Well, I really wanted to write this yesterday, but I was so exhausted from sensory overload that I passed out an hour or two upon getting home. So, consider this my belated Saturday post. Prepare yourself…there’s a lot of pictures!

Yesterday, my husband Jesse took part in a mountain biking race in Julian, CA, a little mountain town about an hour or so outside of San Diego. I decided to tag along, so I jumped in the car at 6:30 a.m. with plans of hanging out, reading and writing, in a Julian coffee shop all day. While I did get some of that done, the majority of the time was spent exploring!

Entering Julian in the morning, we were pleased to find that we had dressed accordingly–we wore heavy coats and long underwear under our jeans–as it had snowed a wee bit the night before, and it was still very cold (the visiting Wisconsinites confirmed this; I wasn’t being a typical San Diego weather wuss). Here is the view from the climb into the mountains:

Once in Julian, Jesse and his dad (also participating in the race) got their riding gear on, tweaked their bikes (I don’t really understand the logistics of all of their tweaking, but they tweak obsessively), and grouped up with the rest of the cyclists before taking off at 9:

Jesse's the one in the pink "tuxedo" t-shirt...

Once they took off, I took off to explore…First, I passed the cute little fire station next to the park that the race started from:

Next, I checked out the old pioneer cemetery across the road:

I wandered for a little while, snapping shots of old gravestones:

Then, I decided to go back down to the center of town to get some breakfast. Julian is known for their apples, as well as their amazing apple pies. I ended up getting an apple turnover and hot apple cider at a little bakery. After breakfast, I walked down the street to the Julian Book House:

This was a really well-stocked used bookstore run by a nice older man. I found a couple of books I wanted, but then put them all back in exchange for a very nice pair of hard cover copies of Bleak House by Charles Dickens (getting ready for a few classics reading challenges).

Almost immediately after purchasing my books, I received a text message from Jesse’s mom alerting me that she and Jesse’s Aunt Cindy and Uncle Skip from Wisconsin were in Julian also. So I met up with them at Julian Town Hall and thus ended my solitary photography exploration and began family time!

We continued to tour Julian, shopping in the boutiques and marveling at the large crowds lined up for Julian pies fresh out of the oven. Then, Jesse and his dad finished up the race, and we all joined in eating some family style Italian food at a local restaurant. It was here that I discovered my new favorite liqueur–Sambuca. This, I proclaim, will be my spirit of choice throughout Winter, until, of course, I indulge a bit too much and end up getting sick into a trashcan with Jesse holding back my hair and mocking my heaving noises. But, I didn’t drink too much yesterday, so it was a good day. We left Julian right after lunch at 3:00 p.m., all exhausted and full of yummy ragu and pasta. Good day. Got to spend time with Jesse’s family, nuclear and extended, enjoying the crisp air in a quaint mountain town.

For more info on Julian, click here.