I spent the weekend in Fresno, of all places. Our fabulous friend Neb got married there, so we trundled off to the land of agriculture, strip malls and heat. It was 104 degrees when we arrived on Saturday and we sort of slid out of the car in a stupor, feeling smacked in the face with a wall of hotness. I never thought I'd welcome a trip to a hotel swimming pool. My past is sprinkled with many shame-filled visits to hotel pools across California, Mexico & Hawaii-horrible memories of sneering tan boys & their smirky thin & tan girlfriends as I huddled, pasty & uncomfortable on a patio chair, reading and trying to appear unconcerned & aloof. Anyway. Now I am 33, and I embrace my light skin and less than sporty bathing suit style. (A.K.A. the Try To Hide As Much As Possible style.) So, B, G and I went in the pool and had big time fun in the water, trying to blow bubbles underwater and experimenting with arm floaties. Very cute.
Casa de Fruta
On our way down we stopped at one of my favourite roadside attractions, Casa de Fruta. Casa de Fruta began 1908 as an orchard and fruit stand hawking cherries on the then lonely road through the Pacheco Valley. Now it is alongside the zippy & semi-dangerous Hwy 152, aka Pacheco Pass. It's gone from merely selling fruit to being a strange fruit stand on steroids, as if Disneyland had a fruit stand. No audio animatronics yet, but there is a petting zoo, wild peacocks, and a guy that flips coffee cups into the air at the Casa de Restaurant. We took G on the Casa de Choo Choo, which kept breaking down in an endearing manner. It gave me a chance to take some pics of the scenery, aka the perimeter of the Casa de Fruta property which is littered with old harrowers, plows and the odd peacock, strutting through dusty avenues of
of rusty who knows what. I think all these pieces might actually be on display, like an agricultural museum. It's so inspiring that old farm junk and the nostalgia there invoked has been capitalized on in such an enterprising manner. That we all were taking time out of our busy dot com lives to be pulled around on a little choo choo train to gaze on rusting tractors and tame buffalo was amazing to me. It was regenerative in some manner.
However, after a while all the Casa de _____ was beginning to grate on my nerves. Casa de Sweets. Casa de Gift Shop. Casa de Restroom. Casa de RV Park. We started calling everything the Casa de Wahoo! It got a little silly. But G loved the Casa de Carousel. I like the Casa de Dangerous and Rusty Playground.
Oh, and B is totally into the Applets & Cotlets, which is like a soft, gelatiny candy with nuts, covered in powdered sugar. He claims it is just like Turkish Delight, except TD tastes like roses (gross!) and these taste like fruit. I am of the opinion that both are totally naff, and I'm not trying either of them. B used to get these candies when he'd come to Casa de Fruta as a kid. I have no notion of Casa de Fruta from my childhood. We stuck to Santa's Village and Trees of Mystery......but I'll save those for another post.
So, Casa de Fruta: I love it's distinctive California feel, and that all this hoopla is about fruit.


Camille said...

Ahhhh, the memories.

hey, roses taste great! Go to the Bombay Ice Cream Shop on, um, Valencia and try out their rose petal 'cream.

jessica said...

not wanting to try turkish delight is completely understandable. it always looked/sounded enticing in the chronicles of narnia when served in a jewel encrusted container in the snow, but in a flimsy cardboard box, not-so-much.
also, never having been even to california, let alone fresno, is the first picture a photograph or a photorealist painting? if a photograph its a really neat one, well all of them are neat, but seeing a photo that looks like a painting instead of the usual painting looking like a photograph (even though they are the photorealists) is excellent!

Rosa said...

Hey Jessica, this photo is part of a burgeoning art movement know as 'Digital Camera/Taken From A Moving Car. That's why it's a bit wonky. I wish it was as interesting as a photorealist painting, I wonder if it's ever been attempted-a photorealist painting of the old Tower Theater in Fresno? Hmmmm. That's a great question.

And Camille-it's more the taste of rose gelatin covered in powdered suger-it's just like sucking on a bar of Grandma's soap......

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.