Saturday, July 31, 2021

Artichoke country

 Salinas, CA

One of the reasons we love it here in central coast CA
is the abundance of fresh produce.

Now that life has opened up a bit,
some of the produce festivals have begun again.
One I haven't attended since the 80's is the Artichoke Festival.

The nearby town of Castroville is the artichoke capital of the world.
The warm days and cool, foggy nights make it ideal for growing.
The festival has gotten so well attended,
that they moved it to the Monterey fairgrounds years ago.

George and I set off and paid our $10 each senior entrance fee.
We also paid $25 each fee for wine tasting..
more about that later.

As we walked around,
we saw the artichoke mascot walking around..

There was a lovely farmer's market
that had some great lettuce,
asparagus, artichokes (of course!),
and a lot of other local produce.

Since we've planted 2 artichoke plants,
we picked the brain of the local grower.
Ours did great this first year,
each giving us about 4 chokes.

We decided to go into the wine tasting building,
but alas, the wine wasn't very good.
What a waste of $50!
I didn't even take pictures.
None of the wineries pouring were from
the local appellation.
(Appellation is a geographical area primarily used to
identify where the grapes for a wine are grown)

After being disappointed in that building,
George walked around looking at the old cars
that were on display..

We did sit and eat our lunch,
which was all things artichoke.
I had an artichoke burrito,
while George had an artichoke sausage sandwich.
They were both delicious!

Towards the end of day we sat
and listened to a band that was playing.
They were awfully loud,
and not all that good :-)

It was fun to enjoy the festival again!

Thursday we got to enjoy going to Hahn
with our friends Greg & Connie again.
Greg has been recovering from open heart surgery,
and a terrible bout of sepsis that he got in the hospital.
We have spent some time with them in the last 3 months, 
but his mobility has been an issue.

They were so happy to get to Hahn again!

Our garden is doing fabulous!
George planted zucchini,
and we've been harvesting those a lot!
I found a great Keto bread recipe,
and it turned out great!

I've also planted some Dahlia bulbs,
my first try at them,
and they are doing wonderfully as well.

I love to arrange them with some of the roses
that are doing great as well.

Life is good here in California!

Friday, July 16, 2021

July activities

 Salinas, CA

We've been off and on busy since the last post.

The garden is getting over grown with
tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers.
I should have taken a picture before posting this blog!

I've decided to try growing dahlias,
and they are beautiful!
I combined it with a couple of the roses
to make a nice bouquet.

Of course we have gone to Hahn
with several different friends..

The grapes are looking great this year,
and the view always makes me smile.

Cooper loves to lay out in the sun
with me, what a goof!

George's birthday was Tuesday, 
so we took a trip to San Francisco.
Since we had to take Cooper,
I found a dog friendly hotel,

We were upgraded to a 'city view' room,
which we laughed at.
Through the dusty window we could see
the fog enshrouded Transamerica building.

After we got checked in on Sunday afternoon,
we walked the few blocks down to Fisherman's Wharf..

The hotel had given us a 10% off coupon to
a great Italian Seafood place called Cioppino's.
Sitting outside was nice, if a bit chilly.
Cooper was good, and ate a few bites of sourdough bread :-)

The next day, Monday, we walked down to Pier 39 
to walk around and in some shops.

Cooper was enthralled by all the sights
and smells of the city.

There are some great views of the bay
from the pier.
As is usual, SF was foggy and chilly!
We had a view of the Golden Gate Bridge,

and Alcatraz..

George really wanted to get a sourdough bread bowl
with chili..
so we went to Boudin..home of the best sourdough!
I opted out of the bread, but got a wonderful
cup of clam chowder with a Caesar salad.

After getting lunch and shopping a bit,
we decided a rest was in order.
Cooper was pooped from all the walking,
and I think that George was too!

Once everyone was fully rested,
we made our way to Ghirardelli square.
Always love that area!

On the way there,
we trudged uphill first to take
a look at Lombard street.

San Francisco has very steep hills,
and in 1922 the residents decided to 
change the steep hill into 8 hairpin turns.
Hydrangeas make it a beautiful street.

Once we got to the top,
we made our way downhill to

Views of the city and the bay are terrific..
Coit Tower..

..and tall ships.

Of course ice cream sundaes were on the list..

and Cooper got his first taste of ice cream..
vanilla of course!

That was the end of Monday,
we were all pooped then!

Tuesday was check out day,
so on our way out George
drove through the city a bit,
and down Lombard for good measure.

We really enjoyed our time there!