Over hill and dale, hither and yon, our home away from home, “the Big Boy” has rolled and rolled and rolled. This links to my facebook “Where in the world is Big Boy?” album. You have to look closely in some of the pics lol. (1) Rhonda Effron Brown.
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
We’ve all heard of the beauty of Southern California. It has not at all been exaggerated.
I’ve had the best time living it for the last three weeks. The 10 days in the Long Beach then the LA areas and the last 10 days south of that in the Capistrano area.
This coast line area has seen a lot of action for the last 300 yrs plus. Pirates, explorers, missionaries, developers, surfers and the list goes on.
This set of photos is from 2 days ago when I jumped on a public bus and got off in the vicinity of Dana Point Harbor.
side note: Dana Point was named after R H Dana who wrote Two Years Before the Mast http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Years_Before_the_Mast
A seafaring tale. Evidently quite famous. My dad had heard of him. I hadn’t. You’ll see a big statue of him in the pictures. You’ll also see pictures of murals depicting how “back in the day” the rancheros tossed hides and other trade items off the cliffs here to the waiting ships below. The same cliffs you’ll see now conveniently have lots of stairway options.
It was about a 3 mile bus ride. If you read another post I did you saw that I had the bus virtually to myself. Pretty amazing considering how congested traffic is here on the highways.
I spent the next eight hours deeply exploring the area. Meeting people. Of course I had to peer into the surf shop right across from Doheny Beach since a local the other day (who definitely appeared not only old enough to remember but also to have lived it) told me that this is the true birth place of “long boarding”. I was also checking out the parks. Wandering the docks. Admiring the flora and the fauna. Reading all the plaques and walking every trail I could find. Asking endless questions. (I am definitely the curious type) Watching the surfers and skateboarders. Reflecting on wonderful reality of beautiful public spaces where everyone can come together and enjoy.
Young and Old Rich and Poor
I even tried to make it around a rocky peninsula jutting out into the Pacific towards Catalina Island but finally gave up. The steep winding coastal road up to the top of the bluff over the harbor led me to a nature interpretive center. From there I found my way down to the beach beyond the rocky point and eventually down a long beachfront sidewalk all the way back to the condo where I’m staying at the moment with my in-laws (they’re from Montana but are here house sitting).
I hope this is enough of a description for you to be able to sense where I was in the various pictures I took.
By the time I got back I was nothing but a blob of pure exhaustion and total satisfaction.
It was a glorious day of discovery and learning. I hope you enjoy what I was able to capture.
Please feel free to ask questions 🙂
If you want to officially “follow” this blog and get an email notification when I add things, go to the bottom of the page and click the follow button and give it your email. I sincerely hope this documentation of our adventures encourages others to live their dreams be it travel or whatever brings you joy.
As digital memory becomes more and more affordable we’ve seen an absolute explosion in the use of visual images and video to tell stories and share ideas. I see this as a natural predictable technological evolution that will continue to gain strength.
The visual artists I’ve met along the way (including our own kids) will often tell how they’ve been discouraged from embracing their dreams.
Why? … Well, who hasn’t heard the term “starving artist”?
No one wants to see someone struggle endlessly and “starve” in their quest to make a living. That’s understandable. But I say it’s time to step back and see the opportunities that may be found by the artist through a new lens.
The world’s going online and the world’s going visual FAST! In the simplest of terms that spells OPPORTUNITY for the artist.
Yes, they must be innovative.
Yes, they must work hard at their skills and learning how to find a marketable niche.
But now, perhaps more than ever before in the history of man, the motivated and dedicated artist can carve out a place. Businesses need the clever and the creative to help them communicate their goods and services effectively to their audiences. We are now competing globally and that’s a whole new ball game.
So if you have a budding artist in your midst, maybe you want to consider not just encouraging them with finger paint when they are little but continue to support and nurture where their heart leads them.
I believe creativity lives within us all and we are making the world a better and more beautiful place when we embrace and encourage it.
for a practical example to prove my point check out this “visual” version of a resume- the early bird gets the worm- the clever artist gets the job hahah
you can commission my son Tanner to do a cartoon for you or your business at :
dream of reinventing your life?
love art, camping, travel?
imagine living off the grid?
We are Rhonda and Ryan and invite you to learn how we are reinventing our lives and trying to make a living along the way. We invite you to join us