Friday, May 6, 2011

Just Lunch at the Local Mall

Whenever I travel out here I understand why people put up with ...well, what they put up with to live here; the freeways, the mind boggling traffic traveling at such a break neck pace. It is breathtaking for me to be in sunshine all the time. To someone from the Midwest STILL awaiting Spring at home, the vegetation here is simply unbelievable. May in California IS very different from January/February. If you see a's blooming. If you walk outside, you smell the blooming of the exotic, everywhere. I find myself being stopped by intoxicating smells to look around and identify it's source. I've never experienced this anywhere but here in Southern California. ( except for the grape myrtle in Nashville)

Yesterday my friend, Martine picked me up for lunch at Panera. Everything here seems an adventure, even lunch at the mall.

Unlike our malls, finding a parking space here is more of a challenge. The traffic in the parking lots is crazy and reminds me of the bumper to bumper gridlock of people leaving a concert or something similar. I am sure this makes me sound like some kind of "country bumpkin" out on the town or something but SERIOUSLY life is so different here! I think the biggest "game changer" is the weather. I love things here that could not exist, at least not without substantial compensations to the concept, back in Michigan. To have lovely, expansive outdoor "living rooms" in stone courtyards complete with comfortable upholstered cushions, large metal coffee tables anchored by huge, hearthed , free-standing stone fireplaces...just leaves me, well, coveting. I want to grab a cup of coffee and sit on an outside sofa in front of a fireplace outside. OH, but there is that one other thing that could be a deal breaker. There are no BUGS here.

If it weren't so potentially embarrassing I would be taking photos all over the place to document all sorts of UBER creative landscaping to emulate in my gardens back home. If only I could get some of these more exotic things to grow in my climate, like the heavenly low growing eucalyptus grouped with heliotrope. Well, and all these beautiful varieties of palm trees.

Having lunch with Martine was a wonderful way to begin my first full day here. I LOVE laughing with her. There is something about our getting together that always ends in hearty tears, giggling, and yesterday, at least once I know I involuntarily snorted.

Thanks, Martine for the gift yesterday was for me!

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