Friday

[travel] McGrath Family Farm

After leaving Los Angeles, we took a mid-morning break at McGrath Family Farm. We had a little tour, asked many questions and sampled some of their strawberries. It was a really beautiful working farm.

McGrath Family Farm

McGrath Family Farm

McGrath Family Farm

They have their own farm stand where you can purchase produce and flowers.

McGrath Family Farm

The Australians on our trip were going nuts over the prices of fruits here. I think in Australia the fruits are mostly tropical and stone fruits (apricots, nectarines, plums) cost an arm and a leg. They were so cheap here that they were just buying them up at every opportunity. 

Fruit in California was really amazing- their strawberries were the best I've ever had.


Thursday

[travel] Los Angeles

LA was a bit of a blur. In the morning we went to Grauman's Chinese Theater:

Los Angeles

We looked at the handprints/footprints of stars:

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

And sometimes a horseprint/gunprint:

Los Angeles

We were given a private tour of the Kodak Theater (now Dolby Theater) where the Academy Awards are held. This was an awesome tour and we got to sit in the seats up on the 1st balcony and ask any question we could think of. Not pictures were allowed, though.

This is the only shot I have of the Hollywood Sign (can you spot it?):

Los Angeles

We went down Rodeo Drive:

Los Angeles

And saw a one million dollar car:

Los Angeles

Quick stop at La Brea Tar Pits (this actually made me pretty sad):

Los Angeles

Walt Disney Concert Hall:

Los Angeles

Downtown LA. It was VERY clean here and kind of deserted. We wondered where everyone was.

Los Angeles

We took an old tram down a hill:

Los Angeles

We walked through a cool market and ended at the Bradbury building- which was gorgeous. They've filmed a few movies here, including Blade Runner!

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

So you can see, this is pretty much our days. Get up, go, take pictures, go somewhere else, take pictures, go, pic, go, pic, go, supper, sleep. 

Wednesday

[travel] Getty Museum

After Santa Monica, we made a very special trip to the J. Paul Getty Museum. I love going to museums. We only had about 2 hours here, which isn't nearly enough time. 

Getty Museum

The buildings and grounds where beautiful. We first went to a rear balcony that overlooked Los Angeles.

Getty Museum

I took many pictures of the paintings:

Getty Museum

Getty Museum

Getty Museum

I was only yelled at once for taking a picture of something I shouldn't (it's okay to take pictures of whatever the Getty Museum owns but NOTHING of what they have on loan from somewhere else).

So I wasn't able to get any pictures of the Messerschmidt sculptures, which were so insanely interesting and cool. We went and walked through a Herb Ritts exhibit.

Outside was a cactus garden:

Getty Museum

My camera battery died and I wasn't able to get any pictures of the flower gardens outside. This was an awesome, awesome museum and you'd need an entire day here to be able to see everything.

Tuesday

[travel] Santa Monica

We stopped at Santa Monica for lunch and a walk out to the pier. It was crazy-busy here, with lots of people and performers everywhere.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica

Santa Monica

This guy, Arthur Nakane, truly was a one-man band. His whole set-up is made from PVC piping. He sang, played the harmonica, pressed all those pedals with his feet. The drum stick fixed to his guitar like a bayonet was for hitting the symbols and the smaller stick pointing down is for pressing keyboard keys- all while he's playing the guitar. It was pretty incredible.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica

This was the most moving thing that I saw, though:

Santa Monica

Each Sunday from sunrise to sunset, a temporary memorial appears next to the world-famous pier at Santa Monica, California. This memorial, known as Arlington West, a project of Veterans For Peace, offers visitors a graceful, visually and emotionally powerful, place for reflection.

Monday

[travel] Mission San Juan Capistrano

Leaving San Diego, we started our move north and stopped at the Mission in San Juan Capistrano...

San Juan Capistrano Mission


Named for Crusader Saint John of Capistrano and designed in the shape of a cross, the great stone church once held seven domes and a bell tower so tall it could be seen from ten miles away. Severely damaged by an 1812 earthquake, the ruins are currently being preserved by archaeologists and engineers. Ivy covers the broken walls, willows sway over the fountain in the quadrangle and orange Birds of Paradise grace the mission gardens. A gilded altarpiece illuminates the Serra Chapel of 1777, the oldest building still in use in California and the only surviving church where Father Serra said mass. Each year on St. Joseph's Day, March 19, the mission celebrates the return of the cliff swallows from Argentina with a traditional Mexican fiesta.

San Juan Capistrano Mission


This mission was so beautiful- the gardens were amazing with hummingbirds zooming around everywhere. There were fish in the fountains. Very very beautiful here.

San Juan Capistrano Mission


San Juan Capistrano Mission


San Juan Capistrano Mission


San Juan Capistrano Mission


San Juan Capistrano Mission

[travel] San Diego

Doing a bus tour up California with my mom for 10 days. First stop was San Diego. Our hotel was ah.may.zing. Nicest hotel I've ever stayed in:

San Diego

Did some guided sight-seeing around San Diego in the morning, stopping to see the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier which is now a museum.

San Diego

There was a nice memorial to Bob Hope here, with his actual shows being played through speakers:

San Diego

We stopped by Balboa Park:

San Diego

San Diego

And Old Town, which has a Saloon-y/Old-West feel.

San Diego

San Diego

On to the water for a harbor tour, where I took pictures of all the ships docked at Naval Base San Diego:

San Diego

San Diego

Then across to Coronado Island, where I took a nice picture of downtown San Diego:

San Diego

Wednesday

[crochet] Doily #47

My other Ravellenic project was a crocheted doily:

Doily

Not blocked yet, so it looks a little puckered. I used a sparkly mohair handspun yarn. That pattern is #47 from Leisure Arts #3228 "99 Little Doilies"

Pros: Sparkly! Nice warm color. Fast and easy to make.

Cons: It's hairy. This doily is kind of hairy from the mohair yarn used. If you come over to visit me and say, "My, what a hairy doily you have." I won't take offense. I'll probably say, "I know, right? This is the hairiest doily ever."

Tuesday

[knitting] Mitered Cowl

I completed two projects for Team Catitude in the Ravellenic Games (that might not make much sense to anyone outside of Ravelry). Here's one- a mitered cowl:

Mitered cowl


The yarn is oooooooold (2009) handspun:

Merino

Redwood Forest

I only ended up using two skeins. I haven't knit anything with mitered squares before, so I just kind of made it up as I went along. Basically I cast on 24 stitches and made a mitered square. Then there are 12 stitches on any given side. Since I ended with one loop, I picked up 11 stitches on one side and cast on 12 new ones for 24 stitches. Finish that square and you have two, attached, hopefully "pointing" (i.e. decreased) in the same direction. Do one more and then you have a strip three squares wide. Turn the work, do it again in the other direction. Because this was all garter stitch, there's no right-side/wrong-side.

I really like how it turned out. I wanted to do mitered squares because I spun the yarn as a thick single with long lengths of color. The finished cowl is nice and roomy and plush.

I finished this project up Sunday morning (just crocheted the strip shut) and Penny wanted to model for me:

Penny

Dont' worry, Penny. I'm still going to make you a sweater. Soon. Soooooooon...