Mo & Terry Smedley
Heartland USA by Rail
We continued our exploration of the Southland today by returning to Pasadena for a tour of the Huntington Gardens, Library, and Galleries. The gardens are even more spectacular than I remember them, but it was every bit as hot as it has been on previous visits. Temperatures were in the mid 90's in the valley today - that's plenty hot enough for me. I know for sure that I'd get even less done around the house than I do now if we had temperatures like these on Grays Harbor! I'll take 50 degrees and some light rain any day over this heat!
After we left the Huntington, we drove to our first apartment, at 307 South Wilson #1. It's still there - and looks about the same. We weren't bold enough to knock on the door and ask to look inside. Mo did get a picture of me pointing to "the sidewalk" where I tripped and broke my hip in 1975. While the sidewalk has been completely replaced since that time, the trees near it have once again pushed up one of the sections. It's well on its way to becoming the same kind of hazard it was for me 30 years ago.
We walked through the Caltech campus, which has grown significantly since I left in 1977. Spent a little time in the bookstore, where I found a T-Shirt that reads "As a matter of fact, I AM a rocket scientist". Since Caltech operates the nearby JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab), this seemed appropriate.
We then headed to Clearman's Northwoods Inn for an early dinner. Family friend Dale Trumbeau first took us to this restaurant in the 1960's. Thankfully, it hasn't changed much - you still get peanuts with every meal, and the shells are tossed on the floor. Delicious cheese bread, the famous two salads (Caesar and slaw, mixed at your table), and enormous portions. The Inn is really an anomaly in the glitzy, fast-paced world that characterizes LA. They've been in business here for 60 years. Our server told us that it's very common for people to come in for dinner, saying they remembered going there with their parents when they were growing up.
Tomorrow (Wednesday), we'll try a quick walking tour around downtown LA - a walk past where Mo used to work in what used to be the Security Pacific bank tower on South Hope Street. Our hotel is just a couple of blocks from Union Station, where our train to San Antonio is scheduled to leave at 2:00PM. The last train into San Antonio arrived 15 hours late - sad to say, this kind of delay is not uncommon on this single-track UP route. Well, we have lots of books to read and I can amuse myself tracking our progress across the expanse that is West Texas....