Sunday, September 26, 2010

Arcata in Full Color

We've been treating ourselves to a hotel room about once a month. It's really nice to get out of the van, have a long bath and a real bed for a night. We went crazy this time, and ended up getting a room for 2 nights in Arcata, CA. We stayed in the Hotel Arcata which overlooks the town square; that's our room on the top floor with the windows open.

I loved our view, thus took lots of photos from it. Notice the palm trees. A sure sign we're getting to the warm lands! Except for the palm trees, the scene reminded me of a west coast Burnsville. That could be Otway Burns out there in the middle of the square.

But the similarities came to an abrupt halt once the sun went down. Here was our view at night.

Yes, that is purple haze!

Arcata is the home of Humboldt State University, located in the heart of Humboldt County, one of the three counties that make up the "Emerald Triangle" we learned. Northern California, and Humboldt County in particular, is infamously known for it's illegal agricultural pursuits (although medical marijuana use has been legal for some time now here, and a referendum - Proposition 19 - to legalize it altogether is up for vote on November 2nd). But we were all pretty amazed to see (and especially smell) how abundant this cash crop is. The smell was thick in the air from 3 stories up when we poked our heads out the window. Just driving around town and throughout the countryside, we were inundated by the pungent smell.

The next morning we awoke to a whole other scene below our window - a thriving farmer's market with a rockin' Cuban band.

Check out this colorful produce! Notice that the purple theme continues.

Purple broccoli even!

But our favorite bit of local color was the woman at the "Poem Store". She was wearing full retro regalia, had an antique typewriter in a box on her lap, and clacked out original poems for her customers. We couldn't resist patronizing her Poem Store with her slogan, "Your Subject, Your Price".

While I continued the fun adventure of procuring provisions for the week, George and Adalaya brought out the Frisbee and joined the other families, dancers, hula hoopers, jugglers, hippie kids, and general freaks that were enjoying the day on the square.

And just to remind everyone of where they are on this beautiful day, Arcata had these colors flying.

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