Travel There: Le Pain Quotidien and the Venice Canals

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Le Pain Quotidien

LAST DAY IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

It was our last day in LA. The family arrived in waves. Bill and I were the first departing wave. There were only a few hours left. At 1:18 AM, my nephew texted me the location where we’d meet at 10 AM for brunch. At 4:13 AM he texted me to let me know it would actually be 11.  The nieces and nephews were keeping different hours than Auntie Jane.

BRUNCH AT LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN 

Before Steven married and moved up to San Francisco, he and Bassem were a pair of young studs enjoying the single life in LA.  I can imagine them landing at Le Pain Quotidien to break their fast after a wild night on the town or even for a quiet Sunday morning reading the LA Times.

However, with thirteen people ranging in age from toddler to retired teacher, perhaps we should have gone to IHOP.  The little ones couldn’t find anything they wanted to eat and for that matter, neither could I.  It was all very healthy, fresh and chic, but I’d been awake since 4:13 AM and I was seriously hungry.  Also, we were spread out over several tables in a corner of the cafe and I’m sure our chatter was disruptive to everyone else.

NEXT STOP?

When brunch was over everyone turned to me for our next adventure.  I was honored that I hadn’t been disbarred from the family after the Huntington Garden fiasco, but maybe Bill’s telephoned assurance that there actually were amazing things behind the tall hedges saved face for me.  Problem was, I’d seen everything I’d put on my wish list except one and I was afraid the Venice Canals might not be appropriate for this huge crowd of people.

I confessed that my bag was empty except for the Canals, but suddenly I had a groundswell of support.  Steven and Shannon had courted nearby and Bassem thought the area was amazing.  Bill, too, was anxious to see the canals.  So we loaded up and headed out.

THE VENICE CANALS

Saturday afternoon with a caravan of cars is not the optimal time to see the canals – still I’m awfully glad they were included at the last minute.

The Venice Canals

The Venice Canals

You can’t see much from the car, so the entire caravan had to find places to park.  I think that privilege came with a price tag of twenty-something dollars per vehicle.  I thought that was outrageous, but everyone else took it in stride.

The Venice Canals is a neighborhood built on a series of man-made canals just a few blocks from Venice Beach.  The cute bungalows were affordable back in the day.  Now if you’ve got two or three extra mil laying around, you too can live there.

Except for the parking, it actually turned into a great outing for our large group.  In ever-changing groups of three or four folks, we strung out all along the canals with everyone strolling along at their own pace.

Auntie Jane at the Venice Canals

Auntie Jane at the Venice Canals

The canals were a real boon to me.  I don’t see my grandniece and grandnephew often enough for them to remember me.  So, I was about to leave, but they’d finally decided to let me into their special circle.  I pushed their stroller around the canals.  We made up a silly game to play as we went over the bridges.  We laughed, giggled and sang nonsense songs.  I’m sure the residents hated it, but I was in heaven.

FAREWELL TO THE GOLDEN STATE

Finally, we couldn’t put it off any longer.  There was a episode of fruit basket turnover as we re-arranged everyone to accommodate Bassem driving us to the airport. We were going to have to return the Maserati to him.  I would miss it.  My real car is a Nissan.

I’ll share a few more shots of the picturesque canals, but come back next week.  Who knows what I’ll have up my sleeve!

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Filed under Architecture, ART, California, Gardens, Le Pain Quotidien, Los Angeles / LA, Restaurants, Road Trips, TRAVEL, Travel Planning, Travel Writing, Venice Canals

Travel Here: A Few Recent Bites

Shrimp Kabobs at Hook, Line & Sinker

Shrimp Kabobs at Hook, Line & Sinker

Favorite Dallas Restaurants Visited, Revisited…and Visited Again

Most of you know my husband and I are having a house built in Heath. As we’ve shopped around for tile, granite, wood floors, cabinets and the like, we’ve eaten a lot of meals out. A goodly number of these meals have been drive-thru fast food, which is part of the reason I had to get back on Jenny Craig, but we’ve also enjoyed a few of our old standards. We highly recommend these to you.

Hook, Line & Sinker

As I’ve said before, we love Hook, Line & Sinker.  It was just around the corner from us at our old house.  We miss it almost as much as we do the creek that wandered past our backyard.  When life takes us over to Far North Dallas nowadays, it’s not unusual for us to cozy up to a plate at HL&S.  Hubby loves their grilled trout.  My fav dish is their shrimp basket with fried shrimp, hushpuppies and crinkle fries, but on our last visit I tried to be good.  Oh the sacrifice! (Wink, wink!)  The Shrimp Kabobs were delicious.  I substituted grilled veggies for the rice.  Yum!

On our last visit it was a little too chilly to enjoy the patio, but the funky bayou vibe of the interior was just fine.  Not to mention the great blues music playing in the background.  After our meal was through we strolled over to Lekka, the Obzeet’s replacement next door to HL&S.  Cool place with live music and funky decor shopping, but with HL&S just next door, it’s doubtful we’ll ever actually have a meal there.

Abuelo’s

I think Abuelo’s is my favorite Tex-Mex spot right now, with the obvious exception of Joe T. Garcia’s in Ft. Worth.  (The Fiesta Patio at Joe T’s is my personal Culinary Nirvana.)  At Abuelo’s I love their avocado enchiladas, which they call Enchiladas de Cozumel.  They slather them with a seafood sauce that is to DIE for.  Bring that out to me with a Platinum Margarita and I am a very happy girl.  (Not the best thing for my diet, but a girl has got to eat!  Lets call it grilled seafood and avocados with lime on our food diary.)

On my last visit, I played with the new computerized thingie they have sitting on the tables.  While waiting for Bill to return from the restroom I joined their rewards program.  ( I don’t know why I wasn’t already on it.)  Since then I’ve gotten a coupon for a free entree, just for signing up and then they sent me a coupon for a free dessert in honor of my birthday.  I may just have to love them a little bit more, but after I move to Heath it will be quite a drive.

Chili’s

I’ve been a fan of Chili’s ever since it first opened on Greenville Avenue – a location which longer exists.  It was just a hole in the wall, built around a kitchen that made the best fries in the world.  I always ordered a Pride with Fries and a Schilitz.  That ought to tell you how long ago it was.  The whole margarita thing wasn’t even a part of their culture yet.  Then they built a bar to serve margaritas while you waited in line.  Soon after that they “improved” the fries and whatever they did ruined them forever.  It’s still a great quick meal and it won’t break the bank, but I miss its hole in the wall days.

My last Chili’s fix was in Wylie and I ordered from their “guiltess” menu.  Unfortunately, the waitress was not familiar with their latest menu changes.  After taking our order she disappeared for awhile and then came back to inform me that they didn’t have exactly what I was ordering anymore, but that she could get it exactly as they used to serve it.  That seemed odd, but I wasn’t in an arguing mood so I said sure – I told her I just liked what I saw on the menu.

What I saw on the menu was a small sirloin with avocado slices (have you noticed a trend here).  What I got had no avocado slices.  I wasn’t happy.  I pointed out the error to the waitress and she was all kinds of sorry, but she didn’t bring me any avocado slices.  Neither did the manager who came to apologize.  Come on guys, all I wanted was some avocado slices.  Somewhat of a fail, but not enough to keep me away.  They’ll be convenient in my new home, because there’s a location right in Rockwall, I-30 at Horizon.

BJ’s Brewhouse

OK, BJ’s  is turning me into a regular client.  Somewhere along the way they got me to join their loyalty program and it keeps luring me back, time after time.  BOGO’s, free this, free that and great food.  It doesn’t hurt that the restaurant is also one of Bill’s favorites.

If I’m gonna cheat and have pizza, then this is one of those places that this will happen.  They’ve got a light microbrew beer called Lightswitch which goes great with the pizza and the beer only has 103 calories.  If I’m good I’ll go to the EnLIGHTened Menu and have the Mediterranean Chicken Pita Tacos.  We’re talking yum-yum!  Who cares whether it’s enlightened or not, because the tacos are delish!  (The pearlized orzo is not so delicious.  I’ve told them to change to the non-pealized type and I’m watching.)  There are a lot of BJ’s around Dallas, but when we get to Heath the nearest BJ’s fix will be Town East.

Palio’s Pizza Cafe

Here’s another place where I’ll cheat the diet and have pizza.  Palio’s helps me feel better about that by offering a whole wheat crust.  Bill likes it because not only do they have great pizza, but he can bring in his own wine.  We like the King.  We’ve scouted out locations for this favorite spot all over Dallas.  “Our” location is currently in Rowlett on 66 at Dalrock Road, but as soon as the Heath house is finished we’ll be moving our loyalty to the Rockwall location at Horizon and Ridge Road.

Next time you just can’t decide what you want to eat, this list should help you out a little bit.  Enjoy!

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Filed under Dallas, DFW Metroplex, Restaurants, Texas, TRAVEL, Travel Writing

Travel There: Orange Hill Restaurant

Friends are my greatest treasure!

Friends are my greatest treasure!

ORANGE HILL RESTAURANT IN ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

This vacation is almost over, but there’s one more treat I want to share with you, Orange Hill Restaurant. It’s one of my favorite places to go and on this trip I enjoyed my meal with one of my favorite people – the one who introduced me to Orange Hill in the first place.

Friends Tell Friends About the Best Places

My buddy Lizbet and I met in Dallas while working for the same company.  She’s an extraordinary person, a great friend and a lot of fun.  After I moved to California, she made the move a few years later.  She settled in another part of the state and she plans on staying.

The first time I drove down to her part of California for a visit, she took me to Orange Hill Restaurant.  She tried to tell me how cool it was ahead of time but I guess I didn’t pay any attention.  Now I’m going to tell you, but you’ll probably doubt me, too.

THE VIEW’S THE THING

Orange Hill Restaurant is actually up on Orange Hill.  Most of Orange County is a flat plain, but right there just past the corner of Chapman Road and Canyon View is a small road with a sign pointing up a hill that promises Orange Hill Restaurant.  Even though the address is on Chapman Road, follow the sign.  You still have a way to go.  Just wait until you’re up the hill to enjoy the view.  Orange Hill Restaurant has a great patio and there won’t be any on-coming cars.

At the top of the drive you’ll arrive at a porte-cochères where a valet will park your car.  Don’t fall into the koi pond as you admire the unique masonry of natural stone.  Inside there’s an elegantly appointed dining room, but you won’t see it.  You’ll be bowled over by the view.  Spread beneath you like a carpet is all of Orange County.

Sunset from Orange Hill Restaurant

Sunset from Orange Hill Restaurant

BUT THE MEAL’S PRETTY GOOD TOO

There’s nothing extraordinary about the menu at Orange Hill Restaurant.  There’s nothing wrong with it either.  Steak, seafood and for the health nuts – Vegetarian Pasta Primavera.  The prices will set you back a bit, but they’re not unreasonable.  We ordered a table-ful of food and it was all delicious – but with a view like that, who cares?

Lizbet and I hadn’t seen one another in a long time, so we had a lot of catching up to do.  I’m sure our waitress hated us.  We camped out for hours. As we sat there in our window seat, the sun disappeared from view and the plain below us lit up.  It was quite a sight.  I guarantee you, the patio was at maximum capacity.

ALL THIS AND FIREWORKS TOO

Here’s one thing I failed to mention – the fireworks.  You know how Disneyland has fireworks most evenings right at closing time.  Well, guess what!  You can see them from Orange Hill.  That’s right.  Give yourself a pat on the back.  If Disneyland has fireworks on any given night, then you can see them from Orange Hill Restaurant.

That’s why, with all of LA and Orange County to choose from, I drove from San Marino to Orange Hill and back to Studio City.  Lizbet would have met me anywhere I suggested.  Like Moonstone Beach and the Getty Villa, I wasn’t going to miss the chance to share one of my favorite places with one of my favorite people.

All that’s left on this trip is a couple of loose ends.  Join me next week for a great brunch spot.  Then I’ll have to think of someplace else to go.

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Filed under Architecture, California, Orange, Orange Hill Restaurant, Restaurants, Road Trips, TRAVEL, Travel Writing

Travel There: Huntington Library and Gardens

The Sadeks at the Huntington

The Sadeks at the Huntington

THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY AND GARDENS IN SAN MARINO, CALIFORNA

Until I started planning this trip I hadn’t heard of the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino. I was just looking for a museum to visit, since the Getty Villa would be closed the day I wanted to go. As it turned out, I got to see both the Getty Villa and the Huntington. Let me tell you – you’ve got to go to the Huntington.

THE HUNTING WHAT?

Even now that I’ve been there, I don’t quite know how to describe the Huntington – which might be part of the problem.  The official name of the place is The Huntington Library.  Quite frankly, though I’m very grateful our nation is blessed with wonderful libraries, I don’t consider them as tourist destinations.   Also, it’s in San Marino, not LA, so maybe that’s why I’d never heard of it.  Call it what you will, it’s one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been and very little of it is actually a library.

THE HUNTINGTON GALLERY

As I researched LA, some clue hinted at an art museum inside the grounds of the Huntington Library.  Following my nose I found The Huntington’s website and investigated their collection.  I about had a heart attack.  Staring right at me from the webpage was Blue Boy – yes, Gainsborough’s Blue Boy.  And do you want to know who is looking at Blue Boy from across the room?  You’re not going to believe it!! Pinkie!  Thomas Lawrence’s painting of a young girl in pink and white.  (Go ahead and click over there, I’ll wait.)You’ll be amazed  You’ve seen prints of the two displayed together a million times.  Well, at the Huntington, the real things are in the same room…looking at one another.  It was almost too much for me to bear.

Enjoying a break before heading out to the gardens

Enjoying a break before heading out to the gardens

The Huntington has a whole slew of gorgeous European paintings that you will devour, but even if they didn’t have a single painting, I’d still tell you to go.  I’ve been to a lot of luxurious, ornate, beautiful historic homes in my life, but I have never ever seen anything like the Huntington Art Gallery.  Well, maybe “never ever” is stretching it a bit.  King Ludwig’s Linderhof in Bavaria was on par. (Probably Versailles is too, but I’m still mad a Jimmy Carter for being there when I went to Paris.)  Bottom line – go get your socks knocked off.

THE PRICE OF ADMISSION

If you go during the week, it will cost you $20 per person ($23 on weekends).  It doesn’t open until noon (10:30 on weekends) and they shoo you out at 4:30.  It ought to be illegal.  Not the price, it’s worth every penny, even if all you see is the Art Gallery, but how are you supposed to see any of it in just four and a half hours.  I could have spent four and a half hours in the Art Gallery alone.  I call a foul.  They should open up at the crack of dawn and stay until very late.  Charge me by the hour.  I don’t care.  Just give me more access.

THE HUNTINGTON BOTANICAL GARDENS

On the paved road not quite seeing the gardens

On the paved road not quite seeing the gardens

With only a few hours to see everything and an entourage to manage, I made a tactical error.  I thought the prudent thing to do would be to stroll along the paved road that leads through the gardens.  Sure enough, you get a peek at the edge of the gardens, but not much more.  The gardens are designed for you to enjoy them on the foot paths within the various settings, not zipping by on the paved road.

Follow me.  I'm not sure where I'm going, but eventually you'll love it - really!

Follow me. I’m not sure where I’m going, but eventually you’ll love it – really!

Needless to say, my entourage soon tired of almost seeing things.  Just about the time I figured out the drill, the entourage was through.  I tried to encourage them deeper into the garden, but their visit was over.  A lot of the conversation happened in Arabic, but I knew they thought I was nuts.  Besides, I don’t think they had prints of Blue Boy and Pinkie for sale at the five and dime in Egypt.  They just didn’t get any of my rapture.

Too bad.  They departed and Bill reluctantly followed me into the Japanese Garden.  Moments later he was calling the kids and begging them to come back, but it was too late.

The Japanese Garden, which was unbelievably beautiful, gave way to a Chinese Garden which was even better.  I realize that I’ve run out of superlatives, but if you’ve been there you understand.  Get this!  There are fifteen gardens, each one more amazing than the last one.  How are you supposed to see fifteen gardens in four and a half hours?

AND THAT’S NOT ALL!

As if being able to enjoy the Huntington Art Gallery in the gorgeous palace housing the remarkable collection wasn’t enough, there are two other galleries.  One is home to American art and the other hosts special exhibitions.  I’d pay twenty dollars to see either of them!

Oh, and why is it called a library?  Because they have a huge building with 420,ooo rare books and 7,000,000 manuscripts.  Yes – SEVEN MILLION manuscripts.  Now the general public is not allowed to get their grubby hands on all of that, but they can see highlights of the library in an exhibit hall.

I didn’t even get near to any of this.  I’m ready to go back, right now.

A GIFT SHOP TO BEAT ALL GIFT SHOPS

The Huntington Gift Shop is not the largest gift shop I’ve ever been to.  Oh you can get a T-shirt, but why would you bother when there are gorgeous scarves, amazing jewelry and stunning decor items.  Go ahead – do a little browsing.  See if you won’t want one of everything.

So, now you know.  The Huntington is more than an art museum, more than a library and more than a garden.  It’s shangri-la, the garden of eden and utopia all rolled into one.  Go!  It’s wonderful!

But my day wasn’t over!  I was meeting one of my besties at one of my favorite places for dinner.  Come back next week and I’ll tell you about it.

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Filed under Architecture, ART, California, Gardens, Germany, Huntington Library and Gardens, Libraries, Museums, Road Trips, San Marino, Shopping, TRAVEL, Travel Writing

Travel There: Santa Monica Pier and More

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier

FAMILY FUN IN SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA

After several hours exploring the Getty Villa in Malibu, I had a hungry group of relatives on my hands, so finding something to eat was the next order of business.

THE TOURIST WERE HUNGRY

One thing I’ve learned from my husband is that Egyptians are a little more leisurely about their travels that I am.  Truth be told, almost anyone is more leisurely about traveling than I am, but I have so much that I want to see that when I do go somewhere I’m driven to rush.

Poor Bill usually gets dragged along at my pace whether he wants to be or not.  However, I knew better than to attempt that sort of thing when he had reinforcements with him.  On my own, I would have spent more time at the Getty Villa enjoying their multi-media Gallery Guide and taking in as many of the tours as I could have squeezed in.  My visit to the Santa Monica Pier would have been a quick stroll up and down the pier, and I would have eaten a hot dog while I was at it.  Then on to forty-seven other things.

SLOWING IT DOWN

Instead our two car caravan found parking places at the pier and then headed inland to find food.  The tykes needed some space to run about in and the adults needed some down time.  So we headed up to street level and found a shopping mall called Santa Monica Place.  The top floor was a food court and had a patio overlooking the Pier.

Then we relaxed and everyone else enjoyed themselves.  The food was good for food court food and the view was outstanding.  I did enjoy visiting with everyone, but I was in sight-seeing mode and I really had to rein myself in.

Eventually, everyone had been fed and alcoholic beverages were consumed by the adults.  My waiting paid off, we headed to the pier.

A Little Pier Time

A Little Pier Time

THE SANTA MONICA PIER

The truth of the matter is, a stroll while eating a hot dog is probably all the of your time that the Santa Monica Pier deserves.  The kids enjoyed this taxi, but for the most part, the pier was entirely too crowded and loud for their tastes. I agreed with them.  I admit.  I’m the one that had dragged everyone to the place, but you don’t know until you check it out.

Perhaps if you’re a little older than the grands and a little younger than their moms, you might enjoy what the Pier had to offer, but it looked a lot more interesting than it actually was.

The next day we visited Huntington Gardens.  I loved it and you will, too.  Come back next week and I’ll tell you about it.

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Filed under California, Road Trips, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Pier, TRAVEL, Travel Writing

Heading to Heath: Dallas Consignment Stores V

Dalals Consignment Stores

My new table

Dallas Consignment Stores I Have Loved Part Cinq

Remember The Consignment Embassy?

After visiting consignment stores all over Dallas, it boiled down to the fact that we still loved the dining room suite we’d seen in the first store we visited, The Consignment Embassy.  So Bill got on the phone and tried to negotiate with them to get a better price.  He made a little headway, but not much.

On a very cold, very wet day he assigned me the task of checking one more store – one that I’d put on the list, but we hadn’t made it to.  Come to find out, they were owned by the same people as The Consignment Embassy.

Design by Consign 

The videographer I work for is over in West Plano.  Design by Consign is in McKinney.  On a cold rainy day, Bill assigned me the job of going by Design by Consign to see if they had anything that would beat what we liked at The Consignment Embassy.  Once I got there, we were supposed to pow wow.

Well, after a miserable drive I found the store and danced across the mud puddles to see what they had.  What they had was more dining room suites than I’d seen any place else and they were great prices.  Did I love them more than the one at The Consignment Embassy?  Maybe not, but if you save me enough money, I can like a table a whole lot – as long as it’s real furniture and not the stuff they pass as furniture at most places.

Design by Consign had two that I liked a lot and two more that I wouldn’t kick out of my house – for the right price.  Problem was, the pow wowing wasn’t going well.  Bill in Heath, cold, wet and in the dark, as he tried to deal with some issues there.  Meanwhile, my phone was running out of juice.  After a testy exchange, I planned to go buy the table I wanted at The Consignment Embassy.

HOLD YOUR HORSES!

I’m not sure whether it’s good news or bad, but when I arrived, Ice Queen was holding court  did her best to ignore me.  When I arrived I told her I was Bill’s wife and she made some snitty remark to that, but I was too cold to get what she was saying.  I asked her if I could remove the decorative items on the table.  She said yes, but just as she came over to assist me a delivery truck came up.  They were obviously more important than selling me the table, so she abandoned me.  Good thing.  With the decor removed I saw things about the table I hadn’t noticed before.

I wanted the table, but I didn’t want it if Bill was going to kill me for buying it.  Cold, wet and confused I slunk out of the store and ran home to pout a little bit.  When I got there I realized Bill had been having it worse than me, so I got over it.  When I shared my concerns, he agreed I’d been wise to hold off.

Bill needed to see the tables I’d found at Design by Consign, but there were also two shops on my consignment store list we hadn’t made it to.  We’d resolve the dining room table dilemma soon.

The End of the Story 

Bill’s plan was to go to all the other stores before going back to the Consignment Embassy.  In his heart he was afraid that we wouldn’t find anything else and “our” table would be sold.  He thought I was right to put off buying it if I had concerns, but he also really wanted that table.  My plan was for him to see the tables at Design by Consign and then take a look at Consignment Embassy.  Then if we had to, we still had a couple of more places to go and we’d reconsider the table at Consignment Heaven.  We’d really liked it, but we knew that if we bought it, then we’d have to find chairs for it.  Both of us just wanted the table at the Consignment Embassy, but we are timid consignment shoppers.

We went to Design by Consign.  Bill saw the value of the other tables, but like me, his heart was already taken.  We discussed various plans of attacks, but when I said, “If you like the table in spite of my concerns, then we don’t have to go to any other stores,” he bee-lined it to the Consignment Embassy.

Thank goodness it was the Ice Queen’s day off.  At this point, we must have been famous at the shop.  The decorations came off the table and the conversation began – and this time there were no delivery men.  The table and chairs are beyond gorgeous, they’d just been loved a little more than we realized on our first trip.  Had it been loved too much or just enough?  We finally agreed to a price that made the love just enough, but not before Bill fell in and out of love with some other things in the shop.

How we took possession of the gi-normous table, eight chairs and two leaves is a whole ‘nother story.  As promised I finished our consignment story tale.  Come back next week for some more adventures in home building.

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Filed under ART, Dallas, Decorative Arts, Heath, LIFE IN THE METROPLEX, Lifestyle Articles, TRAVEL

Travel There: The Getty Villa Malibu

The Getty Malibu

Malibu’s Getty Villa

IN LOS ANGELES GETTY IS THE THING

Museum Girl has one word for you in LA: Getty. One word and two locations. Getty Center is a big art museum on a hill in Los Angeles . Getty Villa in Malibu is something else entirely.

THE GETTY CENTER

If you’ve never been to The Getty Center, you have to go there first.  The location alone is reason enough.  Even if you don’t like art, you really need to see this place to believe it.  The view is outstanding and the architecture is amazing.  What’s more, there are gardens and fountains that also think they’re the main attraction.  Seriously, you have to go.

If you do like art, then this is a feast you will enjoy.  All day is not enough.  I’ve been several times and it still hasn’t been enough.  There are multiple huge buildings.  The museum’s holdings are encyclopedic and they get first dibs on the best exhibitions in the US or visiting the US.

What’s more – it’s free!  You heard me – free.  Not on certain days or after a certain hour, but all the time.  Now you have to reserve and pay for parking, but this is LA where you even pay to park in front of your house.

THE GETTY VILLA

When I moved to California, Malibu Getty was being renovated.  It was ready the final year I lived there, but it was impossible to get in.  On my visits since I moved away from California, I never could work the museum into my schedule for a variety of reasons, which included things which were both my fault and theirs.

Just like I was determined to have an overnight stay on Moonstone Beach, I wasn’t missing the Malibu Getty on this trip.  My nieces and nephews are not into museums in a big way, but I warned everyone that with or without them, I was going to the Getty.

INVASION BY SADEK

Two carloads of Sadeks arrived at the Getty Malibu promptly at 10:30 with free timed passes in hand.  What an entourage!  Toddlers, teenagers, Baby Boomers and more!  Just getting everyone to the entrance was quite interesting.

Once inside we showed our timed passes and a volunteer invited us to see the intro video.  He also suggested we have a look around the galleries in the immediate area, since there wasn’t anyone waiting to see it.  While we were looking around, along came a busload of folks who got in line ahead of us.  Helpful hint number one:  Ignore the volunteer.  Get in line and wait for your turn.

Do watch the video though.  It’s very good and helps you understand the villa and the art.

CAN YOU SAY AWESOME?

Remember your world history textbooks?  And remember the head shots of statues which stood in for Caesar, Caligula and Cato.  Ever wonder where those statues are?  They’re at the Getty Malibu!

Perhaps I’ve spent more time than other folks staring at art, history and art history books, but what impressed me most about the Getty Malibu was that all those pictures I’d been staring at were front and center.  One right after the other.  I couldn’t get over it.  I can’t say that the entire entourage felt that way, but I was overwhelmed.

My husband adored the architecture.  One grandnephew loved an activity room where you created rubbings off faux pottery shards.  One niece was spellbound by a peek of the ocean from a terrace.  My grandniece just wanted to run in the gardens.

In other words, there was something for everyone.  Truth be told, I wanted to stay a little bit longer and almost everyone else thought we stayed a little too long, but we all had a good time.  Some day, when I return for a visit, I’m going to go by myself and stay all day.  It’s going to be great.

From the Getty Villa we went to Santa Monica.  Come back next week and I’ll tell you all about it.

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Filed under Architecture, ART, California, Gardens, Malibu, Museums, Road Trips, The Getty Center, The Getty Villa, TRAVEL, Travel Writing