Huntington Gardens & Griffith Observatory — 20Aug2008

For another of our day-trip “vacation” days, we combined a trip to the Huntington Gardens and Museum, with a stop at the Griffith Park Observatory. With the gas prices these days, we didn’t want to drive up there twice…

Huntington Gardens is Daleen’s “favorite place” — they have more plants than you can shake a stick at. Not exactly *my* idea of a good time, but we walked through a few hundred miles of paths through plants, and Daleen and the kids loved it. Must be a Girl Thing.

They have a big Desert Plants section, and some nice Japanese Gardens. Recently, the Chinese, not to be outdone (especially by the Japanese), put in a section of their own, which is even more elaborate.

After the plants, we went into the museums to look at the paintings, which are more interesting to me — to a point. They really mostly have portraits, and they all start to look alike after a while with the rosy cheeks and lipstick and mile-high wigs and frilly satin and lace — and that’s just the men…

So after the obligatory half-hour in the gift shop, and the obligatory droppage of 75 bucks, we were off to lunch on the way to the Griffith Park Observatory. It was famously recently expensively renovated, and looks exactly the same. They wanted to leave the iconic building alone, so they jacked it up and added an underground “second story”, with more exhibit space and another little theater.

I was kind of disappointed that it’s still all at elementary school level — I was hoping that they’d get beyond the “how much you weigh on Jupiter” stage, but I guess schoolkids are their target audience. The planetarium show (with the new comfy seats), on the other hand, despite being “for beginners”, was excellent. They really put it together to illustrate the concepts perfectly. “How to explain stuff” is kind of my “thing”, and this was simply amazing. Brilliant, even. And well presented too, with a live Actor Guy doing the narration.

So that was pretty fun, too. We had arranged to meet the Spencers there, so the kids had friends to hang with, and from there we went into Hollywood to have dinner, which was a special time, too. A great, if long, day.

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