Monday, July 09, 2018

Cali jewels

It felt slightly over the top, but I agreed to a hanji event at Caltech for the night after I arrived back in the U.S. (after a New Zealand to Australia flight, then Australia to LAX). My flyer is in the top right corner here.
I'm so glad I did! I saw very little of campus and probably none of the rest of Pasadena, but what I saw was GORGEOUS. I can't believe all of these genius students and teachers get to work and study on such a beautiful campus.
I kept looking for similarities between the plants in SoCal and down under.
The architecture is stunning, and I love all the colors and textures. The landscaping is also incredible and it was so nice to walk by scented blossoms.
This is one of my favorite buildings, with tile work that feels so subtle to me. Apparently when it was built, it was considered way too out there, so they didn't do the same tile pattern on the other sides of the building as originally planned.
This is where I stayed, which was so lovely and comfy. I also spent most of my downtime talking to Velma in the shade while looking at the building and finally wised up to stand around barefoot in the grass to get grounded.
My hosts at CWC set up a gorgeous spread outside the lecture hall with fresh flowers, Korean tea and cookies (flown back a day prior by the wife of the person who got this whole thing rolling), and refreshments.
They have a turtle pond that I didn't know about until later in the day. Taking advantage of the hot midday, they come out to sun themselves. I love the way Cali evenings cool down.
This was the side of the tiled building earlier. I didn't take my phone in to see one of the newer buildings, with an art installation inside and architecture that refers to the destruction of the atom to create more energy. I love that a lot of the old architecture was preserved here, and wondered if the students appreciate it at all. I assumed that places where people study such hard sciences would not be so gorgeous, so this was a wonderful treat for 24 hours.
I got to see two old friends in SoCal, one that I met in nursery school and the other in kindergarten. Frustratingly, I got into a taxi at LAX to meet one friend and the cab driver smashed his car into another vehicle just minutes away from her house, so that's car crash #4 in the last three years that I've been in (with four different drivers). Agh! It wasn't as serious as #1, though serious enough to start the rounds again with massage, acupuncture, PT, and a doctor's visit. I know what to do now and finally have the network of practitioners that I trust who can help. I need to research rituals to get rid of my bad juju around cars.
I got to meet four new kids (new to me!) of these friends and hang out in beautiful weather. This may be Laguna Beach but I've already forgotten (the first ocean pic definitely is).
This is in San Clemente and there were so many people out, including lots of them fishing on the pier. It was so nice to relax with old friends and catch up. I had eaten SO much down under and was trying to cut back, but people here are just as generous, so I was stuffed silly again.
I ended the trip the way I had started, right near the water. Looking at the pictures makes me want to swim but I know it's cold (as was the sea in Tasmania). I got to fly back to the middle end of a heat wave but home is still home even when it's hot.

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