Of Lavender, and Olives, and Oaks

On one particularly enjoyable California day, our friends took us to the Highland Springs Resort in Cherry Valley. 

Despite living in California for most of our lives, Colette and I had never been there before. (Hubby had returned to New Hampshire at this point...work calls.) In existence since the mid-19th century, the resort was gradually expanded until it became a popular destination for the rich and famous. Among its notable visitors were: Albert Einstein, Roy Rogers, Bob Hope, Ernest Hemingway, and Elizabeth Taylor. Today, it is a: hotel, restaurant, wedding venue, organic farm, and lavender fields.

We began our exploration of the property by walking down this lovely pine allee to the lavender fields.

We were fortunate that our visit coincided with some of the lavender being in bloom. So many pretty shades of green too!

Leaving the beauty of the lavender, we walked through the olive groves. Such big olive trees...they must be quite old. Although it was a rather warm day, it was cool in the olive grove. The resort presses its olives to make olive oil.

We walked past blooming cacti and fields of mustard to reach a 100-year old oak tree on the property. It is reputed to be the second oldest oak in California. 

Beyond the oak is this view! Sooo beautiful in that old west way! It just took my breath away, as it reminded me of the untouched California of my childhood. Not the California of urban sprawl, endless strip malls, and unceasing traffic, but the California that still had rolling hills of open space covered with golden waving grass.

Hot and thirsty, we meandered back to the resort's restaurant and ordered a delicious lunch. I ordered a salad with their own lavender-balsamic dressing and roasted tomato soup (shown here with Colette's lavender lemonade).

If you live in southern California, or are just visiting, I highly recommend you stop in at the Highland Springs Resort!

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