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right here, right now

Up by 4 am and out the door by 5 am.

Did you unplug x, y, and z?

Oh, did you finish the milk?

and you took the trash out?

I miss Kaweah already.

Miss Weah is having her own little vacay at the doggie hotel where she gets to run around and play with 20 other well-behaved pups. There are puppy cams online so that we can check on her from time to time. We noticed that she likes to follow the human staff around (probably to beg for treats) on occasion. Looks like she is having fun.

We landed at LAX yesterday morning after flying across the sprawling expanse that is the Los Angeles basin. There are a lot of people here.

a familiar sight right outside of lax

First Stop: So Cal
It’s a love-hate relationship we have with Southern California because of the traffic, the smog, the throngs of people, the heat in August. But we also have dear friends here as well as favorite old haunts (eats and hikes). Our beloved Pasadena now boasts a Tiffany and Co.!?! Last year our big surprise was the Maserati dealership. But this also meant an easy stop off at the Apple Store for an iphone car charger (which thankfully works for both my old iphone and Jeremy’s new 3G). I have a beef with the employees at the Apple Store. What a bunch of posers – and most of them nitwits. I like Apple products very much, but for crying out loud, hire some people with actual knowledge and skill.

As lunchtime rolled around, we drove to South Pasadena for sushi at Ai where a trusted old friend, Fumito, was serving up his magic and particularly interesting brand of charm.

one of my favorite orders from my favorite sushi chef

With a few hours free, we stopped by the Huntington Gardens. Whew, was it HOT. It was the roasting kind of heat that makes you feel like your eyes will pop out and your brain has melted. I remember why we decided not to settle in So Cal now… But the Huntington never disappoints for a couple of plant geeks like us. Jeremy even suggested walking into the Conservatory to view the enclosed tropical rain forests, the bogs, the cloud forests. Do you know where this is going? I just got more and more irate with each part of the building because it was not only HOT, it was HUMID. The plants were fascinating, but there came a point after 30 minutes when my curiosity was overridden by the desire to rip my skin off. Can you believe that when we stepped back outside under the searing hot sun, it felt cooler? But I really enjoyed it. No really, I did!

in the desert garden

getting some nectar

lots of hummingbirds hanging around

cooling off in the shade

Dinner was spent visiting with one of my dear friends, Squid (my nickname for her). Squiddles turned 50 last week and they had a magnum of some fine champagne to celebrate! If I could look that good when I’m 50, I will be celebrating too.

looking fab at 50 with magnum of champagne and her daughter

This morning, we did a quick hike up to Echo Mountain. The trailhead is right behind the house we used to rent (a gorgeous little place). We used to take Kaweah up this trail at least once a week. It’s so different from our Colorado hikes – drier, scrubbier, busier. But I loved smelling the ceanothus, sage, eucalyptus, and other familiar plants. Feels like coming home even though home is now 1000 miles to the east and 7000 feet higher. I also couldn’t help but delight in the diversity of people on the trail. That is one thing I really do cherish about this part of the country – the kaleidoscope of cultures, skin colors, languages.

a different trail from my colorado romps

and a different view: the los angeles basin

And we couldn’t help but swing by the Pasadena Farmer’s Market where we tortured ourselves over the gorgeous food we couldn’t purchase. We did manage some Oxnard strawberries for Jeremy and a few choice peaches for myself.

bounties of produce at the pasadena farmer’s market

It’s time now to skidaddle along to our next visit…

19 nibbles at “right here, right now”

  1. Rosa says:

    Your pictures never fail to amaze me! Such beautiful shots! You sure know how to capture beauty and pure moments of bliss!



  2. Chez US says:

    Have a FABU time!

  3. jennywenny says:

    Welcome to socal, its beautiful in its own way! Hope you survive the heat ok, it is very warm this time of year! Its even been a bit muggy down here in San Diego!

    I had a wonderful bike ride in a new (to me) part of san diego called elfin forest. Spectacular!!

    PS are you selling any of your pictures if I dont win one, I’d love to buy some for my walls!

  4. barbara says:

    Squid and I like the same brand champagne! Divine peaches.

  5. Amy says:

    I do miss the plentiful famer’s markets and wonderful LOCAL produce available year round in sunny SoCal…

  6. Fiona says:

    We used to live in Pasadena, too, and the moment I saw that first photo I was like, “Live!Live!Live!Nude!Nude!Nude!” “She went to LAX!”

    But the photo of the Pasadena FM just makes me sad. I miss that so much. So, so much. Beautiful photographs, but they make my heart hurt.

  7. Manggy says:

    Ah, I wonder what the temp really is… It’s 86°F and at 84% humidity here, and in Pasadena it’s 79°F and 29% humidity. Yeah, I win :P But it feels SOOOO comfortably cool here. I can only imagine how much more snuggly the temp is there. (Jen: Snuggly? SNUGGLY?!?)
    I’m glad you’re having a great time, Jen! (Did you manipulate the peaches in any way?) And it’s nice that Kaweah is so well-adjusted even when surrounded by strangers.

  8. Tartelette says:

    Mark, I think I can top that : 98F and 98% humidity today :)
    Glad to hear you guys got there safely, it looks like an amazing trip so far!

  9. Tony says:

    haha, the first photo is hilarious!! I did miss the token pup photo, though :)
    It looks like you guys are having a blast! You’re a trooper for having combated the heat for those photos – in my opinion, well worth it because they came out beautifully!
    Enjoy the rest of your excursion :)

  10. Steph says:

    ohh home.. I love Southern California. I must have taken that trail a million times. Hope you’re having fun on your vacation :)

  11. Debbie Green says:

    Your pictures are just so beautiful. I love the one with the hummingbird. I’m so glad I found your blog. I look forward to seeing what pictures are next! (The recipes too!)

  12. Mrs Ergül says:

    I love the photos! Enjoy Jen xxoo

  13. Lisa says:

    This entry makes me homesick! I was lucky enough to attend CSCA in Pasadena. I love that area. Don’t forget to check out the Norton Simon while you are there. :)

  14. joanne at frutto della passione says:

    That first photo made me giggle, for a minute I thought the whole post was going to have pictures of crazy signs but I should have known better. My favourite is the one with the butterfly, the colours are beautiful.

  15. Mollie says:

    Thoughts in no particular order…

    1 – veuve cliquot – yum – and happy birthday squid!
    2 – my mom was one of the first apple geeks – one of the earliest apple retailers (before apple took it all back in house) and one of the only female owned dealerships. These kids have no idea.
    3 – sushi in the big city – more yum
    4 – I’m with you and I subscribe to the theory of “HHT” – I can’t be held repsonsible for my behavior if I am hot, hungry or tired.

  16. cindy says:

    Haha! That Nude Nudes sign has been there for ages! Looks like they’re spruced it up a bit.

    My sister’s golf-playing, superconservative, intolerant Republican husband once admitted to her that stopped in there one time for (get this) LUNCH. Uh-huh.

  17. jenyu says:

    Rosa – thanks dear!

    Chez US – thank you! I hope you guys enjoy your upcoming trip too!

    Jennywenny – thanks :) I do love So Cal for many reasons. I lived in Pasadena/Altadena for a total of ten years. Neat to see how things change and how some things stay the same. Oooh, the elfin forest sounds so nice. Yes, I do sell my pics. I’ll send you an email.

    Barbara – Squid is a one-of-a-kind gem. And she sure does love good wine and champagne :)

    Amy – me too!!!

    Fiona – ha ha ha, I guess *everyone* knows that sign? :) It’s a mixed blessing to be there because you want to purchase all of that lovely fresh stuff, but there is no place to store it!

    Mark – oh, that weather report you had was wroooooong. It was well into the 90s at the Huntington, lemme tell ya! And it’s been humid too, not 29% but closer to 85%. What weather page were you looking at? ;) I did not touch those peaches. No peaches were molested in the shooting of that photograph!! :) Kaweah is pretty chill. I think there is some benefit to being stupid…

    Tartelette – ugh – you win!!! :) But it’s not a win-win type of win :( Next time I’m kidnapping you and taking you with me on a trip!

    Tony – thanks, you are such a sweetie!

    Steph – I know what you mean. I miss So Cal a lot sometimes. But not when it’s ass hot! ;)

    Debbie – thanks! I’m really glad you enjoy the pics!

    Mrs. Ergul – thank you, sweetie!!

    Lisa – wow, I wish I had attended CSCA when I lived there! I’m jealous! We missed the NSM, but Pasadena is a repeat destination for us :)

    Joanne – ha ha, it COULD have been, there is plenty of material to shoot in LA for that!

    Mollie – that is too cool about your mom! you are a riot!

    Cindy – no WAY! Sure, lunch, right? right… ;)

  18. penandpaper says:

    That sashimi looks divine. Is it kampachi?

  19. jenyu says:

    Penandpaper – it’s Hamachi (in my opinion, it’s better than Kampachi!!) :)

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