Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Old Town San Diego

IMG_1030 Old Town San Diego is considered the "birthplace" of California. San Diego is the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. And the Spanish really knew how to design a place.  Every town should have a courtyard overflowing with flowers, brilliantly colored tile work and fountains. 

Remember when we visited the San Juan Bautista Mission back in September?  In 1769, Father Junipero Serra established the very first mission in San Diego Old Town in a chain of 21 missions (of which San Juan Bautista was one).  They were to be the cornerstone of California’s colonization. Father Serra’s mission and Presidio were built on a hillside overlooking what is currently known as Old Town San Diego.

IMG_1033 We  traveled to Old Town via the San Diego trolley from Chula Vista “H” Street station (about a 1/2 mile from our RV home).  The trolley is a high speed train used by locals and a few tourists, like us.  You can always spot the tourists—we are chatting and pointing and the locals are sleeping…or looking annoyed at us for chatting.  The trolley is great; we can relax and take in the sights without hassling with the I-5 freeway.  Plus, we can forget about trying to find a parking spot for our big truck and paying the parking fees.

Old Town has interesting little shops with Mexican folk art, boot shop, cigar/pipe store, lots of restaurants, and museums.  The pipe store had 100 year-old display cases with old pipes some over 200 years old.  The owner was dressed in period clothing and enjoying one of his smokes.  Most of the shops are housed in the old adobe structures built in the early 1800’s. 

IMG_1037 We stopped in at the Catholic Church (Church of Immaculate Conception) and enjoyed the cool and quiet.  As we walked out the church front doors, a leaf fell from a tree…a sign!   And there right across the street was the busy Coyote Cafe.  God loves us and wants us to drink margaritas!  A carafe of margarita was ordered and our day was complete.

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