Mo & Terry Smedley


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Heartland USA by Rail
June, 2005

Part II:  Los Angeles (Pasadena)

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....

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The Desert Garden at the Huntington is definitely different than anything we're accustomed to in Western Washington! I like violet color.  I have no idea what this is - I just thought it was pretty. Can you find Mo in this picture of the lily ponds? Here's something you'll never find at our house - an Azalea tightly groomed into a block shape.  Our motto is "if it's (still) alive, don't touch it" - which explains why all of our shrubs are tall and gangly.
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The Japanese garden section is very impressive. Mo's favorite area is the Rose Garden.  My digicam (maybe any point & shoot digicam) can't do justice to the dots of color from all those roses.   The grounds and exterior of the Huntington Library - just one of the buildings comprising the estate.   It's hard to imagine how much wealth is represented by this estate.   The only other place I've seen that compares is the Hearst Castle.
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A Gutenberg Bible appears in the Library collection.  No worries - this was not taken with a flash - the bright spot is a reflection from the display lights. The new Erburu Gallery houses some of the most famous paintings in the collection.  This gallery has overhead skylights that allow for almost natural light viewing.  I don't know how they protect the images against UV damage. Here is Gainsborough's Blue Boy. 307 South Wilson.  I'm standing in front of Apartment 1.
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I'm pointing out the sidewalk that is being pushed up by the roots of the adjacent trees. Noyes Labs at Caltech, where I spent two years from 1975-1977. In Clearman's Northwoods Inn for dinner - note the peanuts, whose shells we're just tossing on the floor. I didn't eat this entirely by myself (although I was certainly prepared to do just that).  It's blackberry - not chocolate.  This was my fruit serving for the day.
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Fake snow on the roof of Clearman's on this 95 degree day!