The California Building, Balboa Park

The California Building, with its ornate facade and blue-and-gold dome, is seen through the trees from the 450-foot Bashor Bridge inside the San Diego Zoo.

Designed by architect Bertram Goodhue, the California Building was erected for the 1915–16 Panama-California Exposition and served as the grand entry to the Expo.

The red-roof buildings in the foreground are part of Benchley Plaza. The plaza is named after Belle Jennings Benchley, known as “The Zoo Lady,” who was the director of the San Diego Zoo from 1927 to 1953 and credited for transforming the zoo into a world-class institution.

Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette

This post is for all you fans of the television show, The Bachelorette.

According to all the gossip columnists who track important news like celebrity sightings around the Coachella Valley, 39-year old Clare Crawley’s season of The Bachelorette is rumored to currently being filmed “in a bubble” down the street from my desert casita hideaway in La Quinta, California.

Of course, La Quinta is the winter home to many of the rich and famous, so for year-round locals it’s really not a big deal to see a gaggle of pretty people shopping at the local Ralph’s Grocery, dipping a spoon into a genuine date shake from Shield’s, or saddled up to the La Quinta Resort’s bar, Morgan’s in the Desert, sipping on an African Flower.

The legendary Waldorf Astoria’s La Quinta Resort & Club (and one of my favorite places to play, chill and send visiting family and friends) is entirely shut down for filming. Security is shooing lookey-loo neighbors away. No hotel rooms available until September. No tee-times on the Mountain course.

That’s really O.K. by me, because it’s literally 113°F (45°C) in the shade (it was 120 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday) and I’m currently digging my toes into the sand at the beach where its 45°F cooler!

If you ever find yourself in the Coachella Valley once things cool down, make a stop at the La Quinta Resort. And, while you’re there, have dinner at Morgan’s in the Desert and order yourself an African Flower.

Acanto Drive. Palm Springs.

She was from Austin, Texas, visiting Palm Springs for the first time. She asked if I would take her picture gazing up towards the snow-capped peak of Mt. San Jacinto looming in the distance so she would never forget the view. She came back to stay the following year.

San Diego Flower Fireworks Spectacular

Since almost all of the annual 4th of July Fireworks extravaganzas have been cancelled in the San Diego area this year, I hope you’ll enjoy our first annual Safe & Sane “Flower Fireworks Spectacular.”

Enjoy some of our favorite photographs of the most famous, most colorful flowers from across San Diego County that if you squint real hard, look like real fireworks! Our Flower Fireworks Spectacular includes appearances from the flowers of the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and The Flower Fields, plus guest appearances from flowers in our neighbors’ gardens in our San Diego neighborhood.

Happy 4th of July!

Dragon Boat Festival: Qu Yuan (340-278 B.C)

The Jao Family Sculpture Garden sits on the campus of the University of California, Irvine and includes this statue of Qu Yuan (340-278 B.C.).

Qu Yuan, a poet and statesman of the Chu kingdom, is steeped in Chinese history and tradition.

Today, the Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu Festival, Duānwǔ Jié, Double Fifth, Tuen Ng Jit) is a traditional Chinese holiday that commemorates the life and death of this famous Chinese scholar. The festival occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunisolar calendar, and was recognized as a traditional and statutory public holiday in the People’s Republic of China.

People in the Miluo River area continue to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan each year on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, which fell on June 25th in the year 2020.