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Friday, February 25, 2011

Reverie, Speed and Traffic on the L.A. Freeways.

I'm in Southern California, visiting with my boys, and their families. I'm in the foreground, in a blue jacket. My husband and grandchild are at the end of the harbor. My daughter-in-law is taking this picture. On this day, we are all visiting the Huntington Gardens and Libraries, a delight of art, architecture and landscape. Here, we are in a part of the Chinese Gardens, on a sunny afternoon.

We could have spent a couple more hours here. But, in L.A. you have to ponder traffic in all your decisions.

To go anywhere, to see and do anything in Southern Cal. you have to drive on freeways.
Well, on good days, you get places on time and without a lot of stress.
On this particular day, the return trip took us two additional hours, not because of traffic problems-though there were a few-but because of our assumptions about things. We travelled on the commuter lane,  for two or more passengers. Most of these lanes take you straight from one freeway to the next.

On our trip, we were on the San Gabriel Freeway ready to go south on the Long Beach Frwy. We stayed on our commuter lane anticipating an option. No! We ended up on the Santa Monica West. So, we promptly looked for a way to go south, and the Harbor showed up in time. From the Harbor south, we had to go east to get back to the Long Beach Frwy.

You get my point. It was after 3:00p.m. and rush-hour traffic was beginning.
That  calm reverie at the Chinese Garden?
Trampled on the freeways.
And we knew these things ahead of time!

24 comments:

Patricia said...

Ah, Rosaria...welcome to my world! We drive on the freeways and I ask Jay..."Who ARE all these people?" The newer freeways do have easy HOV lane changes from freeway to freeway but the older ones leave you a bit on your own! We always carry a little GPS with us to help us navigate when we get caught on a wrong freeway. YES, the Huntington Gardens are a glorious respite in a very chaotic city. Glad you are surviving the culture shock.

Suz said...

Oh I hate traffic
but I love family
have fun...love the garden

NormalToEatPB said...

lol - btw that place looks like a spa - i hope i get to visit it one day - minus the traffic :)

I know you visit my blog often, but today's story is one I particularly want to share with you - and thank you for always having such kind and encouraging words for me:

http://normaltoeatpb.blogspot.com/2011/02/i-guess-he-was-friend.html

Eva Gallant said...

I know the traffic out there is crazy!

Marguerite said...

Exactly why I decided not to live in Southern California! Looks beautiful, though. Enjoy!

Terra said...

The traffic you describe sounds most unpleasant. I love my small town where it is easy to get around. I would love to see the Huntington Gardens.

Maggie May said...

Getting snarled in traffic is not good. The tranquility of that garden more than compensates.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

#1Nana said...

I have the same experience when I visit my family in Southern California. I love the weather and the beach and the landscape and the restaurants and...well, you get it, there's so much to appreciate. But, the price you pay is sharing the space with too many people. It's wonderful when you can stay in your own neighborhood and enjoy the beauty and the weather, but it is hell when you have to go somewhere. We organized our day around when it was best to travel. There's always a price to pay, isn't there?

Brian Miller said...

ugh...the gardens look peaceful but that much traffice would surely shatter that for me...

Amanda said...

i was just where you are last week, driving up and down the 405 more times than i care to mention and doing my share of using the commuter lane -- when the traffic is stalled, it probably won't get you there any faster ;-0

enjoy your time in southern cal and hope your weather is better than ours was!!

erin said...

But it looks peaceful where you are.

I laugh. I think of Robert and I earlier today. We had to get out of the house and fast for fresh air and so we took to the backroads. And we know, too. However, we ended up on a road not maintained, stuck in a bank of snow on a hill of ice. ha! So much for escaping to relax. And so we dug out, gathered fallen trees, jammed them under wheels, and I jumped in the back of the truck. No budge. We did it again with me driving this time and Robert guiding and we managed onto the road. And then we spent the rest of the time backing up and he said, what? What are you doing, praying? And I said, don't look at me, I'm trying to be positive. We laughed. We relaxed. We learned. And so it is, right, nothing ever as direct as it seems.
But in the end we get what we asked for either directly or indirectly.

Have a wonderful visit, Rosaria, and come home with loads of memories.

xo
erin

MerCyn said...

Sometime in the future you will all laugh about the experience. All the more reason to stick to walking and public transportation. I hate traffic!

becky said...

Oh, yes, I hear you! My sister lives in the canyons not far from San Jose and, even there, we had to plan our outings to fit with traffic. For us, it turned out well and we enjoyed many a reverie.

Dawn said...

Oh! This makes me so grateful for my icy country "in-the-middle-of-nowhere" roads:)
Enjoy your visiting! Family is precious!!

Linda Myers said...

I traveled to So Cal 4 times a year for the last five years of my mother's life. I remember as the plane descended, I looked out at the smog and thought, "Why do people live here?"

I can find other places with good weather. I'm grateful none of my family lives there any more.

The Boat House said...

Rosaria, You are in one of my favorite small library/garden/galleries of all time. If I remember correctly, not one, but two Guttenburg Bibles, Carl Sandburg's poem written for John F. Kennedy's inauguration (which I remember watching on television in my High School auditorium), not to mention Blue Boy and Pinky, and oh the gardens are spectacular. Thanks for the memories, have a wonderful visit, and don't get caught up in all that (speedy HA!) stop and go traffic on the freeways.

Sunny and cold today here in Birch Bay.

Joani said...

Oh, those freeways. One just can't win around them most of the time. U at least had a few minutes of peacefulness. Have a great day.

Granny Annie said...

My first trip to California was in 2000 and I never will forget the terror of the freeways that engulfed me. However my new spouse drove them like a pro and I have since learned to love the trips because grandchildren are at the end of the road.

decomondo said...

Rosaria, I hope that you'll remember just the good part of your trip.
In your place I would have probably made much more mistakes. You wouldn't believe, but today it took me 2 hours to prepare the visit to Florence tomorrow, even if I go there often! ;)
OK, in my defense I may say that the exhibition of traditional crafts that I plan to see will be held in the part of the city that I don't know well and that it is not easy to drive in an ancient city that was not built for modern traffic... But if I had found myself on some California freeway, probably I would have risked a heart attack!

yaya said...

Growing up in Chicago I lived by the time, not distance! It was normal for me, but my hubby was from here, a small rural town that has a rush minute..and Amish buggies to navigate..The gardens do look peaceful and lovely and atleast you're not shoveling the foot of snow we received!

Miss Sadie said...

The place where you are looks wonderful! Glad to see you're enjoying it.

The Speeding LA Traffic is no time or place for a Reverie!

dianefaith said...

When we moved from Atlanta to NE Tennessee I was early every place I went for about a year . . . just couldn't stop building in the extra time we had needed in Atlanta.

the walking man said...

The one truly good thing about living in a lace with 20% unemployment is as long as the freeways remain accident free the longest traffic jam is 10 minutes.

The worst thing about the freeway system here is that all four of the main artery's converge within the course of 1 mile, which cause the daily 10 minute ruh hour traffic jam.

Zeusiswatching said...

When we visited L.A. to take in the Getty (both parts) we spent a lot of time planning, and then monitoring the traffic. We got around just fine, but we were tourists, not commuters.