Earlier this month Nathan and i journeyed to California to visit my family. It turned out to be quite the Adamo reunion, although we didn’t get everybody in the same house at the same time for various reasons. First of all, my grandparents and my two great aunts live in Corona. My cousin-once-removed, Jo, also lives in southern California. She has a friend who sold her All-Star game tickets to my dad, who was down there for a few days with his buddy Andy. My brother, currently something of a nomad, stopped by for the last couple days of our trip as well. And finally, four of my distant relatives from Belgium began a month-long road trip around the Western U.S. in California, on the same night that we arrived there.
It was great to see everyone, but unfortunately all of the portraits that were taken are on other people’s cameras, so i can’t share them here.
Here are some photos that i took:
We stayed at my grandparents’ house, which is awesome because they make some really tasty European dishes and they insist on feeding their guests as much as possible. Every morning Grandpa makes fresh-squeezed orange juice from the tree in his own back yard. He explained to me that they have two different orange trees; one that produces fruit in the warmer months and one that prefers the cooler months, and this way he gets oranges all year long. If you’ve never squeezed an orange to make your own juice, you really must try it.
Weird flower-looking cactus things
We walked around the neighborhood and i photographed a bunch of the plants in people’s yards because they were just so weird. I told this to Jo and she didn’t understand what kind of world i was used to. I told her “leafy trees,” but i probably should have just said “corn.”
We drove out to the coast on day 2, and we of course experienced a lot of traffic despite having departed in the late morning. When we got there it was cloudy and breezy and cool, and thus i was cranky. When is it EVER not beautiful in California?! We got some In-N-Out burger and then decided to lay on the beach anyway until we could check into our hotel. Gradually it got sunnier, and when we retreated to the hotel we discovered that we had gotten burned something fierce. Tip for living: if you’re a pasty Iowan, don’t just sprawl out on the beach in the middle of the day for two hours and expect not to get roasted, no matter how cloudy you think it is.
This was the view from our hotel balcony. Did i say hotel? I meant resort. That was a surprise that came with several unexpected and incontestable fees. But what’s worse is that we were too sore to even take advantage of the amenities. We made it to Karl Strauss in Costa Mesa and the beer numbed our pain slightly, but we still turned in early and headed back inland right away the following morning.
Side note: it’s been two weeks now since we got burned and i’m still a little bit peely and itchy. I don’t even want to express what a humiliating, guilt-inducing and uncomfortable situation that was. But! We still had a really nice time in California. We wrapped up our trip by exploring the Huntington Library in Pasadena, which was huge and fascinating and could have occupied us for an extra day, easily.
Nathan getting a shot of Pinky. The original.
The bonsai trees were one of the most lovely & interesting things. How do they do that?