I hate to admit how long it had been since I ventured outside the Orange Curtain. (Yup, that’s me with the bandage on my forehead in front of one of the Global Angel Wing Project wings.) But in August, we joined my favorite Laguna Beach-based Hoffy Tours to explore the new, trendy LA Arts District. We visited a delicious eatery and a fun bar, artisan boutiques and a dreamy art-and-architecture bookstore, Hennessy and Ingals.

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 Our daughter has been teaching English in Santiago, Chile, since the beginning of the year,
so we jumped on the chance to not only visit her, but make the extra jump south to visit one of the most beautiful places in the world: Patagonia! 

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Fall at The Weathersfield Inn in Vermont

 

During our yearly visit back east to spend time at our family cabins in New Hampshire, we took a little getaway up through southern Vermont at the end of September. We spent our first night at The Weathersfield Inn in Perkinsville, VT, based on a recommendation from a friend.

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At the very end of 2012, we bought our first vintage camper: A 1988 Perris Pacer fiberglass “egg” camper. I first fell in love with these lightweight trailers after reading about them on the blog of the peripatetic artist Lily Stockman at BigBangStudio. After months of scouring Craigslist, Ebay and other sources, and driving all over Southern California to check out used egg trailers, we finally found one we loved.

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 We have had several weeks of stunning sunsets here in Southern California. I live up a hill from my hometown of Laguna Beach, and a couple blocks from a city park, called Alta Laguna Park. At about 1,000 feet above sea level, it’s one of the best sunset viewing spots in the area. My husband and I walk our dog, Jenny, over there to catch the sunsets. Here are a few recent shots from my Iphone.

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I’ve been VERY lazy lately, but I knew anyone following Laguna Dirt would want to know about a fun event coming up in Southern California next Sunday (Dec. 15). Three of the best garden bloggers from this area are teaming up to share some of their treasures at the Long Beach Flea Market. And you can meet them in person, too!

I’ve shamelessly copied the post by Denise from her A Growing Obsession blog so you can get all the details. She’s way too modest. This trio of plant fiends not only know their horticulture, but they are artists, writers, photographers, designers, and simply great people.

Hope to see you there! Here is her post (notice her amazing photographs!) :

a very merry flea

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I’ve known about The Ecology Center for a number of years now, but never stopped by to visit. It’s right next door to one of my favorite veggie/fruit stands–South Coast Farms (all organic!). It was founded in 2008, when the city of San Juan Capistrano decided to convert the city’s oldest historic farmhouse into a community educational facility.

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Welcome to The Succulent Cafe!

My husband and I wandered into this little gem of a cafe in Oceanside, California, on our way home from the San Diego Airport. I wish the photos were better, but I snapped these shots with my phone camera.

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Have you heard about Slow Food? We learned about this group from a foodie friend in Laguna about a year ago. Tonight, we finally made it to one of their events. And we are going back, for sure! My understanding is that the Slow Food movement was started in 1986 in response to someone putting a McDonald’s in Italy (Fast food, slow food–get it?). Today, chapters all over the world are helping spread food culture, and work to “link the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.”

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My friend Jill warned me about camping down at Trails, which are the gorgeous, remote surf beaches at the southern tip of Orange County and northern border of San Diego County. When I asked if she wanted to join us at one of the spots along what’s called The Bluffs at San Onofre State Beach in May, she wisely scoped them out ahead of time while surfing down there. And she took a polite pass.

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