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    Seven Quick Takes: Guess Where I Went Edition

    February 21, 2014 by Brandy Vencel

    On Valentine’s Day, Siah gave me a card, and I didn’t think much of it until I opened it. Well, surprise to me! The card instructed me to be packed and ready to leave on Saturday morning because the children were headed to my folks’ house and we were going somewhere fun.

    Today, I’ll show you six photos and you can try to guess where we went. Some of you Californians might actually get it right!

    No points if I already told you where we went, of course.

    This was a special treat. Si uses all of his vacation days from his first job in order to work at his second job, so we don’t get away very often at all.

    Did you do anything special for Valentine’s Day?

    — 1 —

    Shortly after our arrival, we hit the farmer’s market. If we’d had a refrigerator in our hotel room, we would have stocked up, but instead we mostly just enjoyed looking at strawberries as big as my fist and every vegetable imaginable. You have to love California’s growing season, folks. We purchased some dates for my husband’s sweet tooth and a bag of purple potatoes from this table:

    We’re not going to eat them. Instead, the children are going to plant them in the garden. They are shooting for a hundred pounds of them.
    — 2 —

    I fell in love with these stop signs. They appear at major intersections, especially ones where you find yourself sitting for a while, waiting for traffic to clear. I love that they are real, official city signs. I laughed every. single. time.

    Si thinks I’m ridiculous.
    — 3 —

    We really loved the ability to walk everywhere. It reminded us of way back when we were first married and lived in Whittier. The most refreshing thing was that the people here still haven’t adopted the smart phone habits so common where we are from. They did this amazing thing: they looked each other in the eye and talked to each other. This was balanced, however, by the smoking. I don’t think I’ve seen this much smoking in public since the 1980s. It was everywhere and we couldn’t get away from it.

    Yes, we walked up this hill. Also, many others like it. We walked all over. It was great.
    — 4 —

    The used bookstore was amazing. Truly. We have a great one here where we live, and it is, for sure, cheaper. But this store’s prices were reasonable and the books, oh the books! They were amazing. Shelves upon shelves full of beauties like this:

    Be proud of me. Or disappointed, depending on your priorities. I didn’t buy anything. I mean, I would have, had I found something that was a perfect addition to our library. But I didn’t buy something just to buy it. Instead, I took pictures!
    — 5 —

    Here’s Father Serra. The Original Californian, you know.

    — 6 —

    On our tour of the harbor, we saw children taking sailing lessons.

    Oh, to be a local. {And for the low, low price of millions of dollars, we can be!}

    That’s your last hint. Can you guess?

    — 7 —

    This is the obligatory guest house post. I think they are going to actually use all that lumber and frame it either today or tomorrow.

    To say that construction has been derailing Circle Time would be an understatement, but I’m putting up with it because I know this is just a season and, really, it is interesting.

    And that is all for this Friday. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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