Truly, AA is everywhere around the world.
A Peruvian creche vendor at a craft market in Santa Ana, which is about five miles from where I live in San Jose, and it feels like another world. It's small and cute and has a little downtown, it is precisely the sort of little town I pictured in Costa Rica - far from the grime and crime and bustle and mess of San Jose. It has (some) sidewalks! It has buildings that are not strip malls! And it has this amazing little church in the city center:
But five miles away there is this...
(This is the expansion of a sort-of-freeway-but-it turns-into-a-regular-road-in-two-miles thing. I will be navigating it in a week when I pick up John at the airport, in the dark! Ack!)
... and this too.
They're not jacaranda nor are they cherry trees, but they are similar, they remind me all the same of springtime. At my childhood home, the center of the backyard has a huge pink-adorned cherry tree in the spring. I was once in Washington DC in April, and have wanted to return ever since for the extraordinary cherry blossoms along the Reflecting Pool and Mall. And I know that when I return to Portland, it will be just in time to enjoy all the blossoms on the waterfront, outside my windows and in all my favorite haunts. As you can see below, the pink flowers only come here once a year as well... so I feel like I'm cheating the system, and getting two springs in 2009!