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Thursday, September 27, 2012

San Diego: A Road Trip to Balboa Park

Ms. Pixie and I had the day open, free, as in nothing planned. So we decided vaguely that we would head to San Diego and do something fun. What that something was wasn't really decided on until last night. I told Ms. Pixie to get online and just find something interesting to her. After about twenty minutes she exclaimed excitedly that she found just the thing. We would be going to the Museum of Man in Balboa Park to see an Instruments of Torture exhibit. Well at least it should be interesting and I have always wanted to visit Balboa park. DONE!

Balboa Park is a 1200 acre urban cultural park in downtown San Diego. There are open greenways for recreation use, hundreds of walking paths through beautiful gardens and it also contains a variety of cultural attractions including many museums, several theaters, and even the world famous San Diego Zoo. Obviously the park is too large to try and see in a day, residents in the area who go to the park often I am sure haven't seen everything, but it is a fun place to explore. We woke up I early in the morning and headed out for the two and a half hour drive to San Diego. I was using my iPhone map to get us close to the museum. We found parking and then started to wander around.

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Everything was so beautiful but I was getting frustrated. I just couldn't find the stupid museum. After wandering around, and then rushing to find a bathroom we finally asked for directions. According to the worker behind the desk all maps lead people to this area for the museums and the museums in fact were about a quarter mile away. It was a beautiful day so she pointed us in the right direction and we walked and got to see some fun stuff along the way.

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We got sidetracked when we ran into a restaurant. We were both hungry, it was a little after noon. So we decided to stop and grab a bite to eat. The menu was small but it had some good choices. We both opted to get the ham and cheese pannini. YUMMMMM. And I was more than a little jealous when Ms. Pixie ordered a nice cold Diet Coke. SIGH... I settled for lemonade... with a pout of course.

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Everywhere you turn here you run into something interesting. After we finished eating we quickly stopped at the restroom and found a beautiful weird fun tripped out mural. Four artists collaborated and it was pretty psychedelic.

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Almost two full hours after we arrived at Balboa Park we finally found the Museum of Man. Ms. Pixie I think was a little excited that we made it to our destination alive.

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The buildings of the museums were gorgeous and reminded me of beautiful churches in Europe. The Museum of Man was no exception and it probably was my favorite building we saw. I really loved all the beautiful carvings and architecture.

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We were both sad to find out that photos inside the museum are not allowed. It was a little more gruesome than I originally thought it would be but it was also very interesting. The collection was small filling a room about the size of a football field but the pieces were very old and well preserved. We wandered around reading each plaque thinking that this was the grossest thing until you made it to the next plaque. SERIOUSLY there are so very sick people out there. I cannot imagine the pain the people who were the recipients of these devices.

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After the Torture exhibit we wandered around the rest of the Museum of Man. I have to say I was pretty disappointed. They had quite a bit of exhibits for children to play and interact with but very little I felt that was original art for the adults. Annoyed we headed over to the lilly pond garden. Although the garden was closed we got to spend some time relaxing by the beautiful lilly pond.

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Right next to the lilly pond there was a small museum we decided to check out before we headed home. The museum was even smaller than it looked outside but I found two pieces that I enjoyed. The first was 'Lovers in a Park' by Francois Boucher. The second is 'Portrait of a Lady in a Green Dress' by Bartolomeo Veneto.

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Leaving the museum we were both exhausted and not looking forward to the long walk back to the car. But we spotted a trolly and from one of the workers we learned that you can take any trolly anywhere throughout the park. We ran and made it on the trolly just as it was beginning to pull away. We settled in for the ride, we weren't really sure how long it would take to get to our parking lot but we were content to just be sitting. It was slightly strange when the trolly left the park but I just thought it was circling around another way.

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The ignorance lasted a few more minutes... that is until the driver started a song and dance about the history of San Diego and started to rattle on about how fabulous Little Italy, which we were driving through, was. Ms. Pixie and I both turned worried eyes to each other... ummmm I don't think we are on the right trolly. Looking around we noticed that everyone else had on a sticker, a tour sticker. We were the only ones on the trolly that were not supposed to be on the trolly. Apparently there was an announcement made just as we dashed on, but neither of us heard it.

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Thankfully Smitty, our lovely accidental tour guide leader offered to drive us back to our car. He even gave us a little mini recap of what we had missed in the tour. I was never so thankful to get back to our parking lot, our little adventure took an hour out of our day but at least we were safe back where we belonged.

Another three hours later we finally made it back to LALA land and we got blessed with a fantastic sunset to drive into. AHHHHH a fabulous day in the sunny state with just enough adventure and fun to not be boring!

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5 comments:

Jess said...

I absolutely love Balboa Park. You can always go back again and again and still not see it all. Love the Diet Coke pout too!

paul peggy zeus said...

I love the architecture of the main building! It's so intricate. You two are sure having a great time together.

Jennifer Arens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer Arens said...

Lol about the trolley! That sounds like an interesting museum of torture....

Jane said...

Hi there!
My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
I was looking for blogs about Balboa to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you :)
Jane

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