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in the golden state

I’m back in California! But this time it’s Southern California. It’s been a while since we’ve been back to see good friends, eat at favorite restaurants, visit old haunts, and hike local trails. We had a couple of days before Jeremy’s conference began. Because today (Monday) marks 18 years that we’ve been together here’s a sampling of the shenanigans we’ve been getting into for the past 48 hours.

a glorious sunrise from denver international airport

at the huntington: north vista lawn

in the rose hills foundation conservatory

a favorite of mine: horsetail plant (equisetum)


the grandeur of oak trees

I have always referred to The Huntington as The Huntington Gardens, but it is The Huntington Library. For me, it’s easy to get excited about the plants and overlook the art and library collections and exhibitions. After wandering the grounds and marveling at various plants, we popped by to see the “Beautiful Science” exhibit in the Library West Hall. It highlights astronomy, natural history, medicine, and light with original books from the Huntington’s collection – some as old as 400 years!

following the progression of astronomical ideas

galileo discusses earth-centered vs. sun-centered systems

my favorite was the light exhibit

optical fibers

james maxwell: the father of electromagnetism

old filament designs

We also visited the Long Beach Aquarium in which we spent the morning petting sharks and rays, watching sea otters and sea lions frolick, and marveling at colorful fishes and other sea critters.

jellies are so beautiful

little kid completely fascinated by the big tank of predators

more foofie frilly beautiful jellies

scratching his teeth on the glass (that’s what the marks are from)

i also love sea anemones

awesome little sea dragon

The weather was mercifully mild over the weekend although it began warming up today. Taking advantage of that cooler weather, we hiked into the Angeles National Forest – our former backyard.

the san gabriel mountains

a few flowers still in bloom

the shady parts of the trail

What a great way to work up an appetite! So far we’ve had Chinese, Thai, Sushi, and Vietnamese. I don’t actually know where a good Vietnamese restaurant is in So Cal. I only know of a great couple who make amazing Viet food. A White on Rice Couple, to be precise. I think they need to charge admission to their garden. It’s better than The Huntington!

chinese buddhist vegetarian food

thai: mee krob

thai: sizzling beef with spinach and cucumber

sushi: toro sashimi

sushi: hamachi sashimi

fresh veggies from the garden (okay, except the asparagus)

cooking our lunch *sizzle*

oh wow! all those persimmons on one tree!

and pomegranates?! this is truly paradise

And the added bonus was that we got to spend time with Sierra and Dante. Dante is a sweet boy, but he’s more interested in snacks. Sierra likes the attention and she is a huge goofball. Sierra is our pup away from home. We love her! We think Sierra and Kaweah would make a great pair of friends.

sierra puppy

I promise a recipe in the next post. The schedule is just too jam-packed right now to keep up with it all, but I hope you enjoyed some of the photos. Happy 18 years, Jeremy! xo

27 nibbles at “in the golden state”

  1. Wei-Wei says:

    The photos are too gorgeous – the light exhibit is just breathtaking in the bokeh that it created!

  2. Ann B says:

    The funny part (to me): I subscribed to your blog and white-on-rice-couple’s at the same time. And, somehow, I just always assumed that you knew one another and hung out together, when you could. I realized (when reading this post) that I had NO reason for that, other than that I found you at the same time, and that you seemed to have a similar sensibility. Guess my instincts were right! Thanks for sharing your SoCal photos … although I’m still partial to NoCal!

  3. Judy says:

    Great photos! I’ve been planning a trip back to the Huntington for awhile now. Just need to make it happen. It was easier to visit when I worked at JPL.

  4. Ronine says:

    What a coincidence! We’re planning to revisit our old hunting grounds in SoCal over New Year’s and also cover a few of the places we never got around to visit while we lived there – and yes, it’s exactly Huntington and the Long Beach aquarium that we have in mind!

    Congratulations on the first 18 years together :)

  5. Kristin says:

    Happy anniversary! Beautiful photos, but the teeth-scratching one really strikes me. It’s stunning, & the scratches make it look almost more like a painting than a photo.

  6. Y says:

    Happy anniversary to the two of you! I’m going to be in the US soon but this trip isn’t for as long as originally planned so unfortunately won’t be in your area in order to pop by unexpectedly ;) Next time though, I’d love to meet up with you and Helen.

  7. Denise says:

    Happy Anniversary to you both! Gorgeous jellies. There is a great jelly exhibit in Monterey as well; if, you have not seen it yet, you really should check it out!

  8. white on rice couple says:

    You both are role models in so many ways and being together 18 years is a a true testament to how wonderful you both are! thanks so much for coming and we’re excited to get to spend a whole day more with you!!
    darn it, u should have gotten a pic of me and todd climbing the fig tree, true geeks in action! xoxo

  9. Jill says:

    Happy 18!!!!!

  10. Sil says:

    Happy anniversary to you both! Fantastic photos, fantastic people and fantastic puppies! All the happiness for you guys.

  11. Kate @ Savour Fare says:

    Happy Anniversary and Welcome to the ‘hood! I didn’t check out the Beautiful Science Exhibit when I was at the Huntington last week (though I did take a fat ton of photos of the grounds) — will have to go back soon. The Huntington is totally my happy place – I interned there in high school and college, and my mom does research there. We’ve been members for years.

  12. Elisabeth says:

    Vietnam House on Las Tunas in San Gabriel. They are the same owners as Golden Deli (across the street) but somehow WAY better. anyway their fresh spring rolls and the chicken pho are the best i’ve ever had and they give you enormous heaps of fresh veggies with each meal. please eat there for me! (well, i know you are short on time)
    also — the aquarium photos are some of your loveliest!

  13. Donna says:

    Happy anniversary. The photos are beautiful, wish I was there!

  14. Jennifer @ Jane Deere says:

    Happy Anniversary! Your pictures are just gorgeous!

  15. fran says:

    Where did you get that Chinese food!?

  16. fran says:

    nm…I see your informal restaurant review list on your website.

  17. farmerpam says:

    18 years?! Sheesh, you guys don’t look old enough to be married 18 years. May you have many more years and adventures together.

  18. Amanda says:

    Happy Anniversary! I love the pictures! My favorite of the bunch is the one you labeled “the shady part of the trail.” The fruit trees looked great too. Fruit picked ripe from a tree is super sweet!

  19. Nicola says:

    Wonderful photos as always. That ‘awesome sea horse’ looks like one of our leafy sea dragons, found under jetties along the coastline near Adelaide, South Australia. If you’re interested in more pics of them, check out at

  20. Melissa says:

    Happy 18 years!

    You have to tell me where you all ate. I am so picky about restaurants but anywhere T&D took you I imagine is good…

    And damn, you took far better pictures at the LBAQ than I did last time I was there. I had my old camera still. Fun place, eh?

  21. Stephanie C says:

    If you’re still there, and haven’t visited it yet I recommend Jitlada for Thai in Hollywood (near Normandie and Sunset).
    and Happy Anniversary :)

  22. Lisa says:

    Happy Anniversary, Dear! And have many many more to come. XOXO

  23. Elena says:

    I find your picture of the shady trail so inviting. Beautiful!

  24. Luney says:

    You were lucky to get here just before it hit the 90’s. Unseasonably warm for even Los Angeles. It makes the world seem even smaller to know that your old stomping grounds are mine precisely!

    And I had never known what the scratches on the glass at the Aquarium were from. I’d always wondered, but for it to be a sea lion….

    Anyway, happy 18th anniversary! Hope the rest of your trip went well and you come back to see us again when our weather isn’t being so crazy.

  25. Ruth Ann says:

    Amazing potpourri of photos. Congrats on your 18 years together.

  26. jenyu says:

    Thanks everyone! I wouldn’t trade this guy for anything :)

    Ann B – good instincts :) Todd and Diane are two of my favorite people on this planet. I love them!

    Y – where will you be and for how long?! Oh gosh how I wish I could come see you.

    Denise – love Monterey – especially the otters!

    White On Rice Couple – some people wish for the lottery, but i wish every day could be a White On Rice Couple day :) xo

    Kate @ Savour Fare – love The Huntington. A favorite.

    Elisabeth – good to know! Thanks, sweetie. xo

    Fran – Happy Family Restaurant in Monterey Park (111 N. Atlantic, but the are moving in a couple of months across the street, a little further north to the big mall). They serve Buddhist vegetarian fare. Awesome.

    farmerpam – oh, we’ve only been married for 13.5 years. We’ve been a couple for 18 years and yeah, we’re old enough ;)

    Nicola – it is indeed a sea dragon (the label said sea dragon). They’re gorgeous and so delicate!

    Luney – uh, we were there when it hit the 90s… ugh.

  27. cecile says:

    I love your pictures! They are so inspiring no matter what they are of. Thanks for posting such beautiful things.

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