I did no actual singing or dancing in Los Angeles, which was actually Santa Monica, with a side trip to San Marino to visit the Huntington Gardens and another escape to Venice Beach during the LA Marathon. But I did live a bit of an alternate reality, like the movie! I laughed a LOT, sometimes hysterically, and other times cried, but in a strangely healing way. Ashley is one of very few people who understands that my life, happy as it mostly is, feels weird and surreal to me at certain moments, or that I still need to talk about and share memories of Patt. I often want to reassure him that his girls are doing OK, or share a funny story about something I did or said, just to enjoy him rolling his eyes. :) You don't just erase 33 years of your life, you know? Not that I would ever want to. As usual, I have to use my photos to organize(maybe?) my thoughts.
First of all, I met the beautiful Ziggy who is a loving, but mischievous beast, and can NEVER get enough to eat, at least as far as he is concerned.
He even thinks Ashley's pads are food, or perhaps a toy? We laughed about this, but NOTHING is safe from him, including his cat treats.
Huntington Gardens had some gorgeous plants, but the roses weren't blooming, sadly. However, the Temple of Love was beautiful as was the Desert Garden, the one I expected to like the least. And the drive there through Pasadena included LOTS of turns down residential streets with startling views of multi-million(billion?) dollar mansions that blew me away. Who lives in them? Not teachers, I'm pretty sure!
Santa Monica has incredible food, and quite a lot of it French, like this hole in the wall pastry shop. These are the delicacies of the day, and we picked four of the small pastries to the right, just to share. We ended up sneaking them in to this documentary, although only Ashley was brave enough to eat one. :) I loved the movie, by the way. It was beautifully filmed, meaningful and included many fascinating cats, people and messages!
My last day in LA, Ashley and I headed for Venice Beach which is GREAT for people watching. (note the couple walking toward Ashley) It is definitely full of free spirits and hippies. Like LA itself, it's a place I enjoy visiting, but I would never want to live there, even if I could afford California prices!
I would never have chosen to bike through Venice, Marina del Rey and Playa del Rey, especially when I heard that we had to come out onto the ROAD. (California drivers, it's no exaggeration!) However, I came to the conclusion that I needed to be more spontaneous, and "why the hell not?" Thus, I "sang and danced" in a different way, with an adventurous spirit and an openness to new experiences.
I don't know how far we biked, but the scenery and the exercise were fantastic; cheesy though it sounds, I felt utterly in tune with my body and spirit. Dumb or profound?
This whole experience made me really want to buy a bike, although cycling in Washington State is way different from in Southern California. There were certainly amazing moments, although I have now developed an intense hatred for Segways, and for people who jog/walk in the BIKE ONLY lane. Don't get me started on drivers who park or drive in them when cyclists are trying to avoid being killed by the ubiquitous California drivers. Now I'll end with a message for Ashley, who reads my blog. She asked me what my favorite trip to visit her has been so far, and I couldn't answer. Now, I will. THIS ONE.