We moved hotels. We took a look at the predictions for 4th of July traffic, and decided to move up the coast a bit.
We ended up at Oceanside by the beachfront near the pier. We have a nice hotel for the night, with an amazing view of the pier and ocean. This is just an overnight stop, but this is a great location here. One downside is that the commuter train goes right past us, and some of the folks here are complaining about the horn as it passes. We actually don’t mind as we have the train that comes near our house, so it’s not an unfamiliar sound.
This is really a neat little town. Highway 101 runs right through the middle of town, and it all still has that classical California architecture. We walked past four barber shops, all with military discounts. That’s when we figured out this is right next to Camp Pendleton, so that makes sense.
There’s a public pier right in the middle of town. As we approached, we could see that the entire waterfront was setup for the 4th. There were flags everywhere, vendors lined the beachfront Strand, and the beach was filled with families. The pier had a bit of Art Deco design, and looked like it was well taken care of by the town. I love California piers. The far end had a restaurant, and there were locals fishing for bass, mackerel , and other fish all along the pier. It actually took us a while to walk out to the end, it was deceptively long.
The Strand is the beach road that goes under the pier and along the entire beach. Yulia and I rented one of those silly pedal cars and pedaled up and down the street. She jumped out and ran down to swim for a while. The sand here has a golden shimmer, it’s really amazing and Yulia loved how warm the water is. Then she got hit with a wave and lost her sunglasses. The ocean takes no prisoners, but it sure takes sunglasses.
We just wandered about and enjoyed the ocean until we got hungry. There was a fantastic fish restaurant attached to the hotel with a view of the water. All the fish we have had on this trip has been amazing. They also had local oysters here so we had a dozen of those as well. After dinner we took another walk around town. It’s nice to not rush and do much. Once we got back, we heard guitar playing on the top of the Fish place, so we went up to that deck to have drinks and watch the sun go down. There was a pretty big event going on at the hotel as well. by the end of the evening the place was full, including some Marines in full dress uniform. I walked over and bought them a round and thanked them for their service. We chatted a bit (one of them is into Harleys, like my brother Greg.) Yulia and I went back to our couch on the deck to watch the final sunset sink away. It was an amazing red disc tonight, visible just through the palm trees.
Watching the sunset never gets old.