Around Here

Most recently it has been all about Christmas! The lights are up, the house is decorated, most gifts have been purchased and some gifts are wrapped. These pics are from the first weekend of December.

A few favorite ornaments.

The Uptown Whittier tree.

We have the best neighbors who invite us to beautiful dinners with fancy, delicious food. The bravery in preparing Beef Wellington for eight was inspiring and no one can decorate better than this hostess!


 

Backyard Upgrade

Our backyard upgrade is coming along. Done: driveway gate and privacy fence topper, back patio, irrigation, yard re-landscaping and planting and fire pit purchase. We contracted with Armstrong Nursery for a landscape design and purchased all our plants and planting materials from them. We modified the design a bit and then contracted with Vista Landscaping to do the majority of the work. Chris did all the demo and built the patio cover. He also rebuilt the driveway gate and fence topper and did some stucco and painting work. 

 

To do: re-do electrical and add small amount of lighting, add new door from family room to yard and purchase patio furniture. More pics to come.


 

Post Thanksgiving Palm Springs Get Away

We spent the first part of this week in Palm Springs. We went a little out of our way so we could stop in  Idyllwood to do some hiking and see the small town. We hiked the Ernie Maxwell trail (easy to moderate, out and back, total of 5 miles with 700 foot elevation gain), ate pizza and wandered through a few shops.

On the way down, out of the mountains, from the pines to the palms, we came across Lake Fulmor. This sweet lake is beautiful! The late afternoon light was perfect. These are my favorite pics of the trip.

After spending an hour or so at this hidden gem we headed to Palm Springs. We checked into The Old Ranch. This is, I think, our 4th visit here. We walked to the Fisherman’s Market and Grill for dinner, wandered around town for a bit and called it an early night. After a stop at the fanciest Starbucks ever, we spent the next morning biking the City Loop Bike Route. A long, mostly flat trail with a lot of variety made for one of my favorite rides ever. 

After Chris recovered with some pool time, we spent a good chunk of the afternoon checking out patio and furniture consignment stores on our ongoing (and as of yet, unsuccessful) search for patio furniture. We ended up in La Quinta where we visited an IFC friend at her cool, mid-century modern home. We explored La Quinta and then picked Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant for dinner. Good choice! Our server. Claude, pronounced “Clode” was entertaining and provided us with complimentary lemoncello which he felt would be perfect with our creme brulee dessert. We ended the day window shopping on El Paseo in Palm Desert.

We headed home the following morning but not before a another Starbucks stop and a short ride around downtown and the Historic Tennis Club area. We love our quick get-aways to Palm Springs; will be back soon!


 

Thanksgiving Biking

Thanksgiving morning we rode, and Thanksgiving afternoon we feasted.

We rode about 20 miles on the Santa Ana River Trail. The wind came up on the way back. We got a good workout. We had a couple of hours to recuperate at home and then after picking up both our Moms headed to the Smith’s for dinner.


 

Bonfire

We picked up sandwiches from the Continental Deli and headed for the beach last Friday. We made it just in time for sunset. We got the fire going, ate and had one of the best bonfires ever. It was a super clear night with no wind. We burned two boxes of wood and then headed home.