San Diego: Balboa Park!

10/24/21

I made it to San Diego today! I hadn’t planned to visit there on this leg of the trip, although I am hoping/intending to spend at least a week or two in this area in late December. San Diego is my second-favorite US city after Portland, and I have long contemplated moving here, probably not year-round but maybe for the four or five dreariest Portland months of December through March (and possibly November or April).

But today, Michele was working away from Escondido for most of the day, and I took the opportunity to head down into town. San Diego is about 30 miles south of here, and it took me about two hours, all told, to get there: about 20 minutes to the transit center in Escondido (along the canal bike path) and then about an hour on the bus, which deposited me in the center of the I-15 freeway! (Very cool that San Diego has bus rapid transit. Portland is finally, belatedly, dipping its proverbial toe into this concept as I type, on SE Division Street out to Gresham, immediately outside my condo. It will be complete in 2022, presumably by the time I return in September, since most TriMet projects take effect on the Labor Day weekend.)

I folded up the bike and took it up the elevator to University Avenue, then hopped on a #10 bus (which happened to be approaching the stop as I arrived, a lucky break for me since that line only runs once per hour.)

I took the bus out to the two vegan bakeries in the Hillcrest area that I love so much: Hazel and Jade and Starry Lane. I loaded up on sugary deliciousness, and then bicycled over to my favorite destination in this city: Balboa Park, and more specifically its desert garden.

The garden is a very sacred space to me. I never fail to visit it whenever I come to San Diego, and I find it to be a place of centering and renewal for me.

As I wrote yesterday, I had been struggling a bit for the past few days.

The desert garden worked its magic on this. I had a bit of an epiphany, or a renewal of purpose. I will plan to write more about this tomorrow, but suffice it to say my mood made a good turnaround while in that garden space this afternoon.

Afterward I crossed the pedestrian bridge into the Prado, which on a Sunday was truly the sort of vibrant urban gathering space most American cities can only dream of. The weather was perfect, and there were vendors (including a startup vegan sweets company, but I restrained myself this time) and performers, and many revelers of all sorts, out sharing the public space.

Then I biked back up to the I-15, and caught the return bus to Escondido, arriving at the transit center at just the right daylight point to cycle back to Michele’s place before dark.

I feel so good right now.

Tomorrow, back to LA for a couple of days!

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