Planning My Retirement

23 08 2008

view from the caves

I love Desert View Tower. It’s quaint, affordable, chock full of San Diego history, and features a rock shaped like a vulva. Melissa’s family made a habit of visiting there while she was growing up and she is the one who originally took me there years ago. Her memories showed me I needed to make it a part of my family’s life as well.

However, I have not taken my kids there until today and even then, just the big one. The caves (and by “caves” I mean “rocks”) are full of high places to fall from, tiny places to get lost in, climbing things taller then three-year-olds, and a chance of rattlesnakes.

But before that, we went in the tower. The bottom story is circular, built later around the original tower. It is cluttered with a hodge-podge of knick knacks, items for sale, and taxidermied animals in poor – okay condition. There is a glass case full of guest books dating back at least fifty years, full of visitors’ names, messages, and memories. There are dogs laying all over and they will not hesitate to block your way until you pay your due by rubbing bellies. A chatty man greets you and takes your small entrance fee which includes a trip up the tower, entrance into the “Caves” and a short trail up the back (which we decided would probably be much better to visit during the winter). From the top of the tower, on a clear day, you can see the Salton Sea, beyond that into Arizona, and straight down into Mexico (which is actually probably within walking distance so not such an amazing feat in this case).

well, have you?

looking out the window

summer in shadow

for distant viewing

We paused for a picnic lunch in the van (the coolest spot around), walked past the buzzing trees (bees) to pee and then headed into the “Caves”.

just some rocks

in a crack


in a cave


I love this place so much that I consider someday buying it when I am old and living there while running the tower. In my fantasies, I wake in the morning and drink a cup of hot black coffee in the cool, dry air (apparently somewhere along the way, I will learn to like black coffee). I’ll feed the chickens, milk the goats, take a hike up to worship the vulva, and then head back into the house for a shower before greeting the tourists (because no tourist wants a host who smells like a sweaty goat). Also, apparently, somewhere along the way, I will learn to make small talk with the tourists.

If you’d like to see the rest of the photos from today, click here. And if you want to see the photos from last year, click here.

Sadly, we were not able to make the traditional stop on the ride home at The Wisteria Candy Cottage because it closed a mere 23 days ago. It was opened in 1921 right along Highway 80 – at the time the main route into San Diego. It sat there through the Depression as people poured in, desperate for work. It was there in the 50’s, when the Greasers ruled the road. It lived through disco, Reganomics, and Grunge. But it is closed now forever, and I did not even get to say goodbye. In your honor, Wisteria Candy Cottage, I will post a photo of last year’s truffle for all to drool over.

coconut heaven




5 responses

23 08 2008

I forgot all about this place. I’ve never been but was told about it years ago. O and D will love climbing on the rocks. Let me know if you want to go sometime.

24 08 2008

“Worship the vulva”. What tall women say instead of “talk to the hand”.

24 08 2008

I really want to get out there with Lily at some point. But I just cannot in the heat. I am a wuss. If you plan a winter trip, please let me know!

24 08 2008

The *only* reason I go in August is for thunderheads. But do you see any in the photos? Noooo. Now? Go look out the window. HAHA. Not funny, Weather. Next year we decided we were going to make it a last-minute trip based purely on weather reports.

Yes, I may be planning to go in the winter, you guys. But it will probably be on the weekend so I don’t have to bring the younger child. I am not that brave.

27 08 2008
bethany actually

Winter trip! Winter trip! I am so sad I missed this one, but I’m a heat wuss too.

Also, that is really sad about the Wisteria Candy Cottage closing. I guess all good things must come to an end, but…I always hope they come to an end after I’m dead. 🙂

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