Sunday, January 24, 2010

Natural History Museum- January 24

The first half of our day Friday seemed to be a comedy of errors. We left home with the rain still coming down and with the hope that the weather forecast was going to be correct; the rain was going to stop at noon. We drove to the metro station and immediately caught a train to downtown L.A.  Well, we did not intend to go all the way downtown. We wanted to end up southwest of town, in the museum district. As we did not know how or where to make bus connections to that part of town, we did end up riding to the Union Station downtown. At least we knew there was an information booth there where we could get directions. As we entered that part of the train station we noticed a bright light shining in the corner by the information booth. Apparently a movie was being filmed. While John proceeded to get information as to how to reach our destination, I watched in fascination at the activity around me. I soon realized that the same people kept circling around me, going out the revolving door only to return a few minutes later.  I deduced that they were the extras for the movie. We then made the right train/bus connections and reached our destination. We were pelted with heavy rain as we walked from the bus stop to the museum. It was 1PM by then, so much for the veracity of the weather forecast. The museum is a large building and parts of it are under construction. We couldn’t find the main door. John went to the construction office for those directions. Unfortunately the path to the main door was under several inches of water.  At this point I was ready to return home, but we chose to walk through the water. As we entered the museum a little lady scurried around us mopping up the water we were dripping on the floor. We came to find out that the cafĂ© is under construction and we were going to have to skip lunch. I was able to purchase a chocolate bar in the museum gift shop. Things started to look up after that. I enjoyed several of the museum’s exhibits. The museum claims that it has one of the world’s largest gem and mineral collections. It was the biggest collection I have ever seen. Most impressive was the Kazanjian Red Diamond, one of the rarest of all diamonds. In this gem collection are also jewelry, figurines, and vases made from the precious stones. We stepped out of the museum a little after 5PM to pleasantly discover the rain had stopped and the sun was out!  Before I end here I do want to show the first automobile to be mass produced. It is the 1902 Oldsmobile Dash. It cost $650.00 and the fastest it could go was 20mph.

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