Bringing in a couple of keys"
These immortal words of Arlo Guthrie kept running through my mind as we flew south Friday morning, having left SeaTac on a typically wet and gloomy February morning in the Pacific Northwest. The keys I was bringing in, however, were more in the way of door keys than contraband. I also got a lot of the Mamas and Papas' "California Dreamin'" on my mental ipod mix. Ah, the romantic songs of my youth.
We were taking a well deserved break from winter and were rewarded, as we touched down in Burbank, California, with a beautiful sunny morning reminiscent of Seattle in midsummer. Leaving Bob Hope Airport in our tiny rental car, a Nissan Versa, we arrived at the Pasadena Howard Johnson's in midmorning where the staff was kind enough to let us into our room 5 hours before normal checkin time.
|Howard Johnson of Pasadena|
Many famous scientists have eaten at the Athenaeum over the years. In fact, when Einstein made his regular visits to CalTech he often ate here. You know how when you visit a historic site, say, Westminster Abbey, and you think of all the famous people who have been exactly where you are standing? If you are like me, you get a real historical high on occasions like that. So it was quite a thrill when I visited the men's room and realized I was standing exactly where Einstein had stood on countless occasions! After all, he was known to knock back a few and what goes in must come out.
|Einstein Urinal. Different fixture, same location. No commemorative plaque for some reason.|
|Early morning at HoJo Pasadena|
|Becky in situ|
|There are an alarming number of palm trees in southern Cal|
It's a scary place. Hey, look at this!
|Saturday at Vasquez Rocks|
|Gorn planet in 1965. Coincidence?|
|Sad Mammoth Scene|
|A real Mammoth|
After a few pleasant hours spent in the museum and sitting outside people watching, we moved on to Santa Monica where we visited the Pier to watch the sun set over the Pacific and had an excellent pizza dinner nearby.
Traffic was horrible on the way back to Pasadena and, exhausted by the day's fun and driving hassles, we immediately fell into our HoJo beds.
The next morning we were up early and arrived at Huntington Gardens just after opening time. The parking lot was already crowded. However, the grounds were as beautiful as ever and the museums, both library and art, were great. Here are some scenes from the gardens.
|We found a friend on the sidewalk!|
We spent most of the day at the Huntington and then went for dinner at an Italian restaurant in Pasadena. I have been there three times now and have somehow ended up at the same table every time! And it IS a nice table, being outside with a heater.
The following morning, Monday, we met Becky for brunch, went to an antiquarian book store, and then took her back to her office where we said our sad goodbyes. On the way to the airport we stopped off at Griffith Park and drove up to the observatory.
|This is the city|
|A major scene in "Rebel Without a Cause "was filmed here|
Funny story. On the plane home, we were sitting by a nice young fella from Pasadena who was flying for the first time in his life. He was on a business trip and apparently had never been out of California. He was excited to be coming to Seattle and was asking everyone where he should go out to eat. However, it seems he had never heard of the Space Needle or Mount Rainier and he seemed a little taken aback when I mentioned that Rainier is a volcano. Since he is staying in Kent, I feel pretty good about NOT telling him that if Rainier has a major eruption while he is here, he and Kent will both likely be toast. I often admire my wonderful self restraint.