I ended up sick in bed, out for the count, the Monday after Christmas, so this post kept getting delayed. There were visitors in the house over Christmas so I had much to do to get the place ready and things felt too hectic to attempt to write this before Christmas….then there was the post clean up and then….- – – \________ Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.
I headed over to Old Town, in the rain, on the 22nd of Dec., to buy just a couple small things for Christmas presents and to be out in the air. While living in Seattle, I got quite tired of the gray and mist, not enjoying the rain like I did while living earlier in No. CA. But here in San Diego, rain is a glorious thing, and I love the feel of the wind and cold. I miss snow, that I loved while living in CO years ago, so this windy rain here will have to do for now until my journey weaves me on to CO.
It felt quite sweet to be out walking before Christmas, enjoying the lovely decorations and the other visitors and shoppers out around me. There are many outside booths in Old Town and most of these were shrouded in heavy vinyl tents, closed up for the day.
I wandered in and out of some stores and found a couple unique small gifts, and enjoyed the conversations I often have with shop-keepers :)
When I was walking back toward my car, I took some photos of the gray sky and decorated buildings. Hope you enjoy these. Come along, you can share the walk with me……
First, heading west, we come to the San Diego Union Printing Office and then Casa de Pedrorena de Altamirano.
The printing office was a pre-fab building shipped from Maine, around Cape Horn, to arrive in San Diego in 1851. I’ve read a historical novel about traveling via ship around Cape Horn. It was quite dangerous weather wise and in many other ways. But this building arrived safely to be built and house the first office of the San Diego Union weekly paper. The first edition was printed on Oct. 10, 1868. It was 4 pages long.
You can still see the original print room with a Washington press, as well as the editor’s office. Entrance is free.
The Altamirano-Pedrorena House was built on a lot purchased by Miquel de Pedronena, from Madrid. He arrived here as a ship’s agent and later married one of the Estudillo daughters in 1842. He claimed this lot which is next to Casa de Estudillo. Sadly, he didn’t live to build a home on the lot as he died in 1850. The home was built in 1869, by his son, Miguel Jr..
In 1871, the home was transferred to Isabel Altamirano, who was Miguel Jr.’s sister, married to Jose Antonio Altamirano. The house remained a family residence until 1907. It is now a rock, gem and jewelry store.
Walking on, we come to the central plaza in Old Town State Historic Park. This park is where San Diego began. It is now a reconstructed setting of life in San Diego in 1821-1872. It became a historic park in 1968. This day it had a lovely display of a taller Christmas tree surrounded by other smaller trees. Pretty huh?
As we continue walking west we see the Robinson-Rose House, which is now the Visitor’s Center. It is free to explore, too.
This building was built by James Robinson, who came from Texas in 1850. He established a successful law practice and built this in 1853 not only to house family but also to house office space for the San Diego Herald, the San Diego and Gila Railroad and other private offices. He died in 1857. (ok….that’s 2 of the main inhabitants moving to San Diego and dying in less than 10 years. It must have been a challenging place to live then.). Anyway, Jame’s wife Sarah, sold the building to Louis Rose for a family home. The roof was destroyed in the 1874 fire and fell to ruins. It is now reconstructed and has various displays in it and admission is free.
As we turn right (north), we can see the Barra Barra Saloon. I loved the fire burning in the patio and the pretty decorations.
As you look ahead, you can see the entrance to Bazaar Del Mundo. As you first walk through this entrance there is a woman selling very yummy roasted and sweetened nuts. Inside the bazaar there are a restaurant, coffee house, stores, and a stage where various groups usually play, when it isn’t raining. I had started my trip here and found some great seasoning in the Temucula Olive Oil company that has a large variety of flavored olive oils, pastas, olives, bath and body products and other items. I found a couple little gifts, too, at the sweet garden shop that is at the north end.
Hope you enjoyed the walk with me on that gray rainy day. I held you in my heart as I strolled along, in and out of stores, breeze flowing across my face as I stepped outside.
Wishing you a NEW Year, a truly remarkable shift of a year, with the planet transforming into peace, love, abundance, health, joy, cooperation and support for all!
much love, katelon