Monday, November 30, 2009

Movies in the barn

There are a few restoration projects underway at Leo Carrillo Ranch. One of the projects is to restore the barn and convert the interior of the building to a movie theater and meeting room space. Pretty cool idea. The above photo is actually of the stables which is next door to the barn.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A room of one's own

I liked this little cottage at the Leo Carrillo Ranch. The house was an artist's studio for Leo's wife Deedie. We weren't able to go inside the cottage to see what was there, but I think I remember reading somewhere that she worked with clay. Maybe the rounded dome to the left was a kiln and the pot on the right was her own work?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park

The Leo Carrillo Ranch was once a working ranch that was built in the late 1930s by actor Leo Carrillo. The ranch was dedicated and opened as a public park in 2003. This is the view from the pool/La Cabaña looking at (from left to right) the Wash House where Leo lived while the place was being built, a stone BBQ, and the main house.
Before we headed out to the park I worried that it might be just a regular old park, but it was quite special with the preserved buildings, wide open spaces, and the peacocks and peahens roaming around.

Friday, November 27, 2009

We are family

Did you know that peacocks are the largest of the family of birds that include turkeys, chickens, and pheasants? The proper term for the bird is peafowl - the peacock is the male and the female is called a peahen. I just learned this when I recently visited the Leo Carrillo Ranch in Carlsbad where this rare white peacock lives, along with about two dozen other peafowl. I'll show you more photos of the Ranch over the next few days.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Queen Califia's Fall Leaves

Yesterday I visited Queen Califia's Magical Garden, a wonderful sculpture display in Escondido by artist Niki de Saint Phalle. I'd never taken the drive up to see it and was pleasantly surprised. It was a place for everyone, regardless of age, to let their imagination fly.

We settled in, spent a few hours there, having a picnic & letting the kids run around & play. The longer we were there, the more details popped out at us. It was really quite lovely! Strangely, though, I kept being drawn to these leaves on the ground - perhaps its odd to be taken by this monochromatic microcosm within the brightly colored mosaic garden, but I wasn't the only one to comment on the beauty of these leaves. I'll post some of the photos of the actual sculptures at another time - in fact, Felicia has posted about this place a few times and you can check out her lovely photos;

here, here and here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


These lips painted on a rock at Lemon Grove Avenue and High Street make me happy. Click here to read the story of how it all started more than 30 years ago.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This view of downtown is from Harborview Park in Coronado. It's been more than 5 months since I posted a photo of our skyline - click here to see the last skyline photo I posted that includes more links of more skyline photos. You can never see enough skyline photos, right?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Solid as a rock

Since I first saw the sculpture La Tehuana in Balboa Park's House of Hospitality courtyard, I've tried to get photos of other works by Donal Hord. The above photo is of Mourning Woman, a petite sculpture (a little under 5 feet tall) of carved granite that is located inside the Coronado Public Library. Click here to see my collection of photos of various sculptures by this artist.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another gazebo

This gazebo is the center of activity (aside from the playground) at Spreckels Park in Coronado. The park hosts Art in the Park on the first & third Sundays of the month, an annual flower show in April, and free concerts in the summer. The little photo to the left is part of a mosaic on the outside walls of the restroom.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy trails

Carmel Country Highlands is a housing development in the north of the county. The area is an upscale tract home neighborhood, hence the showy sign and gazebo. The homes are priced starting at about $700,000. The development has an equestrian theme - the neighborhoods are called: Bridle Ridge, Carriage Run, and Derby Hill and the area is near several horse trails that lead in and around Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Plant days

You have probably noticed that the San Diego Zoo does double duty as a botanical garden - they have over 700,000 plants. Every time I visit I always find something unusual in bloom. On the third Fridays of each month (today) the Zoo offers free botanical bus tours and the orchid greenhouse is open. I don't even know what this pretty flower is, maybe an orchid?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Is it comforting to know that people still want to forever remember their loves by carving it in a tree? You would think that there's a digital tree these days - perhaps on Facebook, somewhere. Or maybe, that's the next new Facebook App!
On the one hand, I think it's very sweet to carve into a tree. But on the other I feel kind of bad for the tree. What do you think?
This tattoo'd tree lives in the park at the end of Seaport Village. Seaport Village, where an iced coffee costs $2.75. I know they have to pay their rent, but...really?? Everytime I'm vacationing somewhere I wonder how badly I'm getting gauged by shops in that town's version of Seaport Village. Err...but that's not about love, is it?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mouse house

The watchtower from yesterday's photo is in the San Diego Zoo parking lot, with views of lots and lots of cars. This mouse house made of bread has always been a favorite of mine in the Children's Zoo area. The Zoo makes a loaf per week for the mice. You can't see any mice in the photo because, like most zoo animals, they are hiding out in the far back corner.
Here is a photo of the recipe for the bread house which is posted above their living quarters - they forgot to mention that you need a huge loaf pan!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

All along the watchtower

I've seen people up there before. From the looks of the surrounding area, there is not much of a view. Do you know this watchtower? Tomorrow, I'll show you a photo of something on the ground near this location.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blowin' in the wind

No more than one mile from the house I showed yesterday is this funky yard with all kinds of things that move in the wind. There were store bought and hand made decorations, some Chargers, some Padres, helicopters, and lots of cute planters like this transformed Mr Bali Hai Tiki Mug above. There was also a cute homemade Wile E. Coyote chasing a roadrunner.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Corner house

I really like this corner house in North Park near Morley Field. This area is better known for its craftsman style homes, but there is a nice scattering of Spanish style houses in the area too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More Alcazar Garden

I think one of the prettiest gardens at Balboa Park is the Alcazar Garden. There are 2 rectangular flower beds and 4 smaller square flower beds that always seem to be in bloom. Click here to see another photo of the garden that I showed before. Or click here to see a photo of the garden at Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain of which the above garden was modeled after.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kills germs

Okay, this is an ugly photo. I just wanted to show you what my local grocery store is doing to help kill germs. They used to have a small disinfecting wipes dispenser, but now they have this supersized version. With the swine flu on its way to a shopping cart near you and me, I'm starting to become a germ-a-phobe and am definitely using these free hand sanitizers.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The New Children's Museum

They recently put in new exhibits at the New Children's Museum, but we hadn't gone yet. Suffice it to say, these little bee costumes were but one of the new things that were loads of fun. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

If you have small ones, you should check it out soon!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The big T

Have I ever mentioned how much I love thrift stores? It's a cycle - I give them my donations, then I shop there, then I give them my donations.... I like the Disabled American Veteran's/Veteran's Thrift Store out on Elkelton Blvd off of Jamacha Road in Spring Valley. (Click here for a nice round up of thrift stores in the county.) I heard there used to a carpet store in this space, and a grocery store before that...Anyone know what the deal is with this big T?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Strand

I have some fond memories of seeing cheap movies at The Strand theater in Ocean Beach. In front of the building and along the sidewalks of Newport Avenue are tiles that were installed in the late 80s or early 90s. Community members can purchase a tile and write a message to be installed on the city sidewalks - according to the Ocean Beach Main Street Association, they repair and install the tiles every 3 months or so - click here for info on getting your own tile.
These days the building houses a store called Wings and they sell beach clothes, shells, and touristy items.

Monday, November 09, 2009

More Ocean Beach Pier

I know, I know. I keep coming back to this pier all the time because it is a nice easy 3/4 of a mile walk out and back. Here's more of the pier: click here to see the view from underneath, click here to see a view looking back at the neighborhood, here with big waves, or here for a view from the crest of Niagra Avenue.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


This is the front entrance at Nati's Mexican Restaurant in Ocean Beach. Off to the right is a half wall with a stained glass bull. Click here to see photos from when I went there before.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

What's in a name?

I liked this friendly boat name. I was browsing around the internet and found these funny boat names: Feelin' Nauti, Knoti Nauti C's, Waste Knot, She Got the House, Relax Inn, Sale n Buy. Have you seen any clever or fun boat names?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Pretty waterfall

These little falls are near the exit area at the Wild Animal Park. If this were a natural waterfall, it would probably be just a trickle right now because we have had so little rainfall this year. We'll just hope for rain in the coming months.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Balboa Park Pond

I've posted photos about the pond before, but I don't think I'm the only person out there who finds themselves attracted to this body of water. Here's another photo, I do hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Gag me with a baby pelican head

When my kids were little and just started to eat bite sized foods, I remember chewing stuff up a little and then giving them the small pieces. I guess this pelican feeding her baby, that we saw at the Wild Animal Park, is not so different. Oh yeah, except that the kids never stuck their heads in my mouth.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Balloon ride

The Balloon Safari at the Wild Animal Park is a tethered helium filled balloon that goes up 400 feet. It costs $20, or $17 for members. Nice views, looks like fun.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Padre territory

I went to the Wild Animal Park last weekend and we tried feeding the lorikeets at Lorikeet Landing where, for $3, you can get about two tablespoonfuls of nectar in a little cup and the birds will land on your arm and feed from the cup. Click here to see a photo that Alexandra posted earlier this year. Well, we dropped our little cup almost immediately, but we saw this funny bird in the above photo attacking a Giants fan. We don't like the Dodgers either.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Doorways - theme day

Here is a doorway inside this courtyard inside this building at San Diego State University. Click here to view thumbnails for all theme day participants.