It’s been very quiet in this space for a while, and if I gave you all the reasons for my absence from the blog, then this won’t be a post about my summer vacay in CA anymore. So I’ll just say that I’m relieved–even thankful–to be back, and I’ve returned with a newly inspired sense of what I wish to do with this blog and where I want to take it. No, no…nothing drastic…just little tweaks here and there as time goes on. Anyway, get ready right now to be bombarded with lots of photos in this post from my recent late summer vacay in CA, when I visited relatives in the LA area. That top photo is of Benihana, a/k/a Beni, the very cool California cat. My CA relatives adopted Beni after he was found wandering around homeless.
And here I am all rarin’ to go on my almost-two-week summer California holiday. This photo was taken at sunset near Redondo Beach. Shall we pretend this is a “What the Wroot Wore” post for a second? Sure, okay, then: cowl neck drawstring top by Kensie Performance (purchased at Sam’s Club), stretch flare pants by Amy Byer (purchased in girls’ department at Belk), sandals by Yellow Box (purchased at Belk).
I wasn’t sure what I’d be driving as an economy rental car during my summer vacay in CA. Now I consider myself lucky that I was leased the 2017 Nissan Versa hatchback. So zippy and comfy…I loved driving this fun and very manueverable car! One of my favorite features is the Around View Monitor, a rear view camera that makes backing-up safer and way easier, and that also assists in parallel parking. I got spoiled kinda quickly driving this jazzy car around. Honestly, I could see myself purchasing one of these if my older Toyota SUV ever bites the dust (which it probably never will, since it’s a Toyota–ha!).
The G’s younger D joined me for the better part of my summer vacay in CA, and we spent a wonderful day in downtown LA visiting The Broad Museum and then lunch afterward at the Grand Central Market, which is just a few blocks away from The Broad. The G’s D likes contemporary art, and The Broad did not disappoint. Here, she’s admiring “Infinite Expansion” by Mike Kelley. About that black and white piece, I quote from The Broad’s site: “At the center is a suburban home nestled in a small, nostalgic mountain scene. The surrounding layers swell outward into a hallucination that lingers somewhere between fluid, nondescript lines, wood grain, and celestial space — both divine and cosmic.”
The G’s D photographs this piece at The Broad Museum, entitled “Strips of Earth’s Skin,” by El Anatsui. The artist, who used recycled bottle caps, aluminum cans, and copper wire, refers to these shiny and magical sculptures as “cloths.” That doesn’t surprise me…I immediately thought of chain mail armor when I first saw this sculpture, which I understand can be bent and shaped according to how the artist wishes it to be displayed in a gallery. According to The Broad’s website (and I quote), “‘Strips of Earth’s Skin’ evokes layers of dense history through its materials. Anatsui often speaks about the use of liquor labels and caps in his work, namely how colonial powers used liquor as items of trade and barter with Africans, with culturally complex results. ‘Strips of Earth’s Skin’ is mindful of such histories, finding them literally and metaphorically part of the fabric of Anatsui’s life and work.” Even before I knew the history of this sculpture and its creator, this piece was one of my favorites at The Broad. Now, knowing the background, I love it even more.
To me, the popular Infinity Mirror Room, created by Yayoi Kusama, is the most unique and breathtaking exhibit at The Broad Museum. Only one person goes inside the room at a time, and you only get 30 seconds after the door closes. All I can say is that it’s a magical and breathtaking experience.
The next day, we switched gears during my summer vacay in CA and headed to Venice Beach. All right, so another “What the Wroot Wore” digression: here, the Ginger poses on Venice Beach, wearing a cotton draw string vintage dress by Land’s End, Advantage Clean sneakers by Adidas, Timex Weekender watch with interchangeable denim striped band.
This is just one example of some of the bright and cheery graffiti and street art in Venice Beach, CA. The G’s D is wearing black top and floral smocked shorts, both purchased at Charlotte Russe. Gladiator sandals by Steve Madden.
Venice Beach, CA is just a weird and wild place to visit…skate boarders, street dancers, hobos, and body builders, all intermingled with hoards of international tourists…
There were a few days when we didn’t play tourists, and just chilled and relaxed at home base. Reading “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert kept me calm, entertained, and inspired during my summer vacay in CA. Highly recommended reading, especially while sipping on herbal tea under a palm tree. “Eat Pray Love” gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from me.
We spent the better part of another day visiting The Getty Center in Los Angeles, CA. It’s incredible to me that this place is free admission (although you will need to pay to park in the nice garage at the bottom of the steep hill and take the tram ride up). Oh my…the architecture, the views, the gardens, the artwork and sculpture. If I lived in LA, I would visit The Getty Center often, with picnic basket, blanket, and good book in hand, and lounge all day on the beautiful grounds with breathtaking views.
In the photo above taken at the Getty Center, the G’s D stands at the far end of the stone walkway looking southward at the Los Angeles skyline. It took us over ten minutes to get this shot, waiting for all the other visitors to get out of the frame. If you want to see museums while in the LA area, I highly recommend the Getty Center.
While chillin’ with the fam while on my summer vacay in CA, they were gracious enough to share a bottle from their Alaskan wine stash, brought back from their recent trip to Alaska. We sipped on the Bear Creek Raspberry Rosa…fruity, but not overly so, and sweet, but not overly so. So yes, it was juuuust right.
Cactus love in CA…this is just one of many, many cacti we saw in Southern California. We found this one in a cactus garden at the South Coast Botanical Garden, during one of our final outings while on my summer vacay in CA. Some of these cacti look like they came from another planet. At least they did to me…otherworldly, don’t you think?
The G’s D balances on a massive Morton Bay Fig’s roots, also at the South Coast Botanical Garden in Palos Verdes, CA. These impressive trees with their striking roots systems were first introduced to Southern California when seeds were brought over from Australia in the 1870s. Morton Bay Figs can live to be over 100 years old, and are popular for planting in parks in many countries, since they provide such wonderful shade. The South Coast Botanical Garden has what I suppose you could call an entire “orchard” of these Morton Bay Figs…it seems like the kind of place you might find a hobbit hiding behind a root…
This is an exotic tropical Bromeliad we found in the greenhouse at the South Coast Botanic Garden.
One evening close to sunset, we came across this pair doing a bridal photography shoot on the cliffs at Palos Verdes, CA. Just out of my frame and resting in the dirt, the bride-to-be had a full-length mirror, make-up case, and walking shoes…this lady came prepared! The light in this location near sunset (along with the views, of course) is perrrfect for photography.
We loved photographing on the Palos Verdes cliffs near sunset. The light and views were a photographer’s dream.
As Mark Twain once wrote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.” I’ll never regret taking my 2017 summer vacay in CA.
Please note that all opinions are mine alone, and that I received no samples, payments, or financial incentives from Nissan, The Broad, Grand Central Market, The Getty Center, Amazon, Bear Creek Winery, Kensie Performance, Sam’s Club, Belk, Amy Byer, Yellow Box, Charlotte Russe, Steve Madden, South Coast Botanical Garden, their affiliates or any other person or entity for comments or links in this article.