I spent the first week of May visiting my mom in California, which was such a wonderful vacation and not nearly long enough! You may have caught the outfit post that I did earlier this week, for which my mom took the photos :)
I took a few pictures around my grandparents’ house (where my mom is currently staying since they passed away) and also at the zoo and Forestiere Underground Gardens, and I thought I’d share them with you! I actually took a LOT at the zoo, so I am going to give them their own separate post later on, but here are some of my photos from vacation. Since this is a photo heavy post, I’m putting most of it behind a cut.
But first, the obligatory kitty cat photos!
This is Tux. He was originally my cat, but he stayed with my mom and the rest of our pets when I moved. He’s getting to be an old man and drools all over you when he lays on you but he’s still pretty handsome.
This is my Twiggy! She was also my kitty and I have always just adored her. She’s the smallest full grown cat that I’ve ever seen – about the size of an average teenage cat. She was a stray as a kitten, so I assumed maybe she stayed small because she was malnourished when we got her. She’s tiny but she’s PACKED with personality!
Okay, on to the touristy stuff! The Forestiere Underground Gardens in Fresno were something that I’ve wanted to see for years. I remember watching a special about it on a travel show or History Channel or something. Basically, this guy named Baldassare Forestiere decided to dig out a house to live in underground, and kept expanding with tunnels, planting lots of citrus trees underground along the way. It was really a labor of love, because he worked a full time job doing manual labor and then came back to his land and worked on it. He didn’t document any of it, so they don’t even know how far the tunnels expand, but he worked at it, completely on his own for 40 years. Like my mom said, after you see what he was able to accomplish, you will never again feel justified in saying that you don’t have enough time in the day to do something. If you want to know more about it, they have lots of information on their website.
Looking up at the grapevines growing over the walkway outside of the underground area.
Fruit trees and roses growing in the gardens outside. The flowers are a newer addition; Forestiere didn’t grow anything that wasn’t edible.
I thought this tree was really interesting. Forestiere had experimented with grafting trees, and this one grew grapefruit, oranges and kumquats, all off of the same tree!
Check out the rest of the pictures after the break here! There’s some pretty neat underground stuff and also a few pics from my grandparents’ house.
Looking up from an underground area. Forestiere excavated all of the tunnels and rooms with out any machinery and laid everything by hand!
Peeking out of a tunnel into a subterranean courtyard where a fruit tree is growing.
Looking from one tunnel, through the courtyard into another tunnel. Some areas were wired for electricity in the 30′s, and some are lit by daylight. but a lot of tunnels are still pretty dark.
Forestiere’s private courtyard where he took his baths. He kept water aboveground to warm up in the sunlight and then would pipe it down to his bathtub. This is his actual bathtub and I just love the way it’s set up. It’s so chic it looks like it could have stepped out of Anthropologie.
One of the bedrooms. There was a fireplace off to the side but it was hard to get into the photo because I was peeking through a little window.
One of the kitchens. This picture came out kind of blurry because it was actually fairly dim in this area other than where the sunlight was coming in from the window in the background.
His water well- one of the first things he dug out.
A fruit tree growing up from a deeper underground level. He could walk along the upper levels or aboveground to pick the fruit… very clever!
My great-grandpa was an amazing photographer. Here are a few of the awards that he won for his photographic slides.
Another shot of his awards. He also had some trophies, but I didn’t get to see those.
Roses from my grandma’s garden.
More of grandma’s roses :)
We found these when we were going through a box of things that belonged to my great-grandparents. There is a pair of spats that are in really excellent condition, though we don’t know in the family who they belonged to. They’re sitting on top of a bunch of WWII paperwork including some war bonds and sugar rationed and tire rations.
And this is a really awesome old photo album that I think belonged to my great-grandma. I always saw it in my grandparents’ house when I was growing up and I never knew what it was, I just thought it was really fancy and gorgeous.
There we go. Like I said I’ll do another post later on with my pictures from the zoo, I got some pretty good ones! Now I’m back in Seattle and it’s almost strange feeling how cool it still is here compared to the weather in central California. I think it’s in the 60′s here and it was definitely climbing into the 90′s while I was there, which is actually a bit too hot for me. We’ll get that weather here, but not for a couple more months!