Do You Know The Way To San Jose

Friday evening the Monterey Bay Aquarium hosted an after hours wine tasting event for members, so early in the morning we set out north to play tourist on the way.

First, I had a little detour north of SLO to revisit what I’ve been told is an old Mercury mine. Years ago in high school I had a marine biology teacher who crafted a photo scavenger hunt for extra credit that extended up and down the coast and featured geological sites among other things. This was one of them, and I try to stop in time to time, but to get there you pretty much commit to having to drive far up the 101 to turn around.


Further up the way is Mission San Miguel, which I hadn’t been to since the California missions unit we all do in the 4th grade.


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Further up the way is the next in line at Soledad, which is…the smallest, I think? Anyway, the docent seemed surprised to actually see anyone since it’s quite off the beaten path.


And, after seeing a billboard for the Winchester Mystery House I decided to do a little detour to San Jose since I hadn’t done it in over a decade. I ended up getting a private tour since it was pretty quite on an early Friday afternoon. Worth it!



Trex Still Life


Advent calendar is ready to go


The Loneliest Birthday


Gentleman Giraffe


Tourist In The Homeland

Continuing on my theme of pretending to be a tourist in my homeland, now that I’m back from my lengthy sojourn in Asia:

We had tickets for The Book of Mormon musical at the Pantages, and decided to make a weekend out of it. There were some things, in spite of growing up here, that I had never done in L.A. It was high time I did something about that.


The Getty Villa is up on a hill Malibu side. It’s not the easiest thing to get to, especially if you’re heading southbound. You have to plan in advance because you need to have a parking reservation in order to get in. The museum itself is free, however.

The Villa is modeled after the Villa of Papyri in Herculaneum (Pompeii) and is dedicated to Greco-Roman classical pieces.

Lansdowne Herakles


Philippe’s has been an staple since 1908 and reportedly the birthplace of the French dip. Also, the mustard is inanely delicious. Would recommend.


The Roosevelt on Hollywood Boulevard has been a big deal since it opened in 1927, and was the first location of the Oscars. It’s been frequented by the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe. The latter of which had her first pictures as an actress taken on the diving board poolside at the cabana rooms were added on later. That’s where we stayed.

That section was delightfully retro in a modern sense.

Well worth a visit. I’d done the Pig N’ Whistle in high school, but never made it to this one. Most locals never have. Guess it’s like living in New York and never going to the Statue of Liberty.


The Getty Center along the 405 would rival the National Gallery in London. It’s a big deal, and has works from the masters, including Van Gogh’s Lilly’s. Presently, there’s a special exhibition on fourteenth century Florentine illuminations and panels.

Improving Monet one yeti at a time