This was the sign on a door that I frequently passed on my walks. More free-spirit vibes and finally….
This just plain made me smile! I had to share it somewhere on my blog. It was at one of the t-shirt shops in Ocean Beach!

Until next time, I wish you joy and sparkles!

One thought on “California – Ocean Beach, San Diego

  1. I laughed and laughed at your pictures. And your stories. Glad you are having fun — what a life you live! Wonderful. Enjoyed everything,

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