Tuesday, November 11, 2008

San Juan Capistrano

The City of the Swallows - San Juan Capistrano, California. Dubbed the 'Equestrian Capitol of the West Coast' and Orange County's Oldest City, San Juan Capistrano was incorporated in 1961 with just over 1,100 residents. The Mission bearing the city's namesake, however, was founded in 1776 by Father Junipero Serra
I didn't start the day thinking I would visit a Mission. I was just on a mission to ride, without an agenda. It's been a little chilly lately and the weather has finally started to break. In the upper sixties now, it should reach the 90s by the end of the week. Yeah, I know. I like living in Southern California. Trust me. 
I found a nice, little taco stand on Camino Capistrano, which seemed to be the main drag in SJC. For $1.89, I was treated to a nice bean and cheese burrito at Senor Pedro's. With all outdoor dining, it was a good place to take in the the city. From Mr. Pete's place, there was a nice view of the Mission to the North and the eclectic mix of local businesses to the south. Antique shops seem to be what SJC is known for. Always makes for interesting browsing, whether that is your thing or not. One thing I can say in favor of SJC, there was plenty of on-the-street free parking. For anyone that lives in California, especially within shouting distance of the Ocean, that isn't always easy to find. Seems to make sense to me. You want people to come to your town and spend their money at local businesses, right? One thing I noticed, however. I had a hard time finding a place on the street that I felt confident parking the scooter, as the streets are all convex. I had to experiment with several angles before I felt comfortable leaving it on the stand. Seemed like it would tip with a strong enough wind. 
I didn't spend all day there, but it was definitely an enjoyable hour or so of wandering. I will definitely return to explore a little deeper another day. Lots of culture, charm and interesting architectural elements make San Juan Capistrano a great place to scoot through.