While Imperial Beach, California is a great vacation destination, the main reason we go there is because it is where FabGrandpa grew up. His Dad was in the Navy and was stationed in the San Diego area for many years. One of the things I love about going there is that while we are driving down I-5 to Palm Avenue, there is a subtle transformation going on over there on FabGrandpa’s face. The closer we get, the happier he seems to become. By the time we see this sign, he is grinning from ear to ear. I can almost see his brain whirling with memories.
He has a running narrative about how that place used to be a Piggly Wiggly store, and that place over there was where they went to the movies, and how it is hard to remember exactly where such and such was. But, it is still Palm Avenue, and Lydia’s Mexican Restaurant is still there.
The biggest grin of all is when we see this sign. It is the one where the road forks, and if you go to the right, you wind up in Coronado, and if you go to the left, you wind up on Seacoast Boulevard, at the beach. He loves this sign, because to him it means he is home.
I love to see this sign, because it means we are at our destination. We found this little motel the first time he brought me here in 1994. I do not know when it was built, but it was not there when FabGrandpa was growing up here. It was built on the beach where he used to play with his brothers and friends, about a hundred yards from the pier where they spent many days and nights fishing. It is the only motel in Imperial Beach that is right on the beach. We love it, and hope the new they build will be a place we love as much as we love this one.
This is the park at the entrance to the Imperial Beach Pier. I don’t know who designed it, but it always looks sort of like McDonald’s arches to me. There are several arches in different colors that light up at night. On warm nights we usually walk over to the pier and go all the way to the end. There are always a lot of people on the pier, fishing, strolling, walking, hanging out. It is the place to be in Imperial Beach.