Friday, March 10, 2017

10 California Explorers

From a trail at the Crystal Cove State Park, with sour grass blossoms as far as the eye can see. We can also see a particularly calm Pacific Ocean, sail boats. With Ruth, and her sister Joan, William and Maria, I made my usual trip to bring Max home from school. On the way south, we enjoyed several stops, and sights, including this state park, the Shake Shack, and the Mission at San Juan Capistrano.

Everything is blooming! Almost. Practically. Certainly, more is in bloom this late in winter than I have seen in many years. Our long season of rain continues to delight us, even now that it seems to have come to an end. Pride of Madeira will thrive, even in dry weather. We'll see massive stands of these cornflower colored spires growing up and the down the street we live on. And California poppies, too. And plenty of sour grass, which Maria loves to snack on.

It's such a pleasure being tourists in our lovely California, and it's fun having the chance to share sightseeing with visitors. Ruth and aunt Joan were happy, receptive, traveling companions. I enjoyed making new stops, to see new places, like having a closer look at the beach cottages at Crystal Cove. As though to make this stop complete, we spied a pod of dolphins, without the telescope.

In my usual slow-flirtation with ideas and dreams, I was even more smitten with the charm and romance of the cottages that are up and down the bluff of this pretty beach, after finally deciding to have a closer look. Someday...

We were impressed by the Cultural Center... where we enjoyed one of those moments of synchronicity that life seems to keep in plentiful store for us. They had an exhibition of the history of Japanese Americans, prior to and during World War II, when American families were removed from their homes, and businesses, and interred in camps. Just this week Maria finished a school lesson on this subject with a visit to a California Court of Appeal, where, with her classmates, they reenacted the case of Korematsu v. United State before the Supreme Court. Not only have they learned a great deal about American history, but they have also observed unsettling parallels with the activities and attitudes of the administration in office today.

Here is a spot where you can sit with your burger and shake, and watch the surf, maybe see whales, like that time we first stopped here. We were pretty stoked to find parking today.

Has it been two years? Yes, it was when Maria was in fourth grade, that was the first, and last, time we visited the mission in San Juan Capistrano. Besides the history and cultural experiences that can be enjoyed here, we appreciate the architecture, the patina of time and wear, and the gardens. It's a worthwhile place to visit, for many reasons. {William took this picture.}

{And this one.}


The old walls tell stories.

Admission includes an audio tour. I kept forgetting to use mine. But it's got useful information.

Earthquakes and massive walls don't mix well.

A favorite, Ceanothus.

It smells, I think, like a spicier alyssum, very honeyed.

I remember these from our last visit, the hollyhocks. There were many plants, but few in bloom. There is something for visitors to look forward to.

I called this "the cosmic fish." It looks like a fish sailing through the night sky.

This may be one of my favorite fountains. It's large, and old. It feels like a place in a lost city, a remnant that is thriving. And, I guess, it sort of is some of those things.

This reminds me, I still have images on the camera, too. All of these pictures are from my iPhone.

We stretched out our explore with just one more stop... cool drinks at Pannikin.

With Infinity More Monkeys, a picture a day.

1 comment:

Adaliza said...

What wonderful photos of your trip - so interesting and look like great company. I've just planted a ceanothus and I'm so hoping to have blue blooms very soon.