Archive for the ‘Field trips’ Category

My friend Deborah and I were off and running early on a recent Saturday morning.  Destination?  The Alameda Point Antiques Faire.  One needs an interest in and a long attention span for rummaging through vintage items to enjoy this place.  Deborah and I were the right ones for the job.  We both have more than enough antiques.  Her extras are stashed in her attic.  Mine are hidden in my office.  We didn’t let that stop us.  Full speed ahead!  We were ready for a treasure hunt.

Here is a sampling of what we found.

And, there was more; so much more.

I loved these shadowboxes!

What went home with me?

A vintage typewriter!

And, these paper items from one of my favorite Berkeley stores, Addison Endpapers.  Did I ever tell you how much I love paper?

We paused for lunch at the food trucks, but that didn’t slow us down much.  When we finished the first half of the faire, we decided it was time to go home.  On the shuttle ride to our car, we were making plans to visit again.


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My friend Jennifer and I recently ventured out to Woodside, California, to visit the lovely Filoli home and gardens.  Thank you, Mrs. Roth, for sharing your beautiful estate.

Lurline Roth gifted this charming country estate to her community in 1975.  It is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  What a treasure.

Mr. Bourn, the original owner, arrived at the unusual name “Filoli” by combining the first two letters from the key words of his credo: “Fight for a just cause; Love your fellow man; Live a good life.”  I love that!  My house doesn’t have a name.  And, I don’t have a credo.  Maybe it is time for me to think about that.

The gardens are exquisite.  The inside of the house is worth a peek, too.  Visit at Christmas to see the house in its full glory.  The decorated house is beautiful.

We spent the afternoon meandering through the gardens, pausing for a rest on a bench that had a perfect view of the estate, and thinking of Mrs. Roth.  We left happy, inspired and refreshed.  Thank you for the lovely afternoon, Mrs. Roth.

Find more information about Filoli here.

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A visit to the county fair marks the beginning of our summer.  This fair is in the middle of a bustling suburb.  It is amazing how quickly the busy suburb fades behind me as I enter the gates to the fair.  Scale it down a few notches in size, and I could be at the small-town fair of my youth.  Most things change over time, but not the fair.  Delicious corn dogs (really!), lemonade, crazy rides and even crazier carneys are still there.  Even in the 1970’s and 80’s, everything seemed so old-fashioned.  Enter the exhibition hall today and tell me you are not in the 1950’s.  Jam, pickles, quilts, sewing projects.  Even the display tables appear to be from an earlier era.  No rainbow-hued plastic IKEA-inspired displays here.

I am a 4-H alum so I have a soft-spot for all the youth entries.  Because of that, or maybe because I wanted to relive my youth, I encouraged my boys to enter the fair when they were younger.  They entered scout projects and cookies.  It was exciting for them to come home with blue ribbons or a coveted “Judge’s Favorite” rosette.  They are too old for the youth division now but not for the cookies that won a blue ribbon a few years ago.

Blue Ribbon Oatmeal Cookies

1 ½ cups quick-cooking rolled oats

¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking soda

8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup (packed) light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup raisins

¼ cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease baking sheets.
  • Toss the oats, flour, cinnamon, and baking soda together in a bowl.
  • Cream the butter and both sugars together in a mixing bowl until light.  Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Then slowly beat in the dry ingredients, then the raisins, and walnuts.
  • Drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets and bake until golden, 10 minutes.  Leave the cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes; then transfer them to wire racks to cool.

Makes 4 ½ dozen cookies.

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Want to gaze at a beautiful view of San Francisco?  Shop for vintage finds?  Eat lunch at one of the best food trucks in SF?  Indulge in delicious mini-donuts cranked out on a vintage donut maker?  If your answer is yes, take yourself to the Treasure Island Flea in San Francisco at once!

Here are some of the treasures we found:

Charming tablescape

Alluring attire

Vintage train

So many hats!

Wrought iron and metal

USC banner!

The setting is reason enough to go.  Not to mention the mini-donuts. (wink!)

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