After Inez and I had seen and smelled hundreds of roses, we walked up the hill to the Japanese Garden. There were crowds there, too, but the atmosphere of tranquility and peace seemed to keep everyone on their best behavior.
We stopped in for lunch at Umami, a glass sided, tree top cafe. I have forgotten the proper name of what we had, but they were delicious! Edamame for appetizers, rice and chicken with spices, grains with Bonita flakes, with a red bean paste bun and citrus curd tart for dessert. So elegant, simple, and tasty.
Then we wandered around the garden. I have been here often, but seeing it with a friend always gives me new insight. Inez noticed angles, flowers, and shadows I hadn’t noticed before. That’s one of the many reasons I like spending time with her.
The bright overcast made for a delightful play of light and water.
There was an exhibit of Ainu and Chinook wood carvings, which were beautiful and very different from each other. The Chinook were very stylized, based on myths of their people, while the Ainu were both realistic and symbolic.
These works by Takeki Fujito were especially moving. Statues of an Ainu man and woman, these were portraits real people the artist knew and loved. The quiet strength of the woman and the determination of the man were so human and universal, I felt like I knew them, too.
We kept wandering, seeing some of the same parts of the garden from different angles. It was a wonderful few hours in the Celestial Realm.
Coming back down to earth, we fought the traffic and did some shopping at Trader Joe’s, then Inez got me home in time to get ready for Auntie Katie’s Grand Re-Opening.