Day 21: Orange County

I covered a lot of ground today (never enough) but took a lot of time-outs for the dogs. Huntington Beach has a mile of beach coastline just for dogs so we just had to go there:

I normally don’t bring the camera with me into these dogs parks & beaches since I’m afraid I’ll drop it or get it slimed up with greasy dog treats. So here, at least, is a photo of a building next to the Costa Mesa Bark Park ( which was a lot of fun. The artwork identifies each of the local dogs by name.

So everybody got a lot of running in. Nik went into the ocean a bit but then got frightened by some big waves (maybe 3-4 footers) and we waited for his ballie to return by itself. Grem didn’t understand tides at all and got submerged a bit. Fixie flirted and got petted with all the people that would have her. And Grip stayed close to me for tricks and handouts (gourmet-quality cheddar today that I’m a little reluctant to share).

Nik isn’t the cuddling kind but Grem always acts like he’s her boyfriend and he tolerates it. She just goes over and flops down against him like they have been lovers for years (she’s been with us three months). They do play together — but only when he wants to. Anyway, here’s a passenger seat photo of Nik & Grem after today’s big beach adventure. I guess Nik was still a bit cold from the water and was enjoying having her there.


On with the roadside stuff!

The Alibaba Motel in Costa Mesa has a huge gold dome and neat details:


The Yost Theatre in Santa Ana was being restored while I was there today:


I paid a visit to the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove. It lived up to its reputation of amazing-ness:


Vodie’s Wheel Alignment in Garden Grove had something I had never seen before: a giant pit with these lifts that you (they?) drive cars onto so they can work on them from below. Kind of like an oil change place but with more pit than ground floor. It seems a little scary to me.


The Grove Motel in Garden Grove has a big fun sign. I love the silly little arrow at the right. But what of those white poles — what might they have supported? And who knows what the original name of this place was?


In Stanton, the Tahiti Motel sign looks like it’s been reworked a few times. But I do like the star on top (and so does this pigeon).


The Benkey Pool Center in Anaheim has another star/sputnik on top. I couldn’t figure out if there might have been lights in those tubes.


Time for a little nature break. California is more beautiful than I remembered. I’m SO ready to move back here — but as long as I have that good-paying job and that cheap apartment, I guess I’ll be staying put in NYC.


Now, these I don’t remember and I’ve seen a number of them on this trip. What the heck are they? I don’t think they’re dead — just pruned back and will regrow. But what do they look like then?


I love this little dairy store signage:


The Sky Palm Motel in Orange retains most of its classic look. I’m sure the signage was neon originally but at least they have retained the shapes. Much better than a box sign. The roof-as-canopy design is tremendous.


And, lastly, I found this guy in a store window very amusing. I had never seen a mannequin with tattoos before. When I looked more closely, there was clearly a stocking-like piece that fits over the arm so it resembles a tattoo. How clever!

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