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Sunday, July 09, 2017

June Nineteenth

Now that summer is here, my schedule has lightened up a little, and I have solid blocks of time to take pictures again. Yaroooo! (as Flavia De Luce would say).
Through the Spring, I'd enjoyed car-pooling with Don and, even though I had no morning engagements in the area, I was not yet inclined to give up the practice.  I determined to ride into L.A. early with Don, leave him at his work, and seek worthy photo subjects before heading to my own employment later in the day.  

So, Monday, June 19th--destination; Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes (about 10 minutes from work).    

I'd actually been there the previous two weeks, parking at the top of a hill, and walking down to the entrance, which had given me a chance to notice that there is a public parking lot. Yes, really! For non guests!  The second week it'd been full though.  I realized later that morning, that most of the owners of the cars there were attending a conference. I'd also previously discovered a path that leads from that lot to a little beach (Terranea Cove), complete with umbrella-ed Adirondack chairs--nice!  

My plan, then, was to go straight there so that I could park in that little public parking lot before it filled up.

You know if you live in Southern California (well, and no doubt other places), that our June mornings can be thick with a marine layer (coastal, often low hanging, clouds), that the meteorologists, and so the rest of us, like to refer to as, "June Gloom", generally the condition until about 10:00 a.m., or later.  This morning, however, was bright and clear . . . until, that is, I got over the hill and began my final descent to the ocean.

Coming down Hawthorne Blvd. to Palos Verdes Drive South, a marine layer hovered lazily over the ocean, apparently prepared to swallow me whole.


June 19th, 2017--taken from the drive into Robert E. Ryan Park, 30359 Hawthorne Blvd, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 
And so it did.  

But I'm not easily discouraged....well, maybe from reading on the beach, but not from walking.  I was still on the mission I'd started the previous month to walk as close to 10,000 steps as I could manage, daily if possible (according to Fitbit, some women's organization recommends that as a daily quota).

So, here are a few of the pictures I took along my walk:  

There are multiple swimming pools at Terranea.  This is the view of Cielo Point Pool from the South end.  The structure contains restrooms, possibly a storage area, and the white square in the middle is a [closed] vending window for "Discovery Trail Refreshments".


June 19th, 2017, Cielo Point Pool

The assortment of structures that comprise the Terranea Resort, are restaurants; pool facilities; a golf house; gift shops; and a hotel with balconied guest rooms and suites.  

The main lobby of said hotel has very comfortable seating, tables that guests can often be found propping their laptops on, a large fireplace, and a public terrace overlooking the ocean; and also with cozy seating . . . and patio heaters!  The lobby often hosts musical entertainment.  And as previously alluded to, the hotel also services several large meeting rooms.  Then too, scattered around the Terranea development are bungalows, casitas, and villas.   


June 19th, 2017--The Hotel, fronted by Mar'sel Restaurant

A great part of the approval success that Lowe Destination Development (LDD), the company that erected Terranea between 2002 and 2009 from the 20 year old (figurative) ashes of Marineland of the Pacific, experienced from the Coastal Commission and the highly environmentally conscious Rancho Palos Verdes Peninsula community, was due to the developer's reputation for creating a green and sustainable environment.  Besides using energy efficient technologies and recycling construction materials, LDD's landscaping plans included installing indigenous plants, like this Romneya, commonly know as a Matilija Poppy (tree poppy), which boasts, at least according to Wikipedia, the largest blossoms of any member of the poppy family.



Judging from the (literal) signs, I believe the trail that points south from the parking lot, forking down to the cove, and up along the cliff top, and then stretches in the other direction, north, to the main installation, is called in its entirety, "Discovery Trail".  This path ribbons along the cliff affording picturesque views of the Pacific, in it's myriad hues of aqua, blue, gray, green, and silver; depending on the time of day; depth, topography, and flora of the sea below; and the mood of the sky above. 
This path, punctuated by an occasional bench, guides its patronage through natural landscape; through lawns designed for festive gatherings; and finally, at its northernmost end, to Nelson's Restaurant and guest facilities.
I commenced to follow said trail in a direction I had't yet explored, south along the clifftop . . .



until encountering an inquisitive cottontail. Apparently accustomed to the occasional pedestrian, perhaps its approach hinged on a hope of bunny treats. 



After taking stock, and seeing I did not reach for bunny treats, it meandered over to a tall fountain of wild grass and, after peering at me briefly through this screen, dismissed me to stretch a bit on its hind legs and busy it's little nose at seeking the tastiest fronds to nibble.
I go dizzy after kneeling for any length of time, so after a few minutes of snapping bunny pictures I was ready to move on.  I stood and was pleased not to have disturbed it after tip-toeing past.  After a few more nibbles, however, perhaps upon realizing it no longer had an audience, it scampered off to the golf green.





Carrying on, I stopped a few feet farther on to photograph the gentle waves sliding up and down the shore directly below, shrouded in the still thick fog, intent on their mission to polish the stones into shiny-smooth pebbles.



Meanwhile, on my left I passed friendly looking casitas.  Beckoning me, though they were, to their cozy umbrella-ed lounge chairs; I took the hint from the fences and gates not to trespass. 

Coming to the end of the path, I followed its bend away from the cliff to Seacove Street, which afforded a walk back toward the resort and a view of the fronts of the casitas which were equally well appointed with landscaping and adornments. 






Seeming to recognize me, a curious squirrel scrambled up for a quick hello.  



I guess my lack of squirrel treats was disappointing, because after this picture, it disappeared into the bush. 



Seacove Street ended at a field, and while I could see a bench in the distance, tromping through the field seemed a pour strategy, so I turned right and headed up the connecting street, Beachview.

Beachview was a couple of blocks long and ended at a path that went past a gazebo on private property and through sage scrub back toward the resort. 





The sound of happy high-pitched chirping from the sage brush drew my attention from the lovely gazebo to the exquisitely scented sage flowers.





And, sure enough, there was a tiny little bushtit in there.   He's in the center of each of the above pictures.  Really, he is.

I followed the path back to the street that leads to the main entrance of the resort.


And after taking a last look back at the pretty gazebo (tiny white dot on the left of the picture below),


I headed back along a walk to the road and toward the entrance.


But then, at the first street on my right, the sign, "Terranea Villas" intrigued me, 


so I took a small detour for some Villa photographs.






'Loved the tiles, arches, and patio furniture!

Growing a wee weary now, visions of a cold dew coated glass of ice tea began to fill my head.  "Hmm," thinks I, "I could go to that little coffee shop that's near the hotel entrance. What's it called?  Sea Beans Market?  Yeah, I think that's it.  That's where I should be!"  

But then, I saw another path.  This one led past these striking orange flowers -- some kind of Kangaroo Paw plant? . . .which together with tules hid a tiny pond.  The path ended at a walk that led to the golf house where a sign said something to the affect of, "student golfers only", so I backtracked and continued on toward . . . the Beans.


I sat down here with my cold drink and read a Terranea brochure that had been handed to me by someone in the connecting gift shop that I perused on my way in.


A while later, thinking maybe I'd had enough walking and would leave, I made my way to the parking lot and, ya know, sometimes even a parking lot can have something worth photographing.






After some Internet exploring, I've decided the pretty shiny car here is a 2017 Tesla Model 3, the model that is intended to be affordable--if you call $35,000 affordable.  Personally, I like to buy my cars used, and from private parties.  All the same, this is an eye-catcher.  

OOOops!  I was wrong--Model 3 doesn't come out until the end of next month, so I took a closer look at photos of the rear view--I'll add those below here.  The Model 3 will be a little smaller than this one, though quite similar, and is expected to cut into sales on this model because it's so similar.  This is the Model S 85D.  So, not $35,000.00, but $85,000.00 .  .  .I think that's only the starting price though.  I think requesting this blue color is another $1,000.00, and I have no idea what other upgrades are involved here.  But I guess one can also keep in mind that there is a Federal Tax credit (in the U.S.) when purchasing an electric car that can be as high as $7,500. 





Once inside my own car, I finished my drink while scanning the Terranea brochure.  A picture of the cove in the brochure suggested I visit, but I dismissed the thought of more walking.  But then, it occurred to me that a close up of the ocean dressed in fog might be cool.  So, back out of the car I climbed, with my camera and my book, in case the fog cleared and I wanted to read for a spell.  I admit it, books are like jackets to me, I just don't feel comfortable without one.

Hmmm.  No, fog on the water is not all that interesting. Or, if it is, I didn't expose it well.

I decided to get closer, maybe climb up on that crop of rocks and see if I could see inside the cave.

No, once on the rocks, I still couldn't see in the cave.  But the roar of the waves on the rocks echoing in the cave was pretty amazing.  


As I sat there watching the waves, I thought of my mom.  She'd have turned 91 today, if she'd not passed away in 2003.  And then it occurred to me that one of the reasons she'd been adamant that her ashes be sprinkled in the ocean, might have been exactly for occasions like these, where I (or any loved one) could be on any shore, and she'd meet me there.  So we sat there together, and remembering my earlier walk, I thought, how cool if it was Mom urging the little rabbit, the squirrel, and the bird, to sit for their portraits.  There'd been an old cat too---I might as well share that picture too, since I've mentioned it.


Despite the many dogs I'd owned, Mom associated me with cats--I wonder if she had some inkling then that one day (like now) I'd be caring for some 18 cats at once.  Birthday cards often had sweet little kittens, and she'd once told me that the Meow Mix commercial always reminded her of me--so of course she'd included a cat.  And now that I thought of how I'd almost left without visiting the cove, it seemed quite possible that she'd somehow orchestrated my change of mind, so we could come together and touch minds.

Mom adored the ocean.  We moved frequently, Mom, my brother and I, and each time a primary criteria for the next apartment, aside from allowing kids and pets, was that it not be far from the sea.

Another thought that came to mind, was how, as an Astrologer, Mom liked explaining how personalities were like the elements of their signs--assuring me that Pisces (my sign) were stronger than they looked, by pointing out that water, while placid to the eye and gentle to the touch, ran deep and often swift with currents, patiently etched away the earth, infiltrated the sky, and in a storm, was a force to be reckoned with.  It felt like Mom was reminding me of this as I watched the waves churn the many pebbles that doubtless had once been solid cliff.  





Then, on my way back to my car, I was escorted by, what I was sure was one more representative of Mom's band of love-messengers, a beautiful blue damselfly.






Thanks for reading, and have a great day!