Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Claremont - the PhD Part

Never heard of the Claremont Colleges

Me neither, though a couple of the individual names sound vaguely familiar. 

I'm still not clear about the academic side of things, only that they are all in proximity to one another and that the campus is one of the places Sandra and John enjoy walking. 

I bought a book ages ago, called How to Retire Young and Rich (Joseph Coyle ).  I didn't follow any of his advice, but I remember he touted the major advantages of living in a college town.  There is always something going on, much of it free.  Claremont is a good example of this, though not on his list, I don't think.

If you remember from yesterday, we sent John home to ice his injured knee and Sandra showed us the collegiate sights.

Sandra told me loads about everywhere we went; she seemed so keen to be a good tour guide I think she spent weeks studying.

I don't think I retained much, sadly.

I was just really pleased to be walking in the fresh air instead of strapped to a chair in a metal box hurtling half way around Earth. 

I was thrilled to be wearing sandals instead of a sweater.  

The weather was in the 70s and 80s, sunny to partly cloudy.  

Sandra fretted that the weather wasn't better for us. 

When we met some of their friends they complained that it wasn't perfectly sunny. 

I told them it was wonderful compared with where we live; they were just spoiled.  They probably love me.

Yes, I'm wearing a silly blue hat.  I hate wearing sunglasses and hats shade my eyes. 

Sandra said the colleges were really well endowed, a vaguely familiar idea from the past, though in Britain I think that only pertains to body parts.

Bill and I were both amazed at how European it all felt and looked. I thought Italian, he said Spanish. Now I think about California's history, Spanish is probably right.  Whichever, it was all beautiful and so peaceful. 

There were murals everywhere.  Sandra told me some of the artists but, I'm sorry, the names just didn't stick.  Mainly I just liked hearing her voice instead of reading words on a computer screen.  It was the beginning of what she later called "500 unfinished stories."  We just had so much to say to one another and so little time!

We were both pretty excited to finally be in each other's company. 

I was trying to think how I was ever going to share all this with Sharon and Frank. 

It's obvious that the students at these colleges are a privileged group, as are the residents of the city of Claremont but aside from Sandra and John's back yard, my very favourite place was called The Grove House. 

It is part of Pitzer College and was built in 1902.  My camera batteries were dead so you don't have photos of every single square inch, though Bill was kind enough to snap a few photos for me.  It is testiment to how beautiful I think the place is that I'm willing to share dorky photos of myself (is there any other kind?).  Just ignore that part, OK?

It is an Arts and Crafts style house which means it is drop dead beautiful inside.  It currently serves as a restaurant on campus. 

The menu is dictated by what is currently growing in their garden, which is pretty cool. 

If I were to live in Claremont I'm afraid they'd either have to sell me the house to live in or hire me to work there.  Not that either is very likely of course.

I will close with this delightful poem (the whole of which is here), painted on a brick pillar outside one of the halls:

And there is nothing left to do
but kiss and part.
Nay, there is nothing we should rue
I have my beauty, you your art.


Frugal Scholar said...

My husband grew up nearby in Pasadena. Those colleges are good! and rich! We were there for a conference. I wanted to explore, but they were having a heat wave--it was well over 100 degrees. I almost passed out.

Are those cute California bungalows $500,000 and up? Bet they are.

Jenny Woolf said...

Sometimes I yearn to be somewhere like Claremont,or Palo Alto,or somewhere sunny and where life seems so easy and you don't have to wear sweaters.

Shelley said...

Frugal Scholar - I did find a small house near Sandra for 'only' $300,000. We could do a straight swap for this house and have some change due to the exchange rate. I would love to live in California weather...but for European travel and the cost of health insurance I'd probably go for it.

Jenny - You and me both!

Sandra said...

Oh, Shelley, you are doing such an excellent job of sharing Claremont and why we love it here. I adore the is the best of times for us, thank you for doing such justice in word and picture!

Anonymous said...

The woodwork in THE GROVE HOUSE is lovely.