Monday, November 29, 2010

Orange County: Part 1

I rose at 6:30 and Max’s apartment having prepared my belongings and the rest of the lasagna the night before. Next I shuffled four blocks to the Metro (subway) station four blocks away carrying backpacks at front and back and with both hands heavily loaded. I estimate that my total load was in excess of 70 pounds. On the Metro I struggled to keep from bumping the people who stood nearby, peppering me with dirty looks. At the end of the line, I hustled into Union Station and up to the Metrolink (inter-city commuter rail) ticket booth. I turned out my train to Irvine was already waiting at the platform and would leave in a mere seven minutes!

Leo's big blue pickup

Once in Irvine, I missed my connection with the local bus system, but managed to reach WWOOF program manager, Ryan “Leo” Goldsmith, who graciously proffered a ride to Laguna Beach in his Blue biodiesel pickup. I accepted, and soon found myself in WWOOF’s cozy downtown office, drafting grant application language and casually observing as Leo responded to the needs of members and volunteers and feilded (sometimes over-eager) requests from would-be collaborators. After a bit of back and forth, we two produced a complete grant application and submitted it to the approval of WWOOF board president Sarah Potenza.

Leo's cottage from the back yard

After that it was back to Leo’s tastefully decorated cottage, walking distance from the office, where I was greeted by the aroma of fresh-cut flowers and the comfort of his well-appointed living room and quaint yard, shared with two other friendly neighbors and an adorable dog, Cinder, on the same lot.

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