San Diego has some awesome sights (including Coronado Beach), but among the coolest is Balboa Park. Not only is there a park (duh), but museums, performing arts venues, and a botanical garden. The San Diego Zoo is also there, but we didn't visit it this time around.
I think it's no coincidence (considering Mechanicky Gal's amazing green thumb) that we ended up heading for the Botanical Building. There was a gorgeous koi pond outside that is currently being rebuilt due to a water related mishap that killed the previous piscine inhabitants. As you can see, the current residents are enjoying the new digs.
According to the website, the Botanical Building is "one of the largest lath structures in the world." It was so cool how much the simple lath protection changed the climate inside the building. Lath, if you're wondering, is a simple narrow strip, with spaces in between. Often it's used as the structure supporting something else (like plaster), but in this case, thin wood strips provided a wonderful blend of shade and light that also allowed for air circulation. Very neat structure! [/architecture geek]
There were many beautiful flowers and plants, including a large variety of orchids. I can see how some people become collectors of orchids. They are all so different from each other! Endless variety of color and shape and size.
Janiece and I had gone into the Botanical Building while Mechanicky Gal had slipped off to see the special show by the Cactus and Succulents Society. When we looked for her later, we saw some fantastical looking cacti and succulents, including this cleverly presented one:
We eventually found MG in the market portion of the show, collecting new variety of plants. As we looked with her, I took this picture of a fascinating looking cactus. Funnily enough, Janiece too the same photo a couple minutes later.
Many of the buildings in the park are historical, originally built for a World's Fair.
And for those who read Jim's online fiction experiment, this is the fountain featured in one of the big events. (Thank you to Janiece for pointing this out. :)