Animals and antiques

San Diego Travel Blog

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The next morning started out gray as the last, but without any rain. I already had my plans set out so I got right on going.I hoped on the light rail and then a bus and in about 25 miutes found myself in the express line for the San Diego Zoo. I got in free with my Go San Diego card, and there was a much shorter line for people who had prepaid.

The Zoo was great, as the reputation that proceeds it suggests. I got in minutes after in opened and was lucky enough to see them release a flight of tropical birds. They brought out an odd structure consisting of a number of boxed on wheeled pylons, and then asked the crowd to seperate in front. They gave a countdown and then released the birds, who flew out in a wave of colour.

I think I spent my first hour wandering around the the primate area. I'd seen a few when I was younger, but the sheer numbers here were staggering. I was just facinated watching them, I think most by the fact that they seemed to be facinated watching us.  The rest of the zoo was interesting as well, but as the day wore on and the weatehr improved it got a bit too crowded for my taste and I left at around Noon.

I made my way to Old Town. The city of San Diego as we know it began as a small settlement in the 1820s.  This location thrived in its' way, but being far from any water large enough for transport it's inconvience lead to migaartion to the south, to the area now called the Gaslight District. The area of Old Town is now a national histpric park.

Many of the old building here are original and host a variety of different historical or cultural displays of some kind. Many of them also host tourist crap. The balance is maintained and overall it's not hard to have an enjoyable experience.

My first stop was the Old Town Mexican Cafe for lunch. It was excellent. Yummy Mexican food.

I spent the next couple of hours drifting from one building to the next. Some of them were little museums, with a handful of open rooms full of glass gases. In some of them, people dressed in period clothing asnswered questions or sold reproductions of products from the late 19th century. There was a candy shoppe that was full of loveliness. I bought a tiny little 6-pieces sampler pack of salt water taffy. Sweet. Literally and metaphorically.

One of the sites in Old Town I had to see. It was the Whaley House, said by some to be the most haunted place in America. Built in the 1850s, it was owned by the Whaley family. In addition to a family home, it was also used as a courthouse, and the city records were stored here until the 1860s when the city moved south. The house has a history that is at times tragic. In the years just prior to the house being built, the gallows stood on this ground and a man known as Yankee Jim was hung there. The gallows was too short for a man of his eight, and the death was long and panful. Later on, a young neice ate a piece of ant poison that looked like a cookie. Finally, Thomas Whaley's daughter commited suicide and died in the living room. In addition to these three, it is claimed that both Mr.

and Mrs. Whaley, as well as a family dog, remain behind in the home.

The supposed hauintings aside, the building has an interesting history and is quite nice to look at. After visiting the house, I decided that I was going to go on a walking tour that evening.

I went back to the hotel for a bit, to take a shower and drop off some things I had picked up over the day.  I turned rigth back around and head back to Old Town. I bpought a ticket for the tour and then went and had some pub food and a beer for dinner. The tour started on time. The group was quite small, only 7 our us including the guide. The guide was dressed in period clothing and the entire tour was done in character, at least in so far as the content of the tour was concerned. The bits in between were a little more modern, and occasionally involved cellphones. Two hours later., the tour was done and I decided to head back to the hotel for the night.

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photo by: Sunflower300