(Suburbs of) Los Angeles, I’m Yours

Just got back from 10 days of R&R in sunny California! Watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in homage to my time there (no television at the cousin’s house). I find Mauricio to be the most desirable husband. He seems to have the most masculine energy.

My cousin and his friend seemed pretty amused when I said, “All I know in southern California is Arcadia and Cerritos.” Got to know the town better by driving. I had a low profile, Nissan Sentra, which I stocked with pistachio nuts like a squirrel. I spent a lot of time cooking at the house…and my go-to destination ended up being Pavilions, the supermarket down the street. I was still able to eat healthy when I cooked at home because I had the kitchen at my disposal. Aaand as a housedaughter, price is a nagging issue, but thanks to the bazzilionaires who may or may not have made money in unsavory ways, they donated parks and gardens and their homes to the public to enjoy.

Side note: squirrels in California are redder than our east coast squirrels, who are more grey. Both collect nuts obsessively this time of year.

Day 1: First day out on the town was Pasadena Old Town to get shorts and a tank top. (Free parking for first 2 hours)

Day 2: I lucked out and stumbled into the 2011 Southland Orchid Show at the Huntington Library! Loved the gardens, and found that all the old people were hiding out in the air conditioned mansion-converted-to-art-gallery. Not a bad place to be! ($10 student admission, Free parking)

CalOrchid of Santa Barbara. Display.

CalOrchid of Santa Barbara. Display. ($10 with student ID for access to the Huntington. The Orchid show was Free).

Day 3: Koreatown and Soot Bull Jeep! Best Kolbi BBQ in all the land!

Day 4-6: Beaches! Santa Monica Pier, Manhattan Beach (my favorite one) and dinner at Cecil’s Ribs, Venice Beach. (Free municipal parking at Manhattan. Maybe $3 or so for Santa Monica, maybe free can’t remember. $5 parking for Venice Beach)

Manhattan beach at sunset. My favorite beach, from the town's quaint shops, to the row of houses leading to the beach with frontyard succulent gardenscapes.

Day 7: The Grove and Farmer’s Market + Griffith’s Observatory at night. Saw Russell Brand at the Anthropologie. I think I had deer-in-the-headlights smile combo on my face, but I respected his personal space…and admired from afar. So I am now officially a fan of his! Every bit as scraggly and lanky as he is in the movies. Three middle aged ladies tried to chat him up. He did the smile-keep-walking, and politely ducked away. (First hour of parking, free. Celebrity sighting, priceless).
The Griffith observatory sits on top of a hill, with great views of the Hollywood sign, and at night, the city lights of LA look like glittering confetti on a black ground. Gorgeous!

the grove

The Grove: An enclosed outdoor shopping mall, with stores like Crate and Barrel, Michael Stars, Ugg Australia. This is a picture of the Dancing Fountain!


Griffith Observatory: Tesla Coil (Free. $5 to watch an IMAX film with live narrator. It was a lot like listening to a bed time story about stars)

Day 7: Cerritos! Treated to In N’ Out Burger (with fully loaded, insider’s only toppings) and special burritos with frenchfries INSIDE! YUMMM!

Day 8: Briefly visited the Getty long enough to spend quality time at the watercolor exhibition. It was cool how watercolorists used mussel shells to mix paint in. The museum is just absolutely beautiful, inside and out. (Free admission, $15 parking)

The Getty Fountain

The Getty Museum. Free ($15 parking fee). One of the many beautiful fountains.

One of my favorite paintings at the Getty. Fernand Khnopff. I bought the postcard, but was not impressed with the color accuracy, or the cropping of the painting. The “disconcerting” quality that the museum commentator speaks of is lost when the image is cropped like the way it was. The color harmonies are so pleasing, I couldn’t help but want to build the colors of blues and greens and warm browns around the wedding colors. Give it a listen!

Anyway, I had great fun soaking up the sunshine, cruising around town. “Los Angeles, I’m yours.”

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