Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

Posts tagged ‘entertainment’

Exploring San Diego Harbor!

Hello Again! 

Last week I decided to take a bus and trolley to the Harbor area of San Diego.  I explored Sea Port Village, the Embarcadero,  Gaslamp Quarter, the Marina and other landmarks along the way. It was quite a gray and somewhat windy day but I was determined to go explore.  Here are some photos!  Click on a photo to get more detail.  Come walk with me!

I took the Green line trolley and got off at Seaport Village station and walked down to Sea Port Village. I passed by the Manchester Grand Hyatt. I remember reading that there is a great view out some floor in the Hyatt, I think, but didn’t check it out.
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I walked toward the water and Seaport Village.  Seaport Village is a shopping/dining complex adjacent to the San Diego Bay, and downtown San Diego.  The address is 849 Harbor Drive.  There are 50+ shops, 17 eateries, and outdoor entertainment.  There is regular live music in some of the cafes, and a free concert series on Sundays. http://www.seaportvillage.com/  I checked out a great bookstore and a magical kite shop. I loved this Carousal and took two photos of it.

I took a photo of this old boat on the water. I don’t know what kind of boat it is or what it is used for but if someone knows, please post a comment.  You can see a Naval Ship behind it as the North Island US Naval Air Station is SW of Sea Port Village, on the Northwest side of Coronado Island.
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After walking around Seaport Village, I headed east to the Embarcadero Marina park area. There are several festivals at the Embarcadero including the yearly Buskr festival. I passed these beautiful trees and a pirate skeleton kite staked to the grass. You’ll have to click on the sky photo to see the kite.  The area you see in the background through the trees is part of Coronado.

Here’s a photo of Seaport Village, looking west to it from the Embarcadero.

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I continued to walk along the Embarcadero . I took a picture of someone on a small motor boat and looking across at the eastern part of Coronado.  Then, I saw a big aircraft carrier heading toward the Coronado bridge. I am assuming it is a Navy ship.  I walked to the end of the West part of the Embarcadero, to watch the ship pass under the Coronado bridge.  In the second picture, you can see the east part of the Embarcadero, and the Coronado Bridge.

I then finished walking around the Western part of the Embarcadero and took a photo of the Convention center, the Marina and you can see the Hilton Hotel to one side.  Then I headed north and turned and took another photo of the Marina and the Marriott Marque hotel towers.

As I headed east, on the Seaport Village boardwalk, I saw this sweet Gazebo surrounded by stores and eateries. 2017-05-19 19.16.52

I headed to Harbor Drive, to walk along the street. I passed this colorful sculpture in front of the Marriott Marina building, then found these great trees planted in front of the Marriott Marque hotel.

I walked along in front of the convention center and looked back at Harbor drive and my attention was caught by the colorful mural that lines part of that street. I don’t know about the tall buildings.

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Lastly, I headed east and then north to the Gaslamp Quarter.  It is an area known for over 200 restaurants, bars, night clubs, lounges, boutiques, art galleries, shops, hotels, entertainment and events.  This area has quite the history.

It was started as William Heath Davis’s New Town, in 1859, when he purchased land to build up San Diego. Before that, the buildings were in Old Town, north of there. Davis believed that the town should be near the water and host a wharf and buildings to support the water traffic.  It didn’t do well and he left and rabbits took over. Then, in 1867 to 1869, Alonzo Horton bought land and started to build more.  He was a little more successful.  He eventually sold land to the city that became a park. The deal was they could pay him a nominal amount each year and if he died, they’d have it to themselves with no payment. He lived a long life though and was paid off. Unfortunately, both Horton and Davis died in poverty, even though they were the ones to “start” the city of San Diego.  The Victorian architecture still exists.  It turned into a red light district for quite awhile. In 1974 revitalization began for the Gaslamp Quarter archway.   It has been revitalized a few times now.  Here is a photo of the archway and another of a what looks to me to be Wiley Coyote sculpture I saw at the entrance to a 5th Ave. Art Gallery.

Hope you have enjoyed the walk today. Come check it out for yourself!
Thanks for reading. Leave a like or a comment and please share these posts with others.

Old Town Model Railroad Depot

Last week I went to check out the new store and Model Railroad display at Old Town Model Railroad Depot.  I had read about it on another blog and wanted to see it for myself.  There is something about miniature buildings, towns, landscapes and people, that I love. One of my favorite displays was at Knots Berry Farm, and it was all miniature stores with names that reflected the nature of the store. For example: C. H. Ildrens Store was filled with toys.  It’s like my love of the Lilliputins in the book “Gullivers Travels”.  Also, my Dad was a Standard Oil distributor and his bulk plant was right next to the tracks, as merchandise was unloaded right off the trains into his warehouse. I used to love to be in there when the trains were going by.

I have been to the model train displays at the Train Museum in Balboa park, and they are great with various viewing stations and steps for kids to use, but to my taste, this little store’s display is much more magical and extensive.

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It is located in Old Town, San Diego, CA. on San Diego Ave., a little south of Conde Street, and Cafe Coyote, and a little north of the Old Town Cemetery. Here is a photo of their map. (They are working on their website but you can find them on FB).

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I’m just using my Samsung phone camera but hopefully you can see the map ok.  You can click on the photos to enlarge them and get more detail. I did that just to see all the wonderful buildings, cars, and figures in the photos below.

The entire collection belongs to Gary Hickok.  It took seven men to construct everything and a electrician to set up all the wiring.  Computers and high tech electronics are responsible for the magical displays such as a welder making a spark when he bends in to weld, fireworks over the ball field, an electrical storm coming from the clouds above the night display, the marques on the stores, street lights, etc.  There are both steam trains and diesel engine O-scale model trains. I loved all the people seated in the passenger trains. I tried to get a picture of that but they were moving too fast for my camera 🙂

The display is an re-enactment of 1950’s America and includes 2500 sq. ft. of buildings, scenes and activities; 10,000 ft. of wire; 25,000 people; over 400 vehicles; 165 buildings; 637 ft. of track; more than 1000 trees; 2 lakes and a dam.   There are notable celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Superman, the Griswolds on vacation (although they came after the 50’s), and even Shotgun Tom Kelly, a noted San Diego Disc Jockey.

The store has model trains and supplies for sale, art work, T-shirts and other memorabilia.

There is a day section and a night section.  Here are 4 photos of the day section.

Below are 10 photos of the night display.  If you look closely you’ll see the welder’s spark, the fire department carrying out a rescue, a solemn group looking on as a casket is being put into the hearse, a drive in theater, a walk in movie theater, the donut shop with police cars in front, an oil bulk plant, and many more scenes of 1950’s city life.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Come check it out. They are open 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Wed. through Mon., closed on Tues.  Their FB page is listed under Old Town Model Railroad Depot.  Be sure and click on the photo to enlarge it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. If you like it, please share it!!

Katelon

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Balboa Park December Nights….the daytime!

Ok…part two Balboa Park December Nights.

The park was filled with performances from noon until the closing time close to 12:00. I was only there until 5:30.

I spent quite a bit of time just walking from the north to the south, east to west and back again and again and ……. I was quite restless being around so many people, but I sure got in my exercise for the day. Whew!!!

There were several stages set up to host the various groups. I seemed to end up at the Botanical Garden stage more than the others.

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This is the Classic Divas getting set up.

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Later on the Aspire Tap group started with a droopy toy theme that picked up as the dance went on.

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And lastly the Victorian Christmas Carolers, who had very sweet voices and pretty outfits.

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The Bon Temps Social Club and Gator by the Bay, had a stage on the California Plaza, the main plaza area, with music and dancing all afternoon and evening.

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The Casa del Prado Patio had dancing going on most of the time, with various performances from the Park and Recreation Dept. classes. It was so packed that I gave up attempting to watch anything there.

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The Palisades stage had performances and it was set up on the east side of the Sports museum.

I watched two performances at the Organ Pavilion:

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I caught the end of the Expressions Dance and movement group (no photo), and it was fun to see the young girls dressed up in their dance outfits post performance. There were lots of proud parents.

My favorite group of the day was Colegio Ingles, (in above photo) a large group from Mexico. There was a youth choir and then younger children dressed up in various colorful costumes, for each song, performing simple dance movements.

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You could dress up and have your photo taken.

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You could ride carnival rides.

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You could have your face painted for free by this lovely young lady, which is the first thing I did at the start of the events. http://www.KrysKreations.com

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In addition to many food booths run by local organizations, there were fair vendors everywhere you walked.

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There were food trucks with varied cuisine. There were also the normal Balboa Park restaurants and cafes open, along with food booths set up next to and within the International Cottages area, so you could find food from almost any country.

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There was even the International Spirits area that opened at 3:00 pm, offering Spirits to those who imbibe.

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The SWEA offered various crafts, candy, food and chocolate for sale in the California Quadrangle. I looked for Swedish Meatballs but couldn’t find them.

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I even passed a bride and groom having their wedding photos taken, with all the wedding party looking on. I don’t know if they had the wedding there or just came for the photo op.

There was so much more going on…..a young man I’d seen at the beach, who played awesome blues guitar, using only his feet, as he had no arms; people offering sketches, balloon animals, playing various instruments for change; a magician doing magic shows; all the artists at Spanish Village selling their wares; and of course many Santa stations all over the park for those who wanted their photo taken with Santa.

Fun for all ages!

Balboa Park December Nights …the lights!

On Dec. 5, and Dec. 6, Balboa park held their 38th annual December Nights celebration. It started at 3 on Friday and noon on Sat. I first read about it while visiting San Diego in 2003. I couldn’t figure out how to get there at the time so didn’t go. Since I was in town last year, I attempted to go but again couldn’t figure out parking and ended up driving home. This year, I researched it so that I could find parking.

I was up early at 4:30 that morning, so kind of sleepy all day but I’m glad I went. I arrived early at 10:30, to park in the free Zoo parking, which put me only a short walk to the main festivities. As I arrived so early, I just walked around to watch the set up, and since I wanted to see the lights, I stayed until after dark to see the park lit up. I walked around for about 5 hours, sat or stood and watched some of the performances, ate some junk (hot dog wrapped in bacon with Mexican style sauteed veggies with it, kettle corn) and some healthy fruit snacks I took, too. I’m glad I went and glad I had the stamina to keep going all day.

I saw so much that I decided to divide my posts into 5 posts. If you are ever in San Diego for this event, check it out!

I’m starting with the lights!

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I started walking west toward the plaza at sunset. On both sides of the avenue, the buildings had trees out of lights on top.

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Here is the sun setting lighting the California Tower and casting a beautiful glow on the Plaza.

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The main plaza had these lights strung across it and this lit up tower.

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I loved this snowflake cast on the California Tower, and the lit up street welcoming the thousands of visitors. People were pouring into the park for the night activities.

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Here are some lovely snowflakes shining on the Botanical building.

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The organ pavilion looked magical lit up in lights.

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These were light displays set up on the east side of the zoo. I walked past them on my way back to my car.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these photos! Thanks for joining me.

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