Venice Beach is a place I've heard of for years but never seen before. Wow!
All I can say is it exceeded my expectations! Below is a typical view of the street scene.
We happened onto an acrobatic troop getting ready to do their thing. We watched the program and it was worth taking the time. These guys are good! (Not to mention all the rippling muscles and washboard abs!)
The movie "Big" has long been one of my favorites, so I couldn't resist posing with a genuine "Zoltar" fortune telling machine!
We had a late lunch at a restaurant in Venice Beach, and then headed for home. And yes, I was as tired as I looked next to Zoltar.
The next morning we headed off to Laura's favorite Farmer's Market. Let me tell you, if I had access to this sort of place year around, I think I'd end up becoming a vegetarian! The fruits and veggies all looked so great I wanted to buy some of everything!
But I settled for some fresh raspberries and a bouquet of flowers, while Laura shopped for the rest of our fruits and veggies for the next few days.
Although the smoke and soot from the fires in the hills was a little aggrevating outdoors, we headed out for the Reagan Presidential Library in the Simi Valley. When they say watch out for rattlesnakes, they mean business!
The Simi Valley was a place beloved by President Reagan, and I can see why. The rolling hills, even in the brown shades of fall, are beautiful, if treacherous during fire season. This view looks out over the valley, and you can see not only a plume of smoke from a distant fire in the hills beyond, but a white cross on a nearer hill. The mountaintop crosses are a fairly common sight in Southern California.
This statue of the President is in front of the main entrance to the library. He is depicted in ranch dress, complete with cowboy hat in his hand, a natural look for this president, who was truly at home on his ranch and on a horse.
Another highlight at the library is Air Force One, the plane President Reagan used while in office. After the plane was retired from government service several years ago, it was brought to the library and retrofitted to appear inside as it did when President Reagan was in office, complete with multiple jars of Jelly Bellys. It was interesting to walk around inside the plane. A photographer was on hand to take the classic shots of everyone waving from the top of the airplane steps. Laura and I posed, and looked forward to adding that photo to our blogs. The photo was on a DVD with some other pictures and Air Force One info, and cost $22. I bought it, but when we got back to the condo we were very disappointed to find that the entire disk was locked and we were not able to download our photo to put it on the blog. So, future visitors to the Reagan Library, beware if you plan to get your doorway photo of Air Force One on the DVD--it will be viewed on the DVD and the DVD only! (We could have paid for a photo on paper as well, but we didn't realize we couldn't download the photo from the disk.) Caveat Emptor!
The pictures below are from the Getty Villa, which contains one of the two J. Paul Getty Museums in the Los Angeles Area. On my last trip to LA, Laura took us to the Getty Center Museum in Los Angeles. On this day our target was The Getty Villa in Malibu, home to an extensive collection of Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities. Mr. Getty had the museum built as a recreation of a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri. The original Villa dei Papiri was located in Herculaneum and was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Much of that villa remains unexcavated; therefore, the Getty Villa incorporates additional elements drawn from other ancient Roman houses.
The Getty Villa's sixty-four acre site opened to the public in 1974, and underwent a major renovation in 1997. We encountered several groups of students of all ages, many with sketch pads and clipboards for note taking. The Getty Villa is dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.
As we wandered through the display rooms, I saw many items that evoked memories of things I learned in high school Latin class and a class in ancient mythology I had in college. I've had the good fortune to visit Rome, and hope to visit Greece in the future to see more of these beautiful antiquities.
Another tourist asked us to take a photo of his companion and him, and he reciprocated with both our cameras. This is my dear friend Laura and me with the beautiful Getty Villa grounds in the background.
I made a pit stop just before we left and when I came back out front, there was my friend Laura looking pretty wiped out. We were both ready to call it a day and head back to Topenga Canyon for shopping (we're NEVER too tired to shop!) and then to the valley for dinner.
That was the last picture on my camera. You can see many more pictures of our California Adventure on Laura's blog. (She's a much better cameraperson than I!) Just go to
www.LauraRSilverman.com and find the blog section. While you're on her site, check out the beautiful jewelry, handbags, and other items, and if you are so inclined, read about her fantastic weight loss story. She is my idol!!! (No, really, Laura, you are!)