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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Where In The World Have We Been?

It's been almost two weeks since my last blog post.
Howard and I have been among the missing.

Where?  Here are some clues.
We went here:
 And visited here:
 Took a look at this:

 Visited in a land where things . . . 
 . . . are not always what they seem to be!
 Braved fiery explosions:
 And the jaws of a shark!

Witnessed some guy named Norman stuff a body in the trunk of his car:
 Howard made a new friend.
 Howard also got snapped buying Cinnabon sticks.  Evidence.
 He redeemed himself by rescuing his daughter from a fake shark.
Now that's a Dad.
 So I'm thinking you are probably guessing where we have been.
Including Los Angeles.

 Santa Barbara.

And the odd little town of Solvang, which seems to be mostly owned by
Scandinavians, and the Chumash Indian tribe.  
 "Mom, it's a tourist trap," said our daughter Alida.
"Perfect," said I.  "I am a tourist."
Note the bag, full of cheesy souvenirs.

So what about those first pictures in this post?
We spent a Saturday afternoon at the Santa Anita Racetrack.

The first horse Howard placed a $2 bet on crossed the finish line riderless.
The jockey fell off.
True story.
You are allowed to laugh, as the jockey was not hurt.

 Santa Anita is a beautiful Art Deco-designed track, built in the 1930s.
The new HBO series "Luck" is being filmed there.
Our daughter Alida and son-in-law Josh, studying the racing form.
They came out ahead with their $2 bets.  Smart-aleck grad students.

Santa Anita, in Arcadia, is not far from Pasadena, where we had spent the morning.
At the Greene & Greene designed Gamble House.
The Gamble House.
Yes, I stole this shot from the Gamble House website ...  click here.

Pasadena is Mecca if you love Arts & Crafts style homes, from sprawling houses
designed by famous architects, to modest bungalows.  Wonderful town.

If you visit the Gamble House, ask the docent to let you walk
into the butler's pantry off the kitchen.  It is perfection.

Now what does it say about me, that I loved the butler's pantry with its walls of cupboards,
so beautiful in their simplicity and usefulness, 
more than I loved the living room, or the moody stained glass panels around the front door?
I may not want to answer that one. . . .

We visited California primarily to visit these two people:
Alida and Josh.  You may remember them from the 47-thousand pictures
of their June 2011 wedding that I posted.  All. Summer. Long.
They live in Los Angeles, and are excellent tour guides.
Here they are at the La Brea Tar Pits museum complex.
Did you recognize the 3rd picture from the top?  The fragrant Tar Pit!

We timed the trip to coincide with Howard's birthday, and Alida's.
Our daughter may be officially a grownup, now 26 and married, but she still does things like this:
That's a Giant Sloth, friends.  The one not wearing green pants and a yellow shirt.
Did you know that camels once roamed Los Angeles?
The things you learn at the Tar Pits . . . amazing.

Universal Studios was way more fun than I thought it would be.
Sometimes, it's just good to be a tourist, and do the tourist-y things.

Santa Barbara, where we met up with friends, was gorgeous and all you have to do
is park me by salt water, and I am a happy camper.
Solvang, where we stayed for a couple of nights, was a hoot.

But with all the things we did, I think the most pictures
we took were of the things we ate!
I'm going to save some of those for another post,
because this one has gotten to be like your boring neighbor's vacation slides presentation.

But food?  Who could be bored by food?
Next time, our California food, plus stories of how we broke into a closed restaurant,
the sailing trip that may or may not have been with a homicidal maniac,
and -- the apple fritter that got away.  Sigh.

It's good to be home again at That Old House, and New Jersey greeted us
with a dusting of snow when we got home, but our trip was a blast.
Back to reality! . . . Cass


  1. Looks like you had a great time. I went to the Kroger store. Happy Valentines Day. Richard from My Old Historic House.

    1. Oh, Richard, I love you.
      Laughed out loud.

      And by the way, I haven't been to a Kroger's since we lived in Pittsburgh.
      Say Hi for me.

      Happy Valentine's Day to you, too -- and Dion sends his best wishes to Sissy Dog.

  2. So good to see your kiddo. I spent the weekend with mine too. Richard's comment is killing me. I understand about the pantry as I did a three part series on an enormous mansion estate sale and most folks loved the pantry shots the best-they wanted that pantry.

  3. Sounds like you had a fun trip - thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. This is certainly the time of year to head west. Looks like a fun trip with lots of sunshine.

  5. You make everything an adventure, Cass! What a great trip! I'm glad you got to see Alida and Josh. I didn't know they had moved to L.A. Now you have an excuse to travel more!


  6. Oh what fun was had by all!!
    Happy Valentines Day!!

  7. Hi Cass~
    I had no idea you were not posting..
    So was I..
    not posting.but sorta missing..
    My excuse?
    I was being held captive..
    by an uncooperative Computer!
    Fixed it!!
    no negotiating..
    done deal!!
    I'm back up and running!!
    can finally get back to posting pics!!
    so glad you had a super time!
    warmest hugs!

  8. There you are! We always wonder when our bloggy friends are missing ... and breathe a sigh of relief when the reason is one full of fun!

  9. Cass,
    Glad you are back and that you had a wonderful time! Good to get away sometimes.

    Happy Valentine's Day!


  10. THX for letting us "Tag Along" with you after..... through your pictures. Happy valentines Day (((hugs)))Pat

  11. Well, that was a sentimental journey for me. I grew up in Southern California and used to visit all those sights, including tourist trap, Solvang. But we loved it and the split pea soup we always ate while visiting there. Thanks for sharing your trip. It was a trip down memory lane for me.

  12. Hi Cass, What great pictures. I love them. When I saw the tar pits,2 years ago, I was shocked. In my imagination from childhood...I thought it would actually be bubbling tar with skeletons of dinaosaurs sticking out of it .lol. I was amazed it's right in a neighborhood . with houses and buildings around it. Can't wait to see more pictures. Happy Valentine's Day, Susie

  13. Alida looks fabulous ! I've always wanted to go to Solvang. I'm jealous. Glad you were able to make the trip Cass !

  14. Oh how fun! Happy you had a wonderful vacay!!

  15. Wonderful to go and visit a "missing" child. It looks like you had fun.

  16. Oh this brings back great memories of my of our stops was Universal where we ran into Martin Milner and 41 years later we still talk about the tour guide that yelled across the lot at him "Hey MArty I thought you were off today".....Martin Milner looked at this guy like ..."Who in the hell are you to talk to me"....
    and that wacky town you went to looks just like our Helen Georgia....tacky tacky but that's the fun of being a tourist....But why didn't you take that lovely dog along with you....He was so miserable with you gone....the poor baby...

  17. Oh, Cass! It looks like you had a marvelous time...from the tourist traps to the cinnamon rolls. Perfect! It is always nice to get home though, isn't it? We're in Disney World for the week. I'll kiss Mickey for you- xo Diana

  18. Cass you were missed greatly but I am so glad you are home again. Your trip looks like loads of fun! I lived in Cali all my life and I never went to the tar pits. Should put it on the list for things to do when we go to visit. :)

  19. Tracey @ Breathing English AirThu Feb 16, 02:50:00 PM EST

    Thoroughly enjoyed your pics, it certainly looks like a fun trip.


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