Monday, August 31, 2009

Alcazar Garden

Did you hope to see more from the architect Richard Requa? Well, good, because he did many projects in San Diego including several in Balboa Park. Requa was the chief architect for the California Pacific International Exposition in the Park held from 1935-1936. He designed the above Alcazar Garden, as well as the following in Balboa Park: Air & Space Museum, Hall of Champions, Casa de Rey Moro Garden, House of Hospitality, this tile fountain (called the Persian Water Rug Fountain), and more...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sessions building

This is one of the historic buildings in Old Town. Today it houses Toby's Candle Shop, but at one time it was used as a landscape nursery business and ceramic shop.
The building was originally called the "Milton P. Sessions Spanish Studio". It was designed by Richard Requa and built in 1929 for Milton Sessions, a landscape architect and cousin of Kate Sessions, "Mother of Balboa Park".

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The bloom

I posted a photo before of the Century Plant or Agave americana. I was told that the plant blooms once then dies. So, here you will see, above, its beautiful bloom.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jimmy Wong's neon sign

Hillquest, a guide to Hillcrest, says that Jimmy Wong's is the neighborhood's oldest ongoing restaurant. I couldn't figure out when it opened, maybe the 1940s or 1950s, but in 2006 they remodeled and reopened as The Asian Bistro. I'm glad they kept the sign.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spanish Landing

It's been hot here. Very hot. For us wimps, I mean. Luckily, we can sneak off to the beach quite easily. So, that's what we've been doing. Today we headed to Spanish Landing park, which is located right across the road from the airport. It's really lovely - a nice little beach for small children, a playground, grassy area w/shade & picnic, it doesn't seem to get all that crowded.

Anyhow, it earns a big thumbs up from us. What have you been doing to keep cool? (and if you say sitting in your A/C-ed home, my jealous hand cyber-tweaks your nose!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fletcher Cove beach

This is the view from Fletcher Cove Park's lookout point. This area got a lot of attention in April 2008 due to a fatal shark attack.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fletcher Cove Park

Fletcher Cove Park in Solana Beach has been open for just over 2 years now. There is a basketball court, playground, picnic benches, bathrooms, showers, lookout point, and beach access.

I really liked these hand made tiles (little photos to the left) by Betsy Schultz that were installed throughout the concrete areas. Some of the tiles depict ocean life and others have personal messages paid for by community members.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Well, hello

I saw this plaque that says "Hello Walk" at San Diego State University and I wondered what it was all about. It turns out that it commemorates an old tradition that students no longer practice. The tradition was that every morning, freshmen students would line-up along this walkway and as seniors entered the campus the freshmen would greet them and wave. Pretty cute.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Just floating along

There were two of these tiny turtles swimming in the pond in front of the Botanical Building at Balboa Park. At one point (which I wasn't quick enough to catch), they came up to get some sun and were lounging on the edge of the pond.
Happy 6th Birthday to my son! (How does time pass so quickly?!)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Festive walkway

This is one of the walkways at the Plaza del Pasado Fiesta de Reyes (they renamed the plaza this spring). I was standing by the panaderia when I took this photo. Can you smell the sweet scent of churros?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Harney Sushi

Although I do love sushi, I've never been to Harney Sushi in Old Town. I hear that it has a bar/restaurant/loungy feel with DJ music, and the food is good too.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Elephants Enjoying Their New Home

We've been spending a lot of time at the zoo this summer. Above, a trainer is enticing this elephant to go for a swim. Normally, elephants love to take a swim. However, we were informed that apparently the old zoo exhibit's water area left the elephant swimmers at risk of being attacked and possibly losing their foot hold within their caste system. In the new exhibit they've redesigned the water hole to have multiple escape points, eliminating the risk. Now to teach the elephants that!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cancer Survivor's Park

This tiled dome is just one of the features at the Cancer Survivor's Park across from the airport. There are also tiled benches, a walkway with inspirational and supportive messages, a bronze sculpture, and a fountain. The park is one of about 24 cancer survivor parks in the US and Canada that were funded by the R. A. Bloch Cancer Foundation.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yee haw, yuk, yuk, yuk

Now I'm not saying nothin' about East County here, but I did see this replica of the car from the Dukes of Hazzard while I was in East County. I used to watch the show all the time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mosaic tiles

I've always admired the tile work on this building in La Mesa on Jackson Drive. The front of the building above has this Spanish colonial scene with some friars and men on horseback and the side door below has a nice whale watching scene. Even stranger - there used to be a BBQs Galore store operating in the building. Go figure.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Besides my low yielding garden, I thought I'd share with you one of my other summer fizzles. This is a photo I took when my friend and I attempted to see the infamous California grunion. Grunion are little fish that spawn on the shoreline at night near the full and new moons and only in the spring and summer. It is a small window, especially for those that want to catch them in action. We thought we were the only crazy people staying up late to watch fish lay eggs on the shore. But no, there were other people out there too, combing the shore, carrying their buckets, and hoping to see or catch a few fish. We didn't see anything, but this. Anyone out there seen a grunion?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My garden fizzle

Did you plant a vegetable garden this summer? I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, and eggplant. And so far it has not been a success. The cucumbers died on the vine, I got 4 tomatoes, 2 sad looking peppers, and no eggplants, yet. As tasty as these tomatoes above look, I don't think I'll be spending $3 per pound to try them out. I'm still hopeful for my little crop. If you have any secrets to your success please let me know!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Don't sit here

Chicweed is a landscape design and garden store on Cedros Avenue where I saw this beautiful chair overflowing with succulent plants.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot

Tonight, we tried out a new (to us) restaurant located on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. I actually thought it was the type of restaurant where you put all the different food additions in a bowl and then someone cooks it for you with some noodles - with those long sticks. But, it's not. Turns out it's a soup restaurant. You choose the broth base (watch out, we got half & half, which I thought was going to be less spicy, but hot-darn! The spicy side blew the tops of our heads off!), and then you select the items to cook in the broth, served family style. They have meats, seafood, veggies, tofu, mushrooms, wontons & noodles, and much more. This would be a fantastic place to go for vegetarians. We also selected a few Mongolian BBQ items - the corn on the cob was dusted with a complex spice flavoring, as were the chicken skewers.

Next time you're in the mood for soup, you've got to go on a Mongolian adventure!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cedros shopping

Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach used to be an industrial area but now it's a shoppers paradise (home furnishings, jewelry, clothes, a few garden stores). There is also a farmer's market on Sunday and live music and artist receptions on the 3rd Thursdays of the month. If that is not enough, you will find a few cafes, art galleries, and the famous Belly Up Tavern music venue (located in one of the refurbished quonset huts). Sooooo much fun in 2 1/2 blocks.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Train station

Both Amtrak and the Coaster stop here at the Solana Beach train station. The station was built in 1998 and designed by architect Rob Wellington Quigley who has done and is doing a number of projects around town.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Down the tracks

The Coaster train travels from Oceanside to the end of the line at the Santa Fe Depot downtown. It's a pretty ride.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Little surfer dudes

This is the kind of scene that you see in movies - surfer dudes going out to catch waves. They came clamoring down the stairs at the D Street Beach and looked about 13 or 14 years old, and have probably been surfing for, like, years.
And Happy Birthday to my little bro!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Outdoor shower

We were walking through the Encinitas neighborhood to the beach and I saw this fancy outdoor shower. I don't know if this was the side door, front door, or "mud room", but the house had a sweet location on a cliff overlooking the ocean. I could see that this would come in handy for washing away "gloves" and "socks" of sand.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Jam packed

I took this photo of "D" Street Beach and Moonlight Beach in Encinitas a week ago. I was kind of surprised to see how crowded it was on a week day. Lots of locals as well as tourists and teenagers. That stack on the horizon to the right is the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sign Post or Trellis?

When ever I come across a street sign with vines growing up it like this, it really catches my eye. I love the way nature is reclaiming something so boring & official as a street sign. I'm also torn by the fact that it should actually bother me that the sign is so overgrown by the plant that it cannot easily be read.

But, for some reason I'm just captivated by the vines, littered with flowers, tickling the air around the sign.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Boat houses

The Encinitas Preservation Association owns the city's most famous landmarks: the boat houses on Third Street. The boat houses were built from salvaged wood by Miles Kellogg in 1928 and were never meant to be seaworthy. Earlier this year a tour was given of the inside of one of the boats - click here to see photos from a local that took the tour.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

One room school house

Built in 1883 this one room school house is the oldest building in Encinitas. Over the years the structure got moved around a few times until the Encinitas Historical Society rallied to save it, had it restored, and is now the home of the Society. The school sits on property that is part of a closed elementary school owned by the school district and it is uncertain what will become of the place. Read more here.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The coast highway

I took a little detour off of the Interstate 5 freeway and went along the coast Highway 101. Driving along the 101 you get lots of quick glimpeses of the beaches as the highway hugs the coastline, then goes a few blocks in land, then back to the coastline. Here is the view of the beach and the 101 as you head west from the 5 on La Costa Avenue between Carlsbad and Leucadia.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Ken et al

The girls surrounding "Ken" had hair in all the colors of the rainbow: pink, green, orange, red, and of course brown and black. These princesses were lined up in a display cart in Old Town. Happy Birthday to my princess!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Night - theme day

If you think diving is scary during the day, just think about night time diving! They slowly emerged from the darkness as a luminous light of green moving toward the shore. Each diver carried two powerful flashlights. They flopped by me and my friend and reported that they had seen sharks, crabs, and lots of sting rays. See more night time photos from around the world - click here to view thumbnails for all participants.