This past weekend the Beloved and I took a trip up to Pasadena. The
reason for the visit was the last of her Christmas presents, which were
tickets to see the Cal Phil perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos (some of her favorites).
Moreover, we coupled the opportunity to get together with some friends
that we too-rarely get to see. We got together with them on Saturday
afternoon at their home, went out for a great dinner and went to the
concert. The orchestra played all six concertos, which made for a long
concert (I don’t think we got out until after 11:00), but they did a
really good job. Great day.
On thing that could have spoiled the day was that
it’s apparently the start of another wildfire season in Southern
California. On Saturday, it was a scorcher – near 100 and a big
wildfire started up in the Sierra Madre region just southeast of
Pasadena. It was a little disturbing – especially after the horrendous
fires in San Diego last fall – that we could see the flames from our
hotel window when we returned from the concert. Some folks were
evacuated, but no damage was done to any homes or structures.
On Sunday, we spent the day at the Huntington Library and Gardens,
which I had never been to before. I thought it was great. Wonderful
collection of art, history, antique books, and gardens that kept me
more interested together than any one of them would have alone. Also,
ducking into one of the tiny museums was a good respite from strolling
in ~100 degree gardens.
One thing you realize is that the Huntington is a
massive library – and they have a great collection of historical books.
We were able to see an original Gutenberg Bible and a first edition of
Milton’s Paradise Lost among others. The scientist in me got a charge
of seeing an original copy of Robert Hooke’s Micrographia – one of the most important “popular science” books of all time and an illustration of the new science of microscopy.
The other highpoint was walking around the
different gardens on the Huntington grounds. The roses were really in
bloom and folks were enjoying walking around and sampling their array
of colors and fragrances. As gorgeous as they were, I think I liked the
cactus and succulent garden – which was also in bloom (though not
nearly as crowded) – the best. There’s something about their ability to
thrive in the harshest of environments that makes me really enjoy
On Monday, we slept in and had a nice easy mid-day drive back to San Diego. Not a bad weekend at all.