The Hidden Staircase

July 11, 2011

Some highlights from my 4th of July weekend.  And also, a bit of making fun of myself.

We played tourist with some of our good friends.  This included, basically, visting the four corners of the San Diego region.  It was awesome fun, with a few minor inconveniences.  As in, no one in their right mind should expect to find a parking spot for less than $50 on a holiday weekend in Mission Beach.  We drove around for a very stressful hour before we looked at eachother and said, "does it mean we're old if we give up now and just go back to the house?"  We decided that did mean we were getting old and lame and so we stuck it out long enough to find a parking spot that might cost us under $20.  Then we ducked into a bar on the beach and looked around us at the crowd of drunken, young, twentysomethings doing beer shooters out of a cut off whiffle ball bat and felt old anyway.

However, Karma came back to us when an impromptu drive to La Jolla resulted in a parking space within 0.2 seconds of arriving at our destination.

A vist to La Jolla's "shell beach."  Don't be fooled by the name, there aren't any shells.  Just a lot of rocks.  But it's still cool, and there's tidepools and such.
And we snagged a seat at one of the only rooftop bars in La Jolla (trust me, we looked... I mean, what is life if you can't sit on the beach and completely ignore the beautiful view while you scrunch your face at your smart phone and search through online reviews for a good dinner venue with a rooftop view?)

We had to wait a bit, but when we did get seated it was perfectly timed to watch the sunset
On the day of the 4th, we opted for the more laid-back Ocean Beach neighborhood.  Now we have arrived to the part of this blog where I have to admit to certain things that I am a bit embarassed to admit.

Exhibit #1: The Hanging Lantern

We ate breakfast at this cute little cafe on the end of the Ocean Beach Pier.  Although I use the term "cute" a bit loosely, as it has somewhat of a sea-crusty atmosphere and I am a bit dubious of the "A" rating that was displayed.  However the breakfast burrito was very delicious.  And there was no waiting for a table.  All bonus points in my book.

So as we're sitting at our table, admiring the ocean view and maritime decor, and Chris is staring aimlessly at some point behind my head. 

"What are you looking at?"  I asked, innocently.  To which I think he responds, "The lake."

I look at him in confusion and reply, "No, honey, that's the ocean.

Chris gives me that it's-a-good-thing-you're-pretty look and points at an object anchored to the wall behind me.  "No," he says, "I'm looking at the light. I'm well aware that we're at the ocean." 

The light
And, finally, I saved the best for last...

Exhibit #2, The Hidden Staircase

We had a date to watch the fireworks from the bluffs on the south end of Ocean Beach.  The streets here are elevated above the water, and you walk to a staircase which leads you down on to the bluffs.  There's a section of the bluffs about halfway between the street and the water that, during low tide, have room for walking, sitting, laying down, etc.  They also have a great view of the fireworks on the Ocean Beach Pier:

Getting ready to watch the fireworks show on the bluffs
To get to our spot on the bluffs, we walked down the starcase and then across on the bluffs for a ways.  To exit, we had to take the same staircase back up, which involved walking away from our car and all the way back to the stairs.  We were hoping to find a closer staircase so we wouldn't have to backtrack so much.

So anyway, we watched the fireworks, they were super.
Upon leaving, we made the treck back towards the staircase.  As we were ascending the staircase, I happened to look back over to where we had come from.  And there, clearly illuminated on the cliff face, was a staircase full of people walking up it.

"Chris," I said, "how did we walk right past that staircase and not notice it?"

There is a very pregnant pause while Chris and my friends digest this comment.

"Um, Krista," my husband said gently, "that's not an actual staircase.  That's our shadow outlined on the cliff walls."