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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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