Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Morro Bay Weekend

Tuesday, 06.24.14

We had been home for a little over a week after our two-week long vacation when we decided we needed a vacation.

Doesn’t that just sound extravagant and you kind of hate me for saying it?  

It isn’t true.  Well, only a little bit.  This weekend away had been planned long ago.

My husband’s mom wanted to get away from work and the end of June is a good time for her.  It is also a little bit of a birthday celebration for her.  She planned a weekend trip to Morro Bay area and invited us to come along.

We left Friday night and stayed at a friend’s house in Cayucous.  I am always amazed at how quiet it is there…and I love it!

We had an early start on Saturday morning.  We found our way to Frankie and Lola’s Front Street Cafe.  We’ve tried to go before but there has always been a line.  No waiting this time and the food was SO good.  I had a breakfast sandwich.  A “Da Bomb Sandoo” to be exact.  It was grilled and full of cheese but still tasted light and fresh.  That’s difficult combo to pull off.

Manorette FrankieAndLolaSandwich

As yummy as my sandwich (and POTATOES) were, the best part of the whole experience was that the tea selection was presented in rainbow order AND the teapot matched James’s shirt!

Manorette FrankieAndLolaTea


The early start wasn’t just to beat the line for breakfast.   We had an appointment for kayaking.  We booked our reservation with Central Coast Outdoors.  We’ve been kayaking before but I didn’t think about how cold it is in Morro Bay.  I just thought about kayaking and exercising.  Brrrr.  

Manorette foggy bay

We saw an impressive display of wildlife.  Seagulls, huge white pelicans, egrets, turkey vultures, and harbor seals to name a few (the few I can name).

Manorette egret and seals

Manorette birds

Manorette vultures

Manorette pelicans

It was a lovely way to spend two hours.

Manorette kayaking

We met up with James’s mom for lunch followed by a good bit of relaxing.  After that we checked out the Farmer’s Market.  Morro Bay has a very small market with many of the booths dedicated to crafts.  We picked up some berries and headed back to our hotel.  Before we got there we decided a little stroll was needed.

Manorette morro bay stroll

I’m still learning how to use my camera.  I love trips like this when I can take a million photos and just see what happens.  Here I took the same picture with two different settings.  I can’t decide which one I like best.  I really wish I could remember which settings I used…

Manorette  tree setting 1

Manorette  tree setting 2

Before we left on Friday, I packed a picnic.  Very simple: Caprese salad with arugula and BLTs.

Manorette morro bay picnicWith our berries from Farmer’s Market and a bottle of wine we were all set to enjoy the lovely surroundings.

Manorette baywood flowers

Manorette more baywood flowers

Manorette morro bay bird

Sunday morning was a little more leisurely.  After breakfast we drove to El Churro Regional Park.  We went on the Eaagle Rock Trail to find the Mariposa Lily for my mother in law’s iNaturalist collection.  We were now inland which was free of fog and much warmer.

Manorette eagle rock trail

The view from the top was worth the sweating involved in getting there.  

Manorette el churro park

We found the lily on our way back down.  A very pretty little bloom.

Manorette mariposa lily

From there we headed home feeling refreshed, relaxed, and a little bit accomplished from all the outdoor activities.  

Mother’s Day

Tuesday, 05.13.14

We all loved our visit last month to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden so much that we decided to go again for Mother’s Day.  


The visits were just a few weeks apart but so many things were different.  Equally beautiful but not quite as over the top.

Still a good amount of yellow:


And fluttery purple flowers:


I take it back.  There is nothing subtle about this kind of masterful color work.  I’m still very impressed.


I thought we needed a little treat before our walk to celebrate the moms.  I made Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream.  I added mini chocolate chips to the batter and dipped the frosted tops in chocolate sprinkles.


In order to transport them I thought of a brilliant idea.  I would put them into plastic cups!  After a little play on Pinterest I discovered this is not an original idea.  I popped them in the cups, they didn’t quite fit, but it did the job.



You know how I like a bit of a theme.  I went with blue, not wanting to recreate the yellow drama from the last family gathering (He still doesn’t want to talk about yellow).  I decided on blue because sport cap water bottles where the only ones I could find in the mini size.  It just so happens that I really like blue and had lovely paper liners to use.

 I found a graphic that reminded me of the meadow.  I used it to make water bottle labels.


I even managed to persuade my printer to print the design on lunch bags.  I don’t think the printer was too terribly happy about it but it still seems to be working.


Each bag contained a cupcake, mini water bottle, cocktail napkin, and fork.


I bundled up some cherries and berries for an extra treat for the Mothers.  The pretty little jewels!


These little Chinese food take out boxes are one of my favorite things to use for food gifts.  Another bit of the theme printed on stickers.


We found a picnic table to gather around and dig into our baggies.  The cup and fork really made the cupcake easy to eat and didn’t leave us with sugary fingers or a huge mess to clean up.


From there we set off on a walk.  


A different trail this time.  It took us through a forest of redwoods.


Ending with the same glorious, grand finale.


A Walk in the Garden

Friday, 04.18.14

I teased you with a “spring explosion” last time and here it is.


After Mom’s lunch we went for an outing to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.  I’ve been there before but I don’t think I’ve ever been there at this time of year.  It was shocking!  The amount of yellow gorgeousness happening in the meadow was seriously shocking.  This was actually upsetting for my five-and-a-half year old nephew who had had enough of yellow after the yellow themed birthday lunch.  I didn’t take offense because I know at least Mom and I liked the yellow.  (I’ll share that yellow soon.)

He didn’t even want to “taaaaaaalk about yellow”.





He was consoled by being put in charge of the map.  He is a detective-explorer after all.  He expertly lead us along the paths.



There were beautiful blooms everywhere but my favorite part was definitely the meadow.


I wanted to run across it with a long skirt billowing and a wide brimmed straw hat on the verge of flying off my head.


I did not do this, having no such costume and not wanting to be kicked out. So instead I took a gazillion photos.




When we had had our fill of yellow we headed home with a quick stop at the Mission Rose Garden.  


Another excellent representation of spring as well.  Here are a few of my favorite shots from the stroll among the fragrant blooms.






One last bit of yellow


About Manorette
I'm Margaret and I like to make things: in the kitchen, on my knitting needles, with the sewing machine, and for the home. Manorette is a delightful home to share my inspiration and maybe some goof ups. It is never a grand manor.