I’ve had an incredibly full and varied month – in fact it’s 5 weeks since I left South Africa and although I feel as though I’ve been away forever, I’m dreading leaving these angels of mine in 5 weeks time!
… adorable Zak right, talking on the phone to his grampa B…
… to the dressed up princesses below, (my precious Sage with dark hair, friend is blonde)…
… flying out from Oakland airport over the Warriors’ (or Raiders’.. who cares or knows?), stadium …
…. circling over Glendale and Pasadena before landing at Bob Hope International in Burbank… many many swimming pools in these backyards!
…. out for dinner with my wonderful friends Rhona and Les at this interesting Asian restaurant on Wednesday, 30 June …
… walking on Venice beach promenade with one of my ‘oldest’ friends, Lunnie on Thursday (1 July)… and catching the Venice Beach Paparazzi’s hangout (see below right right)!
This sight below never ceases to amaze me in California – legal medical marijuana sales “reps” inviting the public to step inside to see the doctor who will prescribe the marijuana necessary for your particular ills… and he grows same upstairs! :)
The meshugge (mad) ‘flea’ market stores abound on the promenade – this dude (off-the-wall-type fellow), sells painted skulls with a huge sign forbidding pictures of his wares… in case people copy his idea.. jah right. After assuring him that I had no interest in copying any of his designs, he allowed me to shoot a pic!
The weird, the wonderful, the famous, the notorious and the insane, hang out around these parts, with skate boarders and cyclists and roller skaters and taggers (graffitti artistes) aplenty!
Next step: Driving 1200 km in 9 days…. I was off to Camarillo 60-70 miles, (on my own!) north-west of Los Angeles past Malibu on Friday, 2 July to meet up with more of my fabulous friends… Sharyn… who took me to Calabasas after a night of ‘catch up’, to visit another ailing friend who’d broken her hip and cracked 2 ribs. On the way back we stopped in at DASH (right – owned by the Kardashian girls). Nothing spectacular about this boutique, except for their prices! More of a hole in the wall in a crummy little strip mall. They sell bottled water (500ml), with Khloe’s photo on the label for $9.95 (R75???) – disgraceful!
Saturday was a trip and a half – to the Palm Desert 200 miles away – but first a stop at Ontario International Airport in Calif to pick up my other child Tania, and her hubs, who flew in from San Francisco to meet me for the next part of my journey.
Sunday, 4th of July, (Independence day!) brunch with Barbs (left) in Palm Springs – my madly eccentric cousin, the Opera Lady and both she and her dear husband, are owned by 16 cats and 5 dogs. The food looked delicious, and the bit I ate was tasty, but it was tough going knowing that these cats were all over the tables and furniture… (and food?) Oy vey!
But the company was excellent and we met some very interesting people: crazy weird in the most wonderful ways … a very odd pairing of young, old, gay and straight, very very rich (like $500 million!!!)… and very very poor… all ethnicities, but it worked AND we all had so much fun.
Below, the view from my resort villa at Desert Springs at sunset
My ducks sure were in a row! On the estate of the Marriott resort next to one of the seven pools… wow it was hot – 42C in the shade…
The view from the pool over the resort toward the magnificent mountains of the desert…
Right: My precious daughter Tania – last Wednesday afternoon at the Cheesecake Factory before the 5.4 earthquake “hit”… I haven’t had such a fright in a long, long time… we held on to the table for all we were worth – it wouldn’t have done much good had the earth opened up then and there. Some people went under the tables, the staff held onto pillars and poles and things fell off all the flat surfaces… we actually felt the earth rolling underneath us… that was the longest 27 secs of my life. And Tania kept saying “is this THE ONE?” She was shattered.
And an hour later we went to the opera – we’d been cajoled (read BULLIED), by the cousin and I knew I would hate it. We walked out after the first act… I will never allow myself to be bullied into anything again. Eugene Onegen is not for me! I love the symphony and all classical music and ballets… hell I even play classical piano myself, but I dislike Opera intensely.
Thursday, 8 July below: we travelled the aerial Tramway – rotating cable car – 8500 feet to the top of Mount San Jacinto … above the Joshua Tree park… this shows how high we were above the cities of the desert. We travelled at least 2000 feet to get to the base station, so at this point we were well above 10,000 feet. Over the distance of 2 1/2 miles, we went through 4 climate changes – equivalent of travelling from Los Angeles to Alaska! The views were breathtaking!
Below, our last dinner with family and good friends at a gorgeous restaurant in Desert Springs, where we indulged in a magnificent piece of sirloin! Shocking picture of me, but I did achieve a good tan :).
Saturday 10 July, we bade the Desert and the palms adieu and drove back to Ontario to catch our connection back to Oakland. My other children had been in Hawaii the past 2 weeks and also got home on Saturday. I got the bestest hugs from my angel pies – they missed me as much as I missed them!