Scones and Scarecrow

I had yesterday all to myself!

Thank you, husband.  🙂

I left at 8:00 a.m. and didn’t return until almost 10:30 p.m.

It was a long, but lovely day!

First, I drove to San Juan Capistrano to meet a friend for brunch at The Tea House.

If you’re a fan of traditional English style tea service, you simply have to go.

The food is fabulous and the atmosphere (an old creeky house) is charming.

It’s easy to get to and it also has its own parking lot, a huge plus in such a bustling tourist town.  If there are more than two of you on a weekend, I recommend making reservations.

It was a little bit cool, but we sat outside and were warmed by pots of hot tea, an overhead heater and the rising sun.  It was perfect.

I ordered a crumpet and enjoyed it immensely, but I’ve been to The Crumpet Shop in Seattle, so my expectations were extremely high.  This crumpet was not quite as good as those, but the rich homemade jam and fresh churned butter more than made up the difference.

And the scones!  Oh, the scones!  My friend ordered one with currants.  It was huge, fluffy and shaped like a heart.  Delightful.

It came with cream, of course, and some of the same homemade jam.  I am not a scone person, but I definitely had scone envy in that moment.

My friend was kind enough to share a big chunk with all the trimmings.  Yum!  I will order that next time.  🙂

For my entree, I went with the veggie frittata.  I was skeptical because I’m not a huge fan of eggs, but the waiter talked me into it and I’m so glad he did.  It was really good.  It came with potatoes, fruit and a small bowl of sweet, spicy salsa.  Delicious.

After we ate, I switched to iced tea and we stayed to talk a while.  It was such a pleasant place to sit and chat and the waiter was top notch, filling our drinks and checking with us frequently right until we left.  Although it was getting quite busy, he never made us feel like it was time to give up the table.

Afterward, we walked across the road to a little garden shop.  Though neither of us purchased anything there, I probably will next time.

There were lots of little metal birds and pretty pots and happy plants with funny tags.  There were also hand felted wool purses and tiled mosaic bowls.

Most charming of all, there were cats everywhere.  The biggest, a fluffy black fellow with a huge swishy tail, let me pick him up and snuggle him for a good two minutes.  🙂

Very pleasant morning and it was great to see my friend after almost ten years!

The only low point in my day came when we parted company.  I was disappointed we didn’t have more time together, but we both had other places to be.  She joked about clearing our schedules enough to eat two meals at The Tea House next time we meet.  Sounds like a fine idea!

I went to two thrift stores on my out of town, St. Vincent de Paul and Mission Thrift ‘n Gift.  St. Vincent is a decent sized store with a wide variety of items and reasonable prices.  The Mission Thrift is also large and has a wide variety, but its prices are much less fair.  I really enjoy the Old Barn Antique Mall too, but I didn’t have time for it on this trip.

If you want to make a day of San Juan Capistrano, there are plenty of things to do.  The Mission itself is right in the center of town and within walking distance of historic Los Rios district and The Tea House.  There are also plenty of shops and other restaurants nearby.  My brother and his family enjoyed Sun Dried Tomato Cafe last weekend.

To finish out my day, I met another friend and my family to see The Wizard of Oz at my old high school.  You may remember how proud I am of my niece for her acting talents there.

This production is the antithesis of her last.  That performance put her in a dark dress, on a spare stage, with little more than lighting to hide the evening’s foibles.  My niece was superb, but for the Wizard of Oz, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I knew she would put everything into her role as the Scarecrow, but I didn’t know how, or if, it would work.

The school spent a lot of money for the rights to the music, story, sets and costumes.  It’s a major production, with a huge cast and crew and a lot of special effects.

Just so you won’t think me blinded by my auntie pride, I will tell you that the show isn’t perfect.  There were problems.

Some of the actors did not have microphones and could not speak loudly enough to carry their scenes.  Others had microphones that cut in and out and were distracting.

There were also a few little glitches with the technology and even one instance when a computer error message was projected on the large screen at the back of the stage.

The pacing was also a little slow.  For the eight-year-old boy sitting next to me, it was not easy to sit through the whole thing.

However, all that said, I will tell you that this show is wonderful!

Dorothy can sing!  The Lion has courage!  The Tin Man has heart!  And the Scarecrow?  What a brain!!  What a smart performance!

My niece is amazing.  She simply is the Scarecrow.  She has the physical mannerisms, the voice, the smarts, the wide-eyed wonder, everything.  Always!  She was in character from start to finish (even in the post-show photos :)), no matter who was on stage, no matter who was talking, or singing or dropping things.  She is the Scarecrow, through and through!

My pride in my niece is constant, but last night?  Last night, I got teary watching her up there.  She’s just dazzling to me.  What a way to end my day!

Good job, beautiful niece.  You’re a star!