Saturday, June 30, 2018


In the 90's Mike and I would go at least once a month to Laguna Beach and I think we ate at every Italian Restaurant through the area up to Newport Beach.  It was a very magical place and I remember that's where I first met the "zebra" (which I don't mean to sound mysterious but it's too long of a story for a blog post).  Anyway we only get to this area maybe once every two or three years because it's pretty far from the mountains and So Cal freeway traffic is something you have to plan around and avoid rush hour which is almost all day long any more.  We will be going back in a few weeks.  I'll see more of the area next time.

We are driving along Pacific Coast Hwy - the hwy that follows the coastline and this is the particular area just through Laguna Beach.  We actually didn't park and get out because we wanted to make it up to Balboa Island and we had spent too much time in Dana Point (these names mean nothing probably to anybody except those who live in California.  Laura you will see the old pottery shack area in some of the photos below.

I couldn't believe that my favorite Laguna Nursery is no longer there - After probably twenty years the owner of the business didn't sign a new lease - I read an article where he said that because of the drought in California and especially because of his "artsy" area where he had art imported from other countries that it became more of a tourist stop to just look around (like we did) and less of a garden shop to buy plants.  It wasn't  producing a profit.

We discovered this restaurant in the 90's when it farther away from town between Laguna and Dana Point - ...and use to eat there once in awhile - Best Italian food around.  I'm glad to see it's still there.  Some day we may try it again.

Laura - the old pottery shack is now The new Pottery Place with many little shops however, too much traffic to find parking and go through it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


I still plan on other beach towns this summer.  Found out that the day trip isn't bad  traffic wise (aside from any unpredictable traffic accidents or road work)....  We made it from the mountains to the so cal beach in less than 2 hours.  Coming home was a breeze and was actually surprised at how traffic flowed until we got about 3o minutes from home and found out that there was freeway work going on which we could have avoided had we checked out the various routes home.

We committed to go to the beach at least every four to six weeks and spending the day at the coast.

Here are just a few pics from the little area in Newport Beach called Balboa Island.  I took lots of photos which I'll eventually post.  We ate at Ciao's in the past a few years back - very good Italian food.  We didn't eat there this time - we actually ended up going to a drive through in Huntington Beach at a Jack in the Box before we got on the freeway. 

Laura next time you visit we should spend the day going up and down the Southern California coasts. 

We use to take the grandkids and they always got an ice cream at Sugar N Spice. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


I must commit to myself to do better than that.  I've taken so many photos in the last few months that I could stop now and never take another one for the rest of the year and have plenty to post.  We've been out a lot going to different places and enjoying the weather. 

This time of year I'm always taking photos of the 18 (Rim Highway) that we travel on when we go down the mountain.  These plants are called "Spanish Broom" and are considered very invasive in our area.  I've read that back in 2010 they were talking about removing them but so far they still reign in the area during summer.  They put out a nice fragrance as you are driving by them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


I saw this white blooming tree.  I couldn't get a photo of it so when we left the area we came back by it - in fact Mike made a point of going by it again so I could get my photos.  Going towards the tree on my side of the car the light was too bright so I pointed my camera backwards and didn't know I was getting the red of the fire station door in the pic.  It made the white pop.  Thanks to my resident chef ..I mean Mike.

I wonder who the guy is who is walking.  I hope he didn't mind me taking his pic.

Another white tree below  seen in the backward photo.  This one is a Dogwood.

Coming down Lake Gregory drive to go home I photographed the houses on the opposite side of the hills.  What beautiful weather we have been having.

After i get my "chores" done of which there are hardly any, I hope to go back out in search of white blooming trees.  I love them more than even pink, really pink, rosy pink, and other pink type of blooming trees (except for apple blossoms and magnolia trees).

Monday, April 23, 2018


Here are some houses i passed the other day.  This top one I especially liked.  The day was a high contrast type of day (which is not my favorite type of lighting for photos).  Anyway, it was enjoyable to be down in 80 plus temperatures and even when we got back home it was still nice here in the mountains, not too chilly.

There are so many parts of Redlands I've yet to check out because I keep beig drawn to the more historical district.  I know there are some nice neighborhoods around the University which we have driven through one day and I will go back at some point and do a walk through the area. 

One week from today and I'm on my way to the central coast to stay at my sisters before we take off on that Tuesday to go up the coast to Oregon.  I'm already starting to pack!

Some of the places I'm really looking forward to are in Northern California - Trinidad, Eureka, Arcata (all in Humboldt county) and then I'm not sure but I need to find out if Florence which is south Oregon Coast is doable before we get to Eugene.  I'm thinking it won't be, because at that point we will probably be on the "5" - not the 101.  I need to have my map reader tell me all about it.

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