Tuesday, December 5, 2017
We met our new friends, Dave and Kathy, at Balboa Park this morning. It was a perfect day for wandering around this beautiful city park, which sits on 1,200 acres, and includes 15 museums, 17 gardens, several theaters and the San Diego Zoo.
The site was first placed in reserve by the Mexican Government in 1835. After Mexico ceded San Diego to the United States, the city put the land into a permanent reserve. Park development occurred in the early 1900’s in conjunction with the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition, set to coincide with the opening of the Panama Canal. Much of what we see today was built for the Expo. The park also hosted the 1935-36 California Pacific International Exposition. Balboa Park was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
It was a perfect day for examining the park, but there certainly wasn’t enough time to see everything that it offers. We did visit the Botanical Building, which had many poinsettias in addition to the regular flora.
We walked by the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, which houses the world’s largest pipe organ in an outdoor venue. John D Spreckels (Spreckels Sugar Company) donated money to purchase the organ and build the pavilion for the 1915 Expo. We were not able to see the organ as it is only open during concerts. Free concerts are held every Sunday afternoon.
Currently, there are eight Christmas story tableaux set up in the pavilion, telling Christ’s story from the Annunciation to Resurrection.
Mark visited the Air & Space Museum, while I spent my time more productively – checking out the museum shops.
We can watch the sunset from the balcony of our condo. They have been beautiful – made so by the wildfires north of us. Beauty and destruction go hand in hand, unfortunately.