23 December 2013

Carpe Dream – A Californian Winter

I have lost count of the number of my visits to California, Silicon Valley to be precise, probably in the range of twenty in the past seven years – all of them work related as I was heading to the company’s headquarters. I’ve always had mixed feelings about this area. On the one hand, it’s culturally poor (even San Francisco pales in comparison of New York City) and, without a car, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere. On the other hand, Silicon Valley is always sunny and warm (not so much in San Francisco though), at least during the wintertime daylight. Heck, even oranges grow on trees at the end of December (with picture as proof).

So despite my exhaustion, mainly from some mostly-unexpected work-related matters, there really was no excuse not to take advantage of those (heart)warming rays of sunshine, even simply for a few hours. With the Google Maps application loaded on my phone, I scrolled through reviews of neighbouring parks. That was really my finding of this time: the sheer number of parks, small and large, dotted across the area. In a matter of minutes, I would drive up a hill, isolated, in complete silence. Today, it was the discovery of the small arboretum of Villa Montalvo, in Saratoga – I didn’t have the time to hike on all trails, where mountain lions can sometimes be spotted (on that note, I love the sign that says “if attacked, fight back”).

Here are some of my pictures of the day, since I’m a bit stuck in the creative process of continuing the stories of my recent travels in Borneo and the Malaysian peninsula: a lonely bench only waiting for an old couple to relax, a Greek-style statue of embracing lovers which somehow moved me, an incredible collection of bird nest boxes, plants and flowers coming in various shapes and colours, and inspirational signs scattered around the villa.

“Remember to unlock your mind, it’s different outside. Don’t forget to look up”.

A bench not-so-lonely with many yellow leaves keeping it company
Happy deserves more than an hour
Let me in (out)
A couple of orange-looking fruits
        Perennial plant
Roger that
        Perennial plants
Perennial plant
In the shape of a lotus flower
Bright colours on a grey day
True love
Not sure I should try eating those!
I absolutely did not arrange those leaves on the ground!
Pretty blue flowers
In case you don’t find a home that suits you
Yes is a bonfire in a hailstorm of no
Carpe Dream
Out of tune
Don’t forget to look up
Remember to unlock your mind. It’s different outside.
Art speaks louder than words. Feed your mind and it will last a lifetime.