I had pretty much no free time while in town, other than Monday night (I was kind of priced out of the big Food and Wine Classic, held on the USS Midway. I heard so many good things about this that I wish I had coughed up the dough to attend after all. Oh well, hindsight is 20:20 and all that). I had heard that the famous San Diego Zoo was just a couple miles up the road in Balboa Park, so I changed into my sneaks and hiked up to the park. And was amazed.
I thought it was going to be a regular park. You know, trees, grass, walking/jogging trails. It had that all right, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. I first walked past a dog park that made me homesick for my pup (aside: San Diego is one of the doggiest cities I've ever been to. Everywhere I looked, there were people walking dogs. Everywhere I stepped, there was no evidence left behind of all those dogs being walked. The best of both worlds!). Then I entered a wonderland of museums, gardens, more museums, more gardens, cultural centers, you name it. But no zoo. I wandered around for an hour or so, taking in mostly the gardens. I think I may have spotted the zoo entrance, but by then it was too late, so I kept on wandering around. As I started back down the hill, I saw all these people heading back up with blankets and folding chairs, so I followed them to see what was going on. An organ concert at the Spreckels outdoor auditorium! It wasn't really my thing, but I stayed for a tune or two before wandering back toward the Gaslamp district, then the harbor, then back to my hotel for dinner and a foot soak (that was a big walking day, and a lot of it had been earlier in heels).
While I didn't get to the zoo, it was a great evening of doing what I really love to do in a city, which is just wander around and see what I can find. Next time, though, I'm coming in early and doing up all the attractions! This was only my second time in San Diego (not counting a family vacation trip back in the '70s), but the more I see of it, the more I like it.