Saturday, July 26, 2008


By now you are probably as tired as I am of hearing about Staycations.

If the economy has convinced you to hunker down, it doesn’t help to be reminded of your destination deficiencies.

And if you are heading off to a local hot spot or some exotic locale, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss about hanging out at home is all about.

Whichever category you fall into, I’d like to provide you with a bit of vicarious vacationing. Today, we’re off to California.

It's been called the land of fruit and nuts, but I prefer to think about Los Angeles as the land of the giant giraffes.

And birds…


And More Birds….

I’ve posted photos of Venice before (on November 7, 2007 to be exact), but here we are again!

In summer, it seems like every cottage has a picturesque rowboat out on the canal.

And the gardens are in full bloom.

Switching from surf to turf, California cottage garden colors often echo the architecture. Here, a luscious blend of bougainvillea and vintage seating.

I love how the flowers match the window!

And how about this house & garden combo for serene greens?

This shingled cottage would be equally at home in the Adirondacks, except for the signage.

In the sidewalk strip, they had an amazing shrub that had me stumped. It took awhile for me to identify this bright orange beauty. Turns out, it's native to South Africa.

In case you’re as curious as I was, it’s Leonotis ocymifolia var.raineriana.

Although, it’s hard to tell from this photo, this old Fiat car is not only flaming orange, it’s even smaller than a Smart car!

And, speaking of smart... (pardon the parental pride, I needed a clever segue)... the reason I was recently in California was to see my son Fred graduate.
(Fred and his proud father)

Fred, his girlfriend Jessica, and his housemate Jono (all recent UCLA grads), are not only smart, they are great cooks.

I’ll share one of their recipes in my next post. Don't expect pizza or franks and beans. These fearsome chefs served an amazing seafood Cioppino at their grad party.


PAT said...

Just lovely...cottages, boats, birds, flowers, Fred.

Have a wonderful weekend, Barbara. Our staycations, this summer, consist of little week long trips to the lake.

Have a great weekend!

sheila said...

why, yes, I am completely sick of did you know? :)

I love those cottages overlookin' the wonderful would that be to wake up to Every Single Day of the Year? oh, well, I guess even a Staycation there might getold...I dunno...maybe not...[

thanks for the pretty pixs

and congrats to Fred...

Kathryn Bechen Ink said...

Loved this post Barbara. Hope you are having a wonderful summer. Best. Kathryn :)

Susan said...

I love Venice. It's about an hour and one half drive from me. The cottages are so pretty. The beach is like going back to the sixties. Just a place of fun contrasts.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Have fun!

GeorgiaPeachez said...

Awwww, great reason for a Vacation! The pictures are great, make me want to book a flight to LA! xo, suzy

Brenda Kula said...

Enjoyed your tour! And congratulations to your son!

NeereAnDear said...

Oh my goodness what a lovely trip you took us on..... full of native birds and flowers and loads of color

And CONGRATULATIONS to your son!!! I imagine you are very very proud and I dont blame you one bit..

Anxious to try the recipe you are tempting us with ... is it as mouth watering as it sounds?



Alison Gibbs said...

What a fun place to visit. Congratulations Fred.

Claire said...

Fred is such a handsome young man. I know you must be so proud of him.

I've had it with Staycations myself, even though that's exactly what me and mine are doing this year. I'm living vicariously through my sister who is currently on her third vacation for the summer.

The canal is lovely, as are the birds & giraffes.


Vintage Rose Collection said...

Barbara, Thanks for taking us along with you to CA..You must be beamming with pride over this handsome young man! Congrats to you Fred!!!!

Loved the photos of Venice, how romantic!
Hope your having a fabulous summer sweet pea!

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage said...

That was such a fun tour through Southern California! The row boats on the canal are so whimsical and quaint.

I get to have a "staycation" AND be in California (albeit Northern California). And, you know, I still dream of vacationing elsewhere. Isn't that always the way it is?

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I love the idea of saving money and gas with a "staycation", but really I have to travel...spent a week in Naples, Fl in June. Might go someone in August - not sure yet.

Love the cottage pictures. And tell Fred and friends congrats on one amazing accomplishment!

Catherine said...

I enjoyed the vicarious vacationing and you have me "California Dreaming!" :)
Great fun pics! And congrats on your son graduating from UCLA!
Hope you are enjoying Summer Barbara!

rochambeau said...

Congrats to Fred! And thanks for taking me back to Socal!
Hope you are having a great day Barbara!


Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Everything you'd need for the perfect Staycation. I'd rather be on vacate-tion.

Melissa said...

Dear Barbara,

I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your blog.

Thank you for creating a wonderful place to come by and visit.

Sunbonnet Cottage

Julie said...

Lots of beautiful eye candy in California this time of the year! I love the water canals.

Your post made me squirm though because Friday I have to make a road trip from TX. to TN. to pick up 3 horses... yes that is something like 26 hours in the diesel truck - pulling a long goose neck trailer in less than 3 days. I don't even want to imagine what this is going to cost in gas alone! UGGGHHHH!

Barbara said...

Enjoyed this trip to LA. I get to see lots from Sara but interesting to see your take on things.

Dawn-Hydrangea Home said...

Great pics Barbara! And congrats on your son's graduation.

Liz said...

I'll be happy never to take a vacation again if someone would just give me that car in the first photo. Sigh.

Pearl said...

Ahhhh... what a lovely and relaxing bloggie~vacation to go on! Thanks for sharing, Barbara... and, Congrats to the recent Grad! Such an exciting time in his life and yours, too... I'm looking forward to seeing you at the UnBirthday Party tomorrow! YAY!! Have a pleasant evening...


Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Wonderful photos!! I am lucky to live in Cali - a wonderful state. I will take any of those cute houses there that you have shared.

Congrats to FRED!!!! Whooo hooo!! Way to go!


FrenchGardenHouse said...

Great photos!! Hope you are having fun, sorry it's a bit hot. (I always feel personally responsible for the weather here when visitors come)


Barbara said...

Barbara the spam thing is unbelievable. How can that be. It's like they will be chopping off your right arm.
What can one do to help I wonder.

Daisy Cottage said...

Congratulations Fred!
And congratulations to Mom too!


Pearl said...

Hi Barbara... I certainly was surprised to read your comments regarding "spam" and "Blogspot's new robot scanner"... It must be maddening for you at the least. I hope you've been able to back-up and save your blog content... no small task, I know... ~just shakes my head~ You're the first one I've heard from with this unfortunate encounter. I wish I had a solution.

I can, however, wish you a Happy UnBirthday and toss some Pink confetti your way! I'm glad you were able to at least visit and view the party post. I can only imagine how fun and creative your contribution would have been ~sigh~ I'll be holding positive thoughts for you and high hopes of a solution coming your way. Do have as wonderful of a weekend as you can...


Tracie~MPMaison said...

Beautiful pictures, I love Venice, CA.

Can't wait for the recipes, seafood cioppino sounds great for this warm weather.

Saw at Pearl's blog, your blog was being considered Spam by the new robot - no way! I think we shall revolt if that happens.

nannykim said...

Ps--the message I am getting for some different blogs is that internet explorer cannot open this ---or display the webpage--what gives?

Kathy said...

Fantastically fabulous! Congrats on being able to partake in your son's accomplishments!!!! What joy!

A Romantic Porch said...

Congratulations to Fred! xo rachel

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I am trying to convince myself that a staycation is the way to go... trying, but not sold!

That mustang brings back some precious memories :-)