After that savory experience, we lugged our stomachs and the rest of our bodies over to the Huntington where we spent a quick but delightful hour looking at roses and herbs. Michael and I tend to stick to the same route when we visit the Huntington, but now that we are members, we can dash in and out and see what we want and then leave without feeling guilty for not getting "our money's worth". That, to me, is the biggest plus of a museum membership! At any rate, the roses were in FULL bloom. We enjoyed all of the bright colors - such a fantastic array - and we also learned about the roses and how the garden was organized, based on year. Kind of like wine being organized around certain vintages. I digress, but there were some fantastic flowers. After oohing and aahing over the roses, we explored the herb garden where we could touch and smell (but not pick) the herbs. Our favorite was lemon balm - it smelled like lemon, obviously, but in a wonderfully fragrant way.
Then, yesterday we pulled off the long-awaited and long-planned first hike of 2010. Actually, not the FIRST hike, since we did manage a wonderful hike when my parents were visiting us back in February, but this was our first hike around Los Angeles. Ever since March, I had been planning and then postponing that ever elusive hike, so I am happy to report: Mission Accomplished! Not that I want to think about hiking in those sorts of terms (too much military symbolism involved), but I do feel that we broke through that "we need to get out and hike!" barrier. Added to that is the fact that we enjoyed a gorgeous day in the Santa Monica mountains, spotted a few birds, at least two dozen lizards and tons of wildflowers, what could have been better? The trail was to Standstone Peak, apparently one of the "best" hikes in the LA area, and I did like that it was a loop and that we had a good elevation gain and loss, but it wasn't straight up and then straight down but lots of variety (although there was a good portion that WAS up, up and up). Also, we enjoyed cool rock formations and an abundance of wildflowers. My favorite flower that I hadn't seen before was this lovely lady:
The Mariposa Lilly!
Such an exquisite flower!
We were on the trail by 9:00 am and wrapped it up around 11:30. At that point, we believed that we were 'ravenous', so we drove to PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and headed to Malibu. Once we set south, we realized that we hadn't been on a drive along the PCH for ages - I think it's been almost a year. "Where do I live?!" I asked myself. "What have I been doing with myself?!" It was a great day to be out - the water was beautiful and there were tons of people out and about. We ended up splitting fish tacos at this place that we discovered two years ago (and hadn't been back until now) called "Lily's pastries and cafe" or some such nonsense. Screw the cafe and pastries, the Mexican food is amazing! These are, without a doubt, the best fish tacos I've ever eaten. Better than those I had at a small town in Baja California. Just amazing.
Fish tacos washed down with horchata = life is good.