So here is an overview of what we did:
- The Self-Realization Fellowship and Meditation Gardens: I heard about this place on PBS, and considering how many times we have driven past it, you would think we'd check it out. But prior to our visit, I thought it was strictly a religious retreat. The gardens, open to visitors, are lovely. We didn't take a camera--again because we weren't sure if it would be disrespectful to anyone worshipping or meditating. We enjoyed the garden (the views from the top of the garden were one of the best in San Diego, I think), watched the fish in the pond for a while and then went to a nearby park for a homemade picnic lunch. The lunch was nice, watching kids running around the park with reckless abandon made it even better. It was still crazy hot outside though.
- Shahrzad: Having lived close to LA for a while, I can honestly say I don't miss it. However, there are a few places I like to visit and miss from time to time. Shahrzad, a Persian restaurant in Westwood (Eye-ranian central) is one of them. They make fresh, Persian flatbread which can be a lovely meal in itself. Of course, we had to stuff ourselves silly with all kinds of rice dishes and appetizers--but only after eating a basket of fresh, hot bread. Mmmm...bread.
- Girl at The Getty: On the way to Santa Barbara after lunch, I pointed out The Getty to M. I'm pretty sure it is the first time he was impressed with a museum in California. Having lived in Paris, he does not consider The San Diego Museum of Art a 'Real Museum'. I can't argue. But The Getty did get his attention. If you have a chance to go, you should. It is free (there is an $8 parking fee) and beautiful. Actually, I must say, I get pretty excited about visiting museums; I'm almost speechless--as if in a shrine of some kind. We returned on Tuesday (driving back from San Diego, NOT Santa Barbara) and spent some time there, basking in natural and man made beauty in the sun. We just happened to catch Manet's Bar at the Folies-Bergere during its last week. Oh, and here are some pictures of me, in case you're wondering what I look like.
- Santa Barbara: SB was nice, even though the visit was quite short. Due to the traffic and distractions along the way, we arrived later in the afternoon than I had originally planned. Actually, I had planned to be there in the morning--but that's ok. We drove around town, saw some of the sights, and almost got run over by drunk tourists on bikes. Next time we go, we're planning on staying longer. Actually, the thing worst part of the trip was getting on the road on Monday night. It took us almost five hours to get from SB to San Diego, with much of the time spent on the freeway between SB and LA. This is one of the many reasons, I hated living there.
- The Moth: I have been reading and hearing about The Moth for years. I emailed and asked the people who organize the events if they could do something on the West Coast (this is before I even lived in San Diego). They politely said there were no plans, but I should stop by and attend one of the events next time I'm in NYC. Unfortunately, I rarely happen upon NYC. So imagine my joy when I found out that they finally have events in LA. They started recently, and we went last night. For some reason, they didn't get as high a turnout as they usually do. I almost got up and participated. I guess that will have to wait for another evening. Perhaps October, when the theme of the stories are "Blunders". If you know anything about me, you know how far I must stretch my imagination to find "Blunders" in my past...