Magic, wonder and warmth near the water.

Eyes gaze with wonder across the water.
Eyes gaze with wonder across the water.

Late this afternoon I walked along the Embarcadero. People were out and about, strolling, lingering by the water. My camera found magic, wonder and warmth.

Doing a bit of work on a boat in Marriott Marina.
Doing a bit of work on a boat in Marriott Marina.
Strolling along San Diego's waterfront on a warm late Friday afternoon.
Strolling along San Diego’s waterfront on a warm late Friday afternoon.
A pedicab driver relaxes while awaiting some business.
A pedicab driver relaxes while awaiting some business.
Something interesting must be down in the water.
Something interesting must be down in the water.
Three friends walk along the Embarcadero.
Three friends walk along the Embarcadero.
Two friends share a moment.
Two friends share a moment.
On green grass, under a green tree.
On green grass, under a green tree.
Silver light and a dreamlike sailboat on the magical water.
Silver light and a dreamlike sailboat.

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 glimpse of history at Mount Hope Cemetery.

I happened upon a few notable names during a walk through Mount Hope Cemetery. I had over an hour before the Memorial Day ceremony would begin, so I just wandered down winding roads through fields of headstones.

Many early residents of San Diego are buried at Mount Hope. Among the jumble of names engraved in stone, one can find some of the city’s most influential citizens. Like Alonzo Horton, Kate Sessions, George Marston, Thomas Whaley, Ah Quin, E. S. Babcock, and Robert Waterman. (Not to mention the famous author Raymond Chandler!) But I didn’t have a map. So I just meandered through the hilly cemetery and gazed.

Thousands of gravestones.

Every life different. Every life important in its own way.

Some of the dates indicate long lives, others short. But isn’t it true that all of our lives are short?

Someone asked about my visit–if the cemetery felt spooky. No. The best word that comes to mind is bittersweet. A feeling of both joy and sadness.

Every single name has become a part of San Diego history.

(I did a bit of research for this blog post. Hopefully I got the following information right. If not, leave a comment!)

George James Keating
George James Keating

George James Keating was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1840. He and his wife Fannie, owners of a farming company, eventually moved to San Diego in 1886. Keating made large investments in the city’s booming real estate market. After his death, Fannie oversaw the construction of the five-story Keating Building, which I blogged about several years ago here.

Graves of the Marston family.
Graves of the Marston family.
George White Marston
George White Marston

George W. Marston was often referred to as “San Diego’s First Citizen.”

A successful department store owner, he founded the San Diego Historical Society and was a prominent advocate for and planner of Balboa Park. He was a critical force in the establishment of the San Diego Public Library System and Presidio Park.

You can see a sculpture of George Marston on my blog here, and the garden of his beautiful, historic house, which is located in the northwest corner of Balboa Park, here.

George F. Stockton
George F. Stockton

Lt. George F. Stockton’s tragic drowning on August 21, 1921 prompted the creation of the City of Oceanside Lifeguard Service. He was pulled out to sea by a rip current. He had served on the World War I ship USS San Diego.

Edward McGurck
Edward McGurck

Col. Edward McGurck was born in Ireland. He purchased property on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Market Street in 1876 for $50. In 1887 he developed the McGurck Block Building at that location.

Monument to the Kurtz family.
Monument to the Kurtz family.
Daniel Brower Kurtz
Daniel Brower Kurtz

Daniel Brower Kurtz has an important San Diego street named after him. He arrived in San Diego in 1850 and was elected second city mayor in 1851. He also served as a state senator, county judge, and assemblyman.

James Edward Friend
James Edward Friend

James Edward Friend was an enterprising reporter and newspaper publisher in the early days of San Diego.

Seeing his name brought a smile to my face. He was a good friend of Bum, San Diego’s Town Dog, and figured prominently in the wonderful book titled The Dog That Belonged to No One. Any young person living in San Diego should read this short book. It’s quite enjoyable, full of history and good humor.

Captain James Friend was also known as a friend and benefactor to San Diego’s newsboys.

You can read about Bum, San Diego’s lovable Town Dog, and see his sculpture in my blog post here.

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!

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Balboa Park’s magic reveals life and wonder.

The facade of the Casa del Prado is just one of many wonders in Balboa Park.
The facade of the Casa del Prado is just one of many wonders in Balboa Park.

Balboa Park is one of the most magical places in the world. Spells are cast, revealing life and wonder.

Please enjoy a few photos.

Another beautiful day in the park. The California Tower rises in the distance.
Another magical day in the park. The California Tower rises in the distance.
Spirits are lifted by the Woman of Tehuantepec in the courtyard of the House of Hospitality.
Spirits are lifted by the Woman of Tehuantepec in the courtyard of the House of Hospitality.
Ranger Kim relates the history of Balboa Park to a tour group. They stand by the original Administration Building, which was the first building constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Ranger Kim relates the history of Balboa Park to a tour group. They stand by the original Administration Building, which was the first building erected for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Ranger Kim talks about the historic Botanical Building and its rich collection of beautiful flowers and plants.
Ranger Kim talks about the historic Botanical Building and its rich collection of beautiful flowers and plants.
A wicker Electriquette follows walkers in the park.
A wicker Electriquette slowly moves through the wonderful park.
Daisy Girl Scouts plant new flowers by the reflecting pool.
Daisy Girl Scouts plant living flowers by the reflecting pool.
Photo from the Alcazar Garden of the House of Charm's tower.
Photo from the Alcazar Garden of the House of Charm’s tower.
Learning to tap dance at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Learning to tap dance at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Three friends together at Nate's Point Dog Park.
Three life friends together at Nate’s Point Dog Park.
A short but happy excursion on the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad.
A short but magical excursion on the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad.
A view across El Prado of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
A view across El Prado of the San Diego Natural History Museum.
The splashing Bea Evenson Fountain in the Plaza de Balboa attracts young and old.
The splashing Bea Evenson Fountain in the Plaza de Balboa attracts young and old.
Gazing from a balcony of the House of Hospitality down at the Plaza de Panama and the San Diego Museum of Art.
Gazing from a balcony of the House of Hospitality down at the life-filled Plaza de Panama and the San Diego Museum of Art.
Bicycles along El Prado.
Bicycles and sunshine along El Prado.
Big Slim plays guitar by the Casa del Prado.
Big Slim plays guitar by the Casa del Prado.
A musician strums in Spanish Village.
A musician strums in Spanish Village.
A magic trick produces many smiles.
A magic trick produces many smiles.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park? Follow my special blog which I call Beautiful Balboa Park!

A few San Diego Bike to Work Day photos!

Someone rides a bicycle along B Street during San Diego's Bike to Work Day.
Someone rides a bicycle along B Street during San Diego’s Bike to Work Day.

This morning, on my way to catch the trolley downtown, I saw lots of people heading to work by bicycle. Today was Bike to Work Day in San Diego!

I snapped a few photos just for the fun of it. I also took a photo of a cool map showing designated places to bike in San Diego’s downtown and uptown areas. Make copies of it for your own use if you’d like!

The Donut Bar had a Bike to Work Day pit stop in downtown San Diego. Many morning riders swung on by.
The Donut Bar had a Bike to Work Day pit stop in downtown San Diego. Many morning riders swung on by.
There were tables full of goodies for those who commuted to work by bike.
There were tables full of goodies for those who commuted to work by bike.
Another pit stop at Civic Center Plaza. The City of San Diego has a special program that encourages bicycling.
Another pit stop at Civic Center Plaza. The City of San Diego has a special program that encourages bicycling.
A map of the San Diego downtown and uptown bike loop. (Click image to enlarge.)
A map of the San Diego downtown and uptown bike loop. (Click image to enlarge.)
Even a blogger who is more into walking received big smiles!
Even a blogger who is more into walking received big smiles!

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!

Roses remember, honor fallen peace officers.

Roses for the fallen at San Diego's Regional Law Enforcement Memorial.
Roses for the fallen at San Diego’s Regional Law Enforcement Memorial.

Yesterday the 33rd Annual San Diego County Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial ceremony was held at the Regional Law Enforcement Memorial, which stands eternally in San Diego’s beautiful Waterfront Park, in front of the County Administration Building.

During the solemn ceremony, fallen San Diego County peace officers were remembered, and honored.

The day after the ceremony roses remain scattered by the names of heroes who sacrificed everything for you and me.

Flowers fade. Memory–and gratitude–will endure forever.

Names of heroes.
Names of heroes.
Flowers fade. Memory--and gratitude--will endure forever.
Flowers fade. Memory–and gratitude–will endure forever.

Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog.

One of many benches around Mission Bay in San Diego. Most feature a small plaque remembering loved ones.
One of many park benches near the beautiful water of Mission Bay.

My walk today took me a good distance around Mission Bay.

Benches can be found at intervals along the pedestrian and bike path that circles much of the bay. Most of these benches feature a small plaque dedicated to a beloved person or memory.

I paused on several occasions to read these thoughtful plaques. One really touched me for some reason. I found it at the base of a quiet bench next to Riviera Shores. It is dedicated to Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog.

There are so many stories, and so many lives. There’s much love in this world.

While I sat quietly on the bench, runners flew past.
While I sat quietly on the bench, runners breezed past.
I gazed across the beach at the calm blue water. Many have found enjoyment here.
I gazed across the sand at the calm blue water. Many have found enjoyment here.
1999 - In Loving Memory - Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog. They loved this beach. Ed and Beth of Buena Vista Street.
1999 – In Loving Memory – Murf the Surf and Camellia the Pretty Good Dog. They loved this beach. Ed and Beth of Buena Vista Street.

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!

Guide dogs for the blind in San Diego!

Loving, intelligent guide dogs and their trainers attend a special event in San Diego.
Loving, intelligent guide dogs and their trainers attend a special event in San Diego.

During my walk today I came across a special event taking place at Embarcadero Marina Park North. A local group representing Guide Dogs for the Blind was having a gathering by San Diego Bay!

I was impressed at how loving and intelligent the guide dogs all were. I asked where people could go to learn more about possibly raising a guide dog, and was told to check out this website!

According to a handout I received, Guide Dogs for the Blind was created in 1942 to aid servicemen blinded in World War II. I also learned their services are offered free to people throughout the United States and Canada.

If you know someone who is blind or visually impaired, tell them about Guide Dogs for the Blind! Or check out their puppy raising program!

Guide Dogs for the Blind had a special gathering today at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
Guide Dogs for the Blind had a special gathering today at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
You see a puppy, a person who is blind sees the world.
You see a puppy, a person who is blind sees the world.
This best friend can make a difficult life much better.
This best friend can make a difficult life much better.
Guide Dogs for the Blind. Raise a puppy. Change a life.
Guide Dogs for the Blind. Raise a puppy. Change a life.

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