Though there’s no place like home, a change of scenery now and then can be very good for us. Whether we travel across town or across the world, seeing new sights and new people can and should enrich us in some way – give us new ideas and inspire us. And so I leave my home in the Cleveland area of Ohio to visit California and my son who is graduating with a Masters from UCLA. My husband Bill and son Rory are traveling with me. Maybe you’d like to come along too.
There’s the city of Cleveland in the distance. Do you see it? The tall buildings look so small. It doesn’t take long to be up in the clouds.
Whenever I fly I get the feeling I could be leaving the earth forever, that I could be on my way to heaven never to return to earth again. This feeling helps me realize I better make the most of the life I have and accomplish all those things I want to do, use any gifts I’ve been given, live as richly as possible while I can. For this reason air travel does a lot for me even before it delivers me to a new and interesting destination.
After writing a letter or two, reading a magazine, flipping through a book and consuming a few drinks, I look out the window of the plane and see lots and lots of tiny little houses all in neat rows. We must be over L.A. and soon to be on the ground. The miracle of air travel. I bet most people take it for granted. Not me.
We’ve arrived safe and sound at the Los Angeles International Airport. With structures like this it looks like we could have landed somewhere on another planet, but no, we’re really just in California. My whole little family will soon be together again and that doesn’t happen often enough. How ’bout for you?
Now to wait for our ride, for our Patrick, who will pick us up and wisk us away into the city.
My husband Bill and son Rory wait along with me. We see cars, cars and more cars, (that’s L.A. for you) but Patrick eventually arrives and we drive into Westwood, home of UCLA, for a bite to eat. No food on the plane like in the old days. Our tummies are demanding attention.
We’ll give them that attention at a very neat pizza shop called 800 Degrees. It operates in an assembly line manner. As we walk down the line we order our pizza and its topping, our salad, our drink, and by the time we pay for our order it’s ready and we’re off to a table. Interesting approach.
Travel is tiring, so after our meal and some good conversation a cozy bed is the place to be, but by morning we’re all rested and ready to explore. Are you ready too? Our first destination is to be an interesting historic house, the Gamble House, in Pasadena.
This house was designed by architects Greene and Greene for David B. Gamble of the Proctor and Gamble company. The Gambles lived in Cincinnati but summered in Pasadena until 1908 when they decided to have this house designed and built for their year round living, and an amazing house it is.
The house and most of its furniture was custom-made. There is great attention to detail. Anyone (like me) interested in and appreciative of house and garden would enjoy touring this place. Does that include you?
The water garden,
the Tiffany work in the front door and throughout the house,
the brick work in the driveway, so much is custom work and quite impressive. I’d love to show you inside details of the house, but pictures were not allowed indoors. You’ll have to buy a ticket and come here in person. My boys and I bought our tickets
and waited patiently for the grand tour. Patience is and was a virtue, but seeing every nook and cranny of this house is worth the wait. We all left most impressed. Seeing this house inspired me to take my house to the next step once home. The Gambles clearly felt home should be a place of escape, a place reflecting one’s taste, a place capable of refreshing the spirit as well as the body and I so agree. Do you?
But speaking of the “body”, we’re all hungry again. Before any more exploration it’s time for more food. Did you ever give thought to how often we humans need to refuel these bodies of ours? The time and money we spend doing this… but it’s delicious fun, isn’t it?
So come along, join us as we look for a charming restaurant. We’re off to old town Pasadena. I do like the historic parts of any town
and here we stumble upon a nice establishment with white tablecloths and outdoor seating. I love restaurants with white table cloths, so this place spoke to me. Do you like it?
Here we sit and enjoy great Italian food, a little wine and the lovely California weather. It’s relaxing. Are you relaxed? I’m told L.A. weather is pretty much the same every day, so much so that people who live here hardly notice the continuous sunshine and warm breezes. They take it for granted. In Cleveland it’s a little different. We have great weather, but not all the time. People in Cleveland say “if you don’t like the weather just wait a minute for it will change”.
From lunch we’re headed to The Huntington Library, Museum and Botanical Garden in San Marino, but that’s another post. I hope you will join me for that excursion. Why? You know. Sharing doubles the joy.
If I took you to all the places we visited at one time you would become as exhausted as I was by the end of my time in California. I’ll be kind and break things up for you. You can now take a nap, write a letter or enjoy a walk. Variety is the spice of life. Maybe you even have the energy to go off on an excursion of your own. If that happens tell me about it and you know why you should.
Sharing doubles the joy!
It really does.