Dogs enjoy a harbor cruise on San Diego Bay!

A dog and two friends enjoy Pet Day on the Bay aboard the Adventure Hornblower.
A dog and two friends enjoy Pet Day on the Bay aboard the Adventure Hornblower.

This morning I went on a fun harbor tour–with dozens of tail-wagging dogs!

Hornblower Cruises and Events was having their annual Pet Day on the Bay, which benefits the Helen Woodward Animal Center!

This year the Pet Day on the Bay’s costume theme was mermaids and pirates. In addition to lots of cool sights, I photographed four-legged passengers dressed for the occasion!

Any dog owner who would like to have a memorable experience with their pet should go on one of these unique cruises. The Hornblower ship is equipped with everything a canine or human could desire, including drinks and snacks and a live narration describing all that you see during the one hour harbor tour. A couple of pet experts were also aboard offering lots of helpful advise.

I could tell the dogs were enjoying themselves. A bunch of their human companions were smiling, too!

People wait in line for the first of four very unique harbor tours. It's the annual Pet Day on the Bay!
People wait in line for the first of four special harbor tours. It’s the annual Pet Day on the Bay!
These furry passengers meet each other before boarding for a cruise on San Diego Bay.
Furry passengers meet each other before enjoying a cruise on San Diego Bay.
The theme this year for Pet Day on the Bay was mermaids and pirates. Looks like a mermaid to me!
The theme this year for Pet Day on the Bay was mermaids and pirates. Looks like a mermaid to me!
All sorts of local celebrities joined us on the fun cruise. That's Dave Scott of KUSI News!
All sorts of local celebrities joined us on the fun cruise. That’s Dave Scott of KUSI News!
We're at the foot of Hornblower's pier, almost time to board the ship.
We’re at the foot of Hornblower’s pier, almost time to board the ship.
Here comes a pair of colorful pirates!
Here come some colorful pirates!
I'm greeted with a big smile. I see another celebrity! It's world-famous Chopper, San Diego's motorcycle riding therapy dog!
I’m greeted with a big smile. I see another celebrity! It’s world-famous Chopper, San Diego’s motorcycle riding therapy dog!
Helen Woodward Animal Center was there, too, with a lot of love and some puppies to adopt.
Helen Woodward Animal Center was there, too, with licks of love and some puppies to adopt.
Mary Read hangs out with a tail-wagging friend, waiting for a forever home.
Mary Read hangs out with a tail-wagging friend, waiting for a forever home.
Open up your home--save a life. Foster homes are urgently needed for canines and felines. The Helen Woodward Animal Center with your help saves thousands of precious lives. Please visit animalcenter.org
Open up your home–save a life. Foster homes are urgently needed for canines and felines. With your help, the Helen Woodward Animal Center saves thousands of precious lives. Please visit AnimalCenter.org
Heading along the Grape Street Pier, about to board the Adventure Hornblower for a one hour harbor tour!
Heading along the Grape Street Pier, about to board the Adventure Hornblower for a one hour harbor tour!
Some of the passengers have a pre-boarding meet and greet.
Some of the passengers have a pre-boarding meet and greet.
Photos are taken for Pet Day on the Bay.
Photos are taken for Hornblower Cruises’ Pet Day on the Bay.
A friendly greeting by the ship's captain!
A friendly greeting by the ship’s captain!
Doggie bags with lots of cool stuff from Petco were handed out to those participating in Pet Day on the Bay.
Doggie bags with lots of cool stuff from Petco were handed out to those participating in Pet Day on the Bay.
Up some steps onto the upper deck...
Up some steps onto the upper deck…
Some dog-friendly turf and great views await the pooch passengers.
Some dog-friendly turf and great views await the pooch passengers.
New friends are made on deck, as we await our departure.
New friends are made on deck, as we await our departure.
Is this sailor one of the crew?
Is this sailor one of the crew?
As we waited to begin our cruise, the Admiral Hornblower left the dock and headed out onto the bay.
As we waited to begin our cruise, the nearby Admiral Hornblower headed out onto the bay.
Sunshine breaking through the morning clouds turns the Admiral Hornblower bright white.
Sunshine breaking through the morning clouds turns the Admiral Hornblower bright white.
Here we go! We leave downtown San Diego behind.
Here we go! We leave downtown San Diego behind.
We head out toward the entrance to San Diego Bay, with views of Point Loma, North Island and the distant Coronado Islands.
We head out toward the entrance of San Diego Bay, with views of Point Loma, North Island and the distant Coronado Islands.
Some people rowing outrigger canoes flew past us on the calm water of San Diego Bay.
Some people rowing outrigger canoes flew past us on the calm water of San Diego Bay.
Approaching the live bait dock, where sportfishing boats stop before heading out into the Pacific Ocean.
Approaching the live bait dock, where sportfishing boats stop before heading out into the Pacific Ocean.
Sea lions lounge on the floating dock along with a motley group of sea birds.
Sea lions lounge on the floating dock along with a motley group of sea birds.
A group of kayakers were passing Naval Base Point Loma, not far from four nuclear submarines.
A group of kayakers was passing Naval Base Point Loma, not far from four nuclear submarines.
The dogs enjoy the amazing views just as much as the humans.
The dogs enjoy the amazing views just as much as the humans.
All sorts of characters are hanging out on the ship's deck.
All sorts of characters are hanging out on the ship’s deck.
There seem to be happy dogs everywhere!
There seem to be happy dogs everywhere!
As we headed back toward the Embarcadero, I poked my head inside the ship to see some displays, including one presented by Petco. They also provided doggie treats.
As we headed back toward the Embarcadero, I poked my head inside the ship to check out some displays, including this one presented by Petco, who also provided doggie treats.
The Petco Foundation is helping to save the lives of animals. Learn how you can put your love for animals into action at PetcoFoundation.org
The Petco Foundation is helping to save the lives of animals. Learn how you can put your love for animals into action at PetcoFoundation.org
The billowing Hornblower flag and the approaching San Diego skyline.
The billowing Hornblower flag and the approaching San Diego skyline.
As we approach the dock, a dog supervises the maneuvering of the ship.
As we come beside the dock, a dog carefully supervises the maneuvering of the ship.
Passengers disem-bark after a wonderful one hour cruise.
Passengers disem-bark after a wonderful one hour cruise!
Pet Day on the Bay is a great annual event for those with two or four legs!
Pet Day on the Bay is a great annual event for those with two or four legs!

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

FOLLOWING THE WORDS of Quincy Troupe.

This morning I walked beside poetry. I followed a bright stream of playful words that were written in 2008 by Quincy Troupe.

FOLLOWING THE WORDS is poetry inscribed along the top of a low concrete wall. The wall stretches between The New Children’s Museum and their garden and playground.

To learn a little more about Quincy Troupe, and to see more photos of this small, joyful refuge in downtown San Diego, click here.

WORDS WALK A PATHWAY
INTO OUR MINDS, THEY JUMP QUICK
BEHIND A HOPPING
FROG, GUIDING US LIKE A SCOUT
INTO THE LANGUAGE WE BOP,
WORDS POP BIG AS EYES
OF FROGS, WHO HOP AND PLOP, BOP
THROUGH WORDS ZIG-ZAGGING
THROUGH SENTENCES, HOT AND COOL
AS FLIP-FLOPS KIDS ARE WEARING,
THEY ARE COLORFUL,
THESE WORDS THAT BLIP, BLOP AND PLOP,
UP AND DOWN THEY GO,
LIKE OUR SCOUT, THE HOPPING TOAD,
THERE HE GOES, JUMPING LIKE WORDS,
SOME HE TOTES INSIDE
A SACK ON HIS BACK, BOUNCING,
BROWN-GREEN AS HIS SKIN,
THESE WORDS ARE HEAVY
LOADS FOR TOADS SAME THING AS FROGS
TO CARRY, THESE KNOTS, ZIG-ZAGGING, COOL, WORDS, BOPPING,
SKIPPING ALONG, SKEEDADLING
ALONG THIS PATHWAY,
WE FOLLOW WORDS AS THEY HOP
BEHIND OUR SCOUT-TOAD
OR FROG, IF YOU LIKE THAT WORD,
FOLLOW THEM TO WHERE THEY END
INSIDE THE MUSEUM,
WHERE WORDS BECOME FREEDOM, ART,
MUSIC AND KNOWLEDGE,
POETRY, DANCING, BIG FUN,
HIP AS FLIP-FLOPS KIDS HAVE ON

COOL RAP, FLIP-FLOPPING,
WORDS THAT RATTAMATAT, JAZZ
ZIG-ZAG THROUGH VOICES,
CARRY CHOICES THROUGH TALKING,
SENTENCES SKEEDADLING, WORDS,
BRIGHT INSIDE KID’S MINDS,
MADE NEWS, ABOVE THEIR FUTURE,
A NEW SUN RISING
EACH MORNING NEW, AND WE CAN
TOUCH IT WHEN WE SPREAD OUR WINGS
AND FLY LIKE A BIRD
THROUGH OUR OWN MINDS, THROUGH OUR OWN
SKIES, INSIDE OUR MINDS,
WE CAN TOUCH MAGIC INSIDE
OUR OWN IMAGINATIONS,
TOUCH IT, THE MAGIC,
WATCH YOUR MIND GO FLYING
LIKE A BIRD, NOW, HIGH
UP IN THE BLUE, WATCH YOURSELF,
YOUR MIND SOAR, SKEEDADLING, NOW

SKEEDADLING VOICES
SHIMMY SHIMMY SHANGLE, BOP,
SASHAY, SKEEZOOZOO
THROUGH, HIP WORDS THEY HOP, POP,
AS RAINBOW CHILDREN PLOP, SHINE
IT’S PLAYTIME, SPARKLING
WITH LAUGHTER, SKEEDADLING LIKE
OCEAN WAVES DRUMMING,
A CHOIR OF BIRDS, SHOWERING
RAIN, SOFT AS CHILDREN’S FOOTSTEPS
CHILDREN’S FACES BLOOM
LIKE FLOWERS IN JUNE, DAZZLING,
SPARKLE LIKE TINKLING
WATERFALLS, RINSING, PURE SOUNDS,
BRIGHT ROSE PETALS ON THE GROUND,
YOU ARE YOUR OWN SONG
SINGING SWEET MUSIC, COLORS,
NOTES INSIDE LAUGHTER,
FREEDOM IS TIME, NOW,
YOU ARE LIVING IN YOURSELF
WHEN YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE,
THEIR FACES AGAINST
WHITE WALLS, ARE FLOWER PETALS
POPPING INTO ROOMS
OUT IN GREEN BUSHES
FROGS SERENADE THE MOON, SKY
AS CATS CHASE SHADOWS
YOU CAN TOUCH IT, TOUCH
IT, NOW, THROUGH YOUR POET’S PEN,
YOUR PAINTER’S BRUSHSTROKE,
THE SUN INSIDE YOUR MIND, TOO,
REACH IN, TOUCH IT, TOUCH IT NOW

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!

A short story about travelling hearts.

I was startled this morning during my walk through the Gaslamp Quarter.

Something peculiar was moving directly toward me along the sidewalk. For a split second I thought it was a person.

Then I did a double take.

A bundle of heart-shaped balloons was heading my way!

The cluster of balloons moved slowly down the sidewalk, propelled by a gentle breeze. Occasionally they’d float upward a foot or two, then quietly float back to Earth.

The travelling hearts came to a street corner. They seemed to hesitate. They turned decisively and began steadily down another sidewalk!

After venturing into a patio space in front of one building, they lifted with apparent delight and settled down. They leaned against the rail.

Perhaps they wanted to watch people–other travelling hearts–go by.

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!

To read a few honest-to-goodness short stories that I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

Inspiring street art in Golden Hill.

Many colorful butterflies seem to have landed atop an electrical box in Golden Hill, forming a heart.
Many colorful butterflies seem to have landed atop an electrical box in Golden Hill, forming a heart.

Walk down one particular sidewalk in Golden Hill and you might find this inspiring street art.

The messages painted on the electrical box are simple but powerful.

Inspiring street art reveals the sun's bright message . . . Still I rise.
Simple, inspiring street art reveals the sun’s bright message . . . Still I rise.
I am riding a rainbow with a bow and arrow. Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
I am riding a rainbow with a bow and arrow. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

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!

Fun art at Crown Point Junior Music Academy!

Cool sun in sunglasses with a big SMILE.
A sun in cool sunglasses has a big SMILE!

Check out this super fun art on Ingraham Street in Pacific Beach!

Two electrical boxes have been painted next to Crown Point Junior Music Academy. Looks to me like it’s the work of students…

Earth is in our hands.
Earth is in our hands.
Crown Point Space Camp
Crown Point Space Camp
A happy mermaid plays an underwater horn!
A happy mermaid plays an underwater horn!
...there comes a day, when you're gonna look around, and realize happiness is where you are...
…there comes a day, when you’re gonna look around, and realize happiness is where you are…
We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine...
We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine…
A cool octopus kid plays drums. Crown Point Rocks!
A cool octopus kid plays drums. Crown Point Rocks!

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Art, crafts and fun at December Nights!

I spotted a Santa Claus with a beard made of white yarn at 2018 December Nights!
I spotted a Santa Claus with a beard made of white yarn at 2018 December Nights!

Another year, another wonderful December Nights in Balboa Park!

I headed across the Cabrillo Bridge at noon today, just as the second day of San Diego’s big annual holiday event got underway.

I prefer to wander through December Nights in the early afternoon. The sun is out, the air is warm, and the feeling is unhurried and carefree. I miss the magical Christmas lights after dark, but I also avoid the hectic press of huge crowds.

I’ve blogged December Nights for so many years now, I thought I’d try for a new angle in 2018 and focus on all the holiday art and crafts one can see while walking around. As usual, however, I ended up taking photos of anything fun that happened to catch my eye.

Many fun holiday crafts and decorations can be enjoyed throughout Balboa Park during December Nights.
Many fun holiday crafts and decorations can be enjoyed throughout Balboa Park during December Nights.
Jeff, the super cool Spanish Village Art Center historian, holds a drum and greets visitors with a huge smile!
Jeff, the super cool Spanish Village Art Center historian, holds a drum and greets visitors with a huge smile!
I was taking a photo of glass Christmas ornaments in Spanish Village when I got photobombed!
I was taking a photo of glass Christmas ornaments in Spanish Village when I got photobombed!
A happy elf was lurking near one of the Spanish Village artist studios.
A happy elf was lurking near one of the Spanish Village artist studios.
Some of the carved wooden animals of the Balboa Park Carousel were wearing elf and Santa hats.
Some of the carved wooden animals of the historic Balboa Park Carousel were wearing elf and Santa hats.
I learned Santa Claus would be hanging out in front of the Starlight Bowl.
I learned Santa Claus would be hanging out in front of the Starlight Bowl.
I noticed The Old Globe Theatre's gift shop was well stocked with nasty green Grinches, and his adorable dog Max, too!
I noticed The Old Globe Theatre’s gift shop was well stocked with vile, nasty Grinches, and his adorable dog Max, too!
People take a break during December Nights by sitting near cheerful red poinsettias in the Botanical Building.
People take a break during December Nights by sitting near cheerful red poinsettias in the Botanical Building.
A big Santa hangs from the Point Loma Garden Club's colorful tree, one of many fantastic Christmas trees inside the Casa del Prado.
A big Santa hangs from the Point Loma Garden Club’s candy and cookie bedecked tree, one of many fantastic Christmas trees inside the Casa del Prado.
Another Christmas tree at the Festival of Trees was decorated by the Friends of Balboa Park with many happy dreams.
Another Christmas tree at the annual Festival of Trees was decorated by the Friends of Balboa Park with many happy dreams.
The San Diego Womens Chorus sings holiday music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2018 December Nights.
The San Diego Womens Chorus sings holiday music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2018 December Nights.
A group of children called Let's Dance for Fun! performs at the small December Nights stage near the Botanical Building.
A group of children called Let’s Dance for Fun! performs at the small December Nights stage near the Botanical Building.
Santa, a guest of the House of Finland, was checking to see if children have been good at Balboa Park's International Cottages.
Santa, a guest of the House of Finland, was checking his list to see if children have been naughty or nice at Balboa Park’s International Cottages.
Holiday traditions and music from around the world are celebrated at the International Cottages during December Nights.
Holiday traditions and music from around the world are celebrated at the International Cottages during December Nights.
The House of Sweden always has lots of Christmas crafts and fun holiday stuff on display.
The House of Sweden always has lots of Christmas crafts and fun holiday stuff on display.
I headed over to the Starlight Bowl and spotted a happy snowman atop the outdoor amphitheater's roof.
I headed over to the Starlight Bowl and spotted a happy snowman atop the outdoor amphitheater’s box office roof.
These friendly folks with Save Starlight are looking for people to help support the restoration of a cherished San Diego performance venue, Balboa Park's Starlight Bowl.
These friendly folks with Save Starlight are looking for people to help support the restoration of a cherished San Diego performance venue, Balboa Park’s Starlight Bowl.

If you love Balboa Park, and would like to help restore the beloved Starlight Bowl, please take a moment to visit the Save Starlight website here!

I poked my nose inside the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and noticed there's going to be a fun Merry Christmas Show coming up!
I poked my nose inside the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and noticed there’s going to be a fun Merry Christmas Show coming up!
I discovered lots of holiday art, crafts and fun at another wonderful December Nights!
I discovered lots of holiday art, crafts and fun at another wonderful December Nights!

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Give a Christmas toy to less fortunate children.

Numerous elves show up at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2017 Christmas on the Prado.
Happy elves magically appear at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion for Christmas on the Prado.

If you would like to give a special Christmas gift to less fortunate children in San Diego, here’s a wonderful idea!

This coming Saturday and Sunday afternoon–December 1 and 2, 2018–toys will be collected by Toys for Tots during the 5th Annual Christmas on the Prado in Balboa Park.

Bring a new unwrapped toy . . . or two . . . or three!

Here’s an even more wonderful idea! Host a toy drive at your work, church or special event and bring lots of toys!

If you happen to swing by Balboa Park on Saturday, you’ll be able to watch the lighting of the community Christmas tree in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion at 6:30 pm, then Sing Along with Santa!

Click here to learn more!

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