Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

Posts tagged ‘holidays’

Holiday Lights In The Neighborhood!

I love this time of year! I especially love how whimsical it is with holiday lights inside and outside, stores decorated, streets decorated. When I had my own apt. I had white Christmas lights strung and hung all around my living room ceiling. Somehow no matter what was going on, I felt like magic and miracles were always possible with those lights shining.

I walked the other night and ended up taking photos of houses and trees decorated, some with special yard decorations. I only have my Samsung Galaxy smart phone, so the lights didn’t come out as sharp as they look in person, but you can get the idea.

Here are photos of houses. I love how individual it all is as it allows everyone to express themselves in perhaps a more extravagant way than normal.



And then there were trees decorated..palm trees, shorter shrub trees, all kinds of trees.



Everyone needs a Christmas Unicorn 🙂



I also saw this lovely angel on a daytime walk.



And lastly, I walked by this awesome decorated old VW van:

However you celebrate the holidays and/or Winter Solstice, or whether you don’t celebrate it…I wish you a blessed end of the year as we move into a New Year! This coming year, it is my desire, intention and prayer, that we finally and fully move this planet and all life upon it, into peaceful, abundant, healthy, love and light filled life; where we have a world that works for all, honors all; where all have clean water and air, a comfortable home, meaningful relationships and ways to share their gifts and talents; where everyone feels loved and cared for in all ways.

I appreciate you sharing this journey with me, taking the time to read my blog. If you like it, please like/follow/comment/reblog.

Love, katelon

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Belated Balboa Park Christmas Eve Day Post 2

Hello, thanks for joining me again on this journey I took on Christmas Eve Day 2016. If you want to see part 1, you can find that here: https://katelontjeffereys.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/belated-balboa-park-christmas-eve-day-post-1/

As I mentioned in part 1, I was walking around in a state of bliss the whole walk, so my attention was easily drawn to roots and leaves and trees and flowers and clouds and reflections…so many sights I had seen before but they showed up in a new way that day.

After enjoying Spanish Village, I headed south toward the main part of the park, where all the museums are located. My first stop was to admire again, this huge Moreton Bay Fig tree that has the second largest girth of any tree in CA. Its age isn’t certain but is estimated to have been planted in 1910.
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I left the tree and took a moment to look at the beautiful fountain that stands between the Fleet Museum of Science and the Natural History Museum. In the summer children love to play in this fountain.
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On my way to Zoro garden, my attention was drawn to this fall colored leaf in a tree.
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I’ve always loved the large root structure of these Ficus trees that border Zoro garden, but hadn’t noticed before that they look like water flowing down the sides of the garden. Zoro garden is built as a grotto, with some rock walls, and curving paths that head down into the grotto. It originally was a walled off nudist colony that people could buy tickets to look into and also to enter. It was built for the 1935 California-Panama Exposition. It also includes vegetation and pools of water to attract various species of butterflies. Here are three pictures of the roots:
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After leaving Zoro garden, I walked all the way southwest to the International Cottages and then back and stopped in at the Timken Museum. They had this beautiful display entitled “Jewels of the Season”, which was choreographed and produced by San Diego State University School of Theatre, Television and Film and MSI Production Services. On the very tall Holiday tree, in display cases and hung from a golden curving display hanging from the ceiling, Hord & Schlappi’s collection of ornaments, designed and handcrafted by local artists Florence Hord and Elizabeth Schlappi, were displayed. Florence Hord began making the ornaments in the 1930’s, and then in 1959, Elizabeth Schlappi was invited to join in the effort. Each ornament includes semi-precious gems, sequins, stones and filigree collected by the two women from around the world There was a video showing that told the history of their work. Some of the ornaments were designed to be very elegant, some more mundane in their topic. Here is a photo of a few of them on the tree.
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After leaving Timken, I decided to check out the annual Poinsettia display at the Botanical Garden Building. Here are 4 photos of them and other wonderful plants inside the Botanical building.
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And lastly, I stopped to look at the serene reflecting pool in front of the Botanical Building. I loved the reflection of the clouds in the water and how the wind created the ripples on the water. I managed to capture this Blue Heron, looking like he is standing on water. The water looked so magical that day, with its ripples and waves.
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That concludes my Christmas Eve Day walk through Balboa Park. Hope you’ve enjoyed it! Thanks for following and reading my blog.

Wishing you a wondrous 2017 filled with joy and fulfillment in all ways!

Love, katelon

Rainy Trip to Old Town, San Diego, CA

I ended up sick in bed, out for the count, the Monday after Christmas, so this post kept getting delayed. There were visitors in the house over Christmas so I had much to do to get the place ready and things felt too hectic to attempt to write this before Christmas….then there was the post clean up and then….- – – \________ Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.

I headed over to Old Town, in the rain, on the 22nd of Dec., to buy just a couple small things for Christmas presents and to be out in the air. While living in Seattle, I got quite tired of the gray and mist, not enjoying the rain like I did while living earlier in No. CA. But here in San Diego, rain is a glorious thing, and I love the feel of the wind and cold. I miss snow, that I loved while living in CO years ago, so this windy rain here will have to do for now until my journey weaves me on to CO.

It felt quite sweet to be out walking before Christmas, enjoying the lovely decorations and the other visitors and shoppers out around me. There are many outside booths in Old Town and most of these were shrouded in heavy vinyl tents, closed up for the day.

I wandered in and out of some stores and found a couple unique small gifts, and enjoyed the conversations I often have with shop-keepers 🙂

When I was walking back toward my car, I took some photos of the gray sky and decorated buildings. Hope you enjoy these. Come along, you can share the walk with me……

First, heading west, we come to the San Diego Union Printing Office and then Casa de Pedrorena de Altamirano.

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The printing office was a pre-fab building shipped from Maine, around Cape Horn, to arrive in San Diego in 1851. I’ve read a historical novel about traveling via ship around Cape Horn. It was quite dangerous weather wise and in many other ways. But this building arrived safely to be built and house the first office of the San Diego Union weekly paper. The first edition was printed on Oct. 10, 1868. It was 4 pages long.

You can still see the original print room with a Washington press, as well as the editor’s office. Entrance is free.

The Altamirano-Pedrorena House was built on a lot purchased by Miquel de Pedronena, from Madrid. He arrived here as a ship’s agent and later married one of the Estudillo daughters in 1842. He claimed this lot which is next to Casa de Estudillo. Sadly, he didn’t live to build a home on the lot as he died in 1850. The home was built in 1869, by his son, Miguel Jr..

In 1871, the home was transferred to Isabel Altamirano, who was Miguel Jr.’s sister, married to Jose Antonio Altamirano. The house remained a family residence until 1907. It is now a rock, gem and jewelry store.

Walking on, we come to the central plaza in Old Town State Historic Park. This park is where San Diego began. It is now a reconstructed setting of life in San Diego in 1821-1872. It became a historic park in 1968. This day it had a lovely display of a taller Christmas tree surrounded by other smaller trees. Pretty huh?

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As we continue walking west we see the Robinson-Rose House, which is now the Visitor’s Center. It is free to explore, too.

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This building was built by James Robinson, who came from Texas in 1850. He established a successful law practice and built this in 1853 not only to house family but also to house office space for the San Diego Herald, the San Diego and Gila Railroad and other private offices. He died in 1857. (ok….that’s 2 of the main inhabitants moving to San Diego and dying in less than 10 years. It must have been a challenging place to live then.). Anyway, Jame’s wife Sarah, sold the building to Louis Rose for a family home. The roof was destroyed in the 1874 fire and fell to ruins. It is now reconstructed and has various displays in it and admission is free.

As we turn right (north), we can see the Barra Barra Saloon. I loved the fire burning in the patio and the pretty decorations.

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As you look ahead, you can see the entrance to Bazaar Del Mundo. As you first walk through this entrance there is a woman selling very yummy roasted and sweetened nuts. Inside the bazaar there are a restaurant, coffee house, stores, and a stage where various groups usually play, when it isn’t raining. I had started my trip here and found some great seasoning in the Temucula Olive Oil company that has a large variety of flavored olive oils, pastas, olives, bath and body products and other items. I found a couple little gifts, too, at the sweet garden shop that is at the north end.

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Hope you enjoyed the walk with me on that gray rainy day. I held you in my heart as I strolled along, in and out of stores, breeze flowing across my face as I stepped outside.

Wishing you a NEW Year, a truly remarkable shift of a year, with the planet transforming into peace, love, abundance, health, joy, cooperation and support for all!

much love, katelon

Balboa Park December Nights….Nativity Scenes!

Ok…last Balboa Park December Nights post 🙂

These are photos of the Nativity Scenes, set up at the Organ Pavilion at the park, maintained by the Community Christmas Committee.

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The December Nights celebration is so mindful of honoring all cultures and religions so I’m glad to see they don’t shy away from having these Nativity Scenes.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my December Nights series!

Happy Holidays everyone, however and whatever you celebrate!

May this holiday season truly usher in a new wave of Peace, Love, Abundance, Cooperation and Joy throughout the world. May we truly know that we are ONE!

Balboa Park December Nights….Evergreen Tree display!

The San Diego Floral Association had a display, in the Casa del Prado room 101, of 30 decorated trees and 10 artistic floral arrangements. These displays were to celebrate eras or events since the 1915 Panama California Exposition. The Floral association often has various plant and flower displays on the weekends, in room 101. So check it out!

Here are photos of the various trees, who decorated them and the theme if I knew it. ( sorry some photos aren’t crisp):

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San Diego Bonsai Club, two decorated Bonsai trees.

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I forgot to write down the name of the school who decorated this tree. The theme was pictures of students and ornaments that stated the countries of their heritage.

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San Diego Bromeliad Society. This tree was decorated with various Bromeliad plants.

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Chula Vista Garden Club, Elvis and Rock music.

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Grant School.

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Ramon Garden Club, farm, turkeys, garden…very old fashioned looking.

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I think this was from the International House/UN house, centered around peace and unity.

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Mission Hills Garden Club. There were Barbie dolls dressed like mermaids, butterflies and other whimsical decorations.

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San Diego Botanic Garden.

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Point Loma Garden Club had a Kate Sessions theme. Kate was a main force behind the expansion of the vegetation in the park.

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Village Garden Club of La Jolla had a Dr. Seuss theme. He lived in La JaJolla and many of his scenes and plants/trees in his books represent the area and other places in San Diego county.

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Bonita Valley Garden Club, the Swing era.

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Friends of Balboa Park San Diego Zoo, had an animal theme.

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These Disney themed trees were at the beginning of the displays.

I didn’t take pictures of all the trees. It was a sweet holiday treat to see all these decorated trees.

Hope you got a chance to see these lovely trees. If not, come check out the display next year 🙂

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.

Christmas Decorations in San Diego

Last Sunday I needed to get out of the house so I headed first to Pacific Beach. On my walk I walked past this Santa under the pier, setting up his pictures with Santa space.

Santa under the pier Dec 7 2014

On the way back, I noticed the tree set up at the end of the pier.
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After leaving the beach, I wasn’t ready to head home yet, so I headed for Balboa park. I had attempted to go to the Christmas Nights festival the Friday before, something I had wanted to do for years, but when I got there, parking seemed to be impossible and/or pricey, so I gave up and headed home that night. I figured there would still be Christmas decorations up though so I thought I’d just stay on this “hunting for Christmas decorations” quest.

The first decorations I noticed were this Santa, his sleigh and reindeer on the lawn approaching the fountain in front of the Museum of Modern Art.
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From there I headed over to the Globe theater and found the Dr. Seuss Christmas Tree.
Dr Seuss Christmas tree by the globe theater

I had read about the Poinsettia display in the Botanical Garden and found several lovely displays throughout the building.
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After leaving the Botanical Garden building, I headed over to Spanish Village and all the artisan studios. Throughout the village there were artistic trees, unusual trees, and various displays.
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Throughout my time there, I took some breaks to get a snack and sit and eat it and read, then I’d walk around some more, then walked over near the playground to sit and read some more. It was a lovely sunny day and it felt great to be outside. Last time during the Christmas holiday, I was in Campo, CA and there were few Christmas decorations, so I am enjoying seeing Christmas lights and decorations in my neighborhood and all the places I go.

My last stop was at the Organ Pavilion, with an organ concert taking place. The stage was filled with a huge decorated Christmas tree.
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this Christmas in San Diego post. I’m sure there will be more before the month is over. I’m curious about how Old Town decorates for Christmas, wondering if the skeleton mannequins still remain prominent there or if that was just for around Halloween time.

Enjoy your holiday season and let the lights light up your heart and bring you peace!

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