I was able to exchange a week of my Worldmark points for a week at Welk Resort San Diego through Interval International. Not really in San Diego, but in a great area just north of San Diego near Escondido. The wedding was actually going to be in Del Mar, so this location worked out well. When my sister found out I was going to southern California, she asked if she could tag along. I said sure. So on March 18th, she flew in from Oregon and I flew in from St. Louis. Soon we were checked into the Welk Resort. The resort was beautiful! The 2 bedroom unit was large and very nicely decorated. I also liked that it was somewhat secluded (about 35 miles from San Diego up Highway 15).
Everything in this unit was huge, including the kitchen.
The first few days we set aside to meet with the bride and groom. But that was usually over lunch or dinner and Tim and FAith were there, too. I had gotten them a week at the Worldmark resort in San Diego. They seemed to have enjoyed having their own space.
One of our luncheons with the bride and groom-to-be was in Carlsbad. I had heard about the flower fields there and was excited to be there when they were in bloom. So Carolyn and I headed to Carlsbad early and took the wagon ride through the fields of gorgeous flowers. It was somewhat expensive at about $15@, but I'll probably never get to do that again.
We also had dinner with the soon-to-be bride and groom and Tim and Faith at a steak house in Rancho Bernardo near Escondido. I believe it was Carvers and it was very good and just down highway 15 from where we were staying.
Speaking of driving, I was surprised how easily we were able to get around the area. It was easy to cut across to the beach communities. We also didn't have a problem riding up and down Highway 15. One of the days we headed north on 15 and ended up at a couple Missions. As we were wandering around San Antonio de Pala, the priest came out and asked us if we wanted a tour. We gratefully accepted and enjoyed our tour and visit with him.
San Antonio de Pala was established in 1816 by Padre Antonio Peyri. It is the only surviving Asistencia in the mission system and the only mission-related structure still ministering to an Indian population.
On the 23rd (if I remember correctly), we headed out in the late afternoon to a park in Del Mar for the wedding rehearsal. While we were out that way, we also checked out the Children’s Pool — or the “Casa,” as locals have called it (Close to downtown La Jolla)—it is a tiny cove protected by a concrete breakwater. It was once a swimming area for children until the seals and sea lions moved in.
The next morning we were back out that way for the wedding. What's a wedding without a little anxiety?! At least this one wasn't caused by me. They waiting past the scheduled start time for the flowers to show up. They were about to start the wedding without flowers when the van finally showed up. The rest of the day went great and it was a beautiful wedding and fun reception.
Actually taken the day before at the rehearsal.
With the wedding over, it was back to vacationing for a few more days. Carolyn wanted to check out Coronado Island and I was happy to oblige.
They were even constructing a new phase of the Del. This was called something like "The Village". I think they're condo type accommodations.
Some of the landscaping around the hotel.
Even stopped for a bite to eat in a cute little restaurant. I don't remember the name of it, or even what we ate. But I was impressed with the painted walls.
Another place we hit was Cabrillo National Monument.
Back by our resort, we finally decided to check out Belle Marie Winery in Escondido. More so to see the Chateau Dragoo then to check out the wines. We did get to enjoy a couple of the tangerines here, though. Possibly the best tangerines I've ever had!
Our week was quickly coming to an end! So we met up with Tim and Faith again and headed over to the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
As of 2013, it cost $44 to get into this park with unlimited safari rides. I forgot what it cost when we went there, but it was well worth it. We spent most of the day there and really enjoyed it.
We had a great time in Southern California. I'm not one who usually cares to spend a lot of time in populated areas on vacation, but I really enjoyed this area of California. There was still plenty of nature to enjoy and traffic wasn't too bad!