Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Time Traveling: Summer Vacation Part II

The dividing event between the first and second half of our So Cal vacation was a visit to the grave site of Jeff's father. This was the first visit for Calder and me. It was nice to finally be there.

Calder had some poignant insights which I won't share here, but they proved that 3 year olds really do "get it". We sat at the site and looked out across the valley to the Station Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest.

The second half of our trip was based out of Long Beach. As I mentioned in Part I, we lived there from 2000-'04. We went to school at CSULB, Jeff for his M.S. in counseling and me for a second B.A. in studio art. We lived in tiny houses. In one we even opted to put the fridge out in the little garage just to have more space in the kitchen. Though this place was tiny, it was still a really great home for us. This is the home we came back to after getting married, and where we first planted my bridal bouquet of succulents. Sadly, the property, a collection of 2 homes and 2 above-garage apartments, is now in foreclosure and falling into disrepair. But, I was pleased to still see evidence of the wedding bouquet growing in the little garden in front of our cottage.

Nights in Long Beach are punctuated with the sound of police helicopters overhead, often with searchlights blazing, and the sound of your next door neighbors who are invariably just feet away even if they're in a separate building. Days are filled with traffic, moving your car to avoid a ticket from the street sweeper police, bright sunshine, lots of good food, and for us, many good friends.

Perhaps the first thing we did upon entering LB was head for Jongewaard's Bake 'n Broil.

This restaurant is just right for me. I LOVE a place that has a pre-set combination of a half sandwich, salad, drink and slice of pie. Jeff says Jongewaard's is full of "blue hairs". Well, that may be so, but I love the way "blue hairs" like to eat!

One morning we got coffee and treats and walked down to Bayshore for some beach time. Calder took in the sand and warm water, and stood guard for seagulls who might need chasing. (Please excuse the censor.)

And in the evening we met up with our buddy Pilar for another good meal, this time at The Pike, another one of our old haunts.

Whatever works to keep a kid entertained at a restaurant. The boy looks great in his dad's glasses. He likes to wear them and walk around to "see the mountains" from the optical distortion.

We camped out at Pilar's place for a couple nights. Pilar's making herself a little oasis in her high density neighborhood. She's got a big backyard and has recently planted a number of fruit trees. Her new deck is great, and I love and miss the hot pink bougainvillea that grows and blooms seemingly year round in the warm climate.

Next up: San Pedro, more LB, a little visit to The Valley, and the end of our trip.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

I'm enjoying this recap! It still feels like summer here. Tho I'm told the weekend may hold fall... (Fingers crossed!) x0