A Luncheon & A Tortoise

Thursday, April 3, 2014

This past Tuesday I went to a fantastic luncheon held by the Officers' Wives Club here at Camp Pendleton. We had a wonderful lunch over at the San Diego Botanical Gardens in Encinitas. I have never been there, and honestly didn't even know it existed until the other day, but I know I can't wait to go back! This is definitely somewhere I want to take the stud (the horticulture major, y'know, and all) as well as our parents when they come back to visit. There is this amazing deal going on with a military pass at a bargain price, so we may have to take advantage of that!

Anyway, the luncheon was fantastic! We each paid $15 for this delicious meal, that was all boxed up and presented in a way that I so wish I could do.. I mean, look at those table settings! I saw the email and signed up to be a sub, since they had an extra spot open, and I am so glad I did. It was absolutely delicious! And honestly, this is the only OWC event that I've been able to go to since kick-off last fall, so I was more than ecstatic to be given the opportunity. Being at the schools during the week really limits what kind of events and activities you can partake in, and since this week is spring break for all the local districts, I was finally able to make it! So without further adieu, feast your eyes on this beautiful set-up - the ladies in charge did a fantastic job!

This little building is where the luncheon was held and set up. The club rented the private room and it was tucked away in the corner near the front entrance, as well as all of the behind-the-scenes areas that you generally find in parks.

Wide open field, with turf of course since this area gets so much foot traffic. This is originally where the luncheon was to be held, but since the forecast was cloudy with a chance of rain, it was safer to set it all up inside.

The cutest little picnic containers! Everything was absolutely fabulous, and oh so delicious!
The menu:
Lime Fizz Drink
Fruit with French Cream
Rosemary Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Garbanzo, Feta & Olive Salad
Achi's Acre Kale Hero Salas
Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies
Isn't that the cutest?! I almost didn't want to touch it because I just loved the packaging so much. This summer I know we'll have picnics over at the park at south o, so I will have to keep this idea in mind - maybe one day make a gourmet picnic similar to this to take out there!

So after we mingled, went over the menu and recipes, and ate our fill, one of the co-owners of Archi's Acres spoke to us about their programs. Now I love this part. They are this small-scale sustainable organic farm located in the area who have this incredible program - Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training, or VSAT. It's a six-week full-impact training course which helps to transition military into the private sector, so it's perfect  for those who want to work in some area in agriculture. You take the courses and learn the ins and outs, then take the information you learned to start-up your business literally anywhere in the county. They have this support network and contacts everywhere, so you will also be getting any input needed with a one-year follow-up set-up. The program helps with business planning and really anything you can think of, and sounds absolutely fantastic. As soon as I heard about this I thought about the stud, since I know we have plans to do something similar whenever the time comes in which he gets out and transitions to being a business owner. So we'll see what happens... But what a great opportunity!
After the lunch and presentation, we made it over for a private tour to see the Galapagos tortoise on campus! So incredible! This was behind the scenes, so viewing this beauty isn't available to the public, which was so neat. Not that often you can see an endangered species being specially cared for. He had this big space all to himself, and was chilling in his little pond for the most part. Then he realized he had visitors..

So he showed off and ate some cactus. Seriously, he just chomped right through it like it was no big deal! Here he is being fed.

Then we were able to get up close!!!
You can see his size compared to everyone's legs in the pictures!

So we all got our individual pictures with him!
We were told that he really likes bright colors, so he was drawn to my hot pink dress, especially when I got right up there for a picture. Pretty fun! Also, thanks mom for the dress!

After all that, the luncheon was over, so we were able to browse the gardens on our own then leave whenever we wanted. So I walked around for a little and took some more pictures to show the stud, so that we can remember to come back soon! It was beautiful!

Also, this little gazebo is in an area that holds a lot of weddings. Such beautiful grounds!
So that was my Tuesday! It was absolutely fantastic, and I know for sure we will be going back a few times during our time here on the west coast. I am so glad I made it to this luncheon! I seriously want to go back  and have a picnic soon, Such a nice little hideaway. Has anyone else ever been to the botanical gardens?


  1. Gorgeous! I loooooove botanical gardens. I don't know if you've ever been to the one in Galveston, but that one is my favorite!

  2. Oooh, I wanna go! I love flowers :) Plus, that's a perfect place for me to get ideas on what flowers I should plant in our front yard and backyard!


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