On our twentieth birthday, a friend of ours called us one night and said, “Let’s celebrate in San Diego.” It was a strange birthday gift, but she has always been impulsive and I have always wanted to go to San Diego. It was in the middle of exams week (October is never a good time for trips) but we managed to set aside a Sunday to enjoy ourselves. We took off early in the morning. It took just over two hours to get to San Diego from LA. Our first stop was Old Town.
Interesting facts about Old Town:
– It is the very first settlement in California
– There is a strong Mexican influence.
– Good food, lovely buildings, and a great atmosphere.
When we went on our trip, it was two weeks before Dia de Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), a holiday to honor the dead in Mexican culture. The decorations were amazing. A Mexican friend of mine would always say: if there’s something we know better than everyone else, it’s how to party. I have to agree to that…the Dia de Los Muertos celebration was spectacular, indeed. A stage was in the middle of Fiesta de Reyes plaza.
In the evening, there was a dance troupe performing with traditional Mexican outfits. Skulls were painted on their faces. Skeleton decorations filled the courtyard, but they were very artistic, beautiful instead of scary.
The shops in Old Town sell very unique things. There are shops that sells pottery, flowers, souvenirs, even a stuffed bird! It was October, but the weather was still very hot (we are, after all, in California). The sun stayed in the sky until late at night, and I could almost believe I was in Mexico. I guess that is what makes California so unique…there is always a place you can go if you want to enjoy a specific culture, and it is always within a few hours’ drive!