I Survived the 405

I’m visiting my family in the States. The first stop is the LA area where my friends live, but I’ve also got family further south in Orange County. Driving down to see them was insane. The highway has eight lanes, just going south, so it’s a sixteen lane highway, and people pass left, right and center. I made it down and back, though, so I can be pretty proud of myself.

405 in all its glory (and my uncle was driving for this picture, lest you think I was taking a photo and trying to drive at the same time)

I can’t help but notice that I judge everything when I travel. Or maybe assess is a better word. How is this different from home? Is it warmer or colder? Does my family appear to be happy? How is their health? Is it pretty here? What sort of tree is that? And what’s that bird?

The impression I always have when visiting is the quantity of cement in the Los Angeles area. I noticed it more when I come in the summer because it keeps in the heat, especially inland. I feel it, though, when we pass by a natural area (which I think they fight hard to keep here). My brain immediately wants to go visit it, so we stopped at Fairview Park in Mesa Verde. It’s a tiny little area with a bit of wetland and some trails, but it is really an oasis in the world of cement. The last month here was pretty rainy, so flowers are blooming and that makes it quite pretty.

I’m trying not to be too judgy, or “assess” too much. My aunt has Alzeimer’s and has declined a lot. My uncle is getting older. My cousins seem to be doing well, though, and appear happy. One of my friends here is getting older, too, and the other has a new job that’s going well, but she’s working too much. It gives me pleasure to see them but I want to see them all being happy and healthy, and able to bend their knees and get back up again.

The visit is going well, though. My friend who is working too much is taking time off, and we’ll go up the coast for a few days, possibly with her mother (who I like a lot). There’s a spa in my future! And the coast north of LA can be very pretty and sometimes quite wild, so I’m looking forward to that. There are a lot of road closures so we can’t do everything we thought about, and we also don’t want to spend too much time driving.

So for focusing on the positive, I took pictures of pretty plants on my walk this morning.

A yard full of succulents
The walking path
A messy, beautiful yard
A yard full of flowers

And I complain about there being too much cement? It’s true, but people grow things wherever they can! Like many things, you just have to look a bit closer and you can find the beauty of a place.

And Foro has friends to visit here, too!

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