Our three day stay in El Centro ended and we took the 110 mile final leg to San Diego for our two month stay at Mission Bay RV Resort. We stayed at this same park a little over two years ago for five weeks so we knew when pulling in that the “Resort” is really nothing more than a glorified parking lot with no resort amenities. They provide the basics of water, sewer and 30/50 amp electricity. They also provide basic cable and Wi-Fi. and they do have a laundry on premises but no other “resort” amenities.
So why are we here? Location, location, location… Mission Bay RV Resort is located on Mission Bay so we have water views all around us. In addition the resort is adjacent to Mission Bay Park lending endless opportunities for walking and biking all along the waterfront. One thing I love most about this park is the 25 mile biking loop that one can take that is 75% along either the bay of the beach front! The last plus is that we are just a little more than 5 miles north of downtown San Diego so we have easy access to some urban hiking opportunities.
After setting up we spent most of the first day just settling in and getting out all the stuff we don’t normally use for our shorter stays. When staying longer we have more homey decorations that make their way out of temporary storage. Sharon particularly enjoys these nesting opportunities.
Our first day of exploring found us venturing into downtown San Diego on Sunday. We love to explore downtown areas and Sundays seem much less crowded and another big plus is that parking is usually free which is a big savings in San Diego. Sharon found an urban downtown hike on the National Geographic site we often use so we made our way downtown and parked as close to the beginning of the walk as possible. The hike we took is named, San Diego Walking Tour: Gaslamp Quarter.
The Gaslamp Quarter is now designated as a historical district but during its early history it was quite seedy. First development began in the late 1860’s and by the 1880’s the area became known as Stingaree and was home to many saloons, gambling halls, and various places of illicit pursuits.It continued to decay both socially and morally so during the 1950’s to1970s the area was widely known as the "Sailor's Entertainment district with a high concentration of pornographic theaters, bookshops and massage parlors”.
Then in the 1980s and 1990s the city focused on improvement of the district and the neighborhood underwent significant urban renewal eventually emerging into the gem that it is today, a district that any city would be proud to have. Conventioneers from all over the world now descend into the Gaslamp Quarter to wine and dine at many of the establishments found in the area.
What makes the district most interesting for us is its history and the architecture. Along our walk we stopped at such places as the William Heath Davis House which is the oldest surviving building town. Other cool buildings we saw were the Keating Hotel, Yuma Building, Horton Grand Hotel and the elegant U.S. Grant Hotel where some 13 U.S. presidents have spent the night. Another cool factoid that we learned was that Wyatt Earp lived in the former Brooklyn Hotel for most of his seven years in San Diego.
Afterwards we stopped to shop at one of the local Trader Joes and then made our way over to Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co for a cold frosty beverage. We have had better craft beers than the ones made here but their pizza has won numerous awards so we may have to go back and try it someday…