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The Royal Presidio of San Diego was established in 1769 and was the first permanent European settlement on the West Coast of what is now the United States.  It was the headquarters of the Spanish colonization of California.  A few months after the presidio was built, Father Junipero Serra established Mission San Diego a few miles to the east.

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So the youngest monkey in Kongo’s troop and his bride are in town through New Year’s and Mrs. Kongo has been planning activities for when the two starving students from Boston broke free from the winter weather in the Northeast.  One of these things (or several of them, actually) were to “explore and do new things” and we were off to breakfast at some place she’d discovered on a monkey wife walking tour in Encinitas, and see some other things up there.  Encinitas is a small beach town about 25 miles north of downtown San Diego.  It is filled with people who ride bikes and walk dogs.  Anyway, away we went.  

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While waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, Kongo and his granddaughters took a picnic lunch over to Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills to do a photo shoot.  The girls wore their blue Christmas dresses they picked out themselves and raced off to explore the old western movie set while Kongo followed along and tried to get them to pause long enough to snap a couple of pictures.  It was a great lesson in the patience you have to learn if you want to photograph young children.

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Okay, the monkey gets that the weather is indeed frightful for most of the country.  Kongo spent last week in New Jersey with icy roads, snow, and starting off each morning scraping winter junk off the windshields so he has sympathy.  A lot of sympathy.   Sort of. But today in San Diego it was 72 at the Ocean Beach Fishing Pier and the monkey captured how a lot of residents in America’s Finest City spend their time while less fortunate baboons are caught in blizzards.  Read on.

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After a week of 12-14 hour days poring over spreadsheets, building PowerPoint presentations, and going through innumerable “What If” drills, the poor little monkey had had enough!  So, after a Saturday afternoon nap while waiting for the sun to move closer to the horizon, Kongo grabbed his camera, slapped on the 70-200 lens, and headed for one of his favorite spots close to home:  The Old Mission Dam in Mission Trails Park.