Knott's Berry Farm For Chicken...

Feeling nostalgic for childhood memories, we headed to Buena Park for lunch.

Since 1934, people have been dining on chicken at Mrs. Knott's Place. I found some pretty thorough history here. In the 1920s, Walter Knott and his wife, Cordelia, sold berries, berry preserves and pies from a roadside stand beside State Route 39, near the small town of Buena Park. In 1934, to make ends meet, Cordelia reluctantly began serving fried chicken dinners on their wedding china. For dessert, Knott's signature Boysenberry Pie was also served to guests dining in the small tea room. From humble beginnings...
Being not a fan of fried chicken, we dined on scrumptious biscuits and a decadent chicken pot pie. Delicious... all of it.

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Oceanside Tourists...

Oh to be by the sea... one of our favorite things to do is get to the beach.

While waiting for our friends, Eric and Brady, to get home from work, we meandered all around the seaside town of Oceanside. Our go-to beach when we lived in Temecula.
The Harbor called to us.

And the flowers were in full bloom- gorgeous!


We dined at the Harbor at The Broiler Room. What an ideal spot.

“Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.”
― Rabindranath Tagore

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It's an Old Friends Weekend...

While visiting Julie, she gave me the gift of sharing her photo albums. This photo I just have to share.

This photo is from my baby shower in November of 1986. Pictured are three 24 year olds, Julie, me and Annie. Almost 31 years later, I got to reminiscence with them both. This morning I enjoyed a Donut Run with Julie.
And in the afternoon, I dined al fresco with Annie. It couldn't have been a more wonderful weekend.
“They talked in the shorthand of old friends
and shared memories.”
― Dee Henderson

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The Great Donut 5K Run...

Our next stop was Fullerton to visit with my college friend, Julie. Julie is a runner and suggested something fun for us to do today- A Donut Run in my old stomping grounds of Irvine.

Julie doesn't normally dress up for races but this was described as There's no need to speed through the course when there's donuts to be enjoyed!  Leave your cares behind and enjoy this run for the sheer fun of it.  This is a non competitive event with no timing or clock.  Prizes and awards will be given for best costumes and most entertaining eaters. In addition, I'll dress up for about anything. I'm happy she was up for it. It really made it much more fun!
And photo opportunities were plentiful, which added to the merriment!

There were clever donut sayings everywhere. I think my favorite was, "Whatever sprinkles your donuts!"

There were over 1700 other enthusiasts. Yeaaah Baby!  That’s Right Donut Lovers, EVERYONE gets DONUTS and we're not talkin 'bout ordinary store bought kind.... We're talkin delicious, mouth watering, shut the front door.....Donuts!

We spent a great deal of the race trying to figure out what happened to the "T". Funny picture spot for certain!
Donut holes were our mid-way treat. Run, eat, repeat or Walk eat and eat!  Any combo will do!
My runner friend, Keri, texted, "The only run where people gain weight during it... that should be their motto!"
It was silly, fun, and unforgettable. It got us up and out early on a Sunday morning. We laughed and really enjoyed the event...and we have an awesome medal to prove it!

 “Life is partly what we make it,
and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.”
– Tennessee Williams

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Love & Loathe...

The activity I love the most about returning to SoCal is reconnecting with friends and family.

Cindy and I have been friends since 1998. Today we met for an extended brunch at her local golf club for a much needed catching up and way too much coffee. It was just perfect.
And the reason we wanted to leave this area, in the first place, was the fact that is is just too hot. I really do loathe the heat! Give me Tahoe's (almost) perfect weather any day.

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Lori Returns...

The last we saw our friend, Lori, it was in October in Virginia. She had just started an amazing job with World Help, a Christian humanitarian organization that exists to serve the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. It was her second day at work and our timing was perfect to connect with her while passing through.

Well, Lori is back in SoCal and still doing amazing work for World Help, only now she's doing it in her hometown, surrounded by family and friends (and California Sunshine- it was 90° today). Our timing was perfect, once again!

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Scenes of Temecula...

We are camped, overlooking the valley, at Steve's brother & sister-in-law's.

These are the views that greeted us this morning!

And these cuties were along the road into town. It isn't often one sees longhorn cattle in Wine Country.

Oh my gosh... I loved Environmental Land Management's goats. Described as "San Diego's own brush control experts since 1999. Serving all of Southern California! Expert brush control, fire breaks and land clearing. A simple and convenient way to clear brush and implement preventative measures to control fire outbreaks."
So what can be a more natural alternative than placing a large herd of hungry animals in a field and letting them graze on the brush and weeds straight down to the earth? No toxic chemicals, no pollution to the environment, no loud noise only the soft bleating of a herd of goats in the distance.
We played tourist in our old home town with a visit to Boot Hill, a fake cemetery with clever tombstones that still crack us up. What's cool is these humorous epitaphs can be found elsewhere in the world. "Here lies the body Of Margaret Bent. She kicked up her heels And away she went" is also making people laugh in Dorsetshire, England.
In Temecula's first park is the famous “They Passed This Way" monument, designed by Sam Hicks (of whom the park is named). Inscribed are the names of 56 pioneers, carved by hand into the granite. Temecula had been a crossroads for the settling of the West. However, by the late 1960s, the Old West here was giving way to new development. Hicks, and historian Tom Hudson, conceived of a monument to honor those who had come through Temecula – some who stayed and others who passed through – as a reminder of the small but important role the community once played. It is always good to revisit this rock, and to continue to learn from it.
And lunch was a bit of history, too. Diana, Terry, Suzanne and I have been friends for years and years. It had been quite a long time since the four of us gathered. How appropriate that our reunion was at 1909 Temecula, a cool place that is a tribute to the historic Machado building in which it is housed. This structure has been home to a trading post, livery, auto shop and most notably a bar.  In its day, the Longbranch Saloon was known as the roughest place in town to get a drink. Today, it was a tame and delightful location to catch up with old friends.

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