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Saturday, January 18, 2014

two wild and crazy gals ...

Where do I start?   I guess, first off, yes that is me and my sister.
Kim is the attractive one, the poised one, the one properly looking to the camera.
And me, the one with the perplexed expression - not sure if I clicked the clicker.
"are we in focus?"  "I don't know, do we want to be?"

 After a 20 years lapse since my last visit to California
- 2 tickets to the Rose Parade and air travel arranged
the party was officially on. 


“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” 
― Charles Dickens

Equipt with distinct personalities and loads of character,
these are two rescue cats who call my sister "Mom".


“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.” 
― Oscar Wilde,

Nothing says "country girl in big city" like putting in a special grocery story request and going with camera in hand. Yes - we do have big-named grocery stores here in the sticks, but we do not have the likes of Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, or Sprouts for that matter. Frankly I'm not sure our economy could sustain some of the higher end stores - but wow do I wish we at least had some of their healthier food options. 

 After filling the cupboard and fridge we got on with the real sight-seeing. 

 First Stop:
 Orange County Great Park
Irvine, California.

“The paradox of life lies exactly in this: its resources are finite, but it itself is endless. 
Such a contradictory state of affairs is feasible only because the resources accessible to life can be used over and over again.” 
― I.I. Gitelson

a recycled airfield - now a family friendly park. 

Tustin Blimp Hangers 
Tustin, California

"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood 
... Make big plans; aim high in hope and work ..."
- Daniel Burnham

World War II-era hangars, now slated to become part of a park/museum.
One measures 1,072 feet in length, 292 feet wide and 192 feet tall.

'objects are bigger, longer, and wider than they appear in the rearview mirror.' 

"If you're not in the parade, you watch the parade.  That's life."
- Mike Ditka

The Rose Parade
Pasadena, California

I took so (so) many pictures that I will have to do a series of posts dedicated to the parade (eventually). It was thoroughly entertaining, the weather perfect, and the crowd, while vast, was manageable and not as overwhelming as you might expect from a sea of people.

Following the parade we meandered into the city to see what we could find
and food.

we ended up at City Hall and eventually settled on California Pizza. 
(handy and apropo)

 “Don't let your plans or goals become more important than yourself, 
or the ones you care about!” 
― José N. Harris

Aliso Beach 
Laguna Beach, California

We contemplated hunting for sea glass,
but armed with cameras, the urge to capture everything and hold it for prosperity won out ...

and in an instant all wonder about why my sister chose California over living somewhere closer to family was ended.
right then.
right there. 


"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
- Aristotle

Crystal Cove State Park 
Laguna Beach, California

We were properly instructed as to what we could and could not remove from the beach

and as luck would have it, pictures were free for the taking. 

Balboa Island 
Newport Beach, California 

“Eschew the ordinary, disdain the commonplace. If you have a single-minded need for something, let it be the unusual, 
the esoteric, the bizarre, the unexpected.” 
― Chuck Jones

Our after dinner walk was entertaining if for no reason than the variety of other people (and animals) doing the same.

 “If you don't know where you are going,
you'll end up someplace else.” 
― Yogi Berra

Library and Botanical Gardens 
Pasadena, California

The plan was to visit The Huntington Library and Gardens, but along the way we stopped in Beverly Hills for lunch and after that all bets were off on making our way through downtown LA.

Regrettably this ended up being a very frustrating and I suspect disappointing day for my sister.  The map on her phone did not put me in any position to be of any help to her (lines and street names of little consequence - I have grown lazy and accustomed to verbal GPS directions).  Added to that, by the time we arrived at The Huntington, we could not justify paying full admission, especially since they start rounding you up to exit 30 minutes before closing, so we opted to simply visit the gift shop and immediate grounds. I do hate that she missed out on this adventure and hope we can try again next visit. 


 Laguna Beach 
Laguna Beach, California

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping."
- Bo Derek


In a blink we had arrived at the last day of this magical adventure 20 years in the making. The day I would manage to squeeze everything back into a single suitcase, camera case, and tote and embark on a red-eye home.

 but first: 

 Pelican Hill 
Newport Beach, California

"Map out your future - but do it in pencil.  The road ahead is as long as you make it.
Make it worth the trip.
- Jon Bon Jovi

 Over the last 5 years the relationship between me and my sister has only grown stronger. We have developed an acceptance of our differences and embraced our similarities. Age and life events have made our time together precious and I can without reservation say that my week in California to welcome in 2014 was one of the best of my life. 

 Thank you Kim!


  1. Oh, love seeing Cali through your eyes and camera lens! What wonderful memories and just gorgeous captures. Hopefully, you won't wait another 20 years to go back!

  2. Hi Nicki - I'm so happy I came here today and saw your inages filled with light, life, colors and happiness ... You two have just had an amazing trip - love your quotes, and the picture you started with!!! One can just live soooo long with an experience like you describe - the gray and rainy days or whatever may come ... Carrying these sunny moments in your heart! You're a jewel sharing them :)

  3. PS. I just shared your great post on Fb to share the beauty and joy!

  4. Isn't Crystal Cove near. I went there for the first time for the world wide Clickn Moms walk. Promise you'll call the next time you visit So. Cal. Ok? Great photos and story Nicki.