San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) – San Francisco

Modern Times San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) – San Francisco Visited: August 2018 While not exactly connoisseurs of Modern Art, Kim and I were offered tickets to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) from his daughter, who also happens to be a member and big fan of the museum.  We, of course, accepted. On our overseas excursions, Kim and I (along with our better halves) have visited a handful of modern art museums together and have usually walked out unanimously unimpressed.  For example, after a quick walkabout of the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona, my better half Tracy looked at the “Exit” sign and stated, “That’s the best thing I’ve seen here today.” Now to be fair, I … Read more…

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum – Yorba Linda

“I’m Not A Crook!” Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum – Yorba Linda Visited:  August 2018 When Tracy asked me what museum I wanted to visit recently, I answered, “Nixon’s the one!”  We had visited the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum five years ago on the 100th birthday anniversary of our 37th president, and since an unimpeachable source told us that a new renovation project had taken place since our last visit making it worth the trip, we decided to see what was new. The library first opened in 1980 and immediately received negative reviews from historians who regarded it “as more of a whitewash than a faithful retelling of his presidency,” when it came to reliving the Watergate … Read more…

Angels Flight Railway – Los Angeles

Taking Flight Angels Flight Railway – Los Angeles Tracy and I had not visited Angels Flight Railway since 2010, a time long ago when I was skinnier, had darker hair and actually not embarrassed to wear San Diego Padres gear in public.  Angels Flight has an interesting, and even tragic, history.  It remains one of the few local architectural icons that developers have not ruined, yet.                                     In 1901, in an effort to connect the downtown Los Angeles shopping district below with the posh residential district of Bunker Hill, replete with Victorian frame houses above (see historical photos), the Los Angeles Incline Railway was … Read more…

King Tut Los Angeles: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

“He Gave His Life For Tourism” King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh – Los Angeles Visited: April 2018: Although no “condo made of stone-a” could be found, Tracy and I recently had the opportunity to witness more than 150 ancient Egyptian artifacts from the tomb of the world’s most famous pharaoh, King Tutankhamun, at the California Science Center (or as they spell it, “ScienCenter”) in Los Angeles.  King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh has been dubbed “the largest King Tut exhibition” ever!                                          King Tutankhamun died around 1323 BC at the age of 19, and was virtually lost to history until 1922 when British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered his tomb in the Valley of the Kings in … Read more…

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Tour – Pasadena/La Cañada Flintridge

… Where No Spacecraft Has Gone Before! Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Tour – Pasadena/La Cañada Flintridge One can’t talk about the “Space Age” without including the major accomplishments and innovations created by the brilliant minds at Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s research facility.  That’s why I was so excited to be able to recently visit this historic complex that manages NASA’s Deep Space Network, and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable and informative tours I’ve taken … anywhere! JPL’s tours are so popular that it took me five months from securing my reservation until I finally got to take the tour.  During our 2 1/2 hours, I learned about JPL’s history, the spacecraft that were developed here … Read more…

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park

I Am Woman! Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park – Richmond Visited: February 2018 On a drive from Southern California to Bodega Bay, our route took us over the San Rafael Bridge.  We diverted a few exits short of the bridge to check out a museum I had recently heard about from our friend Kim … the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond (in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area). During World War II, when there became such a drastic shortage of available men to fill the workplace, companies realized they would have to finally change their hiring practices by employing women, minorities, older men and people with disabilities.  For … Read more…

Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park/Vallejo’s Petaluma Adobe – Petaluma

Beware The Pear! Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park/Vallejo’s Petaluma Adobe – Petaluma Like so many visits to our friends Kim and Mary in Bodega Bay, the four of us used the weekend to hike along the beautiful Sonoma Coast …                                 … (some had a harder time negotiating those large steps … aka me) … … participate in wine tasting (and purchasing) our favorite wine at our favorite tasting room … Ramazzotti in Geyserville … … and enjoy the gorgeous vineyards surrounding nearby Pedroncelli Winery, where we also picked up a little vino.                              … Read more…

Hollywood Museum – Hollywood

Hooray For Hollywood! Hollywood Museum – Hollywood Visited: February 2018 Wham!!!  Pow!!!  Bam!!!  Holy Campy Hollywood History Batman! Once we heard there was a special exhibit featuring the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder Robin, Tracy and I carefully slid (not as young as we used to be) down the MaiTai Poles to the MaiTai Cave and hopped in the MaiTai Mobile.  We sped (obeying at least 75% of the speed limit signs) to the old Max Factor Building in Hollywood that houses the Hollywood Museum, an establishment that claims to contain, “the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world.” Truth be told, Hollywood is one of my least favorite cities to visit in Southern California. It’s pretty run … Read more…

Autry Museum of the American West – Griffith Park (Los Angeles)

Back In The Saddle Again Autry Museum of the American West – Griffith Park (Los Angeles) Visited: January 2018 Four years ago, Tracy and I visited the Autry Museum of the American West (then called the Autry Museum National Center) in Griffith Park, but before I could write anything about it, the museum closed for a huge renovation project.  Now that’s it is up and galloping again, I got back in the saddle (foreshadowing alert) and hoofed it over to the museum, located in famed Griffith Park, across from the Los Angeles Zoo. The museum was founded by Jackie and Gene Autry (the Singing Cowboy) along with Joanne and Monty Hale, who was another western film star and musician. Autry’s … Read more…

Griffith Observatory – Los Angeles

Star Trekking Griffith Observatory – Los Angeles Visited: December 2017 If you want to see some real stars when you visit the Hollywood area, forget Hollywood; this place is it!  The Griffith Observatory is one of Southern California’s most famous landmarks, and millions of visitors have gotten spaced out here out since it opened in 1935.  It’s a short drive from Hollywood and is a fun, yet educational, spot to take in at day or night, especially when a celestial event is taking place. The land where Griffith Observatory sits was once a part of a Spanish settlement known as Rancho Los Felis. The property remained in the Felis family for more than a century and was subdivided through generations … Read more…