Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

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:

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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:

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.


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


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:

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:


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



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


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


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


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:


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




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:


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.


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


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:


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:


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


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

The next group to play was the SDSU Jazz Enzemble:


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:


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:


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.


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:





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

And here is another beauty I found today:



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:


Here is a closer up look at the museum front:


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.

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!


Here’s another great post from Richard. On my walks I pass so many trees laden with fruit that is just sitting there. I know it will barely if at all, be picked and eaten. So, yes, if you are in the San Diego area and have trees producing fruit you aren’t going to eat, please contact these folks. And if you have time to volunteer to pick the fruit, please do so as well.

Thanks, katelon

Originally posted on Cool San Diego Sights!:

Got extra fruit. Got time. Help fight hunger and have a load of fun, too! Got extra fruit? Got time? Help fight hunger and have a load of fun, too!

Do you love to be out in the San Diego sunshine, among friendly people and fragrant fruit trees? Do you hate to see delicious, nutritious fruit just lying there on the ground, beginning to rot? Do you, perhaps, own fruit trees in your backyard and struggle to give the abundant harvest away? Would you like to help some hungry people?

If you’re looking for a fun opportunity to volunteer and make a positive change in the lives of San Diegans, read on! Some fantastic ladies whom I met at EarthFair need your help! They’re the Glean Queens!

These three ladies are making the world a better place. Join them! These three ladies are making the world a better place. Join them!

The Glean Queens have undertaken a very important project. It’s called CropSwap. The perfectly named CropSwap (part of their organization ProduceGood) solves a huge problem. The…

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Last Sat. I went to Balboa Park, to the International Cottage area in the west side of the park, just east of the Automotive museum area and west of Spreckels Organ Pavilion, to enjoy the English Village Fete. Before ever getting to the area I saw riders getting ready to ride through the park on their Penny Farthing Bicycles.

There were several booths including information booths, the San Diego Costume Guild booth and a food booth.

 Wome in cosstme and dapper gentleman next to the food booth

San Diego Costume Guild Costume guild and scene of more booths Booth of stuff for sale

Women in costume at booth

Scattered throughout the area were many people in period costume, dressed up for the fete and also to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition that is being celebrated throughout Balboa Park this year.

Women in costume and Penny Farthing bikes Women having tea English Festival Princess and women in costume

Some were dressed up for the fashion show provided by the San Diego Costume Guild.  There was Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Sherlock and Dr. Watson

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

Constance Collier, a famous actress that started out in silent films and went on to do talkies and then become an acting coach who worked with Marilyn Monroe and others.

Constance Collier famous actress

Annie Besant, the famous Theosophist, writer, socialist, Women’s rights activist and much more.

Annie Besant famous theosophist activist writer

Valerie Crawley from the TV show Downton Abbey.

Valerie Crawley Downton Abbey

Here are more of the Guild members lined up at the end.

Costume Guild Finale

I got the steak and mushroom pie and salad. I was not impressed as the steak and mushrooms were barely warm at all, in fact almost room temperature, with the crust just placed on top.  I liked the Scottish food from last week much better.

Steak and mushroom pie

There were sweets and tea for sale and displays in the House of England.

House of England

The Chivalry group was setting up as I was leaving.

Setting up for Chivalry demo

As i walked off to go into the park, I walked by the Penny Farthing Bicycle riders gathered together.

Penny Fathing bicycles

Yesterday, England once again was featured in the weekly events they have for various countries.  The local Beatles tribute  band Baja Bugs played. I went to their wonderful 1 1/2 hour concert.  There was a nice crowd, nice weather and great old-time Beatles music.  I’m still trying to figure out the video uploading You Tube thing but hopefully you can enjoy these two videos!

The Baja Bugs – Day Tripper by the Beatles

The Baja Bugs – Ticket to Ride by the Beatles

Hope you enjoyed another glimpse of all that happens at Balboa park in sunny San Diego, CA.

Last Tuesday I went to see the three films at the San Diego Natural History Museum, located at Balboa Park in San Diego, CA. I had already been through the museum but hadn’t taken the time to see the films so went back specifically to do that. On Free residents Tuesday, the first Tuesday of the month, the cost is $5 for all three films.Otherwise it is the normal admission rate. If you go on Free resident Tuesday you have to stop and pay the $5 to get your ticket for the movies. We had to exit the theater after each movie then get back in line and wait 30-40 min. for the next seating.

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Two of the three films were 3D films. So we all got to wear the silly glasses.

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The first film I watched was one about Dinosaurs, a 3D film, about Dinosaurs in the Alaska area. At times there were violent moments with Dinosaur fights and T-Rex opening his big mouth in 3D so you might consider before bringing very young children. It was a very lush and informative short film.

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The second film I saw was called “Ocean Oasis” about the magical and prolific Baja California ocean area. The film was beautiful and described why the ocean life and bird life is so plentiful there. It was lovely to see huge manta rays, various unusual forms of jelly fish, sharks, and many other different sea creatures.

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The last film was fascinating. It was about Mummies. The film explained why it took so long to figure out how mummies were formed and how this research is used now in hopes for medical cures. It talked of how the famous mummies were uncovered, why they were created in the first place and how they have been brought to safe places for all to see. I especially enjoyed the views of the various temples. This film was 3D also.

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So if you happen to be in San Diego, come check out this wonderful museum and the movies. This website lists more about the museum, its ongoing research, what exhibits and films are presently being shown, prices, etc. There is a lovely gift shop there and also a snack bar.

Last Saturday I went to Balboa Park for the 12th Annual San Diego Tartan Day Festival. It started at 11:00 am and I got there about 1:20. It was held on the stage amongst the International Cottages on the West side of the park, just east of the Automotive Museum and Hall of Champions.

Before I got there, there were the opening ceremonies, the House of Scotland Pipe Band, the Marching of Colors by the Scottish American Military group, Dan Decker playing Scottish Folk music, the San Diego District Tartan, and the San Diego School of Highland Dancing.

There was quite a crowd watching and occasionally someone dancing. A cute little 2 year old girl was bouncing right along in time with the music. I loved listening to the various Scottish accents all around.

I was there for the Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band, the House of Scotland Ceilidh Band, the Royal Scottish Country Dancers and the closing ceremonies. I took videos for the first time, using my new phone and made you tubes of them so I could post them. They turned out ok but with black bands on each side. I’m not sure if it is because of me holding the camera straight up instead of sideways or what. If anyone can tell me, please let me know. I was a little shaky in the holding of the phone, so please excuse me :)

This is part of a song by the Cameron Highlander’s Pipe Band

This is a song by the House of Scotland Ceilidh Band

This is a part of a dance by the Royal Scottish Country Dancers

There were several booths there. Some had things for sale, some was about history and information and to encourage membership. Here are some photos of these.

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In the house of Scotland there were numerous baked goods for sale. I had a piece of the shortbread.

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There was also the food booth where Meat Pies, Bangers (pork and beef pie), Haggis sausage, and some drinks were for sale. I had the meat pie with gravy and onions. I forgot to take a picture of it. It was very yummy!!

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Every Sunday there is a different country featured from 2:00- 3:00, with performances, booths and food. This coming Sat. is an English Festival. I’m hoping to go check that out.

I go to Balboa Park often (as you can tell by my posts), but never tire of it’s beautiful architecture, celebration of various cultures, beautiful landscape, street musicians (I love the Cello guy), great unique things for sale and people from all over the world wandering around. Come check it out.

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