Art Healthy Eating History Leisure Reading Recipes Travel

The Getty

For years when visiting LA, I would see the white building at the top of the hill and think, “One day I’d like to visit the Getty.”  I had no expectations or thoughts about what it might be, other than a well-known museum.  Last week, we finally made that visit happen, and boy oh boy, what a pleasant surprise I had!

There are so many appealing things about the place.  First of all, it’s free.  Yep, except the parking, which is pretty expensive, the museum is free.  Secondly, it’s really public-friendly.  The astoundingly beautiful grounds are meant to be used.  There are paths for meandering, grass for lounging and picnicking, waterfalls to listen to.  All of it is drought- friendly.  They put some smelly plants out to deter deer, and when that doesn’t work, they let the deer do their thing and replace the plants in the morning.  It’s technically savvy.  You trade your ID for a programed iPod and headset, and you have a free guided tour through the museums and grounds.  In every exhibit, it’s ok to get close to the art and to take pictures.  How many times do you see that? The docents are in LOVE with their jobs.  We took a short garden tour and it was quite obvious the docent was so proud of the place.  She’s worked there since it opened in 1997 and was a wealth of information.   

Grounds at The Getty

The art, gardens and architecture are all world class.  I really know very little about any of those things, but have a great appreciation for all of them.  In fact, botanical gardens are almost always on my must-do destinations when I travel.  The day we visited was picture perfect and LA looked so pretty from the hilltop.  It was on the warm side, but no problem, we rested on the patio with a beer from the snack bar. 

Courtyard at The Getty

I spent the most time in the Impressionists area of the museum and had to forego some other exhibits.  When I see Monet, Van Gogh, Manet, Rembrandt, Cezanne, I cannot tear myself away to look at modern photographs or even  Renaissance masterpieces (though I did spend a fair amount of time in the European middle ages, it seems).  

My only regret is that we didn’t budget enough time to spend, but I will be back.

Irises, 1889, Vincent van Gogh. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Now, lest I let on that I’m just a cultured person, I must admit that we also visited Universal Studios and Disneyland last week.  I especially loved that everything was decorated so adorably for Halloween.  We met John’s sister Linda and her husband Dan in Anaheim and, for me, Disney is so much better without kids. Again the weather was perfect and we had a wonderful day.

Disney all dressed up for Halloween

John and his sister Linda gave the teacups what for, but my b-i-l, Dan, and I watched from the sidelines thinking we’d keep our lunch in our stomachs.

John and Linda getting ready to spin!

What I’m Reading

I’m close to half-way through Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize): A Novel. I started this one a couple of months ago and gave up on it, but my sister Monique told me to give it another try, and I am liking it better this time through. But, because it’s that time of year, I’m ready for a little horror.  On audio, I am listening to one of my favorite authors, Karin Slaughter (how perfect a name is that for a writer of thrillers?), The Last Widow.  It’s several hours long, but it’s so good, I just keep walking and walking and listening.  I’m going to be hobbled up soon with this habit.  For non-fiction, I am reading Quench : beat fatigue, drop weight, and heal your body through the new science of optimum hydration by Dana Cohen.  I heard her on an interview talking about her theory on hydration and I was pretty intrigued.  I’ll let you know when I finish.

What I’m Eating

What I made this week is not too photogenic.  Which is a nice way of saying it’s similar to what my mom used to call “plop.”  That was her wonderful leftover dish she would create weekly out of everything left in the fridge.  It wasn’t really wonderful, but she was always so proud of it. Mine is an actual recipe that my husband loves, but I wouldn’t take a photo of it.  I first found a similar recipe on my fav Skinnytaste, but I simplified it quite a bit and call it Cabbage Casserole.  My first simplification is to add everything to one large skillet and cook at the same time.  I further simplify by baking in a disposable foil pan – the medium size I buy at Costco is perfect.  When I’m really lazy, I use the pre-shredded bagged cabbage from Trader Joe’s.  Normally, you would add four servings of rice to this, but my husband won’t eat rice, so I substitute mashed potatoes for him and serve the starch on the side and put the casserole over it – rice for me and mashed potatoes for him.  Here goes:

Cabbage Casserole

  • ¾ pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves pressed garlic
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • ½ can water
  • ½ t dried thyme
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 small head cabbage, chopped into 1” pieces or 1 bag of shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup cooked rice (optional)
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella (optional)

Brown ground beef, onions, garlic, salt and pepper.  Drain any excess oil.  Add the other ingredients through paprika and simmer for 20 minutes until it starts to thicken a bit.  Add cabbage and stir until it softens – about 10 minutes.  Add rice if you’re using it and place in a baking dish, cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Remove foil, cover with cheese if you’re using it and return to the oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is brown. 

We do not eat fish or seafood, but my sister Susie shared this recipe they tried and liked:  Tomato and Shrimp salad. You can see they ate it with steak – they are much fancier eaters than we are.

Tomato Shrimp Salad

What I’m doing

Our few days in Southern California were really wonderful.  Just a few nights away from home are perfect for me.  I start getting antsy when I’m gone too long from my cats and from my normal routine.  This week I spent a lot of time on the walking trails, in the gym and getting some chores done around the house (the baseboards are all clean – ugh!).  We met friends out for dinner and sat on the patio watching the gorgeous Arizona sunset.  I met girlfriends for lunch and got caught up on everyone’s summer. The extra time sometimes feels lazy and sometimes makes me a little stir crazy, but I’m learning to accept this new pace and enjoy my days. May you feel the grace and peace in your life as well.

2 Comment

  1. I really did like Less and got my book group to read it too and they liked it. It was written so beautifully but still accessible—and funny!

    1. I agree with beautiful writing. The Author, Andrew Sean Greer, has a lot of thoughtful insight into turning 5-0 and the aging process. He’s a person I’d like to meet sometime.

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