Saturday, February 27, 2010

65th Santa Barbara International Orchid Show

March 12-14, 2010
9 am to 5 pm
Earl Warren Showground
hwy 101 and Las Positas Road,Santa Barbara

Adults $12, Seniors and Students $10

This is the 65th anniversary of the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show held annually in March.  The show started in 1945 by the Santa Barbara Horticultural Society at Montecito Grange Hall. The show has moved several times as it grew larger and drew more and more interest from collectors, spectators and hobbyists eventually to its current location at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. The display of thousands of orchids takes up the large exhibit hall; and the small building called Warren Hall houses the vendors.  Growers come from far and near to display their prized exotic plants.  Many are also offered for sale. At its peak in 1999, the orchid show drew 14,000 people.

Orchids are at their peak several weeks before Easter and that's when growers start harvesting their crops.
John Rowe, an active member of the Santa Barbara Orchid community for more than 40years, is a member of the board of directors of the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show.  Although retired as a commercial grower, Mr. Rowe keeps a "small hobby collection of orchids" on his property.

Santa Barbara's semi-tropical climate is almost perfect for growing cymbidiums and orchids. Several of my many Cymbidiums have already finished blooming and there are many more to go.  My garden and home are always filled with orchids. 

England is the pioneer in the orchid world, Mr. Rowe stated during his interview with the Santa Barbara Newspress.  Even today orchids have to be registered with the Royal Horticultural Society in London.  During the WWII English Horticulturalists were afraid that most of the orchids would be destroyed so many were sent to the United States for safekeeping.

The Santa Barbara Show, one of the oldest in the nation, is considered the premier orchid show in the country. The Showgrounds becomes a magical paradise of exotic flowers.  Commercial growers create their dsiplays around a theme.  This year's theme is Nature in Harmony.

The above information was extrapolated from an article in the SB Newspress, the Facebook Page of the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show,and the Santa Barbara Independent.

For the full story about the history of the show,  interviews and information go to:, and
photographs by Charles Rowden and Dick Clark  from the SBOrchidShow facebook page

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gems, Baubles & Bling

The GEM Faire is HERE!
Friday noon-7pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 10am-5pm
February 19, 20, 21
World-Renowned Dealers &  Exhibitors
Earl Warren Show Grounds

First you go to the GEM Show and spend all weekend deciding....

Then you get your tools out and start designing....

and designing, and......

it's like magic....

and magical....

and you wind up with all these beautiful baubles....

So then you have a BIG sale of all your wonderful creations
and you get your bestest friend to help you!

Busy, busy, busy!

Then you have to go back to the GEM FAIRE and start all over again!
we all have 'secret lives'; and this is mine!

Gold, Silver, Fine Jewelry, Beads, Gems, Crystals, Rocks and  Minerals
Classes and Demonstrations available.  Sign up on line.

for more information see my post Carla's Baubles; SB Adult Education

See you at the Gem Fair!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Santa Barbara Film Festival and the Canary

The 25th Santa Barbara International Film Festival kicked off Thursday evening with the arrival of the Montecito Honor Recipient, Julianne Moore.  Sandra Bullock received the American Riviera Award on Friday evening.  Both Awards were presented at the Arlington Theater.  The actresses spent time on the Red Carpet greeting fans who came out in large numbers in the rain to greet these beloved actresses.
Tonight, Saturday, James Cameron of Titanic and recently Avatar fame will be presented the Modern Masters Award.  James Cameron is a local resident.

Sandra Bulllock, America's "Miss Congeniality" in The Blind Side

The film festival runs for 10 Amazing Days and 11 Starry Nights with venues at numerous Santa Barbara Theaters.

I was on duty today in the Village Properties Real Estate Concierge Office at the Canary Hotel, which was booked solid with Film attendees.  The restaurant said they were busy from dawn to dusk with Hotel Guests and locals.  The Canary is a fabulous newer hotel in the heart of down-town Santa Barbara.  Below is a view of the Pool deck.

Congratulations to the SBIFF 2010 for another successful run.
For more information on Festival Events and tickets, go to: 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Visiting Los Olivos

My last post described the drive from Santa Barbara over Higway 154 (also referred to as the San Marcos Pass.  This map shows the route we travelled.

We drove first straight to Los Olivos as we planned to back-track to Solvang for a lunch of Bratwurst and Sour Kraut at the Heidelberg Inn's cafe.


Wine Country covers the Santa Ynez Valley, with wine tasting rooms in Solvang, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos.  My favorite tasting rooms happen to be in Los Olivos; although the best tasting venues are at the wineries themselves.  The most practical way to do wine tasting at the numeous wineries is to take one of the many tours available.  Leave the driving to them, enjoy the ride without worry and learn a lot about the wineries and the history of the area from the tour guides on the bus. It is truly a fun experience.

Los Olivos was founded in 1861 with the establishment of the Overland/Coast Line State Station at Ballards, just south of present Los Olivos.  The stage ran from San Francisco through Los Olivos, south to Los Angeles and then on to San  Diego.

In 1887, Felix Mattei , anticipating the arrival of the Pacific Coast Railway, opened a hotel and tavern to accomodate rail and stage passengers.  Mattei's Tavern is still located in it's original spot just down from the center of town at 2350 Railway Avenue.  A beloved landmark and outstanding restaurant it is still a place for family and friends to gather and enjoy a great meal.  Restored to stagecoach day glory, Mattei's Brother's Restaurant is a glimpse into the past.  Velvet wallpaper, old family photographs and crackling fires in the various fireplaces are complemented and contrasted by the innovative wine country cuisine of brothers Matt and Jeff Nichols. Plan to make this a leisurely stop to fully enjoy and appreciate the cuisine and hospitality of Mattei's Tavern.
(information from Los Olivos Business Organization

Some major points of interest in Los Olivos are:

 Fess Parker's (Davy Crocket) Wine Country Inn and Spa.  A fabulous Inn in the heart of Los Olivos.  Featuring wonderful rooms, cottages, spa facilities and a fine dining facility called Petros Los Olivos featuring upscale California-Hellenic Cuisine.  Dress is casual nice.  You won't find many people wearing ripped and torn blue jeans, although jeans are in order...the designer kind.

My husband and I have stayed at the Inn several times and very much enjoyed ourselves.  The Inn offers several packages including wine tasting at Fess' own winery. 
 For more information:
Bring your bikes and come for a couple of days to enjoy this gorgeous valley.

Patrick's Side Street Cafe, located at 2375 Alamo Pintado is our favorite lunch stop in Los Olivos.  Patrick is the Chef and Proprietor of this charming cafe and restaurant.  Wonderful California Cuisine with lots of fresh and local food with a Side Street twist.  My husband is a 'meat and potato' man...and I prefer light, fresh and interesting fare...we both love it. No reservations required, but it is a popular place so go early...or if you have to wait...walk over to Woeste's down the street...

J. Woeste, located at 2356 Alamo Pintado Ave is a destination in itself!

Home and Garden Treasures of the most unusual kind...

an endless source of inspiration....

orchids, violets, begonias oh my!

wonderful vignettes and displays

have you ever seen happier plants and flowers?

a room with books, toys, stuffed animals and furniture for children

lots of wonderful artwork..some of it already in our home!

these my kind of Ravens...friendlier than the ones in my neighborhood.

A garden and nursery filled with fountains, statues, and an amazing variety of plants

These cherubs would look soooo fabulous in my garden....

yes...these are real chickens!

Woeste's specializes in unusual succulents.....

come to a special place to nurture your soul...

laugh...rejuvenate and...

visualize a wealth of ideas....

whatever your taste...whatever your space....

J. Woeste is a must stop in Los Olivos

What are YOU doing for Valentine's Day???
I can't think of a  more wonderful day to spend your Valentine's Day

lunch at Patrick's and a walk in the J. Woeste Garden!