Excuse the blatant SEO attempt but I would love to get more blog followers in 2020. Why this year and not, say, several years ago when blogs were actually in their heyday? Eh, who knows?
So, since SMS was already in San Diego and we had the weekend to ourselves, we decided to take a road trip to LA. We meant to leave around lunch, but tragedy struck…
Edward-bird, the most skittish and food-avoidant of the four paraquitos, bolted for the door as I was leaving for work Friday morning. I saw him out of the corner of my eye when he had already made it outside. Although we waited around all day and tried to lure him back, he was nowhere to be found after a brief 10 a.m. sighting by SMS. I am sad, although his real parents (aka, my Mom and Dad) seem to be handling it well. Maybe because they told me to let them fly out the door months ago. But I will not! At least not all of them. So, now there are three…
After dusk, we locked up the apartment and headed up to LA. We stopped for a charge at One Paseo and had dinner at North Italia. It was delicious and an easy stop, one we hadn’t planned or researched but still ended up with a great dinner. We arrived in LA, parked in the public parking lot (saving $30/night, yeah!), and walked to the hotel. We stayed at the Kimpton Everly, where I had booked a last-minute reservation under the military rate. I was expecting a room over the dumpster but instead, we got a room on the top floor, #16! The view was spectacular, day and night!
After a coffee, we headed out to SQRL, a very cool cafe in Virgil Village, LA. We ordered coffee, the Big Tot, the ricotta toast rainbow-jam style, and the sexy Saturday biscuit, which, if you ate too many of them, would make your figure decidedly unsexy! It was delicious and a great, if crowded, place to eat.
After the huge breakfast, we went to Runyon Canyon for a hike. We were not swarmed by the paparazzi nor did we see a celebrity but we did see beautiful views of LA and the large houses/estates in the surrounding area.
After Runyon Canyon, we attempted to go to the Getty but the traffic back-up was insane. So, we made a quick change of plans and went to the Huntington Library. We grabbed a quick lunch at the cafe before wandering around the gardens, which were spectacular. My favorite was definitely the cactus garden, although the entire place was beautifully done.
We also walked through the Japanese garden, which was quite nice and had an interesting bonsai collection. I don’t usually pay too much attention to bonsai exhibits but this was pretty cool. I liked the bonsai that looked like little forest groves in miniature.
We went back to the hotel and went to Cleo for dinner. A blogger/podcaster I follow recommended it. It was fine, but I wouldn’t go back. SMS put it best when he said it felt a little Gaslamp-like (downtown SD)- sort of tourist-trappy and overpriced.
While we were walking back to the hotel, we saw a ton of muscle cars and low-riders cruising and parking on Hollywood Blvd. It was quite a scene with loud music from most of the cars and lots of spectators. I feel lucky we walked by!
After a good night’s sleep and a room-service breakfast (such a treat!), we headed out to the Getty.
The Getty is such an architectural delight in addition to great museum. We stood on several balconies and admired the views. We also went to the visiting Manet exhibit focussing on his later work, which was excellent. We also visited some of the permanent collection.
The left photo is of Manet’s “Still Life with Oysters and Champagne,” which matched our festive mood with oysters the night before and the New Year coming up! I think icon paintings are super cool and “The Coronation of the Virgin” by Gentile da Fabriano was my favorite of the bunch.
In the Manet exhibit, the side description had the most spirited quote from Manet regarding a gift of mandarin oranges: “Since M. Étienne Barroil is a gentleman he sent me a taste of his sunshine. When I go out, I fill my pockets with them and given them to the local children…They’d probably prefer money, but I prefer to give them something I enjoy. The pleasures of this world! They’re made of things that mean little to some but a lot to others.”