Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

Posts tagged ‘museums’

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:

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.

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.

On my way to Zoro garden, my attention was drawn to this fall colored leaf in a tree.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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

The San Diego Museum of Art…and more…..April 21, 2015

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:

009 008

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


March 3, 2015 Museum Day, Balboa park, San Diego, CA

I was very low energy this museum day so I wasn’t as engaged and energetic as I usually am during these walks/tours. Today I visited the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Railroad Museum. I walked into and quickly out of the Fleet Science Museum as I knew my foggy brain that day was in no way ready to engage in hands on science displays 🙂

I did enjoy the Railroad museum as it was filled with both interested adults and squealing excited children. I love miniature houses and buildings, enthralled by the details put into the smaller replications. The Railroad museum has displays of various railroad cars in different scales, plus several display rooms with realistic landscapes including mountains and canyons. There is one room that is multi-tiered with steam engines and various viewing places spaced throughout. The other displays have benches to sit on for viewing and raised walkways for children to stand on.

Here is the photo of the stairway that goes down to the Railroad museum:

h stairway to railroad museum

Here are some photos of the various displays. I loved the buildings made to look like drive in’s, old stores with neon signs, an old diner. One street has cars stopped at the red light forever. The black engines were actually blowing steam. I thought the carnival was cute. I wish the photo had turned out more clear but the museum lights made the picture quality challenging.

b multi tiered display

c more multi tiered display

e carnival by the railroad

f historic train station

g railroad display

Here’s the cars stopped at the red light forever:

d cars stopped forever

And here’s the old diner with the poor person who looks like he/she got hit by the car backing up into his/her bike:

a diner in railroad museum

Here’s the pretty front of the San Diego Natural History Museum:

7 natural history museum

This museum was also filled with children. There are many learning stations throughout the museum and you could spend a lot of time here. The King Tut exhibit is there into April, for an extra fee. It is requested that you buy tickets for that ahead of time and call to set up your desired viewing time. There are three movies showing there now…one on Walking with the Dinosaurs 3D, one on Mummies; Secrets of the Pharaohs 3D and the other, Ocean Oasis. These films are included in the price of admission or at a reduced rate on the residence Free Tuesday, the first Tuesday of the month.

I only took a few pictures in this museum.

A dinosaur skeleton:

2 dinosaru skeleton

A very large and wonderful hunk of Jade (so nice to feel, as I love stones):

3 hunk of jade

A California Sonora King Snake. There were three lives snakes that I saw and all three were in small box displays, so sad, just as the gecko below was also in a small space:

4 California Sonorian King snake


6. gecko

And lastly, a view from the third floor looking down. There is a wonderful photo display right now on the third floor, of birds around the world:

1 inside the natural history museum

If you’d like more information about Balboa park you can go to their website:

There is so much to see there in the museums, puppet theater, various other theaters, restaurants, stores, a zoo, the Spanish Village artist galleries and shops, trails to walk, various gardens, classes, displays, dances, organ concerts, weekly Sunday concerts at the International houses, and so much more throughout the park. You can be involved as you want or just take a book and a picnic and hang out on the grass and relax! On different weekends there are often special events on some of the lawns as well.

Thanks for joining me today on my walk!

3rd Tuesday Museum Day Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Yesterday was the Free 3rd Tuesday Museum Day at Balboa Park, in San Diego, CA, so I headed over to go to a couple museums. I had hoped to go to the Japanese Gardens, too, but had saved it for last and oddly, they closed at 3:00 pm. So I missed that. I love just walking around Balboa park, and for regular readers of this blog, you’ve seen pictures of my various wanderings there. Sometimes I just go and sit against a tree and read a book. Other times I find various events happening. Yesterday I went into two museums and walked through Alcazar Garden.

The first museum I went into yesterday was the Mingea International Museum. So far, of all the museums I’ve toured, this is my favorite. Yesterday the main exhibit was a lovely photo and display of Black dolls made between 1850-1940, for black family and community and also for the white charges of the African American women. These photos and dolls were from the collection of Deborah Neff. There were photos of white children dressed up and holding these dolls and black children dressed up holding these dolls. I attempted to take pictures of some of the dolls but the lighting was too dark for my phone camera and my knowledge of how to use it. Flash wasn’t allowed in the museum. I loved the attention to detail in the faces and the clothing of those of the dolls clothed, There were dolls depicting all ages, from young to mature. I could feel all the love that had been put into the making and also cherishing of these dolls over the years.

Exhibition of Black Dolls Mingea

The other main collection was called Three on the Edge- Architecture of local architects Kendrick Bango Kellogg, James T. Hubbell and Wallace Cunningham. All three were influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright. There were photos, models and a film to display their work. I didn’t take any photos, sorry. I especially loved James T. Hubbell’s work and am going to look into traveling to his community. I love how rounded, whimsical and earth based his work appears, and resonated with it more than the other two architects who use more modern, glass and concrete styles. Their buildings are certainly beautiful and striking but I just related more to the sculptured and rounded look of Hubbell’s work. Here is a link to his foundation at Santa Ysabel, CA.

In wandering through Mingea, I did take a few photos. There were displays of old toys, beautiful carved wood furniture, sculptures and bowls, even beautiful bowls made from leaves. I attempted a photo of that but it didn’t turn out well.

Here is a photo of a baby doll house from 1750. The detail in the rooms, figures and furnishings was amazing.

1750 Baby Doll House Mingea Museum

The piece next to the doll house was this very magical piece called “Palace for Wednesday”, made by Alice Hudson in 1981. It was displayed on a revolving base so all of it could be seen. From top to bottom, there were so many rooms, figures, and actions depicted. The fabric used was very delicate and otherworldly. A young woman viewing it with me explained that she often comes to visit it and thinks of it often. I was grateful to have experienced the moment with her.

Alice Hudson 1981 Palace for Wednesday Mingea

In art class I had loved creating linoleum block prints and working with batik so was stunned by an entire wall of batik tiles from 1900-1925. They looked like art creations as they are, and not just as a tool to create art.

1900 to 1925 Batik tiles

There was a display about beads from different countries and different eras. I took some pictures to use as inspiration to make some necklaces but the photos didn’t turn out clear enough to share.

The next museum I visited was the San Diego Art Institute. Their main exhibition right now is called “San Diego Keeps Her Promise: Balboa Park at 100”. There were new works made from various media to commemorate the Balboa Park Exposition Centennial, representing past, present and future. One of the displays explored the Nudist Colony that used to be in Zorro Garden at the park. There was a small room display showing funny caricatures depicting how the US stole Panama from Columbia. My favorite piece in the main exhibition was called “Balboa Stories”. Brian Goeltzenleuchter and Charmaine Banach interviewed people asking them about stories from their visits to Balboa Park. They then gathered scents from those places, mixing up similar scents and placing them in bottles. The bottles were color coded, and you could smell them and then refer to a map to see where the scent came from and a line from their story. There was a stack of maps so you could take one and follow the scents if you chose to.

Balboa Stories Art Institute 100 Year exposition exhibit

Balboa stories 2

Lastly, I walked through Alcazar Garden. It is presently under renovation but there were a couple plots planted for spring. This is a picture of a lovely fountain in front of one of the garden plots.

Alcazar Garden fountain

I hope you have enjoyed my walk through Balboa park and a couple of its museums. If you are local, go check it out!!!

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