Fun photos from Deck the Cars!

Cars lovers gathered early this morning for Deck the Cars in Balboa Park.

The San Diego Automotive Museum every third Sunday has a Cars and Coffee event in the nearby parking lot, but it’s the Holiday Season, so the event was renamed Deck the Cars this month.

As I wandered about, I found decorated hot rods, classic cars, lowriders . . . and smiles and Christmas garb . . . and Santa going ho-ho-ho, too!

That crazy wonderful car in the second-to-last photo is the Christmas Imaginarium Carriage. I posted photos of it a few minutes ago here!

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Christmas Imaginarium Carriage visits Balboa Park!

The wonderful, eye-popping Christmas Imaginarium Carriage visited Balboa Park this morning! It arrived for the Deck the Cars event in the parking lot by the San Diego Automotive Museum.

People around San Diego might see this unmistakable vehicle driving about from time to time. I first saw it over 9 years ago.

During Deck the Cars, a crowd of car enthusiasts converged to admire the Christmas Imaginarium Carriage, which, like a mobile work of art, is decorated with angels, nutcrackers, Santas, small houses and buildings, Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, and painted winter holiday scenes.

Enjoy this look at one man’s fantastic dream made real!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Christmas concert with San Diego Opera!

A wonderful San Diego holiday tradition filled hearts with gladness and joy this evening. Members of the San Diego Opera joined the mighty Spreckels Organ for a Christmas concert!

A large audience filled the benches of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, and many in the audience sang along when they heard familiar Christmas carols!

The San Diego Opera was represented by Kathryn Lillich (Soprano), Abigail Allwein (Alto), Cole Tornberg (Tenor), and Michael Sokol (Bass). The organist for the concert was Nicholas Halbert, Artist in Residence at San Diego’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.

As you might imagine, the music was of the very highest quality. The pure, soaring, melodious voices gave me frequent goosebumps. (No-they weren’t from the chilly night temperature!)

The loudest applause seemed to be for the original French version of O Holy Night (imagine it being sung by an operatic voice), and good old Jingle Bell Rock!

This is one holiday tradition that every family should enjoy.

Would you like to enjoy another fantastic San Diego holiday tradition?

Tomorrow (Sunday) at 2 pm you can participate in the Spreckels Organ’s annual Christmas carol sing-along. Join perfect strangers up on the pavilion stage and sing favorite carols while accompanied by the world’s largest outdoor musical instrument!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Singing carols along with Balboa Park’s carillon!

Two dozen Christmas carols were sung early this afternoon near The Old Globe, accompanied by Balboa Park’s carillon!

The Ramona Community Singers and the Tremble Clefs joined with members of the public singing beloved carols like Deck the Halls, The First Noel, Silver Bells and Silent Night.

The “Carol-along With the Carillon” was a unique opportunity to sing Christmas favorites while accompanied by the Ona Mae Lowe Carillon, whose bright notes descended from the California Tower. The carillon was played by Gina Seashore, who has programmed the noontime Balboa Park concerts since 2009.

An audience collected near The Old Globe’s Grinch tree. Young and old listened or sang as they chose. It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Morning light transforms Balboa Park.

This morning, as the sun rose above the eastern horizon, Balboa Park underwent a transformation.

The early light, touching leaves, water and the sides of buildings, turned San Diego’s most amazing park into a world of pure magic…

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Garden Stewards beautify Balboa Park!

Many volunteers were out this morning working to beautify Balboa Park.

As I walked through the park, I noticed a group of Garden Stewards in the flower beds of the Alcazar Garden. They were removing spent plants that were past their bloom–yes, it’s almost winter.

Thank you Garden Stewards and other volunteers who help to maintain Balboa Park, San Diego’s crown jewel! You can volunteer, too, by clicking the above link!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Creativity, surfing, and colorful Christmas trees!

A blue surfer made of LEGO bricks is riding a huge wave over six colorful Christmas trees in Balboa Park.

Seriously!

You can find this very creative holiday display inside the Fleet Science Center, in its theater lobby.

The surfer sculpture is titled Wave Of Illumination. The 15,428 LEGO bricks were assembled by artist Nathan Sawaya. The multi-colored Christmas trees add a delightful touch during this Holiday Season!

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I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

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I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

The planet Mars vanishes in San Diego!

The planet Mars vanished from San Diego’s night sky early this evening!

Members of the San Diego Astronomy Association had telescopes trained on the Red Planet near the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park when it disappeared!

But nobody seemed in the least distressed.

That’s because those gazing skyward understood the moon in its orbit around the Earth had begun to pass “over” much more distant Mars, in what is called a lunar occultation of Mars.

Random people walking through Balboa Park came up and were invited to peer through the telescopes. At times the instruments were aimed at the planet Jupiter and its four largest moons that were made plainly visible: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

Families and kids looked into space with a sense of wonder. Many then entered the Fleet Science Center to view the monthly planetarium show The Sky Tonight, where we saw the latest jaw-dropping images from the James Webb Space Telescope.

When the presentation ended an hour later, and we all went outside, Mars had returned!

The next image was captured by my small camera a few minutes before the lunar occultation of Mars. I set it on maximum zoom.

You can’t see the moon’s craters, but you can see fuzzy little red Mars!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Holiday magic at the Model Railroad Museum!

Need some holiday magic?

It can be found in abundance at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park!

The huge, detailed train layouts are amazing by themselves, but during the Holiday Season, additional surprises await around the museum!

There are beautiful Christmas trees, a talking, animatronic Santa to excite kids, and tiny holiday scenes placed in several of the scale train layouts.

But by far the most magic can be experienced in the Toy Train Gallery!

In the Toy Train Gallery, young and old gaze wide-eyed at a lively city filled with holiday figures and bright decorations. Trains illuminated with colored Christmas lights pass through happy winter scenes. Snowmen and Christmas trees perch on rooftops. It like a dream world one might see in a snow globe–filled with life and activity!

In addition, the Toy Train Gallery’s walls are filled with holiday artwork that will make old-timers nostalgic for years gone by.

A few photos provide a small taste…

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Tin Man recalls history in North Park!

Visitors to the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park might notice a large tin man standing atop stairs in the museum’s atrium. A sign at the bottom of the stairs explains how the nearly 11 feet tall metal sculpture was once a well known landmark in North Park.

Created in 1941, “Tin Man” was originally unpainted and held an oil can instead of a wrench. Representing the Tin Woodsman character from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, Tin Man was to be a feature of the North Park Toyland Parade. But the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor five days before the parade cancelled the event.

Tin Man subsequently was acquired by Sabol Service at University Avenue and Bancroft Street and for several decades, now holding a wrench, he towered above the automobile repair business. In 1976 he was moved to 35th Street and University Avenue, where, painted as he appears today, he greeted the customers of Vinal’s Auto Repair on the service station island.

As you can see, I took these photographs during the holiday season. Tin Man silently stood overlooking a large, very beautiful poinsettia Christmas tree–the first such tree to decorate the San Diego History Center.

And so our city’s history continues right along, the past meeting the present.

Perhaps you’re old enough to remember seeing Tin Man in North Park. After moving through the San Diego History Center, you will carry both old and new memories into your future.

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!