This morning I got up early and prepared to take a walk into downtown Santa Monica. My ultimate destination was a Barnes & Noble Bookstore about three miles from where I live. It was a sunny, cool morning, with the temperature predicted to top out at 64° Fahrenheit (approximately 18° Celsius).
The stretch along Broadway between Centinela Avenue and 26th Street is particularly attractive, with lush plantings of palm trees, cacti, and other decorative flora. The photograph above is looking north on Yale Street as I headed west along Broadway.
At Barnes & Noble, I picked up a book about Iceland. I am trying hard to talk Martine into coming to Iceland with me this summer. Back in 2001, I went alone. I resolved at that time that I wanted to return with Martine: She would love the puffins, the waterfalls (seemingly thousands of them), the glaciers, and the volcanoes. It is a truly strange landscape, and a largely treeless one.
There is an Icelandic joke that runs: What do you do if you’re lost in an Icelandic forest? The answer: Stand up. Because of the strong winds, few trees are very tall. Whole forests, such as the extensive one at Asbyrgi, near Húsavik, look as if it were miniaturized.
I have my work cut out for me. Martine is still suffering from back and shoulder pains, which I am beginning to think are symptoms of fibromyalgia. On one hand, the activity would do her good (she has a tendency to be a couch potato). On the other, I cannot survive the rigors of a tax season without planning for an escape, and Iceland strikes me as a good one.