Home Again!

Did you even know I was gone? I didn’t mention this trip on the blog, I don’t think. I went to  a rug hooking retreat! Super fun. Good food. Too much of it. Crazy good weather–think flip flops!

When I go to rug hooking events, I usually meet my rug hooking friend who flies out from the Chicago area, and then we drive to wherever the event is taking place. So far, that is usually somewhere in Southern California. This time it was Anaheim (home of Disneyland.) Originally we were planning to go to Disneyland for a day before the retreat started. But between my bum knee (I didn’t feel like walking on cement endlessly,) and the cost (old lady shaking her cane at the $99 entrance fee to Disney) we canceled that idea. Mary Lynn suggested going to Crystal Cove, an historic beach resort. At first, I kind of resisted, because, you know, beach walking. But the timing was right, so I suggested we head down there Monday morning. I am so happy we went. That was one of those unexpected experiences that make for a great memory. And, I didn’t have to walk that much 🙂

It turns out, Crystal Cove is where they shot the Beach scenes for the movie Beaches (one of my all time favorite movies!) Here is the house where the scenes were shot:

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And here I am, sitting in exactly the same deck chair that Bette Midler sat in (haha, that’s the story I’m telling myself, anyway.)

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There were wonderful rock formations and tide pools here.

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I just loved walking (very carefully) along the rocks, and peering into the pools. That is one of my favorite childhood memories–my dad would take us kids down to the tide pools in Carmel (northern Ca.)

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Can you see the anemone in this picture?

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Beach still life:

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Before we left the beach, we stopped at the Beachcomber Cafe for a snack. I saw “beignets” on the menu, and Mary Lynn and I decided to split an order. I have never had them, only read about them on other’s blogs. Oh. My. Goodness. I am very glad there is no place around here to order them. So so yummy. It was so fun to have coffee and watch the waves. Oh, and a couple of dolphins swam by slowly, and the restaurant rings a bell so everyone will know to look out and see them!

We headed over to Gene Shepherd’s, where the retreat was held, and did some preliminary consulting on our rug patterns. I am going to write more about that on my quilt blog, so you can check it out over there, if you are interested in that kind of stuff. After we were done, we were ready for a late lunch/early dinner, and Gene suggested an upscale food court type of place that was nearby. It was very interesting. We chose a place that served “Chinese hot pot.” I’d seen this on some of my cooking shows, and was interested in trying it. They brought you a bowl of broth, that they put on a burner right at your table, and a plate full of very fresh veggies (and some tofu and noodles that I didn’t eat.) Then you chose your protein (I got pork tenderloin,) white or brown rice, and your sauces (don’t ask me. but they were tasty.) Then you put the veggies and meat in the broth to cook as you go along.

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I gave the chopsticks a valiant try. And then the waitress brought me some “chopstick helpers. And then she brought me a spoon 🙂

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It was good, but nothing I would probably get again. Here is a picture of a “gelato pop” place. We didn’t try it, but I was fascinated by the display.

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And that was all just the first day! Here’s where we spent the majority of our time, in Gene’s garage studio.

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The hotel we stayed at was wonderful, and they provided a shuttle to and from Gene’s house, which was great, since I don’t particularly like driving in the big city. Gene’s wife, Marsha is a great cook, and she provided gourmet comfort food for us for lunch each day. And then we went out to dinner….

Yes, as soon as I hit publish, I am on my way to the gym 🙂

The doggies were all happy that I was home, and I felt the same.

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7 thoughts on “Home Again!

  1. Awww, love the parting shot of the pups by the warm stove!

    What a fun trip! Gorgeous day at the beach, and how cool to find that house. I spy in your picture a sea anemone? Fun as Disney would have been, I think your beach trip was a little more soul-refreshing. 🙂

  2. Oh that beach is gorgeous! You know I love Disney, but a natural setting is just as good a vacation spot 😀

    I am intrigued by those gelato pops…

  3. Fantastic!!! That’s the way to enjoy a getaway! Also, in my mind Chinese Hot Pot = 1970’s Fondue. Actually I have fondue pots and we do it once in a while. Takes the food a bit to cook so it forces conversation (good for a long-time married couple) lol.

  4. Retreat! Aren’t retreats just the best? I bet your Chicagoan friend was loving the change in weather.

    I love the way that beach house nestles into the rocks, that’s how you spell picturesque.

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