land of dreams - part two: joshua tree to LA
woke up in our little desert abode for our last day in joshua tree. the day dawned brilliantly sunny, just what we'd been hoping!
stopped in yucca valley for coffee again and i admired the colors and murals and dirt roads of a desert town. everything is so much prettier with adobe and colors and kivas... i want to surround my life with this feeling!
and on down the road into joshua tree again...
we hiked up Mt. Ryan, a "moderately strenuous" hike straight up the mountain that was just perfect and refreshing.
we spent about an hour at the summit. i sat and meditated and drew pictures, and darin made a little time lapse movie of the clouds moving. it was heaven. at the top there were other hikers gathered of course, and one was a little group of young thespians doing some singing activities in a circle. they were making a beautiful sound with their voices spontaneously rising together. i smiled at them. as we left i heard one of the young women say, "did you guys see that adorable couple?" and for some reason that just made me feel so good, a little gift from a stranger that made my heart glow.
we headed down south through the park to the boundary where the two deserts collide: the cooler and damper mojave meets the drier and hotter Colorado which climbs up from mexico.
suddenly: cholla and ocotillo cactus in abundance, like a prickly fairytale garden.
we made lunch at the Cholla garden loop.
then took a turn around the twisting paths to see our intricate and strange fellow creatures.
we saw four coyotes in joshua tree. the first three were together, like a roving band of sisters, chasing a chipmunk up a tree. they were beautiful and fit and wild, loping off together confident and proud.
the fourth was alone, heading down a wash as we left the southern end of the park. he headed up a hillside and stood alert and true silhouetted against the sky. i felt so moved to be in their presence, comfortable and free in their desert home. i remember when we lived in southern california as kids, hearing them at night and sometimes losing kittens to their cunning ways. i respect them and want to know more of their secrets.
after leaving joshua tree we headed to Los Angeles. our two brothers who live in LA actually live very close to each other near Griffith Park. we headed to darin's brother's first. dave is a producer for sports radio and some friends had come over to watch a very important football game. dave's wife ashley is 7 months pregnant! we had so much fun talking about the baby's room and her plans for the future.
dave and darin talk books, movies, and music almost constantly. sprinkled with a big dose of hilarious stories.
so fun to see old friends!
next morning, we headed over to meet mikie at the hollywood farmers market. how nice to have a bustling year-round outdoor market!
spent some time in amoeba, a classic activity when we go to LA. darin loves to dig through these bins. and dave was so sweet to sell back a bunch of cds and give darin the credit as a birthday gift!
right nearby is Space 15 Twenty and Project Urban Renewal (PUR), where they feature and sell handpicked vintage items from some renowned vintage colllectors.
and guess who's stuff is there? our very own BECKY, yep, oliver's mom and cofounder of Velvet Leaf and Black Sheep vintage. it was so fun to see her and oliver in the shop photo and to peruse some of her lovely treasures on display!
mikie took us over to the old shakespeare bridge in los feliz. built in 1926, it had the perfect gothic vibe for the grey skies and sprinkly rain.
darin took some photos of me since i was proud to be wearing a dress i recently got on etsy.
my favorite thing about LA is the lush flora. bougainvillea, hibiscus, jacaranda, azaleas, heliotrope. despite the smog, the air is rich with blossoming abundance. plus there are eucalyptus and palm trees and climbing vines and spanish tiled rooftops. there are definitely little nooks and crannies in this vast crazy city that are loveable.
a rainbow appeared right behind the bridge!
late afternoon, we headed back to dave's to meet up and go to the griffith observatory. all this time dave and ashley have lived basically across the street, and darin and i have never been up there! we saw a perfect sunset.
our brothers and us!
james dean, the hollywood sign, and the setting sun:
inside the observatory we found a whole world of astronomical and cosmic information.
darin and mikie watching the foucault pendulum swing with earth's tilting:
the ceiling of the rotunda celebrates the connections between science, mythology, earth and sky.
mikie and dave pinpointing where in this craziness they find home. i love how LA people are LA people, very interested in the neighborhoods, cross streets, buildings, histories and tall tales of their city's culture.
darin could have stayed all night.
but we had to hurry to pick up ashley, grab some dinner at Fred 62s and then head to the cute little old fashioned movie theater on Vermont to see The Rum Diary!
what a ride. i loved it. darin and i browsed the neighborhood bookstore (open till 10 pm, wow!) for a while after that, then headed over for a mellow night at mikie and amber's apartment. they both work at the W hotel on Hollywood blvd and are figuring out how to have a down-to-earth, cozy and sweet life even in the heart of all this bustle and hoopla.
the view from their rooftop (taken by darin):
in the morning we had coffee with dave, then came back to pick up our stuff and say our good-byes to mikie to amber. we missed them all immediately and their glowing love sailed on with us up the road toward the ocean.