A Photographer's Journal

Rita Spiegel is an Oceanside-based portrait and pet photographer. Photographs not only to document our lives, but also tell a story. They bring back memories at a glance. Click here to get back to the main website: www.RitaSpiegel.com or Rita@RitaSpiegel.com. I invite you to look through my portfolios and I hope you enjoy my images.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Celebrate at Casa Romantica

I had heard about the wonder views and gardens of Casa Romantica in San Clemente. Built in 1927 by Ole Hanson (one of the founders of San Clemente), this 7-bedroom house is now on the list National Registry of Historic Places.

So today, I ventured up I-5 for a short 20 mile drive.  There is a $5 admission fee, but it was worth it help preserve this part of California's history and to see the such an incredible gardens. Casa Romantica view of the Pacific is one of the most spectacular in Southern California and their garden is a Monarch Butterfly way station, with plants that encourage them to come.  This image of the pier (above) was taken from the garden. The sounds of the waves can be heard from the above and there endless surfers are waiting for endless waves. 

Because the weather has been warm, the Docents told me the Monarch Butterflies are still around till the weather gets cold.  And with the Santa Anas we've been having we could have them around for a few more weeks. 

I have lucky enough to photograph one today.  Especially, since I didn't have my Macro lens or a tripod.  This incredible creature enjoy the plant long enough for me to catch this shoot.

While I was there, a Veteran's Day Luncheon was held.  From World War II to Afghanistan, there were several veterans in attendance and the crowd was very thankful.

The special part of today for me, was meeting an incredible couple, Donald and Jean Cotner.  Don was a flight engineer on B-29 bomber, flying 33 bombing missions over Japan during World War II.  While he was at war, Jean worked in a bomber plant in Tulsa, OK and received a medal home front women. Donald was away while his daughter was born and met her for the first time when she was 2 years old.  To read more about Donald, check out his story on the Orange County Register. 

With Veteran's Day Celebration going on, you would think that "war stories" were the topic of the day. But Donald and Jean enjoyed sharing stories of their first date 63 years ago. They married two years later and last July, they celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary.  Not only are Donald and Jean an inspiration, because their service to the Country, but they have made marriage a celebration ... and they are "beyond" one of the cutest couples I've met.  This was one of my favorite, yet short 5-minute conversation.

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