Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Making The Most of the Free Things in Life: My Free Tuesday at Balboa Park

picture taken from the aerial tram of San Diego Zoo at Balboa Park
I love life. I could count so many ways why I love life, but I will focus this post on enjoying some of the free things in life here in San Diego. Why free things? Well, I am not the one who takes pleasures in material things, but in happy and priceless experiences. 

All our hometowns offer so many happy places to experience if we open our eyes, heart and mind to them. Where I live, I could enjoy the miles of beaches, the challenge and fun of hiking up the mountains, the awe and wonder in surreal desert landscapes, the sights and sounds of nature and wildlife around, the city amenities, and much more. 
Me, Enjoying the Free Things in San Diego
I often share here my "hiking and the ocean" happiness, because seeking nature has been at the top of my priority to take care of my all around health and myself. But I also do enjoy making the most of the city amenities such as enjoying public parks, museums, free summer nights ( concerts, theater plays and/or outdoor giant screen films ) and more. 

In this post, I will share a routine I do here in San Diego every summer when it is a Tuesday!  It is called Balboa Park's Free Tuesday. 

Balboa Park is home to more than 15 museums, several gardens and hiking trail in the midst of canyons tucked in the middle of city. Every Tuesday, a certain group of museums are free for San Diego Residents. My favorite is the first Tuesday of the month because it is at this time where two of my favorite museums are free, the Natural History Museum (NAT) and the Science Museum. At other times of the year, I could not enjoy the free Tuesdays because of work. During summer, when I am on summer break, I make the most of the Free Tuesdays.

My excitement brought me to Balboa Park at 9:00 am. However, the museums don't open until 10:00 am. I decided to spend the first hour walking around the zoo. In my walk, I spotted this mom and baby koala below so I stopped for a bit to take some pictures of them.
Mom and Baby Koala Bears
I did not really take a lot of pictures at the zoo because I did not bring a zoom camera. From the Australian Outback Exhibit, I continued to Elephant Odyssey, after which it was almost 10:00. I was at the other end of the zoo and I figured if I would walk back, I may not beat the crowd at Natural History Museum. Instead of walking back, I took the San Diego Zoo Air Tram so that I could get to the Natural History Museum quickly. 
from the aerial tram of San Diego Zoo

From the Zoo to Natural History Museum, I passed by a group of kids in the Spanish Village Art Center doing clay art and they reminded me of my childhood. They were too busy making their clay mugs, etc that I did not ask them if I could take a picture of their clay work. I was almost outside of the Spanish Village Art Center when I remembered to take a picture. 
Spanish Village Art Center
The Village in the picture looked empty because it was still early, the kiosks were not opened yet and local artists have not started putting up their displays yet. It is here where local artists could put up their work not only for display but also to sell. Below is a picture of the vases from one of the stores in the village which is shot from the outside through the window since the store was still closed at that time. :)

The Natural History Museum is next to the Spanish Village, so I was happy of course to be exploring the new exhibits. :) 
@ the entrance of San Diego Natural History Museum

The following are the exhibits right now at the Natural History Museum: 
1. Maya, Hidden World Revealed, 
2. Coast to Cactus in Southern California, 
3. Fossil Mysteries, 
4. Birds of the World, 
5. Skulls, and 
6. Water, A California Story. The exhibits change once a while, so there is always reason for me to go back again. :) The video below is for one of the Exhibits, of the Hidden World of Maya Civilization, the video is owned by San Diego Natural History, not mine.
Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed @ San Diego Natural History Museum ( video by San Diego NAT )

Yesterday, aside from seeing the exhibits, I watched also the 3 films at the museum's 3D Theater:
1. Walking with the Dinoaurs ( in 3D),
2. Ocean Oasis, and
3. Tiny Giants ( in 3D).
My favorite among the 3 films is the Ocean Oasis. Though I've seen it before, but I just could not get enough of seeing the wonders in the ocean, of learning the ecological balance between the desert and the ocean oasis.

After I was done exploring the exhibits and watching the films at Natural History Museum, I planned to go to Science Museum. I wanted to watch IMAX films since the Imax films right now are about the Ocean and Blue Whales ( I love seeing the life in the sea ), but the very very long line stopped me from getting inside the Science Museum. Instead, I looked around for some more free happiness. :) Saw these happiness below. :)
Happiness from Seeing Smiling Faces in the Flowers :) Do you see the smiles too?

I was planning to stay late to watch the free concert at the Organ Pavillon, but decided to watch free concert some other nights, since there would still be a lot of free summer nights at the park, Aside from Free Tuesdays ( museums ), Free Summer Nights Concerts, there are also Free Theater Plays. I love watching theater play, it's usually expensive, but during the summer, Balboa Park's Old Globe Theater offers some free. Sadly, I was not able to book or reserve early enough to get seats for the play.

How about you? Do you enjoy the free things in life too?
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  1. The free things are usually the most rewarding spiritually. The beauty of the flowers, the joy of watching children being creative, learning about ancient cultures. All those things bring joy to the soul.

  2. These are great pictures. I haven't been to San Diego. but I have heard so many beautiful things about it. Would love to visit someday.

  3. Free things are simple and always a natural things that we can always find whenever we wanted to look for them. Thanks for this amazing views in your state sis, I can see the beauty and why you were so blessed to see this amazing places.

  4. Beth!!! Frame that photo with rainbow rays! Soooo beautiful! What can I say, SD is paradise to me. Just looking at your photos made me say so, how much more when i see SD with my own eyes? Aaaah, one sweet day Zen and i will visit you. Hopefully, we'll be able to kahit lolabelles na kami. Hehehe. The best things in life are free and we try to savour them as much as we can. FBF missed you! Welcome back! :)

  5. Sis Bet,
    I LOVED how the way you spent your free time. It looks like your area is so beautiful and love the nature the most. I LOVED all your photos.

  6. I envy you sis. You have time to enjoy what Nature can offer us. How I wish, magawa ko rin. Nice seeing you again friend.

  7. This is definitely a good place to bring the family and to think one can get to experience it for free.

  8. But we often take these things for granted.

  9. I think one of the main reasons I began liking hiking and nature is because it's all free.

  10. Like they say, the best things in life are free and it's aptly described in this post. I can feel the happiness emanating from this post 'Te Betchai and I love that you are able to share this joy to us.

    I have always pictured out San Diego as haven to the immense beauty of Mother Nature. Thanks to you for magnifying your life through these breathtaking photographs.

    Love and hugs!