Hunkered Down in Hollywood
“In order to write about life first you must live it.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Hallo from the Road!
I hope you’ve had a good couple of weeks. Sadie and I have covered an awful lot of ground and seen some pretty incredible sights & scenery, so I have really tried to only share the best of the best in terms of photos in this blog.
When I last posted (about the creepy massage), I was just about to leave Florence, Oregon and head to the Redwood Forest in Northern California.
Whoa…those trees are TALL! Here are few pics:
Just a note to anyone thinking of visiting the Redwood Forest with a pooch – there are very few trails that dogs are allowed on. Sadie and I got busted by a Park Ranger (a female one – bummer!) on one of our forest-forays. After that, she had stay in the car while I ran off into the woods on mini-hikes.
“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always…From them comes silence and awe. They are ambassadors from another time.”
– John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
And this is one of my favourite photos from the trip so far:
And then after emerging from that forest, this is the sunset that greeted me at the ocean:
Then the next day, we hit Mendocino, Northern California:
After that, we headed to Berkeley (just east of San Francisco), where I met up with Ann Davidman, author of Motherhood: Is It For Me? It’s an excellent resource for women who are working through the “To be or not to be…a Mom?” decision. I reviewed the book last year. Ann had seen our documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood, which also explores that question, and then we connected on Twitter. So it was great to meet Ann in person…we gabbed for hours!
Saturday night in Berkeley was spent reading Noam Chomsky’s latest book…not exactly light reading, let me tell you (but it was the perfect purchase from a Berkeley bookstore). As perhaps you can tell from Sadie’s concerned expression 🙁 Chomsky has much to say about climate change. But I shall save Noam’s comments for a future blog.
On a much cheerier note, in Santa Clara I met up with a dear friend whom I hadn’t seen in far too long: Tina Maat-Kristensen! Tina was one of the participants in the Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood documentary. We gabbed for hours, too…such fun to reconnect! It was like no time had passed since we’d last seen each other – except, of course, for the significant changes in both our lives.
The next day, I hit the road and made it as far as the 17 Mile Drive at Pebble Beach – one of the most scenic drives in the world. They aren’t kidding! This is a neat shot of the famous old lone Cypress tree (to the right):
17 miles took us about 4 hours to drive because we had to keep stopping to check out the view!
Next on the agenda was a pit-stop at Carmel-by-the-Sea for a walk on the beach…and low and behold, Sadie met her twin, Riley. It was really weird! Riley’s owner was snapping photos as madly as I was because the resemblance was uncanny. But Carmel, I find, is a special place…John and I were there on our honeymoon way back when.
Then we got to visit the absolutely stunning Hearst Castle (the California “Ranch” of William Randolph Hearst) at San Simeon (about 4 hours south of San Francisco). WOW!
This is just the indoor pool (the outdoor Neptune pool is under construction):
Sadie and I then staggered south to Los Angeles and have spent the past week hunkered down in our oh-so-Bohemian Hollywood home. This VRBO is really neat. It is one house with multiple suites. The musician in the studio next to mine softly strums his guitar in the evenings…it’s lovely. Work-wise, I have been writing up a storm. Sadie has been exploring the delightful garden:
“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”
– Henry Ward Beecher
On breaks from work, I sit in the garden and soak up the sunshine…listening to the birds chirp. It is QUIET! I mention this (again) because of the irony that I endured seven years of disruptive noise in the tiny retirement town of Sidney, only to land in the heart of Los Angeles and be able to enjoy the garden without having to listen to traffic, pounding bass, band saws or video games.
We did venture out of Hollywood once…when Lani, Charlie and I took Kip & Sadie for a fun dog walk and chat.
Lani Shipman is Nell Shipman’s great-granddaughter. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may recall that I have been working on a screenplay project (God’s Country) about Nell Shipman (she was a silent screen star, born in Victoria, BC) and over the years, I have been very fortunate to get to know her family.
Alas, we must leave our quiet writing oasis tomorrow and head to Oceanside (an hour north of San Diego)…where I shall turn FIFTY (on Fri Feb 23rd)! YAHOOO!!!
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the photos and have a wonderful week!
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
If you are just joining us on our Bohemian Writing Road Trip Adventure & would like to do a little catch-up reading 🙂 here are my previous blogs:
Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.