Who knew?? Orange, California wasn’t named after a reality (thousands of orange trees), but named for its future! Originally named “Richland,” when the city applied to Washington for a post office in 1873, they were told…there is already a city by that name in California! Choose another name! At the time, there were loads of vineyards in the area, as raisins were a major crop. Citrus hadn’t yet come into popularity. But given a choice of Raisin, CA vs Orange, CA, orange groves it was! Eventually, Sunkist established the state’s largest packing house right in the City of Orange.
We learned all of this on a fabulous food tour on Saturday, a Vintage Food Tour of Orange. We had a proper breakfast at Ruby’s Diner at Orange Depot, a surprise for everyone from the area, because nobody knew this popular chain had a location in a former train depot. So cute! The original waiting room is now a dining room, and the diner is filled with train posters and signs from almost a century ago. They served us cinnamon roll French toast with bacon and great coffee!
Then, on to the Farmer’s Market, held only on Saturdays. We must have tried 10 samples there, from guacamole to salsa, fresh fruit (the blood oranges were great), tamales (which we bought), breads, hummus, and almond butters, among others. After that, there was a light and flavorful chicken tortilla soup at Rutabegorz (try saying that 10 times in row!), airy hot terrific pizza at Zito’s, a carnitas bowl at Wahoo’s, and a tasty chicken taco at Taco Adobe. We always say that the best food is on a food tour, as the local guides do know the best out-of-the-way delights.
The first two photos are of Ruby’s…see all the trains? And don’t the waiting area seats look like vintage 1930s? The next four are some of our other stops, and a glimpse of our sweet guide, Kimberly…one of the best we have ever had over 26 food tours around the world! Notice in the photo of berries…one blueberry escaped to live with the gooseberries!
Next up is the Vogelvang Queen Anne “estate” – a huge corner property with a gorgeous period home that the family bought for $50,000 after it had suffered a bit as a fraternity house. They restored it inside and out. Great job, huh? After that are miscellaneous photos of the Orange Circle and its fountain and a “typical” house in the city, which has chosen to preserve its cozy Midwest-looking residences and downtown. Rather than tearing down old homes and businesses in favor of the more modern, they have gone in the direction of preservation. Hollywood has also recognized that they have a unique small town here, as many movies have been filmed here, just about 40 miles south of LA. We watched one on Saturday night, Small Soldiers, which had many glimpses of the city. It is a delightful city in which to walk around, shop, and eat. It has everything…even a “record shop,” if you even know what that is!
We end with three fun photos, which we saw along the way. Do you see the tissue box holders? If we still owned a home, we would have bought one! Cute idea.
It has been a while since we last posted, as we have been busy with some family matters. But we are going to two other cities here in CA, then taking a Panama Canal Cruise followed by a Transatlantic Cruise back to Barcelona (we took a cruise from Barcelona in November!). From there, we will be in the UK and Ireland for a while. Stay tuned!