Saturday, October 29, 2011

In The Getty...

Here’s my advice to anyone visiting Los Angeles, California, for pleasure.  If you have to choose between a tour of the stars’ homes or The Getty Museum, pick The Getty.  That place is just fabulous.

My friend, Georgia, took me and my friend Misty to the Getty a few years back when we were in Long Beach for a conference so I knew I wanted to revisit.  Now I am pretty sure that given the opportunity, I would move in and live there.  It is spectacular.

Greg and I intended to go for a couple of hours to one see one exhibit (“Pacific Standard Time at The Getty” – two thumbs up!!) and then on to lunch.  Well, lunch ended up being at 4:00 p.m. (at the famous Pink’sHot Dogs in Hollywood but that’s another story.) I could have easily stayed longer at the museum and forgotten about lunch.

Anyhow, as usual, one is not allowed to take photos in the exhibits, but the sky’s the limit outside.  I feel that even if one does not enter a museum building, there is plenty of art to see on the outside.  Here’s my take on The Getty.  Please don’t miss it if you are ever in LA.

Autumn in LA.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Art in architecture…

Greg and I both enjoy architecture.  It’s one of those things we have in common.  To me great architecture is as much an art form as a great painting or sculpture.  So when we decided to go to Los Angeles, we knew we wanted to take some time for doing an architecture tour.  Well, the Frommer’s guide book I picked up had a suggested architecture tour all marked out and we spent our first day in LA following it.
 Why reinvent the wheel??

Because it would take too much writing here to describe each of the places we visited, I will put a link in for each place so you can find out more about them if you want.  Just click on the names.
We started at The Gamble House in beautiful Pasadena, went on to Union Station, then on to the Bradbury Building (my personal favorite and one of the sets of one of my favorite movies “Blade Runner”) and finally on to the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry.  We also went up to Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Hollyhock House,” but it was closed by the time we got there.  However, up on that hill were fantastic views and we got our first glimpse of the famous HOLLYWOOD sign.  So here you go…

The Gamble House designed by Charles & Henry Greene

No inside photos were allowed at the Gamble House.  This is a glimpse at the back yard.

Union Station, Los Angeles

Ticket counters inside Union Station

Inside the Bradbury Building.  What great iron work!!

The Walt Disney Concert Hall

Hooray for Hollywood!  I was glad I had my long lens with me.

Taken from the Hollyhock House.  A bit of a fog in the air.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Secret Lore of the Ocean...

But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of the ocean.
  ~H.P. Lovecraft

It wouldn’t be right, would it, to go to the California coast and not spend time looking at the Pacific?  While we didn’t spend any time on the beach sunbathing and frolicking in the waves, we did try to drive along as much as we could with the ocean at our side.  And we did stop now and then just to look and admire. 

The weather was nice and clear on the first half of our trip, but around the middle time, the fog rolled in and it wasn’t possible to really see out to least not very far.  Still, that didn’t keep me from taking a few pictures of the Pacific in all its moods.

The fog rolls in at sunset in Santa Barbara.


Surfing Venice Beach.

Venice Beach pier in the fog.

Friday, October 21, 2011

S is for stunning...

As I stood looking out over the beautiful city of Santa Barbara from the tower in the courthouse building, I had to wonder why I ever stopped reading Sue Grafton novels.  In case you aren’t familiar, Sue Grafton is the author of the alphabet series of murder mysteries set in Santa Teresa, the fictional Santa Barbara.  I supposed I drifted away from them because there are so many books and so little time, but now having had the great opportunity to spend time in that beautiful courthouse in that beautiful city, I think I will try to figure out which letter I left off with and go back and catch up with the series.  
Now was I on N or O…or maybe P??

Looking out over the roofs of Santa Barbara from the Courthouse Tower.

Water, framed properly.

Need a pay phone
Press *20

My well-traveled hat taking a much needed rest in the women's restroom.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Almost paradise...

We had some frequent flyer miles that were going to expire and they were burning a hole in Greg’s compass.  So he got out the map and decided we needed to go somewhere.  What we decided on was a week in California.

We had been to San Diego for a friend’s wedding and to San Francisco and Wine Country for our 25th anniversary and I went to a conference in Long Beach a few years back, but we had never REALLY been to Los Angeles and environs.  So off we went.

We spent the first three nights in the very beautiful Santa Barbara where we took a side trip up to see Hearst Castle.  Then spent a night near the Santa Monica pier and then on to Los Angeles for three nights. 

I have to admit that I had no idea what to expect in LA, but liked it very much.  I couldn’t survive there for any period of time though…I’m way too old, fat and poor for that.  But it was fun to visit.

I took too many photos and it will take me a while to sort through them, but I will post a few of our first couple days in Santa Barbara…a place that seems very much like paradise.

In the garden of the old Santa Barbara Mission.

Taken from the tower of the Santa Barbara Courthouse.

This little fellow visited us at our hotel.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Yesterday, Olive, the pug, and I went to one of our favorite places around here.  The fishing area on Long Pond is a nice place to go if you like water reflections.  Even though we aren't at peak for fall color yet, the colors were pretty bright over there.  We went on further to check out the boat landing but were disappointed to see that it is still closed due to storm damage.  The road down into the area is chock full of downed and cut up trees.  

I am going to be out of touch for the next few days, but wanted to leave you with a few pics of our fall so far.  And also a photo of the turkey family that passes through our neighborhood and yard.  It has gotten to the point where you can't tell who the mother and who the kid is there.  

Take care until I see you all again.

You have to wonder...what kind of person does this?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

At the Apple Country Fair…

Yesterday morning I had to get up at the crack of dawn.  It was the day of the Apple Country Fair in Brookfield, Massachusetts and our church (The Brookfield Unitarian Universalist Church), which sits on the Brookfield Common, takes advantage of the ready-made crowd by holding our annual yard, tag, rummage sale that day.  I was in charge of the first shift in the book department.

Bleary-eyed that I was, I had to drive through Dunkin’ Donuts for a large coffee on the way.  Had they had extra large, it would have been just the thing, but I settled for large.  Then with fortifications in my cup holder, I drove on into Brookfield.  It was a gorgeous morning with hardly a cloud in the sky.  It was so beautiful I had to pull over to watch the sun and mist on the Quaboag River for a few minutes. 

The light was just so fantastic, that I kept thinking that I really do need to make a habit of getting up earlier.  But I know that will never happen.  Still, why not take advantage of it when it does happen to happen?

I worked my shift and managed to sell quite a few books.  I was very impressed by one woman who came in a bought a large stack of reading workbooks and simple readers for a student of hers who in third grade has not yet learned to read.  That’s dedication!  It made me feel grateful for dedicated teachers who go that extra mile as so many do.

When my relief arrived, I decided to wander around the Common for a little while to see what I could see.  The first thing that caught my eye was a couple of boxes of old milk bottles that someone had donated to our sale.  Way cool!  I struck up a conversation with a fellow who seemed to know about these kinds of things.  One that impressed me had some stuff inside.  He quickly told me that maybe I didn’t want that particular bottle as it contained a compressed and mummified mouse.  Yuk!  I didn’t buy a bottle, but now wish I had…just not the one with the mouse.  Oh, well….such is life.

Wandering around the common, I came across some pretty ingenious transportation for the ever popular Scooby-doo painted pumpkin.

And I met a beautiful greyhound girl who was glad to let me scratch her ears.  In return, she leaned on me and her owner told me that in her family, they call that move a “greyhound hug.”  Well, I couldn’t figure anything could top that, so since I had been up since the crack of dawn, I let the next guy get a good scratch in and went home.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…

These days you don’t have to look too hard to see signs of autumn around here.   But we are still a ways away from the brilliant color.  One of the things I like about autumn is the gradual onset of it.  The leaves begin to lose their glossiness, then they start to change color, then they become bright and brilliant and then they start to fall.

The leaf-peepers will be showing up soon.  They make illegal left turns and generally don’t know where they are going but I forgive them their trespasses because I know they are gawking or have spent all day gawking and are now too tired to pay attention.  They are on autumn-overload.

But that’s a couple weeks away.  It is safe to drive right now.

These wild grapes crop up all over our neighborhood.   The birds are happy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Watching the barns whiz by....

While we traveled from Massachusetts to New York and then back from New York to Massachusetts this past weekend, I kept myself amused by taking photos out the car window.  I have to admit that on the backroads of New York, one can find many great old barns.  So I snapped away as we moved along.

Taking photos out of car windows is not all that successful most of the time.  And these photos I am posting tonight aren’t all that great, but I like these barns and decided that I will put aside my pride (what little I have, anyhow) and share them even though they are a bit on the blurry side.  I tried to use various processing tricks to disguise that but as the cliché goes:  They are what they are. 

Maybe someday we can take the time to stop when we see a barn coming and I will do them justice,
 but until then….

Monday, October 3, 2011

A birthday pie...

These days, my son Evan’s birthday always starts out with a pile of apples.  We are not cake people in this family.  All of us prefer a pie to a cake and Evan’s favorite pie is apple. 

 Evan was born on October 4.  This is the right time of the year in New England if you like apple pie since right now there is a glut of apples here.  So I make him a birthday pie each year to celebrate.  Here is his finished product for this year.

We had to have our celebration a little early because of scheduling conflicts.  It occurs to me that as the kids get older, those conflicts will happen more and more often.  So I am very happy to have this time together.  We got him a couple of presents, of course.  I am a big believer in reusing paper for wrapping.  After all, it’s what’s inside that counts.  The one on the bottom was very creatively wrapped by my daughter Carrie.

Evan is in graduate school at Syracuse University.  So off we went.  And he was glad to see us.  We were glad to see him.  Happy birthday, Ev!!