We traveled all the way to Provence last year with the hope that we would see lavender in bloom. We saw fields of poppies and lavender with ever so tiny purple tips. I could only imagine how beautiful the fields would be in about two or three more weeks.
A private backyard outside of Seattle.
A Sequim, Washington garden created by two California transplants.
I had no idea that lavender blooms in Washington and Oregon every spring. It’s a long drive or a short plane ride from California to see these wonderful sights. The people are friendly and most everyone you bump into is there to see the lavender too. Being a transplant from Santa Cruz, I’ve got begonias growing in my backyard. I was surprised that they would grow in such a warm climate but they seem to thrive here. I think there will be lavender in that same backyard next spring. It will be like a little piece of Provence, Oregon, and Washington for me to enjoy almost all of next years summer season. Some times one of the best places you can be is in your own backyard. You can make it into, anything you like.
A couple of weeks ago we seized the opportunity to go over to Sonoma with some family members and share a day in the sunshine, which was very hard to come by at that time. We went to Corner Stone right outside of Sonoma for lunch and a little wandering through the gardens on that lovely day. The place is rather new and is a really great place to go to relax. I’d say that they have a little bit of everything there with their shops, gardens, restaurants, distillery, etc. There really is something for everyone there.
Attractive Bird Houses
As Spring approaches, we should step out and find those places that are unique and worthy of our wandering. You never know what you might find in your own backyard, so to speak.
The next blog will show you the big reveal of the kitchen remodel. It is nearly finished and I am loving the new space. It reminds me of Santa Cruz. That’s a great way to begin and end every day.
On Labor Day weekend we decided to go down to Monterey and Carmel. It was mostly overcast but extremely pleasant. We went to restaurants that we’d been longing to revisit and had a wonderful time.
Carmel By-the-Sea Beach
While we were in Carmel we decided to go to Hog’s Breath. It was there that we had many very unusual experiences and I seriously doubt that we will ever return. There were many factors that will keep us from returning and I won’t go into all of the strange happenings as it might portray me as being politically incorrect and this blog is not about my little frustrations in life. It did make me feel quite uncomfortable and made me wonder who was in charge of the overall running of the restaurant. To make this long story short, we simply won’t return; problem solved.
We went to Monterey Fish House and had a delightful dinner. Everything there is delicious and works like clockwork. We tried Tarpy’s Roadhouse for the first time and had a delightful brunch in a very old stone house that has a lot of history to it. We had lunch at the West End in Santa Cruz and I found the perfect light, for my kitchen remodel, at Illuminations. It was hand blown by an artist who lives in Santa Cruz so it is the perfect complement to my house. We walked all over Point Lobos and found it beautiful but completely overgrown with poison oak. I am extremely allergic so I found myself having to be extra careful while hiking through a rather remote area of the park. We then had to return home to our very own patio where we had the padrone peppers that we purchased at the Santa Cruz Farmers Market. They were the best we have ever had, and in many ways, we felt a little like we had hardly even ventured far from our patio. Truth be told, some of my best experiences have been on my patio. I hope you have a patio like ours; full of fond memories. Have a grand weekend.
I am constantly amazed at the critters that grace my yard. They work very hard for their tiny bits of food. I am also inspired nearly every day at the beauty of the flowers and the lift that their colors give my spirit. This begonia reminds me of Santa Cruz and the begonia gardens that were once there. I’m surprised that we are successful at growing them here. It’s hot during the summer but when we find them a little shade they come up and look as if they are hoping they can live in that exact spot forever.
This swallowtail spent nearly all of its time hanging upside down via those spindly legs. It looked perfect but was quite challenging to get a proper photo of. I think a photo of the butterfly hanging this way is appropriate because that was how it was moving about the garden. I always enjoy finding preying mantis in the garden. They look so fierce and annoyed when you find them. I often wonder if they realize how small they are. I suppose they are quite large compared to an aphid. Fall will be here shortly; I can feel it in the air. I suppose those clever critters can feel the season changing too. I’m so blessed they are here and still attracted to this yard.
It seems that when the valley gets to temperatures in the hundreds, my mind drifts off into thoughts of favorite water shots that I’ve taken in the past. There’s something almost cooling about them. With pictures being worth a thousand words, I tend to conjure up old memories of my favorite places too.
Reflection at Whitehawk Ranch
Even though the temperatures are high, these photos make me think about how cool it would be to dip my toes into any of these waters. Westlake Park sits on the west side of Santa Cruz and I spent countless hours playing there as a child. The Montage at Laguna Beach hosts magnificent views of the Pacific. Whitehawk Ranch holds a serenity that is very hard to find in many places these days. What are some of your coolest memories and do you have a favorite place you like to go to when things get a bit hot?
While we were in Maine, we happened upon an area that sparked our interest. We needed a place to walk after several days of being on vacation. We stopped at The Rachael Carson Wildlife Refuge outside of Kennebunkport. It was a beautiful walk and it was easy to see the effects the tides have on the area as the walk is elevated.
The Tidal Effects
It reminded me, at times, of being back in my childhood home of Santa Cruz, California. It was quite wooded and there were the occasional hitchhiker’s. In this one area, by the Pink Lady Slippers, was were the hitchhiker’s landed on my hat and took a ride into town. I thought I was feeling raindrops, as it was a bit drizzly, but once we got back to Kennebunkport a gentleman in the store started commenting on the inchworm travelers that had attached themselves to my hat. He thought I might be upset that they were there. I like inchworm’s, and I had been watching them on a sign while we were taking our walk, so it didn’t trouble me at all. Well, it did a bit because I wanted to make sure that they were happy in their new plant homes.
Wild Pink Lady Slippers
I think they probably liked hanging from the trees much better than the plants we found for them. We didn’t have time to drive them back to the Wildlife Refuge. Now that I’ve returned home, I can only hope that they are living lovely lives in Kennebunkport, Maine.