My cousin, Laura, had been talking about going to explore this little town near San Diego called Julian, and picked this weekend as the time to do it. I love spending time with Laura. She's really mellow and fun and easy to be around. And of course, there is is Cassidy, Laura's little 5 year old, who always makes things interesting! But she's a good little girl and we have a lot fun.
Yesterday I got up nice and early and drove the 140 miles south from Los Angeles to San Diego and got to see the little house that Laura is renting in the town of Jamul. It feels like a little ranching town, and Laura's house is up a long steep driveway, tucked away from the traffic that whizzes down the street outside.
We drove the one hour of VERY twisty roads and arrived in Julian.
It was a cute place. Extremely small! It is basically one street that looks like something you would see in an old western. There were *maybe* 30 shops and restaurants total. The antique stores were kind of like glorified thrift stores, most of the restaurants boasted having Julian's best pie, and the gift stores had cute items that were mostly "made in China."
So much for Julian.
We did have a nice lunch at this place called the Julian Grille. It was a house that had been converted into a restaurant. We were at a table that was in what was probably the original dining room. The food and service were excellent. Everyone we met was very nice, actually, except for the grumpy lady who sold us a boysenberry/apple crumb pie. Maybe she was just having a bad day.
Laura navigated the twisty road back to her house like a pro while I held my aching stomach. Twisty roads and me do not go well together, which is why I usually end up driving. But it was OK. We did a lot of good talking in the car. It is nice to be able to feel that comfortable with your cousin, and I do with Laura. After all, she and her sister, Monica, are the closest to sisters that I will ever have, so I'm glad we're very close.
Back at her house we lazed around for a couple of hours and then decided to go to Albertson's for some dinner stuff and Blockbuster for a movie.
We had chicken, green beans, pie for dessert, and watched a double feature of Greenfingers (one of my favorites) and Centre Stage. Cassidy enjoyed a Hello Kitty movie on her own. Laura cleaned the kitchen while I read Cassidy some nursery rhymes at bedtime.
After sleeping like a log on Cassidy's little bunk bed, I left around noon and stopped in San Juan Capistrano for about 2 hours. I couldn't pass up popping into the Old Barn Antique store and getting a burrito at Pedro's across the street from the lovely ruins of the old mission. I find that town very relaxing. Laura and I want to meet there one day so she can have a chance to see the antique store too.
I left with a pretty cut crystal vase, which I DROPPED on my way into the restroom at Starbucks (doh!) and a really cool 1940's glass lamp for my chest of drawers in my bedroom. I've been wanting a new lamp for that space. The old one was malfunctioning (from a moving sale.) When I saw this one I just thought it was so interesting and original. A good size too.
I can't believe I dropped this little vase 5 minutes after I purchased it. Here's a strategic picture hiding the area of the lip that got a little broken with my clumsiness...
The bottom of the lamp was practically black, but with a little polishing, I was able to rediscover its nice copper color. It is cool the way it refracts the light on the wall. I like the random pieces of glass all shooting off in different directions. Original stuff is fun to have in the home--much more interesting that things from modern day stores.Another hour and a half in the car and I was finally home. Be it ever so humble.....etc., etc., right?
(Click either picture to see it full-sized...)
I had a good time this weekend. It was just what I needed. A little change.