Wandering Around Chautauqua & Tony Gwynn

Sunday was a picture perfect day around here. It was sunny with temperatures hovering near 80 degrees. Ideal weather for my one day off. As expected, I did some wandering around Chautauqua. I have lots of photos which I’ll share with you over the next couple of days. On the docket today: more of the cottages of Chautauqua.


This yellow house is charming with two large porches. But what I really loved is the green and white gingerbread detail near the roof.


Small, for sale, and…note tree growing through the awning.


This house faces the lake. Oh my goodness. Look at all the detail. Victorian at its best.


The houses that face the lake are rather palatial. Apparently most of them are still inhabited by single families and haven’t been divided into separate apartments. Wouldn’t you like to sit on that porch?


Love this house and the simplicity of its design. The hanging ferns are perfect.


As far as I can tell, this might be the funkiest house here. It looks neglected and in need of repair. I had a brief fantasy that someone would admire my work on A Raisin in the Sun so much that he/she would feel compelled to seek me out and reward me with this house. A little rehab would be involved, but if the house was free….

A girl can dream.

As I was walking, I noticed this cat walking toward me.


I pulled out the camera, thinking that surely this fellow would run off when he saw me.


Nope. He calmly walked right up to me and proceeded to lay on his back. Apparently, he was in need of some belly scratching.


When he had his fill of affection, he got up and walked off.

Of course, I forgot about my encounter and my allergies flared up. Whoops!



Today will be a twelve hour day. Lots to do before we go into tech and dress rehearsals next week.

Tony Gwynn died yesterday. Don broke it to me over the phone. Tony Gwynn was the reason I grew to love baseball. When we were living in San Diego, we started to watch the Padres games on television. Before that time, I had never had any interest in our national pastime. Tony Gwynn changed all that. Here was an amazing athlete and, even more important, an amazing man. He was a role model for everyone in and out of the game. He worked hard, had time for everyone, helped others and stayed humble. He turned down offers for more lucrative contracts in order to stay with the Padres his entire career. He lived life with integrity and joy. He simply loved the game of baseball.

I became a big, big fan – such a big fan that when I couldn’t see his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, my father-in-law recorded it for me and sent it to me all the way from San Diego.

We lost him way too soon. He was only 54.

Thank you, Tony Gwynn, for making baseball exciting for me. For showing me how to play the game with class and humility. For being an incredible role model in these days of inflated salaries and egos and multi-million dollar deals. For being the reason I love baseball.

Happy Tuesday.



  1. says

    So glad you have a chance to enjoy the scenery of Chautauqua! I was so excited about telling you about the miniature shop there, I didn’t realize you were already aware of it. I loved your story the other day of the young person trying to stuff an older model phone in her bag. I may just use it as an illustration of the importance of history some time :)

    • Claudia says

      Feel free, Dawn! Hopefully, I’m going to visit the miniature shop next Monday.

  2. Dottie in Missouri says

    Love the house with the ferns and the little brown house at the end! Tony Gywnn is gone way too soon! It is hard to find any Good Guys in pro sports these days. Enjoy your week and your paycheck!

  3. Vera says

    Love those cottages (well, some are a tad larger than a cottage)! Great photos Claudia. Thanks for sharing. Looks like a beautiful place to spend some time.

  4. says

    I love beautiful Victorian houses with expansive porches. Thanks for the tour! How cute that the kitty came right up to you for some love and attention – but sorry about your allergies. I’ve never heard of Tony Gwynn, but I’m not a baseball fan. How sad that he passed away at such a young age.

    • Claudia says

      Tony Gwynn is one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball, Melanie. He got into the Hall of Fame on the first vote, which happens very rarely. He was a rare man.

    • Claudia says

      It was pretty humid yesterday, Leslie Anne. And today. But I think it will break soon.

  5. says

    We fell in love with Chataqua in 2010 when our sons college golf team was in the Junior College Nationall Golf tournament there… The team stayed in one of the “cottages” and it was heavenly…. Parents stayed down a ways at a motel, but still enjoyed all the scenery down around the lake…. I was mesmerized…. It was the first week of June… All was so lush… I fell in love with that place and want to return some day….. Great photos Claudia!!

  6. says

    All great homes, and I always think of victorian homes when I see hanging ferns. Get some rest after your long day :)

  7. Nancy Blue Moon says

    I so love that the Victorians decorated there homes with gingerbread..some so elaborate that it just amazes me..The tree through the awning is a bit comical isn’t it..You are so sweet to give kitty some tummy rubs..even though you suffered for it later..I have a feeling you would love having a cat if it wasn’t for your allergies..I was sad to hear about Tony Gywnn too..I am not much of a sports fan but I had read wonderful things about this good good man..way too young to be leaving..Have a good rest tonight after your long work day..

  8. Donnamae says

    I love that house with the ferns…paint it in the colors of the previous home…the yellow one…and I’d be a very happy camper indeed! At least a 12 hour day should go quickly I would think! 😉

  9. Janet in Rochester says

    What a great tribute to Tony Gwynn, Claudia. He must be loving it! You’re so right about the “good guys” – or lack of really – in baseball today. I’ve been a fan since birth [according to my dad] and now often feel like the salaries, the endorsements, the technology and the drugs etc have basically wrecked what was once a pretty great thing. I have to remember there were – and are – guys like Tony out there. And that not ALL the news is bad news… Enjoy another beautiful week in Chautauqua!

  10. says

    Claudia, I’ve been so enjoying your postings about Chatauqua. Its always been a favorite memory for me. Years ago, my husband and I stopped by the lake and fell in love with the area. I found out that I was expecting our 1st child together, and we celebrated by renting a sailboat for the day. Such a charming area. We stayed for a couple more days and promised ourselves to go back, but we never did. We found a similar community, Lakeside, along Lake Erie (near Marblehead, OH) that we started visiting, staying at a B&B there. Many of the same kinds of cottages and homes. Easygoing, regenerative. I miss it so much,…. thanks again, and enjoy your time there.

    • Claudia says

      I’ve been to Lakeside, Karen. And I have a friend who has a cottage there. It’s absolutely charming (not far from my home town of Dearborn, MI)

  11. Mandy says

    Yes he was an amazing athlete and role model for young athletes. We need more athletes like him. So sorry to hear of his passing.

  12. Marsha Lash says

    Loved your posts the last few days about the town of Chautauqua. I could see living here in a heartbeat. So peaceful and so beautiful. Enjoy your stay and safe travels when the time comes to go home to Don and Scout!

  13. says

    I’m enjoying your photos Claudia! I’m trying to catch up on blogs and hope to post soon. This move has really worn me down. Mom is almost ready to stay at her new apt and the rest of her things will get here next week. Then the unpacking begins. :)

  14. JudyT says

    I’ve been catching up on your posts this morning. That was a nice tribute to Tony Gwynn. We lived for many years in the same community as his family did. When my daughter and her friends were little, every day after a home game the bikes would come out and the kids would ride to the local 7-11 and wait for him to come by and sign autographs on his way home. Years later, he became my grandson’s all-time sports favorite at the age of 2 — his Dad introduced him to the Padres at a very early age. We had moved from that town but were visiting one day and stayed very late. On our way out of town we stopped to get gas only to find Tony at the other side of our pump, no other customers in sight. My grandson had fallen asleep, he was 11 at this time. We told him Tony was there and he was out of that car in two seconds. We had quite a long conversation with him, then he started looking through his car so we figured the conversation was over. After searching all through his car and the back of it, he came over and said, “Can you believe I am coming home from a game (he was coaching SDSU at this time) and have no balls in my car to sign for him? I always have balls in my car and tonight there isn’t one in there.” He was very sincere and you could tell he was so disappointed. We talked for a few more minutes, took some pictures, and continued our journey home. I don’t think any of us slept that night with excitement! He was not only a great ball player but an incredible humanitarian and always, always took time for his fans, especially the young ones. What a loss for his family, baseball and the country,.

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