One thing I really love about the area where we live is that we are surrounded by unique little towns. All of them are part of Los Angeles county, but they have their own histories,  they were ranchos and citrus groves dating back to the Spanish land grants of the 18th century. Pretty cool. When we don’t feel like heading into LA, we go north (or south, or east) and tool around for an afternoon. Montrose has been on my list for a long time now because it has a nice little downtown drag called Honolulu Avenue.

I love old clocks like this one, and in the background you can see a vacuum and sewing machine repair shop. This reminds me so much of my childhood, and I am glad places like this still exist.

So I was happy to find this little placard in the grass, indicating a long tradition of “fixing it” in Montrose.

It was another sunny summer day, and I am continuing my slow breaking in of my new hat. The brim has gotten a bit more floppy than I’d like, but I guess that makes it easier to hide under. Literally!

By this point, we were ready for some ice cream, and Montrose has lots of options. This place was adorable and had really unique flavors. Elderflower! I was not such a fan of that one, but the almond chocolate was a winner.

We sat in the grass to enjoy it, which reminded us of the Cheese Board in Berkeley, where everyone eats pizza in the median of Shattuck Avenue. Except, as Eric pointed out, no one is Montrose told you not to!

When we were finished, we tossed our cone wrappers in the atmospheric trash bin. Cute!

From the median, we could see a few other storefronts, each with their own charms. I love afternoon tea and scones (as evidenced by the Great Scone Explosion of 2011), so places like this make me want to duck inside for hours and hours. It was closed for a private party, but…I’ll be back!

And maybe next time we come, we’ll bowl a few games too. This little place reminds me of the tiny bowling lanes at Oberlin, where I took a class in which I learned perfect form…even if I don’t always hit all the pins…or any pins at all. I understand the physics of it, so I think I should get credit for that. Maybe half a pin’s credit? I make it a personal goal to bowl a higher score than the year in which I was born, and I consider myself a champion if I hit it.

On our last spin through town we found…Balboa bars! We had these on our anniversary trip to Balboa Island, where they starred alongside Arrested Development style frozen bananas. Another reason to come back, indeed.

As a perfect coda to the day, Eric came with me to the fabric store to get a few things I needed for some sewing projects, and he encouraged me to get a few yards of this fabric I fell in love with. He is the sweetest. And finally, I leave you with this picture of a stampeding elephant, fresh lumber in its mouth. I’d like it to be my personal mascot. Thanks for a fantastic afternoon, Montrose!

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