Searching for warmth by the water on a chilly day.

A chilly wind. And an umbrella--just in case.
A chilly wind. And an umbrella–just in case.

This afternoon I went on a long, chilly walk along San Diego Bay. The sky was mostly gray. I regretted not wearing a light jacket. But I pressed on.

You never know when the sun might burst through.

The winter ice rink is being set up in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Anticipating holiday cheer.
The winter ice rink is being set up in front of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Anticipating warm holiday cheer.
Few people are out walking under the gray clouds. But two can always hold hands.
Few people are out walking under the gray clouds. But two can always hold hands.
Pigeons swoop in endless searching circles, before settling somewhere far away.
Pigeons swoop in long searching circles, before settling somewhere far away.
The sun is up there. Somewhere.
The sun is up there. Somewhere.
This person moving forward refuses to retreat.
This person moving forward refuses to retreat.
Time takes a toll. The Marriott Marina is slowly being refurbished. Moving forward, looking ahead.
Time takes a toll. The Marriott Marina is slowly being refurbished. Pushing forward, looking ahead.
A worker defies gravity near the Marriott Marquis.
A worker defies gravity near the Marriott Marquis.
Surfing Santa is awaiting the perfect wave. It should arrive soon.
Surfing Santa is awaiting a perfect wave–it should arrive in Seaport Village before too long.
Who is that lifting his hat! It's Mitchell, the cool didgeridoo guy! I was reminded by Mitchell that Earth's sun is a G-type main-sequence star. Nuclear fusion is pretty warm!
Who is that lifting his hat? It’s Mitchell, the cool didgeridoo guy! I was reminded by Mitchell that Earth’s sun is a G-type main-sequence star. I had forgotten. Nuclear fusion is pretty warm!
A smile like a ray of sunshine.
A smile like a ray of sunshine.

(And here I must make an apology.

While I sat on a rail speaking to Mitchell about life, the cosmos, and whatever, two smiling ladies came on by pushing a cart full of Noosa yogurt samples. Mitchell earned his sample by summoning deep magic with his didgeridoo. For my sample, I promised to post a photo of the smiling ladies on my blog–right here–where there is no photo.

Sorry. My camera beeped as if a photo were taken. But alas. My battery went dead and it turns out I don’t have that smiling photo.

I will say, however, that my Noosa yogurt was super creamy, yummy, and scrumdiddlyumptious. I really liked the bits of chocolate. I’m a sucker for chocolate.

There. Now will you forgive me?

Thank you ladies for helping to lift my spirits–it fits this theme perfectly!)

A distant kiteboarder, harnessing the chilly wind, rises above San Diego Bay.
A distant kiteboarder, harnessing the wind, rises above San Diego Bay.
Who cares about the weather? One can always make bubbles.
Who cares about the weather? One can always make bubbles.
Even during a gloomy spell, life can be very good!
Even during a gloomy spell, life can be very good! Just smile!

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!

Rain creates magic in a very special garden.

Raindrops on leaves at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.
Raindrops on leaves at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park.

During today’s spring rain, the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park shined with magic. Every leaf was enchanted. Every part of the garden was blessed with a profound and mysterious beauty.

Rain nourishes life: every life.

A spring storm creates unexpected beauty.
A spring storm creates unexpected natural beauty.
Wet, bright green leaves.
Wet, very bright green leaves.
Budding spheres of red magic open mysteriously.
Budding spheres of red.  Like magic they open mysteriously.
Water in the grooves of a beautifully marbled stone by the garden path.
Water in the grooves of a beautifully marbled stone by the garden path.
Droplets on a fern, like a curtain of beaded diamonds.
Droplets shining on a fern, like a curtain of beaded diamonds.
Sunlight through magical layers of green.
Sunlight through dreamy, magical layers of green.
More simple beauty at the always wonderful Japanese Friendship Garden.
Simple beauty at the always wonderful Japanese Friendship Garden.
Fragile blooms encrusted with crystal-like rain.
Fragile blooms encrusted with crystal-like rain.
Smooth forms of beaded water on a sloping leaf.
Smooth forms of beaded water on a sloping leaf.
One photograph of beauty in a special garden, on a rainy day in San Diego.
Another photograph of beauty in a special garden, on a rainy May day in San Diego.

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!

Dreamlike visions on a wet, drizzly morning.

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It was drizzling very lightly this morning when I stepped out my door. I walked from Cortez Hill down to Broadway, then over to Santa Fe Depot. My camera was under my umbrella.

The light was dim and uncertain, causing many photographs to come out unfocused. A few strange photographs seem to contain mysterious phantoms from some half-remembered dream.  Haunting visions on a wet, drizzly morning.

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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!

San Diego buildings, shining in a sunlit fog.

Early morning sunlight reflects from a building's windows in Mission Valley, casting heavenly beams of light through lifting fog.
Early morning sunlight reflects from a building’s shining windows in Mission Valley, casting heavenly beams of light through a slight fog.

It was very foggy this morning in downtown San Diego. I had my camera out as I walked from the top of Cortez Hill to the Civic Center trolley station. By the time I reached Mission Valley, the fog had mostly dissipated. I was very fortunate to capture that almost heavenly first photo!  Those slanting beams are exactly as they appeared to the eye!

A bird flies past Cortez Blu, which rises into a foggy downtown San Diego sky.
A bird flies past Cortez Blu, which rises into a foggy downtown San Diego sky.
Vantage Pointe in downtown San Diego rises into a fog illuminated by the rising sun.
Vantage Pointe in downtown San Diego rises into a fog illuminated by the rising sun.
Fog and sunlight create a magical morning photo of skyscrapers on B Street in the heart of San Diego.
Fog and sunlight create a magical morning photo of skyscrapers on B Street in the heart of San Diego.
Beautiful light on tall ghostly buildings.
Beautiful light on tall ghostly buildings.

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!

Balboa Park, beautiful after the rain.

Girls in ponchos take photos with Will the bronze-gold Bard near the Balboa Park reflecting pool after the rain.
After the rain, girls in plastic ponchos take photos with Will the friendly Bard near the Balboa Park reflecting pool.

A major storm hit San Diego yesterday, causing flooding and uprooting trees.

I went for a walk through Balboa Park this morning. As I started across the Cabrillo Bridge, my hat protected my face from a few lingering very light showers. But they didn’t last long. My camera was out.

Rain has painted the arching west entrance to Balboa Park.
Rain has painted the arching west entrance to Balboa Park.
Leaves, puddles and a few early visitors entering Balboa Park after the latest San Diego storm.
Leaves, puddles, and a few early visitors entering Balboa Park after the latest San Diego storm.
Leaves blown by a very windy storm on a wet tile bench in the Alcazar Garden.
Leaves blown by a very windy storm on a wet tile bench in the Alcazar Garden.
The aftermath.
The aftermath.
The Plaza de Panama might be wet, but people find tranquility and many wonders in the park.
The Plaza de Panama might be wet, but people find tranquility and many wonders in the park.
Dripping branches and leaves seem to overhang The Watchers. This outdoor sculpture is by artist Lynn Chadwick.
Dripping branches and leaves seem to overhang The Watchers. This outdoor sculpture is by artist Lynn Chadwick.
Rainwater has collected in this beautiful flower.
Rainwater has collected in this beautiful flower.
Walkways glisten and the air is clean and cool.
Walkways glisten and the air is clean and cool.
The colors of the tiles in Spanish Village's patio are made bold and cheerful with the lingering moisture.
The colors of the tiles in Spanish Village’s patio are made bold and cheerful with the lingering moisture.
A magical passageway.
A magical passageway.
Magical life. A squirrel on the damp green grass feasts.
Magical life. A squirrel on the damp green grass feasts.
Walking toward the Casa del Prado, between the huge Moreton Bay Fig and the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Walking toward the Casa del Prado, between the huge Moreton Bay Fig and the San Diego Natural History Museum.  Everything is so green.
A photographer gets his subjects to pose. Hopefully nobody slips!
A photographer gets his subjects to pose. Hopefully nobody slips!
An iconic sculpture in the rain-wet courtyard of the House of Hospitality. Aztec Woman of Tehuantepec by Donal Hord, 1935.
An iconic sculpture in the rain-wet courtyard of the House of Hospitality. Aztec Woman of Tehuantepec by famed San Diego artist Donal Hord, 1935.
Beads of water on bright jewel-like flowers.
Beads of water on bright jewel-like flowers.
Cleaning up after the muddy, messy storm with a smile.
Cleaning up after the muddy, messy storm with a smile.
Gazing down at the Japanese Friendship Garden's canyon from an overlook by the koi pond.
Gazing down at the Japanese Friendship Garden’s canyon from an overlook by the koi pond.
The strong storm yesterday knocked over a towering eucalyptus tree at the Japanese Friendship Garden canyon's edge. Guys with chainsaws cut it up.
The strong storm yesterday knocked over a towering eucalyptus tree at the Japanese Friendship Garden canyon’s edge. Guys with chainsaws cut it up.
That long puddle almost looks impassable!
That long puddle almost looks impassable!
Rain or not, it seems an umbrella and cell phone simply can't be put aside.
Rain or not, it seems an umbrella and cell phone simply can’t be put aside.
Patches of dampness add character to the side of the Balboa Park Club.
Patches of dampness add even more character to the side of the Balboa Park Club.
A seldom used path to the old cactus garden is lined with bright rain-loving moss.
A seldom used path to the old cactus garden is lined with bright rain-loving moss.
Just a beautiful photo.
Just a beautiful photo.
The picnic benches behind the Balboa Park Club are empty as usual. Grass has turned bright green in collected pools of water.
The picnic benches behind the Balboa Park Club are empty as usual. Grass has turned bright green in collected pools of water.
The clouds are clearing. I hear a cry above. Paired Red-tailed Hawks whirl and dance in the sky together above Balboa Park.
The clouds are clearing. I hear a cry above. Paired Red-tailed Hawks whirl and dance in the sky together above Balboa Park.
This is Engineer Joe. He was blowing a train whistle to attract an audience. He is performing at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre! The super nice guy told me that this puppet theater has been in continuous operation since 1948! He also said Marie Hitchcock created the puppets used by the San Diego Zoo to feed California Condor chicks, saving the species from extinction!
This is Engineer Joe. He was blowing a train whistle outside to attract an audience! He is presently performing at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre.

Engineer Joe is a super nice guy. He told me that the Balboa Park puppet theater has been in continuous operation since 1948.  That’s a long time for a puppet theater! He also said Marie Hitchcock created the hand puppets used by the San Diego Zoo to feed endangered California Condor chicks in the early 1980s, saving the species from extinction!

The sun is out after the storm. A Balboa Park ranger opens the colorful table umbrellas in the Plaza de Panama.
The sun is out after the storm. A Balboa Park ranger opens the colorful table umbrellas in the Plaza de Panama.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around taking photographs!  Just for fun! 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 very strange San Diego sight!

A strange liquid falls from the sky in San Diego. What is it?
A strange liquid falls from the sky in San Diego. What is it?

Umbrellas! In San Diego! My eyes must be deceiving me!

Who said it never rains in Southern California? Whoever that was, they must not have been downtown this morning!

It's only water. Perhaps we can cope. Most of these smart convention center visitors brought umbrellas!
It’s only water. Perhaps those of us who live in sunny San Diego can cope. Most of these smart convention center visitors brought umbrellas!
Honest-to-goodness rain has returned this winter, hopefully putting an end to our ongoing drought.
Honest-to-goodness rain has returned this winter, hopefully putting an end to our ongoing drought.
Umbrellas have sprouted like colorful flowers in the rain!
Umbrellas have sprouted like colorful flowers in the rain!

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!

America comes home to San Diego.

Tall ship America, owned by Next Level Sailing, turns about in San Diego Bay as it comes in to dock at the Maritime Museum.
Tall ship America, owned by Next Level Sailing, turns about in San Diego Bay as it comes in to dock at the Maritime Museum.

Earlier this month, on December 11, America came home to San Diego, after a long and very eventful journey representing The America’s Cup. Its epic America’s Cup Tour included many stops, from the Gulf of Mexico up the East Coast and then south again to the Caribbean. During the tour it hosted throngs of visitors and was welcomed by some of our nation’s finest yacht clubs.

But there was also one very dangerous adventure! In October the ship had to take shelter from Hurricane Matthew by heading up the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville, where it docked in a less windy spot behind the large Hyatt building. America survived with little damage!

The beautiful ship is a replica of the schooner America that beat 15 top British racing yachts in a 53 nautical mile regatta around the Isle of Wight in 1851. The Royal Yacht Squadron’s 100 Guinea Cup, won easily by the New York Yacht Club, became a challenge trophy known as the America’s Cup. Today it is the oldest international sporting trophy in existence.  (San Diego’s own legendary yachtsman Dennis Conner won the America’s Cup four times.)

The replica America that makes San Diego its home is owned by Next Level Sailing, and it is glorious to behold when under sail. Now that the America’s Cup Tour is safely over, it is once again available for charters and whale watching adventures out on the blue Pacific.

This afternoon I happened to catch America out on San Diego Bay, heading in to the Maritime Museum, where it docks. I got a few photos before I hurried back home to take shelter from tonight’s storm! Not a hurricane, thank goodness!

America passes the Maritime Museum of San Diego's Soviet Foxtrot B-39 submarine. It's a cloudy New Year's Eve afternoon, with a storm on the way.
America passes the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s Soviet Foxtrot B-39 submarine. It’s a cloudy New Year’s Eve afternoon, with a storm on the way.
America carefully approaches the dock behind the steam ferry Berkeley.
America carefully approaches the dock behind the steam ferry Berkeley.
Time to tie her up to the dock.
Time to tie her up to the dock.
A member of America's crew leaps through the air to secure the beautiful ship, a replica of the racing schooner that ushered in The America's Cup.
A member of America’s crew leaps through the air to secure the beautiful ship, a replica of the victorious racing schooner that ushered in the America’s Cup.
Welcome home, America!
Welcome home, America!

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!