Sunday, April 27, 2008

San Juan Capistrano or Why the Swallows Always Return

There is so much history around us, but it is often difficult to take the time to remind ourselves about those who have ventured ahead.  Last week, I decided that I needed a change of perspective and so I wandered down to a little town which is within a few miles of our home.  The town is called San Juan Capistrano.  It is most widely recognized for the Mission(the first one in California) which remains there, as well as the Swallows who come home to roost at the same time every year.  It is a lovely little town seeped deeply in history.  I have been told that there are even some bewildered "spirits" who wander through the streets and haunt the homes there, looking for their lost lives and loves.   
As I entered the Los Rios District, I came across this handsome gentleman.  I walked by him and he smiled a warm smile as I passed.  I smiled back and made a mental note that if he was still there when I returned on my way back, I would ask him if I could take his photograph.  When I approached him, he was more than happy to oblige.  He made a natural subject.  His face and the energy that he exuded truly encompassed the feeling of the area.  I was honored and humbled by this lovely gentleman whose name is David.  He shook my hand with so much warmth that I was overtaken by his generosity.
In the background of this photograph, you can see the old jail cell which was used to hold outlaws.  When my angels were little, they used to love playing inside of the cell.  They used to "lock" each other in and climb up and down the bars.  It kept them busy long enough for me to take some deep breaths and enjoy the beauty around us.
The Los Rios District is over two hundred years old.  It is the oldest town in all of California.  This picture shows the train tracks which go from Los Angeles to San Diego.  It is one of the stops along the way.
Many of the homes along this street are historical landmarks.  They range in age from forty years to two hundred and four years old.  I love looking at them!  Each new homeowner adds something new to the landscape of the community.  

This house is now the site of a beautiful tea room.  Charming.

There are several shops intermingled along with the couple of restaurants and private homes.  This is a new shop which was created out of a very small old garage.  When I went inside, the owner was a delightful woman who did a wonderful job creating a lot within a very small space.  There are quite a few artists who live in the area.  It is no wonder that they are attracted to this little town since it is so rich in natural beauty and history.

My hope is that this little visit to a historic town will inspire you to embark on an adventure, this week.  We tend to follow the same routines from day to day, and we often forget to observe the beauty that is around us.  I would love to see some photos of, or hear some stories about the areas in which you live.  

May the coming week bring you lots of happy surprises and bits of inspiration.  


tj said...

...What a wonderful lil' trip and thank you for the tour and photos! I love places like that - altho' the town I live near is not a charming destination, I am surrounded by historic towns and beautiful wine country. My hope is to move nearby one of them some day soon...

...I remember my mom talking about San Juan Capistrano when I was a child. My parents lived in California for a few years right after they were married but then they moved back to Missouri. My mom always liked to share with me the fact that my brother was 'conceived' in California by which I would immediately reply with a sigh, "too much information mom" ;o)

...Thanks again for the lil' tour - I really enjoyed it! I love history!

...Blessings to you my dear friend... :o)

Coffee Bean said...

We loved San Juan Capistrano when we visited years and years ago... before our son was even born. Your pictures turned out quite lovely!

So what did you end up serving for dinner and what is your "signature dish?"

Ness said...

I feel refreshed just looking at your pics and hearing the story. But you're's time for an adventure complete with pics. Sounds like the perfect birthday present to me on Wednesday. Stay tuned. Hugs to you, dear friend.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

What a gorgeous adventure you had, dear! I would have loved to have joined you, sometimes you just need a little escape like that!

So sorry about your favorite dish in the last post. Sadly, I have that sort of thing happen often when I am trying to entertain. Cooking is not my thing I guess.

Love and hugs to you, BFF!

Wyanne said...

Debra - your blog is so great and this Sunday post inspired me on Monday!


Marcie said...

What beautiful pictures Debra! Enjoyed reading about your adventure and it has reminded me that sometimes you just have to break away from monotony. :)

Laura ~Peach~ said...

How beautiful... Thank you I needed a tour away from here if only for 15 minutes.
tonight has had some cute moments some agrivation and some stick therapy LOL.

Debra W said...


Thanks for your wonderful comment! As always, I adore hearing from you. You add so much sunshine to my day.


I promise to divulge my "signature dish" soon! I love to share yummy recipes. Thanks for always being so sweet.


Can't wait to hear about your adventure! You are such a joy.


I would LOVE to have you join me on an adventure in the future! I just know that someday, we will make it happen. Hopefully, we wouldn't get into too much trouble together.


I am so glad that we "found" each other! I love your blog, too. So much positive energy there!


Thanks so much for your very sweet comment. I am very glad that you stopped by and said hello! You are right about having to break away from the monotony. Sometimes, we just have to break things up. Let me know if you go on any "adventures"! Would love to hear about them.


Glad you stopped by to join me on my tour. You really needed a diversion! Happy to hear that there were some cute moments mixed in with the aggravation! I suppose that is why we end up keeping them. Hoping tonight is a better night, and that you can get some much needed sleep!

As always, I love hearing from everyone! I have the most wonderful readers in the blogosphere.

Love and hugs,

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Love the photos - they really made me smile.

We are thoroughly exhausted but are so happy to have John at home. He has a road ahead of him but I think he's ready for the challenge.

Waiting to hear from CJ. I trust that he'll be ok but my mom heart is heavy - I hate to see him struggle.

Your text messages really helped this past week - thank you for your friendship.


Irene Latham said...

Deb, thanks for the virtual journey! I love little spots like that and am constantly inspired by historical places (and people like the gentleman whose photo you took). You should come to Alabama sometime and I'll show you around. :) xxoo

Grammie Hoffman in WA said...

Dear Deb Dub,
Been working in the south 40, trying to pull this old place together...WOW!, did I enjoy the tour! Haven't been there in years but it still looks as beautiful as ever. Would love to see a pic of David's face up close, interesting!
Speaking of pics, try sending them from Picasa by e-mail instead of web. I send them to myself that way to see how they come out. Wouldn't know what to do w/out Picasa's cropping ability, fun to play w/. Hugs, Grammie

Alison said...


Such a beautiful post with gorgeous pictures. I am so glad you had such a wonderful adventure, it looks like the weather was perfect also. Cassie did her report on this mission when she was in 4th grade. I am thinking that we live closer to each other than I first realized. She wanted to visit the mission, we never did, but I remember it only being a few hours away!! Maybe we can actually meet IRL some day!!

Dave and I are having an adult only adventure this weekend...we can't wait...Bodega we come!!


Grammie Hoffman in WA said...

AHHH! Bodega Bay, one of my favorite places, my mom lives 20 min. from there. I am SO homesick for the ocean!! Breath deep and enjoy!!

NeereAnDear said...

OH girl what a wonderful trip you took us on....

I like how you did the photos in the sepia tone... pretty nostalgic

And the homes along the way... OMG that one with the arbor covered in roses!!! Tres chic!!! LOVE IT!!!

Thank you for a fabulous tour

Sorry I have been so MIA been busy and just finished a new post



NeereAnDear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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