Friday, January 30, 2015

 BIENVENIDOS' CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON.....

Light the candles, and get ready to start the Christmas Season--it's time for Bienvenidos' Christmas Luncheon.....


 Alice is in attendance....
As is Angie....
 And even though she didn't attend the luncheon, Baby Binks is in town and back home modeling her new, gorgeous golden evening gown----Front...

 And back!!

 Mayor Gonzales is in attendance at our meeting....

 And a new slate of officers is inducted....

 I present Ladies and Gents who dine....































And thus begins the Holiday Season 2014!  (More photos will be added later as I catch up in my bewildering scattered fashion.....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

 
 SAN FRANCISCO TRIP--JUNE 2014



Now in the deep freeze of winter, it is fun to look back on a short vacation to California from last summer....


Although we are a bit jet-lagged from an early morning flight....
We are thrilled to be having breakfast with Baby Binks who picked us up at the airport.
 The food here was great, and we are in Gilroy, California--the garlic capital of the United States.....

 And home of Gilroy Gardens--a beautiful garden theme park that I have been hoping to visit for quite a long time......
 The gardens are beautifully maintained and even the archways are of growing trees....

 But the real pride of the park is the collection of amazing "Circus Trees"  These specimens--almost a hundred years old, were created by continual pruning and grafting by a special man.  After he died, the trees were abandoned and almost died as well, but at fifty years old they were uprooted and moved to Gilroy to be the centerpieces of this theme park.
 A big hug to my hubby for agreeing to stay and enjoy the park after we were shocked by an exorbitant entry fee--even for seniors.  I think it is a lot more reasonable for groups and school children.....
 This is not an experimental tree, just an unusual specimen in the huge greenhouse featuring the desert botanicals....
 And what is California without the palm trees?.....

 It is a very large garden, so Binks and Dwight are planning a route.....
 This circus tree was grafted to resemble a grape vine....

 And this is the "Queen of the Park"--the famous Basketweave Tree--about 70 ft. high....


This tree has lovely flowers around it and is in what is the geographic center of the parks--all paths lead here!  It is grafted from a circle of about ten sapling trees.  It must have been a monumental task to move it here.....

 This scene just says "California"....
 A Circus Tree Arch....
 Waiting in line for a means of transportation to see the vast park....

 Our own little sports car....
 Banquita was our driver through a section of the park with gardens and sets inspired by the 1950s....

 A true wooden table....
 And a ladder within a tree....
 Double hearts....
 We take a breather before setting out on yet another means of park transport....

 We will explore the connecting lakes, not in these swan boats....

 But in the covered pleasure boats....

 The topiaries abound....
Like this cute baby bear sleeping by the lakeside....

 "I'd like to get you on a slow boat to China...."

 A nice respite for this hard working teacher....

 The famous Revolving Door Circus Tree/....
 Dwight awaiting our third type of park excursion...
 Along with Miss Bianca....
It's a delightful little monorail....

 Some of the cultivated floral visible from the train
 A topiary shootout....
 The world's most tidy trees....

 The new water park in homage to the Basket-Weave Tree....
 In the garlic capital of America, why should kiddies twirl about in spinning cups--spinning garlic cloves is so much more fun!.......
 The Teddy Bear's Picnic....

 A Circus Tree in "rehab" trying to protect and regain it's shape....

 Another Circus Tree being allowed to grow new branches to complete it's shape....

A do-nut tree....

 This huge garden was the brain child of a fellow who delighted in waterfalls....

 And the park is full of them....
 A delight for the eyes and the ears....
 His other great love was all things growing and green.....
 And trying to preserve the beloved botanical "children" of another generous soul--long dead....

 And keeping them alive to delight new generations....
 We prepare to depart the park and this gigantic and gorgeous planked walkway....
 And have a delicious lunch at an outdoor cafe on the main street of Gilroy...
 A town with many architectural wonders of it's own....
 So, for this gardener, it's goodbye to a long time--but now accomplished-- dream.....

Until we meet again in the verdant dreamland of Gilroy Gardens......

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