Thursday, January 9, 2014

Balboa Park

The past week has been a busy one for us, and because of that I have not gotten back to my blog.  After our son Dan and his wife left last Wednesday, to return home, John and I started packing for a flight back to Missouri.  Our most beloved brother-in-law Jim Schifferdecker had passed suddenly on December 30th, which necessitated our trip to the Midwest.  After the funeral on January 4 we had plans to return home on the fifth.  However, the polar vortex changed those plans and we were stuck in St.Louis for three days waiting out the storm and for planes to start flying again.  We have not been happy with how cold it gets here at night, now we have a different idea about what feels cold.  In St. Louis the past few days we experienced single digit and minus degree temperatures.  That is cold!  Needless to say, we are happy to be home.
Our last day of sightseeing with Dan and Amanda was spent a San Diego's Balboa Park.  Before entering the Botanical Buiding we happened upon this very large fig tree.  These trees have become a common sight for John and I here in California, but Dan and Amanda were rather amazed at the tree's size.  The Botanical Building was a beautiful place to visit.  Built in 1915, it contains over 2,100 permanent tropical plants, along with the current floral display of poinsettias.  The park also has 15 beautiful gardens, some of which we visited after our tour of the Botanical Building.  Thank goodness that the polar vortex did not exend into southern California!  Many beautiful gardens would have been affected.
Most of our day in Balboa Park was spent at the Museum of Man.  We certainly had many museums to choose from, like about 15 of them.  Currently at the Museum of Man is a special exhibit on the Maya civilization.  In the exhibit are replicas of some of their large monuments, upon which are written glyphs of the ancient Maya culture that flourished for thousands of years.  A smaller exhibit, which we also enjoyed, was on beer and what ties it to agriculture, cities, writing and religion.  On display was the solid gold cup of an Inca king. 
Pictured above is a street of the Spainish Village Art Center, located in Balboa Park.  It is perhaps a place we should have visited before the holidays to look for Christmas gifts!  In this village are more than 200 artists in working studios showing fine art and craft.  It was fascinating watching some of the artists at work, like one gentleman making mosaic pictures from paint sample scraps of papers.  The Sculpture Guild of San Diego also had a large display in the village of the work of local artists.  From the park we drove to Old Town San Diego for supper.  That was Dan and Amanda's last day in California, and I must say that we covered a lot of territory with them over the week they were here.

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