Thursday, January 5, 2017

Our Trip to L.A. (a late recap)

It's been over six months since Grace and I went to LA.  I had intended to write about our trip when we first arrived back home, but it didn't work out that way.  Truth be told, I'm having a hard time adjusting to big kids and their hectic schedules, but that's a whole 'nuther post.
My love for this red head is the reason I went on this trip
Sometime last spring, Grace decided she needed further training in curly hair cutting/styling.  She had been apprenticing under a curly hair expert for a year, but having a "stamped" certification of some sort would give her a marketing advantage.

She decided to take a course at one of the top curly hair schools in the nation, Devachan.  Since she didn't know anyone else attending the course, Daddy decided she needed an escort, so he signed me up for the trip.  I wasn't very pleased.  I really dislike big cities.  I mean, really dislike.  And I have a terrible sense of direction.  Matt assured me that even though the whole thing was out of my comfort zone, it would be a good, stretching experience for me and he said, "You might even have fun."

Grace paid for the course and our plane tickets two weeks before we were to depart. I panicked.  I was now locked into the trip.  I sent a text to my friend, the one I've had since kindergarten.  "Want to go to LA with me in two weeks?"  It's just me.  Your steady, non-adventurous friend.  I'm having a mid-life crisis. Thought I'd have one in LA.  Wanna go with?

Partners in crime
Within a few minutes, she texted back.  She thought it might work.  She would ask her husband.  I prayed.  Hard.  She texted again, "Yes!"  Relief swept over me.  At least I'd have company in my misery.

So we boarded that plane two weeks later.  It was an adventure, to be sure.  Cab rides, navigating the bus and train systems and even taking our first ever Uber ride.  After we dropped Grace off at the school each morning, Julie and I had the run of the town.  Or something like that.  Really, we were two middle-aged ladies with small town roots trying give the second biggest city in America our best shot.

Grace's first day at Devachan
Our first stop was The Getty Villa.  Admission was free.  Getting there was a bit stressful, but we managed.  The Getty Villa is a loose replica of the Villa dei Papiri in Italy.  Rich Romans would leave Rome during the rainy season and go to large country houses to vacation and hold lavish parties.  The Villa dei Papiri was one of those houses.  Located in Herculaneum, it was buried in the ash of Mt. Vesuvius in 70 AD.

That's quite the fancy head piece
The outside garden areas of the Getty are beautiful and would have been even more so during our visit if the central pool had been filled with water.  It was empty because of the drought that California has experienced the past couple of years.

The central pool of the Getty Villa
Inside, the upstairs housed many Roman antiquities.  I was struck by the shear volume of idols and accoutrements of idol worship. Most of these items were gold and silver.  My mind immediately went to this passage in Acts 19:

21Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
23 About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way.24 For a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen. 25 These he gathered together, with the workmen in similar trades, and said, “Men, you know that from this business we have our wealth. 26 And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus but in almost all of Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away a great many people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. 27 And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.”

Silver idol worship stuff
Nero's mommy--her nose was obviously out of joint
Another day, Julie and I went on a touristy tour of LA.  The guide spent the better part of the day explaining about this actor or that movie.  Julie and I didn't know most of the movies or actors/actresses he mentioned, so that was all lost on us.  We did enjoy driving past the "Happy Days House."  Otherwise, Beverly Hills, Venice Beach, blah, blah, blah.  I can't say we were very impressed. The highlight of the tour was eating at the Farmer's Market.  As we wrapped up that day, I thought about how there's nothing new under the sun.  All is vanity.  Just like at the Villa dei Papiri in ancient Italy.

Diamonds are a girls best friend, I guess
Overall, I would say our trip was a success.  Julie and I had quite the time gadding (and gabbing) about. Grace did well at her curly hair school and has since gotten new clients due to her training in the DevaCurl method of hair cutting and coloring.  I got a stretching experience out of the deal, as well as some time away from the day-to-day.  I would say I even had fun, just as my husband predicted.

Grace with Cal Ellis, Devacurl's technical training manager
And to top it all off, Matt and the kids who stayed home repainted the family room while I was away. The sponge painting left by the previous owners disappeared.  This was a job I've wanted to do for a long time, I just couldn't muster the gumption to get started.  Yeah, I know, I married a pretty terrific guy.
This is why it was a good idea I wasn't home.  Mama gets more organized before she starts painting.  Wall on left freshly painted, old sponge painting on right wall.
Matt also refinished his dad's old drafting table (the one Matt used as a desk all through college) and made it into a lovely stand.  It has found new life as place for the steal-of-a-deal, ginormous t.v. Matt found that very weekend on Craigslist.  Now John Wayne, Steve McQueen and the Lone Ranger are super-sized. Truth be told, I think the t.v. is what motivated the entire project, but I'm not complaining.

The finished room.  After searching Craigslist for a leather couch at my price point for nearly a year, I finally found one a few months ago.  Yes, it came with some cat scratches, but leather conditioner makes them less noticeable.  My boys aren't  exactly kind to furniture anyway.
Lately, Grace has been bouncing around the idea of attending a different curly hair school in the Big Apple.  I'm calling it now.  I'll never be in a New York state of mind and I'm happy to keep my little town blues.  Maybe it's time for Daddy to have a stretching experience.    

And because this was one of the highlights of the trip for me. . . .

This man put his dog in this bag so that he could ride the Metrolink (train).  The rule is, "pets must be in a small pet carrier."  This dog was big.  I watched the guy fold his dog up, put him in the bag, ride the train and then get off.  The dog seemed perfectly at ease,  I asked the man about his dog.  He said that he had read that people in NY who ride the subway recommend this way of carrying large dogs.

No comments: