Wednesday, August 23, 2006

8/23/06 The following pictures were taken at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, which we visited on Saturday. We were on our way to visit Elaine's son, Darran, who lives in San Diego. The last 2 pictures are of him posing with us. Both the museum visit and our time with Darran, Brian and Jen, (the couple he lives with), were very enjoyable. Currently the Getty's main exhibit is about the collaboration between Ruebens and Bruegel, something we were totally unaware of, even though we have looked at exhibits of paintings by both of these artists in European museums. Ruebens mostly painted the people and Bruegel painted the landscapes and backgrounds. The architecture of the place is worth the visit, as is the central garden and fountain. Admission to the museum is free, but parking is $7. We arrived about 11:30 AM on Saturday and the place was delightfully uncrowded. After a very nice (and reasonably priced) lunch at the cafe there, we enjoyed several hours of viewing exhibits, and we attended 2 talks by docents. As we left, about 4 PM, we were very surprised that there was now a huge line of people waiting to get on the tram at the bottom of the hill. Saturday is one of the few days that the museum is open past 6PM, and this is apparently a popular time to go.
After spending the night at a motel in Westminster, we drove to Oceanside for a nice walk, then pushed on to Darran's. Obviously, since this was to be a very quick visit, we only drove the car down and not the RV. Gas prices are affecting our plans! Darran is living with Brian & Jen, and we were delighted to have some time with all of them that evening. Darran has graduated from college now, so he has a new job as a supervisor with UPS, although he claims this will only last until early next year because it is not a position that will hold his interest for long. His real aspirations are to not work and travel, like his Moms, but to do that, he still has to put his time in and get his school loans and debts paid off! The next day we took a long walk with him to a nearby lake, had more in-depth chats, got a warm goodbye hug, and we left early enough to try to miss the rush hour traffic in the LA area. Luckily, the huge accident that caused a slight delay for us was on the other side of the freeway so we didn't have the 5 mile backup that others had. We were back home in our RV by 9 PM Monday.
Now we are doing the last minute preparations for our Middle East trip, including lots of research on the internet. Of course, packing is taking a lot of time because we must pack light, and that means having the exactly correct items with us. Sunday we will drive to Tarra's and have dinner with her and Alonzo. Then they will drive us to a hotel near the San Francisco airport. Our plane for Istanbul leaves at 7:30AM on Monday and with all the security measures in place these days, we will have to be at the airport by 5AM!! We will land in Istanbul on August 29, my 62nd birthday. What a memorable place to be for that event!
We have been collecting a list of people who want our travelogues sent to them by e-mail, so if you want to get on that list, e-mail us ASAP. Otherwise, keep checking this blog because my daughter will be posting them here for us as she receives them.
Our next posting will be from Turkey!

Tram That Takes You From The Parking Garage at the Bottom of the Hill, Up to The Museum at the Top. Posted by Picasa

Mary at Front of Getty Museum. Posted by Picasa

Central Fountain at The Getty Museum. Posted by Picasa

Center Fountain at the Getty Museum. Posted by Picasa

Central Garden at the Getty Museum. Posted by Picasa

Flowers & Waterfall in Central Garden. Posted by Picasa

Darran & His Mom in San Diego. Posted by Picasa

Darran & Mary in Brian & Jen's Yard. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 10, 2006

8/10/06 Hello from Carson City, NV where we are stopped briefly at a very cool WiFi hotspot. It is a cafe called Comma Cafe and it has great atmosphere, good coffees and food, and fast free internet. As soon as I post this, we will head for one of the lakes up in the Sierras. We are heading back to our lot at Park Sierra so we can leave our rig there while we use the car to drive to San Diego. Darran, Elaine's son, lives there and we will spend a few days with him early next week. Then we will spend the rest of our time at Park Sierra, getting packed and ready to leave for Istanbul on Aug. 28.
It was difficult to tear ourselves away from our cool and scenic camping spot at Boca Reservoir near Truckee, and also leave our friends, Bruce and Maria Roberts. In Reno we had a final visit with my daughter, Laura, and my two granddaughters. It was great to be able to see them frequently while we were nearby. No telling when we will be in that area again and for such an extended time. We also had a nice visit with Tarra, Elaine's daughter, and her partner, Alonzo, when they were fixing up their rental condo at Incline Village.
To get back to Park Sierra, we will have to drive over Tioga Pass from highway 395, through Yosemite National Park. This should be a beautiful drive and we are looking forward to it. Also, a long walk in the Mariposa Sequoia Grove sounds appealing. I'll bet there is nothing like it in the Middle East!