The hubby had a client meeting in Yuma. Yuma is halfway to San Diego. The ocean was calling as were our grandchildren so I climbed into the car and went with him. This meant a 3 hour wait at Kneaders in Yuma which means that I sampled more than one bakery item after eating my soup and while reading the local newspaper thoroughly. Did you know that several squadrons of fighter pilots and accompanying jets will be moving to Yuma? It means big bucks for the Yuma economy.
By nightfall, we were where I really wanted to be, with the grandchildren. The next day once Raymond was picked up from school we were on our way to Carlsbad and The Flower Fields on the hill. This place has really changed over the years. Using all our memories we decided that we had first accidentally come upon the fields over 15 years ago while on a Spring Break trip to California with Janae and Nathan. Back then there was no charge and we parked next to the hill on a dirt lot and walked through the fields. Now you pay to enter, park on asphalt, wander through preliminary gardens, and go on antique tractor tours.
They've also ramped it up for children. See that blue booklet in Raymond's hand. It has squares for stamps, a passport of sorts. They were to look for orange flags throughout the experience and get the stamp for each station. They took this seriously.
The Flower Fields open in March but there was still prime color. The hill is covered with ranuculus flowers of every color.
I think the ride in the trailer behind the tractor was Henry's favorite part.
Soon we were at the top of the hill looking back at the Pacific Ocean.
It was a beautiful day with blue skies and perfect clouds.
And a rainbow at your feet.
That is the Carlsbad landmark smoke stack in the distance.
In the past we would gingerly walk between the rows to take a picture. They have smartened up and have outdoor carpet covered walkways leading into each color.
It's a perfect way to get a family shot. Fortunately my daughter is finally feeling well enough for a little outing. She had a pretty rough couple of months but we are all so excited to meet the coming baby girl in October.
These two loving brothers will have a little sister to tame their rough edges.
They plant these fields from seed which resembles a very light weight oatmeal. They mix it with sand to hold the seeds down and cover with compost.
I've grown ranuculus in our garden but always from the tubers. They harvest those here and send them around the world. I bought 30 tubers in the garden shop before leaving. I also harvest the tubers from the few I plant at home so now I guess I have 35 to plant in the ground next October for a Spring bloom
They offered me the last seat on the bench. I thought that would be pushing our luck! The little purple stand next to Janae is one of the passport stations.
Those are some handsome boys!
Some developer got real smart and bought the land above the fields and built timeshare condos. There is a walkway and viewing stations along the road up there as well. The last time we were in Carlsbad during The Flower Fields we walked that walk instead of paying admission.
The mixed color beds are at the bottom of the hill. Ranuculus blooms look like a cross between a poppy and a rose.
Lovely. . .
These beauties were in the garden shop and bloom all year. . .
But these are better.
After our outing it was time to go back across the freeway, turn south from Poinsettia Drive, and then travel a few blocks to Pelly's. It truly is one of our favorite fish market restaurants. It's casual dining but the fish is fresh and the food amazing.
We parted ways after dinner; the Ranes family north to Murrietta and Glen and I south to San Diego and then back on to Arizona. It was worth the extra drive to be with some of our favorite people and to share with them the flowers.