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July 8, 2015 - Today we headed south to the city of Carlsbad, CA to visit the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, also known as the Rancho de los Quiotes, or the Ranch of the Spanish Daggers.  The term "Spanish Daggers" refers to the flowers of the yucca cacti that can be found growing around the ranch.

Leo Carrillo (August 6, 1881 September 10, 1961) was an American actor, vaudevillian, political cartoonist, and conservationist.  Leo's greatest fame came from his portrayal of Pancho, the mischievous sidekick to Duncan Renaldo's Cisco Kid in the pioneering television series of the early 1950's.  Leo bought the ranch in 1937 that is now designated as a Historic National Landmark.  It lies in the heart of a magnificently landscaped 27-acre canyon and it contains romantic hand-crafted adobe buildings, antique windmills, a reflecting pool and many other historic structures.

There are many buildings here but the showpiece is the hacienda.

Most of the buildings on the ranch were constructed between 1937 and 1940.  At that time, the ranch occupied over 2,500 acres and it wasn't just a getaway for Carrillo, it was a working ranch where he raised cattle and horses.

There are dozens of peacocks roaming freely around the ranch.  Leo started his peafowl collection in 1937 with just six birds and their descendants are still calling the Rancho de los Quiotes home.

This is a picture of Leo on the hood of his customized 1948 Chrysler Town & Country, a gift from K. T. Keller, Chairman of the Board of the Chrysler Corporation.  Leo loved a parade and Judy's sister Bev remembers seeing him at the holiday parades in Hollywood.  The car was specially painted so its color matched that of his horse, Conquistador, and it had a Hereford hide interior with a horn that bellowed like a steer!

After the ranch, it was time for lunch at a new place for us, Carmela Cucina Italiana, located in San Marcos, CA.  The restaurant is charming and the food is delicious.  Judy had their "Shrimp Parmigiana," which is jumbo shrimp cooked to a golden brown and then topped with Mozzarella cheese and a red sauce.  I had their "Zupette," which consists of shrimp, clams, mussels and calamari in a garlic white wine scampi sauce served over linguine pasta.  The next time that we're in the area, we'll be going back!

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