A Travellerspoint blog

Visiting a Roman Villa in Malibu

J. Paul Getty built a copy of a Roman Villa to house his art collection. This still houses the antiquities collections (Greek, Roman and Etruscan pieces)

sunny 75 °F

Wow, what a day! Warning - Lots of Photo's today (but not even close to how many I actually took)!!!

First of course we had to unpack all Mom's stuff from the car and fit it into the RV (we'd been too tired to unpack it Friday night). This went better than I expected, so I also had time to replace one of the vent covers on the roof that had cracked.

Then we headed back over to my brother's house in Long Beach.

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They've been busy taking advantage of the warmer growning climate down here, so Mom planted Bougainvillea along the fence and Charlie planted a number of fruit tree's, including this banana tree. (These are just thumbnails, you can click them to enlarge):

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The Getty Villa is free, but you have to reserve tickets so they can keep the flow of visitors to a reasonable level. We had a little free time before our scheduled 12:30 start, so engaged in a little Rummy Cubes (THE favorite game in this family). Charlie's an absolute terror in this game, but somehow I managed to beat him today (maybe he's getting rusty?). That's my niece, Colleen on the right - she didn't show up very well in the dinner photo from yesterday.

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My brother offered to drive to the Getty Villa, which I gladly accepted seeing as I wasn't sure how to get around. It took us well over an hour to get from Long Beach to north Malibu, lots of traffic and a little on the warm side. However the views were nice and we got there just about 12:30 relatively unscathed. The road from the street is modeled after a roman road uncovered in Pompei:

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Once we found our way out of the parking garage, we hiked up a couple flights of stairs (they have elevators also) and walked out into a patio overlooking an outdoor theater. Charlie seems to be enjoying this impressive sight:

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Just to the right of the theater is the Villa itself, or the Museum.

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In addition to housing J. Paul Getty's collection of art from the Greek/Roman era, the museum also shares art with other museums. This piece was on loan from a museum in Italy and will probably be returned shortly, so we were fortunate to see it while it was still here. Normally there is a small rain catchment pool where the statue was displayed.

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There are quite a few smaller, windowless rooms surrounding the main entrance that in Roman times would have been the bedrooms. In the Getty Museum, each one is used to exhibit different types of art - bronze, silver, pottery, etc. When you go on through the entrance, there is an open garden area surrounded by a covered walkway or peristyle. This is the inner peristyle.

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Then you go through a room that in Roman times would have been the dining area (I've already forgotten the name) into a much larger garden/pool area, the outter peristyle.

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The gardens and pool are so lovely it would be easy to overlook the covered walkways. However the construction details are so impressive they deserve a second look. The Fresco's are especially impressive, and all were careful reproductions of fresco's found in roman villa's of that time.

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Part way down the outter peristyle looking back is a very impressive view of the Villa itself.

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Finally, outside the walls of the outter peristyle is an herb garden. At the Getty, they attempted to make it realistic, so include plants from the Mediteranian such as one might find in an actual Roman villa. There are many, many of these plants in the garden, including this papyrus.

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Leaving the Getty property, you get a sense of just how close to the beach it is, just as the original villa overlooked the Bay of Naples.

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Charlie had a company dinner to attend tonight, so we didn't take time to stop at the beach today, but I got a couple of nice shots of it. I believe this is all part of the Malibu beach, many VERY EXPENSIVE ($5M+?) homes line up between the road, Pacific Highway, and the beach. But there are also openings and public parking (not free) and beach access.

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Since my brother and his family were pretty much tied up from that point, Mom and I went back to the RV, hooked up the car, and headed south towards San Diego. The plan is to go to the San Diego zoo Sunday morning but we were a little too tired to make it all the way to the Thousand Trails campground east of San Diego so are crashing in a rest area part way there. It has an 8 hour stay limit, so we may have to move before morning. It did have a nice sunset though.

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ps - I probably should have included more of these photo's as thumbnails instead of full size photos - but the subject matter was just too spectacular to compromise!

Posted by jl98584 23:24 Archived in USA Tagged villa roman getty Comments (0)

Arrived in LA

Let the Vacation Begin!

rain 65 °F

Boy am I glad I decided not to try to make it over the pass and tackle LA freeways late at night after driving all day! It was rough enough driving in this morning, but I did make it to LA in one piece.

When we woke up in Wheeler Ridge, this is what greated us again for CA weather!

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We started out over the Tejon Pass in the rain, but after we passed the summit we did start leaving the storm behind and it became partly sunny and at least dry (although the locals tell me they do need rain on this side of the mountains also). The pass was pretty nasty, maybe partly due to the storm as the winds were quite gusty and strong most of the way down the western side. The roads were just about as bad as in Stockton, I5 isn't so much a freeway anymore but an obsticle course (in parts of it anyway). Coming down out of the pass, things still look relatively rural, but that changes quickly. This is the first sign of civilization I saw (again, holding camera's while fighting the road & traffic is not a good idea, so this is the last of these shots - I promise).

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Last night I found there was a Camping World right off of I5 in mid LA. Since I still wasn't sure what the plan was (if there was one) once I got to my brothers house, and also was somewhat concerned about the car battery going dead while being towed, I opted to head there rather than an RV park. The service counter assured me the RV hookup was correctly installed, but when towing I need to leave the RV lights on (at least the parking lights) for the trickle charge to work. Hmm, I had assumed that it was better to leave the lights off to 'conserve' electricity - so anyway will try their suggestion. I did buy a few more things to finish rewiring the backup camera and also install the Analogy/Digital converter so mom could watch TV. (Funny, I had the RV for several months before I had Camping World go through it for a general inspection and didn't know the TV didn't work because it was an old analog TV and couldn't read the new digital signals. Didn't want to spend the money on a converter, but finally decided it would be easier then pulling out the old unit and trying to fit a new one in it's place.

By then, I figured I'd better get over to Long Beach and pick up Mom. When I got there, most of the family wasn't home from work yet and I hated to just grab Mom & leave, so we loaded up her stuff and sat around and waited for a bit. Finally my brother got home and we decided to visit his wife, Heidi. She just had back surgery yesterday so was still in the Hospital. The Doctor came by and was glad to see her family visiting. He said she's doing very well and can probably go home Sunday.

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Once we'd worn Heidi out, the rest of us went out to dinner to visit a little longer and plan what to do tomorrow.

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Charlie acted like he didn't care if we came or went (in other words, he was being Charlie), so I'd been thinking of heading on down to San Diego tomorrow. However, my niece Colleen said she'd taken off from work tomorrow to spend time with us - so we'll stay in this area Saturday and decide from there. Her boyfriend fired up his smart phone and ordered tickets for the Getty Villa so Charlie, Colleen and I will visit that tomorrow. I didn't realize the Villa and the Art Museum are two different places, what I really wanted to see was the Villa, so off we'll go....

Starting tomorrow, hopefully we'll have some more normal type vacation stuff for the blog....

One interesting note, I used the Navigate feature on Google Maps on my smartphone to get from Camping World to my brothers house in Long Beach and back again after dinner (it was dark, I was tired, LA freeways...). Amazing technology!!!

Posted by jl98584 22:09 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Corning to LA

415 miles of hard driving to the outskirts if the LA bason

rain 60 °F

You might be in luck (depending on your preferences).

The photo uploader isn't working, and I don't have much to show for the day anyway, so will just leave a quick update. ...Nevermind, it seems to be working now so you're out of luck (again, depending on your preferences).

Welcome to CA!

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We woke up to a hard, wet rain this morning in Corning, CA (2 hours north of Sacramento). Fortunately, we're from WA, so we have the proper attire for the unexpectedly wet welcome, as Grizzly somewhat reluctantly is modelling:

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I had to drive the car some to charge up the battery and lube the transmission (one reason Kia's don't make good tow vehicles), so did a quick trip up to the Olive Pit (Corning is a big olive growing area). After the requisite sampling of the wares, I picked up a small amount of souvenirs and we hit the road.

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Before leaving, I couldn’t help notice the olive orchards all around Corning. As the day wore on we also drove through pistachio, orange, almond and apricot orchards as well as vineyards and agricultural things I couldn’t identify.

The rain was unexpected, but the head wind was the real problem. This particular RV model has a narrow wheelbase for it’s size, so tends to bounce around a little anyway. Add a headwind and it was nasty. Fought the beast until we got through Sacramento and the wind lightened considerably. Unfortunately the surface of I5 was so bad it didn’t matter much – especially through Stockton. They are working on the road through there, but it looks like it’s a few decades overdue. Nasty, nasty drive.

Once past all that, the rest of the trip was easy. The rain continued but only on and off and mostly light (after we got through the first couple of hours anyway). At least it kept things relatively cool (which Grizzly appreciated). We drove past a couple of wind turbines (there are more on other highways), a couple of signs advocating removal of turbines (?), and over the California Aquaduct a few times – a very impressive engineering feat.

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We saw our first egrets today, not a lot of them but several. I couldn't get a picture of an egret while driving (again, The Grizzly is just not cooperating in running the camera for me), so I had to settle for a Dove at the rest area. Anyone else would skip such silly pic's, but that wouldn't be me:

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At one point in the drive, we were going past miles and miles of almond orchards on both sides of I5. This is hard to capture in a pic while driving, but see if you can see the end of these orchards?

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Very rural, very agricultural - just a 'you were there' photo:

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I was able to drive all the way without stopping for gas (415 miles). Tonight we are stopped about 100 miles from Long Beach, I didn’t want to try to drive through LA traffic at night and tired, so had planned to stop before getting there and finish up in the morning – which we’ll do.

While we did drive over the CA Aquaduct several times, I wasn't able to take any pictures of it with all the water it carries. However just before stopping for the night, I saw this off in the distance, which I believe is where they pump the water over the pass to the LA bason.

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So now that the hard driving is over, hopefully I can turn into a little more of a tourist on vacation and do/see some really interesting things!

ps - I don't have very many photo's from today, nothing particularly nice for sure - but will upload what I have when the uploader is working again - maybe tomorrow...

pps - cancel that, what you see is what you get.

Posted by jl98584 21:42 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Across Oregon into California

Driving hard, for me anyway

overcast 75 °F

Again, mostly just driving today, but I want to stay in the habit of posting to the blog frequently, so will post what I have anyway. Besides, I've driven this route several times before and don't think I've ever blogged about it. Might be a fun little story to print out for when I can't just take off any more (like when gas hits $10/gal?)

I had to drive pretty hard to make up time for leaving Shelton so late – not hard by most people’s standards, but harder than I’d wanted to drive. Before we left the parking lot, I had to walk the dog (of course), couldn’t help but admire the blossoms. (Caution: If you haven't noticed by now, I like to take a lot of pictures of silly stuff like flowers, mountains, tree's, grass, ...)

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Then the reality check sets in... (or as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story…)

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Actually, I'm doing a bit better than expected. My first tank up (this one), I still got 8.7 mpg even though I had some in town driving up in Renton/Shelton. The next tank, with only freeway driving from Wilsonville, OR to Corning, CA - 432 miles - I got 9.7 mpg and that's towing a car and driving over the Siskiyou's. Since I estimated 8 mpg when deciding to buy the RV, 8.7 or 9.7 is a good thing! I guess it's because it's a bit overpowered for it's size (Chev 454 engine on a 27' Class A).

Pretty easy driving most of the day at least, the northern half of Oregon is relatively flat on I5, so not much of a problem no matter what you drive. There wasn’t much wildlife to see other than the feathered kind. There were lots of red-winged blackbirds and buzzards today. This part of Oregon also seems to have a lot of sheep ranches. There were some sheep near the fence at one of the rest stops but they took off as soon as they saw me (or Grizzly, I'm not sure which one of use scared them more). Fortunately I have a really long telephoto lens (20x optical zoom with image stabilization).

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There are also a lot of turf farms, berry stands, and bulb farms in this area. I noticed a lot of daffodils blooming along the freeway medium, so snapped a shot at the rest area (maybe I'm missing the Mt. Vernon daffodils & tulips a bit).

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I also thought the hills were quite pretty with the spring grass, evergreens and oaks still covered in light grey moss/lichen. I tried to take a picture while driving, but as you can see it didn’t come out very good.

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Then there are a BUNCH of passes through the Siskiyou mountains. This rig has much more power than my old one and didn’t have as much trouble getting over the mountains. Of course I had to slow down, but not below 40. Heading down into the Medford area a snow covered peak suddenly appears. I guess a lot of people are surprised by it so there’s a sign designating this as Mt Loughlin. At 9,495’ tall, it’s fairly impressive but not as well known as other volcanic peaks along I5 (Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Mt. Shasta, etc.). It has a very nice cone shape however.

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Lake Shasta was quite full and lovely in the late afternoon light, but my shots didn’t come out very good (trying to steer around the curves while holding a camera is NOT a good combination, so the camera was quickly put down. Maybe on the trip back my other co-pilot (Mom) can give it a try, Grizzly just refuses to take pictures for me.) Then of course the big peak along I5 in Northern CA is Mt. Shasta. It was a little too overcast to get a great shot, but I wanted this view since it's from I5 southbound (from the rest area in Weed actually). Most of my pic’s of Mt. Shasta are from the south side while I’m heading north on I5 so this adds another view to my 'collection' (or whatever it's called. Don't we all have just a few too many digital pic's than we need already?)

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And of course, Shasta has a little peak RIGHT by I5, Black Butte. I don't know why I'm so fascinated by this stupid pile of rocks, perhaps someday I should just climb it (may not be the safest thing to do.)

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I decided to spend the night in Corning, about 25 miles south of Redding. I probably could have squeezed a few more miles out tonight but am tired enough that I decided not to push it further. I probably won’t go all the way to LA tomorrow, but will get close enough that I can finish up Friday morning.

Total Miles Today: 457
Weather: Mostly overcast, some fog & light misty drizzle, sun
Total Gas Purchased: 79.9 gallons (but the tank is full, so I'm good for another 450 miles, give or take).

ps - hate to mess up a nice blog with some truth serum, but the problems Camping World had setting up the tow package have come home to roost. Trying to keep a long story short, the car does not charge while it's being towed, even though I have to leave the key in the assessory position while towing. I added a small 1.8W solar charger, but even so - the battery was dead when I stopped at the rest area with the sheep & daffodils. I unhooked the car and moved the RV to the next spot over, then pushed the car so the hood was close to the RV door - then jump started it using the living unit battery. Ugh, looks like I'll have to start the car up and just let it run 10-15 minutes whenever I stop to walk the dog or ??? When I get back home (or sooner if I get fed up enough), will go jump up and down on Camping World's service counter and let them know this is NOT OK. I know why they did it, but there are other solutions.

pps - the backup camera is still not working. I did reconnect the camera this morning before leaving Wilsonville, but I think the problem is the licence plate light just isn't lit unless the headlights are on. Picked up 25' of wire at Love's tonight (where I parked in Corning) and will run the wires directly to the fusebox where I'm sure there will be juice. Should have just connected it that way in the first place. What would a trip be without a few challenges? The good news is so far, I'm not having too much difficulty changing lanes, etc. (although it could get a little scary in heavy traffic).

Posted by jl98584 21:53 Archived in USA Tagged oregon through i5 Comments (0)

On the Road (Finally)

Left Shelton and headed South

overcast 65 °F

I ran more trip errands this morning, then installed the 12V inverter and a few other things afterall, so we didn’t leave until 5 PM. But we did leave (Grizzly and I)! I figured even if I only got in a few hours tonight, it would be a few hours off the end of the drive (to LA).

So here we are all hooked up and ready to pull out:

RV & Tow Behind - Ready to Go

RV & Tow Behind - Ready to Go

My co-pilot took his seat and off we went (he was so well behaved today, I wonder if he's sick?):

The Co-Pilot

The Co-Pilot

It was a lovely day for a drive, overcast in WA and mid sixties. We only encountered a little road work in Centralia. The only wildlife we saw was a hawk and a deer (eating grass right next to the freeway – hope it had the sense to stay off to the side).

Passed three trains (or they passed us?) – a freight train headed southbound, double decker but I didn’t identify the railroad (RR) (OK, I like to play games when I travel). Then passed a UP train Northbound, also dbl decker, and an Amtrack, also northbound, which was a very sleek looking train.

All in all, not much happening, which isn’t so bad! I am reminded again how beautiful the Pacific NW is, loved the rural scenery, trees, water, low hills, farms. I'm also reminded how many things there are to see and do in my own backyard - that I haven't done yet, or recently. Hmm

Well, since it is a slow day blogging wise while we're just travelling, thought I'd take a minute and give you a glimpse of the RV'ing lifestyle(?) The little book is my trip log, thought it might be kind of fun to keep on this time. Haven't set up the laptop yet in this shot. The mess on the forward seat is stuff I just picked up for the trip this morning, so haven't gotten it all put away/installed yet. Not the lifestyle for those who need lots of space, but I guess that doesn't apply to me since I'm pretty comfortable here.

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Btw – if you don’t like driving slow, probably should find another ride! The RV handles better if I drive just under 60 – above that it just bounces around too much.

btw2 - my quiet evening just got a little more exciting, the alarm company called that the motion sensor in the garage went off. I didn't get to the phone quickly enough, so they went ahead and called the sherriff. I called the neighbor, who had just gotten home from taking his wife out for their anniversary (I owe them a really nice dinner). He checked out the garage, nothing. I called the alarm company so hopefully they were able to cancel the sherriff before any real emergancies came up. Probably some sort of animal got in the garage while I was working on the RV this afternoon. Ugh! Too many of these false alarms, so will have to rethink my setup when I get home (probably set up video in the garage so I can cancel the alarm myself when animals trip it). Maybe I just have too much stuff....

Posted by jl98584 22:24 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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