Saturday, June 23, 2018

Being a tourist again in L.A. after all these years...

Now that I've lived in L.A. for over ten years I'm already starting to take this sprawling city and all it has to offer for granted, that's why when my niece and her boyfriend came to visit it was nice to be a tour guide and rediscover what the City of Angels had to offer all over again.

Getting up close with the Hollywood Sign
Hollywood Sign
The last time she was in town she was just eleven and now she just turned twenty before she boarded the plane from the U.K. A lot has changed since then, we've bought a house, Cooper is now ten-years-old and America isn't quite as welcoming as in the past thanks to the current administration.

Views of the Hollywood Reservoir
Hollywood Reservoir
We started out with the classics to help get over the jet-lag and the eight hour time difference, photos at The Hollywood Sign and revisiting the Griffith Observatory, made even more famous of late by its starring role in La La Land.

View of Downtown L.A. from the Griffith Observatory
Sadly being only twenty they can't drink alcohol in the U.S., whilst in Britain the legal drinking age is eighteen, but that was the least of our worries during their ten day stay, I was more concerned about how to fit in all the sights.

Tulips by Jeff Koons at The Broad Museum
Jeff Koons Tulips Broad Museum
Jeff Koons Tulips The Broad
Jeff Koons Tulips The Broad Museum
I'd pre-booked tickets to The Broad so that my arty niece, who's studying graphic design, could be inspired by all the contemporary art on display in the permanent galleries.

Giant Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons at The Broad Museum
Jeff Koons Blue Balloon Dog Broad Museum
Jeff Koons Blue Balloon Dog Broad
It was only my second time to the museum after seeing Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrors last November, but I still love Jeff Koons giant Tulips and Balloon Dog most of all, they are so colourful and impressive.

Double America 2 by Glenn Ligon 
Double America 2 Glenn Ligon
Double America 2 Glenn Ligon
Meanwhile I was also struck by this lighted sign art by Glenn Ligon, and it's exactly home I feel about America at the moment, the whole world seems upside-down, right is wrong, good is evil, freedom is caged and Hydra is in the White House.

Walt Disney Concert Hall by Frank Gehry
Walt Disney Concert Hall Frank Gehry
Walt Disney Concert Hall architecture
Walt Disney Concert Hall Frank Gehry
Walt Disney Concert Hall Frank Gehry DTLA
Walt Disney Concert Hall DTLA
Being Downtown we also took advantage of being next door to the Walt Disney Concert Hall and I could look at all the gleaming metallic curves and points of Frank Gehry's architecture for ages.

A Rose for Lilly fountain sculpture by Frank Gehry
at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
Rose for Lilly fountain sculpture Frank Gehry Blue Robbin Garden DTLA
A Rose for Lilly fountain sculpture Frank Gehry Blue Robbin GardeN
A Rose for Lilly fountain sculpture Frank Gehry
Erythrina Coral tree flower
A Rose for Lilly fountain sculpture Blue Robbin Garden DTLA
A Rose for Lilly fountain sculpture Frank Gehry Blue Robbin Garden
A Rose for Lilly fountain sculpture Walt Disney Concert Hall
One new discovery on this visit was the Blue Ribbon Garden upstairs and at the back of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which has lovely trees and plants, plus this bewitching mosaic water fountain sculpture also by Frank Gehry for Lillian Disney.

Shopping and lunching at The Grove
Angel statue The Grove
After being all cultured for a few days it was time to do some shopping and so it was off to see how much The Grove and Farmers Market has changed in nine years. The answer is a lot, as store leases have expired and new shops and eateries have replaced what was there in 2008 when we first arrived on these shores.

Enjoying two days of rides and delights at Disneyland
Sleeping Beauty Castle Disneyland
In addition to enjoying local restaurants and a day exploring Santa Monica and Venice Beach we all journeyed to Anaheim for two days to enjoy a two-day adventure at Disneyland. Staying overnight at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel we had great fun on the rides at the parks and watching the spectacular water, lights and fireworks shows at night like Fantasmic and Pixar's Together Forever presentation.

After a day or two recovering from all the Disney magic just like that their visit was over. How time flies when you're having fun. It's such a long way from the U.K. and flights are becoming so costly, that over the years less and less friends and family have visited us (we still go back once a year), so this was a real treat for us.

Hopefully we can do it all again soon...

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