Crystal Cove State Park

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These are some of the cottages that can be rented. Quite a nice location.

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Crystal Cove is a California State Park and the Cottages on the beach can be rented through the Park system. There’s information at this link.

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California beaches in January can be very dramatic. Winter is the time of year I really enjoy the beaches.

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My sister Vera and I walked along the shore while we waited to be buzzed for our meal. There is a restaurant on the beach in the State Park called The Beachcomber. The food and service was real good. My post about the restaurant is here.

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These photos were taken on January 21st. Back here in Western Washington the news of the day is all about mudslides. Our hills have been saturated first with melting snow and now with a significant rain fall. Several roads had to be closed this week because of mudslides. Our major east/west interstate 90 in Issaquah was shut down on the west side this Thursday after mud and debris came across the west bound lanes. Glad I wasn’t there. No one was hurt thankfully. We are getting a little dry spell between the storms which is very helpful!

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

I’m linking up to Saturday’s Critters at Viewing Nature with Eileen.

A Grand Hodgepodge…

img5681. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it’s something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you’re a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

I called my grandparents babushka and dzedushka growing up. My parents both were born in Russia. Their families escaped separately into Iran and my mom and dad met in a village outside of Tehran and were married there and then immigrated to the U.S. after WWII. Most of their family members immigrated after them. My maternal grandfather/dzedushka died in Iran. The top photo is of me with my maternal grandmother, babushka Vera, on my wedding day. The next photo is of my paternal grandparents, dzedushka Timofei and babushka Marfunia Bogdanoff. We were a lot closer to my maternal grandmother than my paternal grandparents.

img5782. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what’s one attraction you’d have on your must-see list?

honeymoon-001Dear and I were born and raised in Southern California. Greg was raised a stones throw from Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Why yes we have taken some road trips along the coast of California. On the first night of our honeymoon we stopped in Ventura and then traveled north making stops in Solvang, Carmel, Monterey and San Francisco.

In 1985 we took a bicycle trip with 2 other couples starting in wine country and to the coast at Mendocino and south to Russian river. This is all north of San Francisco.

Since then we have made trips from Camarillo to the Central Coast of California staying in Pismo Beach.

We lived close to the coast in Huntington Beach (1975-1984), Ventura (1984-1988) and Camarillo (2006-2010) during our married life. The photo below of Josh and Dan at the beach is in Ventura 1986.

venturaI would have to break up the coast of California in sections and pick a favorite in each section. The coast of California is very long and varied. North of San Francisco I’d say Mendocino, but inland of course you have wine country Napa and Sonoma. So maybe a combo trip that takes in Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino. San Francisco is a stand alone city to visit. South of San Francisco I’d say Monterey, Pismo Beach or San Luis Obispo, this is also an area with lots of wineries inland from the coast.  Farther south Santa Barbara is a stand alone destination. South of Santa Barbara is Malibu and Santa Monica. I’d skip the next several miles south until you get to Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar and Laguna Beach are all doable together. Lastly I’d do La Jolla and San Diego together. Besides beaches and wineries there are several California Missions along the coastal areas of California.

In January our whole family was in California for a wedding on the coast north of Santa Barbara. I stayed on in California after my family traveled back home and enjoyed a couple days on the beach in Huntington and Crystal Cove.

joe-hannah-090I’d like to add a northern coastal trip in California some day. From Mendocino up to Oregon.

3. What are three things you don’t know how to do?

Fly, Scuba Dive and Figure Skate.

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, ‘Celebrate what you want to see more of.‘ If that’s true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

Right now we are celebrating getting past 10,000 steps with our fitbit keeping us informed and motivated being connected with family members on fitbit, too. I want to see more of this kind of movement in my life and I want to achieve those steps out in nature as much as possible.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What’s something you make that calls for almonds?

Almond Joy! My famous cheesecake recipe calls for almond extract.

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

These days Saturday morning looks like any morning since Dear has been unemployed for 8 months. Last Saturday morning we went for a walk at a local bay park. Hopefully a morning walk will be a habit on Saturday mornings before we have a doughnut!

7. Share with us a favorite book you’ve read this winter.

The Great Reckoning by Louise Penny. The latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are in count down mode for the arrival of our first grandchild a little girl who is already named, Addyson, Addy. We are going to be traveling to northeast Washington for an open house/baby shower for our kids next week. We are hoping for a good travel day across the Cascade mountain range there and back again. While at Dan and Jamie’s, Dear will be painting Addy’s nursery and a dresser they will be using for Addy’s things. Dear’s first job was painting with his father. He’s very good. As soon as we hear that Jamie is in labor later in March we will hit the road again and travel east to catch a very early glimpse of our first grandchild. Not sure what we want to be called. Maybe I’ll stick to my roots and have her call me baba/babushka. Maybe Dear will be called Papa. Time will tell.

Linking up to Wednesday Hodgepodge with Joyce From This Side of the Pond. Thanks for the questions Joyce.

Saturdays Past

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It’s already been 3 weeks ago that I was on the beach at Crystal Cove having brunch with my sister. I still need to share the photos of the lovely beach and the history of the state park where this restaurant is located…right on the beach. The food was very good!

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I took this photo just out front of the restaurant. After you are shuttled across the highway (for $1.50) from the parking lot to the beach side of PCH (Pacific Coast Hiway) which costs $15.00 to park, you can put your name in at the restaurant and they give you a buzzer to let you know when they can seat you. This is a very popular place to enjoy a meal so the wait can be long. In the meantime you can explore the beach and walk along the sand until you are buzzed. If you eat at the restaurant you can show your paid receipt and your parking is free for up to 3 hours. There is a tunnel that goes under PCH if you’d like to walk to the beach side of PCH and get to the beach and restaurant on foot instead of the shuttle. On this day we took the shuttle across because the tunnel was closed due to the heavy rains and runoff that was flooding the tunnel. When we were done with brunch and exploring and ready to go back to the parking lot the tunnel was open with cautions of some running water. We chose to walk the tunnel back. Crystal Cove is a California State Park.

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The tunnel was decorated with several murals that were painted by boy scout troops and others. There are hiking trails where you can come across these plants pictured in the mural above.

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These two were my favorites. “Protect what you see and what you Don’t see” and the lower one that showed Splash Zone, High Tide, Mid Tide, Low Tide and Sub Tidal.

Linking up to Mosaic Monday with Maggie at Normandy Life.

Also linking up to Monday Mural with Oakland Daily Photo.

Now to the present…Dear and I did some walking on Friday and Saturday morning. We walked a river trail and then at a nearby park on a bay. We hope to make it a habit to walk more. Sunday evening we are having Josh and Laura over for an early Valentine’s Day meal. Dear and I have been cooking for a couple days now trying to recreate Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon. I hope I remember to take some photos of the finished product. Hope you all had a nice weekend. The sun is shining nicely here right now!

InSPIREd Sunday

crystal-cove-090Community Church Congregational United Church of Christ in Corona Del Mar, California. That’s quite a mouthful for a name. Lots of C’s for sure.

crystal-cove-089On January 21st while I was in California my sister and I spent the morning at Crystal Cove and on our way home I spotted this church on a side street off of PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy) and my sister humored me and turned down the street so I could take some photos.

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We took full advantage of the sunny days in between the rain storms that Southern California experienced while I was there.

Linking up to InSPIREd Sunday with Beth and Sally. It’s been a few months since I’ve linked up.

We are still planning what we will be doing for Super Bowl Sunday and if anyone will be joining us. Maybe some New England Clam Chowder and a Georgia Peach Cobbler if I go with a game theme to represent each team. It will definitely be a fly by the seat of our pants kind of day! What are you planning?

Thursday a Fortnight ago…

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…I stepped out on my own in Huntington Beach, California, for a walk along the shore and out to the end of the pier.

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I enjoy California beaches in the winter.

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The day I was walking on the pier was Josh’s birthday. He and Laura were still in California and opted to visit Disneyland on this day with their cousins. My two sister’s who I was staying with were both at work. My walk on the beach alone was good for me.

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The storms that were rolling through Southern California made for some dramatic waves.

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Before I headed home on the following Tuesday my sister Vera and I had a walk on a beach together south of this one and I’ll share about that later.

Fast forward to today…daughter and I were able to shop at the Navy Exchange. Our son-in-law is a non-active Marine so he and our daughter can shop at the exchange with proper I.D. I’m allowed in as a guest. One of the advantages of shopping at the Exchange is that you do not have any added tax. The price you see posted is the final price. After our shopping we had lunch together and she dropped me off home. I then headed to our local Goodwill and was happy to find these French Onion Soup bowls. Wednesday is Senior discount day so there is an 20% discount. I bought all 4 for just over $9.00. Lion’s head soup bowls.

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I’m looking forward to making my French Onion soup again in these lovelies.

The Getty

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When Dear and I arrived in Southern California and drove north to Oxnard from the Long Beach airport I took this photo of the Getty museum on the hill close to the Wilshire area of West Los Angeles. Little did I know I would enjoy the museum with our oldest kids, my sister, sister in law and grand niece.

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On Tuesday night Josh and Laura asked if I wanted to go along with them to the Getty on Wednesday. My sister Vera had taken the day off so it worked out for all four of us to travel north from Orange County together.

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My sister in law, Kelly, nannies her granddaughter Ellie and they joined us at the museum.

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As one of my facebook friends said, Josh and Laura make the Getty look good.

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Ellie really took to her cousin once removed.

getty-026I really enjoyed this painting so I took some close-ups of the bottom and top of the painting.

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This painting will be familiar to many. Irises by Vincent van Gogh.

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Josh and Ellie enjoying more masterpieces.

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One of a few Monet’s at the museum.

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getty-006Supreme carving skills in this portrait were amazing.

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There is so much to enjoy at The Getty so I would encourage multiple trips. Here are links to my other trips to The Getty.

Outdoor

Ruby at the Museum

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We enjoyed a meal at a cafe on the grounds with so many great choices. Entrance to the museum is free and you only have to pay to park.  J. Paul Getty (1892-1976), was an art collector and businessman who used his fortune to create an institution dedicated to the diffusion of cultural knowledge.

Back Again…

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Dear and I arrived in Los Angeles and hit the L.A. freeways to our old stomping grounds in Camarillo. The rain that California has been enjoying has greened up the hills. Traffic is same old same old. The freeway trip up the 405 and on to the 101 (Ventura Freeway) went well and we got through Thousand Oaks and started the descent into Camarillo.

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A couple of our favorite restaurants were closed since we lived in Camarillo from 2006-2010. One of our favorites was still open so we stopped in for lunch. We recognized a few wait staff that were still working there. We stopped at Establos Market (another favorite from years past) and bought some fresh made salsa and guacamole to enjoy at our beach house rental. After enjoying the weekend festivities that we flew to California for and after we checked out of the beach house on Monday and before we headed south into Los Angeles again we met up with Willow from Willow’s Cottage.

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These are Willows photos of our time together. She gifted us some of her hand knit items for our little Addy. It was so good to catch up with my walking buddy from our Camarillo days. Thank you Willow for the beautiful gifts and the time we had to catch up on life.

I am finally home again after being away since January 13th. It feels so good to be in my own home with Dear. I still have so much to share from my time in California.