Thursday, November 12, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 11/12/20

 Last week, Wienskler Academy (aka online school) went on a field trip to Forestiere Underground Gardens. Christa's mom, Debbie, joined us as well.

Forestiere Gardens is a California State Landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, hand built by Baldassare Forestiere from 1906 to 1946. Basically it is a network of underground rooms, courtyards and passageways.

It's utterly fascinating. Mr. Forestiere built his underground home largely because the temperatures underground in summer range from 10 to 25 degrees cooler than ground level. He had many open skylights (covered with glass in the winter to maintain the heat) and grew many trees, shrubs and vines.

(Gabe and I took pictures of each other at the same time.)


Summer bedroom. Interesting story about the suitcases: our guide said that Mr. Forestiere stored his clothing in the suitcases. He had to go to the hospital for a medical emergency, thought he would only be there overnight and didn't take more than the clothes he was wearing. Unfortunately, he passed away while in the hospital. According to the guide, the suitcases have never been opened, being deemed too fragile.
Winter bedroom, with fireplace.

A graphic representation of an actual tree with seven different fruits grafted together.
Fish pond.
As often happens with iconic locations that are local, it's been many years since I have been to the underground gardens. It was fun to go with the kids.

My brother, Jeff, and sister-in-law, Gracie, drove cross country from Washington, D.C., last week. They felt the need to get out of the city during the presidential election. They stopped by for a couple of hours on Saturday. We visited outside for a bit, then headed over to Aaron and Christa's. While the grandkids were all happy to see Jeff and Gracie, the big draw was their dogs, Moose, a golden doodle, and Esteban, a miniature Australian shepherd.

We don't see each other very often so it was nice to get a picture together, even with social distancing.
We were even able to take the dogs to a local restaurant, Lazy  Dog, that has a lot of outdoor dining (with heaters this time of year) and caters to dogs, including a special menu for them.

On Sunday, we had our first rain since May 18!! It was awesome, but was not nearly enough. I love the rain and it just did not last long enough.

I was pretty excited when this new emoji was released this week. :)

I have mixed feelings about the Christmas decorations already up around town. But 2020 is like no other year. So while I would ordinarily agree that we need to hold off until after Thanksgiving,  I feel like we can all use some joyous holiday lights, even if they are earlier this year.

For sure...


05 08
Anne / Springleaf Studios said... #

Your field trip looked fascinating. Not sure I'd enjoy living underground though. Glad you were able to spend time with family. We're starting to wonder if we'll be able to take our usual spring trip to KC. Hopefully. We passed a neighborhood that had up their Christmas lights and downtown has started to put them up and I'm OK with it this year. We need a little cheer.

Rochelle aka Bella Quilts said... #

What an interesting field trip. Didn't know there was an underground home in Fresno but would agree that during the summer it would be fantastic. The gardens are wonderful. It is amazing that this was preserved so that others might see the dream one man had. And as for Christmas decorations, right now I like them. Had 5" of snow on Sunday morning when we got up. Might have some rain next week if we don't get shadowed out by the mountains. We will have wind...that's a given.

lkhomework said... #

It’s so true that we take our local attractions for granted! I’m having a great time discovering and rediscovering wonders in my home town. I’d be fascinated by the underground house tour.

OPQuilt said... #

That underground home is really interesting, but it seems very rustic--did it have electricity when the US became electrified? Such interesting stories you find to tell us all. Glad you were able to see your brother--can't believe they *drove* across the US. Fun for them, though. Love the memes, especially the last one.

Robby said... #

As always, a great snapshot of a Colorful Life. Such an interesting field trip, but the local things do tend to get taken for granted don't they? Recent fires endangered a tourist town at the edge of a national park and even though we don't go often, we were wishing it hadn't been so long since we had been there. For me, looking at Halloween candy and Christmas decorations at the same time is too much, but if it's what gets someone else through this mess, why not?!

Andee Neff said... #

Very cool! I had not heard of this place, but looks like an interesting place to visit!