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Posts Tagged ‘Orange County’

Hmmm….let’s see:

Decisions, decisions ...

I know one thing for certain — nothing is certain!  🙂   But we are in southern California, and I suspect the next post will be about Huntington Beach.  Meanwhile, the day is overcast but nice, Sweet Pea has had her walk, and all is right with our little world…

A quiet lake is a pleasant place to linger...

Just for the heck of it, one last shot of Santa Cruz for Mats: http://www.matsljunggren.com/

View from Gilbert's FireFish Grill Restaurant on the wharf

Oh, and one last thing about visiting Santa Cruz:  There are locals who think it’s cute to post fake signs to mislead visitors.  Clearly, these are people who haven’t been beaten up nearly often enough in their lives!  Follow your maps, ignore random signage, and all will be well.  🙂

I’ll post again SOON.  (How can it possibly be February 7 already?)

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Since I can’t find the *%#! SanDisk with Monterey Bay on it, let’s default to nature today!  Actually, this calla lily is too pretty to be considered an emergency substitute:

They were hiding behind the shrubs, but I found them...

And this would look at home in grandma’s garden:

...or maybe it belongs on a parade float with thousands more

Of course, swallows’ nests are part of nature, too:

Swallows' nests look like alien pods from a sci-fi movie

Come to think of it, don’t cactus and their flowers look otherworldly, too?

  …these are so cool…

I think I’ll finish today’s post with this guy:

He's doing what I like to do -- hang out by the water. 🙂

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I love Christmastime, because I only do the things I like to do:  listen to Christmas music, decorate the tree and house with lights, take photos of cheerful decorations, and drink beverages made of alcohol or chocolate, or both. 🙂

Today was the San Clemente Choral Society’s annual Christmas concert, so that kickstarted my holiday season nicely!  It’s only December 3rd, so it’s a little too early for holiday shots — let’s take a look at Balboa Island in Newport Beach last year:

Let's all sing! "Deck the docks with boughs of holly..."

I love Balboa Island at Christmas.  I love the decorations illuminating everything — houses, trees, docks, boats — even the dogs who’ll put up with it!   It’s a great place to watch the Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade, an over-the-top extravaganza of marine craft from yachts to kayaks decorated in hundreds of thousands of lights, gliding by close to shore, playing music, people onboard and people onshore waving and wishing each other a merry Christmas.

The Balboa Pavilion across the bay on the Balboa peninsula

The Starbucks on Marine Avenue must brew hundreds of gingerbread lattes during the four-night parade.  Even in Southern California it gets chilly at night, and some cocoa or coffee helps to take the edge off.  This year, the parade will take place from December 14 – 18, and I hope to have some great new photos to show you.

Meanwhile — tomorrow we bring the noble fir into the house. Let the decorating begin!

December night in Newport Bay

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My friends and I took a day trip to Mission San Juan Capistrano earlier this year:

Mission San Juan Capistrano

There are ten acres of gorgeous gardens, buildings, earthquake-shattered ruins, and history to immerse yourself in.

Arches frame lovely views

The repetition of plastered adobe walls, Mexican tiles, brickwork, thick wooden beams and sheltered walkways is soothing as you stroll.

There’s plenty of color in the gardens, too:

Did you ever make flowers from crepe paper when you were a child?

Most of what the mission needed was grown or manufactured on site.  The old ways of putting things together interest me:

The sacred images tucked in here and there caught my eye as well:

I almost missed this image of Mary tucked in a niche...

Services are still held at the mission church.

Votive candles glow in the dim light

Sometimes I don’t know when to quit!  Just one more image before I call it a night:

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