I got an invitation from my friend, Robt, to join a group of folks up to tour the home of the Beatons. At first, I wasn’t sure. I would need to be there at 3 pm on a Friday so work was an obstacle. But then, I looked at the links he’d sent me about the house, and I decided to do it. I asked my boss for the afternoon off. I checked out where it was. Turns out it would be an adventure! The house is located past Jamul which is already out there. But I was game. I left work at 1 pm, stopped for some snacks to take, dropped some stuff off at home, and hit the road.
I hadn’t been out that way much. For a time, my ex’s band played at an Irish out there called Hooley’s. That was as far as I had been. This location was about 30 minutes past that. And up in to the ‘mountains’ (in ‘ ‘ because they’re not really mountains like in Utah). At several points I was on dirt roads and wondering what the hell I’d agreed to!
But then I arrived, and it was beautiful!
I was the first one there which was slightly awkward, but I made conversation with the owners, Jan & Sherry Beaton, like a big girl until others arrived. First a couple, Kristy & Diego, then shortly after my friend, Robt, his partner, Bob, and their friend, Dave. Introductions were made all around and wine was poured, and then most of us headed out with Jan for the tour.
The house was designed by James Hubbell, a friend of Jan & Sherry’s, and it is incredible. Here are some shots from inside the house. The fireplace was started by Hubbell and finished by Jan & Sherry. There are several stained glass pieces in the house, also designed by Hubbell, but the mosaics in the floor are Jan & Sherry’s design.
Then we headed outside, and the work that Jan & Sherry pour into this house is remarkable. So much detail, such vision. They design what they want, then a local man does the work. We met him, his name is Timoteo, and he was building up a wall. I fear these pictures do not do the place justice. Not to mention that it was near sunset, and the light was just gorgeous. Here are some shots of the mosaic work around the property.
We also were taken into Sherry’s studio, a separate building from the house. She’s painter, and I liked a lot of her work. Then Jan took some of us around the back of the property on another stone path back to the house. There’s also a separate building that would be a perfect place for them to offer to a writer as a retreat (although no kitchen), but man, it was a great space (no pictures of it, bad light). But here’s a couple more from before we went inside.
After the tour, we went in to enjoy our wine and snacks and stories from our hosts who are extremely well-traveled. Jan told a story of a piece he picked up on their trip to Jerusalem last year. It’s a thing called a situla that is estimated to be about 3,000 years old. But, it was so interesting, he didn’t have it under glass or not let us touch it. He handed it around for us to get a good look at it. It was really cool.
Then, as a finale, Jan & Sherry had been telling us about these foxes that would come close to their door, and sure enough, after Jan threw some dry cat food out for them, here came the foxes! Here’s a shot of one on the steps outside. He kind of blends in, but he’s there. Jan kept calling him Zorro.
Then it was time to head home which was a bit hard since it was so dark, and it was twisty getting up to the house. I was following Robt who took a wrong turn somewhere, and I had to back up about 20 feet. Thank goodness for that back-up camera or I would have been doomed! Anyway, we made it out the second time and made our way back to civilization. Here are some more shots of me (selfies!) and one of me & Robt.
I’m so glad I said yes to this invitation! What a neat afternoon 🙂