Category Archives: travel

Fun Photo Friday — Todos Santos Favorites


Pink Flamingo

Pink Flamingo in Red

All around here in the desert you’ll see a cactus that appears very much to be the saguaro associated with the Sonoran Desert up around Tucson, Arizona.  Tucson is rather dear to me, as it’s where I met and married the love of my life, whom you’ve met in many of my travel articles.  But I digress.  We were talking cactii here.  These cactii at the southern tip of the Baja are not saguaro.  They’re the world’s largest, however — the towering cardón cactus (pachycereus pringlei,or elephant cactus).  These monsters can grow to 70 feet/21 meters and weigh 25 tons/22.7 metric tons!  Here are some smaller examples:

Cardón Cactus — Often confused with Saguaro

Cardón Cactus — Often confused with Saguaro

Below is today’s photo gallery.  Click on any image to enlarge and bring up today’s slide show.  This concluded our journey aboard the Golden Princess as she made her way from Chile to Los Angeles back in March, 2015.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey.

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Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar


Mission Bells heard from The Hotel California?

Mission Bells heard from The Hotel California?

As I said Monday, in my article on the Hotel California, there’s a mission right around the bend.  This is the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar (Church of Our Lady of the Pillar) for the Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas.  The mission was founded in 1733, and the first structure established for this mission was built in 1747.  This adobe building was erected in 19th Century, although it does retain some of the original walls from 1747, most notably the entryway.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Inside the church it’s surprisingly bright and airy, considering that missions built back in the 1700s served dual functions as fortresses.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

The altar is surprisingly light and colorful as well.

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Across the street from the church is the cheerfully decorated Central Plaza.

The Central Plaza — across the street from the mission

The Central Plaza — across the street from the mission

After visiting the church it’s time to get back on the streets for some more fun photography:

Todos Santos arts and crafts store

Todos Santos arts and crafts store

Todos Santos flowers

Todos Santos flowers

Todos Santos street

Todos Santos street

Todos Santos  3-29-2015 10-52-17 AM

First The Eagles, then The Doors . . . or at least one of them

Todos Santos crafts shop

Todos Santos crafts shop

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Welcome to the Hotel California — Such a Lovely Place


You can check out any time you like; But you can never leave!

You can check out any time you like;
But you can never leave!

After a little shopping our group next stopped at Misión Nuestra del Senora de Pilar (Mission of Our Lady of the Pillar).  I’ll show you more on this church on Wednesday, but it was important to mention it now because of these lyrics:

There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
‘This could be heaven or this could be Hell’

Mission bell?  Mission?  Right around the corner from, with within hearing distance of . . . The Hotel California?  Is there an Eagles connection to this mystical place after all?

Hotel California

Hotel California

Alas, no.  There is not.  Despite all the rumors that The Eagles once owned this place.  Other than perhaps once having been guests (unconfirmed), there is absolutely no connection between The Eagles and this hotel that dates back to 1947 . . . other than an intriguing similarity or two that applies to both the hotel and the lyrics cited above.

Hotel California on the Calle Benito Juárez (Benito Juárez Street)

Hotel California on the Calle Benito Juárez (Benito Juárez Street)

Despite that, this is indeed:

Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face

Pure coincidence, I’m told.  And while the façade is indeed lovely, it doesn’t even hint at what you’re going to see inside the Hotel California.  Take a look at the front desk (where it you check out any time you like and lobby:

Hotel California front desk

Front Desk, where it you check out any time you like

Hotel California lobby

Hotel California lobby . . . but you can never leave!

Of course, if you have lunch here as our group did, you might never want to leave!  It was exquisite!  Too bad I didn’t get pictures, but then you’d be drooling all over your keyboard.  Here at La Coronela Restaurant & Bar we were treated to tortilla soup, guacamole, chips, and various Mexican treats such as enchiladas (link:  Coronela menu).  Lunch also included drinks, and I took the opportunity to try a new beer — a Baja Red Amber Ale.  This ale was indeed good enough to get mentioned by name in my blog.  Give it a try when you hit the Baja.  You won’t be disappointed.

Hotel California chefs at work

Hotel California chefs at work

After lunch we meandered around the hotel, which gave me a chance to snap some fun photos:

This lamp has a lot of corazón  (heart)

This lamp has a lot of corazón (heart)

Hotel California

Hotel California

As well as a quick look at the courtyard behind the hotel:

Hotel California patio

Hotel California patio

No wonder the Hotel California is so popular with honeymooners and Baja explorers.  It’s just that fun!  I would definitely stay here for a night or two, should the chance ever present itself.  Attached to La Coronela, which is itself attached to the Hotel California, is the Emporio Hotel California.

 merchandise

Kitschy merchandise

Step inside here for the touristy souvenirs, including references to The Eagles and their hit album/song about Hotel California.

Emporio Hotel California — Great place of Eagles related T-Shirts and other souvenirs

Emporio Hotel California — Great place of Eagles related T-Shirts and other souvenirs

One last look at the Hotel California Emporio:

Hotel California Emporium — Lots of kitschy Eagles-related

Hotel California Emporium — Lots of kitschy Eagles-related

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