Trip to the Getty Villa

So a few weeks ago, Snapchat sent all of its users a video of the popular attractions in Los Angeles.  Having grown up in Southern California, I was pretty disappointed that I really hadn’t visited any of the “popular” areas except the beach.  Emi from The Well Traveled Wife had a post about being a tourist in her new-ish home and while I’m essentially doing the same thing in New York, I thought it would be perfect to practice in California.  So, with Snapchat and the fear of missing out as my motivating forces, my friend Lindsay and I decided to buckle down and start exploring.

First stop: The Getty Villa

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Located along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway, the Getty Villa is a museum dedicated to the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.  The location itself was built by J. Paul Getty and was designed after the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum (say that five times fast).

We had ordered our free tickets online the week before, which happened to be a clutch move.  The attendants won’t actually allow your car to enter until you hand these over. 

Because Mr. Getty had accumulated so many wonderful artifacts and pieces of art, the museum soon had to split between this location and the larger Getty Center campus near Brentwood.

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We couldn’t have asked for a lovelier day by the water.  While you can’t see it from this shot, the ocean is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.  To be precise, one would have an excellent view on that balcony.

IMG_5537Can you possibly imagine all the work that went into the design and creation of such mosaics?

IMG_5544There are multiple floors in which you are able to roam; from paintings to sculptures, artifacts, to replicas, they have it all.  I would highly recommend taking one of the free tours offered.  Then again, wandering at your own pace is always an excellent option 🙂

Getty Villa 2  Artifacts on the premise date from 6,500 BC to 400 AD. The statues can be found in many of the rooms as well as in some of the gardens.  I honestly could not get enough of the mosaics and of course had to re-post one of my favorites.

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The Getty Villa
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, California

 Hours Wed-Mon (10am-5pm) ~ Parking $15

Of course a trip to the west side isn’t complete without a stop in Santa Monica.  Lucky for us, Lindsay’s sister lives just by the Promenade, so we had prime parking 🙂

After some window shopping (better for my pocket book anyway), we headed down to the Lowes Hotel for a quick seaside drink, followed by dinner at the hotel’s Ocean & Vine.   I have to say, the bread basket was out of this world.  Seriously, the array of pretzel bread to sourdough rolls and even slices of warm sun-dried tomato, was delicious.  While there were no pictures of the first or second courses, I was able to squeeze in a few shots of my favorite part – the dessert.

~ Hazelnut Crunch Brownie Cake ~ The Beach Berry CocktailFireside Baked S’mores ~

Santa Monica~ Lowe’s Hotel ~ Ocean & Vine ~
1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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Friday Favorites

A little taste of what I’ve been digging this week.  It’s been fun to test out a few food places, some of them new and others not so new, as I run errands and make my way through the traffic of Southern California.  Honestly, I am NOT a fan of traffic and sadly, it’s making me despise driving.  I have exhausted every radio station, even some of the bilingual ones, and will probably scream the next time I hear Daft Punk’s song about getting lucky or Selena Gomez’s latest musical melody attempt.  Don’t get me wrong, most of the songs on the radio are quite catchy, but there is only so many times they should be played and certainly not simultaneously on multiple radio stations.  Thoughts?

IMG_9297Visiting Megnan at her internship.  Not only does she have a little balance board, but she also had a stand-up desk and an amazing view of Santa Monica.  That should certainly balance out the hour+ drive to work 😉  I was actually on the south side of town to catch up with one of my mentors and get her thoughts on my post-college job search. IMG_9302But, a trip out should be rewarded, don’t you think?  Meghan and I took a quick trip to the food truck row and while I was drooling at some of the choices (even though slightly overpriced…then again, what isn’t these days), I had to go for a juice. Hello JUICEBOX! I’ve been reading how these juices provide the most amount of nutrients for the body because none of the products are cooked or altered.  Instead, you get 100% of the nutrients in one cup.  Seems like a great deal to me.
IMG_9303I was debating between the Citrusbox and Kalebox, but was wary of the beet addition.  I had been less than enthused with the last time I tried beet, so kale it was.  I thought it was a success, but then again I have a slight addiction to weird food combinations.  Meghan’s report was that it was alright, but would need some adjusting too.  I just told her that Kombucha had an even more distinctive flavor, so she was lucky. 🙂 IMG_9305 I’ve also been doing my fare share of cleaning out my room and house.  We are having a garage sale next week and I’ve been trying to get rid of all the junk lovely sentimental items that we have collected over the years.  I’m also helping my mom scrapbook our sports careers, which requires a lot of digging  through old newspaper clippings and picture boxes.  We come from a small town, so even the softball scores would get reported on.  My claim to fame was the fact that I could hit.  Not only that, but I threw right-handed and would bat left-handed.  Tricky, tricky, tricky.  IMG_9307 A trip to Pasadena is NEVER complete without a trip to 21 Choices.  I swear, I could go to this place every day and never get tired of it.  Well, maybe after awhile.  I guess there is such thing as too much of a good thing.

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This little joint is a little like ColdStone Creamery, but eons better.  They have daily flavors of frozen yogurt, along with a couple of regulars.  Then, you are welcome to choose from the many toppings, which they will mix in on a frozen countertop.  They will offer you a taste of your yogurt and if you are satisfied, you proceed to pay and devour the remaining bowl.  If not, they will be happy to try to make your creation again.

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I have been known to sit inside and wait for a customer to refuse their selection because the bowl of heaven will then be offered to the customers in line for free.  Ok, this only happened once when I was simply tasting looking at the day’s flavors.  My parent’s won’t let me forget it though.

IMG_9313This is relatively new; a board of recommended pairings, many of which I wouldn’t even have been able to create on my own.  Sometimes you just need a little help. 
IMG_9316 IMG_9317I went for the “Salty Sailor” complete with cookie dough, peanut butter, and sea salt.  They even let me keep the spoon they used to scoop out the peanut butter.  You see, it’s the little things that make me happy. IMG_9318Meghan happens to be a pro at ordering 21 Choices because she has the privilege to attend Claremont McKenna.  Why do I make this connection?  Well, Claremont is host to TWO 21 Choices, so it can often be a weekly outing, especially since she and her other cross-country friends run so much and work up quite the appetite.  I’d like to think my time on the elliptical works up the same amount of appetite or maybe it’s just my love for ice cream and frozen treats.  IMG_9319As you can see, some things never change.  I’ve been in love with ice cream since a young child.  This stuff is legit, right out of the old-fashioned ice cream machine.  Ah, I also was recently made aware that when we lived in England (granted I lived there from 6 months – 2.5 years old), my grandparents would treat me to an ice cream cone quite often.  This trend seemed to have continued as we all got older and you can always count on them to offer up a scoop.

IMG_9326Rarely do I get to purchase something from Lululemon, but a birthday gift card enabled me to splurge on my very first pair of shorts and I am oh so excited to wear them today as we head to Mammoth Mountain.  Let’s just say they will be getting a lot of use in the future 🙂 I also am loving the new style of bags Lululemon has out for the summer.  Theresa actually got me on the #lululunches bandwagon and I have to say, these bags are perfect for packing all sorts of tupperware away. IMG_9321Maybe my coffee addiction is a little out of hand.  Or not.  This was an attempt to find the perfect beverage – soy vanilla latte.  I promise that when I make the big bucks, I will treat my mom to coffee all the time.  For now, I am eternally grateful for your sharing nature and am pleased to be your coffee buddy 🙂

IMG_9324Last up, I had the chance to visit my high school friend Laura out in Westwood. She took me to one of her favorite places in Santa Monica, Urth Cafee, which has simply some of the best teas/coffees and salads.  I was in seventh heaven with my mixed veggie salad and Spanish Latte Granita, a perfect blend – creamy and sweet.

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Had I taken a look at the breakfast side of the menu, I might have gone that route, but felt a salad was in order.  Yes, salads can be sort of boring, but call me crazy, I just had a craving for a massive plate of vegetables. (I’m fully aware how strange this sounds to some people…go with it).  May I also recommend the scrumptious looking desserts?  Apparently their pumpkin pie is to die for.  Oh goodness, just looking at the menu makes me wish I could eat there more often.  Maybe I’ll resort to making some of the tasty selections from home.  More cost and time-efficient for sure.

Today we are heading up to Mammoth Lakes, one of my favorite places during the summer.  I’ll be sure to pick up a coffee or two 😉 and share some of my favorite places next week.

What are some of your favorite places where you live?  Who knows, maybe I’ll put it on my to-do list and visit one day!