August 23

A one-nighter tourista pass through San Diego with Cynthia who's back to school on Monday!

We arrived in San Diego from Dana Point around 11:00am and our motel gave us a room! That was sweet. We carried up the bags, unpacked the food, put together a picnic lunch and set out to see the sights.

First, The Gaslamp Quarter.
The Gaslamp Quarter is basically an area two blocks wide and eight blocks long of shops, restaurants, lofts, and some professional services in slick restored building mostly from the late 1800s.
One of Cynthia's. Neat-o!

It's tourista to the core, and we liked it.
Next we went to Old Town which was (originally) much older than The Gaslamp Quarter - Spanish actually, with adobe structures and the cowboy/pioneer ethic.

There was a wedding just beginning here at The Church of the Immaculate Conception. When you get married in the middle of a State Park you can expect to have some tourists about, snapping away.

The little flower girls whispering inside the church. Awww.
What a lucky chance - we happened to show up on Stagecoach Days and 5th Annual Taste of Slow Food. We didn't taste any slow food but we did have an extra good time because there was entertainment galore, with folks in costumes telling stories, singing, dancing around, and...
...a Band! playing Civil War era tunes.
Take my picture take my picture!

Last stop of the day: Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, founded in 1769 and first of the 21 California missions.
The church was open for business as was the gift shop and many other buildings such as la escuela, la sala, and el museo. They were even doing some archeological work around the foundations. It was fun.

(back at the motel picture)
August 24

We lolled around in the morning and then at the nick of check-out time headed for a spin through Balboa Park.
Balboa Park is a gigantic complex of fabulous buildings and renowned attractions including, most famously, the San Diego Zoo, where we didn't go.

There is this Botanical Building, many expansive gardens, ponds and fountains, museums, performance art venues, and recreation opportunities.
In about four hours we did a few things, leaving days and days of things left to do.
The buildings are just fabulous.
As an example of the scope of Balboa Park, there are about 20 named gardens including a Rose Garden, a two acre Palm Canyon, and visible from this shot, one of Cynthia's, is Zoro Garden.

From the Balboa Park website: "Zoro Garden--a sunken stone grotto garden that was designed as a nudist colony during the 1935 California-Pacific Exposition--is now a butterfly garden containing both the larvae and nectar plants needed for the complete life cycle of butterflies. Miniature indentations built into rocks collect small pools of water for the monarch, sulfur, and swallowtail butterflies that can be seen among the colorful perennials and majestic ficus trees that surround the garden."

Something for everyone.
This is one end of a huge semi-circle that is the Organ Pavilion where we enjoyed a free concert. You could rent those umbrellas for two bucks, well worth it if you were going to stay for the whole hour.
The pipes behind this organ extended about three stories high and filled not only the Pavilion but the surrounding gardens with booming sound.
Plenty of room to make yourself comfortable.
Then we took a quick buzz through the Japanese Garden.
Cynthia's got that flowing water thing Down.

The beginning of Balboa Park was an 1868 civic set-aside of 1,400 acres and from then until now development continues. The story is pages long on the Balboa Park website - easy to read, and interesting...

...and well worth a visit! Thanks for coming out Cynth, I had a great time!!
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