So, I was in Santa Barbara, CA, for my cousin's wedding. This was... sometime in the summer. August? September? Can't remember.
Anyway, I went jogging. I love to workout in general and jog in particular and I bring my stuff when I travel so I can continue, and also doesn't hurt to fight off the travelling calories (Persians in California, forget about it, you KNOW we had us some kebab and all the appetizers every chance we got!)
So, I'm jogging, I find the railroad, had been noticing all day that a train passes like every 30 minutes (that's really weird, here in NJ, it's like twice a day, one of which is at like 1:00 AM), so my jogging gravitated toward the rails. Eventually, I found this pedestrian underpass under the highway. That leads me to a downtown-ish area. This wasn't completely in the heart of the city, but there were stores and stuff in this area. Eventually, as I'm jogging, I see this loquat tree up in a masonry-constructed planter/retaining wall deal, right next to the sidewalk.
Now, loquat tree is often planted in the SOuth and California as a landscape tree, but the fruits are edible and good fruit. I've gone all the way into Chinatown and paid like $8/lb for these fruits.
So I check out this tree, and all the loquats are ripe orange yellow. I feel them, they're all a bit soft. I look across the street, there's the ocean, no buildings or trees in the way. All of Santa Barbara's coastline faces south. So this tree had been south facing for week, just ripening all the fruit with endless sun, and people tend to miss these little treasures, and I guess because of the location the squirrels couldn't get to the fruit.
A whole tree full of super ripe fruit! I went to the nearby Starbucks and asked for one of their paper bags, or two maybe can't remember, and got to picking. Must have picked like 4 lbs of fruit. Walked/jogged them back to the hotel. And OMG were they good! Again, I travel far and pay a lot to get them, and the ones I get suck in comparison. And these were amazing, and free! Oh, I ate so many of them for the next few days.
Showing my extended family, they joked "Of course a OURLASTNAME goes jogging and finds food instead" But you know, it's kinda true and a good thing.
So, the moral of the story is, Californians, and people in general, count your blessings and pay more attention to life so you can enjoy these little things. How could an entire tree go unpicked and super-ripe until my Jersey ass finally got there?