So here’s the thing about trying to live blog from the road – sometimes you have days that are so chock full that they really warrant an entire series of posts. I’m finding this to be especially true as my kids get older and have more stamina and longer attention spans. This past Saturday in Los Angeles was one of those days – we were going straight out for hours and everything we did was travel-with-kids gold.
We started our day at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Even if you don’t like cars, this is a great museum. In fact, it may help you gain an appreciation for the mid-twentieth-century automobile, because there are lots of tail-finned beauties there. My favorite car was the 1959 Cadillac, which looked like Don Draper’s car.
We also enjoyed the Hot Wheels exhibit and the display of famous cars that appeared in movies. Included there was Herbie the Love Bug, which was the very first movie I ever saw (I was six, wore a long pink dress and patent leather Mary Janes, and devoured an entire box of Jujubes):
After over two hours, we were all hungry for lunch and drove four blocks north – this is L.A., and the blocks were long – to the Farmers Market. Back on the East Coast I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been much fun to be in a place that crowded on the day before Easter but all of the rumors about the laid-back attitude in Southern California are true. I’ve never been in a busy place where everyone was so calm and happy, glad to stand in line and watch the women teeter past in improbably big sunglasses and high heels. And like the Reading Terminal Market, this is lunch spot where no one has to compromise. The boys ate sushi and Matt and I had Mexican. I especially enjoyed my tapas-like plate of mini tortillas topped with a variety of mystery meats and sauces.
Heading back to Wilshire we made a beeline for the Page Museum, which sits in the middle of Hancock Park, home to the La Brea Tar Pits. Teddy has decided he wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up and was convinced that when we visited the pits themselves he would be invited to join in the excavation. Unfortunately, since it was the weekend, there was no one actually working there or in the fossil lab in the museum, known as the fishbowl for its circular windows. But it didn’t matter too much. Teddy was entranced by the skeletons of mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths, and prehistoric camels (to say nothing of teeny, tiny mouse bones).
And we especially enjoyed going out to Pit 91, where we could see (and smell – that asphalt is stinky) where they are excavating. Two very important facts learned and repeated by Teddy: there are no dinosaur bones in the La Brea Pits, which formed millennia after they were extinct. And there is no such thing as a sabre-toothed tiger – it’s a sabre-toothed cat.
We ended the day back in Pasadena where Matt and I watched Butler win the NCAA semi-final over a couple of beers at The Yard House. Then we headed for the Pie ‘N Burger, that redoubtable 46-year-old institution where the menu is small, the portions are big, and the linoleum (possibly original) is brown. This is a place where you can order a glass of buttermilk for a buck eighty five. The only concession to modernity is the two flat-screen tvs behind the counter, one of which was showing Sponge Bob as if they knew we were coming. The burgers come on buttered buns, slathered with Thousand Island dressing, and if that doesn’t sound good to you, perhaps you shouldn’t read my blog any longer.
You know what comes next, don’t you?