Ice skating, painting and sunshine at Liberty Station.

Yesterday, after riding the Mid-Coast Trolley extension on its opening day, I headed over to Liberty Station in Point Loma. I walked around in the sunshine.

I saw people ice skating at the Rady Children’s Ice Rink near a Christmas tree, and people learning how to paint, and people sitting by the grass or just walking along like myself.

It was another beautiful Sunday 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!

Halloween costume fun on a San Diego walk!

It’s Halloween! Look at all these great Halloween costumes! I saw them today during a short walk near downtown San Diego.

Yes, almost all of these photographs were taken in Balboa Park. I spent several hours there, just meandering about, enjoying an orchid show, meeting friends, stepping into a museum, listening to street musicians and an amazing organ concert. In other words, simply enjoying the sights and sounds of San Diego’s most wonderful park.

The last photo with the two guys in costume was taken as I walked through Bankers Hill. If you recognize the street, you win a pretend candy corn. (Sorry, I already ate all the good stuff.)

Trick or treat!

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!

World-famous author investigates mystery in San Diego!

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, legendary author and creator of Sherlock Holmes, is in San Diego this Halloween weekend attempting to solve an ages old mystery.

Today I saw him at the Maritime Museum of San Diego examining clues concerning the mysterious disappearance of the ship Mary Celeste. Nobody knows what happened to the Mary Celeste back in 1872, when it was discovered adrift in the Atlantic Ocean off the Azores Islands without a soul aboard. And with nothing touched. Not even its cargo of alcohol in barrels.

Did evaporated alcohol create a flash explosion that left no discernable trace, but caused the captain and crew to desert ship? Did their lifeboat somehow end up lost at sea?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was examining charts and considering a strange variety of clues as I and some other Maritime Museum visitors looked on with bewilderment. I suggested a kidnapping by denizens of Atlantis. No better explanation seems to exist.

The celebrated author and novelist affirmed that he will be at the Maritime Museum of San Diego tomorrow–Halloween Sunday. Perhaps you can help him solve this intractable mystery!

Learn how the actual Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is connected with this mystery here!

Kids who are 12 and under are invited to write down their own theories. Winner of this contest gets four free tickets to an adventure aboard the historic tall ship Californian!

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!

Festive fun at House of Czech and Slovak Republics!

Accordion music, costumes, dance and tasty treats can be enjoyed by visitors to Balboa Park this weekend at the International Cottages. The House of Czech and Slovak Republics is presenting their festive lawn program!

I swung by to enjoy a bit of culture and ended up gobbling some yummy strudel. I also got a few colorful photos!

I stepped into the House of Czech and Slovak Republics cottage and discovered a beautiful painting on one wall of Prague. And artwork depicting folk costume and dance!

Then a smile and book titled FAVORITE RECIPES Czech & Slovak Cottage was promptly followed by sweet temptation!

The lawn program will be held tomorrow, Sunday, as well! The public is invited!

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!

Food, fun and smiles at La Mesa Oktoberfest!

Today’s the final day of 2021 La Mesa Oktoberfest. I rode the trolley to the Village of La Mesa as the free street festival opened and quickly found lots of food, smiles and fun!

The Bratwurst was delectable. The garlic fries were yummy. The German oompah music was infectious. Vendors had all sorts of artsy and inventive wares. The Weiner Dog Races were hilarious. (So much fun, in fact, that a separate blog post concerning the races is coming up!) The three beer gardens and big Ferris wheel were attracting huge crowds. There was fun stuff to do and see in every direction.

My favorite part of Oktoberfest, however, is the smiles.

Of course I’m going to promote a fellow writer. Particularly one who has written an inspirational book full of daily positive messages that are like poetry, and who opened the pages to share words with me concerning October 3. John L. Wagner is the author of Daily Ripples and you can find his book 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!

Inter-Tribal dancing at 2021 Balboa Park Pow Wow.

When I arrived at the 2021 Balboa Park Pow Wow this afternoon, the Inter-Tribal Dancing was just beginning.

According to the event’s flyer, the Balboa Park Pow Wow, a project of the San Diego American Indian Health Center, is about dancing for healing and honoring heritage. It’s taking place this weekend (both Saturday and Sunday) at the corner of Park Boulevard and Presidents Way.

I missed the earlier Aztec Dancers and Bird Singing, but I did experience what you’ll see in the following photographs.

The rhythmic beat of the drums was like a steady heartbeat. As I watched the different dancers, young and old, I saw eyes filled with dedication and pride. And I saw smiles like sunshine, too.

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!

An educational nature hike at Chollas Lake Park.

A wide variety of community programs are offered at Chollas Lake Park in San Diego’s Oak Park neighborhood. There are ranger-led wildlife “Meet the Neighbors” hikes around the small lake, Kumeyaay ethnobotany walks, youth fishing, fitness classes, crafts, an oral history project, archery and even a book club with its own scenic hangout!

Yesterday I went on a nature hike where I and a good number of visitors circled the shallow artificial lake while ranger Cary Goldstein identified and talked about the many birds and other animals we saw, some of which are feral.

The walk was level, about a mile long, easy, and very educational. We saw Chinese and African geese and learned how to tell them apart. We saw a turkey vulture circling high above the treetops. We saw blooming marsh fleabane at the water’s edge and California bulrushes where birds nest. We saw turtles swimming underwater and sunning on rocks. We saw mallards and coots and banded pigeons and Canada geese and curious California ground squirrels and a strange-looking Muscovy duck.

We learned so much I couldn’t begin to relate it all. Some very young walkers had hands raised and asked lots of good questions.

I was fascinated to learn Chollas Lake was created in 1901 as a source for drinking water when San Diego was rather small. Later it was used to cool United States Navy radio equipment back when the three largest structures in the city, at 600 feet tall, stood atop a hill above the lake. Those radio transmitter antennas were the first to receive a signal from Hawaii that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. (A blog concerning this will be coming up later.)

Today Chollas Lake Park is a place where nature thrives. It is also a place where people can recreate, relax and learn about this beautiful and interesting world we call home.

Visit the Chollas Lake Park website 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!

Another wonderful walk in Balboa Park!

Several walks today. Many photographs taken.

I started in Balboa Park!

And, you know what? Balboa Park on a Saturday morning in late September was just as wonderful as ever…

Friendly painters interpret beauty at the Lily Pond.
Brushstrokes reveal wonder.
This cool guy was playing music for the painters!
Ladies in old-fashioned garb ready a canopy by the Botanical Building.
Garden Stewards do some gardening (and smiling) in the Casa del Prado courtyard!
The Casa del Prado revitalization not only includes garden beds redone with the help of the San Diego Floral Association, but painting the building with historic color and new lighting.
Mitchell, Balboa Park’s cool didgeridoo dude, was hanging out on El Prado. He was wearing Jupiter today! He told me he’s going to be picking up his awesome new sculpted Draco (dragon) didgeridoo soon. He said he’ll send me pics of it which I hope to share!
Peeking into the House of Hospitality courtyard.
The fellow with the enormous camera is a freelance photographer. He saw a big spider building a long web between a Palm Canyon tree and the nearby restrooms. We marveled at how a mere spider could accomplish such a feat.
A bunch of walkers were streaming down El Prado. I believe they were raising funds for the Family Health Centers of San Diego.
I had to circle back to the Casa del Prado because the San Diego Bonsai Club’s exhibition opened at 10 am.
Another wonderful day walking in Balboa Park.

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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Bayfair racing action viewed from a bridge!

One of the best places to watch super high speed boats racing in Mission Bay during San Diego Bayfair is from a bridge!

The Ingraham Street bridge on the south side of Vacation Isle provides a view of the race “docks” located south of Ski Beach, the tower near the Bill Muncey Memorial, and the entire oval race course. The farthest end of the course is in the distance, but the height provides a great panorama of all the action! And it’s free!

Today during a walk around Mission Bay I paused for a good hour on the Ingraham Street bridge to watch several classes of boats compete, including the H1 Unlimited hydroplanes, which are the fastest racing boats in the world. Mission Bay, which was originally designed for thunderboat racing, is said to be the fastest such course in the world.

As the super fast boats turned corners, huge plumes of white spray would rise up behind them!

I and a small crowd of pedestrians and bicyclists who were watching from on high gave a conciliatory shout out to one racer below who had to be towed in to the docks when his engine conked out. He must’ve heard us, because with good humor he threw up an arm in acknowledgement.

It was fascinating to see how boats would be placed into the docks with three large cranes, then removed from the water and hosed off at the end of each race. During the racing, other boats would be prepared, testing their engines. Everywhere I looked there was interesting activity.

I guess next year I’ll have to get a ticket and check out the action up close!

Here are my photos from various spots on the bridge…

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!

The extraordinary TwainFest at Heritage Park!

TwainFest returned to San Diego today. And it was just as wonderful as ever!

This year the festival of mostly Victorian-era literature was held in Heritage Park, a short distance from Old Town. Families turned out to enjoy games, readings, reenactments of scenes from beloved books, puppet shows, costumed literary characters…you get the picture!

TwainFest is presented by Write Out Loud, whose mission is to inspire, challenge and entertain by reading literature aloud to audiences of all ages.

Write Out Loud offers educational programs, including performances for high school students, and they present the annual San Diego ​Student ​Shakespeare Festival in Balboa Park! Visit this website to learn more!

As I walked around Heritage Park enjoying the festival, I watched Tom Sawyer induce visitors to whitewash a fence, laughed at the craziness of a delightfully manic Mad Hatter Tea Party, lifted my eyes to giant roving Twain, Poe and Shakespeare puppets, and saw characters from Treasure Island and even some steampunk cosplay! There was action in every direction!

I finally joined other visitors to listen to The Extraordinary Mark Twain. Two actors–an older gentleman and youthful girl–painted a picture of the great American humorist and author. They employed the biography written by Twain’s daughter Susy. Her observations were published in 1988 and titled Papa: An Intimate Biography of Mark Twain.

We learned that Mark Twain had a Roman nose and kind blue eyes. And that he used strong words and had a temper. And that he was frequently absent-minded.

He was funny and philosophical and always very earnest.

And, of course, he loved a good joke.

My photos provide a small taste of today’s fun!

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!