RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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White Sands, New Mexico and an unplanned ode to the Sierra Club

 

white sands

Out of the tour bus at White Sands National Monument

I’ve been a member and supporter of the Sierra Club for almost forty years. Politics aside, the Club has been very good to me. Over the years I’ve participated in hundreds of hikes, events, activities and trips. And most importantly, I’ve made many good friends (including a couple of boyfriends and a husband!).

White Sands

A forensic nightmare: the perpetrator walked across the sand so we can identify the pattern on the soles of his shoes…

The Sierra Club has played an important part in my life. I was a hike leader for many years, editor of various newsletters and a volunteer at many fund raising events.

White Sands

The tenacity of plant life

It has also taken me on numerous wonderful trips around the USA and allowed me to discover the great National Parks of this country that I would never have seen on my own.

White Sands

Waves of sand. You can imagine the ocean in the distance but Santa Monica is more than 800 miles (1287 km) away

I’ve been on cruises, hiking trips, camping and just plain sight-seeing. This is an easy way for me to support the Club while having a good time myself.

White Sands

I’ve lived in Los Angeles continually since 1965. We are surrounded by beautiful mountains, but other than hiking the trails of Griffith Park (which are not to be sneered at) I had never really ventured into the Santa Monicas or the San Gabriels or the Verdugos. Around 1980 I discovered the Sierra Club and that all changed. I became addicted to hiking at least twice a week. One weekend my car wouldn’t start and rather than spend the time to get it fixed I convinced my father to loan me his car so I could go on a hike!

White Sands

The sun was already fading and the contrast between light and dark was making it increasingly difficult to capture the landscape

I can’t trust myself to do any heavy duty hiking anymore. My ankles, knees and hips took a beating with all the running I did for several decades. But that is totally okay. I have fabulous memories of trudging around the mountains in awe of the beauty of Southern California. I look up at the mountains now as old friends and we smile knowingly at each other.

White Sands

The purple flowers in the center stand out in this stark landscape

Sometimes I start writing and I get off on a tangent. So I just let it flow. This post was supposed to be all about my Sierra Club trip to southern New Mexico last year. And White Sands National Monument in particular. All the photos you’ve been looking at are from that area. We had a limited amount of time but as I’ve said before, there is always a trade-off when on a motor coach tour. On the one hand you have no responsibility and all the stress is on the shoulders of the leader. On the other hand, you don’t get to decide where to go or how much time to spend at any given location. But I did manage to take one prize-winning photograph at White Sands and that made the whole trip worthwhile for me!!!

White Sands
From the website: Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world’s great natural wonders – the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world’s largest gypsum dunefield. White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dunefield, along with the plants and animals that live here.

White Sands

As the sun went down the shadows were getting longer which made some interesting photographs

White Sands

On the photo above I liked the way the tendrils seemed to wave around as if the plant was under water and the shadows added extra interest.

White Sands

Hey, we saw some native wildlife! This beetle was making his own tracks over the imprints left by human visitors.

The original photo

White Sands

Playing a little in Lightroom and Photoshop

Although I love the act of taking a photo and making it the best composition I can, I have to admit the real fun begins for me in the post processing. When I saw this tree I also immediately imagined the possibilities. By itself it’s a perfectly acceptable photograph. But in my opinion the trip through Lightroom and Photoshop makes it magical!

White Sands

This leaf also had a little help from Photoshop with the posterization filter. This is my go-to filter to really make the image pop.

White Sands

Got to love those shadows. Although the light was getting a little difficult, it also added a little drama!

White Sands

White Sands

I had wandered off quite a ways by myself to take photos. I came back to see the group having fun sliding down the dunes. Good for them. My fun is in making art. To each their own, yeah?

Click on an image below for slide show.

Original photo

White Sands

A little fun with Photoshop

By now the shadows were REALLY long. I couldn’t resist taking this photo of my shadow. I didn’t even notice the person standing at the top until I played with the image in Photoshop. Totally serendipitous. This won first prize in the member’s theme at the Culver City Art Group Holiday Show. And I think it also helped me win for best body of work. You never know when you are out shooting what photos are going to turn out best and which ones are going to miss the objective. It really is a hit and miss shooting match!

White Sands

Like all the trips I take, I always think I’ll have the opportunity to return and take more time. But I never do. So I have learned to soak in as much as possible whenever possible.

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A quick visit to San Francisco from Coit Tower to Pier 39

coit tower

In July I visited my good friend Judy who moved from Orange County in Southern California to Walnut Creek in Northern California a few years ago. Every year I said I was coming up to visit but you know how that goes. So this year I said this is it, I’m going.

I flew into San Francisco International Airport and took the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train to Walnut Creek where Judy picked me up. Simple! Why couldn’t things be that easy and civilized in Los Angeles? By the time we get a direct connection into LAX I probably won’t still be on the planet! Good thing I live fairly close to the airport so it’s a relatively short ride by taxi.

coit tower muralsI had read about the renovations of the 1934 murals at Coit Tower so I wanted to visit there as part of my trip up north. Fortunately, Judy was willing. So one day we took BART back into the city. I love San Francisco. Although it’s totally different from London, when I’m there I feel the same vibe.

coit tower murals

The bad news was the line for the elevator up to the top of Coit Tower was long. The really good news is that while you are waiting you have the opportunity to see the fabulous murals up close.

coit tower murals

Also some nice views out of the doors at the ground level. Of course, Coit Tower is at the top of a steep hill. So even though you may be at the base, there are still commanding views of the bay.

coit tower murals

So it was a toss up which was more fabulous… the spectacular views or the amazing murals.

coit tower

How often do you have choices like that?

coit tower murals

And on top of everything else, I had the privilege of spending time with my lovely friend Judy!

coit tower murals

From the website: The murals inside the tower’s base were painted in 1934 by a group of artists employed by the Public Works of Art Project, a precursor to the Works Progress Administration (WPA), and depict life in California during the Depression. When violence broke out during the 1934 longshoremen’s strike, controversy over the radical content in some of the panels became quite heated. Some of the most controversial elements were painted over, and the tower was padlocked for several months before the frescoes were finally opened to the public in the fall of 1934.

coit tower murals

The artists (including Maxine AlbroVictor Arnautoff, Ray Bertrand, Rinaldo Cuneo, Mallette Harold Dean, Gordon Langdon, Clifford Wight, Edith HamlinGeorge Albert HarrisOtis OldfieldSuzanne Scheuer, Hebe Daum, Jane BerlandinaFrederick E. Olmsted Jr., Jose Moya del Pino and Frede Vidar) were committed in varying degrees to racial equality and to leftist and Marxist political ideas strongly expressed in the paintings. (Wikipedia.)

coit tower

When you get out of the elevator at the top of the tower there are a few more steps. Then some good views of San Francisco. I was having a little problem with my vertigo but managed to get a few good shots with my point & shoot anyway.

I purposely left my DSLR at Judy’s place that day as before I left LA I read that a 70-year-old photographer had been murdered near Coit Tower recently for his camera equipment and I wasn’t taking any chances! Apparently there are roving gangs of thieves in San Francisco attacking tourists for their photography gear. I have a very basic Canon DSLR but in the moment a thief may not have time to check out my model number!!!

coit tower

We had walked up to the tower but were in no mood to walk all the way down. We saw car after car (presumably Uber or Lyft) arriving to pick up groups of people. But we had already determined we could get back down to the waterfront for just a few cents by public transportation. And pretty soon the bus arrived. I don’t understand why anyone would want to pay taxi fare when the cost of a bus ride is so cheap. Most people are too hung up on riding in cars!

Some info from Wikipedia: Coit Tower, also known as the Lillian Coit Memorial Tower, is a 210-foot (64 m) tower in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood of San FranciscoCalifornia. The tower, in the city’s Pioneer Park, was built in 1933 using Lillie Hitchcock Coit‘s bequest to beautify the city of San Francisco; at her death in 1929 Coit left one-third of her estate to the city for civic beautification. The tower was proposed in 1931 as an appropriate use of Coit’s gift. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 29, 2008.

pier 39

The bus took us all the way down to the waterfront and we had a nice walk to Pier 39. It was pretty crowded.

I really enjoyed seeing all the sea lions and the crowds of spectators appreciating them too. We had a lovely seafood lunch and afterwards another nice walk to the Ferry Building and back to the BART station.

Along the way we saw these vintage trolley cars still doing their duty.

san francisco

I’ve always loved San Francisco and just wish it was possible to visit more often. It’s just a matter of time and money!


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Photos I’m showing at the Culver City Art Group Show

The first five photos are in the main show:

Lion at the Los Angeles Zoo

 

Tree at White Sands

 

White Sands Landscape

 

Canoes for rent at Avalon, Catalina Island

 

culver city art show

William Jefferson Clinton Pedestrian Bridge, Little Rock, Arkansas

 

Entry for the Members’ Theme: Let there be light

White Sands

My self-portrait at White Sands, New Mexico

These will be on view Saturday, November 11 at Playa Vista.


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Feline Friday – #73 – guarding the suitcase

frankie

I was out of town for over a week visiting southern New Mexico. I’ll be posting photos when I have more time. When I attempted to put my bags away I saw they were being guarded very closely by Frankie. He figured I couldn’t leave again without getting past him first… and he wasn’t budging!

As soon as I got out of the taxi in the driveway I heard raucous squealing. That was Freddie up on the roof welcoming me home. By the time I opened the front door he was there to greet me… along with Frankie. As always, it was great to be home!

I have a lot of things going right now so it’s going to take me a while to get back to my blog… and checking out yours… but I will be back as soon as I get caught up.


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Feline Friday – #47 – friendly Forks cat

Forks Henry

On our trip through Washington we spent three nights at the Dew Drop Inn in Forks. You can follow our journey on One Good Life Travels.

In recent times Forks became famous as the home of the popular Twilight Saga movie series. You will see signs around town for tours of the filming locations. I never saw the movies so I can’t vouch for anything.

The highlight of our stay there as far as I was concerned was the feline greeter. I was told he has various names but I could call him Henry. He didn’t seem to care what I called him as long as he received a hug and a scratch on the head.

Henry Forks

On our first encounter, after some preliminary petting, he allowed me to pick him up and he wrapped his paws around my neck. The next time he came up and immediately jumped on my shoulder. My friend called me the Cat Whisperer, a title I will willingly accept!

Forks is a great jumping off point for Rialto Beach and the Hoh Rain Forest (click on the links to see my blog posts about both areas).

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 

 


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My private island – part two

catalina island

As I mentioned in My private island – part one, we were experiencing May Gray when I embarked on my two-day birthday trip to Catalina Island. As I boarded the Catalina Express at 9:00am Monday morning, there was light rain.

I was hoping by the time we reached our destination the sun would be blazing away. No such luck. But although the weather was trying pretty hard to dampen my enthusiasm, I am happy to report it did not succeed!

The above photo was taken through the window about half way across. I didn’t feel like exposing myself to the elements that early in the morning. The photo says more than I can about the weather conditions.

catalina island

Walking along the beachfront Crescent Avenue visitors are immediately reminded about the severe drought on the island. A reservoir capacity of 1149 acre feet down to 183 acre feet. Maybe I should skip brushing my teeth? Of course the paradox is how can an island—by definition surrounded by water—be suffering from a lack of it? Something is definitely wrong with this picture.

catalina island

Catalina is famous for its tiles and don’t you just love this tile fountain on Crescent Avenue? This was the inspiration for my hand-painted tile “Catalina Cats.” You can see it here on my Hot Out of the Kiln blog.

https://hotoutofthekiln.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/catalina-cats/

Avalon Bay with the Carnival Imagination in port.

catalina island

As I was walking through town I came across this intriguing sign in a front yard. One can only imagine what this refers to!

catalina island

The colorful hibiscus certainly brightened up this dull day with a little sunshine of its own.

catalina island

On the walk out of town to the Wrigley Memorial these bougainvillea and palm trees stood out against the gray skies.

A long long time ago there was a bird aviary on Catalina. You can read about it here. Fortunately a lot of the original tile work remains.

The Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden is a 45-minute walk from town (up hill all the way). Once inside the gate it’s another ten minutes to the Memorial itself. But well worth the effort. Click on an image to start the slide show.

catalina island

With some limited exceptions, cars are not allowed on the island. Golf cart rentals are very popular and walking back from the Memorial I felt like I was on the freeway with a constant stream of golf carts buzzing by. I prefer to walk as I like to stop and look and take photos. Not to mention working off the fish and chips I ate for lunch!

catalina island

Catalina Island used to be full of cats. Probably because for decades the island was used as a dumping ground for unwanted feline pets. On this trip this was only cat I saw… and I doubt he was feral.

catalina island

My first day was winding down. With all the walking I did I was ready for the comfort of my hotel room.

catalina island

So while others were still enjoying the many activities available on the island, I headed back up the hill.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Train’s a-comin’ – all the way to the beach

expo line

When the Culver City station of the Expo Line light rail opened June 28, 2012 my late friend TL and I were passengers on the first day. You can see my post about that event here. Having grown up riding the trains in England, being able to ride the rails to downtown LA was a dream come true.

This past Friday, May 20, 2016, the second half of that dream also became a reality. The long-awaited stretch from Culver City to Santa Monica can now be traversed by train. And how could I ever guess I would be living within walking distance (one mile) of two train stations, Culver City and Palms!

langers kippers langers-kippers-102214-005-C-600px

I met my friend R at the 7th St. Metro Center, as far east as the Expo Line goes. He took the Blue Line which also ends at the Metro Center. Together we took the Purple Line to MacArthur Park and ate an early lunch at Langer’s Deli where I always order the kippers and scrambled eggs.

expo line

Expo Line arriving at the beach with the new “Santa Monica” header.

We were back at the 7th Metro station in time to take the second train to Santa Monica. I believe the first one left the station at 11:25 am and we were there about 11:35. It was so strange to see the train pull up with the Santa Monica header instead of Culver City… I am rather sad about that!

By the time the train arrived at Culver City the train was jammed to the gills and no possible way for any other passengers to board. I was so glad I met my friend in downtown LA instead of attempting to meet him at Culver City. Even though the train was packed, people still insisted on squeezing their way through the doors. It was insane!

expo line

expo line

Palms Station on the Expo Line. One of two stations within walking distance from my house.

I was afraid the overpasses would collapse with the weight or that the train would be too heavy to move. As it was, it did go rather slowly around the curves through West LA. The first new station after Culver City was Palms. I’ve been watching this station being constructed and it was cool to actually be stopping there.

expo line

When we arrived at the Downtown Santa Monica station passengers were cheering and clapping. I have to admit I was thrilled! It was history in the making as the last time a train arrived in Santa Monica from downtown LA was 63 years ago in 1953.

expo line

When the train doors opened it was like arriving on a new planet with everybody eager to explore.

expo line

People just kept coming and coming and coming off the train.

expo line

The train stops just a few blocks from the Santa Monica Pier. You can just see the entrance to the pier at the end of Colorado Blvd. in the center of the photo.

expo line

When it was time to go back, they had things a little better organized. They had lines set up just like at Disneyland and they were allowing only so many people on the train at a time.
expo line

This was certainly a day I will never forget!

expo line

Click here for post about my second ride to the beach on Sunday.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins unless otherwise noted. No commercial usage without express permission. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

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20th Annual Culver City Art Group Holiday Art Show

culver city art group

It’s that time of year again and hard to believe we have been doing this for twenty years!

I will be exhibiting several of my photos in the main show… still deciding exactly which ones but I’m narrowing it down. I’ll also have a table with some of my previous work in ceramic tiles.

These are two of the photos I know for sure I’ll be exhibiting:

Malibu Pelicans

Pelicans, Malibu, California

oregon Cape Meares

Cape Meares, Oregon

The image above came as a surprise when I was checking the photos in Lightroom. This was taken the day after my accident and concussion and I truly was walking around in a fuzz for a few days. Good thing I like to take pictures or I probably would not have remembered being here!

Both of these will be printed on my 13 x 19 inch (33 x 48 cm) Canon inkjet printer.

I have an older Spyder4Pro calibrater for my monitor and I just ordered the upgrade Spyder5Elite which should be arriving today. I have very tricky lighting conditions in my office… so I’m hoping the more sophisticated calibrater will help deal with it. Hope I’m not wasting my money!

The show is one week away and I am nowhere near ready so, as usual, panic has set in. As luck will have it, Aaron Bros is having one of their one cent frame sales and I got a 50% coupon (that can be used once a day) for other items… it all helps.

I’m also working on setting up a photo website on SmugMug which is taking longer than I would like, but I think I have my head wrapped around their engine now and I can move full steam ahead… would be nice to have something up and running for the show, but if not, at least for the New Year!

On with the day!

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!


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Welcome to LA… X

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

Ever since construction began in 2010 on the new addition to the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX I have been excited to see the interior. The official opening was in 2013 with completion in 2014. The last time I flew internationally was in 2012 so I still had to deal with the old terminal.

The architecture and configuration of Los Angeles International Airport dates back to 1961. For its time I am sure it must have been state of the art. But time marches on. Unfortunately, LAX didn’t.

Mayor Tom Bradley who reigned over LA for twenty years, championed major upgrades in the 1980s to accommodate the 1984 Olympic Games.

Bradley’s biggest (and great) contribution was the opening of the International Terminal dedicated to overseas flights (just in time for the Games), hence his name on the building. In turn, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, our mayor from 2005 to 2013, disclosed plans in 2008 for the current modernization.

Everybody complains about how obsolete the airport is to this major city. It does not in any way represent Los Angeles, which over the decades since I have lived here, has grown into a world-class city. We deserve a world-class airport!

Fast forward to Sunday, September 27, 2015.

Although I am on a kind of tour guide hiatus, I still like to keep in touch with other local tour guides who are members of the SoCalITMI Alumni Network. My life goes in circles and one day… could be a year from now, could be tomorrow… I’ll go back to tour guiding when the moment strikes!

LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

Our gracious guide Eve escorted us up to the departures area and explained some of the recent improvements for passengers.

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

One thing I learned is that because there are more airlines than counter space, each airline is allowed up to four hours to occupy a particular counter. So if you arrive five hours before your flight you may not find your airline.

The other thing I didn’t know is that the person behind the counter is most likely not an employee of the airline… just a contractor for the hours they are working. So if you are ranting about what that particular airline did to you, it may be falling on deaf ears!

I believe she said one exception was British Airways. As BA is my favorite international carrier, if I heard that right that makes me happy! British all the way. (Although they only have a two star rating on Yelp, what is that all about?)

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

I’m always fascinated by light fixtures so this one got my attention.
LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

At this point we had gotten beyond the first security check and were looking back at passengers lined up for security before moving on to the boarding gates. Yup, that’s why I always get to the airport hours early, even for domestic flights. Hmmm, I was wishing I was going somewhere.

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

Looking through the window at the new terminal just before we entered the door for employees and crew only.

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LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

This area is for traveling pooches. It is cleaned up with pet safe disinfectant regularly. Where do the cats go? I didn’t think to ask.

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LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

You only get to this area if you have a ticket on an international flight… or have scheduled a tour of the airport!

I researched the name LAX and as far as I can ascertain the “X” has no meaning. Originally it was just plain old LA, but as more airports were built in the 1940s the two letter designation became three and LA added the X. It is also the designation for Los Angeles Union Station and the Port of Los Angeles.

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

Now we are in the restaurant and retail shopping area of the new terminal. It feels like an upscale shopping mall and that’s okay. I have to say I was extremely impressed.

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

It definitely gave me the sense that LAX is part of the 21st Century.

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

The Villaraigosa Pavilion. What is it with LA mayors and the international terminal?

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

This grand piano is programmed to play different tunes… karaoke anyone?

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

I was fascinated by this changing video screen. Sometimes ads interchanging with more artistic images. This water image was my favorite.

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

Our group of intrepid tour guides.

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

Departure sign board that can be seen all over the area. I believe Eve said this cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000. But don’t you think it’s worth it?

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

More artistic light fixtures.

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

The architectural style of the new terminal is described as “oceanic.” This is very fitting as LAX because if it was any closer to the ocean it would be water logged. Leaving LA you fly out over the Pacific Ocean. This is the link to a flight tracker so you can see what this looks like at any given moment. https://flightaware.com/live/airport/KLAX.

There is artwork throughout the terminal and this piece, which covered several stories,  certainly caught my attention. Click on an image to start slideshow.


This moving wall was at Korean Air. Click on an image. The last photo is an up close detail.

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

Yes, this is what Los Angeles is all about, right? Caviar and Champagne… I have it every night for dinner! Actually, to tell the truth, I don’t have a taste for either one. Give me Cajun Catfish and a glass of Merlot… Yum!!!!

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

This is more like it. I’ll take one of each, thank you. Well, really no thanks. As much as I love wine, wine doesn’t love me any more. Old age plays horrible tricks!

LAX Tom Bradley Terminal

Construction is going on all over the airport. And now that LA has stepped up to be in line for the Olympic Games for the third time (in 2024) I imagine the planned upgrading program for LAX will only be speeded up, including a proposed rail connection that is long overdue.

I found a super video that takes you through the entire building. Fly-Thru Video of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal.

It took about nine minutes to come up on my computer… so hang in there. If that doesn’t work, go to http://www.lawa.org/laxdev/laxdev.aspx and scroll down to the above title. You will enjoy it, I guarantee.

After this visit I have great hopes for LAX and all the improvements being made through this multi-billion dollar development program. It will be interesting to follow along over the next few years.

Just a few more impressions of the new terminal. Click an image to start the slideshow:

I had a great time exploring the latest renovation and addition to the Tom Bradley International terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. Hopefully, I will be visiting again in 2017 when I expect to be flying to London.

LAX Tom Bradley

A big thank you to Eve and the SoCalITMI members who planned the tour. The lovely day was capped off by Sunday Brunch at the Proud Bird Restaurant just a few minutes drive from the airport (although my GPS sent me through the US Post Office parking lot adding more minutes to my trip).

Some of the planes “flying” through the restaurant parking lot:

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

 


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My Oregon souvenir

roslyn in oregon

I was in Oregon last week on a trip with some friends and members of the Sierra Club.

On the first evening, while five of us were waiting for a table for dinner, we decided to walk around the quaint town of Seaside.

seaside, oregon

I had my camera in one hand, my bag in the other and I was talking instead of looking where I was going. Next thing I knew my forehead met the boardwalk!

This is the photo I took of the boardwalk from the hotel balcony before the big fall.

To make a longer story shorter (you don’t want to know all the details, believe me) I ended up in the ER at the Providence Seaside Hospital.

Needless to say we missed our dinner reservation. I really felt bad for my friends, as they were so kind. They eventually went to dinner but they missed seeing the town and strolling along the beach all because of me.

I’m not quite sure of the timeline but I waited more than an hour to see the doctor (he may have been at dinner!). Then I was wheeled in to get a CAT scan of my head. After that another hour while the scan was sent to Portland to be viewed.

Of course it was a very small ER but everybody was very courteous and attentive. I felt like I was in good hands.

The gentleman in the next bed to mine was obviously drunker than a skunk, and evidently was a frequent visitor as they all seemed to know him. But he was not ignored. The nurses came whenever he called out for help, which was every few minutes.

As I was lying there listening to all this, half of me wanted to have a glass of wine and forget everything. The other half of me, realizing the terrible distress this man was in, never wanted to touch alcohol again! But at the very least I was glad I had not had a glass of wine before our walk so that was not a component of my accident. It’s bizarre all the thoughts that went through my mind as I was waiting.

I also decided I should have changed from my clunky hiking shoes (they are not hiking boots just sturdier shoes with good tread) before leaving the hotel. If I had worn my Asic walking shoes maybe I wouldn’t have tripped. And I should have swapped my heavy DSLR with the 18-135mm lens for my little point & shoot camera. So many “shoulds.” Also, I had not slept the night before. The alarm went off at 2:00am to be ready for the taxi at 4:00am. I am not good without at least 6-8 hours of sleep.

This combination of events all contributed to my fall. Of course I have walked all over Europe and Los Angeles in those same shoes. I’ve carried that camera everywhere. And I have certainly fallen many times before but never hit my head. Who knows what combination of circumstances allowed this to happen.

I like to think of myself as a glass half full kind of person at this point in my life. The CAT scan was clean and I was able to continue with the trip. However, I was a little disappointed that no actual kitties were involved!

Before I knew the results and I was lying there with a truckload of ice on my forehead, I decided that no matter what, I was completing the trip even if I had to do it on a stretcher! I had been looking forward to this Oregon adventure for too long!

The outcome could have been so much worse. No broken bones, no chipped teeth, no sprains. And, most important, I was not dead, or even brain dead (at least I don’t think so…).

The next day I had a little trouble with some words. I was aware they were not coming out properly. But that cleared up. The day after that my vision was a little blurry but that cleared up too.

The photo at the bottom of the post shows my black eyes… otherwise known as my Oregon souvenir! My companions were calling me Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons… but I would rather be Morticia! One of my friends, not on the trip, said “And you should see the other guy!” Yes, that boardwalk will never be the same!

Fortunately, all the clothes I had with me were in shades of blue, purple and grey. So people were commenting on my color coordination. Yes, if I was wearing greens and yellows it would indeed have been a fashion disaster.

I kinda like the photo at the top of the post so I decided to use it as my new profile photo. I cleaned up the mess on my forehead in Photoshop but left the black eyes as they were too difficult to deal with. I don’t think anybody will notice!

I’m still dependent on Tylenol for all the aches and pains that come and go all over my body. But I was able to do some limited hiking and enjoy the rest of the week.

I have an appointment with my doctor on Thursday for a checkup. I feel like I am healing properly but I’m not taking any chances.

The good thing is I am a tough old broad and nothing can take me down that easily!

roslyn swollen face

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