Monday, April 19, 2010

Visalia Cali

who knew central Cali is so great -- here a quick glance (see fb vid [below] b4 or after reading post)

Thurs night I went to a concert in East Village -- Webster Hall -- saw Caspian - band from Boston - perform -- stretched late -- rode bike round midnight to apt -- grabbed suitcase and made way to PATH train ----- cruised to Jersey -- Newark -- bumbled around airport -- checked in round 5am ---- boarded plane and soared to sunny Cali..

Fresno Airport is clean -- has sculptures of giant tree(trunk)s in it.. -
stepped out into glorious sun and radiant green palm trees
The sister of the bride (whose wedding i flew in for) picked me up in an older model Grand Marquis (yyeeaahh)..
we drive to 'Super Taco'
i've eaten plenty of tacos over the years -- these were possibly the best --
we sprayed lemon on and ate them as we cruised to house - fruit trees blurring by on both sides of vehicle

arrive at house (bride's parents) -
reeeaally beautiful place -- Cali architecture all the way -- one floor -- tall windows -- pool out back with waterslide ---- they have two big Saint Bernard dogs.. and a bunch of cats roaming around..
we drive to another farm -- big avocado tree in yard -- fields of plum trees, nut trees, on and on..
next thing i'm zooming on an ATV - along with her cousins and a local - though a vast network of sandy trails -- fruit and nut trees eeeverywhere -- rows and rows -- dips, moguls, ramps, big openings full of sand (good for donuts, jumping off ramps) -- a lake -- slog thru..
the local had all kinds of enormous tractors and farm equipment -- an Austrain prince put him in charge of tending the land -- soo much to look after (including Kiwi trees) -- but he had a good attitude about it - and a cool dog - who'd fetch sticks and play in the water

We ate a feast of a dinner -- fresh Beef, potatoes, 3 bean salad, -- walnut pie and whipped cream for dessert =d

afterwords, went to go play pool at a family friend's
we show up and it's a huge space with a movie screen playing a film -
we watch the rest - then skip pool to go grab drinks on Main Street

at the biggest venue downtown a teen-age band is rocking out on a stage -- we opt for another bar down the street - someone bought a round of shots which we threw back -- then i order beers from tap for me and a friend -- expecting a $14 bill -- 7 bucks for both(!)
place was packt -- local gals belted out karaoke

got in middle of night -- snoozed on couch -----
jolt awake around 5am -- to the Saint Bernard having a barking/howling fit --
i swivel head around to see the owner of the house standing there -- ready to start farming for the day -- 'the dog has dreams' he said

fell back asleep - till awoken a few hours later -- to talk of a clogged toilet -- a plumber pushes in an industrial-grade snake 'MAX ROOTER' written on it
he rattled it to work on the clog -- claimed it was 'roots' (grew though, blockt flow)
* someone asked him what was the craziest thing he had to dislodge -- 'small animals' he said

after breakfast at the farm, the grandpa walks in and says there's a stolen car, dumped on the land (abandoned)
we get in back of pick up and go investigate ('happens all the time -- usually they torch them' [the abandoned vehicles] --- also tells me the farmer has a thing that launches disks, which explode loudly - scaring of thieves trying to steal nuts

it's a white, Toyota truck-- wheels stripped off, windows smasht..
they get the forklift, attach chains to it, jostle it around..
not wanting to damage the irrigation hose, we pull it out from under it.. a Fresno cop pulls up.. we leave it for the tow truck to deal with..

one of the cousins shows me the bee hives --
about two hundred boxes (little bigger than shoe boxes) stacks of about 5 high
bees swarm around them (hives made inside) --
he's telling me about the business of it (farmers paying bee keepers to be near their farms -- to pollinate flowers) - wearing a pair of orange oakleys -- bees are right there close to us buzzing like mad -- sun blazes in distance - behind us are countless orange trees -- we're standing on a path made of crushed walnut shells

he also told me Visalia is well known for dairy - one of -- if not *the* -- top producing areas in the World

The bride's uncle takes me and his son for a drive -- to 'Three Rivers'
the road weaves through massive green mountains -- body of water in the valley below.. -- people fill the water (boating and waverunnering) in the summer..
we lunch at In-N-Out -- gobbled down a 'Double Double' (yyowie)

back at the house - dress for wedding - wedding photographer shows up - with the videographer - two friends show up (one from ny -- the other, la)
i take wheel of their rental car (PT Cruiser) - stop by Starbucks - and roll to church

a modern building -- felt like we were in a space ship : )

Harpist played.. Ceremony..
Groom played an original, epic piece on piano to bride, who stood at the alter in magnificent gown

candle lighting, rings, kiss, they exit

we exit, into Cruiser, roll to reception..

Visalia Country Club -- great choice -- a verdant green, lush, flowy trees, lake with big carp and swans.. drinks at the bar.. sun sets -- mystical, sublime -- as we laugh by the lake..

darkness, go inside.. fancy - steak and salmon.. wine.. speeches.. cake cutting.. champagne.. dance floor opens -- it's On.. -
tho at one point my friend leap-frogs me - we bonk heads -- he has to sit a while to recoup..
Outside, we blow bubbles on bride and groom as they walk to shiny new Corvette -- climb in -- rumble off into Cali night -- to honeymoon in Japan

Afterparty in the heart of downtown Visalia -- rowdy bar -- lots of Cali farmer kids
i ordered a drink called a 'Crackpipe' -- sip at it, yelling to others over the blaring music -- the drink goes straight to head an i hand keys to friend -- we stop by a 7eleven -- where discover atm card is missing (aaah well)

we arrive at house 1ish -- i snooze on sectional couch pull-out bed..

rise after sleeping in.. eat wedding cake basking in sun out by pool.. -- pool-cleaning robot sprays me with its hose =/

bride's sis pops up to give me a ride to airport..
the farmer dad (owner of house) takes my two friends and i to the fruit trees - we pluck fat oranges right off the trees, stick them in bags..
i eat two of them on way to Fresno airport
the other two, I left under my seat on the airplane....
I wonder if the person who found them, ate them

here's a video