Tours, travels, hikes and journeys!

A little over a week ago, during my two day visit to Old Town, San Diego, I explored Heritage Park. It is located on the Northeast side of Old Town on Juan Street. It’s 7.8 acres are focused on the preservation of San Diego’s Victorian homes, presently hosting 6 houses and 1 church, moved to it’s location. A few of them are open for touring, one is a gift shop/tea house, the church is available for use for weddings and other events and is open for tour and the rest are closed right now for restoring inside. It is all free to the public.

As you approach the buildings, Temple Beth Israel is on the right. It was built in 1889 as San Diego’s first synagogue.

Tempe Beth Israel Synagogue 1889

Heading east, on the right, is the Burton House, built by Henry Guild Burton,in 1893.

Burton House 1893

Next we come to the McConaughy house, built in 1887 by John McConaughy. It is now a gift house and a tea house. Since I was visiting on Halloween, to my delight, 4 women were sitting in the tea house dressed up as witches :)

McConaughy house 1887

Next to the McConaughy house, on the north side of the park, is the Christian House, built in 1889 by Harfield Timberlake Christian.

Christian House 1889

Traveling west we come to the Bushyhead House, built in 1887, as a rental, by Edward Wilkerson Bushyhead.

Bushyhead house 1887

The Shermon- Gilbert House, the most ornate of all of them, was built in 1887 and lived in until 1971. It was originally built by John Sherman.The Gilbert sisters lived there, bringing international performers to entertain there, including Artur Rubinstein.

Sherman Gilbert House 1887

The last house I came to is the Senlis Cottage, which houses the information center for Heritage Park. It was built in 1896, by Kate Sessions, the creator of Balboa Park, for her employee, Eugene Senlis. This cottage is typical of homes built for employees in that it had no electricity, water, sewer, or gas. (mmmmm…employees seem to have a history of poor treatment huh?!)

Senlis Cottage 1896

There is so much to see and enjoy in Old Town, San Diego. Here are two other posts of mine about Old Town. Come and see for yourself!

http://katelontjeffereys.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/old-town-san-diego-ca/

http://katelontjeffereys.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/colorful-characters-in-old-town-san-diego/

Old Town, San Diego, CA

I grew up coming to San Diego almost every summer. We mostly stayed at the beach, which was fine with me as I spent most of my time fearlessly out on my heavy canvas raft, out beyond the waves. At night I’d sit next to the sea wall and listen to the waves. Occasionally we’d go shopping in Mission Valley, go shopping in La Jolla (Mom loved to shop), go to Balboa park and the zoo, or go to Old Town to eat and look around.

This time I’ve spent in San Diego has taken me all over the county, north and south, east and west, into many neighborhoods and outlying areas. It’s been interesting to delve deeper into this county. I realized early on that it wasn’t my home, I wasn’t here to settle, like I had spent much of my life dreaming about, but rather, I was here for some reason, still undefined.

So, as part of my ongoing exploration of this place, I went to Old Town on Oct. 31st and back again on Nov. 3, to explore the history there. Yes, the area is filled with many restaurants and shops, tourist sites gone crazy, but it is also filled with much history. It provides a place to look into the past and imagine San Diego before tall buildings, shopping malls, freeways, and to see the hopes and dreams of the pioneers that saw the potential here and committed to making it happen.

So……come walk with me through Old Town and let me share with you some of the wonderful old buildings and sights:

Let’s start with the Mormon Battalion. It is on the NW corner of Juan and Harney Streets. This is a very delightful interactive museum staffed with Mormon Missionaries, old artifacts and new technology to give you a visceral experience of the story told. It is like mini-Disneyland. The story tells you of 500 men and 32 Mormon women who joined with the US troops, to travel 2000 miles on foot, the longest march in US Military history, from Council bluffs, Iowa to San Diego. They started on July 16,1846 and arrived in Jan. 1847, without having to engage in any battles, although the mission had been to fight the Mexican/American War.

1 Mormon Battalion

Next, we head over to the Denby-Pendleton House, walking south on Harney Street. It is a prefabricated wood house, shipped from Maine, around the Horn of South America, to be built in San Diego in 1853. It is one of the oldest wooden homes in San Diego. It is next to a Creole Restaurant I’d like to try, and behind the Whaley house.

2 Denby Pendleton House 1850

Traveling south and turning left at the corner, heading east on San Diego Ave., we walk by the Whaley house, built in 1856, considered the oldest brick building in San Diego. This house is considered haunted and is open for tours. Price is $6 per adult. All the rest of the places I visited are free.

3 Whaley House

Next we travel east past the intersection of Conde Street and onto the diagonal path of San Diego Ave. to the El Campo Santo Cemetary. This was used in 1850-1880. Many of the graves ended up under San Diego Ave. during it’s paving. Identification of those buried there is still underway. In the pictures you see the plaque at it’s entrance, then the graves. You’ll notice the marigold flower petals left on the graves from the Dio de los Muertos ceremony that took place over the weekend, celebrating the dead.

4 Campo Santo Cemetary 2

4 El Campo Santo Cemetary

Crossing the street and heading west on San Diego Ave. we walk past some stores and restaurants and this wonderful old fashioned Zoltar game. Since I loved the movie “Big”, I couldn’t help but take a picture of this. Just standing there, Zoltar invited me to step forward and have my fortune read :) Maybe next time when I go back and tour the Whaley house :)

5 Zoltar

We cross Conde street, heading west and pass the stores and Whaley house again, and now pass the pretty Immaculate Conception Church, which began construction in 1868 and was dedicated in 1919.

6 Immaculate conception church

Passing the corner of San Diego Ave. and Twiggs street, we enter into the area with more historic buildings, some museums now, some stores. We pass this colorful Dio de los Muertos altar, set up in front of the El Patio restaurant.

7 Dio de los muertos altar and skeletons in front of El Patio restaurant

Next, as we near the Old Town San Diego Historic Park, we see the Sessions, Building, built in 1929 for Milton P. Sessions, a well known San Diego landscape architect. This is now a candle shop.

8 Sessions building Candle shop

May’s Saddle and Harness shop building is next, built in 1869 by Charles E. May. It was moved to New San Diego and another one was built here in 1872. It is a candy shop now.

9 Mays Saddle and Harness Candy shop

Still heading west, we come to the Colorado house, now the Wells Fargo Museum, with a stage coach, and other banking and mail artifacts. It was built in 1851 by Cave Couts and used originally as a hotel.

10 Colorado House and Wells Fargo Museum

Behind the Colorado house is the La Casa de Machado y Stewart house, built in 1835, considered the oldest adobe home in San Diego. I took two photos of the inside and one of the south side of the home.

11 La Casa de Machado y Stewart

11 Inside La Casa de Machado 2

11 Inside La Casa de Machado

Two buildings down from the Colorado House we come to the Machado de Silvas Building built in 1830. One picture is of the home, another is of the Restaurante casa Commercial and another Dio de los Muertos altar that was in the back.

12 The Machado de Silvas Building 1893

12 Dio de los muertos altar inside Resaurante casa Comercial The Machado de Silva bulding

12 Restauante casa comercial The Machado de Silvas Building

Next is the US house, built in 1850 and used as a general store. It burned in 1872 in a big fire and was restored. It is now a shop filled with various tin items.

13 US house

We now round the corner, heading north on Wallace Street, passing the Robinson Rose House which is now used as a visitor center, and pass by two more dressed up skeleton mannequins in front of the Barra Barra Saloon.

14 More skeletons in front of rBarra Barra Saloon

We round the corner again, heading east on Calhoun Street and come to Casa de Bandina, built in 1829 by Juan Bandina, sold to Alfred Seely in 1869. He added a second story and turned it into the Cosmopolitan Hotel. There are still a few rooms there to rent and a restaurant.

15  Cosmopolitan Hotel

Next to the hotel is the Seely Stables. The photo shows a Concord Stagecoach on the left and a Wells Fargo mud wagon on the right, used to take mail and passengers from San Diego to Julian. It is an Abbot-Downing Celerity Wagon.

17 Coaches in Seely Stables

And lastly, as we cross the street, we come to La Casa de Estudillo, built in 1827 by Captain Jose Maria de Estudillo. This is the most famous Old Town adobe. This was mistakenly known as “Ramona’s Wedding Place”, from Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel. I loved the lay out of this house with the courtyard in the middle. I suppose I’d get tired of having to walk through various rooms though, to get from one to the other :) One photo is of another Dio de los Muertos altar and the other is of the home.

16 La Casa de Estudillo

16 Dio de los muertos altar at La Casa de Estudillo

Well, that concludes our walk and tour. I hope you enjoyed it. You might enjoy reading my other post with various photos of other costumed skeletons and sculptures http://katelontjeffereys.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/colorful-characters-in-old-town-san-diego/. Thanks for joining me today.

I’m not sure when it all started, but yard and front door decorations for Halloween have become a big thing for people now. In my childhood, all each home had was a porch light left on, and that told us we were welcome to trick or treat there. We were greeted with folks dressed in their normal clothes, bowls filled with loose candy or homemade treats.

Today it has gone commercial with people’s lawns and front doors lighted and decorated up as if it is Christmas. Someone’s marketing idea has made a fortune for stores across the country.

It is still a delight though to see all the children and now dogs, too, dressed up, donning a different persona for the night. A sugar fest for sure, with hermetically sealed high fructose corn syrup sweets, but at least it carries children door to door to front doors through the neighborhood, doors they might not ever knock on otherwise, building community for a night.

I walk my present host’s dog and took these pictures on our late afternoon and evening walks. These are all taken with my phone camera, so some are not the greatest, but at least you get a glimpse of one neighborhood’s Halloween sights :) Hope you enjoy them!

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11 lights

1 lights

2 lights

3 lights

Last Saturday, Oct. 18th, I decided to head over to Old Town, San Diego, CA, in the late afternoon. I hadn’t been there for over a year and hadn’t really explored it much since 1999 when I was in San Diego after my Mom died in Oct. 99, in AZ.

I headed to a part I’d never been before, near the corner of Taylor and Juan Streets. First I headed into Fiesta de Reyes, a newer development with a restaurant and shops. Music was playing and the place was crowded. These are pictures of the fun characters at the entrance and scattered near the stage.

Old town oct 18 2014 d

Old town oct 18 2014 c

Old town oct 18 2014 b

Old town oct 18 2014 a

Then I headed over to Bazaar del Mundo, and found this metal quartet as I headed toward the shops. Another time I am going to go back and explore the museums and historic buildings. This place is rich in history, but is also filled with restaurants, hotels and shops to entertain and delight tourists and residents alike. Come enjoy!

Old town oct 18 2014 f

katelon:

This is so amazing so wanted to share!

Originally posted on Cool San Diego Sights!:

School kids create fantastic chalk art on Little Italy street for 2014 Festa event.

School students create amazing chalk art on a Little Italy street for the 2014 Festa event.

2014 Festa takes place tomorrow! The extremely popular event, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary, will be held as usual on the streets of Little Italy, a neighborhood just north of downtown San Diego. I’m excited!

Why?

The Gesso Italiano chalk art! Several city blocks will be overflowing with absolutely fantastic artistic creations! Perhaps you remember my blogs posts about the astounding chalk art at 2013 Festa. You’ll find them here, here and here.

Today a small army of artists began to work on a several block stretch of bare asphalt in San Diego. Tomorrow over a hundred thousand people will crowd Date Street and admire the finished masterpieces.

One block of Date Street has been reserved just for school kids! They were hard at work when I walked past today mid-afternoon!

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Last night I went for a walk along Pacific and Mission Beach. I was so grateful to have timed my walk to include the sunset. Hope you enjoy the photos I took with my old school Samsung Gravity phone :)

Sunset 1

Sunset 2

Sunset 3

Sunset 4

Sunset 5

Sunset 6

OK, OK….it may look like I never go anywhere else, but I do :) I love Balboa park…lots of free parking, green cushy grass, always something going on, beautiful buildings and gardens, lots of shade.

Yesterday I headed over to go to the Palestine Festival at the International cottage houses. This is the first festival I’ve been to there. It is wonderful to be a part of the culture and camaraderie, especially in the midst of the horror going on there right now.

There was an amazing Oud player, a man who plays all over the world, even at Carnegie Hall. I apologize for not getting his name. He played many songs and had a drummer accompanying him, playing one hand drum that sounded like a tabla drum but seemed to play like a dumbek. I loved hearing many of the people in the audience joining in, singing in their native language. How wonderful for them to have this festival to bring them all together. And how great that the park celebrates a different country each weekend.

There was a beautiful “fashion” show, showing new and vintage garments from various cities. It was quite interesting to see the difference in garment design that the various areas inspired. There were a few dance performances and some powerful poems that were read, too. I filmed one of the dance performances but unfortunately somehow it didn’t end up saved. I am going to get a new phone soon and hope to learn how to use it better. I’m also going to get a camera with a video function, so I’ll HAVE to get familiar with that so I can bring you better photos and some videos, too.

So, unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the festival and didn’t get any videos either.

After leaving, I headed over to the Bonsai display in the Casa del Prado. I made some stops on the way, so I got there 5 minutes before they closed. I felt a little self conscious, as people were packing up, so I quickly walked around taking these photos. I was disappointed to find out they weren’t in the best focus but at least you can get an idea of the work. I love how magical this horticulture art is and how ancient some of these plants manage to be. One of these plants is a real fig tree and produces tiny fig fruit. It reminds me of the books I read as a child featuring the Lilliputians, or my fascination with fairies.

Bonsai 6

Bonsai 1

Bonsai 2

Bonsai 3

Bonsai 4

Bonsai 5

After leaving the Asian Horticultural display, I wandered around looking for the Carousel. I had read a favorite blog of mine “Cool San Diego Sights”, and read about it and had never seen it. So I wandered north past the kiddy train by the zoo and finally looked at a map and found it. Here are two photos of it.

Carousel 2

Carousel 1

After leaving I went to sit with my feet in the fountain for a short while. It was fun to watch the children in the fountain swimming and having fun.

Finally I headed back toward my car, looking for a great tree and shade to sit under so I could read. I took the time to walk in and check out the Old Globe theater and took this picture of the back side of the Museum of Man, which is my favorite building in the park.

Back of San Diego Museum of Man

Hope you have enjoyed the afternoon with me. Soon I plan to purchase a day pass for museums and explore them more thoroughly, perhaps even check out the available 3 D films on White Sharks, Dinosaurs and the universe! Come check it out yourself!

I decided to head over to Balboa Park on Sunday, July 27th, to hear an organ concert. Many of the listeners came equipped with umbrellas. I sought out the shade of a tree and sat on the ground:) The acoustics are so wonderful, the architecture so beautiful.

Spreckels organ pavillion

When the concert was over I decided to head to the Botanical Garden. I had read about the orchid show in the garden. Here are some photos I took of the various orchids. Keep in mind these pictures were taken with a camera phone….low end camera at that, as I haven’t made the move to a smart phone yet. I think the pictures turned out pretty well though.

Orchids 6

Orchids 5

Orchids 4

Orchids 3

Orchids 2

Orchids 1

After leaving the garden, I walked by a Father and daughter, sitting on a bench, with a beautiful orchid plant sitting next to them. I stopped to comment on it and the man directed me to a show and orchid sale going on in a nearby building. Here are photos of two of the orchids there.

Orchids 8

Orchids 7

Next I headed over to lay on the ground and soak up the root energy of this tree that has the distinction of having one of the largest expanses in the world. On the way there, I passed by the “pirates” dangling from the building, advertising the ongoing pirate exhibition.

Pirate exhibition

Large tree

Lastly, on the way back, I stopped near the butterfly garden and noticed a bench memorial for the great activist Harvey Milk. A sweet ending to a sweet afternoon.

Harvey Milk Bench

My previous post inspired me. I often walk this boardwalk, spent my childhood vacations walking this boardwalk and in my life since then.  So some of these photos are the same location as pictures from the previous post and many are not.

The first photo is off an octopus mural on the boardwalk at the end of Garnet Ave.  So let’s start our walk:

Mural at Boardwalk and Grand Ave

This next photo is of the Baja Beach Cafe, formally Green Flash. A place where my Mom and I often enjoyed many meals.

Baja Beach Cafe former Green Flash

 

Shark mural on the side of an ice cream stand:

Mural on Icecream stand

These are called The Beach Cottages.  I stayed here in a hotel room, at spring break, with my Mom and best friend, Dottie, when I was a Junior in High School and later stayed in one of the cottages in the front in the summer of 1975, after driving to San Francisco, from Tucson, AZ, then coming down the coast to see my Grandmother, in Van Nuys, for the last time before she died later that summer.

Beach Cottages

Next we are walking by the Banana Bungalow hostel

 

Banana Bungalow Hostel

This is my favorite sno-cone stand, my guilty pleasure :)

Favorite sno cone stand

Next we pass The Surfer Hotel and World Famous Restaurant.  I have stayed at the surfer numerous times alone and with my Mother when she was alive, along with my son.  I stayed here for 10 days in 1999, after being with my Mom during her death, then clearing out her house for sale.  This was my refuge. I have eaten in the restaurant many times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is my favorite beach restaurant and it has great food.

Surfer Hotel and World Famous Restaurant

Next is the Crow’s nest studio that sits on top of a 2 bedroom beach cottage.  This and the house just to the east of it were owned by a woman who had worked on the Valley Religious Task Force board with me during the years of 1994-1997 when I did volunteer work with Central American Refugees…teaching classes, fixing up the homeless shelter we ran, giving massages to refugees, serving on the board, protesting against the covert wars in Central America and the poor treatment of the refugees, etc.  The owner of this property let my son and I stay in the Crow’s nest, for free, for a week in the summer of 1995, after a horrible break up. I was exhausted and emotionally spent, so my son and I drove from Tempe, AZ to rest and heal here.

Crows nest

This is my favorite house on the beach. It reminds me of a house in Italy or France.

Favorite house on mission beach

Next we come to Hamel’s, the store that looks like a castle. This is on Mission beach. I went in there for the first time on this stroll.  I have an “adopted” Navajo daughter who has 9 children and I wanted to look at their t-shirt collection for kids so I could gift them all San Diego t-shirts, along with wanting to gift the two children of my ex-Seattle landlords.

Hamels on Mission beach

Now we are at the famous Belmont Park and it’s wooden roller coaster. I spent so many fun filled days and nights here as a child.  I was especially fond of the fun house with the wavy mirrors and the spinning wooden floor that would ultimately spin you off to the sides. The roller coaster was shut down for awhile but now has been repaired.  In this complex there is now a miniature golf course I plan to check out, a wave house where you can surf the indoor waves, and a large salt water pool called The Plunge. It is closed for repairs. Darn!

Belmont Park and roller coaster

From here, I left the boardwalk, took off my shoes and walked down to the ocean and walked back next to the water, enjoying the hard wet sand under my feet. Looking north at the end of my walk there was Crystal Pier and the private cottage rentals.  Friends of my family used to stay in these many years ago.  San Diego was such a popular destination for many families in my southern AZ hometown, so families would plan vacations together. This provided us kids other children to play with and company for our parents as well.  I’m ready to leave San Diego now but it will always hold an important place in my heart.

Crystal Pier and cottages

As a child, I used to take my heavy canvas raft out beyond the waves and hang out for many hours, unafraid. My parents let me go, which was quite the opposite of the over vigilance in my hometown.  I’d often sit on the beach at night, listening to the waves.  I have many fond memories of this place from both childhood and adulthood. Some of the buildings along the boardwalk have remained the same, some have been torn down and replaced with newer buildings and some have been upgraded.

Come check it out yourself!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mural on Icecream stand

katelon:

I have walked this stretch, while on vacations, since childhood! I missed some of these so wanted to share!

Originally posted on Cool San Diego Sights!:

Cool art on a music store window on Garnet Avenue.

Cool art on a music store window on Garnet Avenue.

Yesterday I went for a very long walk through Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, two extremely popular beach destinations just a few miles north of downtown San Diego.

I began by walking west along Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, from around Ingraham Street all the way to the beautiful and historic Crystal Pier. This stretch contains more bars, tattoo parlors, smoke shops and swimwear stores than just about anywhere else in Southern California. It’s a young, hip, beachy sort of place, that’s mostly laid back and unpretentious. You’ll see bikinis and skateboarders and tourists and families and surfboards atop cars and under arms just about everywhere you go.

You’ll also see a lot of very cool urban art: on walls, on windows, on rooftops, in alleys…all over the place! Here are some random pics I took as I walked westward…

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