Tibs Manor

Monday, July 31, 2006

Balboa Park

Day two of our San Diego trip had us visiting Balboa Park. We spent the first part of the day just walking along El Prado, checking out the architecture. Many of the buildings were constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, but according to Ryan they weren't built for longevity and had to be rebuilt in the following years. We sat and listened to a few minutes of a concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, a magnificent outdoor pipe organ.

After lunch, we met up with Ryan and checked out the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Billed as the world's largest operating model railroad museum, the layouts inside do not fail to amaze. The level of detail is just astounding, and looking for the tiny jokes hidden within the scenery is fairly addictive. There were several different model layouts, along with a more playful toy train room. Definitely an impressive achievement, but I cannot imagine wanting to participate in such an all-encompassing hobby, at least on that level! It will be nice to have some trains someday though, I have fond memories of playing with my family's Lionel trains as a kid.

We then headed next door, to the Museum of Photographic Arts, which featured exhibitions on early 35 mm photography, pioneering women photographers, and women photographers in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was a small museum, it only took about 30 minutes to run through, but it was worth the trip, there were some incredible shots on display. We wandered around the park a bit more after this, but it was soon time to head back to LA.

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Lauren and I headed down to San Diego for a little birthday trip (I am now 29). We stayed with Ryan for the weekend in his new place, which was very nice and had us both quite impressed. On Saturday we went to SeaWorld, where we got a good sunburn but still had a lot of fun. We saw the usual suspects...dolphins, killer whales, seals and sea lions, and a couple of aquariums.

The highlight for both of us was Sea Lions Tonite which was a spoof of several real life shows like American Idol and Survivor and SeaWorld shows like Believe and Cirque de le Mer. This show was seriously hilarious, we were expecting a cheesefest with a few decent sea lion tricks, and we ended up laughing our butts off for 20 minutes. It was really refreshing to see the park laugh at itself after being quite schmaltzy during the day.

We capped off the night with Journey to Atlantis, sort of a combination roller coaster / log flume. This was an interesting ride, mainly because the big flume drop is the first ride element! The second half of the ride involves a tilting elevator and was a nice surprise.

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