Old Town State Park expansion coming!

The old Caltrans building at Taylor Street and Juan Street is being torn down, to make room for the expansion of the adjacent Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
The former Caltrans building at Taylor Street and Juan Street is being torn down, to make room for the expansion of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

One of the most visited state parks in California will soon undergo a major expansion!

I noticed during a recent walk that the old Caltrans building, located at the corner of Taylor Street and Juan Street, is being demolished. A banner hanging at the construction site informs passersby that this land will be added to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and will open to the public in Fall 2019!

I spoke to a state park employee and learned that initially the expansion will feature trees and benches. There are plans to eventually have interpretive exhibits or structures in this area that help visitors understand what life was like for the Native American Kumeyaay people, who inhabited this area for thousands of years before European explorers arrived. According to this informative web page, California State Parks is now working with tribal members representing the Kumeyaay Nation to “interpret their culture and their connections to the San Diego River and Old Town San Diego”.

I can’t wait to see the completed expansion!

Banner at demolition site. The former Caltrans District Office will be replaced with a new outdoor public space at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in Fall 2019.
Banner at demolition site. The former Caltrans District Office will be replaced with a new outdoor public space for Old Town San Diego State Historic Park in Fall 2019.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Santa Claus is on his way to San Diego!

I see the holidays are being celebrated at San Diego's festive Old Town Model Railroad Depot.
I see the holidays are being celebrated at San Diego’s festive Old Town Model Railroad Depot.

I just checked the Official NORAD Santa Tracker and I see that Santa Claus and his flying reindeer are presently distributing presents to everyone on the good list in Amsterdam. According to that website he has already delivered over 3.5 billion gifts. Santa must use one of those magic Harry Potter bags!

I’m so excited!

Santa Claus should be arriving in San Diego, California very soon now!

Look! It's Santa! He has arrived in Old Town San Diego already! He must have hitched his flying reindeer to this old wagon instead of a sleigh!
Look! It’s Santa! He has arrived in Old Town San Diego already! He must have hitched his flying reindeer to this old wagon instead of a sleigh!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everybody!

And Happy New Year, too!

Lots of fun and surprising blogs coming up!

Take care and keep on smiling!

Richard

Fun holiday decorations appear in Old Town!

Many creative holiday wreaths have appeared throughout Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
Lots of fun holiday wreaths have appeared throughout Old Town!

A period of rainy weather is coming to San Diego, so I left home this morning earlier than usual, to enjoy a nice, long walk before the first storm arrives.

After I got off the trolley at the Old Town station, crossed Congress Street, and entered Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, my eyes began searching for holiday decorations.

My eyes were not disappointed!

More colorful wreaths with a little bit of Mexican culture added, at the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.
More wreaths, made colorful with bits of Mexican culture, at the entrance to Fiesta de Reyes.
A simple but delightful little Christmas tree near the entrance of Seeley Stable.
A simple but delightful little Christmas tree near the entrance of Seeley Stable.
I discovered green and red wreaths at every turn as I walked about Old Town.
I discovered traditional green and red wreaths at every turn as I walked about Old Town.
Looks like three Christmas carolers up on the balcony of La Paloma!
Looks like three Christmas carolers up on the balcony of La Paloma!
Old Town Trolley Tours wishes everyone Joy with their bright banners.
Old Town Trolley Tours wishes everyone Joy with their bright banners.
Looks like Frosty the Snowman has a friend outside the Specialty Shops of Old Town Market.
Looks like Frosty the Snowman is hanging out with a happy friend at the Specialty Shops of Old Town Market.
Poinsettias on an old-fashioned cart, and a window wreath decorate one corner of Toby's Candle and Soap Shop.
Poinsettias on an old-fashioned cart, and a window decorated with a wreath. A beautiful holiday display at Toby’s Candle and Soap Shop.
The annual Christmas tree has appeared near the flagpole at the center of Old Town's historic plaza.
The annual Christmas tree has appeared near the flagpole at the center of Old Town’s historic plaza.
Celebrating the holiday season with a little Mexican flavor in Old Town!
Celebrating the holiday season with a little Mexican flavor in Old Town!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Signs of autumn appear in San Diego.

Sycamore leaves are beginning to turn along the San Diego River as autumn begins.
Sycamore leaves are beginning to turn along the San Diego River as autumn begins.

It’s much cooler in San Diego now that summer has ended. Today the sky remained overcast. The temperature was perfect for an exhilarating walk after work.

During the past few days I’ve noticed signs of autumn have appeared around San Diego. No, the palm trees haven’t turned yet.

Enjoy a few photographs. And maybe a laugh!

While walking downtown I noticed Pumpkin Spice is back at Starbucks.
While walking downtown I noticed Pumpkin Spice is back at Starbucks.
Haunted Tales is returning to the Star of India just before Halloween.
Haunted Tales is returning to the tall ship Star of India just before Halloween.
Pumpkins are beginning to arrive at grocery stores. This outdoor bin was still empty a couple days ago, but ready.
Pumpkins are beginning to arrive at grocery stores. This outdoor bin was still empty a couple days ago, but ready.
Dia de Los Muertos is coming again to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. It's one of my favorite events.
Dia de Los Muertos is coming again to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. It’s one of my favorite events.
A variety of squash can be found along India Street in Little Italy.
A nice harvest of squash can be found along India Street in Little Italy.
These leaves are turning at the Little Italy trolley station. Wait a minute. Those are leaves, right?
These leaves are turning at the Little Italy trolley station. Wait a minute. Those are leaves, right?
Colorful autumn leaves fill tiny trees at the Old Town Model Railroad Depot!
Colorful autumn leaves fill tiny trees at the Old Town Model Railroad Depot!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Oil painted scenes from around San Diego!

Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument.
Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument.

I had some more fun altering photographs to make them appear like oil paintings. I selected a number of images from my computer and applied GIMP’s Oilify filter to convert them into splendid works of art!

I’ve done similar photo editing twice in the past. I had some fun “oil painting” sailboats out on San Diego Bay, and then some beautiful plants and flowers in Balboa Park’s Botanical Building.

I also used GIMP’s Cubism filter once. With a couple easy clicks of the mouse, I created some cool impressionistic “paintings” of streets and buildings in downtown San Diego!

Here are my latest productions. Enjoy!

Fishing from a pier on sunlit San Diego Bay.
Fishing from the pier at Embarcadero Marina Park South.
Sunset over Point Loma across San Diego Bay.
Sunset over Point Loma across San Diego Bay.
View of the Hyatt Regency Marina near the Mission Bay Sportscenter.
View of the Hyatt Regency Marina near the Mission Bay Sportscenter.
People wait to cross Mission Boulevard in Mission Beach.
People wait to cross Mission Boulevard in Mission Beach.
The Geisel Library Building at University of California San Diego.
The Geisel Library Building at University of California San Diego.
Seagulls fly above San Diego Bay.
Seagulls fly above San Diego Bay.
Fresh fish for sale at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
Fresh fish for sale at Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.
Walking across the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge toward Petco Park and the downtown Central Library.
Walking across the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge toward Petco Park and the downtown Central Library.
The beautiful Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.
The beautiful Casa del Prado in Balboa Park.
Lawn bowling in Balboa Park.
Lawn bowling in Balboa Park.
A flower and window at the International Cottages in Balboa Park.
A flower and window at the International Cottages in Balboa Park.
St. Mary's Chapel and Tower of The Bishop's School in La Jolla.
St. Mary’s Chapel and Tower at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla.
Junipero Serra Museum on Presidio Hill.
Junipero Serra Museum on Presidio Hill.
Ballet folklórico dancer at Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego.
Ballet folklórico dancer at Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego.
The historic former Hotel Del Coronado Boathouse.
The historic former Hotel Del Coronado Boathouse.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos of restored rooms inside Casa de Estudillo.

Visitors to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park look into a restored room of La Casa de Estudillo.
Visitors to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park look into a restored room of La Casa de Estudillo.

Four years ago I posted photos of La Casa de Estudillo, a famous adobe house in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park that was originally built in 1827. That blog was called Ramona saved Casa de Estudillo in Old Town and concerned the fascinating history of this structure.

Over time various parts of the casa have undergone restoration and new rooms have opened up to public view. These rooms now appear furnished as they once might have been, in the very early days of San Diego.

I recently walked through La Casa de Estudillo and peered into a few of the rooms…

Sign describes the dining room of La Casa de Estudillo.
Sign describes the dining room of La Casa de Estudillo.
The eventual prosperity of the Estudillo family is reflected in their elegant dining room.
The eventual prosperity of the Estudillo family is reflected in their elegant dining room.
Expensive furniture and tableware imported by ship from distant places fill the otherwise simple room.
Expensive furniture and tableware imported by ship from distant places fill the otherwise simple room.
Sign describes commerce in the casa. Francisco de Paul Rodriguez rented space from the Estudillos for a store.
Sign describes commerce in the casa. Francisco de Paul Rodriguez rented space from the Estudillos for a store.
The store, or tienda, contained shelves of goods that might be purchased by the residents of Old Town San Diego. Much of the merchandise came by ship from the East Coast around Cape Horn.
The store, or tienda, contained shelves of goods that might be purchased by the residents of Old Town San Diego. Much of the merchandise came by ship from the East Coast around Cape Horn.
More shelves against one wall contain iron tools and basic furnishings like candlesticks for sale.
More shelves against one wall contain iron tools and basic furnishings like candlesticks for sale.
Sign describes how the Estudillos adapted to life on the frontier in the 1830's and 1840's.
Sign describes how the Estudillos adapted to life on the frontier in the 1830’s and 1840’s.
A bedroom inside La Casa de Estudillo contains a wealth of comfort, unusual in early San Diego, which was located far away from developed centers of commerce.
A bedroom inside La Casa de Estudillo contains a wealth of comfort, unusual in early San Diego, which was located far away from developed centers of commerce.
Several additional rooms at La Casa de Estudillo are undergoing restoration.
Several additional rooms at La Casa de Estudillo are undergoing restoration.
Sign describes how the casa started as a modest two-room structure and eventually grew into an expansive U-shaped building with a courtyard and outbuildings.
Sign describes how the casa started as a modest two-room structure and eventually grew into an expansive U-shaped building with a courtyard and outbuildings.
Photo of the Casa de Estudillo's tower from the central garden courtyard.
Photo of the Casa de Estudillo’s tower from the central garden courtyard.
Looking across the south end of the courtyard toward the outdoor oven and Seeley Stable beyond.
Looking across the south end of the courtyard toward the outdoor oven and Seeley Stable beyond.
Sign explains how the Estudillos cared for a growing family including many children.
Sign explains how the Estudillos cared for a growing family including many children.
Frozen Charlotte dolls, ca. 1850's. These china dolls were popular in the Victorian era.
Frozen Charlotte dolls, ca. 1850’s. These china dolls were popular in the Victorian era.
A look into the children's bedroom.
A look into the children’s bedroom.
Sign describes the Estudillo kitchen and pantry. The family's ranchos provided meat, game, vegetables and fruit.
Sign describes the Estudillo kitchen and pantry. The family’s ranchos provided meat, game, vegetables and fruit.
Jars, pots, sacks of flour and fruit are among the many items seen in the rather primitive kitchen.
Jars, pots, sacks of flour and fruit are among the many items seen in the rather primitive kitchen.
The kitchen inside La Casa de Estudillo provides an idea of what life might have been like in early San Diego.
The kitchen inside La Casa de Estudillo provides an idea of what life might have been like in early San Diego.

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Californio history celebrated again in Old Town!

Today, after I checked out the San Diego Cup racing at Mission Bay, I headed to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to see if anything interesting was going on. Somehow I’d forgotten that Stagecoach Days are celebrated in Old Town on summer Saturdays, and so I was surprised and happy to stumble upon Days of the Vaqueros!

I blogged about this exact same event last year, and took lots of photos and provided a fair amount of description and background. I saw many of the same participants again this year, and debated whether I should take more photos.

I love Old Town so much I couldn’t resist. If you want to learn more about life in San Diego when Southern California was a part of Spain, then Mexico, and large ranches employed the original cowboys, or vaqueros, then visit my blog from last summer’s event here.

You might also enjoy reading my blog post about Old Town’s McCoy House Museum, which includes many displays that concern San Diego’s fascinating early history.

Meanwhile, here are a few uncaptioned photographs of what I experienced today…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!