Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe
marypcb

A splash of yellow

Off to LA yesterday; this meant an early morning after a late night so we were very glad that the refurbished terminal 3 is spacious and speedy - at least when it's empty. And even gladder when Virgin sorted out the confusion about there being five people for four seats, one of which didn't recline, by upgrading us to Upper Class. I've never had a free upgrade on Virgin before so this was even better travel fu than getting waved past the shoe scanner.
Enjoyed the food, watched Bee Movie (funny but annoyingly stupid about pollination), worked too much and slept too little. Yellow poppies along the side of the runway. Drove straight to Santa Monica and checked into the Bayside hotel. It's nice in a homely way; 20's style tile shower and heating, on the comfortable side of shabby, certainly clean and with a good view of the beach (though we had a view of the pretty triangular garden in the middle). Probably wooden so you hear the street noise a little, but it was quiet and as long as it wasn't moving we could sleep on it!

Walked into town, past the flashing light patterns on the ferris wheel on the pier, past umpteen Italian restaurants and had tuna and patty melts and soup at the excellent Broadway diner (and I can't go back in this client to say we caught the sunset on the beach).

This morning we met Barry-our-editor-from-Tom's-Hardware and his wife Jane for breakfast at Loew's hotel, which is imposing and stylish in a very modern way and does a nice eggs benedict with heirloom tomatoes. We raced away a little sooner than we otherwise would as we had tickets for the Getty Villa at 11.

This resembles the Getty Center only in having imposing architecture in a pleasing setting and a fascinating collection with occasional amazing highlights. The villa takes mosaic floors from one villa in Herculaneum, a shell fountain from Pompeii, a roof detail from another villa in Herculaneum and wall paintings from yet another; the kleptomaniac style of architecture. The place is quite lovely and the collection of greek pottery is superb; stunning examples by the best painters. The themed arrangement is a little, well, arranged, but it makes good sense for a general audience. and like the other Getty it's a nice ambience.

The drizzle turned to a hint of brightness but the LA traffic was worse than ever, with cars swerving, braking abruptly and dumping underpants on the road in front of us. And that was just after we drove past the nuclear power plant by the freeway... which is where either side of the road was carpeted with yellow poppies... Refuelled at an In-N-out and we're now safe in San Diego.
Tags: travel
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