Monday, October 31, 2016

All Hallows' Evening ~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Photo - with a little tweaking - from my recent visit to the awesome
 Lady Bird Johnson Grove Nature Trail in northern California.

This one mile loop walking trail in Redwood National & State Parks near Orick, 
was so magnificent, even though viewed in rain, that I will definitely be writing
 more, with photos of course, soon.
A place like this has to be shared again with all who may have already visited,
 and definitely with those of you who may not have the chance. . . . . . but 
I certainly hope you do!

The ancient tree-worshipping European pagans lit candles on fir trees for the
 winter solstice - this custom was transformed by Christians into the lighted
 Christmas tree. This kept popular customs alive but dimmed their pagan past
 to the satisfaction of all. There are certainly many stories/myths regarding the
pagan roots of Halloween.
It is written that Halloween was originally a Celtic pagan end-of-summer rite
 celebrating Samhain, said to be the Lord of the Dead. He called forth spirits
 of the dead in the form of ghouls to roam the villages and try to gather new
 victims to take to hell. People defended themselves by wearing masks and
 costumes as disguises. 

Will you wear a disguise on Halloween?
Do you party or take the little ones trick or treating?
Do you hand out treats at your home?
Do you love big trees?

Answer any or all!

"Happy haunting"

Friday, October 28, 2016

Rain soaked Pacific Northwest coastline. . . . . . . . . . .

Another part of the California coast is very different from Monterey Bay
which I recently shared HERE.

There is a town in northern California named Trinidad - and I must say it's
 totally unlike the southern Caribbean island of the same name.
It sits on a rocky bluff overlooking Trinidad Bay surrounded by redwoods and spruce. 
It's a seaside village, often compared to a quaint Cornish fishing village with a small
 fleet of fishing boats, a working pier, and restaurants serving great seafood.
The day we stopped here was at the end of the typhoon which paid the
 Pacific Northwest an unusual visit. Rain was extremely heavy, lashing the windows
 of the comfy little restaurant we chose for a great seafood lunch. Unable to spend
 time outdoors in the downpours, I managed to take these photos from the car.

Named one of the most spectacular and pristine segments of the California coast,
Trinidad has been established as a California Coastal National Monument Gateway -
an area that offers the best shore-based opportunities to discover and view offshore
 rocks and islands and their inhabitants. The Trinidad rocks support one of the most
 diverse seabird colonies in California with twelve species and over 100,000 
breeding individuals.

As beautiful as it looked in the storm - just as we were leaving the rains did let up a bit -
 I would love to return some day in sunshine - it truly is a lovely ocean area.

P.S.  Many, many thanks for all the much appreciated
 Birthday greetings on the last post - you are all
 such wonderful friends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Being who you really are. . . . . . . . . . . . .

 I'm totally 'up to my eyebrows' in trying to catch up with normal since
 arriving home from the great west coast trip!   

I'm so behind in posting stories and photos - still have tons to share
from the Kenya trip, and also more of the fabulous places we've just 
visited in California. 
I'm also feeling very guilty because I haven't had a moment to comment on
all your blogs which I so enjoy, plus answer some e-mails - please forgive me
 and know I'll be stopping by soon. The days are just not long enough, grrrrr!

BUT, today, on this fabulous sunny, warm October day, it is my birthday, 
and I will not lie, deceive, cheat, or try to hide the fact that today I have
 turned 73 - or perhaps that should be typed as 73
Gosh, who ever thinks about becoming this age when we are youngsters.
But, being that age is really more than a number, it's not a problem for 
me. I'm so grateful that I feel great and pray that I will continue to have
 good health and can plan more exciting travels for at least a few more years.

So, although I've not had time for autumn decorating - this dining room photo
 is from another year - since arriving home we've done a lot of garden cleanup
 from the effects of Hurricane Matthew.
We managed to fly out for California just as the hurricane arrived in town!
 Our neighborhood had many huge trees come down, but the roads are now
passable and the huge trunks and branches are stacked along the curbs
 awaiting pick up.
 Our cottage was spared from big trees falling this time thankfully.
 The loss of power for five days meant we came home to an empty fridge/freezer 
as our daughter had to come by and throw out all our perishable food.
 We've shopped and re-stocked and our great insurance company will be
 sending us a payment to cover the loss - Raleigh was definitely a disaster area.

So all I can say right now is I'll soon be back sharing old travels and telling
you about new ones.
As for today - I'm just going to enjoy my birthday - and be grateful for 
family, friends, and you for stopping by.

With love and thanks for your friendship.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The 17-Mile Drive - Monterey to Carmel . . . . . . . .

The LONE CYPRESS - perched over the Pacific for hundreds of years.
Even though Monterey cypress trees prefer the bare, rugged, granite headlands, 
the famous Lone Cypress is a testament to the hardiness of these trees.
It has stood Pacific storms and winds for roughly 250 years. Fences and cables
 now offer added protection in hopes it will live to be 300. 

Pelicans, cormorants. . . . . . . . 

 . . . . . . wildflowers 

. . . . . . . the hummingbird 

. . . . . . . friendly chipmunks, much larger than the ones in our garden!

Bob befriending the wildlife. . . . . . . 

A perfect autumn afternoon along the Pacific coast - warm, fog-free,
 brilliant sunshine, a slight breeze - we were so lucky and appreciated Paula
taking us back to a favorite California coastal drive. . . . . . . .

Carmel's quaint buildings 

. . . . . . with a lovely lunch here at Casanova in the delightful village of Carmel.
California dreaming!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Coming home today. . . . . . . . . .

Hard to leave this beautiful state of California!  Have really enjoyed seeing a lot of new places and being with dear friends. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Vineyards, Winery Gardens, Cozy B&B's of California -

Such a beautiful place to visit. . . . . . . . . and I often find myself experiencing
 those "I could live here" moments!
Then I'm advised of the price of real estate!
Land for vineyards cost as much as a million dollars per acre.
Tiny houses a couple of million before an often needed rehab.
So I'm staying where I am of course. . . . . .but will always be up
 for a visit here where it truly is lovely.

Our beautiful suite on the lower level by the pool - in Napa. 
This amazing B&B is the Candlelight Inn and I'll be showing you much
 more of it in another post.

We are now in Ferndale, just south of Eureka, California.
A spectacular Victorian B&B in a small town full of Victorian buildings,
 the previous homes of cattle barons and dairy kings.
Weather is wet but we're seeing some beautiful scenery including the 
giant redwood forests and the pounding Pacific surf along the shore.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

City to country - wine country that is!

 Leaving the beautiful city of San Francisco, always hard.
Heading to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, very easy!

Crossing the Golden Gate and heading north -

- to arrive in what has to be some of the most beautiful countryside in California.
More on visits to wineries - there are about 600 - and great little wine country
 towns later.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

San Francisco - Alamo Square. . . . . . . .

So much so see in this wonderful city.
The entire park of Alamo Square is under a massive renovation - no green
 grass remaining, new modern facilities being built, so all closed off right now.
However, the 'painted ladies' still adorn the surrounding hilly streets - and the
 city in the background continues to shimmer in the California light.
Always special - always so west coast.
Easy to leave one's heart!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Velvet underground. . . . . . .

 via ZARA

via ZARA

Velvet, like silk, seems to soak up color and turn it into something miraculous.
The fabric comes alive, saturated and bold, brilliant and beautiful.
Velvet upholstery and drapes - beautiful.
Yes, velvet is back for clothes, not just for evening, for daytime too.
I have a few velvet pieces hanging in my closet.
A crushed velvet coat in chocolate brown. 
A black velvet top cut and stitched like a casual sweatshirt.
A skirt, short, inky black, and perfect with tights and booties under my red coat.
 But I think I might look for more for a few more pieces for Autumn and Winter.

Do you like velvet - for clothes not curtains?


Post hurricane update from home - my freezer and frig are empty but
apparently our power was restored yesterday.
Our area has suffered and much of North Carolina is still under water
and there is much sadness with death and destruction.
Here in Northern California the rains are due - this last day in the Napa Valley 
will be lovely and dinner will be on The Wine Train this evening.
Tomorrow we head further north into to rain - but I know it will still
be beautiful. Photos later from San Francisco and this lovely
wine country.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Angels over the city by the bay. . . . . . . .

A fun morning at the San Carlos Art and Wine Faire.

A California gentleman and his dog taking a coffee break.
Bob snapped Paula and me at the Blue Angels air display - San Francisco Bay -
on a perfect Sunday afternoon.

We are having great time on the west coast. . . . . . . .but sadly the news from
 North Carolina following Hurricane Matthew's visit is very disturbing. 
 Several deaths, much destruction, major flooding, and a million plus homes/businesses
 without power, including our house, and it may not be repaired until October 16. 
Our daughter has gone to remove all the food from our frig/freezer!  
The coast is severe but the storm came far inland also, things are really
 bad in our area.