San Diego

Save Big in San Diego's Balboa Park

Posted February 23, 2009 by Kate Hamman

Ca-sandiego-reflectionpool-balboapark-def San Diego's Balboa Park wows picnickers and park-lovers alike with its open spaces, architecture, and overall natural beauty. However, you'll also find a range of museums and the ever-so-famous zoo, all of which you can tour for one low price. After you've worked up an appetite, dine in an outdoor sculpture garden, and then return to a cozy inn right on the park's edge.

Passport to Balboa Park: Though you can enter the world's largest urban cultural park for free, it'll cost you to visit any of its 15 museums. However, if you plan on seeing more than one, you can save with the Balboa Park Passport. For $39, you can visit 13 of these museums over a seven-day period and save more than 50 percent in admission fees. Attractions include the San Diego Museum of Art ($10 admission), the San Diego Air and Space Museum ($15 admission), the San Diego Natural History Museum ($13 admission), and the Museum of San Diego History ($5 admission). For $35 more, you can add a deluxe one-day admission to the San Diego Zoo.

Sculpture Court Café @ SDMA: Come sit outside among the sculptures of artists such as Rodin, Calder, and Henry Moore while you enjoy a relaxing lunch at the San Diego Museum of Art. Sculpture Court Café serves only the freshest ingredients, and you can choose from a wide range of sandwiches, pizzas, and salads. Many of the items on the menu are priced under $10.

Balboa Park Inn: For an eclectic and ideally-located stay near the park, the Balboa Park Inn can't be beat. Choose from 26 suites, each decorated with a different color scheme and a whole lot of quirky flair. For instance, the Beach House Suite is painted in ocean blues and includes a tropical mural above the bed. Rooms start at $99 per night, and include continental breakfast and free parking.

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(Photo: Joanne DiBona)

High-speed Train Would Whisk Travelers between False Realities

Posted March 18, 2008 by Carl Unger

Maglevweb Scientists have long theorized that black holes may actually defy the space-time continuum by linking parallel dimensions with one another.  One might even say that black holes are like high-speed train lines through space-time.

A fair number of us non-scientists have likewise long believed that Las Vegas and Disneyland are alternate dimensions, so it makes sense that a high-speed train line would one day link the two.  In fact, there are now two separate plans for quick transport between these false realities.  On one hand, we have a futuristic, extremely expensive (and therefore the obvious choice) MagLev train.  On the other hand, there’s a far less exciting, more economical (read: bor-ing) DesertXPress train.  Come on, a super-fast train that travels 300 miles per hour and runs on magnets?  And it would cost $12 billion?  Survey says: yes.

However, the real challenge of traveling through the fabric of space-time or between alternate realities concerns the folks on board.  Those of you who've seen this season of Lost know well that time/dimension traveling is not pretty.  If you haven’t been watching, I’ll sum up: You get a wicked nosebleed and die.

So how will train operators keep passengers’ brains from exploding?  How will they maintain the false reality that’s sold at either end of the line?

Maybe they’ll replace windows with flat-panel TVs and display weird landscapes passing by (“Hey, we’re under the sea—oh look, now we’re on Mars!”).  Maybe passengers will sleep in little pods so they don’t even realize they're traveling.  Maybe they'll just have an open bar, who knows?

Whatever you do, make sure you have a constant, okay?

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