Three Things I Desperately Miss In CaliforniaTo keep this a level playing field the following are automatically disqualified -
any living being
Since I gripe so loud and long about all of the above, this should keep me honest. Here we go...
1. The Mountains. The absolutely gorgeous San Gabriel mountain range. I know I go on and on about the beach, but I can't tell you how much I miss being able to look out the back door and see what you're looking at in the above picture. This looks amazingly like the view from my folk's side door, as a matter of fact. I also love going to the mountains, for a hike or a picnic, or even just to listen to the quiet. The last time we were there Stu and I took the two younger boys on a hike up off of Chaney Trail. We only walked about a mile, but we could see the gorgeous vista of the LA basin and all the way to the ocean. (Come on, you knew I'd get the beach in there somewhere).
The mountains also mean something else to me. I am directionally challenged, and have been known to get hopelessly lost in my own backyard. To me mountains mean north, and give me some kind of help with my non-functioning internal compass. Try that in the Midwest and you have some issues, believe me. There's no Thomas Brothers here either. The stories about my getting lost are the stuff of urban legend, and I deserve every last nasty word. The Film Geek, who has a great sense of direction, simply does the opposite of wherever I tell him to turn or go, and more often than not it works out well. I challenge him to a throw down on the sense of time however. I'm on time, just in the wrong place and he's right where he should be an hour later.
We're quite the pair.
2. California fruit growing in a California yard.
I miss being able to go outside and pick lemons for a homemade dessert or oranges to squeeze for breakfast. I have fond memories of being in high school and having such huge avocado trees that my mom would beg people to take shopping bags full of them. The trees would occasionally drop their fruit with no warning, and in my opinion you haven't really lived until you've been bonked in the head by an unripe avocado. Brought tears to the eyes, let me tell you. Speaking of tears to the eyes - an avocado, a squeeze of lemon, some salt and a spoon. Aaahh...
Lately, for some unknown reason, I've been absolutely craving kumquats. As I've driven around like a fool looking for them I've been tormented by the mental image of kumquat trees so loaded with fruit that the wild parrots were almost drunk with overindulgence.
I still haven't found any, and if my memory is right the season is pretty much over by now. I'm sure if I do unearth some the price tag will make me wince. But will it make me wince and buy or wince and walk away?
Guess I'll never know.
3. Smart & Final. Seriously. I absolutely adore this place. If you had three kids who eat as much as mine do, you'd understand. I can go into a bliss induced coma in their bulk spice and extracts aisle, and often load up a suitcase to bring back with me. Since I also have a real soft spot for restaurant supply stores, this is my go-to one stop shopping. It's not TJ's, but it's close.
There you have it. And I never even mentioned the beach or Trader Joe's!