Post sick day

The kids have been sick for For-ev-er.
I have had reservations to visit The Broad for two months longer than forever. 
The night before everyone went to bed there were rounds of medicine, vitamin infused drinks and interrogations of “how do you feel? How is your head? Are you achey? You don’t feel feverish but do you feel warm?” Etc etc etc. as of the night before we were all systems go. The morning of Kap was tired and Co had a mild headache….we went for it.

First stop was introducing the kids to the wonders of Donut Friend. You may remember me singing the praises of Donut Friend in my last post. I FINALLY got my Jets to Basil and it was perfect.  

 The kids loved them (Brayden I think was the most impressed) George kept saying how he wished we lived closer. I’m secretly glad we don’t because my self control is non existent.
After a stop by Hollyhock house (another location I visited in during my last solo adventure) Kaplan has always enjoyed the Hollywood sign ever since she was little so she liked seeing everything from this view. Although this time around she mentioned that it should say “Kaplan” instead of “Hollywood” …I might be raising a tyrant.

We made our way to the Broad.   First off. Thank God for reservations. The standby line was terrifying and I admire every single one of those people for their sticktoittiveness. I couldn’t do it no matter how badly I wanted to see something. Heck I won’t wait for Space Mountain without a fast pass. It’s a very simple process, done online and I think they’re currently taking reservations for March. 

Once you arrive you’re put into a line and pre-checked in until your reservation time. Read up on visiting the museum and reserving an additional time-slot for special exhibits here, it has a ton of great info.

So taking kids to the Broad….first of all Kap was still on the tired side so she and I spent a 1/5 of the time sitting on benches admiring various pieces of work for ten minute stretches. Besides our bench sitting Kaps favorite part was an untitled oil painting by Rudolf Stingel, Kaplan’s Favorite. Secondly some of the art can be suggestive. Brayden and Kap are both of the age where they can look at it objectively and understand the emotion it evokes instead of the image at “face value” (please understand none of it was “lewd” but you do want to be with your children when you’re walking through). On that note, Co pointed out several times that he was “pretty sure that’s a penis.” after explaining impressions and how art affects the human emotion  Co decided his favorite part was The infinity mirrored room 


 
  It was truly incredible. 

Brayden’s favorite artist was Barbara Kruger 

I’m having a moment of pride here because all of the kids favorites were mine.

       

From The Broad we went to Little Pine a new organic, vegan bistro in Silverlake for a late brunch. I had been looking forward to going ever since I found out that all profits go to animal welfare organizations. I mean come on. Wonderfully calm setting, vegan food and it’s for a good cause? It’s almost too perfect.  The kids didn’t order much (their appetites have been sporadic since getting over their various illnesses). Kap decided on the Strawberry “Poptart” which she says “is so good, way better then a regular Poptart” (I feel like I need to point out that I can’t tell you the last time we had Poptarts in the house). 

 Brayden got the strawberry lemonade, Co and George got the Peanut Butter, cacao, cashew banana smoothie and they both loved it. 

 I ordered the vegetable frittata and immediately started thinking of ways I could make something similar at home (we don’t live close by) and George got the French toast. It looked so, so, so decadent. I had a bit of the crust and holy crap. If I hadn’t wanted to try everything on the menu I would order the French toast hands down. I do feel the need to mention that if you have to choose between the peach Bellini and the strawberry basil Bellini you should choose the strawberry basil. 

 So good. Side note: the little retail store in the front of the restaurant is every nature lovers dream. Plates featuring elegant sketches of deer, candles that perfectly capture various outdoors brought indoor themes, sage bundles, recipe books, the list can go on and on.  

This is actually a squinty face picture in the bathroom…I liked the picture hanging on the wall and the natural light.

 
Our last stop was at Wackos Soap Plant .

 I’m not sure what I was expecting but I think I was expecting something a little more…original? Maybe it’s from living in California my whole life but it reminded me of a really large Spencer’s gifts with a dash of the novelty section at Urban Outfitters. The coolest part was the art gallery in the back of the store. Turns out we missed Kevin Smith by about 4 hours (something Brayden pointed out to me very quickly and seemed a little put out about).  
 
It was a nice, relaxed adventure day for some recuperating kids. I can’t wait for our next one.   

 

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Han Style, part two.

Continued from part one: Han Style, solo

Day 2 started at

Donut Friend

Now this beautiful, glorious establishment is located in Highland Park, 20 minutes away from where we were staying in Hollywood. George didn’t have to go to work till 8 am so we splurged on our freedom and got two donuts each. We both got the Javabreaker and I got the Bacon 182 and George got the Hüsker Blü.   

It. Was. Ridiculously. Delicious. 

 I mean a twist on punk band names AND vegan donuts?! 

My mind is still fuzzy and deliriously happy thinking about it…  

Donut Friend

5107 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

http://www.yelp.com/biz/donut-friend-los-angeles?utm_source=ishare

Back at the hotel as George went to work: I went into the jacuzzi tub because I have no shame and I swear I haven’t showered in a week as penance (enter quip about crusty hippies here, whatever). I soaked for forever, watched Paranormal Attacks (or Paranormal Survivors, I dont know, something cheesy but wonderfully terrible). 

After I finally dragged myself out I got dressed 

and headed to the 

Hollyhock House

I walked (because that’s what I do). Bought my ticket (I think it’s $7) and put on my little paper booties over my shoes and started my tour. 

First off: the tour is short.

Secondly: the house is phenomenal.

Third: “What the f*ck I can’t take pictures here either?! What is it about LA?!” 

In all seriousness I get it and understand but in a world full of social media enticement pictures and sharing experiences are kind of everything. Wouldn’t you want people to be intrigued?Anyway. The volunteer docents are great, informative, friendly and obviously LOVE architecture. If you want to make the whole experience last longer bone up on your Frank Lloyd Wright trivia and go to town. 

Ps the view is pretty incredible.

  

Hollyhock House
4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

 http://www.yelp.com/biz/hollyhock-house-los-angeles?utm_source=ishare

Stop two: Fern Dell to The Trails Cafe

Fern Dell is billed as a sliver of nature in the hustle and bustle of Hollywood. Also know as the “Andy Griffith location” (this is the second time I’ve made an Andy Griffith reference in this post…it’s irrelevant). First of all Fern Dell is very pretty but like the rest of LA it kind of smells like urine. Also, it didn’t look like anything out of the Andy Griffith opening credits. Still, it was MUCH prettier than walking on the streets. I took Fern Dell up to The Trails and got some much needed food.  

The Trails is adorable and full of the prettiest and most friendly staff ever (I’m speaking specifically of the very cute blonde that had the kitten or raccoon tattoo on her forearm, she took great pleasure in spelling my name right without asking). I got a $10 avocado sandwich (I’m serious) and listened to the gentleman behind me explain to his friend how he is un confrontational but then detailed how and why he screamed at his neighbor and the language he used. *sighs* Everyone thinks they’re someone more than everyone else and that is just another reason why I don’t care for LA (no offense pretentious writer/actor/entertainment lawyer showing his friend around bragging about passive aggressive neighbor relations). 

Aaaaaannnnyyyywwwaaaayyyy. 
The sandwich was good. Not so good that I would go back just for a sandwich but if I was in the area and starving, it’s where I would go. People watching is a treat at the very least.

The Trails
2333 Fern Dell Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027

http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-trails-los-angeles?utm_source=ishare

Next stop.

A Walk to the Museum of Death.

The Museum of Death is one of those offbeat tourist attractions that anyone that has ever looked up “Offbeat blog of Los Angeles Attractions” has seen. Honestly. It’s great. It’s a vivid, well put together, flowing collection of all things death. From suicides to autopsies, they have anything you could possibly be curious about. 

So while I was impressed I have to admit that I won’t go back. Not because of any negative experiences but because it’s gory and too “real” (for me). The people working there are gracious and friendly. Again there is a “no picture” policy but considering that most everything in the museum is a real person at the end of their life it makes sense and I wasn’t even tempted. 

I had the bizarre thought as I was walking through that I might recognize someone in one of the pictures. It was a silly thought but it crossed my mind none the less. 

My FAVORITE part of visiting the museum was the family that was just ahead of me in the walk through. The Dad looked like a Gynecologist from Idaho, the wife looked like she had always been a stay at home soccer mom, the son looked like the “polite jock-athletic type” and Grandma.

Yup. 

They brought Grandma. Truth be told she handled all of the gore far better than the mom and I did. She observed the genital mutilation and step by step autopsy videos with the aloofness of a seasoned CSI investigator. Everything was just “interesting” nothing creeped this woman out. She was great. 

Museum of Death
6031 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

http://www.yelp.com/biz/museum-of-death-los-angeles-4?utm_source=ishare

I walked from there to 
Good Times at Davey Wayne’s 

I can’t say I know how I first heard of this place only that it had crossed my path before and I filed it away under “places that would be cool to check out if I’m in the area and need a drink.” 

 

First off the entrance is exactly as described. It really does look like a small garage sale is going on and you really do walk through a refrigerator door to get inside. It’s original and fun right of the bat. The Door guy is his own brand of awesome. He’s friendly, inviting, jovial and cute but still looks capable of tossing someone out. The place is so chill that my normally trigger happy camera tendencies went a little gun shy. Also the inside decor is exactly what my living room is on its way to being. Right down to the amber colored glass lamps. The dj spins 70’s music nonstop and if it’s not original it’s a cover or a remix of a 70’s classic. In the patio area there’s a deck that looks exactly like the one my Grandparents had with hanging chairs, colorful wire framed ottomans that double as tables. There’s a trailer that has the best of the best era style centerfolds plastered all over the inside and a very pretty bearded bar man that is more than happy to whip you up something based on a vague idea of what you’re in the mood for (to be fair it was a quiet Sunday early evening when I went, please don’t do this during peak hours) I still don’t know what this drink was called but it was glorious and gingery and a tiny bit sweet. You can also order food out back at a tiny table with a sign above it that reads “the more you eat the more you can drink” wise words. I didn’t get anything to eat because it didn’t look vegan friendly (I also didn’t ask so don’t quote me). I happily sat sipping (several) drinks and people watching. 

 

Good Times at Davey Wayne’s 
1611 N El Centro Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

http://www.yelp.com/biz/good-times-at-davey-waynes-los-angeles?utm_source=ishare
From Good Times I walked to Amoeba to pick up Dear You that I didn’t have on vinyl yet and fulfilled a request for Help! for Kap.
I won’t go into too much detail about Amoeba, it’s a huge record store that most Californians know about and if you’re ever in LA or the Bay area I highly suggest you go. Its huge and the chance that they WONT have something you’re looking for is slim.

Amoeba Music

6400 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

http://www.yelp.com/biz/amoeba-music-los-angeles?utm_source=ishare

Ps the picture above was taken at Doomies 

A place for “really bad for you Vegan food” with “eh” service. It was actually my first time back after having boycotted them after a truly terrible experience. They have 4 stars on Yelp which I find surprising after a few Instagram people also commented about how they don’t go anymore because Doomies is always short staffed. 

So. That’s that.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/doomies-home-cookin-hollywood?utm_source=ishare

All in all it was a great weekend and quite the experience seeing new places that are so close yet not in my backyard. 
As always venture to any of these locations at your own risk. 

Han style, solo.

For starters I have to confess (and people that know me in real life already know this) I don’t like LA. 
I have reasons. 

Some of it has to do with the general douchey vibe, some of it is the oppressive urine smell and some of it is the general overly busy congested streets (I would be curled into a ball crying to myself if I was left in New York. Not really…but probably…)
HOWEVER, I like history, walkabouts and new places that hold the possibility of a great atmosphere. Also, George had to work all weekend so in order to guarantee that he and I got to spend some time together I turned to Airbnb for a decently priced room and dusted off my adventure day list. 

Side note: having my “Han style” (get it? Solo) adventure days is empowering. When you’re always a partner and a mother you’re never alone and you rarely travel to places you’ve never been by yourself or without the company of friends. I have been told that this is “weird” and I’ve also been called a Honey Badger when I take myself out for drinks (apparently “Honey badgers don’t give a f*ck”)? 

I took it as a compliment. 

Truth be told as a recovering “damaged” person and an ambivert I plan these days and weekends with the kind of trepidation an ill equipped soldier feels the night before a battle. The 24 hours before boarding a plane or finalizing reservations can be filled with everything from severe politeness, tears, apologies and panic. 
Ah…panic…
Ok. Onto the list! It’s a bit different from a “regular” trip to the City of Angels. You won’t find maps to movie star’s homes (I stand by the philosophy that they don’t know that I exist soooo why should I be obsessed with them? no offense to anyone that adores TMZ or People magazine). And there was that one time that Seth Green made me dumbstruck just by shaking my hand….

gingers man…I can say I’m obsessed with funny gingers… 
Also I tend to ramble (if you’re a quick thinker you may have noticed already) my list will be broken up by “stops” so you can just scan through to find what you’re looking for. 

First stop: Starbucks and Sage in Culver City.
George had to be in Hollywood by 8 so he dropped me off at Starbucks at 7. Sage doesn’t open till 9 so I had some time to kill. I burned through Facebook, watched people like a creeper and sent too many snapchats. 


 When Sage opened at 9 I was freezing and hungry. Did I mention my clothes dryer didn’t work properly the night before and that my jacket and jeans were still damp? No? Well they were.  I promise I’m a fully functioning adult.  I had been to Sage before but not to this location. The Culver City establishment has a wonderful feel to it. Reclaimed wood as decorative walls, airy floor plan and the people that work there might be the friendliest folks I’ve met. I ordered the chai latte and biscuits and gravy and it arrived fairly quickly. The chai was wonderful, the biscuits damn near perfect. The gravy and sausage were good but not as good as mine.

 I’ll give you the recipe sometime. 

Starbucks 

4114 Sepulveda Blvd

Culver City, CA 90230

Sage Bistro
4130 Sepulveda Blvd

Culver City, CA 90230
Stop number 2: The Museum of Jurassic Technology. 

Borrowed from their website – 
“The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, California is an educational institution dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the public appreciation of the Lower Jurassic.

Like a coat of two colors, the Museum serves dual functions. On the one hand the Museum provides the academic community with a specialized repository of relics and artifacts from the Lower Jurassic, with an emphasis on those that demonstrate unusual or curious technological qualities. On the other hand the Museum serves the general public by providing the visitor a hands-on experience of ‘life in the Jurassic’….”

The Museum itself is small but well put together. It’s a bit of a shock when you first walk in. It’s dark, the ambience is slightly creepy, the background music and sounds piped in from different corners and underneath displays make it difficult to get used to them. I jumped more than once. It’s obvious that it’s a labor of love, there are displays that are in the process of being repaired and a slight smell of mildew in the air. The tea room upstairs is relaxing and bright, a contrast from the atmosphere downstairs.   You’re not allowed to take pictures but I snuck a few because I have no shame. After looking at their Yelp page I’m not the only one.  At least I was discreet?  

Museum of Jurassic Technology
9341 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-museum-of-jurassic-technology-culver-city?utm_source=ishare

Stop number Three: Velaslavasay Panorama 
Borrowed from their site – 

“Drawing on the illustrious history of the great panorama paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, The Velaslavasay Panorama is an exhibition hall, theatre and garden dedicated to the production and presentation of unusual visual experiences, including those of the 360-degree variety.  The Velaslavasay Panorama panoramic exhibition encircles the spectator within a fully enveloping atmosphere; a vast painting of a continuous surrounding landscape, accompanied by sound stimulation and three-dimensional elements, affords the viewer an opportunity to experience a complete sensory phenomenon.”

First of all this isn’t in the “best” part of town. During my adventures I walk A LOT and take the bus and Lyft occasionally. As I walked down the street I noticed that a lot of the cars passing were looking at me in a “are you lost”? way. I don’t get spooked too easily when it comes to “rough neighborhoods” but there was a vibe and I felt like I should mention it.

The gal that greeted me was very nice, assured me I could take pictures and quickly pointed out which way to go. She also explained the the lights and sound experience in the Panorama is about 35 minutes long and guests are encouraged to take the time to experience it throughly. The staircase spirals up and up and you enter a room that is dark and hypnotic. I enjoyed it for 20 minutes before realizing it was making me too calm…to the point of sleepiness. Which isn’t a bad thing but it was eerie and fascinating watching the scenery “shift”.

  
  
I walked through the small garden that is is located out of the back of the theater. 

  
It’s very pretty and peaceful.

And again, a total labor of love.  

Velaslavasay Panorama
1122 W 24th St, Los Angeles, CA 90007

  
http://www.yelp.com/biz/velaslavasay-panorama-los-angeles?utm_source=ishare
Stop number 4 Checked into Airbnb (located inside The Dixie Hollywood).  Our Airbnb was located in Thai Town inside of a Hotel/Motel called The Dixie. I wasn’t expecting anything fancy due to reviews I had read (after making the reservations of course because I’m just that thorough). The room was clean, the bathtub was California-drought-guilt-inducing kinda deep (and with jacuzzi jets, I don’t know how I’ll do penance for the llllloooonnngggg beautiful baths I soaked in while watching TV).

  It’s located across from a Ralph’s, Starbucks and various food establishments which is great! For the night it served our purposes wonderfully. The room was comfortable and clean and the price was a bargain.  

Dixie Hollywood Hotel
5410 Hollywood Blvd

Hollywood, CA 90027

Toll Free: 800-381-2935

Local: 323-463-7171

http://www.dixiehollywoodhotel.com/rooms/
George finally got out of work and after we freshened up we went out to dinner at Our final stop on Day one: Cafe Gratitude 

One of the upsides of LA is that you don’t have to look far to find vegan food. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to eat here but I’m so glad we did. The flavor in our appetizer “Present”, an autumn bruschetta were complex and wonderfully rich. I got the butternut squash and sage lentil loaf which was heavenly and George got a build your own type bowl that he could only finish half of. I forget the affirmation names of these dishes but they were delicious regardless. The staff was gracious and we were seated immediately even with the long line of people outside. We made reservations prior to arriving but as we all know sometimes even the best places don’t have instantaneous seating.   

On a side note I was not a fan of “Love”, a hibiscus flower iced tea. 

Cafe Gratitude – Larchmont

639 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004

http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-gratitude-larchmont-los-angeles?utm_source=ishare

Day one ended sleepy and looking forward to Day two.
To be continued….

By going to these locations, walking these neighborhoods and streets is at your own risk. As always everything on The Pollyanna Complex are ideas of the author, please attempt any and all activities posted at your own risk. 

So. It’s been awhile. Aka our journey to Jim Morrison’s cave.

I haven’t posted in the blog for…well…a thousand years.
We’ve hiked, loved, learned, lost and have grown in the last year. As we all know I love hiking, I love adventuring with the kids and I love taking pictures of the people I love in the great big outdoors. That’s part of the reason I could never be a “professional” photographer. I only like taking pictures of what I like and I don’t follow the formula of what makes a good composition in a picture. I don’t even know if that’s phrased correctly, see! I even lack terminology. 
Also, I’m lazy.
So Kap and Co have been fighting some intense colds that they caught somewhere so my original hiking plan fell by the wayside because it contains river crossings and a lot of miles. My second choice was at too high of an elevation for their awful post nasal situation so we went with choice number three, an easy 2-3 miles to Jim Morrison’s Hideaway in the Malibu area.  

 Getting there is pretty easy if you follow these directions http://www.newgirlsguidetola.com/do–see/jim-morrison-cave. I stumbled upon her site accidentally and I was so glad I did. The topographical picture showing where the cave is in comparison to the spiral rock formation helped us get there fairly easily and then we were able to help about 6 other people get there. 

The entrance is tight and not for the claustrophobic (I’m VERY claustrophobic so I only got brave on my second try). 

 FYI this graffiti saying this is not the way to the pink cave is a liar. Tricky tricksters.

 Kap and Co did not want to go in the cave but they LOVED the sandstone formations that are sprinkled around this trail.  

    
 Kap kept climbing to the top of various rocks and exclaiming “this is so cool!”. Which as a mom that has to sometimes drag her kids on hikes that’s music to my ears. 

By the way I totally don’t like The Doors. I tried. 
Just, meh. 
But! 

Cool cave Jim, 

cool cave.

 
  

  
Picture by Cohan

    
   

Picture by Brayden

The spiral rock formation made by who knows who is pretty great and really close to the cave 

 

  Picture by George

 

Ps I recommend getting there EARLY (we left our house by 6:30 which had us at the trail head by 7:30). By the time we left between 10-10:30 there were about 12 cars in the lot and a swarm of people. 

In other words, no thank you. 

So go early! 

Unless we plan on going then you can head down around 10 or 11.

  

Antelope Valley – for the record, no antelopes were seen

So if you’ve read my last blog post you’ll remember that I’ve been selfish with my time and effort so it’s taken me a whole two weeks to finally sit down and tell you about our awesome adventure out to Antelope Valley.

What first drew my eye was the Poppy Reserve . We had done flower fields in Carlsbad but I loved the idea of a more natural occurrence. Thankfully the website for the poppy reserve is very honest about the state of the flowers.

If it’s windy the flowers won’t be open.

Period.

We played it by ear and when we stopped for lunch and were hit by a strong gust of wind we decided no poppy would show it’s pretty face that day.

Moving on to the next item on my list. The Antelope Valley Indian Museum. Now the politically correct Californian in me pauses and wonders “can you say that? Are we allowed to say that?”

The Native American touring the museum with her Meso-American husband didn’t seem to mind and the 16th of my blood seemed ok with it so I didn’t take issue.

This museum is incredible. The gentleman they had working are knowledgable, helpful, friendly and welcoming. I felt like I couldn’t take enough pictures and the whole location of the museum had such a transported back in time vibe to it. Even down to the rusted out house on the back of the nature trail that winds around the museum and the abandoned motel and gas station on the road in.

The next stop was Vasquez Rocks. This park looks like another planet. Which would explain why it has been the location for several movies (something I didn’t know till after we got there). You’re welcome to climb all over the rock formations (at your own risk of course) and while the place wasn’t crawling with people I did notice 2-3 groups of photographers speaking German and other languages I couldn’t place.

There are certain places that just feel like home. Almost magical and both of these hit that mark (much like Joshua Tree in the spring or winter or a redwood forest in February or August).

Getting there takes a few hours from our home in Southern California so depending on how much time you want to spend on the road you can make it a day trip or spend a weekend in the area at various campgrounds and hotels.

Till next time, enjoy your adventures!

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