Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

Last Thursday night I headed over to Balboa park, in San Diego, CA,  for the last concert of the summer Twilight in the Park series.  The Band was The Legends. They were great and fun, playing mostly 50’s and 60’s music.  There were a group of people dancing on the right side of the area and in front, and sprinkled throughout….people dancing in couples, groups, with their kids or just standing and swaying like me:)

Here is a photo of the band (distance…see them….tiny….:))

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The concert was held at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion.  There were people with picnics, children playing with hula hoops and dogs galore.

There were also some old cars on display.

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The next day I was walking in the neighborhood and walked past this lovely pickup.

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Another fun evening in Balboa park, obviously one of my favorite places to go to in San Diego.  Thanks for joining me.

Did you hear any concerts this summer?

The 4th was my birthday and I’d thought of going to check out this park that evening but had a headache most of the day. So I headed over on the 5th, just in time for the sunset.

This park is named after Kate Sessions, in 1957, to celebrate her 100th birthday.  She is famous in San Diego due to all the work she did with Balboa Park.  She is responsible for much of the plantings there and bringing plants in from other countries. She was a teacher, a botanist, a horticulturist, and a landscape architect.

The park has play structures, picnic tables, BBQ pits, parking, bathrooms, and beautiful views that include views of Mission Bay, the Coronado Bay Bridge and even the hills of Tijuana, MX.

The park is 79 acres, some is landscaped and manicured and there is a large amount of land that is left to natural habitat, with hiking trails.

Here is the map on how to get there:

http://www.recreationparks.net/CA/san-diego/kate-o-sessions-memorial-park-san-diego

Here are some pictures:

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Grassy field with bay view.

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Play structure.

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Hiking trails.

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Grassy fields with views.

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More grassy fields with views.

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Beginning of sunset.

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Beautiful sunset sky.

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Sunset almost done.

Hope you’ve enjoyed your time at Kate Sessions Memorial park.  Come check it out when you are in San Diego.

Thanks for reading!

Fun Day At Balboa Park

I had to drop a friend off to catch the train so decided to grab a scone and coffee and then head over early yesterday to Balboa Park  Come join me on my day!!!

I’d never taken a tour so decided to take the 11:00 am Ranger led tour.  I had some time before that, so drove to the park behind the Fleet Science Center. I was amazed at how empty the parking lot was as I usually get there in the afternoon.  Later when I was leaving, cars were circling the parking lot waiting for a space to open up.

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I pulled out my beach towel and sat underneath a nice big tree, and spent some time doing spiritual work.

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There was a nice view of the California Building Tower off in the distance.

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When it was getting closer to the tour start time, I decided to walk over early so I’d have some time to explore.  On my way between the building housing the Railroad museum and Zorro Butterfly garden, I saw this amazing tree that hadn’t grown up but rather sideways, almost lying on the ground.

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I met a woman from LA before the tour started, and later met her friend and we shared time together. So that was a nice surprise. I really enjoyed the tour. Although I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Balboa park and watched a video about its history,  in the History museum, the tour added some interesting information. The tour guide was warm and informative. These tours are held at 11:00 on Sunday and Tuesday, meeting at the Visitors Center, in the Hospitality building. They also lead a botanical tour at 11:00 am on Sat. and an architectural tour on the first Friday, at 10:00 am.

Before we left on the tour, I noticed this great bench in the newly redone Central Plaza.

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Here we are, heading out on the tour.

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The tour guide explained that some of the present day buildings were built for the 1915 exposition and the 1930″s exposition and only built with temporary use in mind. So these buildings had to be torn down and rebuilt. The building housing the Railroad museum and other museums is hollow inside, and she explained that if you tap on the structure, you will hear it.

1 Entrance to San Diego History Museum

She also explained that the busts near the top of the building have men’s heads and women’s bodies. I thought I had a picture of them but I couldn’t find it. Sorry.

The building across the street from this one, the El Prado building that houses many offices and a great gathering of sculptures, is made of concrete, so it is more solid sounding if you tap it.  On our walk I noticed the wonderful statues on the east side of the building.  There are a couple figures that look like Native Americans.

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The park started as undeveloped land and the first plans drawn up were to leave it mostly that way, as an open park. It is larger than Central Park in NY.  On the West side of Freeway 163, there are parks and stands of great trees.  On the east side, east of Florida Street, is Florida Canyon. The guide relayed several interesting stories about its various uses before all the development of the park. There are many trails there now and various habitats to explore and east of that are more developed recreational facilities.

Kate Sessions is responsible for helping expand the variety of vegetation and trees in the park, and especially for bringing in specimens from other countries.

When we walked past the botanical building, I noticed lotus plants growing.  The guide told of a few disasters from the past, with others not respecting the delicate balance of the ponds. She shared that they’ve had people dump in catfish and other fish as well, which isn’t a great idea.  Here are some pictures of a tall growing lotus and some lotus on the pond. The lattice work on top of the Botanical Building is made of redwood.

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And some ducks wandering around.

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After the tour, the two women went with me to explore the hospitality houses. They were celebrating Columbia so there was a line up outside the food booth….

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People waiting for the performances to start at 2:00, relaxing and listening to the Colombian music…

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And a couple booths set up selling various products….

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I bought some Arroz con Leche (rice pudding), from a Colombian booth and an almond cake slice from the German Hospitality house….

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I left before the performances as it was too hot and sticky for me. On the walk back, I passed this guy who is dressed up like a bronzed Shakespearean day performer. People pay to get their picture taken with him.

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And that concludes my walk. Hope you enjoyed it, especially since you got to stay cool while viewing it on your screen!

Thanks for joining me. Thanks for reading and supporting my blog.

It’s always interesting to me to look at different houses..the colors, the landscaping, the styles, all the various ways people can make a house their own. The decisions homeowners make are ones they will have to live with for many years, so choosing the details isn’t just like buying a new wardrobe for the season. To me, too…art is everywhere in colors, designs, lines, textures, contrasts, etc.

I walk my landlady’s dog daily so I’ve gotten to know the neighborhood well. I started noticing different driveways, so,  the other morning, I decided to walk and see what I could find. It was early out and I struck up a few conversations with neighbors as they spotted me taking pictures. I explained I was taking pictures of driveways. There was a pause (as if they were saying “driveways” … why???), but then they’d tell me about their driveway and the challenges of slopes and angles.

So here are some I spotted:

There were several driveways using the theme of regular concrete bordered and dissected by red brick:

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There was the use of borders to add contrast, whether the substance was colored concrete or a marble like substance, some with one main continuous solid piece, and some with squares or rectangles:

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There were driveways with various patterns of bricks and other different color products:

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There were two driveways that seemed to be either pebbled or some kind of asphalt pattern:

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There were two with coral colored concrete, using a pattern:

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There were 4 mosaic type patterned driveways:

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One very random rectangle pattern:

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And my favorite, a colored polished concrete driveway with a randomly placed brick circle:

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Last Sunday I decided to check out a few things in Balboa Park as well as walk on to the Greek Festival north of there, on Park Blvd.

I parked in the parking lot called the Federal lot, off of President’s way. I can usually find a place there, parking up close to the Flight Museum and then walking east to the International cottages. The parking lot was almost full but I caught someone pulling out.

i wanted to stop and check out the Philippine festival, the Lawn program put on by the House of the Philippines Island. There were quite a few booths set up along the way, looking like various businesses and opportunities for people, as well as some food booths to support the festival.  Within the gathering of International cottages, there were booths set up for information about the Philippines and selling artwork, some t-shirts and other objects.  I stayed to watch a few of the dance and music performances.  One of them included the use of long bamboo poles that were clicked together and a part and both young men and young women danced between and outside of the poles as they came together and a part.  In another performance, a conductor showed volunteers from the audience how to use a traditional instrument by holding the bottom tip with one finger, and holding higher up with two fingers, then shaking it. They were made in various sizes, out of bamboo. According to the size, they sounded various notes, and by pointing to each person in turn, a musical piece was played, as the person or people pointed at, shook their instrument.  Here are some photos of a replica of a traditional Philippine house, the gathering and booths, the north side of the International house group,  and two photos of the performances.  You can find information about the Sat. part of the festival on another blog that I follow:

https://coolsandiegosights.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/philippine-american-celebration-in-balboa-park/

https://coolsandiegosights.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/fishes-of-the-ocean-huge-art-canvas-in-balboa-park/

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Then I walked east through the Plaza. There were lots of visitors to the park that day so the plaza, with its new colorful umbrellas and tables, was a busy sight.  I noticed this man playing the bagpipes. I had never particularly gravitated to bagpipe music but after attending the Scottish festival at the park, a few months ago, I’ve been drawn to this music.

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As I walked east past the plaza, my attention was drawn to a large group gathered around two very entertaining and talented young African American men.  One of them played the Djembe drum and the other did acrobatics and hip hop dancing. They had quite the routine down and involved the audience in their routine. At one point they were setting up for the acrobat/dancing man to jump over 4 volunteers.  The build up to this was so long that I finally left before he did it, so I missed the big show.

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I then walked east further, past and around the Railroad museum.  I had read a post about a new outside miniature train display using buildings printed by a 3D printer, based on what Balboa park looked like 100 years ago.  You can read that post here:

https://coolsandiegosights.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/young-and-old-dream-at-centennial-railway-garden/

I was viewing it from the outside, so viewing it through bars, but still enjoyed it!!  Here are some photos of the new Centeninial Railway Garden.

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Then I walked back to the Casa del Prado to the floral show put on by the San Diego Cactus and Succulent Society.  I noticed several plants that looked like Bonsai plants to me. Here are some photos of some of my favorites.

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I passed by many booths set up to sell various cactus and succulent plants and passed many people carting off their new treasures.

I walked north to the Spanish Village to check out the new exhibit at Gallery 21, by the San Diego Museum of Art’s Artist Guild. There were paintings done in oil, watercolor and acrylic; printmaking, sculptures, collages and more.

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Then I continued on north, passing the entrance to the San Diego Zoo.

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And finally, I  arrived at the Greek Festival at the St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church.  There was music, dancing, inside dining, outside dining, a beer garden, a wine garden, fun activities for the kids, a church tour, and many booths selling Greek pastries and coffee, jewelry, art, books, clothes, and other food and items.  I had hoped to tour the church but it wasn’t scheduled for another hour, so I left without that. I did take the time to wait in line to get very yummy Spanakopita and Dolmathes. I found a shady little quiet corner and sat on the concrete.  I was so eager to eat the food that I forgot to stop and take a that a photo of it :)

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Then I walked back to Balboa Park and to my car, my body feeling the efforts of the walk, but grateful for the exercise and all that I enjoyed along the way.  Hope you enjoyed the walk as well!!!! Thanks for coming along with me.

April 30th, I explored parts of Presidio Park and the Serra Museum. The museum wasn’t open so I walked around it, taking pictures of it. I found out later that it is only open on the weekends right now. I hope you enjoy these photos!

In 1769, a Spanish Franciscan missionary, along with a group of soldiers led by Gaspa de Portola established Alta California, at this site.  This was the first mission and fort (Presidio) established in CA and is considered the site where San Diego began. I also read reports that stated it was the first site to establish California. The mission was moved in 1773 to another site east of here, as it had a more ready access to water.  Presidio park consists of 40 acres.

This land was originally the home of the Kumeyaay Indians, who strongly resisted Christianity. They gave up their land and the mission and fort were built. There was a battalion of Mormons who arrived in San Diego, in 1847, to help the military.  They brought with them irrigation knowledge and brick making knowledge and helped create more friendly relations with the Indians and other indigenous cultures.

In 1928-1929, the Serra Museum was built to house and showcase the collections of the San Diego History Center.  William Templeton Johnson, the architect, chose the Spanish revival architecture to align with the buildings designed in Balboa Park for the Panama-California exposition.  The History Center was started by George Marston, a local business owner and philanthropist, who built the museum and donated it and the land to the city. In 1982 the San Diego History Center moved to Balboa park and now the Serra Museum is used as an auxiliary museum and educational center.  The museum is also rented out for various events.

The park and the museum have a history of paranormal activity and hauntings and this interesting site has some links to that information:

http://hiddensandiego.net/presidio-park-historical-spots.php

Here are some pictures of the museum:

The east side, the north side, and the long view of the southwest and west side looking north:

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View west from the museum (ocean in the distance),  and the view of the west side of the museum.

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Here’s an old wine press, and a view of the walkway on the west with views to the northeast:

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Here’s a plaque about the museum, on the west side, and one at the entrance, recognizing George Marston:

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This is a cross commemorating Father Junipero Serra with the date 7/16/1769:

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And two lovely sculptures made by Arthur Putnam, The Padre, which is close to the parking lot and another sculpture that is on the north side of Presidio Drive as you drive up toward the museum:

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As you drive further up, there is an area that commemorates the men and women of the Mormon Battalion:

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As I hiked up the hill from the parking lot and lower two statues, toward the Mormon area, I spied 3 rabbits and this beautiful Eucalyptus tree:

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All in all, even though I didn’t get into the museum, it was a lovely walk, with hills to climb. I’ve heard that the hiking/walking trails in the area are wonderful, too, and there are picnic tables in some areas, plus lots of grass to lay down on for rest and reading.

So come check it out!!!

Most of my time and energy these last numerous months has gone into intensifying my ongoing work to assist in the transformation of the planet. So I’ve been doing very deep spiritual work 24/7. So when I do get out, I go to my familiar places….Pacific/Mission Beach, Old Town San Diego and Balboa Park, or just walk in the neighborhood. Once the shift comes for the planet, I will be moving on and this blog will get more varied. So thanks for hanging in there :) I’m grateful though that at least between these four locations, I always find interesting and beautiful things to see and enjoy and I hope you enjoy them, too.

Yesterday, I went to the Natural History Museum to see the latest addition to their movies. This is a photo, badly out of focus, sorry, of the poster for the latest new film, “Tiny Giants”. It was 3D, beautifully filmed and a sweet story about the life of a young chipmunk, preparing for winter in the cold forest and a grasshopper field mouse venturing out for the first time, in the venomous Sonora desert and both of them trying to avoid the dangers in their environments.

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When walking out of the museum I noticed this model of a Great White Shark:

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I have walked Balboa Park often but never noticed the sculptures of the naked women that look to be holding up the roof of the San Diego History Museum:

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I took a break to eat my packed picnic dinner and read and then headed over to the Cinco de Mayo Concert in the park. I got there to hear some of the practicing, as the crowd started to fill in the seats. The concert showcases students from San Diego State University and is put on by the Kiwanis Club of San Diego and supported by other donors as well. It is also a fund raiser to raise scholarship funds for students.

During the concert there were some great remarks shared about the importance and history of Cinco de Mayo and the contribution to the US made by the 1862 victory at Puebla in Mexico when the much smaller and under resourced army beat the undefeated for 50 years and much bigger French army.

The first group to play and sing was the SDSU Mariachi group:

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The next group to sing was the SDSU Cinco de Mayo Choir:

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Here’s a little shaky video of them singing “Sway (Quien Sera):

The next group to play was the SDSU Jazz Enzemble:

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And here they are playing a somewhat long but interesting piece, “The Goombay Smash” by Steve Owen, and it alternates between a salsa and sambo beat:

Lastly the group got back together, with everyone on stage, to do two more numbers:

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I love Latin music and culture, studied Salsa dancing and grew up around Latin culture so love the music. All the groups were very talented.

I took this last shot of this very uninhibited little girl who stood up to the side of the stage, amongst the columns and danced the entire concert:

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It was a lovely afternoon and evening and as I walked back to my car through the ends of the sunset, I was grateful to have this refuge in the city to welcome me and give me respite during the intensity of the work I am presently doing.

If you get a chance, come check out Balboa Park and it’s many offerings and the musical skills of the students at San Diego State University.

katelon:

Aren’t these great fun! Richard gets to more places in San Diego than I do, so wanted to share this. I’d love furniture in my house painted this wildly!

Originally posted on Cool San Diego Sights!:

A happy sun shines above beach and ocean on this unique bench, where anyone might sit and relax. A happy sun shines above beach and ocean on this unique bench, where anyone might sit and relax.

Liberty Station is a wonderful place to spend the day in Point Loma. Its beautiful promenade contains many small museums, art studios and cultural attractions. When you walk around the grounds of this brilliantly converted Naval Training Center, you’ll notice a number of artistic benches placed around the old barracks, military buildings and plazas. I recently took photos of many benches. Just for fun!

Photo of creative guy working near The Hot Spot walk-in art studio at Barracks 14. Photo of creative guy working near The Hot Spot walk-in arts and crafts studio at Barracks 14.

One of several benches inside Building 202, home to small museums and galleries. One of several colorful benches inside Building 202, home to small museums and galleries.

An outdoor bench welcomes visitors to history-rich San Diego attraction NTC Liberty Station. An outdoor bench welcomes visitors to history-rich San Diego attraction NTC Liberty Station.

Looks to me like we're supposed to sit here! Looks to me like we’re supposed to sit here!

Shops and restaurants around Liberty Station provide many treats. So does this seat! Shops and restaurants around Liberty Station provide many treats. So does this seat!

Cool scene of breaching whales decorates this bench found on the North Promenade. Cool scene…

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Budding Sago Palms

On a street I walk down there was a yard with 4 Sago Palms in 4 different stages of bloom.  I love the various stages and wanted to share them with you:

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Aren’t they lovely?  I find such beauty on my walks! Thanks for joining me!

And here is another beauty I found today:

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Last Tuesday I went to the San Diego Museum of Art. There were 5 new exhibitions I wanted to see.

I love the exterior of the museum.  Here is one photo taken from in front of the central plaza fountain, with the museum in the background:

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Here is a closer up look at the museum front:

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The museum was in preparation for a big weekend event, ” Art Alive”, which starts today and runs through the weekend. This is their signature fund raiser and annual floral exhibition.  So it was lovely to see so much greenery and flowers running up the banisters and being put together in central locations.

The five new exhibitions are: Young Art 2015- Visualizing Music, with pieces from children in grades K-12; Lalla Essaydi – Photographs, a Moroccan born US based photographer; Defining Modernism – 20th Century Parisian Art Journals; Romantic Visuals- Mexico at the turn of the century; Divine Desire- Printmaking, mythology and the birth of the Baroque.

I especially loved the Young Art Display!  The pieces were amazing and covered a wide range of styles and materials.  Lalla Essaydi’s pieces were stunning, too. She takes a well known photograph of Middle Eastern women, creates fabrics and ornate settings to replicate them, even using extensive henna calligraphy on the models’ faces and bodies to inform the viewer of a new way of looking at the subjects, re-defining Middle Eastern women.

Photography is not allowed in the museum so I couldn’t take any pictures.  If you get a chance, go check out these exhibitions and/or the Art Alive displays.  http://www.sdmart.org/

I usually take the time to walk through the Botanical building, as it is always so lovely and the plants revive me. Here are a couple photos taken inside:

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Hope you have enjoyed my “walk” for the day!

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