Monday, August 26, 2013

Crone's Cobblestone Cottage

My husband and I  recently returned from a journey to California to visit family, hoping to squeeze a little time to relax on our own.  I had been hoping to be able to visit the San Diego Botanic Gardens and the gardens at the Getty, but alas some of my mother-in-law's unforeseen medical issues neede attention, so I'll have to postpone those visits fro another trip.  (I'm not so sure my husband was as disappointed to miss the stops...)  In the meantime I settled for enjoying the many varieties of plants thriving in a much milder climate we encountered along our way.

My husband made a reservation for Crone's Cobblestone Cottage in the Mission HIlls neighborhood of San Diego, walking distance to restaurants, coffee shops and shopping and a short drive to Balboa Park, Old Towne, Point Loma and numerous other enticing attractions in San Diego, enticed by the website promising:

"CRONE'S COBBLESTONE COTTAGE is a quiet and comfortable bed and breakfast in San Diego, California. It is both a retreat from the world and an excellent home base for exploring San Diego. Surrounded by flowers, ferns, trees and the vintage neighborhood of Mission Hills (a San Diego treasure) this tastefully appointed hostelry offers gracious hospitality that is refreshing to body and spirit."

"If you should find yourself strolling through Mission Hills (or, if you have exited The Cottage by its front door and turned left at the bottom of the stairs), you'll likely notice the Ponder Post there. It stands out because it doesn't quite belong, or perhaps because it belongs a little bit too well. It doesn't look to be of municipal issue, and it isn't. It's a site specific art piece.
On the Post there is a Ponder...
If you come back another day, the quotes will likely have changed.
Something to lift your spirits or make you smile."

It was all we'd hoped for and more.  Joan is a warm and welcoming hostess who has added many charming touches to her home over the years.  While the lovingly restored Craftsman details were impressive, I was especially taken with all she was able to tuck into her limited gardening space.   While the Ponder Post seems to have been a welcome addition to the neighborhood, I suspect the Little Free Library Box recently added may become even more popular.

Little Free Library, Ltd. began in 2009 as a program of the non-profit, tax-exempt 
organization Wisconsin Partners for SustainAbility, which has incubated several 
nonprofits projects and organizations.  Incorporated in Wisconsin, Little Free Library 
has a board of directors and a clearly defined non-profit mission:

       -  To promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.

           -  To build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.

Joan's Little Free Library box was designed and built by her son to complement the architecture of her lovingly restored 1913 Craftsman bungalow.

Little Free Library boxes invites passerbys to "Take a book.  Leave a book."

To learn more about the Little Free Library program and locate a box in your nearby community:

A lovely swing to sit and enjoy one of the books from the Little Free Library box.   One of these days I'll get around to converting my great aunt's old sewing machine into an end table like this one.

A staghorn fern positioned on this tree has attached itself and grown into a tropical focal point in the garden.

The bust of a young boy in the dappled shade of the garden behind the water feature was given to the gardener by a local homeless man she has befriended in the neighborhood.  She is also the mother of 2 boys, now grown men, as I am.

A stone seat is postioned by a gurgling stream for quiet meditation.

If you're not looking carefully you might miss the fairy house in the tree trunk.

I  loved this little guy and was thrilled to find one for sale for a reasonable price at a garden center later during our trip.

The post to ponder on the day we were reluctantly leaving San Diego, August 18:

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