Every Saturday 12:00pm – 4:00pm in July and August 2012 Stagecoach Days will celebrate the West on the Move with children’s activities, historic interpretation, cannon and anvil firings, and more.
As in former years, we will showcase the life skills and pastime hobbies of the women of Old Town San Diego.
Since the new outdoor exhibits for La Casa de Estudillo’s garden will be ready in time for Ladies Day, we will hold a garden tea party in honor of the premiere. Plans for this part of the day are in the hands of Janis Cantu and it should be a grand event! We will have homemade lemonade, hot tea, homemade cookies and savories.
Karen Beery has invited The Colonial Dames, as well as author Dydia DeLyser to attend the tea. DeLyser’s book, Ramona Memories: Tourism and the Shaping of Southern California, explores the many aspects of the Ramona myth and the impact of Helen Hunt Jackson’s story on tourism, regional identity, and historical consciousness. DeLyser will be available for a book signing during the tea.
In addition, we will hold our second annual Hat Contest. Plans for the contest are in the hands of Jenny McReynolds. This year we plan to expand the hat contest so there will be three categories:
1) historic hats in the Park’s time frame, 2) children’s hats, and 3) a professional category which will include the entire Victorian period. A dramatic skit will be performed on stage while the hat judges are making their decision.
Also new this year, guided tours of the Native Plant gardens on the north side of the McCoy Building will be conducted. Peter St. Clair has generously offered to arrange several tours that day.
We took two ghost tours of San Diego recently, in part to compare the $50 3-hour city limo tour with the $10 1-hour walking tour of the Gaslamp Quarter. Each had its advantages, you decide which is for you.
The Gaslamp Quarter tour meets at the haunted William Heath Davis House Fridays and weekends just as the city is getting dark. Our favorite story here is about the tourists who start to follow a “guide” upstairs and half way up are greeted by the real guide at the bottom of the stairs. There were no guides upstairs at the time.
Walking around the Gaslamp Quarter at night is quite pleasurable, especially in the company of others and with someone who knows their way around. Not only did we see a restaurant in a former mortuary, we passed by several historic brothels and a haunted hotel. We also noted an interesting new restaurant that we later returned to for a late night snack.
The evening limo picked us up at an the Living Room Cafe and Bistro in Old Town. Great place to arrive early, enjoy the food (and have your check paid) so that you are relaxed and ready to go. Door-to-gate service brings you to a cemetary that dates back 200 years and is located very near the very haunted Whaley House. Many violent deaths in San Diego’s history led to burials here. In the darkness you can feel some spirits. Many have seen figures drifting near the surrounding walls, but none seen this night.
The highlight was the Star of India sailing ship. Several deaths there have left wandering spirits above and below decks. With the other stops along the way we felt we had a pretty good introduction to San Diego, and a very enjoyable story time to boot. We were able to go to 5 different locations and the story for each one worth the time, trip and money. Tour more online at GoThere San Diego Haunted Places.
You can save a ton of money if you establish a homebase where you can explore the immediate area and easily venture out into surrounding locales. Selecting the right hotel for a homebase means you might not even need to rent a car. Best Western Hacienda Hotel in Old Town San Diego is such a place – (MAP). They have a free shuttle service for the San Diego Airport, Amtrack and the Cruise Terminal. From this hotel you can easily walk to everything in Old Town. One block away is the touristy Old Town Trolley that for one low cost takes you around to all the city attractions, and three blocks away from transportation hub that includes the San Diego Trolley that takes you to Downtown San Diego and the historic Gaslamp District.
Historic Old Town San Diego is home to quite a few historic buildings going back to the Spanish and American eras. You can spend most of the day visiting these as many have been turned into museums, shops and restaurants. One of our favorite restaurants is the haunted El Fandango Restaurant. Most restaurants have bars where you can sample what is on the menu without breaking the bank. If discovering a unique tequila is your passion, try El Agave Tequileria. Shopping for native arts and crafts? Go to Bazaar del Mundo. Looking for a little live theater action? Welcome back the Old Town Theatre with their crack up comedy Noises Off by Michael Frayn Directed by Sean Murray now through Sept 6th, 2009.
For more about Old Town , check out the photo tours on GoThere San Diego Old Town.