I was AWOL yesterday. I spent the weekend in Los Angeles with my sister for my birthday Saturday. I didn’t eat so well—I had several stuck episodes and saw the inside of many public restrooms. But we walked and walked and walked, even in the rare pouring rain (more about that later).
On Saturday, we went to the Los Angeles Zoo, fueled on a couple of sugar-free mochas. We saw every animal that poked its head from its lair. The zoo is adjacent to Griffith Park, which is hilly, so the majority of our walking was either uphill or down. We didn’t eat much during the day, only some seasoned hot almonds sold at the zoo. At the zoo, it was snow weekend, so some of the animals had (trucked-in) snow filling their enclosures. Most of them seemed to like it, except the black bear. He stumbled out of his caved and seemed to be saying “If I wanted snow, I wouldn’t have moved to L.A.!”
After the zoo, we checked into our hotel and cleaned up. We planned dinner at Olive Garden (my sister got a great deal on a gift card, and I love great deals). After a short wait at the Olive Garden, we got our table. I ordered the stuffed rigatoni with Italian sausage. It weighed in at more than 1,000 calories, but since I would eat it over at least 2 meals, I didn’t worry about that. Since it was my birthday, I got a glass of wine recommended by the menu. The wine wasn’t to my liking, though. I generally like red, but this one was a bit thin and too sweet. Waste of calories. I should have ordered something more familiar.
The next day, we traveled to the Huntington Library in nearby San Marino. The library is in the former mansion of Henry Huntington, who pretty much owned public transportation in L.A.’s early days. His library and dining room likely served as models for movie mansions. Other buildings hold priceless art, including Blue Boy and Pinky, who face each other across the gallery room. The library holds a Guttenberg Bible, ancient manuscripts and typewritten pages from more recent authors, with editor’s notes in the margin. Can you tell I loved the art? But the immense property also has 120 acres of botanical gardens that have plants from every temperate zone. We saw most of it from under umbrellas, but for a couple of desert natives, walking in the rain in a green paradise is a treat. I think my sister and I hiked every trail, then hit the tea room for tea, finger sandwiches, scones and desserts.
Not everything I ate on the trip agreed with me and I spent a lot of time in restrooms. But everything I saw at the zoo and library was worth it. Can’t wait to go back. And spending time with my sister was priceless.
See you next time.