Looking for a weekend get-a-way? I can't recommend visiting the little town of Julian, Ca enough. Julian, an historical town in the mountains north of San Diego, plays a large part in my proposed new series and especially in the first book in the series, The Ghost of Granny Apples. So last weekend, off to Julian I went to do some research.
One thing I've noticed as an author is that most people LOVE to help you with research. I've tapped former and present police officers, doctors, experts and even mall managers in my quest to make my stories believable in their details. And most folks are very accommodating with both their knowledge and their time. The people of Julian were no exception. Right after breakfast on Saturday morning I walked from our B&B down the length of main street, taking photos and weaving in and out of shops to get a feel for the place. I talked to shop keepers, asking them about living in Julian, and spent some fun time in the Old Julian Drug Store talking to the owner, Jim, who had sent me books on Julian a month or so earlier. In due time I made my way to the Julian Pioneer Museum where I spent a great deal of time reading old letters and talking to Susan Fowler (who operates the Julian Fun website) and museum curator, Edwina Silbernagel. Edwina couldn't have been more friendly and forthcoming with juicy details about Julian's history, especially about the people who built the town over a hundred years ago, and the town's present-day challenges. Soon my companion came by to take me to lunch and after lunch accompanied me back to the museum where we viewed the museum's artifacts and I continued to ask Edwina several more questions. From there, it was on to the quilt show. After, we piled into the car and hit the road to see the back country, including wineries, apple orchards and even Lake Cuyamaca. When our travels were done, we adjourned to our private hot tub before getting ready for a lovely dinner at the Julian Grille (highly recommended). The night before we dined at Romano's Dodge House, where the people, especially our waitress Barbara, were above and beyond in friendliness and service and the atmosphere charming.
The next day, we hung out at our digs, the Eaglenest B&B, until it was time to head back to Los Angeles. The Eaglenest has this fantastic deck with spectacular views and each morning I would take my AlphaSmart and sit on the deck before breakfast and work on Epitaph Envy, the 4th Odelia Grey novel. It was a great place to write. Innkeeper, Jim, couldn't have been nicer and puts on a pretty impressive breakfast. At breakfast both days, we met lovely people, including Ruth and Juan, honeymooners from Spain.
All in all, it was a very successful trip. I returned full of information and very relaxed and rested and wondering when I could squeeze in another weekend in Julian ... for research purposes, of course. :)