Day of the ‘Dead Coupon Book’

November 1. Dia de los Muertos. In our house it has a special meaning. This is the day all the coupons in the Entertainment Book expire. Dead, unused coupons headed for the recycle bin.

In honor of the expired book I built a little altar to replicate the Day of the Dead altars I had just seen in Old Town. You don’t see the devil on those altars, but I decided he was appropriate for the Coupon Book altar.¬†After all, it is this book that tempts me to buy double amounts of unhealthy foods just because I have a two-for-one coupon. On the other hand, were it not for this book, my husband would never agree to go out for dinner, so a guardian angel and Mother Mary were also appropriate mourners.

But it wasn’t all sadness. It is tradition that we go out to dinner on this day because it is the last day we can USE a coupon. So in keeping with the Mexican theme of the day, our last coupon meal of the year was at Casa Guadalajara, a favorite place because of their great carnitas and beautiful patio. We got a fountain-side table and were even serenaded by a wonderful strolling singer. I loved it all, and the whole thing had me singing, “Gracias a el libro.” (i.e. the Coupon Book) Without “the Book,” I would be home cooking, but here I was feeling like I was on vacation in Puerta Vallarta.

Unfortunately, I was so excited about our carnitas, mole and margaritas that I forgot to take a food photo. ūüė¶ ¬†Since I didn’t have to cook dinner, I had time to upload my photos of the colorful sights of the Dia de los Muertos altars in San Diego’s Old Town.

Fountain on Casa Guadalajara’s outdoor patio

One of many Dia de los Muertos altars in Old Town, San Diego

Pan de Muertos

This sweet bread has molded “dough bones” baked on top. Don’t these look like chicken drumsticks? ūüôā


Offerings of fruit to the loved ones who have passed.

Rice, beans and chilis are the ingredients of this design.

Can this be blue corn and chocolate?

Calavera de azucar or sugar skull.  This one got poked in the eye!

Paths of marigold petals help the Souls find their way back home.

Souls on their long journey need water to purify, cleanse, &  quench their thirst.


Marigolds Galore
Fried bread?  Not sure  about this one

Traditional bread can have sugar or sesame seeds on top.
Ah, swingers never die…



Catarina, an aristocratic skeleton greets visitors

The salt is also traditional for these altars for purification and cleansing, but someone decided this spirit needed some added freshening up!

“Out of the box” altar design at the Old Town¬†Tobacco Shop .

Every Soul enjoys a good cigar.

Sugar Skull line up

Honoring a former saloon entertainer? The guy setting up the altar swore she wasn’t his grandmother.

A tribute to the Whaleys, a Pioneer Family of San Diego
Anna loved music and son, George played violin professionally for a time.


BYE-BYE Entertainment Coupon Book.
So sorry to see you expire.


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Published in: on November 1, 2010 at 10:59 pm  Comments (2)  
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