Day 2: January 27, 2011
Around the Town
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Perry's Cafe sounded like my kind of place and indeed it was. As you can see, my breakfast, the "Combo Frittata", came from Georgia. I don't know the cook's name but just had to include that smile. He was one of four kept quite busy filling orders.

Since I was near Old Town, I decided to pay a visit even though I wasn't sure just what it was. I did a little drive through then pulled into a free parking lot near the state park. There are plenty of old building here though many are reproductions. There are lots of shops and restaurants, often in historic buildings, mixed in with, and sometimes containing, museum-like displays. The most historically significant thing I found was a plaque marking the spot where the U.S. flag was first raised in southern California.

My favorite attraction in the park was the museum operating inside the reconstructed Seeley Stable. That was partly due to the coaches and such displayed and partly due to Anthony. Not only was he familiar with and willing to explain every thing in the stable, he was familiar with the building across the street. Something he called "California's first tourist trap". It may be debatable whether or not it was actually a first but La Casa de Estudillo certainly became a tourist trap a long time ago. Anthony explained how parts of the home honestly date from 1827 and how Helen Hunt Jackson had set a wedding there in her 1884 novel Ramona. In 1908 the badly dilapidated building was made into "Ramona's Marriage Place" to attract weddings and tourists. It became part of the park in 1968.

There were several groups of school aged children in the park and one such group can be seen seated near the flag pole in the last picture. Each group was lead by a costumed docent who shared San Diego history in an entertaining way.

My only real target for the day was the Cabrillo National Monument and I headed there next. My first stop was at the site of an old army radio station where a trail led to some wonderful overlooks. I followed the trail to an old lighthouse. Along the way I passed the fellow peering out to sea then took his picture looking back from the lighthouse. Only when I looked at the picture on the computer did I realize that another fellow could be seen also watching intently on the far side of the bushes. I imagine both were looking for whales.

The original Point Loma Lighthouse operated from 1854 through 1891. Water came from a cistern filled with the runoff of a large concrete slab. Downtown San Diego can be seen beyond the slab. Except for the very top floor with the lens, all of the lighthouse is accessible though the keeper's living quarters are behind plexiglass. There is a small museum right next door in what was possibly the fuel storage building.

Next to the actual monument, the Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center contains some nice displays and offers some great views that include the submarine base and San Diego. There were lots of helicopters out today but the only reason I've included a picture of one is because of the Coronado Bridge in the background.

Point Loma also holds Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. The tall monolith is for victims of the 1905 explosion on the USS Bennington who are all buried here.

I then headed for Coronado but got distracted by a lot of little cars on the way. Fiat is returning to the US in the second coming of the 500 and a media introduction event, with one day to go, was in progress. These are events where a bunch of automobile journalists and such are brought together to flog a new car in hopes that they'll say good things about it. I got lucky and found the cars when they were being pampered rather than flogged. The last three cars in the line are competitors thrown in the mix for comparison. The Fiat 500's competitors include the MINI, the Ford Fiesta, and the Toyota Yaris. That 500 sure is cute, isn't it?

I did make it to Coronado and stopped at McP's Irish Pub. When I first saw the name, I thought it was McD's which is the name of a pub a friend and I spend time in back in Ohio. I was a little disappointed when I realized it was a 'P' rather that a 'D' but in the end it didn't matter. They had a good selection of beer and a place to get rid of it.

I saw lots of what appeared to be fat-tired single-speed bicycles in Coronado. I don't know if they were rentals or just more classy Coronado behavior. The last shot is a much closer view of the Coronado Bridge seen three panels previous.

I'm ending the day fairly close to my motel with the World's Largest Lemon.

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