Tuesday, December 1, 2009
L.A. is all about getting around, bypassing traffic, and not getting lost too badly. On the way to the Palos Verdes Botanical Gardens we crossed the Vincent Bridge connecting Long Beach to San Pedro, and we got to see miles and miles of shipping vessels, containers and rigs. I had never seen so much commerce in any one place. The bins are color coded, blue and red, one for sending, one for receiving. Just a quick look tells me that we get most of our merchandise from China.
Our visit to the gardens was meant to fulfill a need my youngest son has to re-landscape his yard with native vegetation and water-wise methods. The Palos Verdes Gardens provided inspiration. We took dozens of pictures depicting various gardens, from all grasses, to a mixture of edibles and ornamental, as in the Mediterranean garden, full of herbs and fruit trees, my preference.
Our son will do all the work, has actually started the removal of the front lawn, and was waiting for his mom to give him some hints. I had lots of ideas; but seeing the gardens in Palos Verdes cemented our thoughts. I reminded him that his young lab will have to be trained or provided with his own play area, or everyone will be frustrated in no time. I discovered that plants in L.A. cost less than in Oregon. I purchased some citrus trees at half price to take home with me. The sales tax in California is almost ten percent. Fruit trees as all food are not taxed. Lucky me. We have no sales taxes in Oregon, but our property taxes and income taxes are comparable.
ANOTHER ANNOYANCE: At a gas station in California, you have to pump your own gas!
When we left California last Saturday, we had only one thing still to do: eat at a fancy restaurant in wine country. So, we planned to be in Healdsburg, north of San Francisco for lunch on Sunday. We ate at the Healdsburg Hotel, whose restaurant is run by Charlie Parker. Healdsburg and all of wine country shops and restaurants are to California as Provence is to France. Wineries and famous restaurants dot the countryside. At a very leisurely pace, with wine to match each course, we indulged and admired the beautiful people sitting next to us and strolling by. The weather was a balmy 70+ degrees, out on the patio.
By Monday evening when we pulled into our driveway, we had time to stroll down to our waterfront garden, pick some arugula and watercress for dinner, admire the sunset, and finish our day with a Thanksgiving sigh. We were back to normal.