Wow! My next to last post was also from Santa Monica but it was Thanksgiving. I guess I was just too busy all winter planning my next summer trip which began last Tuesday when I flew from DC to LAX. Yes, it's true, I am not driving across this summer and I do miss my car, my cooler, my camping equipment and being able to carry two ukuleles and all the books I desire.
My itinerary is for 7 weeks in California (although I may sneak up to Eugene, OR for a few days) and the upside of not driving is that I can stay for longer periods of time in one spot. The first stop was Santa Monica, of course, to see my daughter. I used Air B&B to rent a room in a woman's apartment in Venice and that worked out really well. I could walk to the beach, there were great coffee shops and a very snazzy Whole Foods nearby(with a bar in the middle of it) plus, I could easily catch an express bus over to Santa Monica. I'm sorry that I did not take pictures of all of the RV's that are parked in the neighborhoods of Venice or of the colorful residents carrying their surfboards around. It is definitely a scene and I was so out of place with no tattoos. Santa Monica is a bit more refined and I did take a shot of the tree-lined street near Maggie's apartment. Rows of trees like this are all over SoCal and I find them fascinating.
My first outing had been planned for months - the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmer's Market - and I walked there from Venice along the beach. Because it was an overcast day, the beach was relatively empty but there were a lot of people using the bike path which goes a long way in both directions from Venice. Bike rental shops are everywhere.
I am now in Laguna Niguel at my nephew's home. It has become traditional for me to meet my sister here but she became ill just before I flew out and just arrived home from the hospital yesterday. We are all missing her very much. Simone and Dylan are her grandchildren and they are entertaining me wonderfully. We swim in their pool every day and sometimes go to the ocean, too. Today we are going to see the new Pixar movie - Brave. We also walk their corgie - Sammy - down to a small lake below their house. It is suburban Orange County in all of its glory and conservativeness. You should read the local paper! But, not to worry - Obama is way ahead out here in the West. Bill keeps me informed as to the latest Mitt goofiness. Is there really a movie coming out - Mutt Romney, the Dog?
Here are some links: Good Food, KCRW http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/gf/
Ian Whitcomb's 1965 hit You Really Turn Me On
Ian Whitcomb's podcasts http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ian-whitcomb/id416686924
Farewell for now.