Friday, November 2, 2007


Since I didn't have to work on the book today, as soon as I woke up, I headed for an outdoor terrace overlooking the wetland preserve at The Inn at Playa Del Rey.

I was joined by one of the Inn’s other guests. A British woman on route to Tahiti and New Zealand, she had spotted prairie dogs and six species of birds the morning before and was hoping to add more wildlife to her scorecard. Although we saw numerous egrets, herons and other smaller shorebirds, no prairie dogs appeared.

Eventually the aroma of freshly baked cinnamon scones lured us indoors (see recipe below.)

One of The Inn’s claims to fame is their yummy breakfast buffets. Several of their other recipes are available on All are perfect for holiday brunches!


4 cups all-purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Butter, cold and cut into chunks
2 _ cups Sour Cream (or 1c. Buttermilk)
1 cup dried Cranberries, Raisins or Apricots
Cinnamon Sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Add the butter chunks and rub into the flour mixture. An electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment can also be used. The end result should resemble coarse meal about the size of small peas. Add the dried fruit. Mix just well enough to coat the fruit. Incorporate the sour cream and mix. Do not over mix or the scones will be tough instead of light and airy. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.
Yields approximately 12 to 15 small scones.

After breakfast, we met up with Fred for a walking tour of Venice.
When Venice of America officially opened on July 4, 1905, there were several miles of canals, a 1200-foot-long pleasure pier with a ship-themed restaurant and dance hall, a hot salt-water plunge, and an arcade with Venetian architecture and other attractions.
By 1930, most of the canals were filled in and made into streets. (Fred's Blue Bungalow was originally a corner canal house.)The canals that survived are lined with architecturally diverse homes and some of the most expensive real estate in the area.In the early 1900s, tourists took a trolley from Los Angeles or Santa Monica, then rode Venice's miniature railroad and gondolas around town. Then, as now, the town’s biggest attraction was its gently sloping beach. Some of you may recognize it from the TV hit Baywatch (with Pamela Anderson.)
A wide grassy mall separates the sand from the concrete walkway, known as the boardwalk.
You never know what you will see there. A man playing a baby grand piano on the sand, street musicians with choreography that rivals a Broadway show or a woman strolling with her pup!
On the grassy side of the boardwalk is a dawn to dusk sideshow of variety acts and temporary vendors. On the town side, permanent stalls and shops sell tourist trinkets, treasures and truly quirky goods.Muscle Beach (above) is where Arnold Schwarznegger used to hang out. Today, another generation of fanatic body-builders pump iron in a public show of strength in this surfside weight room.
My favorite site was the Norton House built by noted architect Frank Gehry. The "terrace" resembles a lifeguard stand, a nod to the owner's summer job when he was in college.

In addition to photographing the architecture, I snapped photos of several gardens, but that will have to wait for another day.


Angela (Cottage Magpie) said...

The pictures of Venice were neat to see, but those scones! Yum! I haven't had breakfast yet so I think I'm going to go make some right now! Yay! Thanks! ~A :-)

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

What a wonderful tour of Venice! Those scones looks and sound delish! I am going to save that recipe for sure...

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

What a wonderful tour! And those cinnamon scones look just wonderful. You'd have to walk after eating those. Thanks for the visit & pics.


PAT said...

It's wonderful to see the canals have been somewhat preserved. That part of town was rather poor, when I was there 50 years ago.

Thanks so much, Barbara, for reminding me of that wonderful summer I spent in Venice all those years ago. I remember that beach and the area, as though it was yesterday!


PAT said...

Hi Barbara...I was by here, earlier and I think blogger had a little snafu. I tried and got error messages twice. So will try again, now.

I've enjoyed this look at present day Venice. It brought back memories of that wonderful summer, I spent there, 50 years ago. I remember going to that beach and having the best time. When we were there, the canals were not in as good shape as they are today. I'm happy to see the renewal. I thought, at 14, it would be a great place to live.


Mary said...

Thanks for the tour -- those houses are beautiful! And, God those scones look good!!! But I'm trying to be a good girl and not eat, so...

Anonymous said...

The scones look wonderful....wondering if you left out some info on how to form them?
Is the dough kneaded and the scones
cut? Is dough very soft and they
are spooned onto (greased? un-
greased?) baking pan? Would love to try hoping you can
fill in the gap for me.

Catherine said...

YUM!! The cinnamon scone's, LOOK & Sound DELICIOUS!! ~Thanks for sharing the recipe. And for the beautiful tour, Your photo's are beautiful~I love seeing the reflections of the home's in the the blue bungalow..and the man playing the baby grand on the sand!! Can't wait to see the garden photo's!!
Great post!!

The Old Painted Cottage said...


Thank for the tour of those gorgeous canals. I have to admit that I've lived here in So Cal my entire life, and I've never seen them before. I must not get out much!

However, I just showed your post to Adam and we both agreed this is definitely going on our "to do list".

And those sconces are absolutely killing me...yumm!


Lisa said...

Pretty pictures! Hmmm, I may have to try the scone recipe. It looks delicious. Yummy.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

The scones look yummy! I think I will try those for my Christmas tea. Thanks so much!
xo Lidy