A Regency Day at the Seaside

Sunday, July 11, 1999

The day began with olalaberry picking at Coastways Ranch near Ana Nuevo State Park on Hwy 1 on the California coast. Olalaberries are similar to blackberries in appearance. They are good to eat fresh but, they are wonderful for baking pies, tarts, and compotes. They
freeze well ,thus allowing for delicious desserts year round.

After gathering an abundance of berries, our group drove a few miles north, up the coast to Pescadero State Park. This is a beautiful part of the coastline. Agricultural fields and rolling hills line the east side of the highway. On the west, the coast stretches out with beaches, sea birds, surf, and sky.

We were a very picturesque group as we explored the sand dunes and tide pools. Miss Anita Klein and her mother set off for a walk. Pescadero State Park has one feature that is most attractive: a slated boardwalk. It was ideal for exploring and walking to the cliffs to see a view. 

Folding wooden tables and chairs were set out along with bursting picnic baskets. The al fresco feast included salad, cold chicken, tomatoes, biscuits, cheeses, wine, champagne, and many, many desserts.

Much to our surprise, we found Regency attire well suited to the vagaries of California weather. In the warmth of mid-day, our billowing cotton skirts were airy and cool. Gentlemen removed their coats, finding shirts and waistcoats are exactly right for a summer afternoon at the seaside. Straw bonnets and Italian straw hats (on the gentlemen) kept all our faces from becoming excessively brown. 

Perched prettily among the sand dunes and grasses, Miss Yvette Keller is the perfect Regency lady. One cannot imagine such a well-turned-out young woman jumping off a cob! As the day waned and temperatures cooled, the ladies wrapped warm wool shawls around themselves and were quite comfortable. 

A member of our party summed up the feelings shared by the entire company: "It was a wonderful day, full of friends and laughter. In recreating the atmosphere of a time when ladies and gentlemen enjoyed gentle adventures and an appreciation of the natural environment, we were able to take a moment out of our hectic lives to look, listen and breathe."

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