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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Loving the Flowers in Paris

At moments may have been an April as cold as December but the markets are full of spring blooms and I'm mesmerized by them. They all seem to be crying out "bring me home..." I love to have flowers in the house so there has been a weekly rotation of narcissus, tulips, hydrangeas and more, now I just have to get D. in on the act!
The flowers at the markets are gorgeous,  generally grouped into  ranges of similar hues that are designed to attract you. But it's the flower shops that are irresistible with gorgeous bouquets and exquisite nosegays that look like something a flower girls would carry down the aisle. In particular I can't resist Christian  Collin's shop near the St. Paul metro here in the Marais. You can get an idea of what it's like in this youtube clip. This is one of his arrangements below.
It's these small mounding arrangements that attract me. You can see a photo of the  flower shop from my visit last week. Each small bouquet is slightly different and they combine interesting textures or scents like winter wheat or mint (above). Who wouldn't want to bring one of these home? Particularly when they wrap them in their plain brown paper with a raffia bow and a purple tissue paper lining, gorgeous! The vases which you can see towering above the small posies hold enormous orchid blooms that hang down dramatically.

Here's another arrangement close up. I love the way the pink and white amaryllis picks up the colors of the tulips and roses. The winter wheat has such a modern feel to it here, as if it's interrupting all the beauty.

Here are some birthday flowers sent by N. & S. They were gorgeous filled with calla lilies, roses, parrot tulips and camellias among others. The bouquet was so large it was very heavy! This was the first time I'd received amaryllis as a cut flower, how extravagant, thank you.
Here's what we're looking at home this week along with some more of what you can see in the market. The only question is can I learn to copy the stye by the time I get home?