July 2017 Photo Round-Up

July started for us in Iowa. Besides seeing the covered bridges in Madison County, we took in our favorite West End Architectural Salvage in Des Moines.

Winterset, Iowa has a Little Free Library with a sign next to it showing you where to go.

Claremont’s Fourth of July carried on with familiar traditions.

Claremont and Iowa had lots of puffy clouds with some humidity thrown in.

The Claremont Library has expanded hours – hooray!

Claremont Library

We introduced friends to the Kogi BBQ truck in Diamond Bar.


And in the end…

All you need is love



Elvira’s in the Old School House

Claremont Old School HouseA new Mexican restaurant in Claremont is always worth a try. The original Elvira’s (pronounced El-vee-ra, according to the Courier article) in Upland sits outside our regular field of vision, but we had been once and really enjoyed it. Now the new location has opened in the Old School House, Claremont’s first high school, on the corner of Indian Hill and Foothill Blvds.

The official front door is on the west side facing Trader Joe’s, but one can also enter the back door near Indian Hill and walk through the restaurant to request a seat.


Elvira's Claremont

The interior is in the former high school library, and there are lovely high ceilings in this room. The room next door near the bar is darker and louder. So next time I will try to sit in this room with the original restored art.

I hope that someday Elvira’s will have outdoor seating, even though there are many tables inside.

I can vouch for the spinach enchiladas – they had lots of flavor!

Padua Hills Theater

Padua Hills Theater 5One of the joys of being a musician is playing wedding gigs and checking out all the different venues for ceremonies. This weekend found us playing at Padua Hills Theater, in the foothills above Claremont. I’ve been a guest at a winter wedding here, and I can now say that a summer wedding is equally lovely here. The forecast predicted temps near 100, but the clouds came over, the breeze came up, and it ended up being quite comfortable.



Padua Hills Theater 4

Padua Hills Theater 2

Claremont City Reptile

IMG_5057California has quite a few state symbols, from the State Mineral (Gold) to the State Motto (Eureka!) and many things in between. Claremont has a City Flower (the Sticky Monkey Flower), but I’m not sure there are any other official symbols. Claremontography will put forth occasional suggestions for consideration.

The California State Reptile is the Desert Tortoise, but since there are very few living in Claremont, the reptile that suggests itself for our fair city could be the Western Fence Lizard. At least, I presume that’s what I see any time I walk through the streets.

The Bridges of Madison County

Roseman BridgeTwo weekends ago we took a family trip to Iowa for a memorial service. Because the daughters and husbands came along, we extended the weekend and in our extra day, we drove the 45 minutes from Des Moines to Winterset, Iowa. Winterset, the county seat of Madison County, is famous for being the birthplace of John Wayne and a collection of covered bridges.

In the days of film cameras, we had toured some of the bridges, but thought it might be time to have another look-see.

These bridges were made famous by a book called The Bridges of Madison County back in the 1990s. I had read the book (and later saw the movie), so we made sure our daughter took a photo of us kissing on the Roseman Bridge. We then reenacted this scene, and here are the earlier and later photos. If you are paying attention, you can see that these photos were on opposite ends of the bridge.

This time around we visited three of the bridges – the one in the city park (the Cutler-Donahoe), the Roseman and the Holliwell. The Cedar Bridge was recently burned down, so we didn’t check that one out.

Each bridge is filled with graffiti, most of it with hearts and sentimental offerings.

The weather, being July in Iowa, was pretty hot, so we saw a few people playing in the rivers.