Well, I could sure use some sunshine and fun right about now– how about you? This seems like the perfect time to relive one of our favorite days on our trip back home in November.
It was such a contrast to arrive in sunny Los Angeles, after spending almost a week in snowy Michigan. We were thrilled and amazed to be greeted by clear skies– so little pollution– and warm Santa Ana winds. Total bliss. After such a busy first week enjoying family, we were ready for a day just for the three of us.
We hit the freeways (again, miraculously clear! Thank you, L.A.!) and headed toward the coast.
One place I have missed tremendously since we moved away from Los Angeles is the Getty. It’s one of those special spots for me– a place I often went to alone, to think and find restoration in the quiet and beauty. Jeff and I also have some sweet memories of spending time there during our first years together.It felt wonderful to be there as a family. And the weather could not have been more perfect– you could see the sea, and hills, and the city of Los Angeles, all from one place. We walked through the gardens, and pointed out to Amelia all of the different kinds of plants we knew that don’t grow in England. One of my favorite flowers is bougainvillea.
We had it growing in our yard in the Philippines, and at the time I really disliked it, because it was so unlike the typical flowers I found pretty then– tulips, roses, etc. But when I became an adult in California, bougainvillea always reminded me of “home” in the Philippines. And of course, now it reminds me of “home” in both places. So I particularly love these structures:
We did get kind of hot, but it just made stopping for a cold drink all the more pleasurable. Sitting there in the shade in a familiar but really special place, this was one of those moments I took in to remember. The joy, the contentment of having made it “home” to Los Angeles again, for having returned to a personally significant spot, with my sweet family (which did not exist when I first built a relationship with this place) after so many incredible adventures and challenges. I had no idea back then. I want to hold on to that moment now, for when (inevitably) we find ourselves in another trying season– so I can remind myself that I have no idea of the incredible things that lay ahead.
We did not spend much time looking at art this time, but a stop in at the family section of the Getty was a must. It’s small, but fun. My favorite part is this giant, fancy bed where kids can sit and read books. No surprise– it was also a favorite for Amelia.
Of course, there were also some more artistic activities to enjoy. Amelia decorated a mask, looked through lots of tiny little windows in the walls which held little vignettes and pictures of famous works of art. Using the tracing table was what she spent the most time doing.
Then, it was on to the next thing on our list– Santa Monica!Again, traffic was flowing in our favor, and we made it there in time for lunch at 3rd Street Promenade.
We had some overpriced French food in a little bistro in the middle of all the action. It was fun to be there with all of the people.
It can be funny to go back to a place and have it feel totally different than how you remember it. I guess I used to enjoy shopping a whole lot more than I do now, because there really wasn’t too much to do there besides shop! I used to enjoy watching street performers, and we did stop to see one, and that was fun. We headed to the beach to finish the afternoon there. Again, it was nice being out with so many people who were enjoying themselves.
Amelia enjoyed the soft sand, “like in De Haan.” It’s true– most of the beaches we have been to in England are full of rocks and very coarse sand.
We walked out to the pier, and enjoyed all of the views, the sea air, seeing people on the rides… everything. The sunset was just glorious, and seemed to last forever. As the sun went down, it started getting chilly. We found a Japanese restaurant with a heated patio, where we could see the remains of the sunset (palm trees included) and enjoy some great food for dinner.It was the perfect day in L.A., and all of that sunshine and warmth is so sweet to look back on in the middle of January in England.
Thank you for reliving it with me.