Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Surfin' USA -- June 10, 2015

We have arrived in the land of palm trees and surf. We are not especially coherent after a less-than-restful night on the airplane, but we did get to Trader Joe's to fill our refrigerator with breakfast foods, and then to dinner with friends in Manhattan Beach.

Colorful planes at Salt Lake City.

Foothills beyond the Salt Lake City airport.

It's been a while since we were at the LA airport, and things have changed. They are doing new construction of some sort, and to get from the end zone of the Delta gates to baggage claim involved half a mile of blank white-washed plywood tunnels with dystopic lighting. Other places when they're remodeling, they paint enticing signs that say, "Coming soon!" and tantalize you with photos of food or magical people dashing through grassy meadows. LA seemed to want you to be glad that you had finally arrived at a crowded baggage claim area, and an even more packed waiting zone for buses to the rental car offices. At the Budget office, at least there were benches for the luggage-watchers (me) to sit with a breeze while the car-renters (Jim) stood in line for another hour. It took longer getting to our car than flying from Salt Lake City to LA.

Nonetheless, there were palm trees outside baggage claim.

The afternoon was spent under the overcast skies settling into the Culver City hotel, napping, stopping at Trader Joe's for provisions (chocolate and berries, mainly).

Exotic flowers are everywhere.

Last year there might have been annuals in this planter and others -- this year, they are filled with sedums and grasses, plants that need little water.

We spent a little time at Manhattan Beach getting sand in the sandals and dodging skateboarders, watching beach volleyball games, cyclists, runners -- everyone but sunbathers, because the day was still cloudy with only a hint of sun in the late afternoon.

Surf, and

surfers, calling it a day.

We met our friends Andrea and Steve Miller for a delightful dinner.

Life happens out in the open in Manhattan Beach, much more than in Anchorage. This is a sculptor's house in the downtown of the community.

Tomorrow we will walk over to Antioch, exploring routes and resources along the way. The first class is tomorrow evening, and after that, I may be very busy for a while.

Maybe these are artichokes, showing their essential inner thistle-ness?

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