Feeling the need to get away, I took Friday off a few weekends ago and the boy and I went for a drive up to our neighboring Los Angeles. A few stops were planned out; the first being the J. Paul Getty Museum and then Chinatown. I packed one overnight bag and even managed to make the executive decision to leave my flat-iron at home. The weather was cold and rainy and I really didn’t care for once. The travertine walls of the museum looked almost shining against the gray skies and getting caught in a downpour in the swirling gardens was the kind of cleansing I needed.
I came to an interesting realization while I was there too. Despite my love of painting and sculpture, I’ve grown a stronger love of architecture, furniture, and photography. That isn’t to say when I was standing in front of Van Gogh’s Irises that I still didn’t have the same awe of his thick paint strokes. I also couldn’t help think of my so long ago trip to Europe either.
There was one socially awkward moment that occurred when I was perusing the French furniture exhibit. A couple of ladies, I’d say in their thirties, were reading up on the descriptions (which I do applaud them for; so few people actually do). At one point, one of these dear souls turns to the other and says, “What country is Parisian?” The other, “What?” The first question is repeated. The other, equally perplexed throws out the idea that she must be pronouncing it wrong (since she herself is not in view of the information her friend had been reading), “Do you mean Persian from Persia?” “No, it’s spelled differently.” So here I found myself having a dilemma between whether I should clarify to ensure they wouldn’t go home and say they saw beautiful Persian furniture or be potentially perceived as rude, embarrass the two ladies to the point that they don’t even mention the furniture to their loved ones back home. As quietly and sweetly as I could, I approached them, “It’s Par-ee-sian. It’s from Paris, France,” throwing in the actual country for good measure. At first they stared at me blankly and I tried not to watch as their cheeks got a bit rosy. “That is it! Thank you. I can’t believe we didn’t think of that!” I smiled and walked away despite them trying to explain to me that they were “educated.” I double checked with the boy to see if I overstepped social boundaries but he agreed that my clarification was for the best. What would you have done?
About half way through our visit, our tummies let us know that sustenance was necessary. I didn’t realize how much I had neglected the boy’s need for mangia until we reached the information booth and all that he could say to the museum employee was, “Food.” Not even a question mark. I couldn’t help but laugh at how quickly a human can degenerate and become a Neanderthal in the face of hunger.
The attendant at the information booth didn’t at all blink an eye so I assume that this must have been a normal occurrence. He pointed us in the direction of the Cafe and I was pleasantly surprised by all the delicious-sounding options. Just as I assume that all starving people do, we had to go from station to station before we could appropriately select what we were in the mood for.
Something about chilly weather also makes it great chili weather. Despite the side-effects, I just love a cup of chili to warm me up! The boy opted for clam chowder.
Not wanting to spoil our dinner, we also decided to split a sandwich. Afterall, we had both been eyeballing the same one! Ham, brie cheese, leafy lettuce, and carmelized apple awesomeness on focaccia bread. They grilled it panini-style so that the carmelized apple melded with the brie until some if it couldn’t help but peek out the sides of the sandwich.
We almost, ALMOST, got garlic fries too but check out these lovely potato chips that came with the sandwich. Who needs fries when you have these puppies? They were perfect for dipping into my chili, I might add.
Okay, it’s approaching 9:30 a.m. and all this talk is making me hungry! We’ll talk Chinatown next time!