USA Day 14 – La Jolla

Monday 2 January 2023

It’s finally stopped raining and I get up to a stunning view of mist hanging over the valley. I decide to walk along the rim of the infinity pool to take a photo.

Temecula view

I don’t have very good balance, so am grateful to make it to the end without teetering over the end and down the side of the mountain. I turn round to find my way barred by an enormous dog.

Temecula view

I make it back into the house and the dog settles down in a nest consisting of daughter no 2’s underwear to eat the old man’s boot.

Breakfast time

La Jolla

Once the animals are sorted, we set off on today’s outing to the coastal town of La Jolla. I had to planned to meet up with an old friend from uni, but he had emergency surgery over Christmas, so we are going to have to entertain ourselves.

La Jolla

Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier

We drive the 60 miles south to La Jolla, only we don’t; daughter no 2 has navigated us to La Jolla Shores, a couple of miles further along the coast, because it has a free car park. From here we walk along the beach to the succinctly named Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier.

Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier

It’s an interesting structure, but unfortunately you can’t actually gain access, as it is a university research facility. From here, daughter no 2 wants to walk the 3 miles into town because parking is difficult/expensive in La Jolla. I’m perfectly comfortable with forking out $10 to avoid a 6 mile return walk. There is an argument. Ultimately I win and we drive to La Jolla, which is absolutely heaving and finding somewhere to park is really difficult. We should have walked (just kidding).

Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier

La Jolla Cove

We finally find a garage, where we can park for $10 and take a walk along the shore, starting at La Jolla Cove. The cove is teaming with the most pelicans I’ve ever seen; flying, swimming, nesting on the cliff tops. There are pelicans everywhere. Meanwhile, frolicking around the edge of the cove are dolphins.

La Jolla Cove

There’s also a cave here, if paying $5 to visit a cave is your thing.

La Jolla Cove

Ellen Browning Scripps Park

We walk through Ellen Browning Scripps Park. To call the area a park is a little generous; it’s just some grass and a few sad bushes. But the ocean views and the marine wildlife make this the most photographed spot in San Diego.

Ellen Brown Scripps Park

On the beaches are dozens of seals and sea lions along with more pelicans and other sea birds.

La Jolla Sea Lion

La Jolla Children’s Pool

We walk through the park to La Jolla Children’s Pool. Here, someone had the smart idea of constructing a sheltered area where, in theory, children could play safely in the ocean. In reality, a whole load of seals and sea lions promptly moved in. Even if it wasn’t sealed off (see what I did there) I wouldn’t want to swim here – the smell is pungent.

La Jolla Children’s Pool

Meanwhile scurrying around on the cliff tops are loads of cute little gophers.


Lunch at Java Earth Coffee

After our marine wildlife extravaganza and we take a wander through town for some window shopping and in search of lunch. We settle on Java Earth Coffee, where I order a soy chorizo burrito. Daughter no 2 can’t read the menu without her glasses, so borrows mine. Half blind, I take the old man his coffee, misjudging the distance to the table. The upshot is that he ends up wearing most of his coffee.

Soy Chorizo Burrito from Java Earth

Murals of La Jolla

We round our trip off with some mural spotting. According to the website, the Murals of La Jolla consists 15 murals painted on buildings around town. Now usually, this would be right up my street, but in this instance, they’re too far apart to make a walking tour realistic. They’re also quite difficult to spot. And, dare I say it, some of them aren’t very good…

Untitled – Sanda Cinto

We go looking for a mural allegedly on the side of 1250 Prospect Street, but a thorough circumnavigation of the building fails to locate said mural. The photo on the website is clearly taken by a drone. How you would see this ‘public art’ without a drone is beyond me. Next….

Paintings are People Too – Monique van Genderen

We do manage to find the latest mural further down the road at 1162 Prospect Street, entitled ‘Hedonic Treadmill’. This is, apparently, ‘an ecstatic amalgamation of imagery seeking to playfully and poignantly deconstruct the current state of the American mythos’. And with that our time in La Jolla is at an end. We drive back to Temecula for another fun filled evening of trying to prevent the dog from killing the cat.

Hedonic Treadmill – Einar and Jamex de La Torre

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