Saturday, October 10, 2015

A few photos

Ordinarily I take photos of the things I see around me.  They aren't especially amazing just things that catch my eye.  When we were in California I took only a handful of photos because it seemed like a time to be 'in the moment' rather than recording it.  We were within walking distance of Venice Beach.  It wasn't crowded but parking would be a huge problem if you drove there.  It's not a small beach!
Not very crowded either!  There is a pier here that is pretty laid back.  I understand the Santa Monica pier is completely different with shops and all.  Here there were walkers and people fishing.  But it's a LONG pier!
I've seen quite a few photos of the blood moon.  Living in the desert I thought this would be a piece of cake.  Well, maybe not!  The mountains in the east kept the moon hidden until it was quite high so the red color didn't really come through.  Then there was a cloud layer!  Oh well!
My wife and I like to walk around our neighborhood in the early morning.  In summer that means before sunrise.  Now that it is a bit more temperate we are still getting out by 07:00.  We had some rain recently and that means snow on the mountain.  It probably won't last but on October 7 we saw this for the first time since last spring.
The rain is also a signal for the desert to come to life for a few days.  We pass this saguaro when we walk.  This display lasted one day.  The blooms are still there but the color is completely gone.
We don't get things that dramatic often but we do enjoy just looking at the clouds.
Even some man-made formations.
All those folks zooming past/over us travelling to and from California and other points East and West.  I like the quiet, the cool morning air and the familiar path.  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Older, yes, wiser, well you can't have everything!

I managed to turn 67 years of age last week.  We had thought it might be a quiet time but decided that we should return to Los Angeles to see a few of the sights.  It was still quiet but just not here!

We drove over on Thursday landing at a Hilton near the Marina del Rey.  We wanted to be within walking distance of the beach and this turned out to be a good choice.  I got to see lots of boats, water and sand.  Each of those is pretty special if you live where I do!

On the Friday we drove up to Malibu just because I'd never been there.  Getting out of Santa Monica heading north was a huge pain because they are fooling with the roads.  We ended up driving through the Brentwood Park area which is apparently a pretty ritzy neighborhood.  We found a restaurant on the beach and had lunch then headed back towards the hotel.  Coming back was much easier; how the roads can have detours in only one direction is beyond me but there they managed it.

We were in time to take a nice walk to the beach and find a lovely little Italian place for dinner.  They had a neat little trick.  They would bring you a large (1.5L) bottle of chianti and a couple of glasses - not wine glasses just ordinary glasses.  Then they say just refill your glasses as you wish and tell us at the end of the meal how much you drank.  It's $6.50 a glass so it's pretty easy to blow through $25 worth of wine.  Well, at least it was easy for us!  You have to know that wine wasn't top grade so they have a nice little profit center thing going on there.  Of course once in a while someone is going to lie about the number of glasses they had but I'm thinking the waiters are pretty expert at judging the amount missing from the bottle.

Saturday we headed for the La Brea Tar Pits.  I've heard about them since childhood but this was my first visit.  It was really pretty cool.  They have over 5 million fossils that have been recovered from the tar; a good number exhibited in the associated Page Museum.  There was a creature called the Dire Wolf who got caught way too often.  They had an exhibit consisting of 400 wolf skulls!  We took a tour around the grounds of the park.  There are places where the tar is leaking through the earth and creating new 'pits'.  They are mostly fenced but there were a couple that were new enough that you could step in them if you weren't careful.  Our guide was careful to warn us to keep out of it because it does not come out of clothing or off shoes!

After the museum we decided to check out 'downtown' Hollywood.  Wow!  Talk about people!  We didn't even get out of the car.  LOL  We wandered back to the hotel and hid!

Sunday was the day for the Getty.  We got there about 11:30 - we were on holiday!  There is a cable car that will take you from the parking to the museum on the top of the hill but there is also a way to walk up so we did that.  It was really cool!  We saw two deer wandering around.  They were shy but certainly not afraid of us.

The museum itself is amazing.  Another word is HUGE!  There are five major buildings of two or three levels each plus some outdoor gardens.  Entry is free but parking is $15.  The artwork we saw was European mostly from the 15th through 19th centuries however there was some Greek statuary.  The exhibits do change so I could certainly go back.  As it was we spent four and a half hours going through the place and only saw about half of it.  There is a separate Getty Villa up the Pacific Coast Highway towards Malibu but we didn't stop there.  I understand it is specializes in the art of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.  Maybe we'll check it out on another visit.  You can visit both the museum and the villa and only pay for parking once but I'd be dead from exhaustion if I tried it.  Back to the hotel and after a bit of a rest we wandered out to a Mexican place we'd seen for dinner.

Monday we started slowly again walking around the marina and finding a nice place for breakfast.  Then we pretty much took all afternoon to drive home.  It was raining and that made it extra fun.  It was a great little get-away.  I have to say not cheap but lots of fun.

Thanks for stopping by.  Take care.