San Diego Day 2

A bit of an admin day to start – I made the most of the free breakfast at the hostel, then went to the gym, then had a haircut.  It’s nice to have my hair cut by someone that speaks English.

After that I headed to San Diego Old Town.  It’s a reserve and a bit touristy but I’m sick of authentic travel experiences!  Touristy is great!  First I went to the Mormon Battalion museum.  It had some good reviews on Tripadvisor so I had a look.  It’s about the Mormons’ trip west to California.  They start with a video about the battalion, then you go on a guided tour.  The exhibits are very modern, and you go through a series of rooms made to look like different stops on the journey West.  They have videos projected on to screens – some are a bit disguised like sides of tents, and some are timed so that the guides interact with them, like a TV screen in a window.  It’s very good.  At the end they have some artefacts

Things!

and you can have an old-timey photo taken.

Only because I finally had a non-terrible haircut.

Then they try to convert you!
“Would you like to know more about the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints?”
“No.”
“Would you like to receive a Book of Mormon?”
“No.”
“Would you be willing to have a representative visit you at your home or place of business?”
“NO!”

Outside they have fun activities for children, like brick making, using a washboard and gold panning.

Up the road a bit are some 19th century houses.

In the Victorian village

Every house needs a tower

The view

Next I went to the official Old Town.  It’s a tourist trap, but I found it quite nice.

A lot of shops and eateries

Some of the shops sell touristy crap, and some are more specialised – soap, candles, sweets.

Or historic colouring-in books and presidential paper dolls.

The paper doll selection was extremely comprehensive – glamourous film stars of the 1940s, high fashion of the 1960s, or The American Family of the 1980s?!

I caught a tram back to town and then a bus to Balboa Park for the Christmas Festival.  Everyone else was also heading tot he festival so it took 1hr to move about a mile.  They had a lot of ethnic food stalls set up, a large Christmas tree, and a section of stalls showing random things – radio stations, CPR courses, solar water heating, and Robitussin.  The museums were all open for free so I went in to Mingei International.  It’s a folk art museum.  The bottom floor was about Californian 20th century design.

This is a gingerbread house

Balboa Park has a large village with a random selection of countries represented.

This is the sort of thing they normally have

It seemed very 1970s.  They were all serving food and the queues were very long.  I went to one selling funnel cakes – a Pennsylvania Dutch thing.

Dough is drizzled in to fat, then served with cream, jam, and sugar. It was HUGE.

Then I went to the Air and Space museum.

Apollo 9!

Most of the displays were a bit dusty – a bit like the Smithsonian.

One of the Apollo chipsets

Vietnam helicopter gear

Air hostess's uniforms - 60s, 70s, 80s.

A Fokker Dr.1! Note Snoopy to the left

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