Did some laundry, swam in the hotel pool (kids, not me), hopped in the car and drove south to San Diego. Our first stop, after lunch and the new hotel, was the Mormon Battalion. What an amazing presentation! I highly recommend it if you are in the San Diego area.
Isaac was a reluctant volunteer to dress up as a Mormon soldier. The soldiers chose to forgo the uniform and send the $40 allowance back to their families en route to the Salt Lake Valley. But they did have a few distinguishing items to wear and carry, including a nearly 5-foot-tall flintlock rifle. Once Jonah and Ethan saw that Isaac got to carry it, they wished they'd been the ones to volunteer.
After the show, we got an old-timey picture taken and emailed to us, we headed out to pan for gold. This part of the tour was actually a representation of what the members of the Mormon Battalion did when they journeyed through Northern California and into the Salt Lake Valley. Several stayed at Sutter's Mill and found a little of the shiny stuff. The boys loved it and actually found several chunks of iron pyrite in the flume, which you'd guess from their excitement was the genuine article.
We walked over to Old Town. I wanted to tour the Whaley House, which is haunted, but it was not to be. Mostly because it would have been $35 for a guided tour and after Disneyland, we're looking for cheaper activities.
Everything is very "Day of the Dead" in Old Town. But when you aren't looking at flowery skeletons, it's all paper flowers, tooled leather purses, velvety sombreros, embroidered shirts and skirts, and brightly painted pottery and tiles. So pretty and colorful, but also so much like I remember Mexico from when I was five. In fact, I found giant paper flowers identical to the ones my mom had in a huge ceramic pot by the fireplace for years.
We listened to a mariachi band, had burritos, enchiladas and tacos seated outdoors and Jonah and Ethan both ate these innocent looking banana peppers.
Jonah ate his because he thought it would be no big deal. I thought the poor kid was going to self-combust. His eyes were watering and his face was red and his feet were tapping in a mad panic. Ethan ate his just to show that he was tougher than his little brother. I took a picture as he was grabbing his burning lips, but it turned out blurry because he was also rocking back forth in agony.