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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Joyful colors of Christmas at December Nights.

House of England's Victorian gentleman with top hot and monocle!
House of England’s Victorian gentleman with top hot and monocle!

This afternoon I enjoyed several daylight hours at the 2014 December Nights event in Balboa Park! It looks like the Christmas spirit is alive in San Diego!

December Nights, which used to be named Christmas on the Prado, is an annual holiday celebration that attracts around three hundred thousand people over two absolutely amazing days. The best time to experience December Nights is after dark, when Balboa Park from end to end is lit with thousands of lights. The scene is vast and magical. Carolers and choirs seem to be everywhere you turn. There are so many jolly Santas taking pictures with families you might think you’d arrived at the North Pole! The traditional sights, yummy smells, and cheerfully lit colors of Christmas abound.

But, alas, my camera doesn’t cope well with darkness. So here are some sunny pics from a couple hours ago!

Santa, Frosty and joyful San Diegans at December Nights in Balboa Park.
Santa, Frosty and joyful San Diegans at December Nights in Balboa Park.
Presents, ornaments and cacti in Balboa Park's Spanish Village!
Presents, ornaments and cacti in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village!
An artist studio in Spanish Village behind many very colorful Christmas trees.
An artist studio in Spanish Village behind many very colorful Christmas trees.
These handmade blown glass ornaments were out on display.
These handmade blown glass ornaments were out on display.
Artist's message: Let there be Peace on Earth...
Artist’s message: Let there be Peace on Earth…
Is this face painter by the Balboa Park carousel Mrs. Claus or a ladybug.
Is this face painter by the Balboa Park carousel Mrs. Claus or a ladybug?
A smiling gingerbread man greets one and all to Casa del Prado.
A smiling gingerbread man greets one and all to Casa del Prado.
San Diego Floral Association hosted many Christmas trees created by local folk.
San Diego Floral Association hosted many Christmas trees created by local folk.
Sign acknowledges the Balboa Park Centennial, kicking off this weekend!
Sign acknowledges the Balboa Park Centennial, kicking off this weekend!
Lots of vendors everywhere had holiday crafts that would make great gifts.
Lots of vendors everywhere had holiday crafts that would make great gifts.
A table full of unique Christmas stocking stuffers.
A table full of unique Christmas stocking stuffers.
One table had cool model ships! I know what this kid wants for Christmas!
One table had cool model ships! I know what this kid wants for Christmas!
Kids from Colegio Ingles in Tijuana, Mexico perform in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Kids from Colegio Ingles in Tijuana, Mexico perform in the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir sings rousing gospel music!
Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir sings rousing gospel music!
Manger scene in one of the huts along back of Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Manger scene in one of the huts along back of Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Gingerbread house in organ pavilion sells Christmas treats to the growing crowd.
Gingerbread House in the organ pavilion sells Christmas treats to the slowly growing crowd.
Santa Claus has landed with his little reindeer on a rooftop!
Santa Claus has landed with his little reindeer on a rooftop!
Huge, glorious poinsettia display inside the popular Botanical Building.
Huge, glorious poinsettia display inside the popular Botanical Building.
It's Wendy! No, I don't want a hamburger today. Thank you!
It’s Wendy! No, I don’t want a hamburger today. Maybe tomorrow.  Thank you!
Photos with Santa will take place here and elsewhere once the sun sets.
Photos with Santa will take place here and elsewhere once the sun sets.
Lots of people dressed for the holidays this afternoon at December Nights in San Diego.
Lots of people dressed for the holidays this afternoon at December Nights in San Diego.
These guys were probably informed they were naughty.
These guys were probably informed they were naughty.

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Photos of Balboa Park’s unique magic at dusk.

Lights come on inside Casa del Prado in Balboa Park as the day ends.
Lights come on inside Casa del Prado in Balboa Park as another day ends.

Balboa Park in San Diego’s bright sunshine is wonderful. At night it becomes magical.

As darkness seeps in and night gentles the world, Balboa Park transforms into an entirely different place. Take a look…

Plaster statues of Spanish painters become shadowy in courtyard of Casa del Prado.
Plaster statues of Spanish painters become shadowy in courtyard of Casa del Prado.
Faces above blue-lit fountain by Botanical Building.
Faces above blue-lit fountain by Botanical Building.
Ornate building facades on El Prado take on new depth at dusk.
Ornate building facades on El Prado take on new, amazing depth at dusk.
Walking down an elegant, golden corridor as night descends.
Walking down an elegant, golden corridor as night descends.
Passage along El Prado becomes mellow and mysterious.
Passage along El Prado becomes mellow and mysterious.
The sky becomes dark blue after sunset and faint stars slowly emerge.
The sky becomes dark blue after sunset and faint stars slowly emerge.
Balboa Park after dark transforms into a fantastic, fairytale world.
Balboa Park after dark transforms into a fantastic, fairy tale world.
Foliate capitals on the columns of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade.
Foliate capitals on the columns of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion colonnade.
Illuminated fountain beside patio beneath The Prado restaurant in Balboa Park.
Illuminated fountain beside patio beneath The Prado restaurant in Balboa Park.
One last juggle by darkening fountain near Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.
One last juggle by the slowly darkening fountain near Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.

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Mermaid, binoculars, and a rainbow-making kite.

Mermaid with a megaphone on the bay side of the narrow Canyon Path.
Mermaid with a megaphone on the bay side of the narrow Canyon Path.

A mermaid emerges near the edge of beautiful San Diego Bay. She summons people from the bustling city with her megaphone…

Man with binoculars peers into dark alley between convention center and Marriott.
Man with binoculars peers into dark alley between convention center and Marriott.

A man with binoculars peers between the San Diego Convention Center and the Marriott Marquis hotel. He heard the mermaid’s siren call, and is trying to catch a glimpse.  She seems to be waiting at the end of a long, mysterious passageway…

Unique entrance to hidden walkway that provides bay access.
Unique entrance to partially hidden walkway that provides easy bay access.

Will these people walking along succeed in finding the elusive mermaid?  Turn left!  Turn left!

Walking through narrow Canyon Path between buildings.
Walking through narrow Canyon Path between buildings.

The mermaid seems to be somewhere ahead. The narrow Canyon Path between buildings is shadowy and filled with dark trees and bushes. It’s a bit scary. Where are we going? Are we lost?

Prismatic kite in blue sky above the Canyon Path.
Prismatic kite in blue sky above the Canyon Path.

Look up! It’s a shining kite in the blue sky!

Colorful light like a rainbow cast by prism kite onto building side.
Colorful light like a rainbow is cast by prism kite onto building side.

As we approach the mermaid on the opposite side, a beautiful rainbow-like splash of color appears on the Canyon Path’s vertical side! This secret place seems to be filled with magic!

The mermaid, man with binoculars and prismatic kite are all part of public art called The Benefit of Mr. Kite. This fun artwork was created to draw attention to an easily overlooked 925-foot long  pedestrian accessway between the convention center and Marriott Marquis hotel, leading from Harbor Drive to the Marriott Marina on San Diego Bay. The artists responsible for our magical journey are Mags Harries and Lajos Héder!

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Very cool photo of rainbow magic at sunrise.

very cool photo of rainbow magic

Here’s a photograph that qualifies as cool!

This is a glimpse of the huge rainbow over San Diego created this morning by a golden sunrise and some light scattered showers. Check out my previous post for another pic. This photo was also taken on Sixth Avenue, but near Laurel Street, just west of Balboa Park.

The reflections in the windows, the amazing color and interesting composition all come together to make a magical image!

Morning rainbow cast by San Diego sunrise.

morning rainbow over san diego

This morning I walked to work again. I started in the semi-light a little after six o’clock, and it was already muggy with broken dark clouds overhead. Several blocks from home the sprinkles began. But I could see it wouldn’t last long.

As I headed up Sixth Avenue through Bankers Hill, I suddenly became aware of a gigantic full rainbow to the west. It looked like a glowing multi-colored halo over the waking, sunrise-illuminated city. And it lasted a good fifteen minutes. I learned later on while listening to the radio that the incredible rainbow could be seen throughout San Diego.

I took numerous photographs as I proceeded north. The rainbow was so gigantic I couldn’t capture the entire thing in one pic.

A couple photos with buildings and palm trees in the foreground came out really good. Here’s the first one!