A Beautiful Stroll at Balboa Park

Hi friends,

There are many ways to stay active! One of my favorite ways is to walk. I prefer walks outside. I find them relaxing and a great way to clear my mind, to get some fresh air and de-stress. The walks I enjoy the most are with friends! Lola is my exercise buddy and we try to go for speed walks at least one to three times per week. I have written about these walks before. We have fun every time, we catch up on our lives, chat about a million topics, we call it our “therapy time,” and for me it has become “me” time.  Most of the time we walk by the bay downtown and Little Italy, where Lola lives. Downtown is close to my office and easy to drive to after work, then I head home afterwards.

We like to periodically mix it up and walk at other locations. Balboa Park is one of our favorite places to walk at. It also happens to be close to downtown and there is ample free parking, which is a plus. Balboa Park is a beautiful public park with many museums, art studios, restaurants, event venues, fountains, and attractions. It is very green with lots of plants! It makes for a scenic walk and there is always interesting people walking. It is a tourist attraction, but also a popular for locals. There are beautiful venues and buildings where brides and quinceañeras take pictures.

Last Friday, Lola and I decided to go for a walk at Balboa Park. The weather was nice and warm, it was the perfect way to unwind from a long week at work, and also get some fresh air while we got in some exercise! We walked for a little more than one hour. In case you are wondering, here’s our route: we  parked in the Federal Lot located at Park Boulevard and Presidents Way (behind the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum), walked northeast on the sidewalk along the Organ Pavilion parking lot, walked into the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, continued north towards the San Diego Museum of Art, walked past the fountain heading east towards the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, walked around the fountain heading north past the San Diego National History Museum, turned west towards the San Diego Zoo, turned south and walked through the Spanish Village Art Studio, headed south past the San Diego National History Museum, walked into the Zoro Garden, headed west back towards the San Diego Museum of Art, then south towards the San Diego Aerospace Museum, walked all the way to the Museum, turned around and walked north past the Starlight Bowl, turned right at the Hall of Champions towards the Federal parking lot. We ended the walk with a cool down walk around the parking lot & some stretches….we kept chatting the entire time, ha!

So, next time you have an opportunity, visit Balboa Park or a park near you – enjoy the scenery and get active! Stretch your legs and get some fresh air!

Here are some pictures from our walk, hope you like them!

Do you visit parks in your area? Which park is your favorite? Do you go for walks, if yes, where? Have you been to Balboa Park?




We started our walk close to the San Diego Hall of Champions and headed north.

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There were a few groups of people taking pictures at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.


We said hi to photographer Aron Martinez. I have worked with him on the Quinceañera Expo.


He was photographing a bride and her bridesmaids.


We also saw a Quinceañera getting her photos taken.


I stopped to use the restroom and when I came out, Lola was taking this picture. Can you see what she was photographing? Look close in the sky.


It is the moon….do you see it?


Lola stopped to take a picture. There are palm trees throughout the Park.


The Park is so green, beautiful!


It has amazing hallways and walkways!


The San Diego Museum of Art was set-up for the Art Live charity event.


We walked past the fountain.

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The architecture is amazing!


There were lots of families enjoying the Park.


This is the fountain in front of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, one of my favorite spots at the Park!

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No, we didn’t go inside the Zoo, these are giraffe sculptures located at the Miniature Railroad.

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One of the entrances to the Spanish Village Art Studios.DSCN9194 DSCN9195 DSCN9196 DSCN9199 DSCN9198

Sculptures of flamenco dancers in the Spanish Village Art Studios area.DSCN9202 DSCN9203 DSCN9204

We walked into the Zoro Garden (also a butterfly garden). DSCN9205

There are lots of flowers around the Park.


We stopped for a picture in front of the Lily Pond.



This couple saw us getting our picture taken and asked us to take their picture. They were tourists and had just gotten engaged! The fiancé (groom) had planned it, so he would propose to her at Balboa Park, so romantic! Lola took multiple pictures for them.


There are a few statues around the Park.


And art sculptures.DSCN9217

A little boy was playing on this art sculpture.

DSCN9220We walked past the Japanese Friendship Garden.


This is the cafe located at the entrance of the Japanese Friendship Garden.



We saw this antique classic car waiting for a wedding couple that was getting their picture taken.


We walked past the Spreckles Organ Pavilion again, on our way towards the southwest side of the Park.

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We walked into the area where the House of Pacific Relations Cottages are located. They are open and have free cultural events or performances almost every Sunday.


We saw lots of beautiful flowers during our Walk at Balboa Park!

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Tricks to Motivate Myself to Exercise : Trick #1

Hi friends,

Hope you had a nice weekend! The New Year has started and one of the most common new year’s resolutions people make is to exercise more and/or lose weight. If you follow my blog, you know I like to exercise, but I have to motivate myself to exercise. I don’t have a huge urge to exercise, but always feel better after I do it. I often wish I was like those people who wake up in the mornings with a huge urge and motivation to go for a jog, but I am just simply not like that. But, if I don’t exercise for  a few days, I do feel the urge and need to exercise, at least go for a long walk! I sometimes have to trick myself into exercising. By trick, I mean I use different techniques to motivate myself to exercise. I exercise mostly to be healthy, it is also a  good stress reliever for me, and of course, helps me stay in shape and fit into my jeans (always a plus)! I also love chocolate and certain snacks, exercising allows me to treat myself every one in a while and not have to deprive myself of my favorite foods.

I am going to write a series of 10 Tricks I Use to Motivate Myself to Exercise. I will list them in the order in which I enjoy them most and do them most often. Hope you enjoy reading about these and how they work for me….and if you need extra motivation to exercise, hopefully these will work for you too!

Do you have any tricks you use to motivate yourself to exercise? What are they?

Was exercising more often one of your New Year’s Resolutions?



Trick #1: Have an Exercise Buddy 

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My exercise buddy is my bff Lola. One of the first blog posts I wrote was about the positive things related to having an exercise buddy. As we get older and have more responsibilities (such as a full-time job, spouse to spend time with, dinner to make, errands to run, a house to clean, kids, pets, etc., etc.) we have less time to spend with friends. Spending time with friends brings happiness and a sense of belonging to our lives! On the days I exercise with Lola, I look forward to the end of the workday and to seeing her because I know I will enjoy my time with her. We usually exercise after work, we set a date ahead of time and stick to it (but if an urgent matters comes up and we need to change the date the other understands).  Or main form of exercise is going for long speed walks by the bay downtown. We meet at Lola’s home and go for a long walk. During our walks, we talk about everything, we catch up on our lives! We laugh and we confide in each other. I never get bored of walking the same route (even though we do change it up every once in a while), because I am having fun with my friend! We call it our therapy. We laugh, we talk, and we walk! Sometimes, I may be having a very stressful day at work, but once I get to Lola’s home, I immediately de-stress, I can vent with her about my day or not even bring it up because once I get there we have some many other good things to talk about that I am able to leave the stress of my day behind.

Having an exercise buddy is a good way to motivate oneself to exercise!  If you know someone is waiting for you, so you can exercise together, you are more likely to show up and exercise. Plus, if your exercise buddy is a good friend you enjoy spending time with, you know you will have a good time and it will be fun! So, you have so much fun that before you realize it, you have already walked a few miles and gotten a good workout! Exercising with a friend is not only good for your body, it is also good for your soul!

If you would like to read the blog post I wrote about having an Exercise Buddy, click here.

Do you have an exercise buddy?


Exercise Buddy

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Exercise is an important….and necessary part of my life. I have battled with my weight my entire life. It is not easy to maintain my weight, I gain weight easily and have to watch what I eat, as well as exercise regularly, otherwise my weight goes up quickly! I do not consider myself overweight (nor do the medical charts). Every year it gets harder to stay at my weight because well, as we age our metabolism get slower….fantastic, right? Luckily, I do like to exercise….but am not one of those people that wakes up with the desire to go for a jog….I have to talk myself into exercising. Exercise has many health benefits, physical and emotional, it helps me de-stress, feel more energetic overall, and I sleep better when I exercise regularly.

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you strategies that I use to stay fit & not gain weight. Trust me, it is not easy for me. Wish it was….wish I was naturally thin, wish I did not have an appetite for sweets & tortilla chips, wish it was easy to lose weight, wish there was a secret pill to stay thin…..but, that is not the case, haha.  I can’t wish to be thin, I have to work at it….all my friends and colleagues tell me they have to work at it.

Meet Lola (pictured) – you will hear lots about her in my blog, she is one of my closest friends and the one I spend the most time with! I love this gal! She is not only an excellent friend, the best I could ever ask for, she is also my exercise buddy and helps me get motivated to exercise! We have been walking together for more than six years! We take long, speed walks, usually downtown by the bay. Our route doesn’t change much, but it is a wonderful, fun time, every single time! We call it “our therapy”- haha! It is our “amiguita/friend time,” we chat, we vent, we laugh…all while we exercise. The walk goes by fast, sometimes we walk around the block a few times at the end of the walk because we still have things to talk about. Before I was married, we used to walk together about two to four times per week, now we both make an effort to at least walk together once a week. It is our time to catch up and we value it. Every week we touch bases on Monday and set a day to walk that week. Once we set the day, we rarely change it and pass on other invitations which may seem more fancy (like dinner out)….because this is our time! I joke with her that if Jim and I have a baby (when we do), I’ll probably bring the baby along in the stroller on the walks with Tia Lola (aunt Lola)!

So, if you can, exercise with a friend…..it does wonders for the soul! The calories you burn are just extra….better said – part of the benefit!

Do you have an exercise buddy?