Memories of California-  wood and succulents 

Memories of my recent trip to California keep popping up in my head. I was thinking about blogging this morning and I decided that my prevailing memory is wood, houses, paintwork, floors, textures and succulents as big as dinner plates  

Living in Europe you don’t see many houses made totally of wood. 

 I remember a friends wooden kit house as a teenager and being very curious about it – wooden window frames and doors have to be constantly protected from the weather, how long would it last? (That was in the 1970’s it’s still there) 

In San Francisco ,Monterey and Sacramento there are lots of wooden structures – maybe because the weather is so clement – without our European extremes – the wood doesn’t need as much protection? 

My Dad and I commented whilst in SF on the quality of the paint work – we thought it would be a lucrative job being an external painter and decorator . 

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the houses in SF . They are alien to my Edinburgh and Oxford raised eyes. 

The last weekend of our stay ,in Sacremento the weather was hot and sunny – you can tell by the clothing Jon and my Dad are wearing and the light , that it was not always so in SF lol. 

Visiting 3 locations  in 2 weeks , my eyes were constantly looking at different textures and decor- The SF house was quite dark , full of books and art 




One of the things I love about Airbnb is living in other people’s houses and looking at how they decorate and the stuff that they leave in situ when people visit . 

Monterey was the least looked after location that we stayed in – but it was decorated with fab stuff and had a charm of it’s own -looking back  it was a haven from the bustle of SF and the overwhelming business of the wedding 



Below a Monterey wooden house


Sacremento – the house was near Fair Oaks a suburb about 10 mins drive from my daughters law’s home. This was light and airy with a jacuzzi and a pool 

Succulents – I have always liked what Megan’s mum calls ‘Hens and chicks’ my Dad always says that a ‘good  big piece of art is much better than small piece’, I have found the same with the succulents  after my visit to California 

Monterey,California 

Continuing our stay in California before the son’s wedding – we are in Monterey for the weekend ,staying in a very cute Airbnb on Van Buren.There is an eclectic mix of great textures and details in the furnishings – which I am enjoying very much. 



The last 2 mornings we have been up and out exploring – there are a few older houses and lots of succulents again

Fisherman’s  Wharf and Cannery Row 


There had been a stranding of the little red Crustaceans on the waterline  – apparently scientists are blaming the Elninio effect – “Typically such strandings of these species in large numbers are due to warm water intrusions,” said Linsey Sala, collection manager for the Pelagic Invertebrates Collection at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


Birds in the Marina 

We visited a little coffee shop near Cannery Row – ‘Bright Coffee’ only 6/10 ( on the Jonathan tasting scale)  but nice ambience and great stuff for sale- I loved the hand made bowls and jugs  


The host has left us bowls of roses – I am charting their decline