We are a long way, away from home. We flew right across Iceland. I peeped through the windows and I could see Reykjavik and ice and snow below, the sun shining all the time. We followed it for thirteen whole hours of daylight and then the landscape gave way to desert and dust, backyards with turquoise pools and aeroplanes that looked like tiny white crosses. We landed in Los Angeles, then we got on the smallest plane to Sacramento, where we are staying in a garden apartment on the ground floor of a large house with a tropical garden. It's just a stone's throw from my baby and her partner. I love to hear the tinkle of her bicycle bell as she cycles over to see us and wish that she could do the same when we are back home in England.
We time travelled...it was still the same day when we arrived...we had gone back eight whole hours. It seems appropriate that Portal Park is nearby. It feels like we've stepped through one.
It's a different world. A fun, sunshiny one. It's hot and the sky is blue and there are palm trees and fruit trees with large round ripe oranges, lemons and limes, dates and sweet pluots and pomegranates, that line the streets, and edge the gardens in the neighbourhood. There are big beautiful clapboard houses and some that look like they are in an English Tudor village and others that could be in Mexico. It reminds me of Disney Land. I wear my new, 1960's style glasses and look very serious, feel as though I should be wearing 60's style clothes too, or maybe 70's or 80's. But they must be colourful...
The sounds are different, the fire engines wail like someone in pain, the trains make a deep honking sound. It's a safe homely honk... a comforting melodic chord.
I ate my first pumpkin pie in a turn of the century soda fountain in Sonora and fell in love with The Tower cafe on Broadway, Sacramento. It's next to The Tower Theater, a 1930's art deco wedding cake of a building. The cafe and garden, similarly aged, the interior a theatrical paradise of tiles and plants and trees, a colourful cacophony of old paintings and prints, basket chairs, and Oriental Paper Parasols. Reincarnated on Earth Day, 1990.
We sip Moroccan Mint Tea from the Classy Hippie Tea co and eat brunch at The Tower or the Hitching Post in Ahwahnee, meet for early morning coffee at a roastery or at each other's apartments mostly just enjoying the time that we spend together before we fly off home again... dx
Originally published Saturday October 5th 2019