Where to Find the A Unique Dining Experience Near Sacramento

High Hand

When you visit a new area, do you use Yelp or other applications to find restaurants to visit? Yelp gives the High Hand Conservatory (website link) in Loomis, CA four stars, and TripAdvisor gives it four and a half stars. Traveling and Blogging Near and Far gives it five stars. 

High Hand

To get to the spacious, moderately-priced cafe, you’ll weave your way through a beautiful nursery wonderland. We arrived at a good time, about 8:00 on a Saturday, after the early birds but before the late risers. Timing is everything. The food and service were so fabulous that I forgot to take pictures and enjoyed my meal.  You can check out their menu on The TripAdvisor website.

High Hand

As much as I love food, the atmosphere made the experience unique. We ate in the covered courtyard, open to the garden vistas and could hardly wait to tour the outdoor and enclosed nurseries as well as the shops housed within the long metal building called a Fruit Shed.

High Hand

Have you ever bought a grocery-store succulent and two weeks later it turned yellow and the leaves withered and fell off? I’ve done this. Neither spritzing nor ignoring it seemed to halt the dropping leaves. If you enjoy succulents, you could pick out small ones and plant them yourselves at one of the outdoor stations.

High Hand

 You could find more than unique gifts here.  Classes for arts and crafts fill up quickly. We walked into one class, and several participants allowed us to photograph their gourd projects.

High Hand

For my quilting and knitting friends, one of the stores had plenty of “yard goods,” as my grandma used to call fabric.  Loomis, CA would be a great place to schedule a retreat and come for classes or just to sew together. 

High Hand

If you watch American Pickers, the cost of junkyard cars and parts seems out of range for the average buyer, but nothing draws attention in a professional garden or nursery like a great old car.  The cars in this nursery did not have a  price tag. To complete your home gardens, you could find fun garden art at High Hand. I loved the lasered shovel. Ideas are free.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief tour of High Hand. Pictures don’t do it justice. It’s only about a twenty-minute drive north from Sacramento to the small town of Loomis, CA. The two hours my family and I spent at High Hand went too quickly. I’m ready to go back. Want to join me?

High Hand
Featured Puzzle

If you are interested in having one of these pictures as a puzzle, check out my puzzle website. If you have a picture from your travels you’d like to turn into a puzzle, you can make it yourself or send it to me, and I’ll set it up for you.

POKE Tacos and the Need for a Strong Vocabulary

All six of us were hungry for hamburgers and Hula Pie, but we had an hour wait just to sit down at Hula Grill – the informal side with chairs and tables in the sand. I made an executive decision and checked the adjoining restaurant. That side served Hula Pie and is run by the same company. The last time we ate there it was delicious and elegant.

Poke Ahi Tuna Experience
Poke Ahi Tuna Experience

The beadboard wall featured an elegant Hawaiian wall hanging quilt. Some of the tables have white tablecloths. Ours had placemats. I looked at the menu; nothing looked totally definable, and the prices were fairly elegant as well.

Ever since I heard the silly guinea pig travelers, the Roadents, arguing about getting fish tacos at the Beef Barn, I order fish tacos almost every time we travel somewhere.

It’s festive somehow. The fish tacos tasted great at Lalanis across the mall from Hula Grill.

Hula Grill Hawaii 9

Hula Grill, the informal side, also has amazing fish tacos. I found the perfect solution at the expensive Hula Grill side – Poke Ahi tuna tacos. I was somewhat irritated at myself for not reading carefully enough to notice that there was a wasabi drizzle on top, but I figured I could cope with a little spice or scrape it off. Hula Grill, the informal side, has spicy salsa so tasty that I purchased some for gifts last time I came here. So I was prepared to experiment.

Poke Ahi Tuna Experience
Poke Ahi Tuna Experience

When the tacos arrived, the red stuff inside concerned me somewhat, but I figured they added peppers or some vegetable. I bit into it. The first thing I noticed was that even though it tasted like fish, the whole thing felt cold and somewhat squishy. I jolted, and probably made a face.

“Is this raw?” I asked my husband.

“Yes, it was in the raw section of the menu,” he answered. He probably thought, “Didn’t you notice that enormous printing in the heading?”

“But there were other things in that section that weren’t raw,” Darrel added kindly.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” I said.

“It wasn’t what I expected,” Carol said backing me up.

Poke Ahi Tuna Experience
Poke Ahi Tuna Experience      I’m done now.

I asked for a box, and ate the guacamole. I told the waiter I would go home and cook it. Glen suggested that it might have microbes. Connie made a funny face. She hates microbes.

I waited for Hula Pie.

Poke Ahi Tuna Experience
Poke Ahi Tuna Experience

V told me to leave the boxed microbes behind when we left Hula Grill.

Moral of the story: If you don’t know the meaning of the word on the menu, think twice before you order it, or possibly Google the word to make sure it doesn’t mean “raw fish.” 🙂

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

This picture contrasts not only light and dark, hot and cold, but has good and evil within the same object.

Contrast1

The steamy waffle mingled  companionably with ice-cold ice cream tickling my palate!  The day I ate it, the waffle named Love, was good.  The next day when I stepped on the scale, it was evil.  Go figure! (That’s exactly what is happening to mine, one waffle at a time!)  🙂

Contrast 2

Thanks Mary for introducing me to such a great sin. (There’s a naughty contrast.)

For more delicious waffle treats visit More Than Waffles in Encino, CA.

For more photo challenges click here.

Sue’s Word a Week – Orange

I love the sunny color of orange, and the sweet flavor as well.  No place salutes orange better than Orange Works in Strathmore, CA  on the west side of Highway 65.

Orange works1I drive thirty miles just for a taste.   The orange picker brings in crates of warm oranges from the field outside the back door of the restaurant. He squeezes the whole crate of them into just one pitcher.  From there the juice magically turns into ice cream or smoothies.

It’s the perfect treat for a hot, dry California summer day.

To take part in Sue’s challenge, click here.

Discovering Delaware – Historic New Castle

My mother’s only cousin, Hal,  insisted that I needed to learn more about the hidden historic treasures in Delaware.  The 70-degree temperatures and spring sunshine today made exploring and photographing Delaware a delight.

“If you love Colonial Williamsburg, Marsha, you will enjoy Historic New Castle, DE., established in 1651.”

Newcastle DE1

“First order of business, Marsha, you HAVE to eat at Jessop’s Tavern.  You get to experience colonial life.”

DDays Tavern

Our food came in pewter bowls and plates served by servers in colonial costumes.

Mannys first bite

After lunch, our eyes soon became as glutted as our stomachs. Stumbling along uneven brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets, we admired preserved, and not restored, colonial architecture.   One house caught my eye because the patterned brick front differed from the smoother faced brick on the surrounding homes.

Ddays home

As it happened, the owner came out of the home at the exact time we walked back up the street.

RichardDay

Of course, I asked him a question, “Do you live here?  I love the brick pattern on your home.”

“It was built in 1690, the oldest one still standing.”

Ddays patterned brick

“New Castle is so quiet and peaceful,” Hal commented.

Historic State park

Richard’s left eyebrow raised slightly.  “That is changing.  In March we voted to allow New Castle to become a National Historic Park. Delaware was the only state that didn’t have one.  I used to own the Arsenal Restaurant on the Green, but the government didn’t renew my lease.  They have other plans for it.”

Arsenal

A half-hour later he escaped our barrage of questions.  A few minutes later I saw him again, conversing with one of the servers at his restaurant, Jessop’s Tavern.

jessups tavern2

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