Yesterday John and I took our bikes to El Dorado Regional Park in Long Beach and rode for two hours around and about the perimeter of the park, past the lakes and the archery range, and along the section of the San Gabriel River path that borders the park. The sun was shining so brightly that, if the man sitting at the picnic table hadn't warned me, I would have ridden into the empty chair and fishing poles, because the sun was in my eyes. The wind was a bit chilly and of course no matter what direction we were going we were riding into the wind.
There is also a nature park there but it is closed on Mondays so we couldn't go in. However, the lakes provided plenty of fowl and bird watching. My favorites by far are the egret and the heron. I have always loved watching those birds. It would almost be worth moving to a marshy beach area in Oregon just so I could watch herons and egrets every day in their natural habitat. Almost. In Indonesia John gave me a green tea set with herons painted on the pot and plates. I loved that tea set but had to leave it when we moved back to the US andI have never found a set like it to replace it even though I have looked and looked. I think herons have a significance in China--maybe hospitality or long life. Does anyone know?
We also rode through a neighborhood adjoining the park which is where we parked our car to avoid paying for parking. The houses were all built around the same time (late 50s?) and it looked like there were maybe six house plans and most of them have one part of the house that is 12 feet wide or in the case of the garages two 12 feet wide sections. I thought that they were all very interesting and they all had lots of windows and outside patio areas. Many of the homes were well kept and it was fun to see the many different ways the "same house" was painted, decorated and fenced.
We ended our excursion with a stop at the local Starbuck's where we were greeted by all the servers who know us as regulars. It was pleasant to drink our coffee and hot chocolate in such a congenial place. Even the manager came over and said hello. Yes, I know we really stick out in the environment. The LA County sheriffs usually stare at us or come over and ask what we're doing there. If you're ever in our area be sure to stop by the Compton and Gage Starbuck's. They really do make the drinks better.