L.A. For Dummies

by Sandra

There’s nothing like a 10-hour drive to make your vacation feel like a distant memory. On our way back into the City of Angels, I noticed that the place had a different patina to it, a slightly different glow to its usual dusty shimmer.

Oh yeah, summer had arrived in the few days we were gone.

Many of my friends kvetch about warm weather, but I love it and I was reminded of that fact when I walked outside barefoot to move my car. You can’t do that in some parts of the Northern Hemisphere at this time of the year.

On the way back from Mendocino, I suggested that Rachel and I make a list of things that we liked/loved about Los Angeles to keep the dread of returning at bay. All in all, we came up with more than several items each. Mine included the Getty museum, the rich history of the city, the impossibly long sunsets we have and restaurants like Synergy, Hal’s, Susina and Mani’s.

Still, the sheer, raw splendor of Mendocino comes back to me time and time again. I found it hard to really capture its beauty on camera — those megapixels still cannot get all the subtleties of blue in the vast Pacific, nor capture the immenseness of those impossibly tall and grand Redwood trees.

That was hands down my favorite part of the weekend, strolling amongst those gentle giants, their canopy creating a cathedral-like hush over everything. I felt puny and minuscule against them, most of their trunks so wide I could not even get my arms around a quarter their circumference.

God’s presence was so apparent out there in Creation. Not only did he create those towering trees, but he also splashed the hollowed out ocean coves with the most rainbowed array of rocks and shells. The natural order of things felt so apparent, yet it still seemed so strange that I, as a woman, should be considered the pinnacle of all Creation. That was a humbling thought as I sat with my head back yesterday, staring up at the branches high above me, a song of praise coming to my mind in that abbey of green.