Help Westview High School Music Outreach succeed!

Young ladies perform classical music in Balboa Park to help raise money for a very worthy cause!
Young ladies perform classical music in Balboa Park to raise money for a very worthy cause!

A group of talented young people in San Diego have a lofty ambition. They want to make our world a much better place!

This afternoon I was walking along when I happened upon two members of the Westview Music Outreach Club skillfully playing classical music. They had attracted a small crowd on El Prado in Balboa Park. Their sign really caught my attention:

Westview High School Music Outreach of San Diego has important goals! Their mission is to enrich others through music. Can you help them succeed?
Westview High School Music Outreach of San Diego has important plans! Its mission is to spread riches of music.

The club is already engaged in many positive activities! Check out their website.

I don’t see why the Westview High School Music Outreach can’t became an enormous success. With a little help anything is possible. Their (and your) generous musical gifts might touch and enrich thousands of lives! Can you help them succeed?

High School students actively working to change the world into a much better place!
High School students actively working to change the world into a better place!

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International Day of Happiness in San Diego!

Hugging rather than shaking hands.
Hugging rather than shaking hands.

Today is the International Day of Happiness! Happy thoughts and deeds were underway in downtown San Diego this morning, just outside Horton Plaza. I swung on by to check things out!

International Day of Happiness in San Diego at Horton Plaza.
International Day of Happiness in San Diego at Horton Plaza.
Early morning vows of how people will make the world a more happy place.
Early morning vows of how people will make the world a more happy place.
Smiling at my kids more.
Smiling at my kids more.
Smiling and saying hi to everyone I pass by today.
Smiling and saying hi to everyone I pass by today.
Sharing my lunch with someone less fortunate.
Sharing my lunch with someone less fortunate.
Being a good father and role model.
Being a good father and role model.
Help make the world a happier place!
Help make the world a happier place!

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Fun photos from today’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Saint Patrick was seen in downtown San Diego banishing snakes and frowns.
Saint Patrick was seen in downtown San Diego banishing snakes and frowns.

A long, warm, wonderful walk today filled my trusty old camera with lots of photos! First up: some fun images from San Diego’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

Last year I took pics up and down Sixth Avenue (just west of Balboa Park) where the parade was staged, and this morning I did exactly the same thing. Predictably, cool sights were everywhere my eyes turned!

This smiling gentleman is dressed in the uniform of the Knights of Columbus.
This smiling gentleman is dressed in the uniform of the Knights of Columbus.
Crowd gathers early before the big St. Patrick's Day parade kicks off.
Crowd gathers early before the big St. Patrick’s Day parade kicks off.
Lots of dogs were wearing the green this morning.
Lots of dogs were wearing the green this morning.
Fun green hats and stuff line the grass by the sidewalk.
Green hats and fun festive stuff on the grass by the sidewalk.
Shriner mini cars are always a popular part of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Shriner mini cars are always a popular part of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
These clowns are relaxing in the shade as a sunny San Diego day heats up.
These clowns are relaxing in the shade as a sunny San Diego day heats up.
This cool old Ambulance and Patrol vehicle awaits start of parade.
This cool old Ambulance and Patrol vehicle awaits start of parade.
The distinctive Shriners float doesn't look very Irish to me, except for a bit of green!
The distinctive Shriners float doesn’t look Irish to me, except for a bit of green!
The Best-Rate Repair Company float is making its first appearance this year.
The Best-Rate Repair Company float is making its first appearance this year.
This guy in a traditional kilt will be playing the bagpipes for everyone to enjoy.
This guy in a traditional kilt will be playing the bagpipes for everyone to enjoy.
Marching band instruments lie on the grass before start of the St. Paddy's parade.
Marching band instruments lie on the grass before start of the St. Paddy’s parade.
The Academy of Irish Dance gets their festive float ready.
The Academy of Irish Dance gets their elaborate float ready.
These super nice San Diego Roller Derby ladies posed for my camera!
These super nice San Diego Roller Derby ladies posed for my camera!
Motorcyclist in green heads down Sixth Avenue where the parade is staging.
Motorcyclist in green heads down Sixth Avenue where the parade is staging.
These cool old-fashioned penny-farthing bicycles will take part in the parade.
These cool old-fashioned penny-farthing bicycles will take part in the parade.
Everybody was busy getting ready as the 10:30 morning start approached.
Everybody was busy getting ready as the 10:30 morning start approached.
Serviceman helps affix some green to the front bumper of a car.
Serviceman helps affix some Irish green to the front bumper of a car.
The Young Marines were folding a large American flag as I walked down Sixth Avenue.
The Young Marines were carefully folding a large American flag as I walked down Sixth Avenue.
A smiling Irish clown perfectly captures the spirit of this wonderful annual event.
A smiling Irish clown perfectly captures the spirit of this wonderful annual event.

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Hundreds of vows, one Valentine’s Day arbor.

Brides, grooms and guests approach County Administration Building on Valentine's Day.
Brides, grooms and special guests approach County Administration Building on Valentine’s Day.

Today I took the trolley to Qualcomm Stadium to check out the very cool Lunar New Year Festival. Before catching the trolley at the Little Italy station, I walked around the nearby County Administration Building and its beautiful waterfront park. Every year on Valentine’s Day, hundreds of weddings are performed here. According to an article I read, this year 187 ceremonies were scheduled!

I didn’t stay long, and I kept a respectful distance from those who were tying the knot, but I did manage to get a few decent pics!

This soon-to-wed couple is interviewed by a television reporter.
This happy soon-to-be-wed couple is interviewed by a television reporter.
People enter and leave San Diego's County Administration Center in bliss.
People enter and leave San Diego’s County Administration Center in bliss.
The first ceremony takes places at the small wedding arbor in the waterfront park.
The first ceremony takes places at the small wedding arbor in the waterfront park.
Love is in the air, and across the street at the waiting taco shop.
Love is in the air, and across the street at the waiting taco shop.

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Random happy visions in magical Balboa Park.

New bride and groom hustle through the heart of Balboa Park.
New bride and groom hustle through the heart of Balboa Park.

Please enjoy these random pics of happy visions seen on various occasions in Balboa Park. Every day in this special place is magical!

Wedding party walks down elegant El Prado, a frequent sight in Balboa Park.
Wedding party walks down elegant El Prado, a frequent sight in Balboa Park.
Getting ready to make a music video near reflecting pool flowers.
Getting ready to make a music video near reflecting pool flowers.
Classic automobile cruises over San Diego's scenic Cabrillo Bridge.
Classic automobile cruises over San Diego’s scenic Cabrillo Bridge.
Someone poses for a photo by Rolls Royce limo standing by in Balboa Park.
Someone poses for a photo by Rolls Royce limo standing by in Balboa Park.
An enthusiastic greeting from tourist passing in a GoCar rental.
An enthusiastic greeting from tourist passing in a GoCar rental.
Ice cream truck parked by children's playground on Park Boulevard.
Ice cream truck parked by children’s playground on Park Boulevard.
Artfully trimmed shrub elephant in front of San Diego Zoo.
Artfully trimmed shrub elephant in front of San Diego Zoo.
Taking a floating creation out to the big Balboa Park fountain.
Taking a floating creation out to the big Balboa Park fountain.
Kid tows handmade boat over cloudy water in the circular fountain basin.
Kid tows handmade boat over cloudy water in the circular fountain basin.
A caricature artist at work on El Prado as folks watch.
A caricature artist at work on El Prado as folks watch.
Playing a horn, trying to draw a crowd.
Playing a horn, trying to draw a crowd.
Musician plays didgeridoo that looks like a snake!
Musician plays didgeridoo that looks like a snake!
This cool didgeridoo guy can also be occasionally seen at Seaport Village.
This cool didgeridoo guy can also be occasionally seen at Seaport Village.

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Amazing sight before the Big Bay Balloon Parade!

Balloons of every color and shape bob and rise above the gathering handlers.
Balloons of every color rise and bob above costumed handlers.

I headed down to the Embarcadero a good hour before the start of today’s 2014 Big Bay Balloon Parade. I hoped to capture some fun balloon pics. I succeeded!

The staging area, where the amazing, colorful balloons were being inflated, appeared like a vision in a wonderful dream, with gigantic faces and forms swaying high in the sky. It seemed as if they’d become magically alive!

These photos were taken in a large parking lot north of the County Administration Building. The Big Bay Balloon Parade, held every year in San Diego shortly before the Holiday Bowl, proceeded south on Harbor Drive and ended at Seaport Village.

Tourists pass staging area for San Diego's 2014 Big Bay Balloon Parade.
Tourists pass staging area for San Diego’s 2014 Big Bay Balloon Parade.
This is the nation's largest balloon parade. The event is held just before the Holiday Bowl.
This is the nation’s largest balloon parade. The event is held just before the Holiday Bowl.
Costumed San Diegans enter a fantastic world of huge smileys and ice cream cones.
Costumed balloon handlers enter a fantastic world of huge smileys and ice cream cones.
A giant traditional Christmas nutcracker tips a bit in the sea breeze.
A giant traditional Christmas nutcracker tips a bit in the San Diego sea breeze.
This big inflatable American flag will be part of the upcoming parade.
This big inflatable American flag will be part of the upcoming parade.
Cool! I see Mr. Potato Head!
Cool! A favorite toy when I was a kid!  I see Mr. Potato Head!
Balloons fill the blue sky, and so does a penguin in a tuxedo.
Balloons fill the blue sky, and so does a penguin in a tuxedo.
Are those gigantic pinatas? They must contain lots of candy!
Are those gigantic pinatas? They must contain lots of candy!
Preparation for the parade includes unrolling something wrinkly near an octopus.
Preparation for the parade includes unrolling something wrinkly near an octopus.
This colorful mess is destined to transform into a delightful big balloon!
This colorful mess is destined to transform into a delightful big balloon!
Happy bumble bee billows as it's filled with helium in parade staging area.
Happy bumble bee billows as it’s filled with helium in parade staging area.
USS Midway Museum had a lighter-than-air jet fighter.
USS Midway Museum had a lighter-than-air jet fighter.
Happiness is super-sized like a wonderful waking dream.
Happiness is super-sized like a wonderful waking dream.
Fun, happy childhood stuff flying all over the place. Marvelous mayhem!
Fun, happy childhood stuff flying all over the place. Marvelous mayhem!

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Balboa Park carousel provides fun nostalgia.

Lady twists balloon creations near the historic Balboa Park carousel.
Lady twists balloon creations near the historic Balboa Park carousel.

Whenever I walk through Balboa Park, I almost always point my feet in the direction of the carousel.

There’s something just so innocent and joyful about the old merry-go-round. For generations it has faithfully awaited children of all ages at the north end of the park, right next to the San Diego Zoo. The whirling playful animals and marching organ music put a smile on my face and a lift in my spirit.

While the 1910 Herschell-Spillman carousel has been moved a few times, for exactly one hundred years–since the Panama-California Exposition of 1915–it has stood in Balboa Park. Today it is only one of two carousels west of the Mississippi that feature the nostalgic brass ring game. Lucky riders who grab a brass ring win a free ride!

People gaze at the 1910 Herschell-Spillman carousel on a summer day.
People gaze at the 1910 Herschell-Spillman carousel on a summer day.
The merry-go-round features 27 horses and 25 menagerie animals.
The merry-go-round features 27 horses and 25 menagerie animals.
A brightly painted carved wooden horse awaits a passenger.
A brightly painted carved wooden horse awaits a passenger.
The carousel has stood in Balboa Park for exactly one hundred years!
The carousel has stood in Balboa Park for exactly one hundred years!
Old items in building include a rowboat.
Old items in building include a rowboat.
A brass ring game is still played today.
A fun brass ring game is still played today.
Many generations have enjoyed this cheerful San Diego attraction.
Many generations have enjoyed this cheerful San Diego attraction.
Another view past a ride for very young children.
Another view past a ride for very young children.

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