California Here We Are

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We may appear a little stuck on the west coast. And, yes, we both agree whole heartedly with you. However, the great opportunity to gain new skills, along with the confidence – to get things “renter ready…” Well, we feel it’s been worth our efforts. . . then again, it’s amazing what new linoleum and carpet can do.

Since Sept 4th we’ve been in Ventura, a sweet little room, a breath away from my brother’s main household. The mild climate allows us to expand our space to the colbalt tiled table next to the fish pond, under strung garden lights (oooh, time to get the chicken in!); essentially, an outdoor living room, where I sit typing away right now. (They still call it “typing”, right?) Just so you’re totally in my head, the song that keeps circulating is Joni Mitchell’s California.

This week, I’m sharing photos from our daily neighborhood walks and our recent field trip to a couple of Mexican-focused grocery markets. These markets border the very fertile agricultural lands in Oxnard. Produce was shockingly inexpensive and exotic.

Here are a few examples:

Chayote on top, and Aloe Vera Stems between that, and the red peppers

Chayote on top, and Aloe Vera Stems between that, and the red peppers

This green, fuzzy looking pear on the left is called chayote. Immediately below it are aloe vera stems! I’m guessing those might be in “our” grocery stores, but I sure don’t recall seeing them.

Not pictured, they carried bushels of dried hibiscus flowers, I believe called “Jamaica” – it was a hot item that day, people gathered around the bins pulling the best specimens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe you’ve come across one of these “exotics”, huaunzontle or mamones?

Chillis on top, huaunzontle in the middle, and mamones on the bottom. Who knew?!

Chillis on top, huaunzontle in the middle, and mamones on the bottom.

The produce was over the top. Their carniceria (butcher area), cheeses, and bulk items were equally fascinating. The middle aisles carry items such as pestle & mortar – I spent weeks trying to track one of those down once. I was drawn to, and actually gained some crazy recognition for Warhol, gazing at one end cap display.

Having a Warhol moment in the El Super

Having a Warhol moment in the El Super

Then again, just looking around the corners of our current neighborhood, get a load of these crazy, and out-of-this world flowers.

testical flower

 

 

On our walks, we’d blow past this creature for days, until Woody almost hit the dirt skidding on a fallen, shoe-sized flower.

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this flower, I will name it, the starfish flower!

These are not sea stars!

These are not sea stars!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, I cannot resist a chance to take a picture of the sun powering through bright pedals, or maybe bright wings. . . yes, we’ve been here long enough to start seeing the monarchs make their migration to breeding groves. Noooowwww, I’m wondering, will we be here long enough for those countless avocados at the rental house to ripen??

We had heard October is the time for monarchs!

We had heard October is the time for monarchs!

 

Proud Bird of Paradise

Proud Bird of Paradise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Hali

Just a travel junkie trying to find my voice in the blogosphere. I enjoy sharing my photography and fast facts I learn in the places I travel through.

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