Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Day in Newport Beach and Irvine California

Last week my friends Mitra, Marion and I spent a lovely day in nearby Newport Beach and Irvine. It was Mitra's idea to plan an adventure for us which started off bright and early. She started our day with a visit to Rogers Gardens in Newport Beach.

These lovely hydrangeas greeted us at the entrance. I think they seem to say "Happy Spring!"

So many beautiful blossoming flowers everywhere.

If you have not been to Rogers gardens you should visit this wonderful place. They have a great gift store as well with lots of seasonal holiday displays and gift items.

Mitra then drove us to the beautiful shopping area five minutes from the gardens. This is Newport Beach shopping at its best. We have arrived at "Fashion Island".

Mid-week in the morning is a quiet and peaceful time here. Next on our agenda is a cappucino!

Here I am with my friends Mitra in the center and Marion on the right. We take italian language lessons together and that is how our common love of Italy brought us together.

Lots of lovely stores and many places to sit and take in the beautifully landscaped scene.

Mmmmm a welcome "cappucino break" and some shared goodies. What a lovely way to spend a Spring morning with friends.

After a leisure couple of hours it is time to head to our next destination in the nearby city of Irvine. Off we go...

Mitra has taken us to a wonderful market called, "Wholesome Choice". This is a place full of the freshest produce at very reasonable prices as well as a huge international food area where one has a choice of freshly prepared hot and cold items. You can buy your lunch here and eat inside or outdoors and you can also take food"to go". What a treat to experience so many ethnic foods.

There is also a bakery which specializes in wonderful middle eastern breads.

This one is a special Persian flatbread.

Wonderful choices abound for produce, international specialty food items and spices.

Now a feast for our eyes and tummys as we stroll the food court with so many choices for lunch. There is Indian, Thai, Mexican, Chinese, and middle eastern food as well as deli choices for sandwiches, delicious international salads, cheeses, and a whole bakery of freshly made desserts. Seating available both indoors and out to enjoy your lunch.

We cannot resist the persian food and all choose variations of rice with lamb & chicken

kabobs with a side of wonderful thick creamy yoghurt with scallions. This will take a few minutes as the kabobs are grilled to order. Everything is so fresh and delicious.

After a nice leisure lunch Mitra suggests we all have a nice cup of tea with an assortment of persian desserts. It was such a great idea. Sorry I forgot to take pictures but they were lovely and scrumptious.

As it is the beginning of the Persian new year Mitra has told us so many things about her cultures traditions. An important item to bring home are hyacinths so we make time for Mitra to pick a fragrant plant to take home. Marion also makes a stop at the bakery section to buy some of that long flat Persian bread. Mmmm what a nice way to end the most interesting and fun Spring adventure.

Thank you lovely Mitra for such a beautifully planned day! It was great!

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