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May 28, 2018

Balboa Park - 38th Annual HPR Food Fair

Hidden west of the Spreckles Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park are the cottages of the 1935 International Exposition.  Originally 21 nations participated, however new cottages have been added over the years, as more nations and ethnic groups have added to their presence to the Hall of Nations.

Every weekend a different nation will host an open house and provide ethnic music, dancing and food on the central lawn.  The House of Pacific Relations, which represents 34 cultures from the various nations, presented the 38th Annual Ethnic Food Fair including music and entertainment, along with offerings of traditional cuisine.

As with most events in San Diego, especially Balboa Park on a holiday weekend, expect to have a hard time finding a place to park and lots of company.  Our scooter, or bicycles really help with the parking, but there is no avoiding sharing the day with the tourists.
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All of the cottages are open with most offering a traditional dish.
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Most are offering a pastry.  The House of Denmark offered a waffle, but not the Danish Waffle we all liked in Solvang. At least they had Ableskivers!
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The Philippine House did not have lumpia!, just turon – a lumpia skin filled with banana and covered in powdered sugar – nope.  By far the longest food line was at House of Peru, they had tamales!
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Not speaking Galic, I’ll have to assume the Irish Cottage is wishing us to ‘have nice day’.
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The House of Poland had a short line, serving a Polish sausage and potato dumpling.
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Korea had both the traditional kimchi and a bar-b-que bowl.  The dumpling in the first picture is filled with spiced pork from the House of China.
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Entertainment, mostly dance, was fairly continuous on the stage.  These gals are representing the House of Columbia.
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The House of Palestine performed their traditional dances.
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India was preparing to take the stage as we were leaving.
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This weekend is also our 35th wedding anniversary.  After leaving Balboa Park we headed down to Mission Bay for a sunset cruise on the Bahia Belle.  The Belle cruises between the Bahia and Catamaran hotels on Mission Bay.  Fran can be a cheap date, it’s not often you can cruise and dance the night away for $10.
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The Bahia is across the street from Belmont Park. After we depart the Bahia Paradise Point Resort is seen hosting a wedding reception and its Barefoot Bar is hopping!  It’s much nicer on the boat ...
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Looking toward Fiesta Island we can almost make out our house on the hill in Baypark. 
The area on this side of Ingraham is a no-wake zone (till 5PM on Sail Bay) allowing the adventurous SUP to cross.
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Fran’s sister and her husband hopped the Belle at the Catamaran.  I did mention this was our anniversary, Susan provided the appropriate recognition with flowers for us to wear.
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The Belle departed again at sunset to head back to the Bahia.  Its big brother the William D. Evans is in the channel ahead of us, so we take another loop around the cove.
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The lights of the Sea World tower, with their purple, teal and blue lights appear to be a volcano. 
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The DJ starts on board at 8PM and by 9:30 the Belle becomes a floating night club, carrying the party between the Bahia in Mission Beach and the Catamaran in Pacific Beach.  The drinks range from $5 – $8, which isn’t awful for a floating nightclub, but the pour is a bit shallow.
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Today is Memorial Day in the US, a day of remembrance for those who have paid the sacrifice to defend our country.  As a veteran, I thank all who have served and are serving.  My special gratitude to those disabled veterans, the fallen and their families.

It is also important to remember why we served.  The smiles on the kids in Balboa Park as they dance to remember their heritage, show they appreciate the life and freedoms they have found here.   San Diego is very much a global city, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
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May 18, 2018

Santa Barbara - the American Riviera

Santa Barbara with its south facing beaches providing a Mediterranean climate is called the American Riviera.  It must be 20 years since my last visit, when Fran and I came up for a birthday celebration.  And 20 years before that we rode the train up and our bicycles back to San Diego.  Despite all there is do experience, Los Angles is just a big deterrent to coming this way.

In the late morning’s heavy fog I left Gaviota, stopping at the Arroyo Hondo Overlook.  The fog was too thick for any view from the overlook, I could just make out the fish ladder of the Hondo Creek.
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The viewpoint does have some signs detailing the history of the area, the difficulties of road building and the extraction of the oil along the beaches.  The derricks along the coast are long gone, but off-shore platforms remain.
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My next stop was Tecolote Canyon, living near Tecolote Canyon in San Diego, this made for a good stop to explore the Public Access Trail System.  I chose this trail to Haskell’s Beach as an example of the maintained trails as it also has a bit of history.  The trail is well maintained, with lots of informative signs.
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After crossing a few rocks and a bit of driftwood the wide, long, sand of Haskell’s Beach would make for an inviting walk on a sunny day.
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Haskell’s Beach is one of the locations where the Japanese attacked the California Coast.
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I mentioned the abundance of poison oak in my previous post on the missions.  But not all ‘leaves of three’ are bad.  This trail is lined with wild blackberries.  Note the thorns on the green stems, rather than the smooth stems of the poison oak.
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My next stop was the 10th California mission Mission Santa Barbara, which has a large free parking lot.  Enough space for RV parking!
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The Queen of the California Missions is noted for its graceful beauty.
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The Moreton Bay Fig tree in the cemetery has seen a lot of funerals.  Planted over a century ago, in what is still an active cemetery.
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The chapel has been enlarged 4 times since the 1786 founding of the mission.  However,it remains unchanged since its last rebuild in 1820.
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The museum contains many original works and is well worth spending more time in.
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The bike paths are wide, paved and well marked.  Some have a designated section for pedestrians.  When I last biked here it was with Fran on touring bikes, that we rode back to San Diego.  My current bike is a lot different, it collapses to be carried inside the RV and has a motor to assist on the hills around here.  That’s Kg riding it around the campground a few days ago.
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Today’s ride will just be along the water front, from West Beach to Shoreline Park at Leadbetter’s Beach.  Yup it’s still foggy.
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On the return, I’ll make my lunch at Stearns Wharf.  The Santa Ynes hills beyond the city are lost in the fog, as is the horizon beyond the fishermen at the end of the pier.
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Lunch!  Crab cakes on the wharf. 
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It’s time to pack it all up and begin the drive home.  It’s less than 50 miles further to follow the foothills past Pasadena then take the 15 back to San Diego, thus bypassing LA.  The kids went that way and said it wasn’t bad, so I’ll give that a try.

It was heavy news this morning that Lynne Braden of WinniViews succumbed to her cancer.  Lynne Was an inspiration to all who followed her travels.  She told her adventures with love, wit and her amazing photography.  It was Lynne who encouraged me to begin this blog.

"Be the light.  When told to act divisive, seek unity with one another.  Overcome hatred, ignorance, and power grabs.  Be humble.  Find and live with grace and honor.    In the end, it is the only legacy we each can leave." ~Lynne Braden