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Thursday, August 5, 2010

A weekend in California

As I mentioned in a previous post, after Buffa10 I flew to San Diego for a conference. My husband and I happen to be in the same line of work, so we met there on Sunday evening. After a long week of conference sessions and nights out on the town, we spent the next weekend making our way from San Diego to Los Angeles.

Friday evening we visited Bonnie (Vintage Garden Gal) and her husband John at their home/vineyard. The house is almost ready to move back into after a major remodeling project. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures to show, you’ll just have to trust me that everything was amazing.  They greeted us with some of their homemade, award winning red wine made with grapes from their very own backyard vineyard and delicious plates of grapes and cheese. We enjoyed the cool California evening on the patio near the grape vines with their five friendly chickens that pecked away at the ground around us. It seems that almost wherever in the world we visit, I always hear the comment from my husband, “we could live here”. He’s usually right and this time was no exception.

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Saturday was spent in Temecula on a wine tasting tour. Not the most popular wine region of California, but that also meant it wasn’t the most crowded. We are not wine connoisseurs by any means, but we did enjoy the vineyards and old town Temecula.


I dropped my husband off at the LA airport Sunday morning, then set out for Long Beach (where the office is). I did my homework the night before and scoped out a botanic garden that was on my way.

IMG_1164South Coast Botanic Gardens is on Palos Verdes Peninsula, just south of L.A. It’s definitely not what comes to mind when someone says L.A. And probably most locals would not say that they live in L.A. At the entrance to the gardens is a large pergola that provides some great shade from the summer heat.


The next garden you come to is the fuchsia garden. Which held my attention
for quite awhile. Fuchsia is another one of those plants that can’t take the Houston heat.

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I’m not sure what the next gardens were called, but they were full of color.

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The Rose Garden was quite impressive. I can’t say I’ve seen a lot of rose gardens, but this one was huge.





IMG_1193Somewhere along the way, I saw this cool looking salvia, it’s called Salvia clevelandii ‘Winifred Gilman’







And there were lots of shady spots to relax and read a book.
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The Children’s Garden was full of whimsical statuaries and secret hiding places.
This house looks big in the picture, but actually it’s only about 4 feet tall.



For those millions of you that live in the Los Angeles area, you should definitely check out this local botanic garden.

IMG_1211Another thing I love to do is go to teahouses. Not the Japanese kind with the tapioca, but the English kind with scones and little sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Long Beach has a great tea house called Vintage Tea Leaf.  You enter through their boutique where they sell tea-themed gifts, jewelry, purses, & greeting cards.

At the entrance to the tea room, you are instructed to pick out your teacup.
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IMG_1208Their menu has a complete selection of typical tea time eats and a long list of teas to choose from. Even though I was dining alone, the experience was quite enjoyable.





That’s the end of my adventures in California, now its back to work for me. I definitely recommend visiting Temecula, South Coast Botanic Gardens, and the Vintage Tea Leaf if you are ever in the area.

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