|Darren and Dorine at L.A. Temple|
|Dorine at Griffith Park|
|Retrieving Murray in Redondo Beach|
|Dorine at La Brea Tar Pits|
|Dorine with Bougainvillia at Getty Center|
|Panoramic View of Getty Center|
|Getty Center Art Museum|
|Me with Galen in El Segundo|
Dorine and I flew out to Los Angeles on Wednesday, October 7, 2015, to see our son Darren. We shopped for flights well in advance of the trip, and thus we got dirt-cheap fares on Southwest Airlines ($78 round-trip for each of us). With the money we saved, we rented a car from Thrifty at LAX; apart from the terrible shuttle service to and from Thrifty's off-airport lot, we were happy with the rental. We weren't counting on seeing Darren on the morning of the 7th; however, Darren's wife Cait's Yorkie, Murray, had wandered off the night before, and Darren had gone out posting "lost dog" posters in their neighborhood in Lawndale before going to work. Cait was in Minnesota, so Darren was driving to work in her absence; thus we were able to talk to him before he left. We'd made arrangements to meet up for lunch with my old college buddy, Galen Kekauoha, in El Segundo. Given that Darren works in El Segundo, he was able to join us at the Chinese restaurant we'd chosen.
That afternoon, Dorine and I drove north on the 405 freeway to the Getty Center, which is an extremely interesting place. We saw a huge "temporary" exhibit of Hellenic bronze sculpture, the Getty art collection (featuring a great collection of impressionists -- see the photos above of van Gogh's "Irises" and the Monet painting of the Rouen Cathedral), and the gardens on the grounds. That evening, Darren got a call from a lady who had picked up Murray -- thank goodness -- and wanted to arrange to give him back; we met up with her at a dog park in Redondo Beach. Later we walked to an In 'N' Out Burger near Darren and Cait's place for dinner.
The following day, the big activity for the day was to go shopping at the Citadel outlet malls in L.A. I had noticed there was an Adidas outlet store there and was excited to see what it might have in stock. Naïvely, I believed it would have a good selection, reasonably priced, of shoes and apparel, whereas it had fairly limited inventory and most of the stock was selling for full retail prices. We bought shoes for some of the grandkids (both there and at the Nike store next door), and I still managed to buy a pair of mauve-and-gray Adidas shorts (paying about $10 more for them than they were worth to me, driving the final nail into the coffin of any desire I had to shop at an Adidas outlet store). That evening, we walked with Darren to a Carl's Jr. in the area to eat.
On Friday, Dorine and I drove up to Griffith Park and walked around for a short while. In the afternoon we drove down to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and saw most of the exhibits there. On Saturday, Darren went with Dorine and me to the Los Angeles LDS temple, where we did an endowment session. I hadn't been to the LA temple since Galen's sealing to his wife Jackie in 1990(?), and this was the first time I'd ever gone through a session there. On Sunday, Dorine and I ended up not going to church; later, Darren and we went down to Manhattan Beach and walked around for a while before we drove north to Van Nuys and had dinner with Galen and Jackie (and their son Bryan, and the missionaries) at their home. Later that night, Cait flew back from Minnesota, so we did get to see her briefly.
On Monday, we went to go see the La Brea Tar Pits, which I hadn't realized (a) was pretty much in the middle of LA, and (b) produces fossils dating back only to the last Ice Age (i.e., no dinosaurs). Dorine and I had both been steeped in LBTP lore in school as children, however, so it was interesting finally to see the place. We flew back to Albuquerque that night after returning our rental car and enduring what seemed like interminable waits (a) for the Thrifty shuttle to take us back to LAX, and (b) for the plane to load and take off. I was really glad not to have had to drive to LA on this trip!