31 May 2010

Walkabout: No. 32

Walkabout No. 32 - Balboa Park

With no Therese, Mike has been elected to become my new (for the interim at least) Walkabout partner.  

And, because we are new to the area and there is much to explore - he is a willing candidate right now.  Not sure I'll ever get him out to the gardens, wildlands or nature preserves but ... time will tell!


We decided to get out into the sunshine yesterday (on Saturday we were in the car all day house-hunting) and so we went on SD: Walkabout No.1 yesterday to Balboa Park .   

Apparently everyone else in San Diego County had that same great idea .... 

Take a look at the line up of cars in front of us waiting to get into the park.


I noticed that the folks down here in San Diego do love their BIG SUV's and trucks - I guess they need them for all the snow & ice storms they have ... Mike & I may need to get one this winter!

And here is the line-up of cars waiting behind us ...


Actually, the line moved fairly quickly and it didn't take anymore than about 10 minutes to get into the park. 

  I do love the all the different cactus growing along the roadside
 
Balboa Park describes itself as, "the nation's largest urban cultural park. Home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens, The San Diego Zoo, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes—all in the beautiful and timeless setting of this must-see San Diego attraction."

humm, that sounds good, doesn't it.  Come on, Lets go exploring ...


Botanical Building
We were absolutely blown away & amazed at beauty of the park. 

The buildings were old, rich  & full of character (Spanish Revival architecture) and the gardens & wildlands - so lush & colorful and one of the best features of the park is that it is so big and home to so many museums and other venues that even when there are hundreds (probably thousands) of people there visiting ... it doesn't feel crowded.


The park is 1200 acres large and has been home to two different World's Fair's - the 1915 Panama-California Exposition which commemorated the opening of the Panama Canal and the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.


Most of the incredible Spanish style buildings at the park were build for the 1915 Fair and if , like me, you love this rather ornate and romantic Spanish-Mission style you will LOVE Balboa Park.

Casa de Balboa
It is almost like walking through a movie set. 

Think Antonio Banderas & The Mask of Zorro!


I have fallen in love the Spanish-Mission style since we got here ...


At Balboa Park I spent a great deal of time gazing up at all the lighting fixtures ....


Dreaming ...


drooling, really ...


 And the windows ....



The windows were so intricate - I have always loved wrought iron ...


Simply breathtaking !

Can you imagine a house full of them ...


 *sigh*, and the balconies ...


the stairs  ...


ohh, and the railings ...

Mike kept looking at me like I was crazy and asking me, "seriously, are you taking another picture of the stairs" (lights, windows etc ...) 

 
(And I kept thinking to myself) ... 

Sheez, HELLO , take a look around ... amazingly beautiful stuff here !!.


Anyways, we were at the park from about 10am until 5pm and we really only hit one museum - The Museum of Man.


It took about 3 hours to wind our way through all the exhibits ...

The Museum of Man is housed in The California Building & Tower

Such an incredible building ...

After checking out the museum we decided to wander around the main area of the park for a bit and enjoy the sunshine.


 This is the Spanish Village is an area of the park which houses 37 individual studios/galleries and hosts another 200 Juried artists, including: painters, sculptors, metalsmiths, jewelry designers, clay artists, gourd artists, photographers, printmakers, fiber artists, basket weavers and mixed-media artists.



 The village was just closing up when we happened upon it so we didn't really get to see much.  I love the way the cobblestone patio flooring is painted so many bright colors.


 I think next time we go to the park I would like to spent an hour or so exploring the village.


 And I might just add - the plants, trees & flowers are amazing ....


 The Moreton Bay Fig tree - located in Balboa Park is enormous and very beautiful.  It was planted in 1914 (for the 1915 exhibition) and now sports a girth of 42 feet, a height of 80 feet and a canopy of 145 feet.

Impressive ...



So there you have it ... our 1st SD: Walkabout at Balboa Park.  I can't wait to go back and see all the other museums, gardens and the zoo!  They have 2 Panda Bears living at the zoo and I am very excited to go and see them!!

Happy Memorial Day



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3 comments:

  1. Looks beautiful!!
    SB

    ReplyDelete
  2. look at that blue sky .... oh you are very lucky!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The park is quite beautiful. The buildings are big and ornate. I was there 1994 with mom & dad but only looked outside CMc

    ReplyDelete

garden thoughts ...


'I sit in my garden, gazing upon a beauty that cannot gaze upon itself. And I find sufficient purpose for my day.'
- Robert Brault -