Thursday, February 07, 2013

Visiting Sara in Long Beach

Last week I went from the pencil sketch snow dappled mountains of southern Utah to the vibrant watercolor sea shores of southern California!
We had gone to San Diego to assist Bernie's father with clearing out some of Bernie's mother's belongings after her passing last November.
I also was taking the opportunity to see my own parents, particularly my Dad, who  has had some surgery last month.
It was good to be able to go visit for a week.
My friend Sara lives in Long Beach.
We had known each other briefly back in the early 1970's in college related Bible studies.
Our paths did not cross again until about five years ago, when she discovered my blog on the Internet.
It really is too bad that we lost so many years...we had our first born babies just days apart and lived quite near each other but had not know that.
She has come to visit me in Utah twice; this trip to California I was looking forward to having two days with her and a chance to explore the scenes in her world that I have only seen via her blog page.
It was an easy two hour drive from San Diego up the coast to Long Beach.
A bay side lunch was suggested...

Blue crab cake appetizers were delicious!

We strolled around the marina both before and after lunch, enjoying the sunshine and ocean scents on a winters day.
The tall ship in dock was apparently a new arrival.

A typical SoCal girls outing: Lunch and a bit of shop perusal.

And bird watching/nearly dodging...

We hopped in Sara's private Lear jet and went over to Venice...

OH those canal side mansions!

I have notice that when houses cost 9, 10, 11 million or so, they tend to have custom made doors.
I like such doors very much.

Classy and classic teak with a modern vibe.

Arched traditional styles with moorish antique vibes

Victorian stain glass with a garden vibe.

Can't decide if this is Greek Island, or ???
The weathered appearance of the door:  Is it really an old door or a replica of an old door?
Or an entirely new design?

Fish scales: I am sure that some artist was inspired by fish scales for this door.

I love how the whale bone back bone was used for holding the address numbers.
I am not so clueless as to believe this "fishing shack" rough hewed plank/ threw it together with odds and ends look is real.
Pretty sure an architect was involved...

Over the years Sara has posted many pictures from this walk on her blog as part of a doors and window blogging challenge.
I have been sooo wanting to see these doors in person.
It was just as fantastic as the photos had lead me to believe.

The canal is lined on both sides with mansions that look like smallish cottages, with narrow frontage and small courtyard in front. 
The houses are actually pretty large and fill up a block in length.
Most houses had a boat parked out front, and the canal does lead to open water eventually.

Some of the uber rich apparently felt that an elegant home and beautiful boat wasn't quite enough to complete the scene.
A pirate would though.

And a Bob's Big Boy??
(Most wealthy folks have quirky humor I have found!)

They also tend to like their privacy.
Now I have a window like that in my own bathroom.
About 1/100 that size.
Now why would anyone with a view of the canal want to not have view through their window just so no one could have a view through their window to them?
A mystery for sure!

The plants of Southern California are equally interesting to me.
I grew up with them and was quite bored with them by the time I left the area.
Now I find their sculptural qualities very appealing.

Succulents with their meaty leaves are cool!
I would gladly collect them and create a space for them in my home if I could just figure out where that could happen.

A succulent version of a sunflower....

I think this is the cactus variety that is used to make tequila?
As a child I was told by some ranger/teacher/camp leader that Indians used to pull out the thorn from the tip of the leaves, which drew out fibers that were attached to the thorn.
This thorn/fiber combination served as a needle and thread for Indian clothing mending.
As a kid I occasionally attempted to pull out the needle with the alleged ready made thread.
Attempted, but never succeeded.
Now I wonder if Indians really actually did that.

The red hot poker plant used as a planting on the docking piles impressed me.
I would have cheerfully  knocked on the facing house's impressive door and told the homeowner that I appreciated the extra botanical touch.

Palm trees trunks that my knowing eye can see have been newly trimmed.
The ruddy freshness contrasts so nicely against the blue skies and the green palm fronds compared to the grayish stalk of the non-trimmed slowly frond stem shedding palm on the right.

Blurred vision via plants!

Palms in the wild have pantaloons, right Sara?
(We saw a wild one, untrimmed, the next day...)

The pattern of palm leaves are slightly different and yet the same in all palms.
Such an organized orderly plant that most people associate with vacations!

Succulents come in a rainbow assortment of pastel shades.

The tacky Bob's Big Boy sculpture was balanced out at another home by the tasteful angel soaring over head.

Secretly I want a reason to have a pointed place on my roof top for mounting an equally charming weather vane.

Mermaids...I miss my mermaid loving daughter.

(I don't think I would want this weather vane, but my marlin fishing dad really is pretty impressive!)

Only one door sported a wreath.
I guess you could call it a wreath...
Quite nautical/seashore inspired.

Most of the houses had equally impressive boats docked out front.
And some even had two dingies on board. be a two dingy family, boat wise that is.
(Most family have one or two dingy members human wise already.)

Would you believe the home owner/gardener found a rose tree named "Ebb Tide"?
How perfect!

It was so wonderful to at long last be walking this canal with Sara.
She has taken this walk many times over the years and shared on her blog the many eye catching elements that she sees.
This time...there was something new for the home owners to see.

Jill and Sara together on a blogger's photo taking outing!

And yes I did think our presence did add some extra class to the Long Beach Yacht Club for a bit.
We are both somewhat sun adverse, with skin that burns easily.
Neither of us long for life on a yacht.
(Or the expense that goes along with owning a yacht...oy!)
Still...there is just something about walking around a marina filled with the boats and sounds of the water.
It was a day to remember, it was a really good day!


ellen b. said...

Looks like you made the most of the days together and your cameras!

Sara said...

It is so fun to see a familiar place through another's eyes and lens!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Lovely...the walk and the views and the good company you had!

Pondside said...

You describe such a nice day - a day with an old friend in familiar, yet new surroundings. I'd love to visit Southern California!

Down by the sea said...

What a contrast to the snow in Salt Lake City. Those doors and homes look incredible. I did enjoy your walk together with Sara.
Sarah x