By ◆ Juppie on Saturday, April 18, 2009 @ 2:04 PM


Usually you probably hear the term "Live, laugh, love" instead of "Fight, love, live." Filoli Website

But that was the phrase popular at this place I visited recently, called Filoli. It's a California estate built in...the 1900's, I think...by a family, the Bourns. They were trying to get away from San Francisco (where they had previously lived) because a great earthquake and fire had ravaged much of the city, so those people with enough $$$ started building homes in the countryside. It took from 1915-1917 to build the house, which was modeled to look like an estate in Ireland, and also like the architecture of England, both of which Mr. Bourn (at least, I think it was him) was inspired by.

Anyhow, back to the phrase. The name Filoli was very puzzling to the Bourns' friends, since they didn't know what it meant. They thought it was an Italian name. (Yeah, right. The Bourns weren't from Italy.) Actually, he just took the first two letters of each part of his motto, which happened to be "Fight for a just cause, love your fellow man, live a good life." If you ask me, that wasn't very creative, but oh well. At least he didn't just call it Bourn. (Notice a lot of people name their companies and other things after themselves...Like HP, otherwise known as Hewlett-Packard.)

The main reason my family went to Filoli was because of the gardens. They were really something. There were many, many gardens, and so if you come at different times of year (By the way, Filoli is open from mid-February to October) you might be able to see different flowers. When we went, it was tulip season, which delighted me to no end. (I have this strange fascination with tulips...) If you hurry you might be able to get there before all the tulips start to die. Some of them already lost their petals, like the ones at my house (it's really quite sad, but my dad still thinks they look pretty, even dead). They come in various colors like white, light pink, dark pinkish/red, dark purple, light purple, and even yellow with red parts. Too bad the roses haven't bloomed yet. The ones at my house have started to. I suppose that Filoli just follows a different seasonal pattern from my neighborhood.

Keep in mind that Filoli does charge admission. I was unhappy to hear that since I always want to get in free, but of course they need to make money to keep the place running. (My mom says that a museum in Las Vegas closed down since they had no budget. I wonder what kind of stuff they had - slot machines? Elvis Presley portraits?)

Still, it's a nice place. The house where the Bourns (and later the Roths, who moved in later) used to live has 43 rooms and 17 chimneys, according to one of those retired people tour guides (no offense to them, but they look rather...old, since they have white hair and all). I don't know why you would need so many chimneys. There must be a lot of fireplaces in the house or something. I only have one fireplace and we don't even use it. The house has a bunch of old-looking furniture and portraits. It looks kind of like the Hearst Castle, or a more modern looking version of those European palaces. Outside there's a small rectangular pond, and even a swimming pool. (Wow, I guess people liked swimming pools even back then. It was pretty big and clean, but I hear sometimes people fall into the pool, particularly little kids who just run around in circles. Personally I like the pools at Hearst Castle better since they have interesting designs.)

I wouldn't really want to live there, though. Instead, I'd rather live at this house I just saw today. It was an open house (you know, for sale so you can look inside if you're a buyer). It looked like an adobe house, sort of. It was only one story but there were many rooms. The furniture was very beautiful and the master bedroom had a little room connected to it where you can look outside (great view, the Stevens Creek is right there, and maybe you could spy on your neighbors :o). If you wanted you could set up your computer in that room so you would kind of feel like your were outside even though you were inside. Seeing as I am an indoor person, but like to have a view, that would be cool for me.

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