Thursday, April 8, 2010

day of pampering / date with myself

so i know i said yesterday that it wasn't about the pampering of the taking myself on a date, but today i felt like doing both anyway. i had a few hours to kill between appointments so i headed over to the elizabeth gamble garden, a stunning spot (especially at this time of year) hidden in palo alto, just off embarcadero road.

there are few things i love more than spending time in a new garden (especially with my camera), and this one was all i hoped. wisteria in full bloom draped from trellises. purple and white lilacs bloomed, their scent hanging in the air.

there were irises and tulips and poet's daffodils and even a special treat that felt like it was just for me -- my favorite flower, lily of the valley, which is nearly impossible to grow here without the frost. i almost missed the tiny gems.

scattered throughout the garden were elderly couples walking hand in hand, artists capturing colors on canvas, children running along concrete and flagstone paths. in the community portion of the garden, women worked beds of vegetables. cabbage looked ready for harvest.  just 60 minutes felt like a weekend away.
after the visit i stopped at whole foods to pick up some soap and found something i just couldn't resist: gluten-free baking mixes that didn't contain potato. i swear i put five different kinds in my basket but managed to whittle it down to one: the blondie mix. when i got home i whipped up a batch complete with chopped pecans and flaked coconut. and wow. just wow. it was awesome. a little sweeter than i'm used to these days but the flavor and "crumb" were excellent. luckily i was able to stop after three. the rest will go into the freezer for a rainy day.

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