Saturday, August 10, 2019

Unlikely to Top This

(Note: FYI, the baseball vacation postings start with the Friday, Aug. 9 post.)
     It is such a joy to relax in the morning with coffee and spend time in a comfy hotel bed reading and writing.
     Friday's adventure started with an Uber ride to Balboa Park. I arrived a bit before 10:00 when the museums open, so I roamed a bit to get my bearings and look at sculptures. At 10:00 I went into the San Diego Museum of Art and had a lovely couple of hours exploring there. I consciously noticed the change in myself in the presence of great art--focused, peaceful, in a state of wonder that leaves any worldly cares drop away. I'm guessing that's why I love art museums so much. As no museum visit is complete to me without seeing a Monet, finally, in the last room, there was his "Haystacks at Chahilly."
     I roamed the grounds, seeing the Alcazar Garden and the Old Globe Theater. I settled into a seat on the Plaza de Panama with an iced coffee and a couple cookies to enjoy the surrounding flowers, magnificent sunny blue sky and perfect temperature. Next I went through the Timken Museum of Art, advertised as "always free." "Free" does not show up in a big city very often. That museum boasts the only Rembrandt in San Diego, "Saint Bartholomew."
     As I began roaming the park again, I heard live classical violin music so I decided to check out the source.

I watched them for about an hour and asked a lot of questions. These five children are siblings, ages left to right being 17, 15, 13, 9, 10. Instruments left to right are violin, viola, cello, small bass, violin. They have been playing together about seven years. They all started playing at ages 2-3. They play at the park 3-4 times a week. They played classical music and traditional fiddle tunes. Note there is no sheet music anywhere. When one piece ended, they started right in on the next one. They had a watering can set out for tips, along with a sign that said "Thank you for supporting our conservatory music lessons." These children are genius material. The passion they play with is extraordinary. I cried tears of joy and hope seeing and hearing their brilliance. I can't imagine anything on this trip, even as much as I love baseball, that can possibly top this performance, one that I just happened upon. As I've always said, "I lead a charmed life, especially when traveling."  
     I took an Uber back to my hotel. Fortunately I had a talkative driver with whom I could share the extraordinary musical performance I had just witnessed. I took my usual afternoon nap, then enjoyed a Happy Hour supper at Meze Greek Fusion, a restaurant I highly recommend. Not being a night owl, I roamed back through the Gaslamp District and got into baseball mode watching the Cubs game, alas, another road loss. 
     The tour officially begins with the Saturday evening Padres game at Petco Park.
            Play ball!

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