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September 25, 2022

Enjoying our first week back home

Fran’s tennis league captain sent an email asking if she could play with her best friend, Debbie, in the match on the 16th.  That gave us a date to be home.

And (more important to me) the OTL Longboard Surfing Contest was on the 17th.  Another reason to return home.

Apparel burgers, dogs and drinks were available on Crystal Pier for purchase.

A long board is at least 9’ in length and is ridden without a leash.  If a rider falls off, he better be a good swimmer.

I was a bit disappointed there were no wooden boards, nor any gals this year.  

The hydroplanes were also running at Bayfair.  But it was no contest, longboards over powerboats.

I spent the next few days catching up on some yard work.  With another fun weekend coming up.  The big event would be PIFA.  The Pacific Islander Festival at Ski Beach. 

We chose to ride our bikes over, rather than fight the traffic.  Good thing or we would have missed the Dragon Boats.

A huge turnout this year, with canopies all along Tecolote Shores.

The big canoes have 16 paddlers, a coxswain in the front drumming out the cadence and in the rear standing is the tillerman.

Here boat 8 easily defeats boat 7 for 1st place.   Just look at the length of the boat!

We rode on, watching crew boats practice along Fiesta Island.  Then to the PIFA Festival, which requires all of Ski Beach. 

I wonder how long this old oak will continue to mark the entrance to Ski Beach.

The main attractions are the live performances on the main stage.

The stage is home to a none stop assortment of music and dance.

OhNo, my camera has added a blue filter.  That's something new ...
The music can be heard throughout the park.  Which is a good thing as it takes awhile to select what to share for lunch.

I had the SPAM Musubi in the past and was looking forward to curing my craving for another year.

What’s not to like about fried SPAM on rice wrapped in Nori seaweed?

In the end we settled on Chinese BBQ chicken.  The line was shorter and with a distant view of the stage.

Served with a good rice and the mandatory macaroni salad.

I saw the queen and her aide in line for the musubi.  I asked her ‘Why does royalty have to wait in line?’  Her reply ‘I’d never take advantage of my subjects’.  Awesome, bet that line has been rehearsed!

I have yet to try a Malasada.  I guess it would be the Portege version of a churro.

We spent a little more time enjoying the entertainment.

It seems somebody in the front row has to standup just as I snap the shutter!  Every time!

Quite a few people here for this event!

As we finished our ride around the bay, into Crown Point, there was a police motorcycle competition.  The bikes were inspected.

Then 4 man teams competed in a dance around an obstacle course.  The riders came from all over, including Tijuana  …

San Diego Police and Sheriff, Albuquerque, Phoenix along with this fine group from Pinal County Arizona.

They completely blocked the Malecon for their selfies.  Yup that’s Fran in the back with her arms crossed.  I can just hear her thinking ‘We’re trying to bike here …’.

Reaching De Anza Cove we missed this event.  The flag is that of Ethiopia, but represents all Pan-African ideology. 

To finish off the weekend we put the bikes on the truck for a ride to Balboa Park.  From there it’s less than a 5 mile ride to Normal Heights and the Adams Avenue Street Fair.

The ride is all on surface streets, but in many places the parking area is off the curb and the bike path along the curb.  Much safer!

Music, crafts and food is what this is about.  There’s 65 entertainment groups on 3 stages over the 2 days.

Now this is for a sweet tooth!

A strawberry kabab, caramel apple wedges or froze cheesecake on a stick!

And way more food vendors!  It must have been easier to get permits here than at PIFA, which had a lot of specialty food, but not enough vendors.

A BBQ pretzel looks good.

But I still need to cure my annual SPAM fix.  And unlike yesterday, there was no line here for a SPAM Wrap!

A wrap with fried egg, secret sauce, SPAM in an onion pancake.

Tasted just ok, but way, Way, WAY too greasy.  I’m good now for at least another year … maybe two!

Interesting pizza option from a wood fired oven.

That might have been a better option.  Next year.

We stopped at the Trolley Carbarn Park on the way back to Balboa Park.

Although I was living in the area back then, I never saw the old trolley barn.

My friend, San Diego’s Armchair Hiker did some research and found photos of early San Diego, including this Trolley Barn, which can be seen HERE.

The Pacific Beach Festival is next weekend.  It includes a taste off for the best fish taco in PB.  Can’t miss that.  Our favorite OB tacos are not invited :(

The San Diego Tennis Open is an easy bike ride away…

And those wonderful grand-girls deserve a visit …

And the EGR valve failed again somewhere in west Iowa.

And the seal on the left rear dually seems to have a leak.

Looks like next week will also be busy with more fun to come.

Certainly good to be home!


  1. We've come across several dragon boat races over the years and enjoy watching them. Now as for spam, you can keep it, I ate too much of it as a kid growing up.

    1. The dragon boats are a colorful fun event, nice to see them back on the bay.
      Really don't care for spam, but it does fit the island tradition.

  2. It’s Gay…always fun to get back in the swing of things after having been gone for awhile. Your post is why I love San Diego…always something fun to do and it just about always involves the ocean, yummy food and music! I would have to be pushed home in a wheelbarrow when it comes to a taste off for fish tacos! Enjoy the grand-girls and I hope the issue with the EGR valve is an easy fix!

    1. With the tourist season over, it's great to enjoy the beaches and bays again for awhile. We'll have to try a few more fish tacos to see how those in PB rate against our current favorite on the OB Pier. We're looking forward to seeing the grands and catching up on their busy lives.

  3. You certainly live in an area with lots of fun things to see and do! Malasadas are sort of a cross between a donut and good old Italian pizza fritta. I'd always have one to start a visit in Provincetown, Mass. It has a large Portuguese population and a couple good bakeries!

    1. Thanks Suzi - next time I'll have to try a malasada. Has to be a better option than spam :)

  4. Jodee GravelSeptember 28, 2022

    What a great variety of fun things to see and do!! Wish I was more confident on a bicycle, it sure seems like the better way to get around the crowds. I'm also a once-a-year-SPAM-fan although it's been a few since I've partaken :-) All the entertainment looks great. Our friend from high school is on a Dragon Boat crew in Vermont - looks amazing.

    1. Im surprised how well you've stayed in touch with your high school buds. But Dragon Boat? in Vermont? Who'da thunk!
      We had a great weekend, trust you and Bill are doing well at home.

  5. Glad you had a good trip and made it back safely. We got back from eight days in Colonial Beach, VA, last Saturday. Pictures still in the camera. Will see what I can do about that soon.,

    1. Welcome home yourself! Looking forward to your pictures when they come out of your camera.

  6. Sure can stay busy with all those festivals and get enough pedal exercise to work off all the food.

    1. Doubt that there was enough time on our bikes to work off all the fun foods! But certainly lots of food options!
      Looking forward to your reports on the Windy City.


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