Day 729 of Traveling the World, San Diego, CA. January 31, 2020.

Spectacular day! Spectacular San Diego! Did you know that San Diego was named for a Spanish saint, St. Didacus? He was more commonly called San Diego de Alcalá, but we had always assumed the name was the equivalent of James. Didacus?!? Surprise!

The city was ruled under five different flags over 80 years, beginning in 1769, when it was part of the Spanish Empire, then the First Mexican Empire, the United Mexican States, the California Empire, and finally, beginning in 1848 (California Statehood), the United States. It is about 120 miles south of Los Angeles and just 15 miles or so north of Mexico.

We walked along San Diego Bay, past the tall ships, the Maritime Museum, cruise port, and the aircraft carrier, the USS Midway. These are shown in the first five photos. At the Maritime Museum is docked the submarine, the USS Dolphin, the world’s deepest diving sub. Following those are photos of some of the downtown as we walked, buildings, a wild white sculpture, a bird of paradise flower (which were everywhere), a flower-covered walkway, and one of the wild swooping street lights.

Then we took a trip to San Diego’s Little Italy District. First up: posters of Italian-American celebrities who have won Oscars or Golden Globes. They were fun to read along the way! There is actually a Little Italy archway over the Main Street, and we delighted in all the sights and…smells! Pizza everywhere, as well as Italian food markets and restaurants. It is carb heaven. But we were headed there with a very specific destination in mind….Monello Italian Restaurant. We had talked to a couple in Barcelona about cheese wheel pasta, where freshly cooked pasta is placed in a hollowed cheese wheel. As it is tossed in the cheese wheel, cheese from the inside is scraped into the hot pasta. So we looked for restaurants in California where this is offered, and found Monello in San Diego. Today’s offering was lamb ragu orecchiette pasta, and it was out of this world….so tasty and delicious. You can see the sweet chef who tossed it tableside, all smiles, happy to be photographed. Instead of bread, the restaurant serves complimentary lupini beans, which were interesting, as they were sort of addictive, chewy, and every bite reminded us of some different food. So interesting. Who knew we would find a fabulous Italian neighborhood….in San Diego?