Fans of Coastal San Diego

This site is for the many fans of coastal San Diego, those who have lived here for years, as well as those new to the area. Here you can learn more about the different communities, the many things to do and places to visit in and around San Diego, share your experiences, and ask for advice and recommendations for restaurants, shopping, visitor activities, places to live, and more! Buyers thinking about moving here will find lots of information to help, too!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Water, Water, Everywhere!

There is a fascination with water here in Southern California. For many, it's because they live near it, can see it, or live on it (yep, we know some people living on their sailboat on the bay downtown). For others, water is more aloof - in the desert, for example.

It seems that most people want to be near the beach and the Pacific Ocean, or to be able to see it, or for the more fortunate, to live right next to it. Hence the overcrowding we all deal with and the resultant traffic. But we're here 'coz we want to be near the water. And thousands flock to the beaches to enjoy the water - surfing, swimming, fishing, sailing, snorkeling - or at least look at it while they enjoy dining on the sand. Views of the water are a premium (I discussed this in an earlier post), and so if you can't afford to live right next to the beach, at least being able to see it (and enjoy the ocean breezes) is the next best thing. It seems that most Californians are obsessed with their beaches and enjoying them whenever they can...and rightfully so, as most are beautiful, and parking is, for the most part, relatively easy and cheap or free. They are there for all to enjoy (not so easy in other parts of the country). I have finally gotten used to seeing the surfer crossing signs you see along the roadways (I didn't take the one at the top of this page but found it on the Internet).

There are the lagoons, too, scattered up and down the coast. They are there to enjoy visually and are protected environmentally, but only one I am aware of allows swimming and boating. There are a number of lakes and reservoirs, too (Lake Hodges for example) although many are primarily for enjoyment at a distance. And everyone seems to know about Mission Bay along the freeway just north of downtown - a good place to avoid at major summer holidays, but some great tourist attractions (e.g., Sea World).

Irrigation is everywhere here, out of necessity due to the desert-like climate and limited rainfall (more on that later). For someone coming from the East Coast (yes, we have beaches and an ocean there too), having an irrigation system was a new experience. It's great that it does what it is supposed to do automatically and while I sleep (unless I change the timer), and I no longer pay attention to the sounds of the sprinklers when they come on. I have also learned how to change or repair the sprinklers, fix breaks in the irrigation pipes, and more...but then the gardener can do that too (yep, a majority of people here, it seems, have someone to care for their lush yards).

Spas, pools, hot tubs, water features, fountains and spools (that's spa/pool - we now have a custom-built one in OUR yard SEE PIC AT LEFT) are everywhere too. Of course you can enjoy outdoor swimming and relaxing in your spa year-round here due to the weather. Fountains are more common than I have seen anywhere else, except perhaps in Italy - at the front door, in the courtyard, in the foyer, on the back patio, in the middle of the pool, on the dining room table, in the bath room, etc. But there is something very relaxing about the sounds of trickling water...and this has noise-muffling qualities too. Plus, water is an important part of Feng Shui (nope, can't tell you why or how until I read some more). I guess it is probably NOT a good idea to buy a house without some sort of water feature, and if you do you are obligated to put one in!!

And, finally, rain. We don't get a lot of it, typically, but witness the huge rainfalls in 2005 resulting in many landslides and flooding. We can go for many months without rain (not so in Boston and the Northeast in general), and the rainy season seems to start in November or around then. Californians don't know what to do when it rains - freeways become the worst place to be, as people practically come to a stop, or slide all over due to the newly-slick roadways. I guess it's because we just don't get that much of it and it is a novelty when it does occur. Sort of like Bostonians with the first snow. But having as much sunny weather as we do, experiencing rain here is rather just have to wait a long time for it.


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