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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30 May 2010

Betcha Didn't Know ...

What makes a great blog for me - well,  it's a blogger that I can relate to- a blog that excites me, teaches me, educates me - makes me feel something,   ... anything!!

For example, some blogs: (go ahead and click on the blog names to go and check them out)
And then there are those that ... 
  • are well written, funny & entertaining; they always bring about a smile, chuckle or nod of understanding: Raising Rascals
Raising Rascals is a blog that always makes me smile - the author of this blog is a good writer, very humorous - it's odd that you can feel so connected to a person or family that you have never met and never will.  

It's kinda like watching a sitcom or TV drama with the sound turned off and in still life ...

Anyhoo - Raising Rascal is hosting a 'Betcha Didn't Know"  blog party today (be sure and wander over to her blog to read her entry because it's hysterical) and I decided to participate even though I have never even left a comment on her blog before ...






..... That Costco is the new Nordstroms.

..... What - you didn't know that.  It's true - I'll prove it.

..... How, you ask?

..... Well, we all know (and if you didn't - you do now) that Nordstroms has been built on the reputation that they would take back or exchange anything.  Anything!  Even if it was used & worn (we've all heard the old pantyhose stories).  Even if they didn't sell it, even if it was five years old and broken.

....Anything!
..... Ok, I betcha didn't know how much I  LOVE my (new at Christmas) Keurig Coffee Machine. This is the greatest machine man has e.v.e.r. invented.

.....Love it!  

.... Betcha Didn't Know that life hasn't been the same since I got it, okay so I'm exaggerating a bit but this is true - mornings haven't been the same since I got it. 

.....  I was so worried about the packers & movers not handling it with ' White Kit Gloves' when we moved that I had Mike take it down to our local UPS store and have them hand wrap & pack it so it could be shipped directly to our new apartment.  

..... Safe & Sound.

..... Mike watched them carefully placed it inside a plastic bag and gently encase it in bubble-wrap.  Lots of bubble-wrap.  It was then placed inside a giant box where it was entombed in Styrofoam peanuts. 

..... No Worries, the guy said.  It'll get it there as good as new, he said.  We'll take good care of it.

.....  Well, it arrived at the apartment, as promised and there wasn't a dent or rumple in the box.  I was so excited to see the box, opening it was like opening a big, giant box of wonderful on  Christmas morning.

..... I dug through the peanuts (Betcha didn't know how much I hate those peanuts) cut open all the 75 million layers of bubble-wrap and stopped.  Oh OH - moisture - No.No.NO

.....  The plastic bag - that tightly sealed plastic bag -  (I think you know where this is going) looked like a greenhouse - it was all moist and fogging inside.

..... Who knew that a coffee marker will stay moist, pretty much forever, after it gets used more than once and should never again be 'tightly sealed' inside of plastic bag and then spend a couple of weeks traveling inside a warm truck.

.....  Apparently not me, nor Mike, not even the paid professional who packed it!!!!

..... It tried to make me a cuppa Joe, it really did.  It tried hard but it just couldn't get those gears moving.  It did not sound 'normal' - it sounded sick and maybe even a little rusty. 

..... Betcha Knew that I was not in the mood to begin a year long battle with UPS over who's fault this was so we could get our $160.00 coffee machine replaced.

...... Then Mr. Mike (Betcha Didn't Know how Awesome Mr. Mike is - a genius I tell you!) had the idea to try and return it to where he'd bought it.  We bought it in Seattle not San Diego I said.  He said, Let's give it a try and so we were off to , you guessed it, Costco.

..... So we googled the nearest Costco, drove over with our waterlogged Keurig, Mike plopped it on the counter and said it was no longer working and we needed to return it.  They asked for his Costco card - processed the refund and we went and picked up another one!
..... I'm still not sure this was a legal maneuver.  But then again , No questions were asked, no little white lies were told.
 
..... Kudos to Costco and Kudos to Mike. 

..... So, just in case you didn't know,  Costco was the new Nordstroms!  

I think we are going to buy most of our appliances, technology & gadgets from Costco in the future.


Happy Long Weekend Everyone
ps:  I hope to have a regular phone next week so I can get back in touch! 


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29 May 2010

Weathertainment ...

A while back I was introduced to the Rick Mercer Reports.

Having not lived in Canada for a very long time - his name sounded familiar but I wasn't too sure who he was.

I checked him out and he is funny - sometimes very funny.

So, I decided I would feature some of, what I thought, were his funnier Rants and Reports (I think this is my 2nd Rick Mercer Reports posting).

I've watched this one several times (for quality-assurance purposes) - it works -

He's a really funny guy ...

And this skit is oh, so, true.

It works in Canada and it definitely works in Seattle!!!!

Time will tell how well it stands up in San Diego ...
I give it 8 giggle & grins out of 10 (how you would score it)




Enjoy!
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28 May 2010

Bittersweet ....


Some days I cry and yesterday was one of those days ...

I was sad and lonely in a way that only grief can know  ...


I cried long & hard because I wanted so bad to be able to just pick up the phone and call my Mom and share my new adventure with her ...

To let her know how happy I am.  How well I am.  How much I miss her.


And while I know in my heart that she is always here with me - I just wish upon wish I could call her ... 

To speak with her - even if just for a minute, to say hello and let her know that life is good.



With thoughts of Mom swirling down all about me I decided to go out 'Flower-Watching'


She loved flowers ...

It was my father that gave me my love of DIRT
and my mother gave me a love of FLOWERS

I am thankful for the perfect gift they passed along to me ...


Walking around my new neighborhood, enjoying the sights, I could easily see why my Mom loved San Diego. The plants and flowers are so beautiful.

I think I may be living in paradise ...

Life is good.

 'May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten'
- Irish Blessing -

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27 May 2010

Sharing ...

The best gifts are those you don't see coming ...

Look what Jimmy sent me yesterday !!

A smile - what an awesome gift to share!!


And a smile this bright needs to be shared with everyone.

 - Thanks Jimmy -
for making everyone's day Brighter



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26 May 2010

San Diego Sounds ...

Today I can hear that more than just my geography has changed ...

San Diego sounds much different Seattle ...

In part, because I am now living in a more downtownish area but mainly because there is a very definite and unfamiliar military presence here which can be seen & heard from our balcony ...

Loud & clear ...

All day & well into the night ...

 Fighter jets & other assorted military aircraft!

In Seattle, we really only heard or saw  them when the Blue Angels were in town for Seafair or around the time of the Abbotsford Airshow.

And I'll admit it - they kinda freak me out ... 

That distinctive sonic-type boom that overtakes all your senses as they warp by paralyzes me and sends chills down my spine!

Ever since 9-11 I feel a sick rush of panic & freeze every time I hear flying them overhead ...

Maybe, in time,  I'll get used to it  ...

In the way a person gets used to a subway train rattling by every hour ...

or the way freeway traffic can eventually become just part of the surrounding background noise ...

Maybe, one day, but I seriously doubt it  ...

But now, to leave you on a more melodic note  ...

I {LOVE} Lady Antebellum's new song "American Honey"
press play & check it out

I'm off to stand in front of my mirror now ... enjoy your day!

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