10 days in the USA: Southern California 29 June – 10 July

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!

From sitting with my son’s skateboarding heroes, Tony Hawk (left) and Kevin Staab (right), on SAA, flying from Johannesburg to Washington on the 9/10 June… to breaking my tooth and having mouth surgery in my first week, every second has been memorable…

… 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.

Above: I couldn't get enough of this magnificent scenery - my camera worked over time. Another photobook is in the making.

Above: Pretty Flamingoes... (at the Marriott Resorts and villas).

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!


About d1nx

Techno-Gran living and working in Pretoria, South Africa and spending 3 months of the year with my 2 daughters and their husbands and 5 grandchildren on the East Bay, Northern Californa. Started blogging on my recovery from Spinal surgery in 2007 and have taken many twists and turns on my life's journey and varying chapters of my life.
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16 Responses to 10 days in the USA: Southern California 29 June – 10 July

  1. granny1947 says:

    My goodness….this post must have taken you all day to do.
    Lovely pics and beautiful kids.
    Your daughter is so like you!

    • d1nx says:

      Hi Gran! Not at all… it was the photos I was uploading anyway to Kodak gallery – the most time-consuming was uploading them 1 by 1 on letterdash.
      Hugs.. hope you and all the fam are well and happy.

  2. Wendy T says:

    Wow Dinx, what an amazing time!!! Love all of it!!!! Enjoy your time there. We are about to head off for the airport for our epic journey to SA!!! Cant wait to get there. Lots of love. xxxxx

    • d1nx says:

      Have a wonderful and amazing time in SA – fly well and safely. Just please keep warm… won’t do to get4 ill there in the icy winter.
      Lots of love and hugs, xxx

  3. colonialist says:

    Been missing you, but this marathon session makes up for a lot! You certainly managed to cram 30 hours into every 24, as usual, and evan had a genuine San Fran quake laid on for your amusement! Strange you don’t take to opera – but there it is. You should re-think that. Anyone with 16 cats can’t be wrong.

    Hope you keep having a ball with the family for the remaining five weeks.

    • d1nx says:

      July 17, 2010 at 8:11 am

      Thanks Col – it’s nice to be missed. :). I’ve tried the Opera many times… this last one was the very last. I’ll stick to the Ballet and Symphony and Philharmonic orchestras etc :). You and Barbara would hit it off immediately :).
      Hope you and all the kids/grandkids are well and happy. Hugs
      (Somehow the reply didn’t connect to your comment.. so here it is again… with thanks for the visit Col)

      • colonialist says:

        I am still amazed about the opera. Don’t you even enjoy listening to it? I mean, some of the Verdi stuff is simply superb. And Carmen is spectacular in every way – good story line with a need for skillful acting, spectacle, drama, wonderful melodies…

  4. d1nx says:

    Thanks Col – it’s nice to be missed. :). I’ve tried the Opera many times… this last one was the very last. I’ll stick to the Ballet and Symphony and Philharmonic orchestras etc :). You and Barbara would hit it off immediately :).
    Hope you and all the kids/grandkids are well and happy. Hugs

  5. Luscious One says:

    Hey Dinxy-Babes
    What a wonderful post. So delightful to share your ‘holiday’ with you this way. Hope you continue to have the most awesome time and look forward to the next post.
    Much love and hugs

    • d1nx says:

      Hello my love… so nice to see you. I really miss you doll. Don’t forget to save a day for me in early october hey?
      I’m on Cloud 9 with my grandkids and children… they are a riot a minute (the grandies that is), … flipping tiring, but the bestest penicillin in the world LOL
      Thanks for visiting.. i know how busy you are. PS Giving a link to your blog to my son in law – he’s a landscape architect. :)
      xxx & hugs

  6. New Attitude says:

    Very interesting post, Dinx, sounds like you are having a ball!!! hugs xxxx

    • d1nx says:

      I’m exhausted, but very happy NA. It’s the best medicine in the world, this special time with my grandchildren and my kids. Not sure how I’m going to leave them… my time with them is 1/2 over already. But, I need a rest.. will only get something like it, back in SA I suppose!
      Thank you so much for visiting… I really appreciate it. Lots of love and hugs to you all. xxx

  7. Tokeloshe says:

    Wow you are having a ball, I don’t know how you do it and you still blog.

    Interesting, I didn’t know about the legal medical marijuana sales reps.

    Some great photos, great food, wonderful memories and I love the girls with sunglasses, purse and bangles.

    Thanks for the visit ;-)

    Miss you

  8. lulekisizwe says:

    HEY! FOUND YOU! Nice piccies, especially like the painted skuls…yuch! ;}

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