Thursday, February 14, 2008

34°N 118°W 72°F

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning. ... It smells like...vacation.

First thing this morning we're in the gate area in Milwaukee watching our plane being de-iced. First thing this afternoon we're in Los Angeles where it's sunny and unseasonably warm, in the 70s.

Los Angeles, is, of course, full of the objects of music and movie references, which somehow came to mind as we crossed Colorado Boulevard on the way to Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. I thought we were going to see a killer whale but it turned out to be a jewelry store. It'll be a while until dining al fresco in Wisconsin, so we took advantage of the weather to have a late lunch at Cafe Monsieur Marcel.

Next we took the Pacific Coast Highway. It's California Highway 1, but the mountainside geography reminds us of Central America Highway 1, the Pan American Highway in Guatemala. The beach houses at Malibu aren't what we pictured. Most are flat-roofed one story frame buildings crammed together and crammed between the highway and the shore. On the way back, we take Topanga Cyn Rd.; it's not Welsh, it's short for Canyon. Our route takes us across Mulholland Drive, then on Highway 101, and finally Interstate 405. Yes, the freeways here are sometimes a dozen lanes, and can be filled with stop-and-go traffic even on a Saturday afternoon. If you're ever in Los Angeles traffic, there's classical music on (non-commercial) KUSC 91.5FM. Coming back toward the airport, the signage has been changed to say LAX Airport. It's not only redundant, but "lax" isn't something I'd want associated with an airport. It's night when we finally arrive at our hotel in Orange County, and watch the crescent moon set into the Pacific.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

We arrive the Basilica at Mission San Juan Capistrano on time for Mass according to the information we have but late in reality. (They hold hands for the Our Father there, too.) Outside there was a "knot a square prayer quilt" for Marsha Brumfield, who's ill.

On the way out I pick up a copy of the Orange County Catholic, the diocesan newspaper. Providentially, perhaps. Compared to what I read in Attorney Explains Recent Settlement Action and Rationale, I'd put the current state of our Archdiocese of Milwaukee in "count your blessings".

Back on the coast, we hiked at El Moro Canyon, part of Crystal Cove State Park. It's whale migration season, but none were to be seen. There were coyote and quail, and rabbits (Musta taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque?).

Monday, February 11, 2008

It was zero in Milwaukee, so it seemed like a good day to visit Huntington State Beach. Huntington Beach natives Jan and Dean popularized it as Surf City USA. And darned if there weren't a few surfers. I noticed that if I looked in the opposite direction, I could see snow-capped mountains on the far side of Los Angeles. Might we part of the reason so many people live here. On the way back we ate at a Joe's Crab Shack in Newport Beach. It overlooked the water and we watched people learning to sail.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It's even warmer today, in the 80s, so we go the Main Beach in Laguna Beach. For the first time in my life, I dropped an ice cream cone. Since it was butter pecan, I had no choice but to scrape off the sand and eat what remained. On leaving, the Pacific Coast Highway was jammed, so we tried one of the canyon roads. Metropolitan Los Angeles is still growing. Along the way was a large area just cleared and graded for development. The guide book says that ten years ago the area where we stayed was lima bean fields. Today it's shopping malls and office parks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Back to "LAX Airport" for the trip home. Our gate's in Terminal C, some of which hasn't been upgraded from bus station esthetics. Back home, it's warmed up into the 20s and there's about six inches of snow to be cleared from the driveway before I can put the car in the garage.

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