After being dropped off by my in-laws here in San Juan Capistrano at the Capistrano Depot, I went in the Amtrak office and decided to take the train that leaves in about 2 hours allowing me some time to explore.
Wow, what a great decision.
I had already been to the famous mission a week or so ago lingering in the gardens then walking around the main street area.
you can see photos I took of that here: https://rhondarecreates.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/aaah-capistrano-even-more-beautiful-than-i-imagined/
I then returned a couple of nights later to taste the night life at the Swallows Inn (on Taco Tuesday- that was a good idea too) and the sweet village was quite beautiful by lamplight.
So when I had the chance to explore the town a bit more before leaving, I jumped at it and am so glad I did. What you’ll see in this series will take you from
- the nice lady who sold me my ticket
- the immediately adjacent buildings and the restaurants they house, which are so very cool because they incorporate old train cars as well as the original depot buildings and signs- and remember, in American terms, this is a very old train station indeed! April 14, 1894 in the Santa Ana Standard, a weekly paper…”Old San Juan will soon blossom with the finest depot on the Santa Fe system. We invite the architecturalistic to come view this unique building illustrated with arches, a dome 40 feet high with a mission bell, dainty ticket office and quaint old fashion fireplace that will capture the tenderfoot as he breathes the balmy sea air.” You can learn more at this website I found after the fact: http://sjc.net/depot/index.html
- the Los Rios historic district which is extremely close- literally just across the railroad tracks and includes a charming walkway with many charming and ecclectic shops, old adobes and a wonderful park where you learn much much more (watch for the picture of the lady that has the world FELONY across the top of it. She was arrested for hanging laundry across her mother’s land to protest the railroad running through there. Was charged with a felony and sentenced to three years in San Quentin where she died after 2 at the age of 22) You could walk the whole area in half an hour. You could easily linger for an entire afternoon.
- the delightful little coffee shop that had wifi and oatmeal where I sat and began editing my pictures
- and then finally the all aboard when I got on the train and headed north to my next adventure
I would highly recommend coming to San Juan Capistrano, CA if you love all things beautiful and enjoy history. I’ll never forget it. ps the swallows don’t come in the giant migratory groups like they used to but the town still celebrates and hopes I’m glad I came any way.
NOTE: the photos are accidentally loaded out of order- sorry- you’ll just have to pretend you’re a time traveler and part of the time moving forwards and part of the time moving backwards through time hahah