Sunday, March 24, 2013


            This trip with DayTripper tours began with a stop at Dudley’s Bakery in Santa Isabel with the opportunity to buy fresh baked breads and baked goods.  Nearby apple trees were in bloom. Then it was on to Julian for a stop with time for lunch on our own.  The first sight one sees approaching Julian this time of the year in March are the yellow daffodils that are in full bloom covering the hillsides or tucked in crevices throughout the town.  We had time to visit the local museum that is crammed with artifacts from lace to mining equipment.  We found the Julian CafĂ© was full so we chose the Cowbella Ranch cafe  that was just right for a hamburger and chili dog.  
We just had time for some sampling of cinder and snacks at the Cider Mill before it was time to board the bus for Borrego Springs. 

In recent years  a new feature has been added to Borrego springs by artist Ricarado Breceda of giant metal sculptures portraying prehistoric creatures.  Dennis Avery, land owner of Galleta Meadows Estates had the vision of using his land as an enormous outdoor gallery, home to Breceda’s work.. There are 129 metal sculptures scattered throughout Borrego Springs. Several stops were made to see the variety of animal sculptures.

A quick stop was made at a fruit stand where I bought a bag of sweet, juicy pink grapefruit. Due to the limited rainfall this Spring there were not many wildflowers in bloom in the desert but we did see several varieties blooming around the Interpretive Center and Museum.  A film about the seasons of Borrego was a good documentary on the plants and animals of the region.  We were fortunate to have good weather day.  It was mild in the  mountains and just a pleasant warm day in the desert. The last stop for the day was made at Santa Isabel again to pick up pie orders that many  had selected earlier in the day.  We chose a boysenberry-apple one that was perfect for desert after dinner.  We have an Irish dinner at my house with a curry soup, corned beef, Colcannon made with mashed potato and kale,  asparagus and apple nut bread from Dudley’s bakery. Then it was on to Ed’s house for apple berry pie that we had bought at the Julian Bakery Company while watching the movie Argo on DVD.  It was a full and interesting day. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Lily Pond
Late February we enjoyed a warm, sunny day in Balboa Park. The visit began with an interesting exhibit at the NAT featuring the growing of cacao in rainforests and processing of cacao seeds to manufacture cocoa & chocolate candy,   Even the exhibit room had a chocolate fragrance.  The elite Mayans and Aztecs made a frothy drink from chocolate and chili.  The Europeans took the cacao to a new level  with hot chocolate and confections. There was a small candy shop next to the exhibit where we selected a chocolate bar with cinnamon and chili which was a delicious combination!
California Tower

Open cacao seed                       

Part of the insect collection    Another exhibit was Dr. Entomo’s Palace of Exotic Wonders with some unusual live bugs along with a display of mounted local insects
      There was also an excellent collection of black and white photos inspired by  the work of Ansel Adams by several photographers on the uppermost level with good lighting from the opaque ceiling.
Japanese Garden Entry

It was a perfect day for lunch on the terrace of the Japanese Pavilion Cafe before strolling through the Japanese Friendship Garden with the first blooms of the cherry trees.  The  garden is an expression of the ties between the people of San Diego and Yokohama.
First blooms of cherry tree

San Diego Museum of Art

Flying apsaras-angel like

  The San Diego Art museum has a newly refurbished Art of East Asia gallery
With objects from China, Japan and Korea with religious icons to every day life utensils .Hands on elements have been added to touch ceramics, metal pieces etc.
The teak floors and brighter lighting are new added features.

  The last museum visit for the day was at the Museum of Photographic Arts. The current exhibit features a large collection of photographs by Jessica Lange who had a career as a fine art photographer alongside her work as an actress showing a moody mystery from regional and international cultures.