Our day Friday began at the Channel Islands Visitor Center in Ventura. John had read that there was a good park movie there on the Channel Islands. It was not in our plans to go to the islands that day as it involves a boat ride to get over to the islands. A trip there would take up much of the day. I sure do have hope some day to travel over there, however! The islands and their encircling waters are home to plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. The visitor's center has a native plant garden where we could see some of those plants.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
This beach, located south of Santa Monica Beach, is primarily most known for its Ocean Front Walk. We were there late Saturday afternoon. It was quite a cool breezy day so we probably did not see all the activity that is usually along the board walk. Despite the cool day many homeless people were hanging out there wrapped up in their blankets. A few had small tents. Some were selling stuff like small plastic skulls painted in garish colors. One young man offered two jokes for a dollar. And then there were about 6 shops where salesmen outside of the buildings claimed that "the doctor is in". If we had anything from cancer to insomnia we supposedly could be examined and approved for a marijuana use. Occasionally we could smell the drug in the air as we walked along the board walk. In the picture below is one of the medical shops- "evaluations" mean medical examinations. There are also shops for body piercings and tattoos. Quite a colorful beach front area. Not surprisingly, Venice Beach has served as a back drop for movies and some television series.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
While hiking through this park I made the comment to John that Hollywood does not have to travel far when producing movies. There are plenty of natural settings around the immediate area which afford the perfect scenery for many movies, especially westerns. I found out later, from a park brochure, that Franklin Canyon has been an active filming location since the 1930s and still is today. It Happened One Night, The Silence of the Lambs, the Andy Griffith Show, and more were filmed in this park. There are several hiking trails within the canyon, we chose one which took us to the top. It was a bit steep and sort of a challenge, but we kept going thinking we would stop before reaching the top. There were quite a few other hikers besides us out on the same trail enjoying the warm day There were also plenty of birds and wildflowers to enjoy along the way. I was even surprised to hear the song of the whip-poor will, which is not a common bird out west.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
I have received several inquiries recently regarding how our aged cat is doing. Amazingly he is still alive and relatively healthy. A lot of his fur is turning white and he sleeps a lot. He has come to find a very sunny window in our home where he now spends his morning sleeping. So one of my first tasks every morning is to make that spot available, and to lift the shades on that window the minute the sun comes streaming in. Below is a picture of the first morning when we found KC at that spot. He was waiting patiently for me to raise the shade, but I do think even if I did not let the sun come in, he would continue to sit there. He does dumb stuff like that, like looking at a wall with his back to us.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Our game plan yesterday was to complete our tour of the historical sites of the valley. There is not much left of the Shadow Ranch which was active during the 1880s, presently a small portion of it is park. The ranch home is now a preschool and much of the grounds have been turned into sports fields. However, the fine grove of eucalyptus trees, said to have been the first ones in the valley brought over from Australia, are still standing. We detected their odor immediately when we walked toward them. In San Diego we stayed at a park surrounded by those trees, so we recognize that smell very easily. It is not a great smell, but not all that bad either.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
When touring the Andres Pico ranch grounds on Monday we saw a century plant which had just finished flowering. I think that I need to show the century plant first, and then the stalk which grew out of it.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Saturday we took the metro train downtown, which is also what we did two years ago when we were in Los Angeles. This time, however, we did not spend any time looking at the historic buildings in the Old Plaza area. We instead took more time strolling through the Mexican-style market place, on Olvera street. Even though we had no serious shopping in mind, it still was fun to visit the craft booths and vendors of traditional Mexican wares. Plenty of food booths and restaurants are also available in the market place. We stopped to listen to Mexican music provided by one of the eating places. It was fun just taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the marketplace.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
After a brief introduction to the first floor of the Nethercutt Museum our tour guide allowed us to wander around on our own for a brief time. Our free time was to last until the end of George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue. The music came from the player piano located on the landing above the floor. Near the piano is a Tiffany clock encased in a walnut cabinet. Its chimes rang out on the hour.
Friday, January 13, 2012
We returned to see the second building of the Nethercutt Collection. In the first building, which we toured Tuesday, there are 150 cars which the family restored. There is a total of 250 cars in the collection so we saw a few more today besides many musical devices. Our toured guide stressed that it is all "functional fine art". The music boxes play, the cars can be driven and the musical watches keep accurate time. This posting will have a focus again on the cars, I promise that the next posting will feature other items in the Nethercutt collection! The car showroom we toured today is a bit fancier than the one we toured Tuesday. It was designed to look like a showroom of the 1920s and 30s. There is quite a bit of blaze to the room with the bright lights overhead, and the reflections in the mirrors of the gleaming cars.
This is a 10-acre meditation garden that includes a spring-fed picturesque lake. In the 1940s Twentieth Century Fox had their studios here and built an authentic reproduction of a 16th-century Dutch Windmill.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
This San Fernando Valley suburb is where we have now been parked for a month. Our plans are to remain here for yet another month and then we will start heading east. Some recreational vehicle parks which we have been in are primarily populated with older citizens like John and I. This place has a variety of people including families with small children. The owner told us he has traveling nurses staying here, actors, construction workers as well as people living here while under-going cancer therapy. Our neighbor is a Los Angeles water works employee. He has his young daughter and a teen age son living with him. Except for a couple of motorcycles in the park and a small airport nearby, things are generally fairly quiet around us. While walking the streets in the neighborhoods around here I have been fascinated with the plethora of shopping carts hanging around. This is just one of those places in the Los Angeles area where certain people reside who are apt to readily use them, primarily I am speaking of the homeless. Oh, there is also the older person who uses them to take their groceries home or the young mother who loads her kids in them. But for the homeless a Food for Less or Home Depot cart is a necessary part of their existence. They need a cart to carry their blankets or sleeping bags or just all the stuff they daily accumulate. At least I thought those items would be important until I saw the cart pictured below. Someone felt it necessary to leave it behind. The first day it was over-flowing with stuff: a technical school graduation diploma, an unopened single serving box of cereal, a bar of soap (still in its wrapping), towels, underwear and many plastic bags. No, I did not rummage in the cart, I am only mentioning the items I saw sitting at the top. In the following days I watched as the cart slowly got relieved of its burden until only a few junky items remained. The cart still sits by its lonesome self at the side of the road. It seems that it does not qualify for the cart retrieval service. Yes, only Los Angeles would probably need a company like that. We watched one day as a truck came by and loaded up shopping carts around the perimeter of a shopping plaza. Leave it to John to ask him what he was doing! He thought the carts were going in for repair.