Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

Last Saturday, Oct. 18th, I decided to head over to Old Town, San Diego, CA, in the late afternoon. I hadn’t been there for over a year and hadn’t really explored it much since 1999 when I was in San Diego after my Mom died in Oct. 99, in AZ.

I headed to a part I’d never been before, near the corner of Taylor and Juan Streets. First I headed into Fiesta de Reyes, a newer development with a restaurant and shops. Music was playing and the place was crowded. These are pictures of the fun characters at the entrance and scattered near the stage.

Old town oct 18 2014 d

Old town oct 18 2014 c

Old town oct 18 2014 b

Old town oct 18 2014 a

Then I headed over to Bazaar del Mundo, and found this metal quartet as I headed toward the shops. Another time I am going to go back and explore the museums and historic buildings. This place is rich in history, but is also filled with restaurants, hotels and shops to entertain and delight tourists and residents alike. Come enjoy!

Old town oct 18 2014 f

katelon:

This is so amazing so wanted to share!

Originally posted on Cool San Diego Sights!:

School kids create fantastic chalk art on Little Italy street for 2014 Festa event.

School students create amazing chalk art on a Little Italy street for the 2014 Festa event.

2014 Festa takes place tomorrow! The extremely popular event, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary, will be held as usual on the streets of Little Italy, a neighborhood just north of downtown San Diego. I’m excited!

Why?

The Gesso Italiano chalk art! Several city blocks will be overflowing with absolutely fantastic artistic creations! Perhaps you remember my blogs posts about the astounding chalk art at 2013 Festa. You’ll find them here, here and here.

Today a small army of artists began to work on a several block stretch of bare asphalt in San Diego. Tomorrow over a hundred thousand people will crowd Date Street and admire the finished masterpieces.

One block of Date Street has been reserved just for school kids! They were hard at work when I walked past today mid-afternoon!

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Last night I went for a walk along Pacific and Mission Beach. I was so grateful to have timed my walk to include the sunset. Hope you enjoy the photos I took with my old school Samsung Gravity phone :)

Sunset 1

Sunset 2

Sunset 3

Sunset 4

Sunset 5

Sunset 6

OK, OK….it may look like I never go anywhere else, but I do :) I love Balboa park…lots of free parking, green cushy grass, always something going on, beautiful buildings and gardens, lots of shade.

Yesterday I headed over to go to the Palestine Festival at the International cottage houses. This is the first festival I’ve been to there. It is wonderful to be a part of the culture and camaraderie, especially in the midst of the horror going on there right now.

There was an amazing Oud player, a man who plays all over the world, even at Carnegie Hall. I apologize for not getting his name. He played many songs and had a drummer accompanying him, playing one hand drum that sounded like a tabla drum but seemed to play like a dumbek. I loved hearing many of the people in the audience joining in, singing in their native language. How wonderful for them to have this festival to bring them all together. And how great that the park celebrates a different country each weekend.

There was a beautiful “fashion” show, showing new and vintage garments from various cities. It was quite interesting to see the difference in garment design that the various areas inspired. There were a few dance performances and some powerful poems that were read, too. I filmed one of the dance performances but unfortunately somehow it didn’t end up saved. I am going to get a new phone soon and hope to learn how to use it better. I’m also going to get a camera with a video function, so I’ll HAVE to get familiar with that so I can bring you better photos and some videos, too.

So, unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the festival and didn’t get any videos either.

After leaving, I headed over to the Bonsai display in the Casa del Prado. I made some stops on the way, so I got there 5 minutes before they closed. I felt a little self conscious, as people were packing up, so I quickly walked around taking these photos. I was disappointed to find out they weren’t in the best focus but at least you can get an idea of the work. I love how magical this horticulture art is and how ancient some of these plants manage to be. One of these plants is a real fig tree and produces tiny fig fruit. It reminds me of the books I read as a child featuring the Lilliputians, or my fascination with fairies.

Bonsai 6

Bonsai 1

Bonsai 2

Bonsai 3

Bonsai 4

Bonsai 5

After leaving the Asian Horticultural display, I wandered around looking for the Carousel. I had read a favorite blog of mine “Cool San Diego Sights”, and read about it and had never seen it. So I wandered north past the kiddy train by the zoo and finally looked at a map and found it. Here are two photos of it.

Carousel 2

Carousel 1

After leaving I went to sit with my feet in the fountain for a short while. It was fun to watch the children in the fountain swimming and having fun.

Finally I headed back toward my car, looking for a great tree and shade to sit under so I could read. I took the time to walk in and check out the Old Globe theater and took this picture of the back side of the Museum of Man, which is my favorite building in the park.

Back of San Diego Museum of Man

Hope you have enjoyed the afternoon with me. Soon I plan to purchase a day pass for museums and explore them more thoroughly, perhaps even check out the available 3 D films on White Sharks, Dinosaurs and the universe! Come check it out yourself!

I decided to head over to Balboa Park on Sunday, July 27th, to hear an organ concert. Many of the listeners came equipped with umbrellas. I sought out the shade of a tree and sat on the ground:) The acoustics are so wonderful, the architecture so beautiful.

Spreckels organ pavillion

When the concert was over I decided to head to the Botanical Garden. I had read about the orchid show in the garden. Here are some photos I took of the various orchids. Keep in mind these pictures were taken with a camera phone….low end camera at that, as I haven’t made the move to a smart phone yet. I think the pictures turned out pretty well though.

Orchids 6

Orchids 5

Orchids 4

Orchids 3

Orchids 2

Orchids 1

After leaving the garden, I walked by a Father and daughter, sitting on a bench, with a beautiful orchid plant sitting next to them. I stopped to comment on it and the man directed me to a show and orchid sale going on in a nearby building. Here are photos of two of the orchids there.

Orchids 8

Orchids 7

Next I headed over to lay on the ground and soak up the root energy of this tree that has the distinction of having one of the largest expanses in the world. On the way there, I passed by the “pirates” dangling from the building, advertising the ongoing pirate exhibition.

Pirate exhibition

Large tree

Lastly, on the way back, I stopped near the butterfly garden and noticed a bench memorial for the great activist Harvey Milk. A sweet ending to a sweet afternoon.

Harvey Milk Bench

My previous post inspired me. I often walk this boardwalk, spent my childhood vacations walking this boardwalk and in my life since then.  So some of these photos are the same location as pictures from the previous post and many are not.

The first photo is off an octopus mural on the boardwalk at the end of Garnet Ave.  So let’s start our walk:

Mural at Boardwalk and Grand Ave

This next photo is of the Baja Beach Cafe, formally Green Flash. A place where my Mom and I often enjoyed many meals.

Baja Beach Cafe former Green Flash

 

Shark mural on the side of an ice cream stand:

Mural on Icecream stand

These are called The Beach Cottages.  I stayed here in a hotel room, at spring break, with my Mom and best friend, Dottie, when I was a Junior in High School and later stayed in one of the cottages in the front in the summer of 1975, after driving to San Francisco, from Tucson, AZ, then coming down the coast to see my Grandmother, in Van Nuys, for the last time before she died later that summer.

Beach Cottages

Next we are walking by the Banana Bungalow hostel

 

Banana Bungalow Hostel

This is my favorite sno-cone stand, my guilty pleasure :)

Favorite sno cone stand

Next we pass The Surfer Hotel and World Famous Restaurant.  I have stayed at the surfer numerous times alone and with my Mother when she was alive, along with my son.  I stayed here for 10 days in 1999, after being with my Mom during her death, then clearing out her house for sale.  This was my refuge. I have eaten in the restaurant many times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is my favorite beach restaurant and it has great food.

Surfer Hotel and World Famous Restaurant

Next is the Crow’s nest studio that sits on top of a 2 bedroom beach cottage.  This and the house just to the east of it were owned by a woman who had worked on the Valley Religious Task Force board with me during the years of 1994-1997 when I did volunteer work with Central American Refugees…teaching classes, fixing up the homeless shelter we ran, giving massages to refugees, serving on the board, protesting against the covert wars in Central America and the poor treatment of the refugees, etc.  The owner of this property let my son and I stay in the Crow’s nest, for free, for a week in the summer of 1995, after a horrible break up. I was exhausted and emotionally spent, so my son and I drove from Tempe, AZ to rest and heal here.

Crows nest

This is my favorite house on the beach. It reminds me of a house in Italy or France.

Favorite house on mission beach

Next we come to Hamel’s, the store that looks like a castle. This is on Mission beach. I went in there for the first time on this stroll.  I have an “adopted” Navajo daughter who has 9 children and I wanted to look at their t-shirt collection for kids so I could gift them all San Diego t-shirts, along with wanting to gift the two children of my ex-Seattle landlords.

Hamels on Mission beach

Now we are at the famous Belmont Park and it’s wooden roller coaster. I spent so many fun filled days and nights here as a child.  I was especially fond of the fun house with the wavy mirrors and the spinning wooden floor that would ultimately spin you off to the sides. The roller coaster was shut down for awhile but now has been repaired.  In this complex there is now a miniature golf course I plan to check out, a wave house where you can surf the indoor waves, and a large salt water pool called The Plunge. It is closed for repairs. Darn!

Belmont Park and roller coaster

From here, I left the boardwalk, took off my shoes and walked down to the ocean and walked back next to the water, enjoying the hard wet sand under my feet. Looking north at the end of my walk there was Crystal Pier and the private cottage rentals.  Friends of my family used to stay in these many years ago.  San Diego was such a popular destination for many families in my southern AZ hometown, so families would plan vacations together. This provided us kids other children to play with and company for our parents as well.  I’m ready to leave San Diego now but it will always hold an important place in my heart.

Crystal Pier and cottages

As a child, I used to take my heavy canvas raft out beyond the waves and hang out for many hours, unafraid. My parents let me go, which was quite the opposite of the over vigilance in my hometown.  I’d often sit on the beach at night, listening to the waves.  I have many fond memories of this place from both childhood and adulthood. Some of the buildings along the boardwalk have remained the same, some have been torn down and replaced with newer buildings and some have been upgraded.

Come check it out yourself!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mural on Icecream stand

katelon:

I have walked this stretch, while on vacations, since childhood! I missed some of these so wanted to share!

Originally posted on Cool San Diego Sights!:

Cool art on a music store window on Garnet Avenue.

Cool art on a music store window on Garnet Avenue.

Yesterday I went for a very long walk through Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, two extremely popular beach destinations just a few miles north of downtown San Diego.

I began by walking west along Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, from around Ingraham Street all the way to the beautiful and historic Crystal Pier. This stretch contains more bars, tattoo parlors, smoke shops and swimwear stores than just about anywhere else in Southern California. It’s a young, hip, beachy sort of place, that’s mostly laid back and unpretentious. You’ll see bikinis and skateboarders and tourists and families and surfboards atop cars and under arms just about everywhere you go.

You’ll also see a lot of very cool urban art: on walls, on windows, on rooftops, in alleys…all over the place! Here are some random pics I took as I walked westward…

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More Balboa Park Photos

Since being in San Diego again, Balboa park has become one of my favorite hang out places.  I’m more of an outdoors/country person and thrive when I can go out on the isolated hikes like I did while in Tucson, AZ.  I have tried to find such places in San Diego but the traffic deters me and being around the city and crowds is a bit overwhelming for me energetically.  So Balboa park becomes my go to place.  I usually go on a weekday when it is less crowded.  Somehow the architecture and landscaping gives me some sense of that nature vibration I’m seeking and the buffer from traffic and city life

This last visit I explored a couple areas I hadn’t explored before:

I love all the arches on the various buildings.

ArchesMore arches

 

I took the time this visit to check out the Spanish Village Art  Center.  There are various studios run by artists using different mediums.  Here is a picture of the bright tiled pathway. the next picture is of the kaleidoscope flower pot, set at the north end of the village. You spin the pot and look through the viewer and see a  kaleidoscope view of the flowering plants in the pot.

Pathway  Kalidiscope flower pot Flower pot view

This is a picture of the lovely detailed columns that appear on buildings throughout the park.

Columns

There are many exhibitions, movies, plays, and performances going on daily at the park in addition to the zoo, museums, restaurants, gardens and attractions to see.  I invite you to go check it out!!!

 

I recently stayed in the South Park area of San Diego.  Growing up,  our San Diego trips consisted almost solely in Pacific beach, Mission beach, Mission bay, with brief trips to Old Town, Mission Valley for shopping, La Jolla for shopping, and rare trips to Tijuana for jai alai games.  What a treat and education it has been to stay all over San Diego county over the last several months, learn the freeways, short cuts, neighborhoods, stores, and flavor of all these places.  I love going more deeply into places, relationships, ideas…creating intimacy and understanding.

Here are some of the places and sights that caught my eye during my neighborhood walks:

This is a whimsical house I found and loved.  I don’t normally think of that word but met the owner and stated, “oh, your house is so” …..and the word whimsical came out.  He said he was a whimsical guy. I could see in his house and his furniture was also whimsical :)

Whimsical house

I loved the magic in these big unopened blossoms.

 

Flower bud 2 Flower bud

 

These are murals on the side of the Albert Einstein academy, a charter school for higher achieving students.

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Mural at school

Mural at school 2

Two great beautiful and big trees.Park next to golf courseHuge tree

This is a view looking west, toward Balboa Park, on a bridge on 30 Street.

View off 30th st. bridge looking west to Balboa park

I like the big rock columns and chimney on this probably 100 year old home.

Columns on house and rock wall

These were a mural on the wall of a neighborhood home.

Mural on house wall 2Mural on house wall

This was a cool mural on a wall, and it had a boulder placed in front of it that fit into the mural scenery and the landscaped yard…very cleaver and creative. Look beyond the bigger boulder with the dark purple plant in front of it, and you’ll see the smaller boulder sitting in front of the mural.

Mural with rock blending in

This was a very strange alley wall on a house. It is a working chalkboard you can write on. I didn’t take a picture of it but they had spray painted some dead and dried large plants in the flowerbed next to the sidewalk, in front of the house.  It was actually very dramatic and strangely lovely.

Side wall to house with chalk board

Hope you have enjoyed this walk with me!  Please share your thoughts and impressions, “like” the post if you do, and if you’d like to join me on more walks and tours, sign up to follow my blog via email, link on the side. You don’t have to be on wordpress to do so.

Photos by Katelon Jeffereys

katelon:

Very fun thing to look for at Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Originally posted on Cool San Diego Sights!:

Interesting contraption in a nook at Spanish Village.

Interesting contraption in a nook at artsy Spanish Village.

In a nook of Balboa Park’s Spanish Village, right next to the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building, you’ll find this interesting contraption. Is it an antique device once used to navigate a ship? Is it a microscope? What is it?

It’s a kaleidoscope mounted above a revolving bowl of flowers! Instead of turning the kaleidoscope tube, you whirl the bowl of blooms and watch different colorful patterns form through the lens. Several mirrors in the tube create the complex symmetry.

Once I figured out what the contraption was, I tried putting my camera right up to the eyepiece. I got a bunch of interesting photos!

A kaleidoscope aimed at turning bowl of flowers.

A kaleidoscope aimed at turning bowl of flowers.

Mirrors of kaleidoscope turn flower blooms into art.

Mirrors of kaleidoscope turn flower blooms into art.

Revolving the bowl turns flowers and leaves into amazing patterns.

Revolving the bowl turns flowers and leaves into amazing patterns.

Infinite beauty created via the reflection of light.

Infinite beauty created via the reflection of light.

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