Lots of smiles, fun and beauty in Balboa Park!

Photographer aims at classic fountain in the beautiful Casa del Rey Moro Garden in Balboa Park.
Photographer aims at beautiful fountain in the Casa del Rey Moro Garden in Balboa Park.

Today I found lots of smiles, fun and beauty as I walked around Balboa Park! But what else is new? Every visit is wonderful!

People walk down El Prado past the amazing Casa del Prado.
People walk down El Prado past the amazing Casa del Prado.
Wedding photography near the Lily Pond in Balboa Park.
Heavenly wedding photography near the Lily Pond in Balboa Park.
Nice ladies with the San Diego Museum of Art were getting art supplies ready for a youth event this evening.
Smiling ladies with the San Diego Museum of Art were getting art supplies ready for a youth event this evening.
More smiles at a table outside the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
More smiles from volunteers at a table outside the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
A coffee mug with hearts for eyes. It must be almost Valentine's Day.
A coffee mug with hearts for eyes outside the House of Hospitality. It must be almost Valentine’s Day.
Bonsai in the exquisite Japanese Friendship Garden.
Bonsai in the always beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden.
For fun, enter the San Diego Air and Space Museum! They've got a new interactive exhibit about speed!
For fun, enter the San Diego Air and Space Museum! They’ve got a new interactive exhibit about Speed!
Beauty seen by few visitors, from the parking lot behind the Casa de Balboa.
Fantastic beauty seen by few visitors, from the parking lot behind the Casa de Balboa.
Almost time to head home. I hopped on the green Balboa Park shuttle.
Almost time to head home. I hopped on the green Balboa Park shuttle at the Plaza de Panama.
As I departed, I got a bonus smile!
And as I departed, I got a bonus smile!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Another day gently ends in Balboa Park.

Another day nears its end in beautiful Balboa Park.
Another day nears its end in beautiful Balboa Park.

I got off work a couple hours early today. To enjoy the remaining daylight, I headed over to Balboa Park.

A late January weekday was gently drawing to a close.

Late light on the Casa del Prado's colonnade.
Late light on the Casa del Prado’s colonnade.
A bit of daylight remains. People meditate on some grass in Balboa Park.
A bit of daylight remains. People meditate on some grass in Balboa Park.
A quiet late January evening at the Plaza de Balboa and Bea Evenson Fountain. The San Diego Natural History Museum shines in the last rays of sunlight.
A quiet late January afternoon at the Plaza de Balboa and Bea Evenson Fountain. The San Diego Natural History Museum shines in the last rays of sunlight.
Joggers pass through the Plaza de Panama as the sun falls behind the House of Charm.
Joggers pass through the Plaza de Panama as the sun falls behind the House of Charm.
Sunlight illuminates the rear of buildings along El Prado, as seen from the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Sunlight illuminates the rear of buildings lining El Prado, as seen from the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A group of smiling mariachis walks near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
A group of smiling mariachis walks near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
The Tea Pavilion has closed for the day. Time to sweep leaves from the patio.
The Tea Pavilion has closed for the day. Time to sweep leaves from the patio.
People enjoy the remaining daylight near Joan Miro's sculpture Solar Bird, near the entrance of the San Diego Museum of Art.
People enjoy the remaining daylight near Joan Miro’s sculpted Solar Bird, near the entrance of the San Diego Museum of Art.
The sun is almost ready to set. Clouds become luminous behind the California Tower.
The sun is getting ready to set. Clouds become luminous behind the California Tower.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Two colorful Frida portraits at Spanish Village!

Artist Frida Kahlo, by San Diego painter RD Riccoboni, outside Studio 18 in Balboa Park's Spanish Village.
Artist Frida Kahlo, by San Diego painter RD Riccoboni, on the patio outside Studio 18 in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village.

Look what I spied on Christmas Eve while I moseyed around Balboa Park waiting to take a special tour at the nearby San Diego Museum of Art!

As I wandered through Spanish Village Art Center, I was greeted by two amazing, colorful Frida Kahlo portraits painted by San Diego’s own RD Riccoboni. Both works of art stood just outside the entrance to Studio 18, which RD Riccoboni shares with other talented Spanish Village artists.

After enjoying these two paintings, I was treated to a special tour of Modern Masters from Latin America: The Pérez Simón Collection at the San Diego Museum of Art. The exhibition contains nearly a hundred amazing works of art, including two original Frida Kahlo pieces. It also features a fun Frida and Me activity station for children.

This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition runs at the San Diego Museum of Art for a limited time. To see the blog concerning my amazing tour, as well as many photos from inside the Modern Masters from Latin America, click here.

A vibrant, butterfly-filled Purple Frida With The Orange Flower.
A vibrant, butterfly-filled Purple Frida With The Orange Flower, by San Diego artist RD Riccoboni.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

The faces of the Panama-California Sculpture Court.

Anglo-Saxon Queen, 1914. Staff plaster original statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Anglo-Saxon Queen, 1914. Staff plaster original statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.

Visitors walking through the Panama-California Sculpture Court in the Casa del Prado are greeted by many unexpected faces–faces that peer out of San Diego’s past.

The sculptures in the building’s courtyard were used in various ways to decorate the facades of buildings in Balboa Park during its colorful history. Most of the pieces are made of staff, which is a type of plaster reinforced with fibers. The artwork in the Panama-California Sculpture Court was rescued in 1975, found abandoned in a corner of the Casa de Balboa.

Please read the photo captions for information about each piece.

One of several fantastic pieces of rescued art in the Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado.
One of several fantastic pieces of rescued art in the Panama-California Sculpture Court at the Casa del Prado.
Religion, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Religion, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Mission Indian Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Mission Indian Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Spanish Conquistador, 1914. Staff plaster original vignette from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Spanish Conquistador, 1914. Staff plaster original vignette from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Grotesque Mask, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Grotesque Mask, 1914. Original staff plaster statue from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Angel Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Angel Head Pilaster, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Varied Industries Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Junipero Serra Memorial, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Food Products Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Junipero Serra Memorial, 1914. Staff plaster original ornamentation from the Food Products Building. Henry R. Schmohl, modeler.
Angel Head Finial, 1971. Unused cast concrete replica of 1914 original, for the reconstruction of the building now known as the Casa del Prado. Christian Mueller, Jr., modeler.
Angel Head Finial, 1971. Unused cast concrete replica of 1914 original, for the reconstruction of the building now known as the Casa del Prado. Christian Mueller, Jr., modeler.
Velazquez, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Velazquez, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Murillo, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Murillo, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Zurbaran, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.
Zurbaran, 1925. Original reinforced plaster-of-Paris casting model for the portrait sculptures above the entrance of what now called the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed by William Templeton Johnson.

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The Alcazar Garden, like a dream.

Even when I don’t wander into the Alcazar Garden, I like to peer at it through a series of arches along El Prado. I like to watch visitors moving through the maze-like green hedges that border beautiful plants and beds of flowers.

The way the slanting sunlight touches the garden, the place always seems like a living dream. A magical sunlit dream.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Natural beauty in Balboa Park’s Desert Garden.

Here are many photos of natural beauty in Balboa Park’s Desert Garden. This rugged garden, which was created in 1976, contains a huge variety of fascinating cacti and succulents, a few winding paths, and a wide view of Florida Canyon below.

You can find all this beauty just east of Park Boulevard, across the pedestrian bridge near the Plaza de Balboa. The Desert Garden is directly north of the award-winning Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!

Do you love beautiful things? Visit my photography blog which I call A Small World Full of Beauty.

First Responders at San Diego Automotive Museum.

1972 Harley-Davidson police Servi-Car, a unique vehicle once used by law enforcement, exhibited at the San Diego Automotive Museum.
1972 Harley-Davidson police Servi-Car, a unique vehicle once used by law enforcement, exhibited at the San Diego Automotive Museum.

The San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park has a great exhibition called First Responders that will be ending soon. Visitors to the museum can check out a range of vehicles, from fire engines to motorcycles, that have been used by San Diego’s first responders.

Car and motorcycle enthusiasts who’ve never been to the museum are really missing out. The San Diego Automotive Museum is jammed with beautiful, historic vehicles, including some that are literally one-of-a-kind.

In addition to their permanent collection, other exhibits now in the museum include a Harley-Davidson Collection, Evel Knievel’s motorcycle from Viva Knievel, Fonzie’s motorcycle and jacket from the television show Happy Days, and Louie Mattar’s Fabulous Car (which is arguably the most amazing car ever made).

First Responders will come to a close on May 29, 2017.

San Diego Lifeguard Service vehicle. One can also see these on the beach!
San Diego Lifeguard Service vehicle. One can also see these on the beach!
A variety of old photos show vehicles used by first responders in the past.
A variety of historical photos show vehicles used by first responders in the past.
An iconic 1926 Buick police paddy wagon.
An iconic 1926 Buick police paddy wagon.
Mannequins lie inside a M997 HMMWV Maxi-Ambulance used by the military.
Mannequins lie inside a M997 HMMWV Maxi-Ambulance used by the military.
Fire fighting vehicles on exhibit include a Brush Fire HMMWV and a 1966 Dodge D-500 fire truck.
Fire fighting vehicles on exhibit include a Brush Fire HMMWV and a 1966 Dodge D-500 fire truck.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy even more Cool San Diego Sights by following me on Facebook or Twitter!