By the Sea in La Jolla

Because my husband attended his summer school classes at the San Diego campus of the University of California, I was forced to spend a significant amount of time in and around La Jolla (properly pronounced la hoya).  Poor, wretched me – the things I suffer for the people I love.  In all seriousness, the La Jolla area is a beautiful (and wealthy) stretch of coast north of San Diego proper where BMW’s and Mercedes Benz’s are a dime a dozen, uppercrusty but unpretentious shops and art galleries line the streets of the Village, and even the seals recognize it as The Place to hang out and be seen.

Although the shops in the Village are tempting (especially the galleries), the natural beauty of the shoreline had a much stronger pull for me.  I spent most of my time there at the water’s edge, reveling in the breath-taking vistas, jewel-toned ocean, and abundant wildlife (homo-sapiens included).  A path meanders through Ellen Browning Scripps Park, the most photographed spot in San Diego according to AAA Magazine,  and then along the cliff’s edge in either direction.  Judging from the scarcity of available parking spaces and the small crowd gathered on the beach and overflowing into the park, I’d say that it’s a popular spot for tourists and locals.

Hunger drove us into the Village the first time.  After a very late breakfast (meaning 3 p.m.) served with a view from the Brockton Villa, we took a stroll along the path at the northern end of the park.  Kayakers, snorkelers, and swimmers played in the azure sea while groups of seals (or sea lions?) lounged on the rocks nearby, barking occasionally and jostling for a comfortable position.   I could tell you the weather was perfect and scenery spectacular, but I’d have to use many sensational adjectives and flowery phrases.  Instead, I’ll just show you.  Sometimes, pictures really are worth 1000 words.

{ View of La Jolla Cove and Helen Browning Scripps Park from the Brockton Villa }

{ La Jolla and The Cove }

{ I think these guys are sea lions because they’re sporting cute little ears }

{ A sea lion pile-up }

{ Soaking up the sun }

{ One of the caves along the coast }

We spent just enough time that first afternoon to whet my appetite for more.  I waited until Hubby left for class one morning and drove into the village alone.  I was really hoping I could park right by the water – no such luck.  Even at 9 a.m. every spot was filled.  I ended up parking up in the village and making the five-minute walk down a very steep hill to the park.  The weekday morning had a totally different feel from the weekend afternoon.  Most people were intent on walking or jogging and the atmosphere was far more relaxed.

My main goal was to visit the Children’s Pool, a popular hang-out for the resident harbor seal population.  Unfortunately, just as I was rounding the bend to view the Pool, a few humans had stepped onto the beach and startled all the seals into the water.  I muttered a few choice words under my breath but went over to the viewing walkway anyway.  I’m so glad I did.  The seals were playing in the water and sunning themselves on the rocks near by.  It’s such a treat to see animals in their natural habitat and these seals have a gorgeous playground for their antics.

{ Ellen Browning Scripps Park }

{ Looking toward La Jolla Shores, Black’s Beach, and the Gliderport }

{ The Children’s Pool }

{ The observation walkway at the Children’s Pool }

{ A very relaxed harbor seal }

{ Chillin’ on a big rock }

{ Taking a dip in the pool }

{ I love the emerald green color of the sea grass – so rich and vibrant }

{ I also love the aqua color of the sea }

{ One of several small sandy coves along the path }

{ Photo-worthy vistas around every bend }

La Jolla is aptly named – the Jewel by the sea.  Who could possibly resist her spell?

If I incorrectly identified the seals and sea lions, please correct me.  I want the information to be accurate. 🙂

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