Sunday, April 25, 2010

My home state - oh, how I miss you...

Hello from sunny California!

I am in my home state for about a week to visit my family as a birthday present to myself.  In the flurry of activity: meeting up with old friends, being passed around to different branches of the 'ol clan like the last chicken wing at a barbeque, shopping in mad little flurries at antique malls out and about...I haven't updated my blog so you all can partake in the fun.

Well, I decided rather than long winded single posts on each of my favorite places...I would instead post a pictorial - so those of you who have never been to the West Coast Sunshine State...could see what I love about it.  So here goes...some of my favorite places...Part I.

Monterey is absolutely gorgeous!  The ocean, the fresh seafood, the sea otters, the boats, good shopping, etc.  Little tip:  It's easy to tell the natives from the tourists here.  Pretty sandy beaches, crystal blue water...sounds heavenly right?  Wrong.  The Pacific Ocean north of San Diego is COLD...very cold.  The only people in the water without a full wetsuit on are in for a rude surprise.

Ok, now you've been warned.

Hakone Gardens - absolutely breathtaking.  These gardens were used in the outdoor scenes in Memoirs of a Geisha, the movie.  The ornamental cherry trees are stunning in the Spring - vibrant pink flowers.  A traditional Japanese garden in the heart of San Jose.

Villa Montalvo is a part time artists' colony and a part time arts and music venue.  Many local and internationally known music artists perform here on Spring and Summer nights.  This unique property boasts many marble statues such as the one above of Romeo and Juliet, and is a popular place for weddings.

These are just a few of my favorite places in California - stay tuned for more pics and tidbits to come.  Hope you enjoy! 
Leah :-)

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