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San Diego — A Sanctuary

One of the city's natural sanctuaries is Cabrillo Monument at the entrance to the San Diego harbor. Time stands still at this out-of-the-way spit of land that looks out over the harbor to the east and the ocean to the west. A rocky spine topped by an abandoned lighthouse and sheltering a tidal pool, the Monument honors the service of soldiers who served as lookouts in World War II, the keepers who manned the lighthouse in operation around the time of the Civil War, and the Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo who first settled this area of southern California in 1542.

This spit of land also has one of the nation's most scenic military cemeteries, where service members who gave their lives in the nation's wars are buried in long white rows looking out to sea.

A peaceful tidal pool offers the sounds of the sea and a window on coastal marine life in an area that changes ceaselessly with the draw of the moon, the encroachment and retreat of the water, and the erosion of the waves.

Keeper of the Flame

Perched along the edge of night,
The end of land, where sea alights,
The Keeper lives ‘neath low'ring sky,
A lonely watch with Cyclops eye.

He feeds the flame that warns of strife
For ‘tis but thin edged keening knife
‘Tween rocks a-froth with ocean foam
And wooden ships turned into tombs.

Attuned to cycles of sky and sea,
Far from mankind's din and revelry,
His wrinkled eyes observe the sun,
With leath'ry ears hears waves like drums.

His dusky footsteps in circles rise
To stick a torch in Tower's eye,
To set the beacon’s revolving swoon
Mimicking the phases of the moon.

Another light in heaven’s canopy
Guiding ships in their dark odyssey
'Til dawn with light the sky will fill
And Keep returns, the flame to kill

Alone, at land’s end, lives the keeper of the flame

Neighborhood Nightlife
A sanctuary of another sort, the peace that comes from good friendship and good times together, is also found in San Diego, where Sal and Paula live.

They took me to the wine bar where they had their first date, Wine Steals, where we got a glow on, and then went out to dinner at Kensington Grill.

A year later, the spark of the first date has turned into a steady flame at Wine Steals

Sal and I had drinks and dinner in Little Italy, another of his favorite places

By the Sea

I stayed at a hotel not far from the harbor, where the old sailing ship, the Star of India, could be seen from the upper floors.
The sea is a tranquilizer, and spending as much time near it is the best way to experience the town.

Lunch at Red Sails Inn is a tradition for us in San Diego. It was a great day for a harbor-side meal ... even got to take in a little bird watching as they too thought it a great place for lunch.

But the love birds, above, made me miss Cherie all the more, and she should have been sitting in the open chair, at left, where we too could have coo'ed at each other.

Afternoon at the Tide Pool

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