Back from San Diago

Hi Everyone!

IMG_2012Time for another Travelogue 🙂 .  I’m back from the RWA convention in San Diago and have to say, I had a blast!  We stayed at the beautiful Mariott Marquis which is right on the harbor.  I found this statue by the harbor.  IMG_1955I think the same statue is placed wherever there’s a naval base. 🙂 The temperature stayed in the low 70s with bright sun and few clouds.  Couldn’t ask for better weather. Perfect for kites.  KitesHere’s two we saw flying side by side in a beautiful clear blue sky.

My husband and I arrived three days early so we could do some sightseeing.  We’d been in San Diego about twenty years ago and had some ideas of IMG_1983the places we wanted to visit again.  Our first stop was Balboa Park to see their art museums.  I remember the water lily gardens and the beautifulBalboa architecture of the plaza.  You can see a bit of it in the photo to the right.  We had a fabulous lunch on a patio underneath bright umbrellas on the left.  I could easily see this as a wedding location, can you?

We also visited Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island. IMG_1995 This hotel is best known as the site for the Marilyn Monroe movie “Gentleman Prefer Blondes.”  The view on the right is from the back where you can best see the famous IMG_2007roof.  That’s a restaurant to the right side.  The other picture shows the front. The Marriott Marquis sits on the San Diego Bay, but Coronado Island – which we could see from the harbor – opens to the Pacific Ocean. I was surprised by the white sand beaches.  Not the sugar sand of the panhandle but white sand nonetheless.  I found a peacock shirt on Coronado which I wore at the literacy signing.  The can see it in the photo of the literacy signing near the bottom of the blog.

IMG_2027We also visited La Jolla on the Pacific Coast.  The color of the water was just beautiful.  IMG_2020Loved the incoming waves and all the seals! 🙂  (Darn – no picture of seals.  Believe me.  This was seal heaven. 🙂  )  La Jolla is full of boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.  I just took pictures of the carved coastline.

Finally, we went to Old Town which is an historical settlement of old California. They had an old cigar shop complete with a wood carved Indian on the front porch.  That’s where I found this display of marbles. I haven’t IMG_2030seen marbles sold like this since the days of the five and dime stores. The bank had lots of antiques from that era, including a stage coach. How IMG_2033about this?  Have you ever seen a tree like wierd treethis?  It looks like it came from a Dr. Seuss book 🙂  It was growing in the middle of town.

A little closer to the hotel, we spent several evenings in the Gaslamp District. At one point in time, this area originally developed in 1867, became the home to 120 brothels, opium dens, and saloons.  Even the legendary Wyatt Earp had a saloon here.  Eventually, the area deteriorated into a slum, but then was resurrected and revitalized and is now a destination spot for good food, good music, and people watching.

IMG_2067The convention itself was great. Lots of workshops, lots of books and book signings, lots of meetings IMG_2091and lots of parties. That’s me, Sally MacKenzie and Angie Fox in the photo to the left. As usual, I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have.  I did manage this shot of the 2016 Golden Heart Finalists. Here’s one of three former presidents of RWA:  Rita Estrada (The Rita the IMG_2116published author contest is named after), Shirley Hailstock, and Jill Limber.  But I thought you might especially enjoy this photo from Nora Robert’s balcony on the 25th floor.  Long way down. 🙂IMG_2117

Speaking of book signings, I’m at one today in Akron, but I’ll check in as I can.  IMG_2043Meanwhile, I have a challenge for you.  Name the purpose of this antique from Old Town.  I’ll send a copy of In A Heartbeat to someone with the right answer.  🙂

Hope you have a great day!InaHeartbeat_Nook



  • Amy Conley says:

    It’s some sort of press, so I’m going to say printing press, the kind used to print papers and books.

  • Ki says:

    Glad you had a great time in San Diego. And that antique thingy looks like a corkscrew opener, with that knob thing. Like to open barrels of beer.

  • Colleen C. says:

    Enjoyed your pics! That looks like a press of some sort… maybe newspaper!?

  • Jane says:

    The MLB All Star Game was in San Diego that week and they kept showing the area around the ballpark. Would love to visit San Diego someday and see some SEALs.

    • Hi Jane –

      So you’d like to see some SEALS as opposed to the seals. 🙂 A couple of our Uber drivers were Marines making some extra cash but that’s as close as I came to SEALS. I did see a lot of seals at La Jolla. 🙂

  • Helen says:

    Hi Donna

    WOW loved those photos amazing looked like you had a ball maybe one day I will get there to visit 🙂

    And that is some kind of press but for what I have no idea 🙂

    Have Fun

  • Donna, looks like you had a great week. Thanks for sharing! I have no clue what kind of press that is. 🙂

    • Hi Nancy –

      It was a great week. Many have said we should hold the convention there every year the conference is on the west coast. I bought the flash drive. Hoping to find some time to hear the workshops that I missed.

      As for the press – the answer really surprised me. Posting a clue below.

  • Amy Conley says:

    A press to iron shirts?

  • Colleen C. says:

    I looked to see if I could find something like that press… found something called a book press! Is that it?


    I’m not surprised this is a stumper as I was surprised when I read the description of what this was used for. My clue – though I’m not sure how helpful this will be — is that I found this in Old Town in the Bank on top of the vault.

  • Amy Conley says:

    A money press? For bills to keep them all neat?

  • San Diego was truly beautiful, wasn’t it, Donna? The weather was amazing and the hotel was situated in such a beautiful spot. And it was so good to see so many Banditas! No sighting of the GR, but I am certain he was out somewhere stirring up trouble!

    I would have said a fudge or taffy press, but perhaps it is a money press to press the money into bricks to band them for stacks of 100’s etc?

    • Hi Louisa!

      It was a great location. You saw a lot of bandits there? I saw joanie and Susan once as I was flying through the lobby in front of the ballroom. That was it. I’m jealous that you saw others 🙂

      I love how your first thoughts ran to fudge and taffy 🙂 Nope. It wasn’t used for either of those. It’s purpose has nothing to do with physical money. It’s a tough one!

  • Amy Conley says:

    It’s a press for, damn senior moment! To print bonds?

    • Amy Conley says:

      For stocks and bonds?

    • Amy –

      It would be impossible to print bonds with this press but you’re really close. Forget about printing as in creating and think about all the things a bank might be expected to handle in these days of the goldrush.

  • Laney4 says:

    Something to do with a safe not being able to be stolen?

    • Laney4 says:

      I know you said nothing to do with physical money, but safes don’t just hold money. Guess I’m grasping at straws here, LOL.

    • Hi Laney4 –

      I think the press was placed on top of the vault for convenience more than anything else. In a real bank of this period, I imagine this press would be somewhere in the manager’s office.

  • Time to draw this game to a close

    The answer is….this is a copier. Yup the predessor to a xerox. The bank would use it to make copies of deeds and important documents. This was done by applying a certain chemical to a blank sheet of paper (I think it was a vellum type paper but not sure) the paper was placed on top of the original and then the two were pressed together. The chemical lifted some of the ink and made a new faint copy of the original document. Crazy, huh?

    • Amy Conley says:

      I will admit looking for this under the images and couldn’t find it anywhere.I’d be worried about having a copying machine on the top of a vault at a bank though. I did realize it couldn’t be a press for anything too large because it really didn’t open far enough.

      • Amy –

        I think the current folks put it on top of the bank vault for convenience. The bank wouldn’t be all that large – not like today – but they probably still had a manager’s office. I figure that’s where it would have been kept. I doubt it was used all that frequently, but it’s interesting that they found a way to fill an obvious need.

        Congratulations! You won a copy of IN A HEARTBEAT. I need your email though so please check out the prize post.