la jolla july 4

Daytrip: La Jolla, California

Even though 4th of July landed on a Wednesday this year, it didn’t stop us from jumping in the car and heading south to spend some time in La Jolla, California. La Jolla has been described as an affluent, hilly seaside community. I’ve also heard it being referenced as San Diego’s “jewel by the sea”. Both are true and we’re lucky to have such a beautiful community within a two-hour drive from our seaside ranch home. You may want to consider La Jolla if you are looking for a great place for a quick escape in Calfornia.

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Food is fuel for the body so we decided to start our day off with brunch on the patio of the historic (circa 1926) La Valencia Hotel & Spa. A good meal overlooking the ocean was the perfect way to start the day. la valencia hotel La Jolla California_Reviving Charm

I discovered this gate and courtyard of this ocean view property in the village many years ago but I manage to take a picture of it everytime I visit La Jolla. Isn’t it charming? la jolla daytrip_reviving charm 1

I don’t recall what restaurant we walked by but this single bright yellow gerbera daisy looked so sweet on a patio table. la jolla restaurants_reviving charm

These hillside homes nestled in lush landscaping are actually located at the edge of the village. They have amazing views of the La Jolla cove that is off in the distance. la jolla california architecture_reviving charm blog

We found a terrace overlooking the ocean and had it to ourselves. It was the perfect spot to enjoy the breathtaking view without anyone else around. It was the most peaceful spot. la jolla cove_Reviving Charm

We stumbled upon a walkway that leads you from the village straight down to the beach. The walkway is lined with a series of adorable cottages. This one at the top of the hill is for sale with an asking price of approximately $999,000 and is currently in escrow. There’s truth in the saying that it’s all about location, location, location. This tiny cottage measures a mere 528 square feet and is located on a 729 square foot lot. It features 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, and an amazing deck with ocean views. However, the kitchen and bath will definitely need to be gutted. You can see the listing with pictures of this Ocean Lane cottage here.   

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No day would be complete without a bit of shopping including a visit to one of my favorite shops in town,The Faded Awning. I love that the owner has French music piped throughout the shop. They offer a variety of home goods, gift items, clothing and jewelry available for sale. On a previous trip we purchased two side chairs that now call our living room home and last year I purchaed a straw handbag that I mentioned in thisprior post. la jolla shopping_reviving charm

Another display at The Faded Awning.

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A small courtyard leading to the entrance of an antique shop.
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Unfortunately, the antique shop was closed but it didn’t stop me from peeking through the jolla antiques

Sunflowers are the quintessential summer flower and there was an abundance of them available at a flower shop in the village. I also love this tropical floral arrangement in the window of COS Barla jolla flowers_reviving charm

We took a walk along the path that hugs the cove trying to avoid the crowds…reviving charm

But the crowds provided a good form of entertainment. This next picture might look like a “Where’s Waldo” but instead, try to find the sea lion sunning himself along the shoreline. The sunbathers had to keep moving their camps as the sea lion began encroaching into their territory. Lifeguards had to keep reminding beach-goers to keep their distance since everyone was trying to capture a selfie and kids were trying to touch the massive creatures.

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We’ve passed by Mary, Star of the Sea Church many times but this was the first time we actually ventured inside. The small church is beautiful in its simplicity. mary star of the sea la jolla church_reviving charm

And…if we hadn’t done enough already, by the late afternoon we decided to drive into downtown San Diego to wander a bit. Here’s a look at the remainder of the day.

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Marine Lair

I love stalking real estate listings for places that I travel to and since we are in La Jolla, California I thought I’d share “Marine Lair” with you today. The 3,124 square foot home with 3 bedrooms and 4.5 baths is situated on a tiny 2,560 square foot lot located directly across the street from the beach. The home was built by Andrew Canter, the 34-year-old owner of Canter Companies and real estate investment banker, who spared no expense in designing and building a contemporary beach home (and bachelor pad…he’s single) in one of Southern California’s premier oceanfront communities.

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Andrew Canter at Marine Lair

Canter put his development team to the test by informing them that his vision and “…concept was to create something rare and extraordinary in every aspect of the design.” The home is very sculptural in nature and incorporates carefully curated rugged and exotic materials, such as koa wood veneer harvested from Hilo, Hawaii. This isn’t surprising coming from an owner working with a craftsman who spent a lot of time building boats. It feels like a little jewel box on the beach and it can be all yours for $11.8 million. If you don’t have access to that much cash don’t worry…the seller is accepting bitcoin.

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Weekend Getaway: La Jolla, California

Our recent weekend getaway to La Jolla and San Diego over the 4th of July weekend reminded me that the Mr. and I must take long weekend vacations more often! Today’s post is a quick recap to touch upon some of the highlights of La Jolla, California. We stayed at La Estancia, which you may remember from a previous post. I spent a good amount of time getting some R&R, as well as spending time at the spa to indulge in an 80-minute massage and 50-minute facial. One of the highlights of my spa experience was when my therapist remarked that I must not wear any makeup because my skin looked so good. Coming from a professional, that is quite the compliment. It’s good to know that my fairly involved skin care regimen is working. I also took long naps to catch up on some much-needed sleep. The atmosphere of La Estancia fits the bill for a nice relaxing getaway. If you choose to book your own vacation at La Estancia just be sure to reserve a room on the third (top) floor of the hotel so you won’t get any noise from upstairs guests.

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My favorite dining experience was finally getting to try the French restaurant, Bistro Du Marche. I was able to get my fix of escargot as well as try some other wonderful dishes. My dessert, Tarte à la Banane, was a delicious banana tart with toasted hazelnuts, brûléed bananas, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. It was the perfect end to a wonderful meal. I even had a nice drink, the Twisted Negroni, comprised of Aperol, sweet vermouth, and sparkling wine. There is a quote on their website from John Walters that I couldn’t agree with more: “The only thing I like better than talking about Food is eating.” Amen!
La Jolla dining Reviving CharmNo trip would be complete without a little shopping. Luckily, I have a great husband who enjoys shopping just as much as I do….although sometimes that can become dangerous! We went through a few vintage and antique shops, even visiting those I mentioned in this post. However, I was a little disappointed to learn that my favorite antique shop, Etcetera’s, is now closed. I only brought home one souvenir, which is the straw clutch purse that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. I should have bought the vintage silverware shown below for appetizers. I’m still kicking myself…

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So there you have it…a quick recap in pictures of how we spent a couple of days in La Jolla. In an upcoming post I will be highlighting one of the unique shops in La Jolla that I paid a visit to. I will also be sharing a bit about the remainder of the trip spent in San Diego. I am excited to share a new discovery with you. Stay tuned…

I’m back…

I’m back!!!!. Our trip to La Jolla and San Diego is exactly what the doctor ordered. It’s amazing how a few short days can do wonders for the mind and psyche. Mr. B and I spent a few days at La Estancia Hotel in La Jolla, California (pictured below). Then we moved on to San Diego where we checked into a beautiful historic hotel. We frequented some favorite places, as well as discovered a few new ones. I can’t wait to share more with you in the upcoming days. Meanwhile, I am back at work daydreaming about our next vacation already….I told you wanderlust has got the best of me! By the way….How was your 4th?  I hope it was fabulous…

To rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes in the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.   –John Lubbock



In a previous post I shared a little about the beautiful gardens of the hotel we stayed at in La Jolla, California. If you aren’t familiar with La Jolla, it is a charming community set above the cliffs along the Pacific Ocean. It is an affluent community with wonderful places to shop and dine while taking in breathtaking ocean views. When Mr. B and I visit La Jolla, one of the things we enjoy doing is heading down toward the intersection of Girard Avenue and Pearl Street to visit a few of our favorite shops for antiques and vintage goods. We always manage to find a souvenir (or two!) to bring home, and this last trip was no exception. If you are in La Jolla, stop in at a few of my favorite shops and pick up a few of your own souvenirs. They will be great reminders of the good times you spent in this lovely community.

ETCETERAS – 7503 Girard Ave. La Jolla CA, 92037

ETCETERAS is by far is my favorite shop because I always manage to buy something here. However, I was a little surprised how cleared out they were on this last trip. I hope they aren’t going out of business!  However, the lack of inventory compared to how the shop is usually stocked definitely did not stop us from purchasing a few new items including a tabletop music stand that I will use to display art in my office and a gold venetian mirror. Oh, and a cello. Yes, a cello…..that is actually Mr. B’s purchase!

Have a look around the shop…

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Below: Here is the small venetian mirror we purchased. As you can see I haven’t found a home for it yet..and I haven’t even removed the price tag ! I just knew I had to have it. You always can find room for things you love.

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Girard Avenue Collection – 7505 Girard Ave. La Jolla CA, 92037

The Girard Avenue Collection is located conveniently next door to ETCETERAS. This place is a hit or miss for me but always seems to have a great amount of inventory. On this last trip to the shop there were quite a few things that I could have easily taken home…

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Below: This set of dinnerware is something I really liked. I didn’t buy it but wish I had. I have visions of pairing it with a blue, white and yellow for a beautiful springtime luncheon on the patio. I might just have to go back…hopefully it is still there!

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STUDIO VENETO – 7427 Girard Ave. LA JOLLA CA, 92037

If you are a textile lover that can appreciate the high-end fabrics manufactured by the prestigious Italian company Fortuny, then  Studio Veneto is definitely a must visit. Outside of Italy, I have never seen so much Fortuny! I was fortunate enough to speak with the owner, Linda McCormick, at great length during this last trip. Linda is truly passionate about Fortuny and is an expert when it comes to acquiring and designing with Fortuny textiles. More on this to come in an upcoming post…stay tuned.

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I hope you enjoyed a quick tour of a few of my favorite shops in La Jolla. Was there anything in the pictures that caught your eye?

xoxo, Vanessa.

Photos by Vanessa for Reviving Charm, via iphone


“A Rose”, circa 1936

The world of medicine surrounds me and given the fact that I spent some time at the hospital on Monday, I couldn’t help but think that it wasn’t a coincidence yesterday when I heard about a current art exhibit at the Joseph Bellows Gallery in one of my favorite vacation spots: La Jolla, California.

The Joseph Bellows Gallery in La Jolla, California is hosting an exhibit entitled “Floral Studies” featuring original x-ray photographs by Dr. Dain L. Tasker.  The photographs of flowers were taken in the 1930’s by Dr. Dain L. Tasker (1872-1964) who was the chief radiologist at Wilshire Hospital in Los Angeles. Tasker had no formal training in photography but began exploring his artistic talents through the world of radiology after seeing an x-ray of an amaryllis taken by a physicist he knew.  What resulted were beautiful black and white images with graceful lines of flowers and plant forms that continue to be relevant today. Dr. Tasker’s work successfully marries science and art which resulted in a beautiful collection of botanical photographs.  A collection of Dr. Tasker’s work is currently view at the Joseph Bellows Gallery through February 19, 2016. I sure hope I get an opportunity to view the exhibit before it ends. What an excellent excuse to schedule a trip to La Jolla!

”Flowers are the expression of the love life of plants.”  –Dr. Dain L. Tasker

“Tulip”, circa 1931

“Peruvian Daffodil”, circa 1938

“Philodendron”, circa 1938

“Lotus”, circa 1930’s

“California Holly”, circa 1937

“Fuschia”, circa 1938

“Lily”, circa 1930’s

Floral Studies is on display through February 19, 2016 at:

Joseph Bellows Gallery
7661 Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037
Tel (858) 456-5620

Monday – Friday, 10am-5pm, and Saturday by appointment

A limited edition book featuring Tasker’s work can purchased through Stinehour Editions.