The Beautiful Balboa Park

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There are times when I’m just completely floored with my surroundings, when I can’t help but stare in admiration of what leaves me speechless and grateful.

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Balboa Park is one of these sights.

It’s a beauty. Every inch, every crevice has character – like it has a story to tell, if only walls could talk. The buildings and parks have a certain charm, which makes it hard to pick only a few photos from my camera and phone. 

Balboa Park, without even knowing how alluring it looks, is majestic all on its own. For starters, its incredibly massive in size. It holds the San Diego Zoo, 16 museums (yup, you read that right), 16 gardens, 2 theatres, a pavilion, a stadium, and a carousel. Just thinking about walking the whole area in a day already leaves me exhausted – Frankly, I don’t even know if it’s possible.

I’m not one to frequent museums since I favor performance art more opposed to paintings and sculptures. But boy were the museums such a sight from the outside! They show off amazingly intricate details of Spanish architecture - I had to stop myself from gawking every darn time. 

To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have gone inside the museums if it weren’t for two things: (1) free entrance and (2) the “when in San Diego” mentality!

Seeing as I can be quite the cheapskate when it comes to entrance fees, I took advantage of the military perks for Balboa Park. On Tuesdays of the months July through September, a number of museums allow members of the military along with their dependents, free entrance to some of the museums. This goes for San Diego residents as well. Here’s a link to the schedule.

It’s best to plan early so that you’d know when the best Tuesday to visit! I personally recommend the San Diego Museum of Art and the Japanese Friendship Garden. Speaking of, here are some of the paintings that I absolutely loved in the Museum of Art. 

I remember calling Vergs to look at this painting and telling him that it was my favorite because it looked so real. To which he rolled his eyes and said, “You like anything with food.”

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One of the things Vergs and I fell routine to were our Food Truck Fridates at Balboa Park. I’m not too sure if they still have this up to now, but while we were there, we’d visit Balboa Park from 5-8:30pm to have our fill of food truck eats. One of them being my obsession for Thai Iced Tea.

The food trucks are lined up on two streets, selling food items from lobster rolls and crab cakes to hearty plates of Pad Thai and steamy bowls of curry. The lines, as you can see, can get a little crazy, with an average wait time of 15 minutes to order and another 10 minutes to receive the food. I don’t know if it was the weather, the fragrant smells in the air, or the beautiful surroundings, but somehow the wait wasn’t too bad. 

Perhaps the only bad thing I can say about our food truck fridates is that since there were so much to choose from, we weren’t able to try everything. I sound like a glutton, I know.

On our first visit, we had our eye on a grilled cheese sandwich that looked incredibly appetizing, but decided against it because we just scarfed down a lobster roll, crab cake, and a heavy platter of steak fries. We made a mental note to try it next friday, but when we got there, there was a whole new range of trucks. 

Lesson learned: Either carpe freaking diem and get every possible thing that looks delicious, OR go around the whole area first and make a decision. 

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Needless to say, we’d always leave Balboa Park bellies full and all smiles. Food Truck Fridates was definitely one of the gems in our San Diego stay. 

It was our weekly routine for a month – a cry of normalcy amidst all the touristy things we did. And we always spent the rest of the night doing the same thing: watching Netflix in the comfort of our hotel room with a mug of green tea in hand. 

That was how most of our Friday nights went. A big portion of it spent in utter amazement with the boss lady that is Olivia Pope, or old movies that we hadn’t watched yet. 

And now as I type I realize that I’ve definitely come full circle with my tita-ness. Haha! Wouldn’t have traded those Friday nights in with my favorite person though! Definitely wouldn’t have. :)