Saturday, July 25, 2020

AcroYoga (Flowering Trees and Bologna Gourmet)

Flowers are blooming all around the neighborhood, but the bright blossoms of the Red Flowering Gum Tree caught our attention. During our weekend AcroYoga practice, we took a few base view photos under the Western Australian tree swarming with pollinating honeybees.

Nearby, the Golden Medallion Tree with its rings of yellow flowers was also in bloom. This attractive tree is native to Brazil. Tori's hat fell off while in Star Pose but I really like how her released hair flowed down my legs in waves.

In the past we have tried taking some photos with Tori wearing a GoPro on her chest to show the Flyer's Perspective. This time we tried a couple poses with Tori holding an iPhone over her head instead. I think the Straddle Throne pose looks the best.

After our AcroYoga practice, we were hungry and excited to try the new restaurant, Bologna Gourmet, that opened right before the coronavirus pandemic in the Carlsbad Gateway Center near our work. When I saw their sign, I had assumed that Bologna Gourmet was another of the artisan food suppliers that populate this isolated business park, but the four new tables in the parking lot to satisfy the state-mandated outdoor seating caught my attention during my drive home from work.

I will start by saying that the meal cooked by the Italian owners from the northern region of Italy near Bologna was amazing! To start, Tori and I shared a Cesarina Salad with Anchovies. I had the Caramelle Pasta with Marinara. The perfectly-cooked candy shaped pasta was stuffed with Prosciutto, Pork Loin and Mortadella while Tori had the Rigatoni Pasta with Vodka Sauce. We both considered the sauces the best we have ever had! The warm tasty bread was perfect for sopping up our extra sauce. We can't wait to come back!

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Del Mar Beach Walk (Ocean Avenue Scenic Trail)

Today, we drove down to Del Mar so Tori could go for a three mile run with Kenny over to the San Dieguito Lagoon. While they ran, I went for a walk along the beach. Starting at 9th Street, I found a colorful garden path that followed the bluff above the railroad tracks. I hadn't planned on taking pictures but the scenic trail was so beautiful that I couldn't help myself.

Over the last few years, they have been spending money to stabilize the bluffs to protect the train tracks with improved drainage channels and concrete and steel columns driven into the earth called soldier piles. The bluffs lose an average of 6 inches per year, with winter storms taking out 2 or 3 feet chunks at a time in wet years. Eventually, they will have to move the train tracks inland or under a costly tunnel.   

The narrow path turned into the wider Ocean Avenue Trail that continued all the way down to 11th Street in the form of a storm drain.  I descended the steep trail down to the sand on South Beach and walked north as far as 20th Street before turning back.

Back up on the cliff, Tori and Kenny found me filming a time-lapse video of the coastline to the South. Since they are both participating in a handstand challenge for the month, I took a few pictures of their handstands for the day. On the way home, Tori and I stopped for dinner at the Brigantine.

Update: 7/11/20

A week later, Tori and I returned to Del Mar so we could walk together along the coastal trail. This time, we headed South following the cliff-side trail above the train tracks.

After a half mile, we hit a dead end at the Del Mar Woods Private Community so we had to backtrack all the way to 8th Street where we could join up again on the lower trail and head South again.

We walked along the bluff all the way to the bridge at the entrance to the Torrey Pines State Beach.

By the time we returned to our starting point, we had hiked 4 miles. We walked into downtown Del Mar for an early dinner at the new Mediterranean Grill. The dressing on their Greek Salad was delicious!

Update: 8/29/20

We came back for dinner at the Mediterranean Grill and went for a walk along the cliff trail after our meal. The Amtrak Surfliner came past as we walked along the tracks. I was surprised how close some people sat to the roaring train.

We continued down the trail until the orange and yellow lights faded from the twilit sky.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Manchester Preserve (Encinitas Hike)

To avoid the crowds on July 4th, we went hiking at the Manchester Preserve instead. This is the first time that my wife and I have visited the preserve created in 1996 to mitigate the habitat loss of the surrounding residential development in our town.

The 123 acres of open space rises up from the nearby San Elijo Lagoon to the highest elevation of 275 feet. The trail head starts at a small dirt parking lot and climbs up into the Manchester Canyon that is covered with Coastal Sage Scrub and Southern Maritime Chaparral. It is part of the Escondido Creek Watershed that travels all the way past Lake Wohlford in Valley Center.

There was a lot of of blooming wildflowers as Chad, Tori and I climbed the northern ridge along the Powerline Trail. At the top, there was a couple benches with a great view of the entire canyon. Tori completed her daily hand stands before we continued on.

Manchester Preserve was pretty empty and we only encountered one trail runner and another family traveling in the opposite direction on our entire hike.

After descending back into the valley floor along the Sage Trail, we turned right and headed up the other side of the canyon wall on the Gnatcatcher Trail. The trail is named after the endangered California Gnatcatcher songbird that is native to Southern California.

There are over four total miles of trails and we ended up hiking two miles of it in just over an hour by the time we returned to my truck on Manchester Avenue.