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part 3 – Old Town


It’s time for the final installment of our San Diego trip.  As you know we were there for about two weeks so there were many more outings to various beaches, restaurants and attractions, however, I need to get back to sharing recipes so today’s post will wrap up the 3-part series.

If you missed part 1 on Balboa Park it’s here and if you missed part 2 on Coronado it’s right here.

You might be wondering what you are looking at above.  It’s a bell that sits atop la Casa de Estudillo, which is a mansion within Old Town San Diego.  It is a California historical landmark and a centerpiece of this state historic park.

Here is what you would see if you were standing in the center of the house mansion.  You see, it was built around this large courtyard.  Visiting here gave us such amazing insight into Mexican and early American life from 1821-1872.  It is a popular field trip destination for schools as my oldest reminded me that he had visited in 1st grade.

Meanwhile, there were lots of questions from the littlest as to why there was no “middle” of the house.

Off in the distance you can see Immaculate Conception Church which has ties to Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo landing in San Diego in 1542.   The bell tower with it’s blue dome rises above all else on San Diego Avenue.

As we wandered around Old Town we encountered a strolling mariachi band and very few tourists (read: no crowds).  I had to take a few photos of the flowers as of course, they are native to San Diego’s dry climate and we don’t see anything like them in the south east.  Sadly, I have no idea what these are.  But the purple flowers were so vibrant against the red tile roof, even my photography-challenged self recognized it was time to snap some photos.

One flower we definitely do not see in North Carolina is the California poppy.  I miss those tiny, happy orange flowers.  They are prolific in Southern California and can even be seen in large clumps along major freeways.

I never spent so much time staring at a 6-foot high cactus as I did that afternoon.      Of course, I never thought I would miss this indigenous southwestern plant either.  Was this a beaver tail or a prickly pear cactus?  I’m really not sure.  It’s funny the things you miss when they’re not all around you any longer.

We strolled throughout Old Town or as much as two sets of small feet could handle.  At one point we paused for lunch and stepped into one of many Mexican restaurants that can be found there.  I only made it halfway through my margarita on the rocks, but I savored each and every sip.

While we enjoyed our margaritas (just the adults) and chatted about old times, we savored the best salsa (1.) and warm tortilla chips.  I don’t know how these restaurants always seem to get their salsa perfect, but they do.  We had to have guacamole (2.), which was made fresh for us table-side and then scooped into the crispy tortilla shell.  That guacamole was a-mazing.  And, like a good San Diego girl (who now resides in the South), I ordered up some fried fish tacos (4.).  I’m telling you they were heaven.

Well friends, I hope you enjoyed a taste of San Diego and a look at our stay in “American’s finest city.”  It was brief I know, but I wouldn’t dare unleash the hundreds of Disneyland, Legoland and Sea World photos on you.  I appreciate our friendship too much.

And  if you find yourself there one day, please let me know all of the delicious places you visited.  I can’t wait to hear what you discover all around town.