Friday, October 31, 2008

What's your favorite holiday?

Not the clearest photo and I didn't even capture it all, but this shows how occupants of this one house went all out for Halloween. There was even an audio soundtrack coming from the evil groom in the back. Everyone has a favorite holiday, what's yours?
Hope you all have a very fun and safe Halloween night!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Patch, take two

In the month of October, we simply cannot get enough of the local pumpkin patches. Or so it seems. This photo was taken at the Pinery Pumpkin Patch, where there wasn't all that much to do, although the corn maze was pretty fun. Plus, they had a picturesque pumpkin-picking field.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Skeletons - in the closet til Nov 1st

I didn't get a chance to get to more haunted places but if you want to visit a fabricated haunted house and have some scary fun, click here to find links and read about Halloween and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) events in San Diego. The above photo of skeleton figures are sold in Old Town and are considered to be a symbol for the Day of the Dead.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

El Campo Santo Cemetery

Spirits and cold spots have been reported in the El Campo Santo Cemetery in Old Town where Native Americans and early San Diegans are buried. The cemetery was established in 1849 and is the second oldest in the city. The oldest cemetery in the city and in California is at the Mission San Diego de Alcalá.Transportation lines (for horse-drawn carriages, streetcars, and a eventually a paved road for cars) were built over some of the cemetery. Click here to see "grave markers" that are now embedded in the sidewalk on San Diego Avenue where there were once graves.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Villa Montezuma

Piano music at all hours of the day, strange orbs in photos, and feelings of dizziness have been reported from visitors of the Villa Montezuma. It was built in 1887 and has a long history of unexplained coincidences beginning with the first owner, Jessee Shepard, who gave seances and piano recitals at the house. Read more here.
Unfortunately at this time they are not giving tours because it is closed for renovation. Click here to learn about the on-going restoration efforts.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Whaley House

Reports of moving objects, spirit sightings, unexplained cigar smoke or perfume smells, and "cold spots" have made the Whaley House one of the most haunted houses in the US. If that is not enough evidence, then consider that the house was built on grounds where public hangings used to take place in the 1800's. Above is a photo of a section of the parlor at the house.
When we visited we didn't see any ghosts or experience any of the above, but we were told that there was even a dog ghost that sometimes comes out to visit. Hauntings aside, the house holds a significant place in our city's history as it housed the first commercial theater, a courthouse, and a general store.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rhymes with orange

Lots of color and size variants in this pumpkin display at Plaza del Pasado.

Friday, October 24, 2008


These dough balls are pressed flat and fried up on the grill. Voila - a tortilla! In Old Town there are several restaurants where you can see tortillas made right before your eyes. Here is another photo I showed before of tortilla making.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Persimmons - mmmmm!

One of the neat things we San Diegans enjoy are the different fruit & veg. we can grow here. With the smallest shade of a green thumb you can enjoy a surprising variety - I have friends picking apples from their trees now! Persimmons are a lesser-known fruit (and the ones above aren't ripe yet), often depicted in old European paintings. However, once you've had a ripe one, you'll totally understand why they're in so many of those old paintings - and wonder why there aren't a whole slew of artists dedicated to painting them today (The Vermillion Society for People in Pursuit of Persimmon Perfection? I'll be president, you be secretary, ok?).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To do list

This is the main trailhead to Cowles Mountain at Navajo Road and Golfcrest Drive. The hike is about 3 miles roundtrip and is the most popular trail in Mission Trails Regional Park. The mountain is 1592 feet and as the highest point in the city, has spectacular views. Not like I'd know because, although I live near the mountain, I have yet to climb it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Garden view

On the day that I visited Heritage Park, the Heritage Park Inn was having a liquidation sale because they lost their lease. The Inn occupied the Queen Anne Victorian called the Christian House which was built in 1889. This is a view from one of the guest rooms.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Old & new

In the foreground is the Sherman-Gilbert House which is one of several houses that were moved from their original locations and preserved in Heritage Park in Old Town. (Click here to see the Jewish Temple that is also located in Heritage Park.) This Victorian house was built in 1887 and was first owned by John Sherman then later owned by sisters Bess and Gertrude Gilbert, thus the name. Up on the hill is a modern home in the Mission Hills neighborhood.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Muy bonita

This busty mural is on the side of Cream Coffee Bar in University Heights.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Texas Street

I was standing on a overpass on Adams Avenue to get this view of Texas Street as it winds its way up into the neighborhood of University Heights. The buildings in the back are in Mission Valley. Click on the photo to enlarge and you will see a cyclist on a recumbent bike on their way up the hill.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Warm, crispy, golden dough topped with sugar and cinnamon. Drool. Churros are sold here at panaderias (Mexican bakeries), many Mexican restaurants, and even Rubio's. Below is a photo from La Panaderia in Old Town.
The bottom shelf to the left shows another sweet Mexican treat, pan dulce.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

When you have kids, this time of year means at least one trip to one of the local pumpkin patches. There seem to be quite a few around these days - here's a list of the ones that pop in my head immediately.
Do you know of any others that I missed?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


On the short train ride on the Poway Midland Railroad, there was a reenactment of a train robbery. The actors had fake shot guns and really hammed it up. This photo made me start thinking, “What am I going to be for Halloween?!!” Only a few weeks left now. Any spectacularly creative costume ideas?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The little engine that could

This steam locomotive, named Engine #3, started out hauling rocks when it was built in 1907. Since then it changed hands a few times before it was acquired by the city of Poway for Old Poway Park in 1987. It was restored by volunteers and now makes short trips hauling happy passengers around the Poway Midland Railroad track.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yesteryear's toys

For every toy commercial, I hear, "I want that!" I really enjoyed this wall of older toys at the Nelson House, an 1800's farm house at Old Poway Park. How about that old roller skate! What was/is your favorite toy or game?

Sunday, October 12, 2008


The day we went to Old Poway Park there were blacksmithing demonstrations. This guy was hammering out dragon faces from a metal rod.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


We visited Old Poway Park and took a ride on the Poway Midland Railroad steam train. Old Poway Park was started by a resident who dreamed of having a historic village where people could come and enjoy the old west. The city realized this dream in 1993 with a two acre park, historic buildings, and a 1/2 mile train line with antique locomotives. Over the next few days I'll show you some of the "old west" scenes from the park. All aboard!

Friday, October 10, 2008


This may seem like I'm completely abandoning my food theme, but beer can be food, right? The above building is the historic Mission Brewery which operated between 1913-1918 before Prohibition closed it down. Before Prohibition, there were about 7 active breweries in San Diego, and I think this is the only brewery structure still standing today that was in operation before Prohibition. Today it is occupied with offices and shops. We have lots of great "home brews" that started out in the late 80s and mid 90s and are operating today: Karl Strauss, Ballast Point, Callahan's, Coronado Brewing, and Stone Brewery. See an old photo of the Mission Brewery here or click here-pdf to read a nice article on San Diego brew history.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Squid at Dog Beach!

This past weekend our trip to dog beach turned rather adventurous - swimming along the shallows was this squid! We couldn't quite figure out what was going on, squids are supposed to be very intelligent. However, this guy would swim out a ways, then swim right back into shore, at times getting stuck in the shallow water. Other times it would 'charge' at a curious dog, clearly trying to scare dogs off that got too close. Above, it was stuck on the sand, and rolled onto its side. It's shooting water out of its siphon, trying to free itself. It was about 3 feet long - here's another photo with a dog in it for size comparison.

I must admit that it crossed my mind that if expat were present, he'd surely have been trying to figure out a way to get it home to make calamari.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

To the south

Going back over the Coronado Bridge to San Diego, this is the view of the south toward National City. This overlooks the ship building yard of General Dynamics NASSCO and a little further south is the 32nd Street Naval Base which is where all of the Navy ships come and go out of San Diego.
P.S.: I don't want to be redundant, but if you want to see more photos of the Coronado Bridge that we've posted before, click here, here, here, or here!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Limit setters

These high rise condos in Coronado caused a stir when they were built in the 1970s and within a short time from the ground breaking voters set a 40 foot height limit on new buildings. The condos are called Coronado Shores and consist of ten ocean front 15 story buildings. Click here to read about its history, pricing, and some of the famous owners.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Crossing the Coronado Bridge

We went to Coronado Beach a few weekends ago and since I was the passenger instead of the driver this time, I got some photos off the Coronado Bridge. This looks over Crosby Street Park, across the Blue line of the trolley, and toward downtown. The big building, to the left kind of on the water, is the Hilton Hotel that was in the news this May because of a natural gas explosion that injured several people.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


What can I say, but, Welcome! This little mural on Cafe Coyote makes Old Town a fun and vibrant place.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Tall cool drink

One afternoon when my kids fell asleep in the car, I drove around in my neighborhood for a short time to keep them sleeping. Hey, what is $5 in gas versus 30 minutes of quiet? I saw this very developed yard where one cactus is almost as tall as the house. Click here to read how to get water out of a cactus in case you are stranded in the desert with no water.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mille Feuille

My tongue still can't get around to pronouncing "feuille", but it had no problem with this mixed berry tart. Mille Feuille opened at 5th and University (where the Gap store used to be) about one month ago. They have chocolates, pastries, cakes, quiches, and sandwiches. The little cakes range in price from $4.00-6.50, sandwiches are $8.50-9.50. I'm sorry that I don't have more photos but the camera batteries died at the store. Go to SD Urban to see a review and photos of the clean green interior of the store. I'll have to go back to get a taste and a photo of the other little cake that caught my eye called "apricot summer": coconut pineapple and carrot sponge cake layered with orange apricot cream cheese filling topped with a marbled glaze and a few blueberries.

P.S. Sadly, the store closed in the spring of 2009.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Mast of Star of India, Embarcadero

While there are many offerings down at the Embarcadero, the Star of India is by far the most famous. It's just so beautiful, and so easy to imagine pirates swinging around, having sword fights, and singing "yo-ho, yo-ho..."
Alas, this ship was never a pirate ship, but it did survive mutiny, and that's kind of pirate-y, isn't it?
This ship did experience some more excitement in it's tenure as a ship sailing the seas, which you can read about here.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Theme Day - Lines

A bit obvious, perhaps? Eh, so sue me. October comes and I think of the spookier things, it just happens! These lines were found in my back yard of all places.
There are other photo blogs taking part in theme day. Check them out here:
Click here to view thumbnails for all participantsPlease visit and comment on as many blogs as you can!Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Auckland, New Zealand by Baruch, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Avignon, France by Nathalie, Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin, Bandung, Indonesia by Eki Akhwan, Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Baziège, France by PaB, Belgrade, Serbia by BgdPic, Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Birmingham (AL), USA by VJ, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boston (MA), USA by Ilse, Budapest, Hungary by agrajag, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by 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