Just imagine


We had such a marvellous day yesterday, there was a risk of losing track of it all!  So, this morning, whilst the others have gone for their constitutional, I’ve chosen to stay home and catch up.




They’ve gone for a walk around the lake, as our friends do every morning.  Though it’s said to be “cool” here, we’re perfectly comfortable in our short sleeved T shirts, hardly British souls that we are!


silk floss tree


Yesterday morning, we took the same route, following the waterside pathway and spotting various flora and fauna along the way.  Ellis identified this silk floss tree, with huge fruit hanging from the branches and evil looking spines on the bark.




And I’d have walked straight past this pomegranate hedge, had it not been pointed out to me.  I’ve never seen them growing so abundantly before.




Our “reward” lay just over the road, where we sat and chatted for a while before returning home to gather our things and set off out.




We knew we were back as soon as we spotted the little purple bench by the wall overlooking the lake.  I so covet those Adirondack chairs!




First stop was to get our bearings with a photo stop overlooking the Calabasas hills.  Though the air was a little hazy yesterday morning, we could get a feel for our location.




Next stop was the Calabasas Farmers Market, where trade was brisk and the produce plentiful.




As usual, there were things we’d never heard of and my hero eager to sample.


dried persimmons


Plus, there were things we did know of, but had never tried.  Delicious!




The fresh produce here is glorious; beautifully displayed, too.  We’d be regular customers, for sure.




Our next stop was a place to the north east of here, where there were some new developments and a collection of model homes – show houses, we’d call them.  We’ve always loved looking around such places so we were delighted by our friends’ suggestion to pay them a visit.




Oh. My. Goodness.  The space!  The proportions!  The size of the rooms!  Even the smallest bungalow had such beautifully arranged spaces, we couldn’t help but gasp as we went through into each new room.  Compared with houses built on a European scale, these American designs are remarkably lavish and yes, we loved them!




So, we said to the sales executive, please may we see the largest home you have to offer?  The picture above is what we saw as we opened the front door.




We turned left, into the kitchen and were surprised by the relatively modest size of the room compared with the previous, smaller bungalow we’d just left.  Having said that, it was equipped to the highest of standards, including that contraption on the wall above the range cooker, which I had completely overlooked until Ellis explained it to me just now.  Who knew such things existed?  (not us)




The reasons behind the modest kitchen were revealed when we stepped outside, where we found another one.  Ahem.  This was for the “rock star” lifestyle, we thought, with the outdoor living space, including fire pits, dining table and lounge area – and yes, of course, a huge plasma TV on the wall above the hearth.

The swim up bar (complete with bar stools in the pool) can be see just off to the left.

The purple sign “Imagine what you could do with your back yard” was one of those sentences which highlights the slightly difference nuances of American English and would surely prompt a hollow laugh from a backyard-owning Englishman. 




Gazing out over the artifical lawn (ooh, that’s tempting – we could live with that!) we were a little overwhelmed by now.  Ellis brought us down to earth with this sanguine and first-hand experience of swimming pool maintenance, but we were still dreaming…




How often would the home owner have time to sit and relax by the pool or to entertain friends in that outdoor party space when there was the lawn to vacuum (and two kitchens to clean)?




One thing is sure.  The homeowner would never be lost for somewhere to sit and relax, because at the top of those curved staircases is the retreat; a peaceful place to sit and knit, with a tray of tea and a fine view.




The master bedroom is just to the right, with a beautiful terrace overlooking the garden and with a fine view of the valley and the distant hills.




The spectacular master bathroom is to the right, with similar views and a huge bath and shower.  Oh, and a dressing room/closet bigger than most European bedrooms.  Just across the landing were two smaller children’s bedrooms with a modest bathroom in between them.  No doubt who has the priority for space and luxury in this house, then.

We returned to the car, overwhelmed by what we’d seen.  The American dream is still alive and well and what fun it is to admire it, first hand!

After a delicious lunch in delightful company and elegant surroundings, we made our way back home, to the house with the cute purple Adirondack chair.  There was time for tea and a quick change before setting out once again, towards Beverly Hills and a pre-theatre supper with Mary.  The theatre is a lively place and the five of us had tickets for the smaller, more intimate space where Play Dead was programmed.

We had no idea what to expect, which was possibly just as well!  Let’s just say that the two Marys and I clung to our heroes at times and though, with hindsight, it was fun, it was also really scary!




One souvenir of the evening was to be found on the dining table this morning. That was a little surprise, for sure!

A night out at the movies

At the end of a very long day