Mission (Beach) Accomplished

Last night, my wife strongly suggested that we make an early coastal excursion today. Honestly, I was a bit ambivalent but followed along. Advice to myself: Listen to Annie. We both enjoyed the simple outing, which turned out to be unexpectedly productive, too. Destination: San Diego’s Mission Beach.

We arrived close to 9 a.m. PDT to find ample parking (still) but masses of people already gathered for the July 4th holiday weekend. In addition to sand and sea, Belmont Park, with its iconic rollercoaster, is the other main attraction. Annie and I traipsed about before rides or stores opened, coming upon a sign for holiday special: annual pass for $98 (discounted from $120).

My daughter’s best friend continues to work with her as she seeks to recover from brain trauma: “severe hypoxic injury and bilateral subcortical infarctions” caused by cardiac arrest, according to her medical records. The pair occasionally go to Belmont Park to play miniature golf, which costs 10 bucks apiece—and that’s a bit expensive for them. Our girl is temporarily his part-time, volunteer job, and she cannot work.

Their birthdays are upcoming and, coincidentally, nine days apart. So I texted our daughter about annual passes, which would open up a bunch of activities that would be good for brain and body working together. Vacation therapy! Her response was swift: “That’s extremely exciting”. Annie and I stayed longer than planned, purchasing passes for both of them.

Annie made much better use of her Samsung Galaxy S22 than I did my camera or smartphone. She shot varied and many, and I would share some if fetching her laptop wouldn’t risk waking the sleeping beauty. You have to suffer with my meager moments.

The Featured Image is what we saw first, after parking and heading towards the boardwalk. All the photos, except the rollercoaster, come from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 9:01 a.m. Lifeguards set up some kind of booth closer to the beach; as we passed.

The second photo captures two beach cruiser riders on the move. The third spotlights two runners coming up behind the bikers. I rather fancy the juxtaposition with the, ah, larger woman approaching the joggers. Vitals: f/8, ISO 100, 1/640 sec and 1/500 sec (respectively), 28mm; 10:21 a.m.

The fourth photo, of a giant sequoia cross-section, creates an historical events timeline based on the rings. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/30 sec, 9:14 a.m. Annie asked why was it on display. Neither of us could guess.

Five and six bring us to two classic rides, neither yet open when we passed them. I used Galaxy S23 Ultra for an ultra-wide of the rollercoaster. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/9000 sec, 13mm (film equivalent); 10:09 a.m. The other: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 9:33 a.m.

Annie and I each spent $20 on clothes—two T-shirts for her and a pair of hoodies for me.