As you’ve probably surmised by my blog title and if you have read any of my other blog posts, I love to walk. I have had vacations in San Diego where I walked 8 miles a day for days in a row. While visiting Tucson, AZ in March and April, I went on over 20 hikes. When I attended college in Tucson, I sometimes hiked 7 days a week, sometimes even twice a day. I love to process things while I walk and also do healing on myself, others, and the world. along with just tuning in with the energies of the plants, creatures, rocks and trees. It is a meditative, peaceful, and powerful time for me. I grew us severely asthmatic and when I could breathe, I was always very active, now, I would be labeled hyper. But for me, the movement is peaceful. Now that I’ve spent years as an energy medicine therapist, I understand that even the process of walking, with your opposite arm and leg moving at the same time (if you keep your arms unobstructed), you are reinforcing the cross over that the electrical system does in your brain, with the right hemisphere controlling the left side of your body and vice versa. That is why people who never crawled can have difficulties. So just by doing the walking movement, you are releasing stress, and balancing your brain again.
Yesterday I decided to go to Balboa Park. I grew up often coming to San Diego and we would come to the park to see the zoo. As an adult, I have gone to the park to listen to the free concerts. It was a Tuesday and some museums are free on Tuesdays, different museums each Tues. I did go into one museum but I was more interested in walking and looking at the plants, the people and the architecture.
I researched the park’s history and it is quite interesting. 1400 acres were purchased in 1868 by civic leaders. It lay undeveloped for over 20 years. It is now 1200 acres. In 1892 the beautification plan started. when Kate Sessions offered to plant 100 trees a year and donated many trees and shrubs from San Diego in exchange for 32 acres within the park’s boundaries to house her commercial nursery.
In 1903 – 1920 a master plan was designed. In preparation for hosting the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 the park was named Balboa Park after Spanish-born Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the first European to spot the Pacific Ocean while on exploration in Panama. The first buildings were created in the Spanish-Renaissance style, for the exposition, the first time for this ornate style to be used in the U.S.
The park is home now to 17 museums, 19 gardens, 9 performing arts venues, including the famous ” The Old Globe:, 11 recreation facilities, and 9 attractions including the zoo. The zoo has over 4000 rare and endangered species, from 800 species and sub-species. They even have a program where you can come to the zoo in the late afternoon and stay into the evening, and experience music and other programs along with the zoo’s normal offerings.
The park has restaurants and concession stands, educational activities and camps for the kids, tours including architectural, ranger led, off-shoot for different topics and general tours. Events, parties and weddings are held here with a vast array of facility options. Groups can book tours, too. They still have free concerts in the park in the summer and during the holiday season they host a several days fair of sorts with food booths and music from all different cultures.
As I walked around, I watched magic tricks being preformed, balloon animals being made, children and adults splashing in the fountains, families pedaling by on 4 seater bicycles, picnics, and other gatherings throughout the park. Here are some of my favorite scenes.
This is a tree planted in 1915, a Moreton Bay Fig, over 80 ft. tall, trunk span of 42 ft. and a canopy of 145 ft. It stands north of the Natural History Museum.
Another amazing set of roots I found were on two trees in the Zoro garden, next to the Museum of Photographic arts. In 1935 this garden was an adults only attraction, a nudist colony.
I enjoyed the Botanical Garden building. This building is one of the largest lath structures in the world.
Examples of the Spanish-Renaissance style are the San Diego Model Train Museum, The San Diego Museum of Art, The San Diego Museum of Man (two photos), and the Spreckles Organ Pavilion (two photos).
Other attractions and gardens I visited were the Lily Pond and the Rose Garden. The other picture is a photo of the Japanese Friendship garden taken from above.
So if you are in San Diego, come check it out. It is a place you can come back to over and over!