Please be aware that in California, motorcyclists can ride between cars down the lines on the highways and freeways. You need to watch your side mirrors constantly, especially if you are going to change lanes. Lots of times you don't even hear them coming until they zing by you.
Very scary for me.
Except the road signs note the red curb marking:
No stopping, standing or parking. Be especially observant of the marked fire lanes.
So, never, ever stop by red curb, it may cost you much and it's unacceptable neither by law nor socially.
Rancho de los Quiotes
What a nice surprise this place was! While up at Carlsbad for the VT Meeting I decided to get there early to take a look at Rancho de los Quiotes to see if it would be a good place to take my grandchildren on an adventure. It took a long time to find it because I relied on directions off the Internet--even though I had been warned to check with a local map to be sure.
Rancho de los Quiotes was developed by Leo Carrillo, an actor and entertainer, as a working ranch and weekend retreat. It later became a sort of life sized museum of historical Mexican/ Early Californian buildings of the area.
What first attracted my attention was the landscaping at the entrance. It was typical dirt, rocks, wood and cacti, but organized neatly in a most impressive, natural design. There were two paths, one of stone steps and the other, a dirt ramp for wheelchairs! They thought of everything!
Walk along the path and see adobe buildings of by-gone-days in California's history and a few little surprises too, old farm / cattle equipment, bales of hay and of all things peacocks quite at home, strutting around the ranch.
After a superficial exploration and before getting in my car, the most thrilling thing occured. I heard the silence. Just like being out on the open range not a human sound to be heard. Considering how close this place was to freeways, highways and residential areas, it was a wonder.
There are huge residential areas in Carlsbad, usually the houses are 1-floor but many 2-floor as well. Driving S-21 you can see some bigger and beautiful houses as well.
Hmm... is it comfortable to live by the main road with heavy traffic? If you have business downstairs which gives you satisfaction (and $$$$$ :-) and you live upstairs it is OK, I am sure.
Barrio Carlsbad authentic Mexican Food
Lola's Market and Deli is practically Barrio Carlsbad royalty. The market was established in 1943 (Lola was the founding matriarch and the business is still kept in the family) and continues on to this day as a community landmark and point of pride. Run by sisters Connie Trejo and Ofelia Escobedo, Lola's has changed with the times to be not just a neighborhood market, not just an authentic Mexican mercado, but a "deli" that turns out the best (really) tamales and carne asada burritos in North County. There's no Taco Bell kitsch here -- Lola's is the real deal. Recipes are based on recipes from the sisters' grandmother, who learned how to craft simple but wonderful food growing up in Jalisco.
Lola's has just a few tables to accommodate diners -- this is part of the charm of the place. Breakfast (served all day long, bless these folks!) hosts a steady stream of ravenous early birds lining up for their daily huevos rancheros fix. At lunchtime (after 11am), it's not unusual to see engineers from the Carlsbad Business Park curbside, leaned up against their shiny Lexuses with ties tossed over their shoulders, chowing down on tacos or shoveling chile rellenos while enjoying the sunshine. Dinner offers more of the same great food.
Lola's serves as a neighborhood gathering place for the Barrio Carlsbad community as well as the Carlsbad Village in general. This is the perfect place to check the pulse of local politics, cultural happenings and Latino resources … and, of course, eat. On Saturdays, carnitas and menudo are featured -- both can be had for under $5, which is some kind of urban dining miracle, making Saturdays a special day indeed.