Orange Empire Railway Museum

Recently Patrick and I went to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris (about an hour and a half east of Los Angeles) with a couple of friends for a day filled with not just train history, but a glimpse into the history of Los Angeles transit, as well as added bits of Disney history!

Now before I show all of the interesting things the Orange Empire Railway Museum had to offer, I’ll share with you what I wore.

At first glance, it may appear that I am just wearing another western inspired outfit with turquoise jewelry, but I specifically chose to wear turquoise to pay homage to Fred Harvey, a man closely tied with the restaurant industry, railways, and turquoise jewelry.

Fred Harvey was a restaurateur who transitioned into the railroad business. He became fascinated with the southwest and built trading posts at rail stops, filling them with Native American goods, such as blankets, baskets, and jewelry. Harvey went so far as a to make pre-cut (and hallmarked) pieces of jewelry, to then be embellished (traditionally by stamping, like my bracelet) by Native Americans and then sold at his trading posts. The Orange Empire Railway Museum even has a building dedicated to Harvey and his influence on train travel.

Now keep reading to find out all the neat stuff the museum had to offer!

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Ghost Towns along Highway 49

I am sorry to report I don’t have any images from our time spent in Portland. I was incredibly busy constantly visiting with friends and family, and shopping of course! What I do have to show for our trip though are some shots I took of some ghost towns. we visited during our journey back home.

Honestly, I can’t recall when I first fell in love with the old mining towns along California Highway 49. What I do remember though is being very young and marveling at the old buildings the small town of Mariposa, where my great aunt and uncle used to lived (they have since moved to Seal Beach). We visited them every so often during our trips to California, and I always loved returning to that town. California’s gold rush is a unique moment in time, and a driving force in California’s rich (no pun intended) history, much like the Spanish missions and Hollywood. The towns that sprung up from it continue to draw me in whenever I get the chance to drive through them.

After crossing the border between Oregon and California, we peeled off I-5 just before Sacramento and made our way down Highway 49 visiting Amador City, Sutter Creek, Mokelume Hill, Murphys, Angels Camp, and Columbia. Sadly, we didn’t make it into Mariposa (it’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I was there) but there are still many more gold rush towns I wish to visit, and I know we will make it there one day. But today I just want to share with you some of the images I took during our visit to these quiet and peaceful towns.

A couple of years ago we visited Coloma, where gold was first discovered in California, and you can take a peek at here.

Patrick and I didn’t have much down time after getting home. In fact we are off to Joshua Tree for the weekend! So I better go repack my suitcase! I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Sabado en la Plazita

Over the weekend a few friends and I got together for a Saturday afternoon at Olvera Street, dining on delicious Mexican food, peeking into the museums, and shopping the unique stalls and shops along the oldest stretch of Los Angeles.

We dined at Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe, which opened in 1928, and is located within Los Angeles’ first brick building. Afterward we went into Avila Adobe, which is the oldest structure remaining the LA, built in 1818, and is now a museum reflecting the the lifestyle of the early days of California. I also bought myself another pair of the shoes I’m wearing in these photos, except in green. Seriously, these faux tooled (also known as pressed) leather wedges have quickly become a favorite and go-to shoe for me. They are comfy once broken in, and work with so much of my closet.

Also, can I just gush about my dad’s awesome shopping skills for a moment? He spied this beauty of a skirt at an antique mall and sent me a picture of it and followed by calling me to make sure I got the picture text, and asked me if I wanted it. I was in line to me Kylo Ren at Disneyland at the time, and thankful for his call, because this skirt is beyond amazing. Not only is it a spectacular print, it’s in amazing condition and fits perfectly, oh and has pockets! Thanks, Dad!

Outfit
Peasant Top: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Painted Mexican Skirt: Found by my dad!
Tooled Leather Purse, Earrings, & Bracelet: I don’t remember!
Necklace: Made by a friend
Pressed Leather Shoes: Olvera Street, Los Angeles, California

Mission Santa Barbara

Over the weekend Patrick and I drove up the coast and crossed another one of California’s Missions of the list, Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786.

Nicknamed “Queen of the Missions”, and sitting upon a hill that overlooks the town of Santa Barbara, as well as the ocean, Mission Santa Barbara has a color exterior, one that shows little of the horrors it endured during a massive earthquake in 1925, as it was fully restored just two years later in 1927.

Onto the next California mission!

Outfit
Shawl: Found by my dad!
Peasant top: Pin-Up Girl Clothing
Skirt: I don’t remember!
Coral Squash Blossom Necklace & Ring: West of Texas, Redlands, California
Bracelet: A random antique show we went to on a road trip…
Tooled Leather Purse: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Shoes: Re-Mix

Saying Hola to Olvera Street

One of the “touristy” things I never did when I visited California before was visit Olvera Street. And over the weekend we finally remedied that.

Olvera Street is considered to be the birthplace of Los Angeles, as it is home to some of its first structures. The first brick building constructed in the LA area is now home to a Mexican cafe, one of LA’s oldest restaurants in fact, Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe, opening in 1928, which we dined at. Avila Adobe is the oldest structure remaining the LA, built in 1818, and is now a museum to reflect the the lifestyle of those living during the early days of California. And of course there are the merchants who sell wares of California’s Spanish and Mexican heritage, including colorful blankets, embroidered blouses, tooled leather purses, and much, much more.

Olvera Street had its heyday during the old days of California, but by the turn of the century, it was quickly becoming a slum, until 1926, when a woman named Christine Sterling walked along the streets. Horrified by what had become of LA’s historic heart, she spearheaded a campaign to restore the area, and save its historic buildings, which were endanger of being demolished. Eventually Sterling succeeded and Olvera Street became what it is today, a place for both locals and tourists a like to reflect on Los Angeles’ history, enjoy good food, and shop the unique offerings.

I came home with a wonderful new peasant blouse and a pair of tooled (although really pressed) leather wedges, which I look forward to taking for a spin soon.

I kind of love that I get to play tourist in our new home. One of the reasons for moving was that there is simply so much to do down here that we could never fit it all into a vacation. I also love that I can return to these locations as often as I want. Do you enjoy playing tourist in your city? For those who have visited LA, have you made a visit to Olvera Street?

Outfit
Blouse: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Skirt: Rummage sale
Nude Fishnets: Oroblu, Nordstrom
Purse: Antique Alley, I think…
Charm Bracelet: Found by my dad
Ring: Expo, I think…
Brooch: Some antique mall along the coast in Lincoln City I think…
Shoes: Miss L Fire

Mission San Juan Capistrano

One of my favorite things about California history is that of the Spanish missions. It is a goal of mine to visit each of them, and before this last Tuesday, I had only been to three of them. Mission San Juan Capistrano, often described as the “jewel” of the missions, is not too far from us, and is absolutely stunning, so gear up for a pretty gosh darn picture heavy post!

Founded November 1, 1776, Mission San Juan Capistrano is large, and lush, featuring a church, housing, plaza and patio, as well as lush garden, where the first vineyard was planted in California. What was called the “Great Stone Church” was completed in 1806, and offered a beautiful place to worship for six years until tragedy struck on December 8, 1812, when a massive earthquake occurred. The roof of the Great Stone Church collapsed, killing 40 worshipers, as well as the two boys who were ringing the bells. This tragedy makes Mission San Juan Capistrano one of California’s most haunted locations, with various claims of apparitions, and even SyFy’s Ghost Hunters filmed there, capturing compelling evidence. Today the ruins of the Great Stone Church remain, and are one of the few true ruins in America.

Despite the tragedy of 1812, Mission San Juan Capistrano still holds a majestic beauty for visitors to enjoy, and I loved walking around its grounds and learning more about the Native Americans of California, and the Spanish colonists.

Outfit
Dress: Retro Rejuvenation, Coburg, Oregon
Belt: Umm… Don’t remember…
Hat: Ricochet, Joshua Tree, California
Shoes: Re-Mix
Purse: Buffalo Exchange
Donkey Brooch & Charm Bracelet: Found by my dad
Turquoise Ring: Expo, I think…