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Archive for September, 2009

City of Angels

I visited Los Angeles for the first time this summer, to catch up with my good friend Carmen and her family. It had been ~6.5 years since we last saw each other, before she and her husband moved to the west coast, before her children were born.

In addition to the high adventures I had with Carmen, Erik, and the kiddos, (see photos below), Carmen treated me to many little get-aways from the daily grind, including: delicious home-cooked vegetarian meals, after-dinner cocktails at a neighborhood bar, girls’ night out complete with mani/pedi followed by dinner party & clothes swap, a healing breathing circle in a yurt, with live music! And to top it off, on my last night, Erik took me on a motorcycle tour of Hollywood Blvd., Sunset Strip, and West Hollywood. Totally unexpected and awesome way to see the sights, real quick-like. It didn’t feel like a whirlwhind visit, but we really packed in some good times.

The weather was a treat in itself (I didn’t want to hide from the sun the whole time, like I’ve been doing in ATX), and the lush greenery blew my mind (compared to the browning, crunchy landscape I inhabit). I picked figs from trees in their yard. Heavenly.

morning family time

drink hot coffee at your own risk

Hollywood ladeez

obligatory photo-op

We spent quite awhile exploring the spacey exhibits inside the recently-renovated Griffith Observatory (cool, dark respite after hot dusty hike up the trail)

Griffith Observatory (and me)

Griffith Observatory (and me)

Foucault pendulum in rotunda at Griffith Observatory

Foucault pendulum in rotunda at Griffith Observatory

I was flabbergasted by “The Cosmic Connection” exhibit: a 150-foot visual time line of the universe, composed of 2000+ pieces of celestial-themed jewelry, collected by astronomy enthusiast Kara Knack over 20+ years. Honestly, I didn’t read any of the educational plaquards, I was so enchanted by the jewelry! It reminded me of my grandmother’s extensive costume jewelry collection she let me play with as a child (thought not theme-specific).

piece of "The Cosmic Connection" exhibit

The Cosmic Connection

precious cargo

precious cargo

Friendly folks share their pools! We had this luxurious swimmin’ hole to ourselves – surrounded by 20+ foot high wall of tropical paradiso (just look at that bougainvillea!?)

swimming paradiso

swimming paradiso

We had another adventure in Griffith Park: watching the kids scooter through Shane’s Inspiration and then over to the old animal enclosures from the abandoned zoo (built in the 1930s, closed in the 1960s). The kids indulged me by posing for a picture. **Snarl!** We even saw a coyote as we wandered back to the parking lots.

wild animals at the abandoned zoo in Griffith Park

wild animals at the abandoned zoo in Griffith Park

-Mel

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