In northeast Ohio, in between the cities of Canton, Akron, and Cleveland, and surrounding some of the bigger villages that are not big enough to be cities and so they are called villages in Ohio, you will find small rural townships in which the “downtown” is really nothing more than a crossroads. On the corners at the crossroads, if the town is big enough, you might find a church on one corner, a firehouse on another, a bank on still another, and maybe a restaurant (or a competing church) on the last corner. Often there is a traffic light and if you get a green and speed on through, you might not even realize you’ve passed through the center of a town. I hesitate to call it “the center of a town” as it really isn’t a town or a center at all. Just a crossroads.
(Walking into Old Town.)
Yesterday morning I went to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. I wanted to visit Old Town on previous trips to San Diego but didn’t get around to it. I’m glad it finally happened. It was interesting and I learned a few things, always a nice combination.
(La Casa de Estudillo)
One of the first things I noticed was the wonderful landscaping. There were all kinds of trees (including palm trees), cacti and other succulents (including the Century Plant which I’ve written about before and is responsible for some of the visitors that come to my blog via search engine), and a wide variety of flowers.
I guess people will carve their names wherever they can, including on greenery with sharp thorns.
(Iron jail cell behind the courthouse.)
In case you want to go, don’t pick a Monday. Many of the exhibits are closed on Mondays. Also, don’t go before 10:00am because, it seems, nothing opens until 10am. You can walk around Old Town and the plaza and look from the outside which is what I did at first.
There were several groups of schoolchildren there, with their teachers. That got me to thinking of school field trips and how I didn’t truly appreciate some of the historic places we visited on school outings.
As an adult I think I’ve more than made up for my lack of interest as a child. When M and I were on our sabbatical adventures we even revisited places we were
forced taken to see while in school.
Old Town San Diego is a chance to learn a little about life during the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872. There is a small core of restored historic buildings complimented by reconstructed sites. La Casa de Estudillo pictured above the cactus graffiti is one of the restored buildings. It was built in 1829 and restored by the California State Parks system in 1969.
(The Commercial Restaurant. No food or drink allowed.)
(Inside the Commercial Restaurant — a recreation.)
They have living history exhibits on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, and museums to explore.
I would like to stay at the Cosmopolitan Hotel sometime. It looks like an interesting place. They have 10 rooms with authentic furnishings and decor from the 1870’s. The restaurant serves a modern take on foods from the period.
Outside of the park you will find lots of shops and restaurants. If I’d had more time, I would have explored Old Town some more. Maybe next time.
We woke up to heavy fog this morning. They called it a “marine event” on the weather report. Clouds and fog rolled in off the ocean, wrapping everything in mist.
After a big breakfast (which I’ll tell you about in another post), M and I took an early morning walk on the beach and out to Crystal Pier. M took off for the conference and I went out for a long walk/run to help work off some more of the feast I devoured for my morning meal. It may end up being lunch too, as I’m still too full to even consider more food.
The fog has burned off. There are still a few clouds on the horizon but mostly it’s another beautiful, blue-sky day.
(Green Flash sculpture. Belmont Park.)
As soon as I finish posting this I’m heading back out for another walk and some reading time on the beach. I’ll think about lunch later. Maybe.