Friday, December 4, 2009

An Excellent Adventure

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, with my daughter gone to the mountains with her boyfriend's family, I asked my son if he'd like to take a trip. I told him to pick where ever he'd like to go (within reason LOL), and with Plant Science being his major at Cal Poly Pomona, he thought it would be fun to visit all the gardens at Balboa Park in San Diego. So off we went on the Friday after Thanksgiving. And what a beautiful day to travel, brisk but sunny. And of course I had to fit in at least one fiber store on the way down. My son is such a patient boy with his mommy. :) So we stopped in Solana Beach to visit Trios Gallery (crafts store) and Knitting by the Beach. We also hit an orchid farm right outside Carlsbad Beach off the 5 freeway. Beautiful plants but way overpriced! Above is the root structure of an incredibly old tree in Balboa Park. I asked Zach to crawl inside so you could appreciate the scale of this old beauty.

For lunch we ate down on the water at Seaport Village in downtown San Diego. After getting a bit lost and having to stop and ask for directions we finally made our way to Balboa Park. The park was bigger than any park I've ever experienced and crowded, making parking a bit of a challenge. But it was so worth the struggle. The 1200 acre park was placed in reserve in 1835 and has 15 major museums, as well as many specialty gardens, plus a dog park. This man was playing the most beautiful instrument with the most unusual noises coming from it. In fact there were magicians and entertainment where ever you looked.

Here is their rose garden but honestly, I think the rose garden at Cal Poly is even better that Balboa's. The cactus garden was extensive but in dire need of some maintenance. I couldn't resist crawling into this cacti trunk below.
So many of the cacti are really old and so large. I was really impressed with the structure of this old beauty below.

Another garden that we visited was the Japanese Garden. But you had to pay to get in and it really wasn't worth the money. The Japanese garden at CSULB is so much better.

The Botanical Garden Lath House below was a favorite. Extremely impressive in size and scope of species.
Loved the way this plant was wrapping it's roots around it's neighbor in the pix below.

My favorite plants in the Botanical Garden area were the orchids. They had so many varieties, with so many of the plants in bloom.

Outside the Modern Museum were these fabulous mosaic sculptures that I knew my mosaics teacher Katherine would love.
Below is an interior shot of Ontario Orchids in Vista. We visited here on our way back home. Prices were so much more reasonable here and I bought Zach a very cool wall mounted orchid. We also were able to stop at a fabulous fiber store in Old Town San Diego called the Shepherdess. What a treat that was for me. I was able to pick up a couple of new books for inspiration. Thank you Zach for waiting in the car for a good 45 minutes while I browsed.

This was the view from our hotel window. We were able to get a room on the 8th floor in one of the two Marriott Towers in the downtown seaport Gaslight District. We overlooked the Coronado Bridge and the shipping lane. Zach drove us over the bridge so we could see the infamous Del Coronado Hotel. Would love to stay there one of these days. Below was a chef building a gingerbread house inside the lobby of our hotel. All in all, Zach and I had a really excellent adventure. Let's do it again next year son. I Love You So Much!!

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