Tuesday, November 15, 2011


We took this excursion to a region in Baja California northeast of Ensenada known as Guadalupe Valley with DayTripper.
 A stop was made along the coastal highway after passing by Tijuana at the Rosarito Beach Hotel that was established in 1925 which became a popular resort for royalty and Hollywood stars.  By 1950 land sales soared in Rosarito Beach and the town began to take shape with the addition of shops and restaurants.  Since the 1990s there has been appreciable construction of hotels, condominiums and shopping centers. 

Hotel murals

Our first stop in Guadalupe Valley was at L.A. Cetto which was founded by an Italian, Angelo Cetto, in 1980 and is the largest wine producer in  Mexico.  Since it was a rainy day we were served lunch in a private dining room rather than outdoors on the terrace. We enjoyed a 3 course meal with a green salad, an entrée with carne asada, pigeon, rice, beans and tortillas followed by watermelon and papaya.  Red and white wines  were at the tables to accompany the meal.    

    After tasting some of their wines we had time to check out the main tasting and sales room.  


We also stopped at La Casa de Dona Lupe which is a boutique winery that specializes in organic wines, olive oil and jams.  A shelter was set up outside for our group for wine tasting. They also had samples of their special pizzas and gourmet breads that we dipped in flavored olive oil.  We also sampled some of their specialty products and more wines inside the sales room .  On a nice day one can enjoy sitting at tables in the patio.

 On the return trip back along the coast the rain finally let up to end the day with a  double rainbow and a beautiful sunset.
A final stop was made in Tijuana at a liquor shop with some sampling of Tequila and other spritis.
After ending the tour in  San Diego we topped off  the day with a Mexican dinner at Su Casa in La Jolla

Saturday, October 29, 2011



Ed and I were part of a DayTripper group that  enjoyed a Chinese lunch in Irvine before visiting the Bowers museum. 
                                                                                                                                                                              This exhibition focused on the underworld empires of three dynasties in China: the Qin, the Han and the Tang. The highlight featured several life-size terra cotta warriors that were to protect Qin Shihuangdi ,the first emperor of China.  They are examples of more than a 1,000 clay warriors that have been excavated in Xian since they were discovered in 1974 of an estimated 8,000 that were buried.   Originally they had painted garments. Chariots and hundreds of terra cotta horses were also buried to accompany the emperor in the afterlife.  Miniature statues and earthenware animals accompanied Han emperors.  Many treasures of gold, silver and glass  that accompanied the Tang  rulers and elite were also on display.

The museum also has a large collection of Native American Art and exhibits of Orange County history.


Saturday, October 15, 2011



Members of the the La Jolla Village Garden Club enjoyed a day trip in October by bus to the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.  The focus was garden tours led by docents with some time left to see some of the art collection and library.
The Botanical Gardens cover over 120 acres with more than a dozen gardens. 


The hightlight was the Chinese garden, known as The Garden of Flowing Fragrance, which features a lake, a complex of pavilions, a teahouse and five stone bridges. The design was inspired by private gardens in Suzhou, China.  Chinese architecture and rocks surround a lake with layers of meaning and symbolism. Water symbolizes the ever changing and the rocks are the eternal.   Intricately  crafted lattice windows in some of the pavilions frame an object or scene.  Carvings adorn some of the walls. Certain plants represent various seasons with flowering trees in the spring and bamboo and pines in the winter.

Other important botanical attractions that were visited included the Subtropical, Jungle, Palm, Rose and Desert gardens.

Our garden group also enjoyed lunch at the Rose Garden Tea House that featured scones, an assortment of tea sandwiches, salads and assorted little dessert treats.

A brief look at the art collection in the Huntington residence included the large portrait gallery that features Blue Boy and Pinkie.

An example of the Sevres porcelain used for potpourri is shown.                                                              
                            One of the highlights in the Library is the Gutenberg Bible                                                                 

A last look at the terrace of the Huntington residence to complete the day visiting the gardens and art galleries.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ronald Reagan Library and Museum


Ed and I took a DayTrippers excursion for this visit to Simi valley.
The Library and Museum  complex is situated on a hill overlooking surrounding mountains and valleys.   There is a full sized replica of the Oval Office. The stories of Ronald and Nancy Reagan are told with photos, film clips and artifacts. 

The exhibits represent the life of Ronald Reagan from high school,
college, as governor of California and the presidency

 One can board the actual Air Force One and see a Marine One helicopter and a Presidential Motorcade.

 Presidential gifts are on display including a piece of the Berlin Wall.  Another display area includes items from their ranch.  Other features are a Rose Garden and  a Memorial site.


Friday, August 12, 2011


The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park is designed to present an atmosphere of elegant simplicity and quiet beauty. The design is guided by the original principles of the Japanese garden while incorporating elements of the regional landscape and climate. 

To the right of the Entry Gate, the Entrance Stone is inscribed with the kanji symbols of the Garden's name, San-Kei-En.  The Stone was a gift to the Garden from the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society.

The Garden originated as a teahouse during the 1915-16 Panama-California Exposition.

 Traditionally, the sound the Shi-Shi-Odoshi makes against the rock basin keeps evil spirits away. Here the Shi-Shi-Odoshi is used for the sound it makes in the silence of the Garden. The tsukubai (rock basin) catches the water as it spills from the shi-shi-odoshi.

Bonsai (pronounced bone-sigh) is an ancient horticultural art form. Literally meaning “tray planting”, it is the art of dwarfing trees or plants and developing them into an aesthetically appealing shape by growing, pruning and training in containers according to prescribed techniques.

Recently members of a P.E.O. group visited the garden followed by lunch at a nearby café.  P.E.O. is a philanthropic and educational women’s organization.