Surfing Santa arrives by flying a water jetpack!

here comes santa claus with a water jetpack

Wow! Santa returned to San Diego in grand fashion! He’s making his big entrance over the bay using a water jetpack! Here he comes! A huge crowd on the pier just north of Seaport Village was watching with excitement this Saturday afternoon!

Wait! That’s not just a regular, ordinary, everyday daredevil Santa Claus, but the one and only Seaport Village Surfing Santa!

santa is flying high on two jets of water

Surfing Santa rises high above the awestruck crowd to wave and wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Where’s his sack of presents?

santa whirls about in a circle above the bay

Now he’s just showing off. The jolly old guy is jetting about in a circle like a certified maniac with a ridiculously huge beard. The fish below are probably frightened out of their wits. The first time I saw Santa, I was a bit spooked, too.

an elf anxiously awaits surfing santa's arrival

This happy elf and Mrs. Claus patiently awaited old Saint Nick on the pier with a huge throng of onlookers. The reindeer must be taking the weekend off.

surfing santa walks down the pier for his reception

Here he is, larger than life! Surfing Santa! He’s boarded the pier and is making his way to Seaport Village to conduct his usual Santa Claus business.

santa boards pedicab sleigh at seaport village

After boarding a pedicab sleigh, Surfing Santa parades down the bayside walkway while people munching pizza look on in joy and disbelief.

Santa and reindeer fly through Balboa Park.

santa claus rides sleigh in balboa park

Santa Claus and his magical reindeer were recently seen flying through Balboa Park. A photo was snapped as he sped from the central plaza toward the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. There he is waving at happy children and thrilled park visitors!

santa's reindeer fly through balboa park

A second photo was snapped as the reindeer lifted off into the blue San Diego sky, pulling Santa’s sleigh up and away back toward the North Pole!

Old Saint Nick has to prepare for Christmas!

UPDATE!

Santa returned the following year! Here he is!

Santa's sleigh is back again for another Christmas in Balboa Park!
Santa’s sleigh is back again for another Christmas in Balboa Park!
The flying reindeer take once more to the blue San Diego sky!
The flying reindeer take once more to the San Diego sky!

Art at Santa Fe Depot shows San Diego history.

Check out this cool public art!  A series of beautiful, detailed scenes from San Diego history decorate ten columns just north of downtown’s Santa Fe Depot, where they can be viewed by trolley riders as they head toward Little Italy.  The handmade tiles which form the exquisite sculptural mosaics were pieced together by Betsy K. Schulz in 2008. Located on the west side of downtown’s Sapphire Tower residential condominium, the artwork is titled The Tracks We Leave Behind.

As one proceeds north one moves forward through time, from the earliest days of San Diego right up to the present day.  I sorted these photos in such a way that you move backward into the past…

01 san diego arts and gaslamp
San Diego arts and the Gaslamp.
02 san diego on the move
San Diego on the move.
03 san diego a generation ago
San Diego a generation or two ago.
04 palomar telescope and bay bridge
Palomar telescope and Coronado Bay Bridge.
05 tuna fishing and ship building
Tuna fishing and ship building.
06 lindbergh and san diego zoo
Lindbergh and the San Diego Zoo.
07 half a century of history
Half a century of history.
08 sagebrush to city
From sagebrush to city.
09 an american town
An American town.
10 citizens of old san diego
Citizens of Old Town San Diego.
11 san diego's californios
San Diego’s Californios.
12 spanish missions and settlements
Spanish missions and early settlements.
13 cabrillo discovers bay
In 1769 the Presidio and Mission San Diego are established.
14 early explorers
Cabrillo and early explorers map San Diego Bay.
15 native americans in san diego
Native Americans in San Diego.
16 wild nature and wide open spaces
Wild nature and wide open spaces!

Guitar player on bridge by reflecting pool.

guitar player on bridge by reflecting pool

This friendly guy was playing the guitar while sitting on the bridge that crosses Balboa Park’s reflecting pool. (If you can call it a bridge–it’s just a walkway, really.)

Same guitar player seen on another beautiful day.
Same guitar player seen on another beautiful day.

Sleeveless magician sets up in Balboa Park.

sleeveless magician sets up in balboa park

One cool feature of Balboa Park is the profusion of street performers. I got a fast pic of this magician setting up on El Prado in front of the reflecting pool. That’s the Botanical Building in the background–one of the largest wood lath structures in the world!

While I didn’t see this sleeveless magician perform last Sunday, I did savor the music of a nearby harp player and listened to a guy playing a funky didgeridoo!

UPDATE!  Here’s a pic from a performance, taken on a later day:

Sleeveless magician performs card trick for rapt audience.
Sleeveless magician performs card trick for rapt audience.

The barn-like Farm House on Bankers Hill.

the red farm house on bankers hill

This big red barn-like house can be found on Bankers Hill, near Laurel Street and First Avenue, just north of downtown San Diego. A small sign in front indicates that this fun structure is the “Farm House”. Many other interesting Victorian homes abound in the neighborhood, but this cool sight always hogs my attention!

Another pic of the barn-like Farm House on Bankers Hill.
Another pic of the barn-like Farm House on Bankers Hill.

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Spreckels Organ Scholarship recipients play!

spreckels organ society volunteer at concert

This Sunday afternoon’s free concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion featured two of this year’s Spreckels Organ Scholarship winners! The scholarship is provided by the Spreckels Organ Society to promising young organists. Both young ladies who played were terrific!

This photo was taken as I entered the pavilion. Lots of folks were out and about on this beautiful sunny day, and a fair number of people were enjoying the music on the benches.

trinity schulz speaks at spreckels organ concert

Here’s a pic of Trinity Schulz speaking to the crowd. She then went on to play “How Firm a Foundation”.

suzy webster plays at spreckels organ pavilion

This pic shows Suzy Webster. She played a fun “Chopsticks for Organ”, and then Prelude and Fugue in C Minor, by J.S. Bach.