First off...I'm getting too old for this.
The flight from Milan to San Diego, California, was--door to door--about 28 hours long.
I was so exhausted by the time I got to my aunt's house (thanks sooo much to all the friends and family, who put me up a few days here, a few days there, so I could go) that I could barely pour myself out of the car, up the walk and handful of stairs, through the house and into the guest bedroom. Surprisingly, I had almost no trouble with jet lag, probably because I arrived soooo exhausted a bit before midnight that I was able to get into the local waking-sleeping rhythm easily.
For the next couple of days, I spent most of the time just hanging out with friends and family (this, you'll see, was the leit motif of the entire trip, since I hadn't been back in soooo long), so no details interesting to the uninvolved there. Ain't I thoughtful?!
San Juan Capistrano, easily and comfortably reached with the Amtrak train from the old Santa Fe station in downtown San Diego (don't get confused...there is another train station in the historic part of downtown that preserves some Spanish-era buildings, also worth visiting). Fear not! Does the morning look dreary and cloudy? This is typical of southern California coastal areas in the summer. By noonish it was all burning off, and we had lovely weather for the rest of the day. Helps to keep things from getting too darn hot.
SDMTS red trolley line, though to be honest, good public transportation is pretty scarce in Southern California, where the areas are so spread out. Visitors and locals alike pretty much have to rely on driving cars, though efforts at improving the systems are being made.
What's there to see and do in San Juan Capistrano? Our visit was dedicated to hugs, chatting, eating lunch, a visit to the old Jesuit mission...
...and a refreshing soda pop on the cute wooden porch of the little Hidden Coffee Shop in an old sideboard house just on the opposite side of the train tracks from the downtown historic center and the mission. Also on the other side of the tracks from downtown is a fun and tasty restaurant, the Ramos House Cafè, in a reconverted typical low wooden house of the area down a shabby-chic small road lined with the pepper trees I remember so fondly from my So Cal childhood.
Well worth a day.
These pictures were shot for your personal, non-commercial fun. Enjoy!