I've been going to LA fairly regularly, since taking the train out from New Orleans just before the Six Day War in 1967, but I don't think I've ever been to La La Land in April.
I say that because last week was the first time I've heard tree frogs crooning at dusk. How appropriate, since I nearly croaked the next day while sitting on one of the decks. There I was, enjoying the perfect weather and wonderful smells of spring, only to have my reverie suddenly interrupted by a buzzing that kept building louder and louder, like say, a swarm of bees. Then I watched in horror as a swarm of bees actually appeared, buzzing as if they were seriously ticked off as they floated down the hill, circling like a huge school of fish with wings. And stingers. Actually, I was indoors by that time.
Other signs I was in LA included shopping at the organic grocery store and discovering the goodness of gluten free chocolate and banana frosted cakes in handy single serving sizes. I also had an hour and a half massage from a master named Kevin [thanks, Nan]. Kevin eschews those sissy Swedish back rubs. He is from the thousand pounds of acupressure school. Why tire your fingers when a strategically placed elbow is so much faster. And despite what I thought, it doesn't leave a mark. Afterward, I caught up with all the sushi I've missed since last year.
I was staying at my friends' fireproof house, the one they built after their original wood home went up in the Malibu fire of 1993. See the metal roof? The R-factor must be a million. I love their house. My room was on the other side with its own private deck. I could probably sunbathe nude, but there isn't enough SPF 50 in the world to cover my backside.
Here's a shot from the master bedroom deck
Here's a shot from an upstairs deckThe '93 fire that toasted a big chunk of Malibu is the one where dozens of pumpers from all over California showed up to help fight the fire and ended up parked on PCH because there weren't any maps [or people] to tell them where to go.
The house is located halfway up one of the ever-crumbling Santa Monica Mountains that rise 3000 above the Pacific Coast Highway. That height is only an estimate, since the mudslides keep washing things away. Driving the winding road up the hill [think 2.5 mile driveway] to the house can be an exercise in dodging deer and motorcycles. And not going over the edge, which is always RIGHT THERE.
This trip was also the first time I've seen the echium or Pride of Madeira blooming [those cone-shaped purple fleurs above]. They look like butterfly bushes, but they aren't. Also, one of the huge century plants behind the house is getting ready to bloom. You can tell by the fourteen foot, uh, stalk.
Sorry, I got so caught up on the size of that stalk that when I posted this entry, I forgot to put an ending on it. So, for all practical purposes, consider this entry over and out.