Photographs

San Diego’s Mission Bay on Kodak Ektar 100

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.

Paradise Point Resort

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.

Paradise Point Resort

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!

Paradise Point Resort

Around the resort itself, everywhere you looked the scenes were intensely cheerful.

Paradise Point Resort
Paradise Point Resort

The ducks were brazen, walking right up to you looking for a handout.

Paradise Point Resort
Paradise Point Resort

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?

Paradise Point Resort

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.

Paradise Point Resort
Paradise Point Resort

Naturally, Mission Bay offers plenty of opportunity to get out onto the water.

Paradise Point Resort
Paradise Point Resort

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.

Paradise Point Resort

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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16 thoughts on “San Diego’s Mission Bay on Kodak Ektar 100

  1. Andy Umbo says:

    Have to laugh,I was there under similar circumstances in 1979, only I was setting up and controlling all the audio visual for a company convention. Back then it was not only beautiful, but also a “one-horse-town” that would have been very easy to move to and survive. The San Deigo that became a destination, similar to Austin Texas, didn’t really happen until the late 80’s early 90’s. Ditto for Seattle. I almost stayed after doing a job there in 1987, it was quaint and very arts oriented, and very easy to establish yourself. By 1992, that was all over and the locals were already “anti” people moving in, which the IT industry ignored and then ran roughshod over everything, so even the middle-class can’t afford to live there…

    Where’s the next place?

  2. DougD says:

    I like San Diego a lot. I accompanied Tammy to a cancer research conference there once. The conference was at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, fanciest hotel I’ve ever stayed at. We figured if we had to live in the US we could take San Diego. Housing is expensive, but no worse than Toronto area.

    The only problem was when we were there it has snowed in the nearby mountains, and everyone was all excited. We were not thrilled, having left the snow behind to go there!

    Very nice that your conference was successful and you had some time to take a few photos.

    • San Diego housing costs seem crazy to me! It’s a real barrier for me to wanting to live there. I guess I’m just spoiled by Indiana’s cost of living.

  3. When I lived in Arizona, we would pay big money at the nursery for certain plants and then work like crazy to keep them healthy in the desert. When I moved to California, I discovered some of these same plants growing wild along side the road. Crazy.

    • Even here in Indiana there are plants that you have to tend constantly to keep alive in South Bend that you can’t kill in Indianapolis.

  4. tbm3fan says:

    Mission San Diego was only about two miles, as the crow flies, from where you were staying. Old Town San Diego, which is where the general location is, is situated where US 8 and US 5 cross which is the top of Rosecrans exit off US 8. I have a picture where you can see the old Sea World Tower from the lawn in front of the Mission circa 1973. It is actually more correct to say El Camino Real “starts” in San Diego and works it’s way up to the Bay Area along the Peninsula ending in Sonoma.

    Have to say your room exterior doesn’t look like it has changed much from the Vacation Village days in the 70’s. Same blue color. In the 70’s I lived on top of Mt. Soledad, just north, and could look right down on Mission Bay all the way to Mexico. My high school, just east across 5 where USD is, also looked down on Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

  5. I know exactly where you stayed. I gave a paper at a Coastal Sediments conference there (scientists and engineers talk about beach erosion, dirt, wetlands, and dredging – and the sea level rise that is not happening even though everyone intelligent knows it is happening. That was a big laugh at that conference.). The little cottages look exactly like similar cabanas at a resort outside of Athens, Greece. They have a 1960s beach vibe.

    • Interesting! I don’t know anything about the resort and the cabins looked modern enough to me. They were well appointed inside and looked new and fresh.

  6. San Diego is one place I have been three or four times now – the company I represent was based there for many years. The purple tree looks like a Jackaranda, they are very popular in the warmer coastal regions of Australia as well. Great pictures, Ektar loves those bright days!

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