A Day in the Garden

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Where: The Huntington Library

Location: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino

The sky was cloudless, piercing blue, and perfect. The sun shining ever so brightly and ever so presently at (a not-so-temperate) circa 93 degrees. It was the definition of a beautiful day. One of the most relaxing afternoons I’ve had all month was when I found myself taking advantage of what I thought was the final stretch of an extended LA summer (but really wasn’t) and headed out to San Marino to experience one of the most breathtaking estates in town, The Huntington Library.

While world renowned for its fine European and American permanent art collections, changing exhibitions; as well as its rare books collection establishing an equally renowned research library – I have quite the soft spot for their stunning botanical gardens!

Curated in such a way that literally takes you through geographic recreations of gardens around the world, spanning 120 acres among the massive 207 acre property, I spent a Saturday afternoon strolling a colorful Rose Garden into a lush green Japanese Garden, complete with the popular moon bridge (pictured above); through stalks of large bamboo, completely encapsulating you as you walk along the concrete path somehow finding yourself in an open Australian garden. Not too far further, lily ponds appear, leading you up to the Subtropical terrain and into the humid Jungle Garden.

My favorite memory from this day was simply taking a moment to sit on an unassuming bench, thick stalks of bamboo all around – sitting in silence, listening to the low chirp of the birds while watching the squirrels frolic in the trees. The world seemed so far away and in that span of time, I was completely present to my surroundings.

The museum closes pretty early (4:30pm) and we arrived a little later than planned. Rather than to rush through the galleries to appreciate the fine art collections and their special exhibition, we arrived in just enough time to leisurely indulge in perfect nature. What a day…in the garden.

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{Rose Garden.}

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{Japanese Garden.}

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{Chinese Garden.}

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{Rose Garden. // A photo op in the shade.}

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Highlights

I’ve been in a strange mood all week that I just haven’t been able to shake. I get this way when I know it’s time to make a change in some area of my life or I need to shift some my energies around. I’m definitely that person who likes to chill out, but I would say I also need a steady stream of stimulation as much as possible because I get bored so easily! So perhaps I’m having a terrible case of simple boredom this week!?! Unfortunately, I don’t think that this is what’s ultimately causing my bizarre mood. It seems to be a mixture of things.

What I do think is attributing to my mood is, ironically, a blog post that I have been working on for almost a week now that I’ve been having the hardest time writing. Part of my site focuses heavily on the art of cinema because it’s my greatest passion; absorbing another world, another narrative, creatively. I saw Fruitvale Station last week and was so upset by what I saw, that it took me a few days to wrap my head around what I experienced as a viewer to be able to formulate my thoughts before I even began writing my film review.

I’ve struggled all week to articulate what I saw and how I felt and I think it’s because I’m placing too much pressure on myself to get it just right given the controversial series of events about what happened. I’m very conscious of what I put out into the universe on my site. I want what I say to be clear, well-written, but even more importantly, something that I feel proud enough to share knowing that I’ve presented a thoughtful position that I back 100%. I want to honor my opinion, yet remain respectful. Writing film reviews is not usually this challenging for me, though they are by far the posts that take days to write. I think part of my anxiety is also the social and racial climate going on this country right now in light of the Trayvon Martin case and realizing that Fruitvale happened not that long ago; and while a different case altogether, an argument for how our justice system is failing people can be made.

I’m nearly done with my review of Fruitvale Station and look forward to sharing it with you next week. In the meantime, I encourage you to see it. It’s a memorable film that reminds us that you never know when your last day will be or why.

Despite my strange mood, this week had some amazing highlights and as I reflect on them, I can feel my spirits shifting. A trip to the Natural History Museum to check out the new Becoming LA exhibit (post to come!) and attending the LA premiere of the new Woody Allen film, Blue Jasmine among them. I’d bet big money on a best actress Oscar nod for Cate Blanchett. She nailed that performance! It opens in New York and LA today. Go see it and then go see Fruitvale Station.

Have a great weekend! xx

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{A visit to the Gem Vault while at the Natural History Museum. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!}

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{A stop at Ben & Jerry’s on National Ice Cream Day.}

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{Attending the LA premiere of Blue Jasmine! Two thumbs up :)}

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How I Plan to Spend My Summer Vacation

They say youth is wasted on the young. I might also add so are summer vacations. Three months of complete carefree freedom – no bills, no big worries other than your new first day of school outfit, and plenty of opportunities to sleep during a time when 3 months seemed like a really long time. I find that as I get older, I hear myself saying “rent is due again!” more and more frequently.

Year after year of the famed summer vacation as a kid through my college years was always welcomed, though became more and more complicated as I got older (insert summer job/responsibility here), but likely nothing compared to what a summer vacation would look like today as an adult if I had 3 entire months to do whatever, whenever I wanted.

What once was an endless day doing arts and crafts at the Boys & Girls Club when I was 10, ironically would be similar, but on a yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean. I’d still read books, veg in front of the TV for hours while eating incessantly (not gaining a pound, of course) with the caveat being that I would be in the middle of a 3 month tour of Europe, and this was just how I would choose to unwind after a day exploring the city.

While I’m grateful for being steadily employed, I won’t let a little thing like a full-time job prevent me from having the summer of my life. While I won’t be in the middle of the Mediterranean making art collages, nor will I be stuffing my face with pasta all day while watching re-runs of Friends dubbed in Italian during my European adventure, I do have big plans to enjoy the California sunshine, explore the time of year that LA really comes alive, and make collages all summer long…for my blog. In fact, here’s one now…

How I Plan to Spend My Summer Vacation

How I plan to spend summer

Picnics. Outdoor movies/Cinespia. On the beach. Under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl. Hiking. Reading. At the movies. Yoga. Farmers’ markets. Eating cupcakes. Museums. Blogging. Milkshakes. Bookstores. Fruity inspired everything. LA County Fair. Drive-ins. My favorite grilled cheese joint. Iced lattes, lattes, lattes! A weekend getaway with my guy, place: TBD. The beach again.

…And exploring my beloved LA as much as I can.

Happy Summer!

🙂