One of my favorite things to do is visit museums - and lucky for me Cheryl and Deidre were up for taking a drive into LA to visit the world famous Getty Museum. Lots of people drive into LA everyday for work from Orange County so we let the traffic clear a little before getting on the road. The Getty founded by J. Paul Getty opened in 1997, and the vision was for a single institution to be devoted to the visual arts, from research and conservation to presentation and interpretation. The huge campus is located on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains, and it encompasses art, architecture and gardens. The architect was Richard Meier and it is spectacular. You could spend a whole day exploring the grounds and never step foot in one of the buildings and have a great visit. Did I mention it’s free??
In doing some research in advance I saw that there was a special exhibit from one of my favorite painters - Caravaggio. But upon arriving we saw their big temporary exhibit was called “Golden Kingdoms” and in fact we ran into the director of the Nelson-Atkins Museum (here in KC) Julian Zugazagoitia who was there to see it. I volunteer at the Nelson but had never met Julian so went up and introduced myself. He couldn’t have been nicer and really encouraged us to make time to see it - and we were so glad we did. It was incredible!!
The architecture is beautiful - and we did manage to get into a few of the buildings and see the Caravaggio exhibit and some of the French Impressionist works in addition to the Golden Kingdoms exhibit.
They have a lovely sit down restaurant and a more casual cafe. Since we wanted to see as much as possible we opted to eat lunch at the cafe and it was great! Lots of healthy choices and unhealthy desserts.
The gardens alone are worth a trip.
We had some other stops planned in LA but ended up spending so much time at The Getty that we had to adjust our schedule. Based on advice from Cheryl’s daughter Ava who spends quite a bit of time in the area - we headed over to the Santa Monica Pier. The area is also known as The Third Street Promenade, and was not that far away and very light traffic to get there - score!! The Santa Monica Pier is over a 100 years old - and kind of reminds me a little of Coney Island. There is a big Ferris wheel and other attractions on it, and the area is very cool. Old LA that has been updated with lots of great restaurants, bars and living space. Our timing was such that we got to see a beautiful sunset before heading to dinner.
Based on Ava’s recommendation we had made a reservation at Blue Plate Taco right on Ocean Avenue. They say eat Mexican food in LA because there are so many great places so we did. It was fantastic!!
Back to Newport Beach and the end of another great day!!