All about the Tranquility

"We do love things that bear the marks of grime, soot, and weather, and we love colors and sheen that call to mind the past that made them."

-Tanizaki Junichiro

We went to the Japanese Gardens today, despite the promised 80% chance of rain. It was by far one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to; the Chinese Gardens pale in comparison, like bright colors left in the sun too long. It covers close to 5 and a half acres, has all the slippery rocks, koi ponds, and burbling waters you could want. ‘Zen’ doesn’t cover it really. If you soaked in steaming Tranquility for two weeks you might get close. Honey took loads of photos, none of which he’s allowed to use for anything unless he pays a $150 fee to the Gardens; I, however, am not a photographer and won’t be making any money or getting any publicity from them, so they’ll be posted here in all their glory. I’m not usually one for gift shops, but this one had all sorts of interesting stuff. Honey bought me the book I wanted; he just looked at the title (Wabi Sabi:The Art of Everyday Life) and didn’t ask any questions. It’s got some great wisdom in it and aligns perfectly with my current state of mind.

We attempted the Rose Gardens but nothing has bloomed yet; it’s all just twiggy stumps right now. There’s also an arbitoreum - basically a park full of trails solely for the purpose of looking at various tree species. We skipped that. On the way home we were discussing where to eat and decided some place new was in order. We’ve been at home this whole week and haven’t spent much (except for movies and orange juice to accompany my new drinking habit). Honey saw a sign for East Burn and we circled the block three times before finding a parking space (for free no less). We sat in the front window, each of us in a hanging bamboo chair, and proceeded to have the most decadent, delicious, and food-porn-worthy dinner ever. Yeah, it was that good. Potato pancakes with apple-bourbon chutney and scallion sour cream for the appetizer. (Are you drooling yet?) I had chicken stuffed with wild mushrooms, roasted red peppers, parmesan, rosemary, and thyme on a bed of the best garlic mashed potatoes I’ve ever had, all swimming in pesto. OMG!! Honey had flank steak with an apple chutney demi-glaze, creamy polenta, and Moroccan vegetables. He even commented how perfect the carrots were - my husband, the man who doesn’t eat vegetables. The food was excellent and the portions small enough that you didn’t feel like a stuffed pig in desperate need of a nap afterwards. There were only three choices for dessert, all made by local bakeries. I was really bummed they were out of cheesecake (there was chocolate ganache, caramel, nuts, and a chocolate cookie crust involved), so we had one each of the German chocolate cake and the lemon cake and shared. The German chocolate was divine. I’m not a big fan of lemon cake, but there’s was very good. We even had cocktails (hey, it was happy hour!). I had something called a Sunburn with vodka, rum, and fruity stuff in it. Honey had something like a lemon drop only made with lime and far more tart than sweet. The check didn’t even break the bank. :) I am a very happy camper.

For the third time now, we’ve added stuff to our road trip home, stops we can make because they’re on the way. Currently we’re planning to head for the coast - the beaches are promised to be amazing - then to the Oregon Aquarium, and Oregon Safari. The last is a drive thru wildlife park similar to Bear Country in South Dakota only with animals from the African plains, Asia, and the Americas. Frankly, with the condition of my skeleton at present (all fucked up) the more stops the better. We’ll stay a night in Reno (once we get there, be that in one day or two) and then head for Bodie ghost town, Mono Lake, and through Death Valley to Scotty’s Castle before reaching home. We didn’t get to do and see as much as we planned here and now we’re going home it’s time to make the most of it.

Kinda out-did myself with the links, huh. Trying to share the experience!!

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