Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Catalina Mountain High to Zen Garden Mel-Low - An Eye Candy Journal

Since my daughter is quite sickly today and I want to stock up on much-needed sleep to keep my germ defenses up, I'm only posting a mini photo journal tonight of my recent trip to Catalina.

One of the radish-resembling prickly cactus pear fruits that I was stupidly drawn to like moth to flame on Catalina Island. I can't tell you how many glochids (mini spikes) I yanked from my paws after dining like a desert animal on its sweet, juicy fruit. I even plucked the pesky prickers from my tongue.

Also, you will also see snapshots I took yesterday at the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at California State University, Long Beach, a treasured zen-oasis in the city that I often take the kids to when we need to mellow out.

Wish us luck at the doctor tomorrow. Poor Pigtail Sprite manufactures ear wax like crazy, so I fear much uncomfortable ear digging (exam for potential ear infection) is to come tomorrow on the exam table. She's come to expect it during cold/flu check-ups, so she's come to dread the doctor's office.

Um, yeah, thanks for the warning. Would someone pa-lease kindly remind me why we're camping here again? Shaking in my stinky Adidas improvised climbing shoes ...

The vista from the top of Catalina Island, near Mt. Orizaba, the island's highest point (2,097 ft. above sea level). Cactus, ocean and mountains all in one shot. John Denver eat your heart out.

A super fresh buffalo print I spied moments before booking it like a scaredy-cat after hearing what I believe was the print owner huff and puff through its big ole' snout just feet away in the nearby brush.

My cousin snapped this amazing view from near Mt. Blackjack and Mt. Orizaba.

Bison burger from the Catalina Island tiki gods, anyone? My cousin demonstrates that island mountain hiking is hungry work. He's gonna' kill me for this.

This cat-napping kitty effortlessly personifies (can an animal personify something if it is not a person?) the laid back attitude of the island locals at a quaint little Avalon mini-golf venue.

Whoa! Wait! What's this Jell-O shot doing in here with breathtaking Catalina Island views? This was taken by my cousin the night before he headed back East from his hiking vacation with us out West. The Maestro of Mouth, 5, will stop at nothing for a giggle. At least he's the self-cleaning model.

You might have to squint to see the baby car seat slip-shoddily strapped with bungee cords to this Catalina Island local's pimped and jacked way up golf cart (the preferred form of transportation on an island that has a 10-year waiting list for full-size cars). What a strange sight.

Heavy lichen taking over a dying tree. I was just as fascinated with this phenomenon of nature as I was with the damned evil pricking cactus pears. A small picture doesn't do heavy lichen justice.

My cousin joked/tried to freak me out by saying this old "straight six" car heap was the rusty evidence of a mountain murder. Believe me, I over-thought this to the point of nightmares as I slept in my coccoon sleeping bag in a way too secluded camp site in a remote area of the mountains, only feet from this junked junker.

Switch gears now. Here's Moody Cheeks McGee, 3, at the Japanese Garden koi pond suspisciously eyeing a swarm of hungry oversized, overpriced but exquisitely beautiful beta (koi, of course). Look off in the distance at the bridge - There were a bunch of people shooting a film who asked my permish to let them film my kids. I said "sure." Film crews are as overcooked in Greater L.A. as palm trees and the parched landscape. Don't get me wrong, though, I used to ooh and aw at them when I first arrived here from New Hampshire.

Our little Pigtail Sprite, 2, contemplates koi in her nifty knit sweater that everyone asks me if I made.

I tried to convince the kids to touch the koi by touching them myself. They are just as slime-coated as I suspected. Ew-gross but neat.

Okay, kids. Look but please don't fall in. Mommy's not exactly a skilled swimmer.


At 11:44 AM, Blogger ewe are here said...

Great pics. The flowering cacti are lovely, and the koi pond looks like a neat trip.

So, I was wondering, did you make the cute little pink sweater Pigtail Sprite is wearing?


Hope she's feeling better.

At 10:45 PM, Blogger creative-type dad said...

Nice photos!

I can't get over that golf cart--

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