24 hours in Los Angeles

Lots of people fly into Los Angeles on their way to somewhere else and perhaps they find they have 12 or 24 hours of time to explore. There is the obvious mouse kingdom, but there is so much more to do and see. Recently my daughter Sarah Harriet and I flew into LAX via Southwest Airlines to spend slightly more than 24 hours in Los Angeles.

Witness the evolution of an architectural boundary jumper.
Frank Gehry special exhibit at LACMA is open until March 20, 2016

We went specifically to see a taping of the Rob Bell presentation of Everything is Spiritual. Plus we had tickets the next day to view the Frank Gehry special exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Amazing collection of architectural renderings and models.
Frank Gehry’s retrospective illustrates the importance of perseverance and staying true to your vision.

We filled in the blanks with great food and shopping.

We arrived in the late afternoon on a Thursday. After a wild shuttle bus ride, we rented a car from Payless Car Rental. It was fast and easy. I commented on this and the clerk said, “You are just renting the car not buying.” Someone should tell all the other rental companies who still give me a 2 pound agreement in triplicate.

We drove to our Doubletree Hotel in Santa Monica and dropped our bags. We left right away for dinner after a quick search on Yelp. The traffic to Lares was stop and go and parking was a challenge. It was worth the effort. I enjoyed my enchiladas–one with mole and one with red sauce. Sarah and I enjoyed a great conversation and while we were waiting for our check an un-mariachi band played. It was quite lovely.

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Yummy Mexican food with good service in Lares restaurant in Santa Monica.

The Rob Bell performance was very thought provoking. Read more about it on http:leaderscompass.org.  We had fun.

The next day after breakfast and yarn shopping, we enjoyed the easy parking at LACMA. We bought our tickets to the Frank Gehry exhibit in advance. Our admission also gave us access to most other parts of the vast museum complex. We had time to view one more special exhibit: New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919-1933. As soon as I walked into the gallery I knew my friend Jim Adan would love the show catalog. Every decadent piece was something he would love. (I was right. He is thrilled with the catalog.) Go see it before it closes on January 18. (LACMA tickets: $25 per adult for Gehry exhibit/museum admission; $12 for parking)

By this time we were going to be cutting it close to get back to LAX vicinity and return our car, and so on. It was worth the little bit of stress. We had such a memorable time.

Yum, Yum: Huckleberry Cafe

Huckleberry Cafe on Wilshire Boulevard
1014 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA

I love traveling with my children. Sarah Harriet and I just got back from a 28 hour trip to Los Angeles. We got tickets to see Rob Bell perform Everything is Spiritual; he was taping it in Santa Monica. (The movie will be available in a few months.) So off we went on our adventure.

Coffee and breakfast egg sandwiches.
Sarah Harriet taking a sip of really good coffee at Huckleberry Cafe.

I keep a file on Los Angeles because it is an epicenter for terrific food. On I’ll Have What Phil’s Having (pbs.org) he spotlighted Huckleberry Cafe on his Los Angeles episode. I wrote Huckleberry, Santa Monica on a National Geographic Traveler article from November 2015. We took our time getting up on Friday morning and arrived at Huckleberry about 9:45 a.m.

20151218_095750There was no line when we arrived and a friendly staff person greeted us and helped us figure out where to order. The menu is on a big chalkboard and at first we thought it was too hipster for us. We both landed on the breakfast egg sandwich. I also ordered a maple bacon biscuit.

The plentiful staff works together really well to the benefit of the customer–the mood is light and bubbly.

20151218_095745We sat down with two delicioso cups of coffee–mine decaf, Sarah’s regular. The biscuit arrived first and I dove in. Yum. The bacon enhanced the experience without overwhelming. The maple frosting was just enough to make it sweet, not too sweet.

The real awesomeness was yet to come. As Sarah said after taking her first bite of the breakfast egg sandwich: “This is the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever eaten.” Super good toasted bread with over easy eggs, gruyere cheese, aioli and arugula. It was a perfect accompaniment to great conversation.

Best Breakfast Egg Sandwich Ever!

We watched the line expand and contract as a regular stream of diners came in, were served, dined and left. (We figured out there is parking behind the building as people came into the back entrance.)

We were reluctant to leave. The chalkboard menu featured Mary’s Fried Chicken–a reason to return soon for lunch.



Swatch: Knit Culture Studio Closing

I bought my next project (after Christmas gifts): a sweater for Sarah Harriet.
I bought my next project (after Christmas gifts): a sweater for Sarah Harriet.

I love checking out new yarn shops when I travel. The last time I was in Santa Monica I checked out Knit Culture Studio and enjoyed the selection of yarn. I bought a kit for a monkey toy and an issue of PomPom.

20150829_152256The owners of this shop on 3rd Street in the Fairfax District also operate a website that offers knit kits called Kitterly.com.  They are closing the Studio to focus on the website. There are some good deals available. Go today.