Now, we have a great metro-park system where we live, and I am no stranger to them. They all have nice woods with paths for walking and biking. You will also find the occasional bench with a vaguely scenic view, and a few boardwalks which meander next to a creek. But nothing in my park going experience could prepare me for Balboa Park in San Diego. I can only presume this is what Shangri-La is like.
The day we were there was the last day of the LGBT festival, so I am not sure if the other park-goers are always so flamboyantly festooned in costume and fancy dress, but I choose to believe that they are. Given that we indirectly attended both the LGBT festival and Comic Con in the same week, I am inclined to believe that in San Diego cosplay is an everyday thing. This may not be true, but it makes my vacation more memorable and therefore, I elect to perpetuate this legend.
Balboa Park is more that just a park, there are museums, botanical gardens, fountains and trails. There is a huge Botanical Building, full of plants and fish ponds and all manner of flora. There are gardens galore; cactus, Australian, Japanese and a seriously impressive rose garden that makes you re-think why you are trying to grow them in Ohio.
My favorite place was the Prado restaurant, I think it may have been my favorite meal of the whole week. This could be because we had just come from the airport and it had been almost 8 hours since I had eaten and I was ready to chew off my own arm, but in truth the food was really good and the setting was beautiful. In Ohio, if something is served, “California style,” it is code for “with avocado”, well I can confirm that it is true, almost everything in California is served with avocadoes, but they just call it food.