Southbound in California…

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

“My Daily Therapy, published Weekly or so…”

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness” ~ Alexander Dumas ~


It is and has been all along this paved road lately a Wealth of Friendships. Unexpected a few years ago when departing from Georgia on that “it” morning, and actually ironically managing to get lost on that first day returning to Dawsonville on an unknown road. We are now in Davis, Ca., old stomping grounds and this could be a good thing, the time passed meaning, while headed to Healdsburg yesterday with my Friends for a Birthday gathering and dinner, I could not recognize the landscape. We lived not too far from here. A few hills away, much land was yet uncovered. Lance was born in Santa Rosa. With a couple more days here before heading to San Diego I thought about retracing the past steps through Forestville, the roads taken hundreds of times including a familiar one called "Pocket Canyon" which eventually along the Russian River leads to Guerneville and on to the Ocean. I don’t think I can.

In the wine country-6d

In the wine country-4d

We instead took today a different route. The one going through the hundreds of Vineyards. Thousands maybe. Is business that good? It is amazing all on the path of the beautiful people in their wine tasting accouterments and their fancy cars and maybe even a bit tipsy from the indulgence of the too many shots of reds and whites? Who knows. We escaped it all by taking 29 from Calistoga and finally with the help of a map and GPS, following Lake Baryessa back to Davis. Within our shelter around here my Heart is heavy with too many remembrances of the past years spend. Yet the good times seeing our Friends sways the scales, who knows when we will be back in this area. We had to this time around and making the best of it.

In the wine country-7d

In the wine country-9d

The day was bright and the colors muted with only present a few shades of beige and washed out greens. It is the wrong time of the year for this landscape to jump out and amaze anyone. A haze was lingering, yet the roads themselves with their twists and turns were a riding prize specially if on two wheels which we were not. I was thinking sport bike. Maybe one of my old Ducati’s, those little jewels designed for such roads. Those were days past when the Art of Riding was the core of it all.

In the wine country-14d

In the wine country-12

Davis is now behind us also, we are into the last leg of this ride through this State on Highway #1 before heading back to Tucson and Texas. I am trying to find the right words for our composure and I cannot. Torn between the pleasure to see and spend time with some good and dear Friends and the inner on stand by unnerving roads and traffic and a populace unlike I have felt in a long time. I keep thinking how can millions be living here on top of each other? It has been hard being in the moment. I am only tasting the future times at “The Oasis” as I am filling myself with a strong dosage of patience.

Highway #1-2

Highway #1-4d

We are in… Los Angeles! Amazing. Visiting my Good Friends Nicole, Paul and Children, Dimitri and Alana. Good food, names not many would have heard off. “Basterma”, “Baba Ganoush”… and more. What a Culinary delight adding some Pesto and Cheese pizzas. So happy when I am… allowed in the kitchen. San Diego tomorrow morning, a Sunday morning which should have no traffic on those arteries I only follow with our GPS. I have no idea where we are only having been told by the electronic arrow on my right and left turns. Amazing technology. How strange as my thinking and my feeling is never at it’s best in this boxed in environment. I have known of this all too well all too long. I feel as an Island amongst these acres of marsh where as in moving sand everyone has sunk as myself only trying to remain afloat from their unconcerned smiles and indifferent gestures. It is the needed flow, the human wave, fast and faster.

Highway #1-6d

Highway #1-8d

Highway #1-7d

This is it this morning, it has arrived, I think we took 405 to San Diego. What a great timing on a Sunday when barely anyone was on the road unlike the experiences throughout the week. The emotions have been so mixed, balanced one moment, unbalanced the next. We went, Nicole and the Children, to “Venice Beach”. I always wanted to see it from my own eyes.  It truly is indescribable. How can one describe each individual in this “Halloween” atmosphere? I surprised myself by truly liking the facet of everyone’s reality, the ability and presence to be whoever you want to be, most being themselves. It is a giant stage called “Freedom”, a constant “Carnival” you walk through at your own pace as every step has it’s sight unforgetful and colorful.

Venice Beach, CAd

Venice Beach, CA


…walk through Venice Beach.


The weather so totally perfect, the skies pleasant, a nice cool breeze, the company, well, so enjoyable as one could not ask for more. Evening came in parallel with a dinner only Nicole could prepare. Small Filets topped with a shallot and mushroom wine reduction sauce, smooth and silky risotto, tasty spinach sautéed with garlic. Fresh juiced apples and finished with a French Vanilla Ice Cream topped with fresh strawberries covered themselves with hot melted butter and sugar… And “no”, I would not survive Life as such every night. What a treat, what luxury.

Venice Beach-7d

Venice Beach-8d

Venice Beach-6d

Venice Beach


Storefront calling…


I was very nervous taking the direction of the heart of Los Angeles. It is behind us now and I am so glad we did as all was not as bad as I thought it would be. A small dosage of it exposing the other side, the opposite stage from the one we normally maintain. It has opened up a door to possibilities as maybe some time in the future doing this again for a couple of days as an inner challenge to maintain that forever sought after balance. I was also glad she drove us around as she says “and yes, there is an Art to remain in a Zen like state of mind while driving the streets of LA. Not an easy task. Took years to master…”. 

Hippie Harry…


Venice Beach-13

Venice Beach-4

Dimitri and Alana… the Dance…


Back to Tucson for next weekend. In the meantime I am thinking on how to introduce our soon to be addition to the Journey!

"I have had a great deal of interest in my photography over the years, for which I am grateful. Their sales are of much importance funding this Journal. Yes, please feel free to purchase one or two… or a few. I have been adding some photos lately, there will be more as I sift through about 100,000 of them.

Take a look. “Smugmug” stands for quality. Thank you”

Venice Beach-10 d

Be well, always.

Ara & Spirit

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10 Responses to “Southbound in California…”

  1. DC Stultz Says:

    Well, let me be the first one to guess… I think you went to The Oasis a short while ago to pick up the title to your BMW and that you are going to have new wheels for your journey.

  2. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Hi DC… I always carry the Title with me… and “Old Faithful” will always remain even when if it happens in 2013 Spirit and I travel around the World! She will make it…
    Maybe we could make this a “guessing game”… not that hard really and yet maybe it is…
    Be well…. Ara & Spirit

  3. Rhonda Says:

    Venice beach is such a hoot! Looks like there was plenty of eye candy. As I sit here under the grey cool Montana sky, I find myself quite envious of your current locale!

  4. Shay Says:

    Another dog?

  5. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Just a photo of another Dog “Shay”…

  6. kuan Says:

    I miss the fruit vendors, and Harry won’t remember me, but I’m glad he’s still there. I hope he’s switched from tapes to CD’s now.

  7. Zelda Says:

    Dear Ara & Spirit, Enjoyed your pictures and travels in Ca. We’ve been meandering our way to the Fairfield/San Francisco area. Sorry our paths did not cross, but so glad we can keep up with you via your blog & Facebook. Hope your trent repairs are easy and you settle in comfort for the winter. Much affection and best wishes for good rest at “home”.
    Pam & Randy

  8. George Catt Says:

    Luv yur prose and pics, Ara. I’m home again after 5 weeks and 13000 miles. Sorry to miss you in a Colorado. We’re both in AZ now. 😀

    I’ll hook up with you one of these days.

    Hmmmm, Ride To Eat in Bisbee in a couple weeks, you still gonna be in the area??

  9. Lyle Says:

    It was fun to imagine you riding through Wine Country! I was born and raised in Willits, so all those names are very familiar to me and I’m a bit homesick now! I love those roads!

    But it is strange to imagine you in Los Angeles! Like imagining Spock in a Star Wars movie. When I lived in Santa Barbara, we used to call the L.A. area “Mordor’, but if it has Nicole in it, it can’t be all bad… she’s amazing.

  10. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Hi Lyle… always the kind words. Beautiful roads yes in CA, yet crowded…. Maybe we met in years past when I had a Bakery in Forestville! I use to go to Willits often…. Good food at this one place I forgot the name!

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