Making Lemonade in California

(events of April 16-22, 2011, written May 31)

Cathy’s morning-after follow up with the eye surgeon went well.  We were to come back in one week.  Preferring to be within driving distance of UCLA hospital, we decided to play tourist in California.  With a rental car and after a map stop at the AAA office in Hollywood, off we went.

Julian Whaley had been a traveling companion during Section 2, South America.  An unplanned launch from his bike onto the stony surface of Argentina’s infamous Ruta 40 sent him packing for home with an injured back.  We had enjoyed his company and that of his wife Jeanie who had been with him in Buenos Aires.  They live in Fresno and had invited us to visit them.  Little did we know that the opportunity was imminent.  We had a fantastic evening of hospitality and visiting at their home.

Larry had never experienced Yosemite National Park.  After a delicious breakfast and good by hugs, off we went.  Julian had reviewed the map with us and highlighted what we should be sure to see.  The weather was perfect for photography and simple appreciation of the beauty of El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls.  It is easy to understand why Yosemite was a favorite subject for photographer  Ansel Adams.

Celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary that Sunday, we splurged by staying at the historic Ahwanee Hotel in the park.  It’s elegance evoked thoughts of what it must have been like to travel to this special place nearly 100 years ago.  While we waited for our prime rib dinner, Larry asked the pianist to play “All I Ask Of You,” the beautiful song from “Phantom Of The Opera” which was sung at our wedding by dear friends Pastor Terri and John O’Neal.

Closed for the winter mountain passes required us to drive nearly to Lake Tahoe to head south to Death Valley, our next destination.  There we enjoyed a night at another historic hotel, the Furnace Creek Inn.  This toad was an example of  the abundant life that survives the oppressively hot summers in the National Park. Our GPS showed that we reached 277 ft below sea level in the eerie Badwater area.

Six days and 1,500 miles later, we returned to Los Angeles for Friday’s appointment with Dr. Law.  Seems that Larry and I can find adventure no matter where we look.

16-April    Cathy’s recovery in California

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