Monday, January 10, 2022

Lunch and Old Town

San Diego Metro KOA

Chula Vista, CA

January 10, 2022 

Old Town San Diego is a state protected park in San Diego and rightfully so.  

It is known as the birth place of California.  History states that  in 1769 Father Junipero Sierra, along with a group of Spanish soldiers established the first permanent settlements on a hill overlooking the San Diego River and what is Old Town today.  Presidio Park, built by Father Sierra, is a beautiful Mission with lots of history that I wrote about in a blog post five years ago in January 2017.  It was the first time we met Jeff and Fran and what a treat it was to have locals as guides that day as we explored the park.  If you are interested, the "featured post" side bar (top right) is a link to that fun day.  

Thank you Jeff and Fran !

For the years since then, when visiting San Diego having lunch with Jeff and Fran is something Joe and I look forward to.  Today we met them at Casa Guadalajara (Jeff and Fran's choice and what a great choice it was!) in Old Town.  Their company, laughter and conversation was the highlight.  

The patio setting at Casa Guadalajara was perfect!

And it's worth mentioning that the food we were served was nothing short of a masterpiece of yummy goodness that I forgot to photo.  

We have visited Old Town several times, and I still enjoy perusing the streets there. The colors make me happy.

Joe's mom always said, "Things don't just grow in California, they flourish."  I couldn't agree more !

At first glance, I thought this tree was decorated...

What an interesting flower... 

There is so much history in Old Town.  Much of the history and the stories center around old, businesses, barns, etc. that are now museums.  One building,  The Church of the Immaculate Conception, is still a functioning church.  Today, it serves over 300 families and visitors from around the world.  It was dedicated in 1858 and the cornerstone to the present church was laid in 1868. 

It is often called the Old Adobe Chapel on Conde Street today.      

Stained glass window from inside the church

The bell tower...the church was seismically retrofitted to withstand earthquakes in 2019.

But sometimes, the history of a place is found in the food we enjoy !  And aren't we happy about that?  Handmade tortillas made from scratch the old fashioned way usually draws a crowd.  The dough gets hand pressed and rolled out and with a lot of presses needed here... a perfectly round tortilla is born.  Everyday in Old Town, over 3,000 corn tortillas are made using between 300-400 pounds of corn and 5,600 flour tortillas are made using about 700 pounds.  Now that's a lot of tortillas !  The dough rises and bubbles while they cook on large flat grills and the air fills with the smell of deliciousness.  Yet another reason to enjoy perusing the streets !       

Tortillas date back to 10,000 BC to the Mayan time.


I'll close with a few more favorite photos ...

The week is off to a wonderful start.  It actually began at San Diego's biggest farmer's market on Sunday...more on that later.  Until next time, 



  1. You're amazing!, how did you put that together so fast? A great pictorial and description of old Town, a favorite of ours too.
    To be clear meeting up with you today was among the very best parts of the New Year. Hopefully we can do it again while you're here.

    1. It’s always fun seeing you and Fran. And you always pick the best places to eat! You both are a special part of San Diego for us! We will stay in touch!

  2. I've never been to Old Town San Diego but now I want to go--just seeing your photos made me smile this morning! You guys are having such a good time!

    1. Thank you Janna. Most folks visit Old Town once and never go back, but I always see it thru different eyes every time we go. It wasn’t crowded this trip…a definite plus. We are having fun and missing home all at the same time! This is definitely a new way of life for us!

  3. What are those flowers???? I thought they were beautiful Mexican decorations at first glance. Always nice to see Jeff and Fran, especially in such a beautiful spot. I miss visiting San Diego!

    1. I thought the same thing Sue…I spent a few minutes researching, but did not find anything. I asked Jeff and Fran and they didn’t know either. It’s always fun visiting San Diego.

    2. I too was curious after a bit of Googling I believe your photo depicts a Chilean Lantern Tree.

    3. Thank you Jeff! And now we know!

  4. How did I not realize Jeff has a blog? I've added them to my blog roll so thanks for that link :-)
    Beautiful pics of the historic area. Love the lush greenery and bright colors. That old wheel is so special. Looks like you're doing San Diego right and enjoying their delicious offerings. Soooo many tortillas!

    1. You're welcome and thank you Jodee for the compliment. I always enjoy the camera here. I do LOVE the desert, but all the green, bright colors and ocean views are a nice change of scenery for a few weeks. Food just seems to taste better on vacation don't you think?