In early June my company sent me to a resort island in San Diego’s Mission Bay for our annual customer conference. It had been easily 25 years since I last visited that city, and I was excited to finally return.
I knew I wanted to shoot a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 there to capture the California colors. But which camera? I wanted SLR control, but had only so much room in my bag. That led me to my compact SLRs. I’ve been itching to shoot my Pentax ME SE again. But when I remembered the delightful 40mm f/2 lens I have for my Olympus OM cameras, and that it focuses down to 10 inches, I loaded that Ektar into my Olympus OM-2n instead.
I made all of these images over the first two days of my stay. The conference was at a resort called Paradise Point, which sprawled across about half of the island. Here’s the beach and the bay, with some of the resort’s cabins in the background.
I’m sure that if you’re from California, none of this looks terribly exotic to you. But to this lifelong Hoosier, visiting California is always like stepping into some far-off foreign land.
This is the room I stayed in. It was large and comfortable. My room opened into a parking lot rather than onto the beach, but it didn’t really matter as most of my time was spoken for — I was on the clock!
Around the resort itself, everywhere you looked the scenes were intensely cheerful.
The ducks were brazen, walking right up to you looking for a handout.
I was surprised to find a couple of El Camino Real bells in the resort. They must have been recreations. The El Camino Real is a road built to connect the 20 Spanish missions built between 1683 and 1835. The road’s southern end is in San Diego. In the early 20th century, bells like these were placed along the route as wayfinding markers. But the Mission San Diego de Alcalá is far inland of Mission Bay. Why the heck are these bells here?
I experienced a great deal of plant life there that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before, certainly never in Indiana. I couldn’t identify any of it by sight. Later I’ll share images from this roll that look at various flowers close up. But these two trees caught my notice, the first because of its purple flowers and the second because of its shape.
Naturally, Mission Bay offers plenty of opportunity to get out onto the water.
The company’s conference was a huge success. I had a terrific time meeting many of my co-workers for the first time, and meeting many of our customers and talking with them about their work.
But I also very much enjoyed being in San Diego again. Maybe I won’t wait a quarter century to visit again.
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