Sunday, September 25, 2022

Around McMinnville


McMinnville Oregon is such a pretty town located right in the heart of the Willamette Valley.  With a population of only about 35,000, it is a small town but its wine country location makes it a popular stop with visitors. 

My friends were in search of an interesting coffee shop one morning and since I don't drink coffee, I wandered around outside finding things to photograph.  

That's where I found this sign featuring things McMinnville is known for.  With its wine country location, grapes make sense but I didn't know about the UFO sightings or the Turkey industry.  You can see references to both things in this sign. 

It looks like the city embraces the "love-lock" culture by putting up this sign and encouraging young lovers to attach their locks to it.  

The McMinnville sign and the Love sign were located in a pretty plaza surrounded by that coffee shop, a wine warehouse and this tall building identified as part of a fertilizer company.  

As you might expect, the city is also home to a number of wine tasting rooms.  The one pictured above was beautifully decorated with local artworks.

The city is also full of beautiful little gardens and hanging baskets making the tree lined streets even prettier.  

If you ever find yourself in the Oregon wine country, this is a perfect place to stop and enjoy the atmosphere as well as the wine.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

A California Shopping Center


Only in California would one find a shopping center with ocean front views!

I'm not kidding.  Just look at that view!  That's the Pacific Coast Highway out there where that car is driving by and the ocean is just beyond.

Because of that incredible view, the Crystal Cove Shopping Center has put some tables and chairs out at the end of the parking lot so people could enjoy the view or perhaps have and ocean view sack lunch.

The center supports a very busy Trader Joe's grocery, several clothing stores, at least 6 restaurants and a couple of home furnishings stores.  And, it gets plenty of business.  When I was there in August, it was hard to find a place to park.

I've dined many times at this great sushi restaurant.

And, I've bought some delicious gourmet foods at this wonderful little deli.  

Over the years, it's turned into a very popular place.  On my last visit, I drove past lines of cars just waiting to get into the parking lot.  

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Favorite California Photos


I've been going to Southern California for a few days every summer for the past 15 years.  It's a good way to take a break from the intense Arizona heat.  Over those trips, I've taken some photos that have become favorites of mine.  

On my very first visit to the historic Crystal Cove historic district, I spotted the rusted out mailboxes in the top photo.  I'm so glad I snapped this photo back in 2007 because the next time I visited, these old mailboxes were gone.

The photo to the right was also taken at Crystal Cove, this time in 2010.  It features some of the old beach cottages that were preserved at this historic sight.  I love that tree that towers over the cottages.  And, as luck would have it, a bird flew right into the frame at the right moment.

I took this photo back in 2012.  It is a wall that runs along a driveway for a house in Corona Del Mar.  The owner has used some windows and doors from a salvaged submarine to decorate this long wall.

In 2013, I took a harbor cruise and happened to spot this pelican sitting on buoy.  I've tried to get a good photo of the pelicans who fly around the area many times but this is the best one I've gotten.

In 2014, I spied this hummingbird flying around some plants.  I was surprised that I got such a good photo of this tiny bird.  Even those fast moving wings are looking clear.

There is a wonderful little pond full of waterlilies at the place I usually stay and in 2015, the blooms were especially beautiful.  I focused on the colorful center of this one.  

In 2021, this cute little fellow landed on a plant to take a rest.  He was very obliging and posed here for quite a while.  

Just two weeks ago, I took my 2022 California break and once again I took many photos.  This one isn't technically great but, it is just so sweet.  This man and his dog were sitting on a bench and enjoying the ocean view.  Something tells me they love doing things together.  

As I was walking along the path in Heisler Park, this big fellow flew right over my head and landed on a tree branch.  It's either a hawk or possibly a falcon.  Which ever, he stayed put long enough for me to get several photos.  

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Inside the Farmhouse


Last week I had photos of the place I stayed in McMinnville Oregon back in July.  It was a cute little farmhouse on the edge of town.  This week I'll share some photos I took inside.  It was such a cute place with lots of antique furniture along with the modern conveniences one would expect.  Above is the living room.

The kitchen had been remodeled to give it all the modern conveniences.  I'm not sure who measured the height of the kitchen counters.  They were every tall for someone as short as me.  I would have needed a step stool to wash dishes in that sink.  

There was one bedroom downstairs and three bedrooms up stairs so the place could accommodate a large family.

I loved the furniture in the upstairs bedrooms.

In the photo above, you get a glimpse of that clover field I mentioned last week out that window.

This antique lamp appealed to me.  I have the perfect spot for it.

Just before we left, I took this photo of an old framed photo of the house from many, many years ago.  the house itself looks very much the same as it did when this was taken however, that huge tree in the back of that house is not there at all.  I'm guessing this photo was taken back in the late 40's or 50's.