On Wednesday I hung around the house while AWE got some work done at her office. I had a long walk with the wonderful Casey, their pit/lab-mix puppy. She is endlessly affectionate and so well behaved. We seriously bonded while I was out there.
On our walk, everything was warm, sunny and green. The neighbourhood is largely senior, and Asian, and everyone was out gardening. It was a lovely suburban picture, but all the green and the lawn-watering was a little shocking. It's hard not to think of the consumption, and the indulgence, and that one day watered lawns will seem as ridiculous as unrecycled garbage.
When AWE came home, we went to Huntington Library, an estate with incredible botantical gardens. These were unlike any botantical gardens I've ever seen, as it was almost all cacti, succulents and other desert fauna. (There are also famous Japanese gardens and waterfalls, but those were closed for renovations.) There's a huge variety of cacti and desert plants, ingeniously arranged for maximum effect. Many were bizarre looking, other worldly. AWE commented that their shapes have been used by set designers for monsters on stage and screen. I took a ton of photos; if anything came out decently I'll post some. (I've also added a few links to pictures at my previous L.A. post.) The gardens were spectacular, and so unusual.
On the way home we passed an In-N-Out Burger, and my friend realized I had to have one before going home. So we did that on the way to the Dodgers game. Wow! They're amazing. Fresh, hot, real food: they're exactly what fast-food burgers and fries should be like, but never are. I have about one cheeseburger a year, and this was definitely the way to do it. I don't know how I've missed In-N-Out on previous west coast trips, but now any time I'm in the area, I will have to have one.
Dodger Stadium was exactly as I remembered, but better, as it's been restored since I was there in 2002. The new management wisely retained the early-1960s style, which is now beautifully retro, and added period-style touches that manage to seem authentic and not cutesy. It's also a downtown (as opposed to suburban) park, which rates highly with me. Dodger Stadium is famously situated in Chavez Ravine, with the mountains as backdrop beyond the outfield. And of course the crisp, barely-cool night weather could not be more perfect for baseball. It's really a little slice of baseball heaven.
I booed Luis Gonzalez (Yankees grudge), BOOED Gump (Red Sox grudge) and cheered for Nomar (Red Sox old family). The Dodger crowd is vocal and demonstrative, and way into baseball; they put the red-wearing Angels crowd to shame. Well, except for the mass exodus in the 6th and 7th innings, a SoCal tradition. We saw a quick 3-0 Dodger win.
My flight home yesterday was easy and on-time. It was so good to see Allan and the girls. I missed them! This morning I was happy to walk Cody and Tala, and I'm happy to be blogging from my own desk.
I have a ton of stuff to go through and possibly post, so there might be a small wtmc deluge later today.