Wednesday, January 30, 2013


We woke up a little later this a.m. because we had a shorter way to travel today. I thought a few more pictures this morning were in order, since it was such a beautiful morning.

Here is a picture outside the Breakfast Room.

This is a little further on, where you can see a scalloped path leading toward the pool deck. The lawn is well manicured and the flowerbeds tended with diligence.

The pool and hot tub are in great shape. It's too bad that we didn't get a chance to try them out, but then there you are.

This is a picture looking back towards the Breakfast Room. This little photo divertissement was altogether delightful, in the cool morning air with the birds singing and the sun shining bright.

We left the hotel in the bright sunshine at about 9 and headed for the Angeles basin. Further along and closer to LA I saw yet another set of overpasses. The grandeur, the poetic sweep, the artistic movement of gross tonnage.......beautiful!

We stopped at a rest area. There is a distinct difference in those of CA compared to the AZ variety. These ones are striving for post modern utilitarianism. Functional enough, but sterile.

For quite a few hours now we have been travelling with Eucalyptus trees beside the road. I crushed some leaves inside a napkin, so Scooterchick could have the fresh odor in the car. Nice.

 We saw a sign proclaiming Kingsland as a Swedish village so stopped for lunch and a bit of a look see. The town definitely had a Scandihoovian feel. This is the Evangelical Covenant Church, It is one of about 20 churches and ministries in the downtown area, about 2X4 blocks. Either these local Hoovians are very observant, or there's a strong spirit  of division to foster so many different outlets.          

Here was a repair shop labeled Larson Auto Service. Being a Larsen by descent, I didn't feel it necessary to say hello.

Again with the flowers, I know. There is something thrilling about seeing the roses blooming in January. It raises the level of joy and love in my heart. Kind of hard to explain.....

This is a mural that gives a description of the founding of the town and some information about the early days of habitation.

Although I have little interest in second hand women's clothing, I tool this picture because it illustrates something endemic to Scandinavian latitudes. They have a propensity top decorate the exterior of their buildings in ways that are  pleasing to the eye. I guess when summer is short and winter long, it helps to have something pleasant to look upon.

There are representations of Dala horses throughout town. These gaily colored horses were originally made by woodsmen who had to spend long periods away from their families, and would spend time carving and painting these wooden toys for their children. They speak of family, love and lonely hours in some remote timber camp. As you can see Scooterrchick has a different perspective.

This is Kingsland City Hall. Quintessential small town America. Neat, proper and soldiering bravely on in the face of a world in turmoil.

Here is another example of Scandinavian style architecture, although this one has more of a mountain aspect to it. I don't think it is a city ordinance that people must have this cultural feel to their businesses. I think it's more pride of heritage. Some of the downtown buildings are just buildings, while many are statements.

This is one panel of a large wall mural. It depicts a local sports hero, Rafer Johnson who competed in the decathlon. Scooterchick and I will participate in such events from the spectator area.

Here are the other panels of the mural. They speak of traditional Swedish values of home, education and community.

There was a large carved Viking on the corner. Scooterchick was cozying up to this Nordic warrior. He didn't seem to mind her attention. I thought I saw a smile playing across his wooden lips.

As you can see not every building has a Nordic feel. This one is like a bit of Old Mexico in the middle of Sweden.....hmmmmmmmmm. This one is a real estate and insurance agency. Verdad?

The decor even extends to the water tank which is decorated like a gaily colored coffee pot. Now that ingenuity and imagination.

We stopped for a bite to eat at an indoor market. The inside of the building was partitioned into stores of about 15 x 40 feet. These were then decorated in differing styles, so it gave the feeling of a small village. There were a lot of things to see before we got to the restaurant at the end where we had a wee bite.

Here is the bite in question. I had a turkey, avocado and cheese sandwich on seedy bread, with cream of broccoli soup...yum!

Scooterchick was watching me eat with a loving expression on her face. She has said on more than one occasion that she loves to watch me eat....and drive....and watch movies...and work at my computer. I can't quite figure it out. It must be love!!! It is certainly reciprocal!!!

When I inquired how her food was, her eyebrows went up. The soup was so thick she found it to be more like pudding. I finished hers as soon as I ate mine.

Here is a representation of one of the stores in the market. They were very well done. It does have a small village feel to it. All in all a pleasant way to pass the time before jumping back on the freeway for the remaining 20-30 minutes to get to our destination.

And so concludes our visit to Kingsland. I did get this shot of what I call cloud trees just before getting  to the car. I am often surprised by nature, and the beauty and diversity. Surprised and thrilled that is.

Soon enough we were at our hotel. We took a quick side trip to Target to get a few necessitos, and then settled in to plan our day today. I spent so much time looking at and planning our trip into the Bay Area coordinating transit, sights and accommodations, that I was unable to start blogging until about 10:30. I only managed to get about a half hour in before my eyes started closing of their own volition.

Scooterchick had meanwhile given up and was solidly asleep by the time I brushed my teeth and turned out the light. I thought I should finish, and then decided "I can't...I just can't." and so to sleep and finish this a.m. we only have about 3.5 hours to drive today so it should be an easy day.

Breakfast time..........bye bye.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Heading for Californy!

When my alarm went off at 05:20 I was loathe to respond. Thinking of the drive ahead of us though, I rose and readied myself for the day.  The breakfast on order today was Jimmy Dean Sausage Croissants. Of course we had our french press coffee to bolster our nerve for the drive ahead.

We drove for about 45 minutes before the sun started to come up, so I pulled off the freeway at Red Rock exit to get a picture. Since my phone doesn't take panoramic pictures, I took several and you will have to use your imagination to stitch them together. Yeah, good luck with that.

This is looking north,

This one is looking east down #10

This one southeastish, yes that's right I used ish as a pronoun modifier....

This one is almost due south. The mountains are in Mexico.

Now we look west in our general direction of travel. In the background is Picacho Peak.

Although I am used to mountains, being from the NorthWest, they are not mountains like these. Stark, rocky and forbidding with Saguaro and other types of cactus to poke the unwary.

Starkly beautiful though, especially with the sun coming up and the open road ahead. Strong wind blowing across the desert though and temperatures in the 40's. I am glad we weren't on the scooters.

We stopped at a rest area about 30-40 miles farther on. The sun was farther up now and it was starting to warm up a little. You can see the Saguaro in the hills across the way.

All the Arizona rest areas we have stopped at so far are built on the same pattern.
Restrooms to the left, info. and vending to the right. 

There are neatly manicured grounds and xeriscaping to keep water usage low.

More mountain pictures, these ones looking north.

Looking eastward toward the rising sun. The grounds are neatly raked.

The last one of this series, looking towards the south. Again not the mountains I am used to seeing.

We entered Phoenix with the morning rush hour. It is nothing like rush hour in Vancouver or Seattle. We slowed down from 75 mph, to about 45 for several miles, then it was back to 75 again.

Many of my readers already know of my predilection for the poetic sweep and engineering beauty of overpasses. I am equally sure that you will either forgive me for showing off a few more, or shake your heads piteously at my foibles.



Oh yeah Baby!!!

We stopped briefly in Buckeye to get gas and check e-mails, get a closer up view of a Saguaro then it's back on the freeway. If you think that we are not seeing much other than super slab, you're right. That's okay though, we're planning on stopping for a couple days in San Francisco to recharge and sightsee.

More stark mountainous territory. It's either flat and dry or rockily vertical.

You see my point. The light seems somehow different here, or maybe it's the makeup of the rock. everything seems to be focused in muted  tones of blue, green or brown.

One last AZ rest stop, here is my Scooterchick at the car.

Here is a warning sign that they have posted in all the rest areas. It is sufficient to keep me on the pathways. Although I know intellectually that a scorpion sting or a rattlesnake bite are very rarely fatal, I am unwilling to put that knowledge to practical use.


Here we have yet another example of Pat busting my flow, or is that jocking my style? No sooner have I  taken a picture of the warning sign, than she is taking one for her blog as well. Party crasher!!!

A few short miles later we were crossing the Colorado River and entering California. Just into CA there was a truck weigh scale where all traffic was diverted off the highway and passenger cars were scanned for anyone who looked illegal.

Although there were 125 mi. to our destination, we bored on and slightly less than 2 hrs. later arrived at a Comfort Inn where we were expected.

We turned in to the driveway, off Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs and checked in.

There was a lovely little water feature in the portico. I love the sound of running water.

The architecture was atypical southwestern, and we got checked in with no delay.

It was early, about 2:30 when we got the car unloaded, and we decided to go for a bit of a walkabout as neither Pat nor I had spent time in Palm Springs before. Her she is sporting a new hat. What do you think. A little unwieldy for travel usage perhaps.

It is so unusual to see lots of color in the plantings even at the end of January. I have absolutely, positively no idea what type of bush this is, but I like it!!!

We decided to walk up Palm Canyon Drive. This is the old Palm Springs main drag. It was time for some picture taking and a bite to eat.

Again with the flowers at the end of January. How cool is that? I have experienced the same thing in the Angeleno basin which we will be circumventing before 10 a.m. tomorrow. It is freeway the whole way so I anticipate no problems. Since the Los Angeles basin has a population of over 13.7 million people, a wide berth is indicated at least on this trip.

Yeah, I'm digging the floral excess.

Here is a passageway between 2 buildings, that I also felt was uberkewl. Don't ask me why, I have no explanation.

Here is a shady courtyard. Nice and inviting, but we kept walking.

There seem to be a plethora of fountains in this area. I love em; Give me more!!

Here is a statue outside a gallery of art. He looks like he feels the way I feel sometimes when I am presenting flowers to my beloved Scooterchick.

There were a lot of eateries along Palm Canyon. There are at least three in this picture. I tried to make sure I got the upstairs balcony and Maracas restaurant in the background.

 Here is another fountain. This one is a bit more rustic in design, and there is eatery number three in the background.

Another fountain with a well known local sitting on the edge. Why it's none other than ex-mayor Sonny Bono, reproduced in bronze.

Another view of Maracas restaurant. We didn't fancy Mexican food this evening.

Here is a view up Palm Canyon with a local theater in the background.

Here is an enormous statue of Marilyn Monroe. What connection she had with Palm Springs I do not know, but she is certainly connected to Palm Springs permanently now. I tried to get a shot with no people pollution, but was unsuccessful.

This is the theater I referred to a few pictures back. They had a pitchman out front, who tried to lure us in for a performance. He also showed us a glossy brochure full of scantily clad burlesque performers. I informed him that we could not be less interested.

We finally made a decision on where to eat, and stopped in to Zin American Bistro. here is Scooterchick perusing the menu. What to order?............hmmmmmm.

I thought I would start with Oysters. I am an unabashed fan of oysters, either Rockefeller, fried or any other way. They were served with a Louisiana caviar sauce and lemon.........scrumptious!

Pat started out with Carpaccio. It was Beef tenderloin sliced thin enough to read a newspaper through. it was served with a white truffle aioli. It was melt in the mouth tender.

I had a burger of Kobe beef on a ciabatta with fries. The fries were crisp, and the burger delicious.

After that repast, we had to walk around to settle our stomachs. We stopped in an art gallery to browse and carried on towards our hotel.
This is the back of a large eatery. I like the Spanish accent architecture.

As you can see it's a fairly large establishment.You can see the far end as a low rise halfway down the block. They have been serving comidas frescas since 1958.

Here is another hotel. This one is a Holiday Inn. I like the style and the landscaping.

And finally we have a glamour shot of us in front of the fountain at said hotel. We walked to the end of the block and we were home. We are a good looking young couple aren't we? I am almost sure I have said that before....... 

Thanks for following along. I'll check in with you tomorrow...........further along the road.