Friday, December 9, 2011

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS



HOTEL DEL CORONADO

OK I missed my Tuesday Journey posting this week and I will probably be missing a few more because I returned to the Midwest for the holidays.  We actually returned a little early because Ron's dear sister Trudi is seriously ill and we wanted to be close by.  We flew from San Diego to Minneapolis and fortunately the pilot clued us in to the fact that we were flying over the Grand Canyon - it was a spectacular sunset view which continued for quite awhile as we continued  over Colorado.
It's always a tough adjustment to leave southern California for Minnesota in December.   I can't help but wonder why people live here in the tundra but then again I lived here most of my life and I'm normal - right?   
The weekend before we left California we drove down to Coronado Island to see the  Xmas trees and decorations at the Hotel Del Coronado - they were beautiful as usual and after you add a lovely walk along the beach and dinner with great friends it was a good start for the Christmas season. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TUESDAY VINTAGE JOURNEY - SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

OLD HOME ON LOS RIOS STREET
It's Tuesday and my bike is ready for a  ride on the Trabuca Creek trail to San Juan Capistrano.  Actually, it's a rather short ride but oh what a pleasure.  The path leads to the Los Rios Historical District.  This street parallels the railroad that  offers convenient transportation to  San Diego and  Los Angeles. Los Rios is California's oldest residential street with over 30 structures including 3 homes that were built in 1794.  It's a great street to stroll with interesting old homes and vintage decorations. 
MISSION OF SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

  The most popular  tourist sight in San Juan Capistrano is the Mission  which was founded in 1776 by Father Junipero Serra and has the only original Mission church in California.  I am looking forward to the annual Christmas at the Mission event that features  carolers and beautiful lights. 
 
Directly across from the mission is a Starbucks which is always busy and great for people watching, connecting and working??
A trip to SJC would not be complete without a visit to the Old Barn Antiques Mall where an antique lover can get lost for hours.  Famous locals have been know to frequent the barn including Diane Keaton who was spotted by my husband.                               
JEAN AND FAMILY AT PETTING ZOO

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting my best friend who I have known since kindergarten and her wonderful family at the San Juan Capistrano Petting Zoo. They all rode train from San Diego for a visit to the Zoo.   Jean's grandchildren loved feeding the animals, riding the ponies and playing in the corn (not sand) box. 
L'HIRONDELLE RESTAURANT

I need to mention a couple of favorite local restaurants.  Ruby's diner is a favorite with families and my husband and I like the double cheeseburgers with Fit? Fries especially when we sit on the balcony overlooking the main street with all it's activity.  My brother is a big  fan of L' Hirondelle Restaurant which offers a great Sunday champagne brunch. 

CHILDREN'S AREA -  SJC LIBRARY
The  old library of San Juan Capistrano is across the street from the beautiful New Parish Church and it has a warm comfortable children's library that I love. It makes me wonder why we so often replace the old historic libraries with new grandiose structures -  especially when the real value is in the content of the library. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TUESDAY VINTAGE JOURNEY - OCEAN WALK

VIEW IN FRONT OF THE RITZ CARLTON
SURFERS ON THE BEACH
Once again it's time for a special short journey around Dana Point.  This favorite hike starts at the Dana Point Library where I can usually find parking nearby on the street.  From here I walk across Pacific Coast Highway and enter a public gate that allows entry onto the Ritz Carlton property.  A short walk and you are on the path in front of the hotel with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean - continue down the path  to the Salt Creek Beach Dana Point.  This is great because it offers a beach walk either direction for variety and is especially good at low tide.  There are always some surfers(not sure when they work or attend school) and an occasional boat and  a view of Catalina Island in the distance. 
HOMES ALONG THE WAY

This is one of the few times I am impressed with the lawmakers of California  because the hotels and expensive homes that have been built on the ocean were required by law to allow for public entrances and usage.
This area like so many around this area is quiet and peaceful with very few people around.  I expect it's different during the summer but for a winter retreat this area rocks.   Of course, I haven't commented about the weather but for me it's perfect because it's never too hot and hardly a day goes by when you can't go for a great hike (not to say anything about the sunshine that is almost inevitable).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TUESDAY VINTAGE JOURNEY - SAN CLEMENTE TRAIL

SAN CLEMENTE PIER
Today is another grand day in Southern California - perfect for another Vintage Tuesday Journey.
One of my favorite walks is a San Clemente trail along the ocean that ends at the the San Clemente Pier.  I usually park free on the street near the Avenida Pico stop light on Pacific Coast Hwy.  From there, I walk toward the ocean and onto the trail.  At low tide I like to walk directly on the beach which is good hard sand for hiking. I always take time to walk out on the San Clemente Pier which  goes out in to the Pacific Ocean 1,296 feet and offers spectacular views and interesting people.  One of these days I'm going to bring my fishing pole and pretend I know how to fish just so I can sip coffee and sit on the pier for hours with the locals.  Not sure what I would do if I caught a fish but I bet one of the locals would help me. 
From the Pier you can continue walking for miles at low tide passing the former Nixon west
coast White House.
My husband and I frequently return to San Clemente for dinner at Selma's.  Ron needs to eat gluten free and Selma's serves a highly recommended gluten free pizza and the very best gluten free beer on the market which is Green's (made in Belgium and not easy to find). 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

VINTAGE TUESDAY JOURNEY - DANA POINT

TRAIL & SALT WATER LAGOON

VIEW FROM PUERTO PL.
 Todays' Vintage Tuesday Journey features a bike ride to Dana Point.  I jumped on my bike and rode the Trabuco Creek Trail to Dana Point.   As the trail approaches the ocean there is a lovely salt water lagoon which is home to 100's of birds - mainly western gulls but also numerous others like pelicans, great blue herons and sanderling.  It is also a popular bird watching site.  At the ocean I turn right and continue along Little Doheny Beach  observing some volleyball players and beachcombers along the way.   At one time this beach was  very popular with the California surfers including the Beach Boys.  This all changed when the Dana Harbor  and island was built starting in 1963 - danapointhistorical.org.   You still see surfers  but not the experts.
I love the short detour out to the end of Puerto Pl. which allows a great view of the beach and San Clemente.  From there I continue on to the Dana Cove Park and the Ocean Institute, which allows a great view of Dana Point, white water, dolphins and a lonely seal on one of the rocks.

DANA POINT

OCEAN INSTITUTE




As usual I enjoy a few moments sitting on the bench looking at the ocean before heading back.   I decided to stop along the harbor for a coffee on my way back.  The marina is home to hundreds of boats (yachts) with unique names like Stripper and Last Chance.   It is also a popular walking area for all ages and every kind of dog imaginable. 

DANA POINT MARINA
My Tuesday ended at Hennessey's Tavern for the famous 2 for 1 Tuesday hamburgers - highly recommended.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

VINTAGE DOORS FROM PACIFIC GROVE, CALIFORNIA

Pacific Grove, CA began as a nineteenth-century campground and Methodist retreat, and still holds ornate wooden cottages from those long-forgotten days, along 16th and 17th streets.  It is located right next to Monterrey and easily missed because everyone is in a hurry to visit Carmel and Big Sur.  This happens to be where I discovered the best Vintage Doors on our road trip west.  I will share my favorite doors from Pacific Grove.
 



Sunday, October 9, 2011

2011 VINTAGE ROAD TRIP WEST

When September rolls around it is time to think about leaving Minnesota for the winter.   So we packed up and began our 2011 Vintage Road Trip West. 

Our departure wasn't exactly stress free due to the fact that as I was running around the house getting ready to leave -   I looked down to see the diamond missing from my wedding ring. (At least I still had my husband.)   Needless to say we spent hours looking high and low but never found it.  I kept saying "Oh my gosh" - I must of said it a hundred times as we scoured the kitchen, bedroom, garage, vacuum cleaner dustbag, garbage, seat cushions, sinks, shower,etc.    No luck so I decided to call JB Hudson (famous old jewelery store in the Minneapolis area) where I had the ring serviced just three days prior (they replaced a prong and tightened the others).   At least I had done my due diligence on repair even though I passed on the insurance.  JB Hudson promised to send a replacement.  A few weeks later I opened a package which contained a small gift wrapped box and a beautiful new diamond ring.  I will forever be appreciative of JB Hudson. 

Finally we are on our way west - another great road trip through  South Dakota (yes I even like So Dakota), Montana, Wyoming, Utah and California. 

YELLOWSTONE PARK
NORTH ENTRANCE TO YELLOWSTONE
We arrived in Cody, Wyoming two days into our trip.  Cody is home  of the not to be missed Buffalo Bill Historical Center.  The weather was perfect and it was fun to be on a road trip again.  We spent a few days in Yellowstone (first time for me and definitely worth a trip)  and the Grand Tetons - I hope to return to walk around Lake Jenny  someday.  We spent one night in Jackson, Wyoming.  As I understand it,  a lot of Minnesotans end up in Jackson because the winters are brighter and milder than Minnesota.  We found a restaurant with a balcony overlooking the Jackson town park where Ron settled in for his workday.  I walked around Jackson  which is famous for its' Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.   Later we drove through the Grand Tetons again to enjoy the beauty before driving over the mountain pass to Driggs, Utah for the night.  Next stop,  Salt Lake City to visit relatives.  We have had the privilige of visiting Salt Lake City many times and I still believe it is one of the nicest and most livable cities in the country - world class skiing within 30 minutes of the city doesn't hurt any.          
PARIS, UTAH
FAMILY IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

PETERSON - A SMALL (VERY SMALL) TOWN IN MINNESOTA

BOYUM HOMESTEAD
I recently had the privilege of spending a few days in Peterson, MN. which is located in southeastern Minnesota (population 199).  The area is lush and green with winding roads and is located on one of the best paved bike trails in the Midwest called the Root River State Trail.  The area also has the reputation of being mosquito free and warmer than most of Minnesota. 

The purpose of the trip was to spend time with four special high school friends.  It is kind of  amazing that we can get together and still have such wonderful camaraderie after so many years.  We have all changed yet somehow we still share a bond that makes time together very special.   I feel fortunate to still have these special people in my life who have, incidentally,  all grown better with age.    

MORE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP:

- Staying in a 150 year old home which was meticulously updated and is cared for by my friend and her family.
- A horse and buggy ride through the prairie by a lovely Amish girl and a visit to her home. 
- Lefse and lunch in Rushford, MN 
-Lunch and Amish quilts in Harmony, MN
-Hiking along the Root River path
-Wine Tasting  (for Dummies)
-Breakfast at Judy's restaurant in Peterson, MN


THANKS GAIL!

Monday, May 23, 2011

FARM ISLAND LAKE

VIEW OF FARM ISLAND LAKE FROM THE CABIN LAKE SHORE
We have been back in Maple Plain for about one month (enough time to get a new roof on the house and go for my first physical at the Mayo Clinic).  It is finally getting warm and sunny.  Last night my sister-n-law Rozanne invited me to ride up to the cabin with her and it sounded like a good idea. 
VIEW OF MY DAD ON THE FROZEN LAKE IN THE 60'S
It turned out to be a beautiful day "up north" (that's what they call it in Minnesota).  The trillions were blooming and the leaves were starting to come out and  the ice was off the lake.
BEN - HOW BIG WAS THAT FISH?
GOOD CROP YEAR
This was not just any trip up to a cabin because it is a cabin that has been in the family for over 70 years and of course that means trillions of memories.  My parents bought the cabin in the early 40's for $2000.  I always loved to go to the cabin and spent almost every summer weekend at the lake while I was growing up.  The cabin is still in the family - owned and lovingly cared for by Rozanne. 
 EARLIER DAYS
MARGARET & FRED PETERSON - THE BEST OF TIMES

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Monday, April 11, 2011

THE VINTAGE CAREER GIRL VS THE CLASSY CAREER GIRL OF TODAY

Femme Fatale (Gouache on Wood) by Octavine IllustrationMy daughter Anna diligently writes a great blog called  the Classy Career Girl  which leads me to make a comparison between the classy career girl of today and the vintage career girl of the 60s and 70s. 
  • In the 60s and early 70s women almost always majored in education, nursing or sociology -  today they have majors all over the spectrum and there are NO LIMITS to what they can accomplish. 
  • Employment ads in all the national newspapers were then divided between female and male job openings.   Today the job search takes full advantage of current technology with no indication of gender.
  • Managers had secretaries and, of course, my first job (even though I was a college graduate) was secretary to a Personnel Manager (now known as Human Resources).  Fortunately, I worked for a rather progressive female who I respected and learned a lot from.  
  • I'm not exactly sure what the college graduates are getting for starting salaries these days, but I know it exceeds my $118.00 per week. I managed to live in Manhattan, New York on that salary in 1969.     
  • While living in New York in 1969, I shopped at Alexander's and Orhbach's for discounted clothing - today I think it would be Marshalls and Ross.  I loved to walk through Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales and look at all of the fancy apparel, accessories and cosmetics.  Saks and Bloomingdales were then unique to just a few cities, so shopping in NYC was a very big deal. 
  • In those days you needed to be at least age 26 with a good income in order to qualify for a credit card.  Needless to say we frequented banks and deposited our checks and we were forced to live within our means.  I think we all did.  You could only spend what you had - it was all pretty simple.  Frankly, it still is that simple-- (if we forget about keeping up with the Jones's).
  • No Starbucks - just the best New York  coffee anywhere - we would stand in the "to go" line at the delicatessen to purchase it on our way to work.  Even the coffee carts had good coffee.   Maybe I should also mention the warm buttered corn muffins.  
  • I  walked everywhere with comfortable shoes - I still do.   How can these career girls wear the high heels day in and day out?  
            Illustration from Octavine Illustration.

      Saturday, March 26, 2011

      GRADUATION SPEECH BY A VINTAGE MOM

      As you all probably noticed I am not the one to make the speech at graduations and weddings and other important occasions - in fact this is probably the first.   I guess when your daughter achieves a milestone like a MBA you rise to the occasion.  Of course it helps that we are a small group and you are all family and close friends. 
      Thank you all for coming and I think at this point you have all met one another.  Everyone of you has somehow made an impression on Anna and influenced her positively in some way.   For that Ron and I are very thankful. Of course, we are especially grateful for an incredible son-in-law like John who has given Anna support in so many ways. 
       
      Anna and I visited the University of California San Diego in 1999 when we were making the college visitations.   We were both impressed with the surroundings and academic standings of the school.  Of course, we knew at the time that UCSD accepted less then 2% of the out of state students who applied.  Now Anna was a good student but realistically that was probably too much of a stretch and her tennis could only get her in if she was a top player which she was not.  Anyway it was worth a try. Little did we know at the time that someday she would be honored with a MBA from this great and impressive school.  

       I didn't realize when I became a parent that someday I would have the added benefit of learning and being inspired by my children. Anna has truly been an inspiration for me and many others. Ron and I are thankful  and proud of this amazing daughter - we wish her all the success and happiness life can bring.   

      Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and thanks again for being here.   

      Saturday, March 19, 2011

      AMTRAK TO SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

      One of the advantages of where we are staying in Solana Beach is the convenience of a train depot only a ten minute walk away.   Tomorrow I plan to catch the 10 am train to San Juan Capistrano to visit my brother and a cousin which will be one of the highlights of my stay in California.  My cousin Mae is older then me so as a child I  had the privilege of looking up to her and hearing everyone talk about her - she played the clarinet in the Patrick Henry band (guess who also played  in the Patrick Henry band?)  I also had the privilege of being the flower girl in her wedding.  She married a  handsome man and moved to California - where she  lived and raised her family.   I also remember  her because I accompanied my mother on her visits to see my aunt Ella(Mae's mother)  when she was older and eventually in a nursing home.  Aunt Ella always shared the letters and photos from Mae.  Tomorrow I will see her and she will be just as vivacious as ever - and still driving on the California freeways (with all the maniacs).
      L'Hirondale Restaurant - San Juan Capistrano
      http://www.lhirondellesjc.com/

      Wednesday, March 2, 2011

      TIDE POOLS AND THE BIRCH AQUARIUM AT SCRIPPS

      
      
      Tide Pools - Cardiff Beach
       One of my favorite walking routes is along the beach at low tide to the Cardiff Beach State Tide Pools.  On my first visit, I saw a cool red starfish - unfortunately I haven't seen one since. I can always count on seeing mussels, sea anemones and crabs. 
      
      Mussels - Cardiff Beach Tide Pools
      
      Sea Slug - Cardiff Beach Tide Pools
      
      Today I saw a sea slug for the first time. There is something very fascinating about the tide pools, I guess it is like seeing under the water without getting wet. These little creatures survive two floods a days and are vulnerable to wind, water, rain and sun. The rocks at this tide pool are about 45 million years old - now that is OLD. 

       I also visited the Birch Aquarium at Scripps  - probably because of my new found interest in tide pools. They have a display of tide pools for observation and touching.  However,  I was most impressed with the incredible display of live seahorses called "There's Something about Seahorses".   The lionfish and octopus were also very interesting. 
      
      Seahorse - Birch Aquarium
      
      Seahorse - Birch Aquarium
      Lionfish - Birch Aquarium