In early May I was invited to a luncheon & garden tour at home in the nearby rolling foothills, an opportunity I can’t wait to share with you today. Even though the location was only a short drive from our lake cottage, the beautiful home in the hills felt like an entire world away. The long drive off the main road to the gated community starts off as flat fields and grazing land, then winds through vineyards and gentle rolling hills.
I said it looked like a world away, at one point, one of the ladies in the car said, “It looks like Tuscany!” She should know since she travels each year to Italy. I met these two friends, by chance, in an Italian class a few years ago. They, Zorra & the Sicilian, not their real names – but very descriptive – are both, unlike me, from Italian families, so I have learned a lot about Italian Living from them, mostly over conversations that include a lot of food and a lot of vino rosso.
We arrived in the early afternoon, and were treated to appetizers & wine (vino rosso) by the homeowner, Rani, who is a friend of Zorra. The Sicilian and I enjoyed getting to know Rani better through listening to her story of what originally brought her family from Fiji to the USA. Really interesting! We then went outside to begin our walk around the grounds.
Let’s get walking…
The landscape was kept beautifully natural, with grassy hills and rambling paths that invite exploration…
a nearby cascading waterfall
the path gently undulated, so we never quite knew what was behind next bend…
fields of wild flowers and lavender,
Sierra vistas and neighbors below.
each direction, something new to see.
More rock-lined dirt paths. Around another turn, we find ourselves below the backside of the house.
A soon-be-planted garden of summer vegetables and more views…
and a westward view of farmlands below.
Walking towards the house, we pass berries and fruit trees…
and boy toys,
gardens of succulents and roses,
to the patio overlooking the pool area.
White drapes catch a gentle breeze, creating a relaxed spa atmosphere.
The house has a wall of windows that look out over the pool area and distant views. Cleverly, the interior of the house is kept monochromatic with minimal accents and pictures on the walls, allowing the panoramic view outside, to come inside, to color the room. That means, the rooms’ decor will change according to Nature’s new seasonal color palette.
We follow a new path from the patio that leads to the side and front yard. We all agreed this manicured grass area would make the perfect setting for a wedding ceremony “with-a-view.”
After our 3-year drought, recent heavy rainfall brought an abundance of early Spring flowers…
On the up-hill side of the driveway, another waterfall is nestled in the rocks surrounded by a variety of plants, many of them, also, blooming.
A long steep walk on the driveway, takes us to the road we arrived on. The driveway is bordered on both sides with rose trees about 2-weeks from bursting into color. At the top, the drive entrance is landscaped with big boulders and plants. From the high-point of the road, we could look down upon Rani’s house and have spectacular views to the east and west.
Whew, the walk was steep, at the end we headed inside for that delicious lunch and to relax over conversation before heading home. What a lovely day spent with new & old friends!
Do you explore areas near your home?
Special thanks to Rani for sharing her beautiful home with us. You’re tasty lunch and fascinating conversation would make a great Post on its own. And thank you to Zorra, for including la vostra amica.
Thanks for Meeting Me Lakeside!