fun in the sun...

Around 5 am each day there is a hauntingly beautiful owl calling, it echos and seems to go on for a very long time with each deep hoot.  Calling it's mate?  There does not appear to be an answering call, each one sounds exactly like the one before in tone and pitch.

I live in the Mid-West where tall trees and owls are in an overwhelming abundance.  To hear it echoing in this adobe filled desert is hard to fathom. There are plenty of trees, just not the kind I've ever envisioned owls to rest in.  Mostly, there are houses, apartment buildings, structures as far as the eye can see.  I am not surprised that it is not only a desert, but also in the midst of one of the longest running droughts this state has ever seen.  Green space is not in abundance.  Or maybe that isn't an appropriate term - as it is a desert area. None cement, paved or built upon space is rare.  How can the ground absorb the bits of rain that fall?

Yet it's beautiful in it's own right.  The palm trees that hover as you drive into LA look almost like a vision from one of the old invasion movies.  Giant pods with long stems, the base of which can't be seen as you rush along that busy, over crowded highway.

And the highways are immense.  Layers upon layers, all filled beyond capacity.  Yesterday was the first time we zipped along.  Seems the folks that live here tend to head to other places over holiday weekends.  We simply were not complaining.

Spending time with my boy and his girl were my top priority.  Having fun is simply a bonus! Hard to believe how quickly time flies.  Today is already the start of my third day here.  And we've been busy.  I love spending time with both of them!

I love the diversity and depth of people and cultures in this area.  The first night we had dinner in a precious little Thai restaurant.  It was incredibly good.  I was humored having to sign in and wait outside, as they had not waiting area inside. It was only after we left that I was told it wasn't in the best neighborhood to be in at night.  As I work in a downtown area, I was rather shocked to hear that.  It was quiet and very few cars or people were around, evidently his girl and I have differing opinions of "unsafe".

The next day my boy had a surprise for us.  And what a surprise it was!  He found a fantastic little alpine village not far from his house.  The market was enough to make me want to sell my house and move to this diverse and crowded mecca.  At least for a few minutes.  Instead I think I will stock up on a few things while I am here.  We had a wonderful lunch of schnitzel, spaetzel, and a truly authentic German pretzel as an appetizer.

Yep this little holiday was off to a fabulous start.

His girl then suggested a trip to Little Tokyo.  Having never been there, it was definitely something to do! We had a shortish day, as my boy already had a commitment for the evening when I booked my flight, his girl was going to visit with friends and honestly this old body needed sleep! Switching time zones is tough.  As we wandered through the little shops, enjoying the tiny treasures, the sounds and ahhh the smells, I could easily understand his girl telling me that with Asians its always about the food.  How could it not be.  Sadly, we were still far too full from that incredible German lunch to even consider sampling any of those incredible smelling treats.

I was intrigued to find out the town my son lives in is where they actually filmed on of my favorite televisions shows.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Yep, I said it out loud.  That show was truly one of my favorites, and it was filmed here, where my boy lives.  Good thing it was fantasy... sure wouldn't want that kind of horror around my sweet boy.

I may not have packed right again this time.  Because 66 degrees at home, is definitely jeans and at least a long sleeve shirt.  Here... simply not the same.  Luckily, I packed a random assortment.  We started yesterday wishing for those long sleeves and ended wishing for a lightweight sundress.

I bought each of us a three day  Go Card!  These are awesome!  We have already used one day and over half the value of what I paid for them.

We went to the Natural History Museum, it was so fun!  Dinosaurs, mammals, insects (um yeah - gross), the gems were incredible!  Although all three of us were concerned about entering a vaulted room.  That door definitely looked ominous.  We walked through the gardens, well the vegetable and fruit side, his girl is allergic to the flowers and we definitely didn't need her miserable for the rest of our fun filled day!

Next up... La Brea Tar Pits.  Have to say, this is by far one of the coolest things I have ever been to.  I am fairly certain I could sit by the lake pit all day and watch in fascination the bubbling up of the gases.  It was so random the way you'd be walking through the park and out of no where there would be a cone, slightly covered with tar, covering a new ooze.  As we were standing by one of the smaller pits watching it bubble and ooze I noticed a little girl a few feet away playing with a stick in an unprotected oozing hole.


In the heart of LA, right on Wilshire Avenue, only three miles from Hollywood proper, brews, bubbles and oozing a prehistoric tar pit.  Actually, far more than one.  I believe I saw a sign that said there were 100's.  It's very hard to wrap your brain around that.  Even harder when you are standing there in the midst of the hustle and bustle.  High rises as far as you can see, and yet... there are active tar pits.  They are still accumulating small animals, birds, and debris in a never ending cycle.

A few hours and three miles later we were navigating the masses of people on Hollywood Blvd.  Our destination... Hollywood Harley Davidson.  Hubs needed a present after all.  I have never been in a smaller more packed HD shop - well... ever!  The boy found the size and style I wanted, just as I was fearing we would need to give up in defeat.

Hollywood Blvd is unique.  A small stretch of a long road, filled over capacity with hordes of people.  Some walking, others in costumes, insanity seems to be the flavor of the day.  Mixed in with all the people looking for stars or looking at the footprints and hand prints outside the Chinese Theater are the people trying to save lost souls.  I am not sure most of the folks in those few random blocks are the souls they should have been reaching out to with their huge signs and loud speakers blaring over and over again that we are all sinners damned to a fiery hell.  Seems a more subtle approach a bit further away where there were people laying on the streets clasping their alcohol bottles and needles in drugged and drunken stupors might have been better served.

As our passes gave us ample opportunities to do things in the Hollywood area, we decided on Madam Tussaund's Wax Museum.  Wasn't on my wish list, but it was included and we still had time to enter.  And... well... it was right there!  So of course we went! The boy wasn't as charmed as the girl and I were.  She and I had enough fun for the three of us!

We ended our evening going to Three Flames Mongolian BBQ - Hubs has been telling us to go since the boy first found out he was moving here.   Well... all I can say is that in the 70's it may have been incredible, maybe even into the 80's... but... as we are now in the teens... I feel it is time for the owners to retire, and close up shop.  Despite the dirty tables, I am fairly positive we were the only people that had chosen to eat there all day and while no one ended up with a tummy ache, it was by far not worth the money.   Oh well... We've been there now.

Today as we wait for his girl, we are preparing to go to Long Beach and Anaheim for another fun filled day... I am loving being here.  I get the joy of sitting and talking to my boy while he plays video games, of doing fun and silly stuff with him and his girl, and to just delight in being a mom with fabulous grown children that I get to spend awesome time with!  Whether at mom with my girl, or on the coast with my boy... I am truly blessed!

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