Santa Clara, California


After my recent Vancouver Island sojourn, I’m back in California… at least for another week, until I head back to Portland for some medical stuff and cat sits for the month of December. I’m soaking up the sunshine here while I can!

Two weeks ago, I boarded a small propeller plane out of Comox to Vancouver, then transferred to a jet back to San Francisco, followed by a couple of hours on the Caltrain before I arrived at my new sit. The cloudy and overcast views out the airplane window in Canada were kind of cool.

At the end of that long travel day—during which I arrived to a heavy rainfall in California—I finally landed at this lovely house with a Spanish-style backyard, complete with lime and avocado trees, across from a Carmelite monastery.

The two cats, Angel (white) and Buttercup (calico) were both strays rescued by this couple years ago; they suspect that people sometimes abandon stray cats at the monastery.

After the adorable-but-high-strung cats in San Jose, these two have been refreshingly low-key. Buttercup stays outside, and Angel mostly does too, just coming in at night for several rounds of treats followed by a snuggly overnight sleep on the bed with me.

The temperatures have been slightly lower than my preference—mostly highs in the low to mid 60s—but definitely warmer and sunnier overall than Comox or Portland. I have enjoyed the sun as much as possible, even pulling a porch chair out into the driveway today to catch the last few rays.

Last week, I went over and walked the monastery grounds. It’s a lovely and peaceful spot, with a large olive grove directly across from the house.

I also found time to return to the San Jose Japanese Friendship Garden, on a particularly warm and sunny day. I love that spot.

I spent Thanksgiving with my gracious former Warmshowers hosts Vikki and Mark, in nearby Campbell. Vikki made a few special vegan dishes for me, which I really appreciated. I will also be staying with them for the next three nights, after I leave here tomorrow, and then with a really interesting Servas host in nearby Mountain View.

On my way back from Campbell that day, I stopped once again at the beautiful rose gardens and Rosicrucian peace garden. There are so many wonderful public spaces here in the San Jose area.

Oh, and an amazing small-world coincidence: the couple I am sitting for right now have been visiting the husband’s sister in the tiny town of Lovettsville, Virginia… which happens to be the neighboring town to the tiny village of Waterford, Virginia where I grew up! They will be returning next summer; perhaps they can meet up with my parents then for a walking tour of historic Waterford.

I’ll leave you here with a few more kitty pics.

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