Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wrapping Up a Too-Short Stay

After we left the Mission San Juan Capistrano, we walked the few blocks to the train station for the return to San Diego. We were early, and wandering around the station, we noticed signs identifying the adjacent area as the Los Rios Street Historic District.

The development of Los Rios Street was closely tied to the establishment of nearby Mission. In 1794, 40 adobe structures were constructed on this street to house the Indians who labored at the mission. As the village evolved it was incorporated into the plans for the secular pueblo of San Juan Capistrano, created in 1841.

The Montanez Adobe (below) is believed to be one of the original 40. Between 1886 and 1910, the Montanez Adobe gained spiritual significance following the secu-larization of the Mission. Dona Montanez, the spiritual leader for the community , created a tiny chapel in the adobe, which became the village sanctuary.

The buildings on the street included galleries, gift shops, cafes, and a bit of whimsy. The Hum-mingbird Cottage (left) featured a gingerbread boy on a tree and several colorful paper plates attached to long sticks that looked like large lollipops scattered around the lawn.

But this mailbox seemed to say quite a bit about the easy-going life on the short historic section of Los Rios Street.

Reluctantly, we left without fully exploring the cafes on this street.

A few days later, we headed for I-10 and the two-day drive to Phoenix. Much of this highway was arrow-like straight with little change in the scenery. While we show some of the pictures along the drive, we will summarize our food stops with Dick and Karen Allsing.


Do You Remember the Coneheads?

No? They were characters on the early episodes of Saturday Night Live. “The Coneheads are an alien family, natives of the planet Remulak, who find themselves stranded on Earth…Aside from their obvious physical differences, the Coneheads…seem to have much larger appetites than average humans. They would eat large amounts of food during meals (which they refer to as ‘consuming mass quantities’)” (from Wikipedia).

Somehow, whenever we get together with Karen and Dick, we, too, consume mass quantities. Chuck and my exercise in excess began when we joined them at their campsite at Santee Lakes (see blog on 11/3) and continued through three more meals.

Meal Number Two was a pre-theater dinner at Miguelitos in Coronado. On that occasion, I was the big eater with my Calamari Relleno—a sautéed and tender calamari steak wrapped around a chile relleno and topped with jalapeño white sauce. Two of my favorites—calamari and chile relleno—on one plate.

Meal Number Three was at D.Z. Akins, San Diego’s answer to a New York Jewish deli. That noon, Chuck was the foodie and devoured (only) half of a corned beef, hot pastrami, and chopped liver sandwich on seeded rye with a side of potato salad and a goodly amount of my fries. My choice was the corned beef, swiss, and slaw on an onion twist roll. Half of my sandwich also came home, because I had overindulged on the half sour pickles from the bucket on our table.

And, before leaving San Diego, the four of us met for dinner at Casa de Pico, a marvelous Mexican restaurant in La Mesa and only fifteen (at most) minutes from the camp-ground. Chuck had a combo plate, but other than an enchilada, I don’t remember what was on his plate. I enjoyed two very large chicken enchiladas smothered in a dark mole that was both medium spicy and chocolaty. Delicious.

Unfortu-nately, we lost the photos of these excellent meals, but we thank our hosts who made our visit to southern California memorable.

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