Photos of beautiful flowers in Mission Valley.

This morning I was walking to work through Mission Valley, searching right and left for something interesting to photograph, when I had to suddenly laugh at myself. I was passing hundreds of wonders that grew inches from my feet!

Beautiful flowers bloomed all along the city sidewalk!

These photos were taken as I walked up Mission Center Road north of Friars Road, near Civita.

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!

Photos of Labor Day in Balboa Park.

A street musician smiles on a sunny Labor Day in Balboa Park.
A street musician smiles on a beautiful Labor Day in Balboa Park.

Labor Day in Balboa Park is no different than any other day. Most museums and attractions are open, and everyone is smiling.

I wanted to take it easy–just enjoy the day–so I headed into the park for an aimless, leisurely stroll…

San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez rehearses Stairway to Heaven with a rock band for tonight's final International Summer Organ Festival concert.
San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez rehearses Stairway to Heaven with a rock band for tonight’s final International Summer Organ Festival concert.
People enjoy the beauty near the Japanese Friendship Garden's Koi Pond.
People enjoy the beauty near the Japanese Friendship Garden’s Koi Pond.
Progress is being made on the Japanese Friendship Garden's new river, where an historic Great Buddha statue will soon be unveiled.
Progress is being made on the Japanese Friendship Garden’s new river, where a Great Buddha statue will soon be unveiled.

You can see additional photos of the Japanese Friendship Garden’s new stream under construction by clicking here.

Labor Day was quiet at the International Cottages, which were all closed for the holiday.
Labor Day was quiet at the International Cottages, which were all closed for the Monday holiday.
As I walked behind the Balboa Park Club building, I gazed northwest toward the Cabrillo Bridge.
As I walked behind the Balboa Park Club building, I gazed northwest toward the Cabrillo Bridge and took this photo.
On Labor Day, like most days, the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden in Balboa Park is a quiet place for solitude.
On Labor Day, like most days, the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden in Balboa Park is a quiet place for solitude.
Families enjoy Labor Day in front of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
Families enjoy Labor Day in front of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
People relax on a bench by the old Mack Water Truck just outside the entrance of the San Diego Automotive Museum.
People relax on a bench by the old Mack Water Truck just outside the entrance of the San Diego Automotive Museum.
Walking through Pan American Plaza between the San Diego Automotive Museum and nearby Recital Hall.
Walking through Pan American Plaza between the San Diego Automotive Museum and nearby Recital Hall.
Balboa Park was the ideal place for a picnic this Labor Day.
Balboa Park was the ideal place for a picnic this Labor Day.
Young and old enjoy the famous beauty of Balboa Park's lily pond.
Young and old enjoy the famous beauty of Balboa Park’s lily pond.
All sorts of people were out on the grass enjoying the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden at the San Diego Museum of Art.
All sorts of people were out on the grass enjoying the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden at the San Diego Museum of Art.
Visitors were touring the California Tower and gazing across Balboa Park.
Visitors were touring the iconic California Tower and gazing across Balboa Park, one of the most wonderful places in the world.
This group wanted to see fine art so they headed into the San Diego Museum of Art.
This group wanted to see fine art so they headed into the San Diego Museum of Art.
Some smiling street musicians were setting up on El Prado.
Some smiling street musicians were setting up on El Prado to entertain passersby.
The silly Lärabar Street Team danced for my blog, then I got some yummy samples to eat!
The silly Lärabar Street Team danced for my blog, then I got some yummy samples to eat!
Mentalist, hypnotist and super nice guy Ralph Hamrick greets me with his usual smile! I still haven't recovered from that weird mental trick he performed on me.
Mentalist, hypnotist and super nice guy Ralph Hamrick greets me with his usual smile! I still haven’t recovered from that weird mental trick he performed on me.
Street magician Kenny Shelton delights some young people with one of his amazing tricks.
Street magician Kenny Shelton delights some young people with one of his amazing tricks.
Lots of people were enjoying hula hoops on the grass!
Lots of people were enjoying hula hoops on the grass!
The San Diego Blood Bank was saving lives in front of the Museum of Man.
The San Diego Blood Bank was saving lives in front of the Museum of Man.
A quiet moment on Balboa Park's broad, green West Mesa.
A quiet moment on Balboa Park’s broad, green West Mesa.
This squirrel had no notion it was Labor Day. It was just another day in the park.
This squirrel didn’t know today was a holiday. It was just another day in the park.
Even street performers have to eat lunch, you know!
Even street performers have to eat lunch!

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!

Funny photographs from the past five years!

A humorous sign on the sidewalk. Head into this barber shop and come out a completely different person!
A humorous sign on the sidewalk. Head into this barber shop and come out a completely different person!

This morning I was riding the trolley to work when I had a silly idea.

To celebrate five years of Cool San Diego Sights, why not post some funny photos from a variety of old blog posts? Because I’m lazy, or perhaps because it adds to the element of random craziness, I haven’t changed the original captions.

Enjoy a bit of humor on a Monday!

A deer dressed in a polo shirt. Humorous street art in Golden Hill.
A deer dressed in a polo shirt. Humorous street art in Golden Hill.
This side of the fun Bart Club utility box has the funny cartoon character's face in need of a shave!
This side of the fun Bart Club utility box has the funny cartoon character’s face in need of a shave!
Funny Star Wars street art in San Diego. Jar Jar Binks says Meesa Lova Comic Con.
Funny Star Wars street art in San Diego. Jar Jar Binks says Meesa Lova Comic Con.
Smile! It's Friday!
Smile! It’s Friday!
Like the mythical Atlas holding up the Earth, an incredibly strong person single-handedly shoulders the moon.
Like the mythical Atlas holding up the Earth, an incredibly strong person single-handedly shoulders the moon.
Just a funny sign on the grass I thought I'd share.
Just a funny sign on the grass I thought I’d share.
Is that a digital Sheldon Cooper on the screen? No! It's a fun remote-control parade float created by the Balboa Park Online Collaborative.
Is that a digital Sheldon Cooper on the screen? No! It’s a funny remote-control parade “float” created by the Balboa Park Online Collaborative.
A well-dressed gorilla on a plate in a funny San Diego shop window. I also see some wind-up chattering teeth.
A well-dressed gorilla on a plate in a funny San Diego shop window. I also see some wind-up chattering teeth.
Jack in the Box's Crave Van smashed through a wall of comic books in the Interactive Zone! Too much fun!
Jack in the Box’s Crave Van smashed through a wall of comic books in the Interactive Zone! Too much fun!
This funny fellow was carrying the Morning Paper down Sixth Avenue.
This funny fellow was carrying the Morning Paper down Sixth Avenue.
Why is this silly guy acting like a jellyfish.
Why is this silly guy acting like a jellyfish.
A bench shaped like a mustache. A fun sight in front of a barber shop.
A bench shaped like a mustache. A fun sight in front of a barber shop.
And here's something scary! It's probably an old disgruntled lighthouse keeper in a yellow slicker cleverly disguised as a monster. Just my wild guess.
And here’s something scary! It’s probably an old disgruntled lighthouse keeper in a yellow slicker cleverly disguised as a monster. Just my wild guess.
Before the official start of the 2016 MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade, team mascots begin down the route through downtown San Diego.
Before the official start of the 2016 MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade, team mascots begin down the route through downtown San Diego.
A wonderfully bizarre downtown San Diego poster. Fear the power of Sushi Burrito. Finish off your evil hunger!
A wonderfully bizarre downtown San Diego poster. Fear the power of Sushi Burrito. Finish off your evil hunger!
Perhaps this chili was the winner. Looks tasty, if you don't mind that it's served from a toilet!
Perhaps this chili was the winner. Looks tasty, if you don’t mind that it’s served from a toilet!
A guy in a crazy cow costume gets a photograph of the cattle drive.
A guy in a crazy cow costume gets a photograph of the cattle drive.
Crazy people wearing shark heads were promoting Sharknado 2.
Crazy people wearing shark heads were promoting Sharknado 2.
A very funny utility box. This side shows a woman at the beach covering the eyes of a small boy.
A very funny utility box. This side shows a woman at the beach covering the eyes of a small boy.
A funny sign on the sidewalk near Cooper's Market and Cafe. Look Morty, they have carbs and caffeine!
A funny sign on the sidewalk near Cooper’s Market and Cafe. Look Morty, they have carbs and caffeine!
A funny inflatable in a shop window. The holidays are over! Time for The Scream!
A funny inflatable in a shop window. The holidays are over! Time for The Scream!

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!

A taste of the Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

A giant smiling lemon greets me at the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!
A giant smiling lemon greets me at the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival in Chula Vista!

I’ve never been to Chula Vista’s Lemon Festival before. So this year I thought I’d take the trolley down to the South Bay to experience this big annual event!

Not only is the Lemon Festival, which takes place along a stretch of Third Avenue, a whole lot of fun, but visitors have the opportunity to learn about the history of Chula Vista and how it once was a major center of the Southern California citrus industry.

With construction of the Sweetwater Dam completed in 1888, and the arrival of the railroad in the South Bay, Chula Vista became the perfect place to grow sun-loving lemons. At one point in the early 20th century there were nearly two thousand acres of lemon groves in the area. Chula Vista even called itself the Lemon Capital of the World.

Today lemon trees are chiefly found in backyards. After World War II, the large groves began to make way for houses. Some of the developers would leave one lemon tree in the backyard of new homes.

I did see loads of lemons during the 22nd Annual Lemon Festival: lemon art, lemon costumes, lemons in treats, lemonade . . . Lemon yellow everywhere!

See for yourself!

About 50,000 people would turn out for the yearly lemon-themed event.
About 50,000 people would turn out for the yearly lemon-themed event.
These ladies had all sorts of sweet lemon treats for sale.
These ladies had all sorts of sweet lemon treats for sale.
Some friendly people from the Restored Church posed so that a blogger could take a funny photo at their booth.
Some friendly people from the Restored Church posed so that a blogger could take a funny photo at their Lemon Festival booth.
Artists at the Lemon Festival had all sorts of colorful artwork for sale that contained bright yellow.
Artists at the Lemon Festival had all sorts of colorful artwork for sale that contained bright yellow.
This lady registering people to vote had a cool lemon slice umbrella hat and smile.
This lady registering people to vote had a cool lemon slice umbrella hat and smile.
More ice cold lemonade! Sounds good on a hot summer day in San Diego's South Bay.
More ice cold lemonade! Sounds good on a hot summer day in San Diego’s South Bay.
Even this funny pooch in a wagon was selling lemonade!
Even this funny pooch in a wagon was selling lemonade!
The Chula Vista Historical Society had a booth with books and fascinating information.
The Chula Vista Historical Society had a booth with books and fascinating information.
Their display showed Chula Vista's agricultural past. Many packing companies once exported lemons around the world.
Their display showed Chula Vista’s agricultural past. Many growers and packing companies once exported lemons around the world. Some of the beautiful old crate labels have become valuable collectibles.
The display explains different grades of lemons, including culls, which were blemished, and used to make juice, furniture polish, and other by-products.
The display explains different grades of lemons, including culls, which were blemished, and used to make juice, furniture polish, and other lemon by-products.
The festival had just started and these ladies with the Third Avenue Village Association, that puts on the popular event, were putting the finishing touches on their booth.
The festival had just started and these ladies with the Third Avenue Village Association, that puts on the popular event, were almost done decorating their booth.
Another booth at the Lemon Festival had lots of old historical photographs.
Another booth at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival featured lots of interesting historical photographs.
Someone points to a photo of workers in a lemon grove at the Higgins Ranch in Keen Valley, 1901.
Someone points to a photo of workers in a lemon grove at the Higgins Ranch in Keen Valley, 1901.
Aerial photo of the Boltz lemon ranch in the mid 1920's.
Aerial photo of the Boltz lemon ranch in the mid 1920’s.
Typical Chula Vista lemon packing plant, circa 1920's.
Typical Chula Vista lemon packing plant, circa 1920’s.
Old photos of Chula Vista streetcar and train at Third Avenue.
Old photos of Chula Vista streetcar and train at Third Avenue.
Bonita lemon pickers, 1913.
Bonita lemon pickers, 1913.
Meanwhile, people spin a lemon-themed prize wheel at the festival.
Meanwhile, people spin a lemon-themed prize wheel at the festival.
At the Lemonade Bandstand, entertainment included live music, a largest lemon and lemon peel contest, a lemon costume contest, and lemon pie eating contest.
At the Lemonade Bandstand, entertainment included live music, a largest lemon and lemon peel contest, a lemon costume contest, and lemon pie eating contest.
People watch the Lemon Squeezers play rock and roll music with a twist!
People watch the Lemon Squeezers play rock and roll music with a twist!
Cool local band, the Lemon Squeezers, at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival.
Cool local band, the Lemon Squeezers, at the Chula Vista Lemon Festival.
That great music has people dancing!
That great music has people smiling and dancing!
Batman and Wonder Woman dropped on by and posed for a photo by the Lemon Bar sign.
Batman and Wonder Woman dropped on by and posed for a photo by the Lemon Bar sign.
All that fun made me thirsty for some lemonade!
All that fun has made me thirsty for some lemonade!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

A smile and music brightens a San Diego day!

Gary Reid performs bluesy songs on San Diego's Embarcadero. He always greets me with a big smile when I pass by.
Gary Reid performs bluesy songs on San Diego’s Embarcadero. He always greets me with a big smile when I pass by.

Meet a guy who always makes me smile. His name is Gary Reid. I often pass him performing bluesy songs with his guitar as I walk along the Embarcadero near the USS Midway.

I didn’t realize until today that he has a CD, YouTube videos and other great stuff available online. He tells me he is available for gigs–just contact him by visiting his website here. His Facebook page is here.

His heart can be heard in his music. Give it a listen.

Gary Reid is a fine guitarist, singer and songwriter. Check out his website for some samples!
Gary Reid is a fine guitarist, singer and songwriter. Check out his website for some samples!
Gary Reid spreads gratitude and a love of life through music!
Gary Reid spreads gratitude and a love of life with his music!

Smiles and good vibes at Festival of Yoga!

Hundreds turn out for the Festival of Yoga in Waterfront Park by the County Administration Building.
Hundreds turn out for the Festival of Yoga in Waterfront Park by the County Administration Building.

I saw on the television news this morning that Pilgrimage of the Heart was hosting a free Festival of Yoga at Waterfront Park.

I happen to know a few of the people who work at Pilgrimage of the Heart. They are all super friendly, always smiling. Sending out good vibes.

Naturally, I had to begin my walk along the Embarcadero today at Waterfront Park, to see the big yoga festival.

Today is the United Nations International Day of Yoga. Look at all the people!

Pilgrimage of the Heart is the place to go if you want to learn or practice yoga in San Diego!
Pilgrimage of the Heart is the place to go if you want to learn or practice yoga in San Diego!
Lots of booths were around the central grassy area. Colorful yoga mats were everywhere.
Lots of booths were around the central grassy area. Colorful yoga mats were everywhere.
An energetic instructor poses on a platform, helping to lead the many yogis.
An energetic instructor poses on a platform, helping to lead the many yogis.
Sujantra is always smiling and super positive.
Sujantra is always smiling and super positive.
I prefer walking to yoga, but it sure looks like fun!
I prefer walking to stuff like yoga, but I confess it does look like fun!
Speaking of fun, I took this photo of the Festival of Yoga from the deck of the historic ship Star of India!
Speaking of fun, I took this photo of the Festival of Yoga from the deck of the historic ship Star of India!
Arms stretching skyward. Spirits in flight.
Arms stretching skyward. Spirits in flight.

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!

Sunlight, smiles, and colorful Urban Trees.

Cool public art is now located at Ruocco Park, right next to Tuna Harbor on San Diego Bay.
Colorful public art is now located at Ruocco Park, right next to Tuna Harbor on San Diego Bay.

During my early evening walk along the Embarcadero today I noticed that four Urban Trees sculptures owned by the Port of San Diego have recently been moved from the front of the Cruise Ship Terminal to Ruocco Park.

I was taking photos of the play of sunlight on boats and buildings, and snapped a few pics of these public sculptures as I walked past them. At the time it didn’t occur to me that I’d devote tonight’s blog post to these images. But I like how they turned out!

Perhaps you recognize these sculptures. I’ve shown them two or three times over the years on Cool San Diego Sights. The Port of San Diego acquired a number of these Urban Trees sculptures for their public art collection, and they are moved about every so often. Urban Trees was a series of public art exhibitions along the Embarcadero years ago, before I began to blog.

Smiley face on a pedicab heads toward four Urban Trees. The Port of San Diego public sculptures were recently moved from the Cruise Ship Terminal to Ruocco Park.
Smiley face on a pedicab heads toward four Urban Trees just before sunset. These unique Port of San Diego public sculptures were recently moved from the Cruise Ship Terminal to Ruocco Park.
Orange Tree, by artists Guy and Ellen Mayenobe, 2007. Originally exhibited on the Embarcadero during Urban Trees 4.
Orange Tree, by artists Guy and Ellen Mayenobe, 2007. Originally exhibited on the Embarcadero during Urban Trees 4.
Closer photo of late sunlight on A Different But Loving Pair, by artist Cecilia Stanford, 2005. Originally exhibited during Urban Trees 2.
Photo of late sunlight reflecting from section of A Different But Loving Pair, by artist Cecilia Stanford, 2005. Originally exhibited during Urban Trees 2.

For a more complete look at A Different But Loving Pair, click here.

A dog plays with someone near the base of Fish Tree, by artists Zbigniew Pingot and Toby Flores, from the Urban Trees 2 waterfront exhibition years ago.
A dog plays with someone near the base of Fish Tree, by artists Zbigniew Pingot and Toby Flores, from the Urban Trees 2 waterfront exhibition years ago.

You can see all of Fish Tree by clicking here.

Like crystals shining in the sun. The top of Tap Root and Growth, by artist Christopher Lee, originally exhibited during Urban Trees 3.
Like crystals shining in the sun. Looking up at Tap Root and Growth, by artist Christopher Lee, originally exhibited during Urban Trees 3.

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!