I am lucky to have grown up in Northern California, but there is a big difference between the weather up here and that down south. Even as a native Californian, I still dream of sunny La La Land. The opening scene of the movie by that name is reminiscent of every one of my visits to Los Angeles. I spend much of each day sitting in bumper to bumper traffic basking in the glorious golden sunlight. If only in real life, everyone then jumps out of their cars and bursts into song and dance on the freeway! Wouldn’t life be so much better?
A few months ago, my best buddy Lisa and I paid a visit to Southern California to celebrate her birthday. We had a grand time going back and forth between eating, geocaching and sightseeing, in that order. We did so much that I can’t mention it all here. Instead, I will limit this to the happenings on her actual birthday.
A highlight of our trip was a morning visit to the Getty Villa nestled in the hills of Malibu. The museum was built by oil magnate J. Paul Getty to resemble a real Roman country house, the Villa of the Papyri, which was completely covered by ash when Vesuvius erupted. The Villa is a perfect setting for Getty’s collection of ancient Roman and Greek art. The artwork is beautiful but the surrounding grounds are even more stunning. I felt as if I had been transported to another time and place when walking through the courtyard and gardens. This is definitely a do not miss!
After all that fresh sea air, we were famished and headed to Venice Beach for lunch and people watching. With my bowl of poke served from a beach side window stand, I soaked in some rays and watched a game of paddle tennis. Also on the scene were people pumping iron at the famous Muscle Beach and of course playing basketball on courts featured in White Men Can’t Jump.
There are a lot of geocaches to choose from in this area and all are easily accessible from the beach. The best of the fun geocaches nearby was GC5M5W5 (Silicon Beach Bug Hotel) nestled in a cute pocket park off of the Venice Canals.
All this geocaching can make a girl thirsty so we headed to one of Lisa’s favorite haunts, the Living Room, located in the Shutters on the Beach hotel. It was a funny coincidence that the geocache we found here was hidden outside of the hotel in honor of it being one of the cache owner’s wife’s favorite places, too! After making quick work of GC3PGRQ (Cache Del Mar) we went inside for pina coladas, my favorite libation on a warm day.
Most people know I am a sucker for carnivals and amusement park rides so I had to check out Santa Monica Pier, especially since it was right next door. Unfortunately, the attractions were closed for a private event. Even so, the place had a great energy with so many people walking around enjoying the warm weather and the beautiful sunset. When Lisa went “fishing” for GC42POW (Flomango’s Fishing Hole) under the pier, it made up for all of my disappointment in not getting to go on any rides.
Since a little bird named Callie had been singing praises about Hinoki and the Bird, we went for Lisa’s birthday dinner. The elegant meal was a perfect end to a perfect day.
P.S. Thank you to Miss Callie for being a wonderful hostess and turning me onto Catfish. Haha!