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One happy nerd

By Robin Dearing

We were able to spend our Spring Break in La Jolla, near San Diego, Calif. We met my brother and his family there and had yet another fun, family vacation.

We did the typical stuff that tourists do when visiting lovely San Diego

We visited the Balboa Park with its lovely architecture and museums.

Of course, we visited the San Diego Zoo (there's funny story about a capuchin monkey becoming enamored with  my nephew Colby — but it always seems there is at least one funny animal story when we all go on vacation). That is quite a zoo. I think we walked 5 miles up and down the hilly zoo that day.

We spent one day at the beach visiting tide pools.


But one of my most favorite places we visited just happened to be right next door to our hotel, the Salk Institute.
I know a bunch you're probably shaking your head and wondering what the heck is wrong with me — believe me, my family certainly were — but it’s very rare to fine yourself staying right next door to a major work of modern architecture.

The Salk Institute founded by polio vaccine inventor Jonas Salk was built in the early 1960s by Louis Kahn, an important 20th century architect (understatement). Without writing an entire art history lecture here, let me just say that being able to visit a building such as this over the course of week made the art-history nerd in me so happy.

Experiencing art first hand is really the only way to get its full meaning. And the series of buildings that make up the Salk Institute are rife with spectacular meaning.

These laboratories are made of poured concrete into plywood forms and left rough and imperfect. The poured concrete is paired with teak trim around the windows which are pushed out diagonally to face the ocean and bring in a bounty of natural light. The pavement, benches and fountain are travertine which ironically blends beautifully with the poured concrete.

Take a look:


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Very cool!

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