Thursday, June 2, 2016

California - See It Now

We had a great time in California but there are some good things about coming back to Chicago. I knew I was back in the Midwest when we went to a restaurant here and the waiter brought a pitcher of ice water to our table without being asked. It’s a small thing that too many of us take for granted. We shouldn’t. Drought and other conditions caused by climate change are here to stay. Right. I’m “no scientist” but it seems to be evident with the many natural disasters that have been occurring almost weekly. People in California have begun to adapt to some extent. Despite all the grass being watered, there seemed to be more succulent plants growing than when we were last there.  Hopefully, people will be planting them more often. Nevertheless, for me, it was an enjoyable change of pace. We don’t see those types of plants in the Midwest. 
succulent plants in the Rios District of San Juan Capistrano

Before going to California, I had worried how I would handle the drought. Fortunately, water isn’t being rationed there yet and in most restaurants, was available on request. At one restaurant, we were given a card reminding us of California’s five-year drought and telling us to specify exactly how much water we were going to consume. They didn’t want to bring us an ounce more than that.                              

Despite the water problem, we had a beautiful time in California visiting family. We spent a few days in San Clemente and beach towns near it and a couple of days in San Diego. We were warned that we were arriving in the middle of the May Grays. Every morning began with gray, cloudy skies but by late morning or early afternoon, the sky was blue and beautifully cloudless. The beach invited us in. Surfers surfed in wet suits and some children actually swam in the water in bathing suits. It was too cold for me to swim, but I got some good pictures of the coast that I’ll share with you now.

In San Diego, we had a wonderful day at Balboa Park. This is probably San Diego’s gem and if you’re ever there, you should pay it a visit. Seventeen museums are housed there as well as Spanish Village, an open area where artists and artists have their studios. There are several theaters as well. All of it is done in Spanish Rococo architecture.

Balboa Park has gardens of several types. We enjoyed the Desert Garden especially. It is next door to the Rose Garden. We visited that as well, but we can see roses any time. It isn’t often that we get to see so many varieties of cacti and other desert plants and other succulents.

Desert Garden in Balboa Park

Desert Garden

Desert Garden
This was our first trip to California in a long while. We saw a lot more but there isn't space to talk about all of it. Now that we’ve been there, I’m sure I’ll look forward to returning for a visit another time.

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