California Memories

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This picture fills my heart with happiness. I can almost feel the warm sun again, hear the rustle of a sweet California breeze in the oak leaves, see the endless rolling hills carpeted in long golden grass...and remember what it was like to be there, really there, IN that wonderful State.

And I can almost taste the immense deliciousness of a freshly-baked Papa Murphy's pizza! I have never had any pizza so amazing in its perfection as PM's Chicken Garlic: you get it all wrapped up in a pleasant little cold package, ready to go into the oven, and a few minutes later you are in heaven.

It was like turning back the clock just walking into the place. The cool, air conditioned atmosphere, smelling of garlic and freshly-rolled dough, hit me in a lovely wave as I walked in the door, and in a moment I was a kid again, watching eagerly as the skilled pizza-makers dipped into various dishes of tasty ingredients and whipped up an awesome creation in just seconds. I have tried about a thousand times to replicate those exact flavors at home; but have not quite landed on the real thing.

Which is a good excuse for getting one when you happen to be in the land of your roots...

...oh, and when it's just you and your Mum there, said pizza lasts for three fab dinners. And I still wanted more.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I have just returned from a land of dreams... It's beautiful. It's hot. It's one-of-a-kind. It has mountains, and valleys, and agriculture, and ocean coastline, and long golden grass...

It's California!!!

After sorting through the approximately fourteen million pictures that I took while there, I decided that about half of them are of the orchards and cornfields I so loved when we used to live there, and the rest are made up of other wonderful, favorite old memories: a pineapple creme cheese danish at our beloved old coffee shop, the long stretch of brown hills as they sweep up towards the beckoning Sierra Nevadas, the funny-looking little pig-melons that grow along valley roads, and blurry photos of fat magpies sitting on fence posts. The golden-billed magpie is, after all, only found in the Central Valley, and some of my earliest memories are of waking up to their early morning chatter in our mulberry tree.

So, when I first heard one during this recent CA visit...well, I was beyond excited. :)

Then there was the little mountain quail! He deserved a lot of pictures taken of his handsome self, along with many black-headed jays and a family of squabbling acorn woodpeckers.

But to begin with, here is a pic that Mums took as we were on our way down towards the valley...

A lot more coming soon :)
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