Historic Original Farmers Market – Los Angeles

Going To Market! Historic Original Farmers Market – Los Angeles Visited: March 2021 (Twice) It had been quite some time since Tracy and I had visited the venerable Original Los Angeles Farmers Market, so on a rather chilly March morning we headed out to 3rd & Fairfax to visit this 87-year-old Los Angeles institution. Two weeks later, we made a return appearance on a very hot Saturday. I love L.A.!As a kid, my family spent many a lazy Sunday roaming the aisles, stores and shops of the Farmers Market. My first job out of college was at an advertising agency, which happened to be located just a couple of blocks away. I would eat lunch at its various restaurants, including … Read more…

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine – Pacific Palisades

A Literal Dream Come True Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine – Pacific Palisades Visited – February 2021 Elvis Presley became enamored of this little piece of paradise on his visits to Southern California. Memorial services for both George Harrison and Tom Petty were held here. There are even some of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes interred here.  Yet, until recently, I had never heard of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, situated in the hills of Pacific Palisades located just a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean.                   Although I’ve lived in Southern California for my entire life, it still offers up surprises for me. So, when I found out the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine was open … Read more…

Mendocino To Eureka: Beaches, Redwoods & Mansions

Our Annus Horibilis Mini-Vacation (Part Two) Mendocino To Eureka: Beaches, Redwoods & Mansions Day Two: Don’t Step On The Glass, Motorcycle Down, Oh … DEER!, Watch Out For That Tree, Confusion Reigns, What Info?, Land Of The Giants, Picnicking With A Mass Murderer?, Another Aztec Defeat, Signs Signs Everywhere Are Not Signs, Happy Rockefeller Hike, Eureka We Found It, Historic Carter House, Stormy Stormy Night and Car Surfing Ends Badly Tracy awoke earlier than me, proving that everything is out of whack in 2020.  While I crawled in the shower Tracy took some photos of our view from the Sea Foam Lodge.                                     … Read more…

Northern California Coast Road Trip & A Winery For The Ages

Our Annus Horibilis* Mini-Vacation Northern California Coast Road Trip & A Winery For The Ages In the year Tracy, borrowing a phrase from Queen Elizabeth, calls “Annus horribilis,” we made the decision to join our friends and longtime traveling partners Kim and Mary for a four-day vacation from Covid and visit the North Coast of California, including enjoying some relaxing time in the Redwoods and Eureka. Of course, in the era of Covid, unusual circumstances are always looming on the horizon, and although we enjoyed our time together (not as much time as we expected), our story includes a cautionary tale of traveling in these most unpredictable times. On the plus side, we also visited perhaps the most beautiful location … Read more…

Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Hollywood

Cemetery Of The Stars Hollywood Forever Cemetery – Hollywood Visited: September 2020 We last strolled through the grounds of Hollywood Forever Cemetery in 2014, a cemetery that I had been “dying” to see at the time, so recently Tracy and I returned, along with friends Jeff and Cecilia, to see what was new.  We took the very informative walking tour that dishes out the inside stories about a veritable Who’s Who of the Dearly Departed.                                 Hollywood Forever Cemetery (originally named Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery) was established on 100 acres of land in 1899, making it one of the oldest cemeteries in the area. In … Read more…

Bowers Museum – Santa Ana

A Gem of a Museum! Bowers Museum – Santa Ana Visited: September 2020 When Tracy and I heard that the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana was going to open back up, I immediately hopped online to secure early timed-reservations for the second day. It had been nearly nine months (seemed like nine years) since we had visited an indoor museum, so we were excited to go anywhere, and since the Bowers also featured a special Disney exhibition, the timing seemed perfect.                                                      In the early 1900s, Charley Bowers and his wife, Ada, moved from Missouri … Read more…

Lotusland – Santa Barbara (Montecito)

Magical & Mystical Gardens Lotusland – Santa Barbara (Montecito) Visited: July 2020 For the past couple of years, Tracy and I have talked about traveling to Lotusland, a 37-acre estate and botanic garden located in the Montecito foothills near the city of Santa Barbara. Lotusland actually features more than 20 unique gardens, ranging from roses to bromeliads, cycads, cacti and, of course, lotuses.           We secured 9:15 a.m. reservations by phone (the only way to get reservations), and on our 26th wedding anniversary we took the 90-minute drive to what has become one of our favorite garden experiences (and we’ve had a lot). It was so good, in fact, we will become members in 2021. Lotusland, recognized … Read more…

Descanso Gardens – La Cañada Flintridge

Completing The San Gabriel Valley Garden Trifecta Descanso Gardens – La Cañada Flintridge Last Visited: July 2020 Due to the Covid-19 shutdown of museums, restaurants and virtually everything else, I, like most people in the world, became stir crazy. So when gardens started opening back up, we jumped at the opportunity and immediately became members the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanical Garden, along with today’s featured point of interest, Descanso Gardens, in La Cañada Flintridge, a community located just northwest of Pasadena.                           Throughout the years Tracy and I have made numerous visits, but with membership comes the opportunity to enter before the regular opening time. Descanso Gardens … Read more…

Getty Center (The Getty) – Los Angeles

Artful Los Angeles Icon  Getty Center (The Getty) – Los Angeles Last Visited: January 2020 In January 2020 BC (Before Covid), Tracy and I popped over to one of the area’s most prestigious museums, the Getty Center, early on a Sunday morning.  It’s located on a 900-foot hilltop that sits above West Los Angeles.  Little did we realize at the time, it would be our last visit to an indoor or outdoor museum for the next four months. J. Paul Getty was an oil billionaire (Getty Oil Company) and avid art collector.  Besides his numerous oil companies, he became fascinated with artwork in the 1930s.  He accumulated so much that in the mid-1930s he opened the J. Paul Getty Museum … Read more…

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden – Arcadia

Gorgeous Global Garden … And Peacocks, Too! Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden – Arcadia Visited: May 2020 Thankfully, now that outdoor museums and gardens have opened, Tracy and I can escape our home to visit gorgeous environs, some located very near to where we live.  One such slice of local heaven is the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.  It’s a spot that not only contains exquisite plants and flowers but, during the summer (except for this year), becomes an incredible music venue (along with accompanying peafowl) in a magical setting (more on that later). The Arboretum is a 127-acre museum located across the street from the Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, a city just east of … Read more…