Monday, August 18, 2008

the Long Beach scene

Back to the recent trip to So Cal to visit Alex and family. And to the Bowers Museum.

This beautiful building was once a family hacienda located in what were then the outskirts of Anaheim. It is designed with graceful arched portales on two sides ~ probably all four sides originally but it has been remodeled to incorporate a new wing. Beyond this lovely entry is a central courtyard with trees, flowers, a fountain and places to sit and enjoy the scene.

The other entrance to the museum is quite a contrast. Sleek and modern, but still welcoming. That's a glimpse of Alex on the right.

It, too, has a small courtyard with benches, some sculpture, and a series of fountains along the inner wall. The falling water makes a lovely soothing sound.

On Thursday night we went to dinner with Andrew and Em. I must apologize for the photographer's mishandling of such a photo op, but there they are anyway. These are two of the most civilized young people I have ever met; polite, funny, loving, smart. Even if they're mine. In the world but not of it.

Friday it was off to Glen Ivy Spa and Resort, about an hour east of Long Beach, out toward Riverside. Miles of nothing punctuated by large housing developments alongside the freeway, the only way to get anywhere. I looked for services such as grocery stores, schools, gas stations. Pretty scarce. These folks are going to have to go a long way to get their daily bread. But suddenly, in this most unlikely spot, was the spa spread over several acres of lush, irrigated grounds. We checked in, browsed through the gift shop ~ I finally found a hat I like and that fits to replace my old straw job that's being held together with Elmer's Glue-All®. We strolled through the gardens checking out all the various pools ~ salt, sulphur, lap, mud ~ and then went for our massages. On a scale of 1-10, I would give mine a 5+. I am spoiled rotten by the massage therapist I have here. The "technician" was built like a linebacker but her touch was too tentative for me. No matter; it was lovely, relaxing and better than no massage at all. By the time we got out of our massages the attendance had swelled amazingly. This place is not only a day spa but a resort, too. You can pay a fee to spend the day swimming, sunning, eating, without taking any treatments. And from the looks of it that is a very popular thing to do. I gazed around at acres of unbridled flesh ~ much of which should have been under better control ~ and at gallons of silicone strategically located for personal enhancement. Mercy! We moved on into the café for a lovely lunch, and more people watching. I was due for an Express Facial at 1:30. That was really lovely. We lounged around for another hour or so then packed up and headed home. It has been 50 years since I have spent any time around barely clothed women ~ boarding school, I guess. The varieties of nature are astounding. The American diet as consumed by most women does not do them any favors. I'm afraid I stared.

Back home for dinner, early night. Up at 6 to get to the airport by 7:45 for an 8:45 JetBlue flight home. There is another great show ~ The Story of Photography ~ at the LACMA opening October 5; Alex and I may do this all over again if we're lucky!


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