Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Los Angeles - the Getty Museum and the Griffith Park Observatory

We started the day off with another first -- a Pilates class for me. Pilates is very much like yoga...Not. The only similarity lies in using your core. But how do you sit on you that bench-press-looking-machine and pull at the handles with your stomach muscles, when all I want to do is use my arms and brute force?? a very strange activity, but I made it to the end of the hour. Somehow I think I'll have sore arms instead of a six pack tomorrow.

Sara had to work today so I was once again left on my own to explore the city. Only this time, she let me use her car as it was impossible to walk to anywhere. I decided it was a good day to visit the Getty Center, a museum that holds a collection of ancient European art pieces to those of the early 20th century. I love art from the Renaissance period. When I was in Italy, I was like a kid in a candy store. The gilded mosaic tiled churches, the sculptures, the famous works of Michaelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, all brought tears to my eyes. Not really, but close enough. I remember admiring the Sistine Chapel, reflecting on how anyone would be a Christian convert just by looking at those awe inspiring murals! Have you seen those images of hell? They scared the bejeezus outta me!

The Getty Center consists of four main wings and plenty of outdoor grounds to roam around. The weather was perfect this morning for visitors to lounge outside for a picnic or to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Renaissance pieces aside, I spent the most time in the gallery of the Impressionists -- Renoir, Monet, Cezanne. What an exciting time it must have been, to be a part of a new movement, deviating from the traditional to a more experimental technique.

When I was done with the Getty, I headed back to pick Sara up from work. Driving in LA was yet another first for me. I was not used to driving in anything other than my Toyota Avalon, and her new age hybrid Prius doesn't even have a key?! It has this strange key fob thingy and it takes only $20 fill up her tank? What crazy awesome gas mileage is that?! Even so, once I got used to it, driving in LA was no different from driving back home. The crazies will always be crazies, they drive the same no matter which state you're in. I had just a little less road rage because I'm on vacation.

We met up with Sara's friends for dinner before heading to the Observatory in Griffith Park. Tonight, the Observatory had telescopes out for public viewing. We saw Jupiter and its four moons, the Orion Belt and the Trapezium, a constellation made up of four of the universe's newest stars (only about 100,000 years old!) Justin got a telescope the first Christmas we moved back to NC. It stood about as tall as I did, each lens costing twice as much as our monthly grocery bill, if not more... He would take it outside to look at the stars, sometimes even in the dead of winter, as we stood frozen to the spot, fascinated with the worlds and universes beyond his grasp.

The night view of the city of LA was just as amazing as the view in the day. The streetlights pulsed, literally like the city was alive. If I was still in Hawaii, I could have easily mistaken it for lava flow. I didn't want the night to end because the stars brought me just a little closer to my Justin.

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