We are being so well looked after here in Yorba Linda. We came down to have breakfast after Carolyn had left for work – she goes around 6.30am and gets to her school around 7 am – to find Hana working away on her laptop and some macarons on the table. Hana had made them for us, and had tried out almond milk for the filling in some. Hana has been perfecting macarons for some time, these being her 5th go and she has got it – and passed on a few tips to us. We are impressed at such dedication to getting them right!
Then, Sue looked in the fridge and felt like Alice in wonderland when she confronted the “Eat me” sign on a cake because there in the fridge were two Japanese daifuku – mochi based treats – with a sign, “Sue please eat”! We are not starving. Carolyn had also bought some hummus, which she knows Sue loves for breakfast. It was yummy – hummus flavoured with jalapeño and cilantro. Mmm…
We only had errands planned for the day, besides a family dinner in the evening. The errands all had to do with shopping so we decided to go to our old stomping ground, Brea Mall. Hana, who wasn’t working that day, joined us.
We didn’t have much success at Brea Mall with what we were looking for, but Sue did glimpse, on a sales rack she passed, a little jacket that was not only 100% cotton but a great price because it was winter season stock. She bought it, making it the only item of clothing bought on the trip, besides a pair of shoes.
We were gobsmacked by the Mall’s puppy shop though, which had, among many other dogs, a French bulldog priced at $3199. It was marked “sold”. Wow!
As agreed, we met Hana at the cafe in the Nordstrom department store and we all had lunch before returning “home”. Len and I then did some further research on one of our errands and decided another shopping trip was in order, this time down to Orange to a complex we later discovered is known to locals as The Block. Its focus is outlet stores, eating places and entertainment – apparently to draw the tourists who come to nearby Disneyland. It describes itself as “a great place to spend the day”! However, it does have some speciality stores such as the one we were looking for. It served our needs.
What we enjoy about Southern California – besides the friends we have there/here and its climate – is its contradictions. It can be stylish or tacky, natural or sophisticated, relaxed or fraught. Moreover, where else would you find a carpark in which palm trees are cheek-by-jowl with gum trees, except of course, Australia’s Gold Coast perhaps.
We had one more errand which took us once again to Old Towne Orange, one of our favourite older places in the county as it’s a quiet and pretty little oasis in the middle of rush and bustle. We did our errand there pretty quickly and once again returned “home” for a bit of a rest before the evening’s adventures.
Len had indicated, when we were here at the beginning of our trip that he’d like some Mexican tamales and chilli rellenos. Carolyn’s family all like El Farolito in Placentia, so a plan was cooked up for us all, including Ben and Annie (aka Benannie) now living way down some freeways at Long Beach, to eat at this restaurant during our return trip. It was a big ask for Benannie so we wouldn’t have been surprised if they called off the outing. But no, true to their word, they met us at the restaurant as planned.
Sue and Carolyn both enjoyed a margarita – Carolyn’s was blended (or frozen) style while Sue’s was on the rocks. We all enjoyed our food. The home-made corn chips were wonderfully tasty. Mexican food always looks “messy” on the plate but that’s because it is genuine, homey, hearty cooking. Sue and Ben enjoyed their carnitas with rice and refried beans, Annie her arroz con pollo, while the others enjoyed various combinations of tamales, chili rellenos, tacos, and burritos. None of us went hungry.
As on our previous gathering on Easter Sunday, our conversations ranged widely ranging from why the US still hasn’t changed to metric (even though some things are already metric such as pharmaceuticals and wine bottles) to the recent racism furore involving the owner of the LA Clippers basketball team. The Clippers used to be Ben’s team but he reckons that now he’ll change over the Annie’s Lakers! For those who don’t know, Clippers’ owner Donald Serling has been banned for life from the NBA for some racist comments. It was a fun night and we greatly appreciated Benannie driving up from Long Beach in LA rush-hour traffic to join us.
We forgot to mention a couple of things in our final Canadian post. One was the question, “How do you like our plastic money?” They were surprised to hear that not only had Australia had such money for a couple of decades (since 1988, in fact) but that it had been developed in Australia.
The other was some descriptions we came across of Canada’s seasons. Apparently there are just two, though opinions differ regarding the second. For some, it is Winter and Bugs (see our post referring to that subject), while for others it is Winter and Construction. As we’ve said before, it pays to have a sense of humour.
And of course, the slideshow …