Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Crazy Kitty

Scampi is starting to get into everything.  We've taken to shuting doors most of the time. 
 I don't know how he might have tried to get down. I picked him up and carried him out of there.

And THIS is the reason we don't have ornaments on our tree this year.
He had been staying in the lower half of the tree, so we did put the train up (yes, up, about 5 feet).  He knocked the train off the next day.

Apparently, nothing is safe anymore.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SoCal Trip - 7 - Irvine

We stopped by the complex where Heidi works to take a picture of me and send to her at work. When Scott stopped the car, I took this shot.
 Then I tilted the camera to get this one.

Downtown Irvine is compact, but beautifully done.
More palms line a small pathway into (out of?) the complex.

Even though minimal, the landscaping really compliments the buildings.

The curved building seems to disappear into the sky and a few palms become a colonnade.

Reflections always attract my attention. You almost don't even notice the building in this one.  I am reflected in the center and Scott is walking ahead.

Looking straight up between two curved buildings.

SoCal Trip - 6 - Newport Beach off Balboa Island

Took a ferry from Balboa Island to the mainland which is further out to sea than the island is. Confused? There is a bridge to the island from Newport Beach. There is a peninsula that juts out so far, it is faster to take a ferry to it than to drive all the way around to it.
 From the ferry I caught this pelican starting up out of the water into flight.
 It followed the ferry a few seconds and then banked away.

This section of beach is looking back toward the mainland - Balboa is about 90 degrees to the right. A cool breeze and cloudy day kept most people off the beach.

The gull is probably hoping fishermen are super lucky and throw some scraps his way.
 Or perhaps that the fishermen switch bait (squid, yum) and toss the remainder his way.

Here's the peninsula again from the dock.
 Pretty much built up right to the beach.  I don't know how these places survive heavy storms.

This shows how the houses are built on almost any terrain covering whole hillsides.

Here's the other ferry chugging along as we headed back to the island.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

SoCal Trip - 5 - Balboa Island

An interesting little island. Many of the homes decorate for Christmas and for four nights during Christmas time they host a boat parade as well.
Some go all out!
 Scott says this high wire Santa is quite the attraction at night.

Beary Christmas.
 Windows loaded with Christmas bears.
 The little sign under the collector sign states, 'Hobby gone awry.'

This lady was adding some finishing touches to her display.

A little simpler, but still quite a bit.

Their dock was decorated in similar style.


Another nice nativity scene.
 This window picture shows a few boats and the mainland (Newport).  Not Christmassy, just kind of cool, although you can see a bit of their inside decor in the darker reflection.

Friday, December 16, 2011

SoCal Trip - 4 - Back to Dana Point

Back at Dana Point but this time down below first.
Walking across the bridge one has a window overlooking the ocean.  I guess this is to show why so many people live where they can overlook the ocean. 
Nicely decorated bridge and underneath (on both sides) were mosaics 
I thought the ship was interesting. A closer look will show why.
Must have been fun getting your family's picture in the mosaic. I never realized that photos could be applied to tile so easily.

A standup paddleboarder glides by in the little inlet.  Didn't seem like a very fun sport. I mean at least you are sitting down all the while when paddling a kayak.

So many boats. And people build right up to the edge of the cliffs.
 This is only a small portion of all the boats.

Back up at the overlook, this shot gives a better idea of how many boats are docked here.  And this is just one little harbor town! We began to realize how big the boating industry must be.

We could see the cliffs earlier, but couldn't get a good shot to show them.  In the way distance are houses built up the hillsides.

Here's that old ship again and another old one behind it.

Anoother look at those aloe flowers in the sunlight.  A little hummingbird was darting around but too quickly for my camera.

SoCal Trip - 3 - San Juan Capistrano

This is the view of the mission from the Starbucks across the street.  However, if you should be planning a visit, you might want to try the coffe place shown below (you can get a Starbucks anywhere).

The Starbuck has an old brick facade which is carried over into the little plaza pictured below.

 Fall is in the air here, too.

 It was too early to tour the mission, and I had just been there this summer, so I took a few shots from outside the wall.

I don't know if they age the tiles before using them as replacement pieces or if these have come from a renovation project.

I took a side trip to a little historic district to catch a little local color.

The Hummingbird House Cafe is well over 100 years old and is located just across the tracks from the old train depot, which doubles as a couple of restaurants. It is along the entry way into the old San Juan Capistrano.

The Hidden House is also well over 100 years old and might make for an interesting coffee break.  As I said, you can find a Starbucks anywhere.

 Another old house with an 'interesting' accent color choice.

The old train depot is now Sarducci's and beside it, off the tracks, is an old railroad car restaurant called The Vintage Steak House

In a little park we just happened by this HUGE tree covered with ornaments.

 One last shot of some nice color by the train depot.