Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Waterlilies, Oil on Paper, ©ander

I have been remiss of late in posting, but traveling the last few weeks have kept me away and being such kind blogmates, I know you will forgive my absence.

My sojourn in Southern California brought me to question, why did I leave for Northern California? Rather than open a debate on the pros and cons, I go where my heart leads, and in this particular case, it was My Darling Hubby.

He is a very talented artist and living in the country was always his destiny. Considering his greatest influences are the French Impressionists, he follows the example of Monet, Renoir and Pissaro. Monet, of course, had his beloved Giverny and spent his most affluent years creating and improving the gardens that has made his paintings so famous. Check out Ander’s work here: artistlifeforme.

I had the pleasure of spending time with my little niece and God-daughter, Sydney. She is the daughter of my youngest sister. They surprised me and took me to the “happiest place on earth”… Yes, DISNEYLAND!

It had been almost 20 years since my last visit. I did not recognize the place. Once you get off “the 5”, you are faced with an immense parking structure. After being guided into a parking stall, you head down the people movers to the shuttle area. The shuttle then transfers you to the Entry gates of either, Disneyland (Fee required), California Adventure (Fee required) or Downtown Disney(No entrance fee required). Good grief the sacrifices the families must make to get into the park! Fees range from $59 (Child) to $79 (Adult) per person! That’s just to get into ONE park. Although the rides are included in the fee, food is another hand in the pocket. Since we ate lunch before heading for the park, we just snacked. We had chips, cotton-candy, ice cream, chocolate-covered frozen bananas, fudge, cookies, caramel-covered apples and some sort of blue beverage. My favorite ride has remained the same. “It’s a Small World.” It was nice to transport myself to the past and become that little girl riding in the gondola, looking up at all the pretty little dolls dressed up in national costumes. I did have to tolerate the loud squeals and yelling from the young girls seated behind me. They could not help themselves and starting playing with the water on the side of the boat. I got hit with a heavy sprinkling of water. One direct stern look from me and they knew to knock it off. (I learned that from my Mom.)

We watched the Disney Parade in all its splendor. I enjoyed seeing the familiar characters. My sister spotted me dancing to the music and clapping with great delight. Smiles beaming everywhere. After all, IT IS the “happiest place on earth…”

I did learn something that day. As we waited in line at Minnie’s Townhouse, I noticed the close proximity of the Japanese tourist standing directly behind me. Initially, I was okay, considering the amount of kids and parents standing in the same line, waiting to take a photo with Minnie. Several times I would feel the brush of his shoulder on my back and I would move forward. It appeared that as I moved forward, he would move simultaneously with me. It was as if he was morphing into an appendage. I threatened to pass some gas to “create” a wall of separation of some degree, but alas, I had no ammunition. I mumbled under my breath, “if he got any closer, he’d be standing in front of me…Why is he soooooo close? My sister, understanding my frustration, gestured for me to stand on the other side of her. She stated, “I have the answer.” Once I came around and made her my barrier, she proceeded to educate me on a facet of Japanese culture. “They [the Japanese people] have no concept of boundaries, in their country.”, she began. “They live in an environment of “no space”, a crowded country. Therefore, standing in line, shoulder to shoulder, among the multitudes, it’s what they’re accustomed to.” I learned something that day, indeed.

Now, I know why I relocated to Northern California; Open space in the countryside, an organic garden, 14 laying hens –“girlie-girls”, county fairs, art shows, quality of life…

MDH and I frequent a wonderful Japanese sushi bar that serves up fabulous morsels of seafood and the likes. Wednesdays and Saturdays are the best days to go. They serve up a list of sushi at ½ price, all day, all you can eat at a reasonable cost. This is the kind of crowd I like to be in.

Sushi Platter . . . Unagi, Rock 'n Roll, Hamachi, Sake, Tai . . .

Tempura . . . Eggplant, Sweet Potato, Shrimp . . .


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