Carlsbad Beach & Some History...

With the promise of 105° temperatures, we headed to Carlsbad for fun in the sun and always something more.


It could not have been a more beautiful day by the sea.
We birded while we picnicked. What fun.



The surfers were putting on quite a show, too.
The water was delightfully warm and the waves were powerful. We were content to stay on the shore and admire from afar.

We actually came here to stroll. As we meandered, I saw this home and had to admire its style. Is it Mid-century Modern?  One feature that sets mid-century modern apart, more  notably than any other,  is the roofline. I loved this Folded Plate roof (V or W shaped units attached to each other creating a zigzag roof line profile). Groovy indeed.
We also discovered this historical plaque for the Red Apple Inn/Army and Navy Academy. Built in the 1920s, the Red Apple Inn was a popular place to dine, with unique apple and avocado dishes on the menu. However, the inn and restaurant did not survive the Great Depression.
In 1936, one of the most significant events for the City of Carlsbad was the relocation of the Davis Military Academy from Pacific Beach (est. 1910). Bringing needed cash to the city; it helped to relieve some of the depression era impact. Occupying the empty Red Apple Inn and surrounding property on Carlsbad Boulevard, the Davis Military Academy changed not only the schools address but also its name to the Army and Navy Academy.
Army and Navy Academy, a private military school for seventh to twelfth grade boys, traces its history back over 100 years and it appears to be thriving.
Wouldn't this museum be an interesting place to visit? The Atkinson Museum proudly showcases Academy artifacts and memorabilia.

Carlsbad is one of those towns with rich history and diverse activities. I know we'll return again to explore even more.

Pico Iyer said it wonderfully, “A person susceptible to wanderlusis not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.”

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Dangerous Truck to be Behind...

We got stuck behind this truck at a red light. While idling there, Steve said, "Oh my gosh, it's a truck full of your favorite things!" He wasn't kidding. AND the company, Paper Mart, has a very cool history.

Established in 1921 as a family business, this company has grown into the largest packaging site on the web - with 26,000+ items for sale.
From humble beginnings (the home garage), an innovative company grew. In 1995, Paper Mart was one of the very first companies to sell directly to customers as an online distributor. They were one of the pioneers of internet shopping and one of the first companies to offer pictures of products online. I am a visual shopper. I want all of these washi tapes. So cool right?

My goal is to visit Paper Mart's 10 acre property, located in the City of Orange, one of these days. Hmmm, I read that I could pick up my order there, too. Oh yes, a dangerous truck to be behind for sure... Though what fun, too.

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Halloween is Arriving...

How cute are these Jack-O-Barrels? Or are they Barrel-o-Lanterns? Whatever they are called, they fit this wine country area perfectly and make me smile each time I pass them.

"Halloween wraps fear in innocence,
as though it were a slightly sour sweet.
Let terror, then, be turned into a treat..."
-Nicholas Gordon

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Stamp Collecting Month Comes Early

When my friend Marianne told me she was coming by to gift me with her husband's stamp collection, I had no idea what a treasure trove of Philatelic fun it would be.

Ted's company dealt with many foreign entities and these pre-1996 stamps are from all over the world... gorgeous.
The timing for this gift couldn't be more perfect. Did you know that October is National Stamp Collecting Month? Philatelists everywhere, rejoice!
The United States first instituted Stamp Collecting Month in 1981 as a joint venture between the United States Postal Service and the Council of Philatelic Organizations. The postmaster general at the time of the holiday's inception, William F. Bolger, summed up the purpose of National Stamp Collecting Month in calling stamp collecting “the world’s most popular hobby” and urging “employees and customers alike to discover the joy of stamp collecting- the hobby of a lifetime.”
It was a French collector, M. Georges Heroin, who first coined the term philately combining the two Greek words philos, meaning friend, and atelia meaning free, exempt from any charge or tax. In this way the word was meant to describe the study of that which has sets a letter free from tax, i.e. stamps. So dang cool!
While I won't be an actual philatelist, as my stamps will be used vs stored in an album, my philos will experience my collection via handmade love notes. Thank you Ted and Marianne. You did pick the right recipient. I can't wait.

“Stamp Collecting dispels boredom,
enlarges our vision, broadens our knowledge,
makes us better citizen and in innumerable ways, enriches our lives”
–President Roosevelt

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History Day in Lake Elsinore...

This little town has always been one we skirted around, heading to other places. In the decades we've lived nearby, we've never explored the downtown. Wow.

Established as a city in 1888, Lake Elsinore has grown from a small resort town in the late 19th century and early 20th century to a population of over 51,000. From the beginning, the mineral springs near the lake attracted visitors seeking therapeutic treatments.


The Santa Fe Depot (1896)  was the heartbeat of this area because farmers brought produce there and ranchers brought cattle and received feed that was shipped by railroad. It also was a hub for passengers, vacationing lakeside.

In 1887, the Crescent Bath House, was built; it still stands and is a registered national historic site. President Grover Cleveland was a guest. Lake Elsinore was a popular destination in the first half of the 1900s for celebrities to escape the urban Hollywood scene (more about that later).
This is the first grand structure you see when you enter the historic district from the east. What a surprise find. The Cultural Center was originally constructed in 1923 as a Methodist church. It now houses the historical society museum, a must when times are different.



The murals throughout the city do an exceptional job of sharing Elsinore's history.
This one, capturing the Lake Elsinore Grand Prix intrigued Steve. The Wreck has resided on West Graham Avenue, in the heart of the city’s historical downtown, for at least six decades. Local lore dictates that Hollywood idol Steve McQueen liked to sip a few at the bar while in town to participate in the offroad racing spectacle. The famous actor, and motorcyclist, raced here in 1971 and was the seminal figure in the documentary On Any Sunday.

McQueen competed in the 3rd Lake Elsinore Grand Prix riding on a 405-cc Motocross Husky in a field of 1500 bikes over the 100 mile course.
This building has been intriguing us for decades. Today we paused to learn all about it. Not surprisingly, it is on atlas obscura. This abandoned structure, the Elsinore Naval & Military School, was originally built as Southern California Athletic and Country Club in 1924. The Club was meant to cater to the wealthy and famous personalities of the 1920s. Although the facilities were completed, the Country Club never opened due to financial problems and the coming Depression. The property originally was composed of over 200 acres and included a golf course, tennis courts, cottages by the lake and a marina.
Enter Col. Glenn Conklin, an employee of the Pacific Military Academy in Culver City, who wanted an academy of his own. He bought the property in 1933 with the express intent of establishing a military school. Elsinore Naval Academy was incorporated as a school the same year and operations continued until finally closing its doors in 1977. In the early 1940s, enrollment was on the upswing after the attack on Pearl Harbor. At that time the school even had its own dairy farm.
It was designed by the pretty famous architecture firm of Meyer & Holler. This LA based company was noted for its opulent commercial buildings and movie theatres, including Grauman’s Chinese and Egyptian theatres, built during the 1920s


One of Elsinore's homeowners was actor Bela Lugosi, known for his lead role in Universal Pictures' film, Dracula. He built a home that still exists in the city's Country Club Heights district. His son, Bela Lugosi, Jr. boarded at the Academy for kindergarten through sixth grade, "Because my parents were on the road doing theater and making personal appearances, I cannot say that at the time I liked either military school or celebrity very much. Like most boys, I wanted to blend in, but with a name like Bela Lugosi, Jr., that was not likely." Cool right?
The lake also hosted teams for Olympic training and high-speed boat racing in the 1920s. The lake went dry in the mid-1930s, but refilled by 1938 (that happened a few times). During World War II, the lake was used to test seaplanes, and a Douglas Aircraft plant making wing assemblies for B-17 bombers was located in the city.


Such interesting history! By 1963, the lake was lined with campgrounds. We read about the old City campground getting a revamp, so this was our last stop of the day.
"Almost two years since the City began its transformation of its outdated, underused campground, the City has officially opened its new highly anticipated, state-of-the-art resort - Launch Pointe Recreation Destination & RV Park."
"Launch Pointe is a world-class recreational destination that offers a variety of options for camping and activities that appeal to anyone seeking to get away and enjoy lakeside fun. It is the only Southern California destination that provides the ultimate experience on the largest natural freshwater lake, Lake Elsinore, for families and outdoor enthusiasts who want to create amazing stories and lasting memories."
The resort offers 204 RV spaces with full hook ups and other ways to stay and play, including customized vintage trailers (my favorite) and yurts.

Only 20.6 miles from our house, it took a lifetime to finally learn about Lake Elsinore. It just goes to show, you're never too old to learn. Fun stuff.

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