Another page thrown together by Fritters... Well, not really. Thrown together doesn't really describe the effort I put into this one. No, it's not one of my permanent pages, but this place was far too nice to throw something together quickly. On the other hand, making this page has not suddenly made me more eloquent so there will probably still be a good deal of disjointedness about.

As usual, I suppose the best place to start is the beginning. Saturday, Martin and I went geocaching to Ghost College Virtual. This virtual cache was at Ambassador College in Pasadena. (For those of you who don't know, a virtual cache is a non-existent cache where you have to answer a question about something at the correct GPS coordinates to prove you "found" the cache. These are usually placed somewhere particularly neat that for one reason or another they can't have a traditional cache at.)

Here's the text from the cache info page, it gives some good background information...

    "The GHOST COLLEGE VIRTUAL leads you to what is truly Pasadena's secret garden, the former site of Ambassador College.

    "Park in one of the lots off of West Green St., just east of Orange Grove. You won't have trouble finding a spot: THERE'S NO ONE HERE.

    "Why? Because the college, owned by the Worldwide Church of God, has been closed since a doctrinal schism in the church in the mid-90's. Their loss is our gain, however: the site of the renowned Ambassador Auditorium, not to mention century-old native oaks, rock-lined streams and koi ponds, and an enormous Moreton Bay fig, remains impeccably groomed. Shrubs are trimmed, lawns are edged, benches are clean and painted. It's amazing... or kind of creepy, depending on how you look at it.

    "The future of the Ghost College is uncertain. Plans for a 1,700 unit housing development have been delayed... but you can bet something's going to happen. We can only hope that the auditorium - as well as the many mansions on the property, such as Merritt House, built in 1903 by Hulett C. Merritt, largest stockholder of U.S. Steel - are preserved."

We went there and brought some McDonalds for breakfast, since we heard it was good picnicking grounds, and were astonished at how incredibly beautifully cool the place was. This IS actually one of my usual picture page posts, but this is far from a standard one of my pages. First of all, we took 59 pictures and this was after rationing them out. Second of all, I still was only able to narrow it down to 36 pictures. We literally fell in love with the place. I've got more information at the end of these pages about what the actual future of this place is, along with links to news, 360 degree panorama java pages and another gallery of pictures.

I'm putting so much effort into these pages not only because I love the place, but because I want YOU to love the place, too. I want everyone in the Southern California area to visit this place and care about the future of the place and see it while they still can. The pictures are not always perfect, many of you have heard me whine about my camera and my low-grade photography skills (although thankfully Martin had the common sense to take some himself as well,) but when you take the above facts into consideration you'll realize how special the place must be to translate so well past all that. Very little adjustments were made to the photos beyond the usual old-technology digital camera compensations.

Bored of reading, yet? Me, too.

These first four pictures are of the place where we sat to enjoy our McDonald's breakfast. I put them together in an attempt to make a panoramic shot and I think even though the demarcations are pretty obvious, it gives a very good idea of what the area we ate in was like and I suggest you open the pic in another window to get the full effect. Here are the pictures that made it up, though.

The entire place is green and filled with little secret nooks where you discover running water. Maybe to people in other areas this is nothing special, but in Southern California this place is a comforting oasis. They didn't skimp on the landscaping either, this place is covered in flowers. Speaking of flowers, I was personally amused that my brand new huge clodhopper tri-tone pink high-tops had almost the exact same shades and hues as soft delicate blossoms ^_^

Yeah, I know, you're here for pretty stuff and I show you my foot. There will be enough to make up for it, trust me.

Here's a shot straight up the bridge in the middle of the area we ate in. This place is rife with buildings in different architectural styles, as well. I personally didn't like the 60's "modern" buildings, I think they clashed with the rest of the place, but everything else was so gorgeous they were easy to overlook. That's Martin on the left there.

A shot through the flowers of the fountain on the north side of the bridge. This place is positively drowning in fountains. It's positively magical ^_^

Another shot across the bridge that shows the building across the way better.

The sun messed with the lens on this one (I told you I wasn't a photographer) but I like the way it turned out anyways. There was a path behind where we were eating that had flowers along the side and huge urns with more flowers along the wall.

You can't see the dew on the ice plants in front, which is a pity, but it's a nice shot just the same, IMHO. Along the same pathway.

Martin relaxing in another one of the seemingly hundreds of quiet little relaxing nooks they have, this one by the same stream we ate near.

This stream, actually.

One more shot of the area we ate in. Okay, maybe I took too many of that area, but I had no idea the entire place had so many little fascinating little hidey holes that needed pictures taken of them, or else I would've been more sparing.

The stream again.

To the east of where we were was this HUGE building with a huge fountain shooting several stories in the air. If I had been of a quicker mind, I would've have asked Martin to be in the shot for size reference.

There was this adorable little alpine style house on the grounds to the near south (although more like the center of the campus, I believe) that I would have loved to move into.

And nearby to that house, wild strawberries growing. In retrospect I should have eaten one, but it was such a cheering find that I wanted others to come across them as well. There was only one other spot I found with strawberries.

This place we have more shots of later, but I loved all the iron work and painting and well, the whole thing. It seemed there was more housing on the college than anything else, although the bigger houses were probably filled with several informal small classrooms.