Two miles south of Crystal Springs Resevoir sits a stately manse that hearkens back to the early 20th century?Filoli. Neither a Latin word nor a mystic incantation to reveal the true form of the home's owner, the name of this estate has a simpler origin in the credo of the original inhabitant, William Bowers Bourn: "Fight for a just cause; love your fellow man; live a good life."
Bourn passed away in 1936, but on the 654-acre estate he once called home, the fruits of his life continue to blossom?literally. Filoli is perhaps best known for its immaculately maintained garden, a gentlemen's orchard that contains more than 650 different types of apples, an olive orchard, and a magnificent magnolia tree. And then there's the Nature Preserve, where Gaia's garden of wildflowers blossoms, and a menagerie of wild animals runs free.
But the jewel in the crown that is Filoli is surely the house, a sprawling country estate that manages the gap between classic and contemporary by melding familiar styles into something new. Tuscan order-style columns greet visitors at the portico, reflecting the rustic nature of the home's surroundings. The grand ballroom pays a nod to the Palace at Versailles with its Herculean mantle and massive crystal chandeliers. French notes continue into the dining room in Louis XIV style sconces, but the 1917 Italian silk curtains scream art moderne elegance. As visitors explore these halls, they will encounter centuries-old English and Irish antiques, richly textured paintings from the Dutch masters.
420 pounds of butter. 900 eggplants. 210 gallons of honey. This isn’t a recipe for a record-breaking dish, but rather, a portion of the ingredients that go into making this festival delicious. A crew of chefs and bakers spend the three-day event whipping these products and more into Greek dishes and pastries, employing the same recipes and culinary techniques that their forefathers used. This celebration of cultural history and traditions is the foundation on which the Belmont Greek Festival is built.
Hellenic enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds descend upon the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross to enjoy food and festivities. A calendar of engaging events includes cooking demonstrations, performances by folk-dancing groups, and tours of the church’s Byzantine-style interior. The outdoor amphitheater hosts live plays, evoking the feel of an ancient theatre thanks to its open-air design and centaur ushers. Kids can take to the Fun Zone for games, rides, and bouncy castles, and shoppers visit the agora flea market to find Mediterranean books, artwork, jewelry, and clothing. The Church of the Holy Cross spreads cheer after the weekend is done by donating part of the festival’s proceeds to local charities, which in the past have included the Children’s Advocacy Council and Samaritan House.
Since 1980, Chef Peking Restaurant has been a longtime favorite of the Peninsula. Eddie and Shirley Shyy have been running the restaurant for close to 25 years and have now turned over the business to their son Arthur, who will continue the tradition of a family style restaurant, with friendly service and tasty food.
Underneath the stately stained-glass dome of the 1910 Old County Courthouse, tourists, locals, and history buffs stuff their brains with knowledge from interactive kiosks and thousands of books and primary sources about San Mateo County. Hands-on school programs and a wealth of exhibits educate visitors on particular aspects of the region's heritage, including the natural resources that enrich the shores and forests, and the waves of pioneers who used local raw materials to support the growth of not only San Mateo County, but San Francisco as well. The museum?s curators and archivists pride themselves on their professionalism, nabbing a coveted accreditation by the American Association of Museums, an honor claimed by only a small percentage of the nation?s museums and none of the nation?s dry cleaners.
Sometimes all a kid wants is to fly through the air on their birthday. So Kidzz Star Jumpers helps parents make their children's dreams come true with colorful bounce house rentals. Red, yellow, and blue inflatables are adorned with Spiderman, Mickey Mouse, and other iconic characters, and feature two mesh windows in the front to help parents keep an eye on their youngsters while they play. And the party company rents out more than just bounce houses. Their concession machines, for example, pop popcorn, churn out sno cones, and whip up cotton candy. Meanwhile, their dunk tanks offer a refreshing respite from summer barbecues or tiki parties with too many torches.
Gone are the days when taking pictures in a photo booth meant contorting your body into a small space or fighting over who gets to keep the best picture in the set. With varying setups, Exposure Entertainment's booths can fit into a small area or expand to hold up to 15 people. A booth attendant is sent along with each rental and shows guests how to snap the best pictures and share them with ease. Whether a booth is set up at a wedding, party, or corporate event, guests get to print out vivid 4?x6? images of their good times and immediately share their pictures on social-media websites at a special kiosk.