02 October 2013

William S. Hart Ranch

We paid a visit to the William S. Hart Ranch in Newhall. Newhall is less than an hour drive from the heart of Los Angeles, so very do-able day trip with kids. 

William Hart was a very successful silent film cowboy that retired when movies became talkies. His house has many western style original paintings and bronzes. There's no fee to visit the house, but you can only go through it with a tour guide, which is nice because they can tell you a lot about the art work in the house. The tour guides work for free and there are donation jars to tip them. 

The ranch has a small herd of bison descended from those donated by Walt Disney back in the early 60's. There's also a doggie cemetery and a horse cemetery for Fritz. 


Living Room

Original art work in the formal dining room

Fireplace in the formal dining room

This was the original bedroom, that became the dogs bedroom.

The tower just below the house.

Walt's bison

Fritz's final resting place

Promotional still of William S. Hart

23 September 2013

The Getty Villa

This is the first time we've been to The Getty Villa in Malibu in quite some time. I always tell myself we need to come here more often though, as it feels like we're on vacation when we come here. 

We had a brief and tasty lunch before we began exploring. The Villa is just across PCH from the ocean so it was a very comfortable day as opposed to the high temps in most of LA. As usually happens with our children (or most children I'm sure) the kids enjoyed the outside more than the inside. There are several water features and an herb garden to run around. The gift shop had some great stuff for kids and we got to have an impromptu drawing sessions with their finds. 


Inner court yard water feature

Part of the set for Prometheus Bound 

View from the balcony of another water feature

View from down on the ground looking up to the balcony

The herb garden water feature

Yet another pond, this one outside the gift shop. The stairs lead to the cafe.

Having a drawing session with gift store finds on the steps of the outdoor theater.

12 March 2013


Pann's, made famous by this scene from Pulp Fiction, is a classic, vintage LA diner.

We've been coming here for several years, even before we had kids. 
It's a great place to stop when coming from or going to LAX. It has a wonderful look and history to it.  


They do a bang up business on the weekends. And like most joints in LA, it's best to come before 10 AM to avoid the crowds. That said, we came at 11:00 on a Sunday and only waited about 20 mins.


Tracing a path on the map in the waiting area

A ton of families come here so the kids get crayons and place mats to color on and a decent kids menu.


 But be warned, this is a diner, so you won't find organic tofu on the menu.

Lots of famous faces have eaten, or filmed here.

Too tired to eat!

06 March 2013

New Fantasy Faire at Disneyland

We're Annual Passport holders of Disneyland and California Adventure and we're very excited about the new Fantasy Faire opening up on March 12th in Disneyland. Given that Disneyland is the original park and has a limited footprint, it's not often that you have such a major addition to the park.

Fantasy Faire

Designed to look like Belle's village, this area is the new meet-n-greet for the Princesses. There will be costumes that can be purchased so your child can dress up like her favorite Princess. 

Fantasy Faire

Fantasy Faire

Fantasy Faire

This past weekend there was a Cast Members review prior to opening to the general public. Here you will find some great pics of what's behind the green curtains. 

Fantasy Faire is located right next to Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

Fantasy Faire

Cheers! ~J.

24 January 2013

Broad Contemporary Art Museum BCAM

The Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM for short) is located between LACMA West and LACMA East campuses on Wilshire Blvd. Part of LACMA's expansion and renovation plans, BCAM hosts a wide variety of contemporary art from Eli Broad's personal collection. 

Admittedly I'm not the biggest fan of contemporary art, but there are two things that keep bringing us back here; Metropolis II (kids) and the view (me). The view of the Hollywood Hills from the top of the escalator is something that the photographer in you will love. It wasn't that clear on this last visit so no good shot from me, and Metropolis II only runs at certain times, see sched here

View into the oversize elevator shaft. 

Inside the XXL elevator is a great red background for pics.

Getting a closer look of Metropolis II

Big brother, a veteran of museum visits, teaching little sis how to do "museum hands"

Didn't catch the name of this, but it's on the upper level west in BCAM


While Richard Serra's Sequence has moved out, his Band is still in the east side of the lower level at BCAM

02 January 2013

An afternoon in Chinatown

A couple of times a year we head down to Chinatown in downtown L.A. I like shopping for Feng Shui gifts for my friends and family. The kids enjoy looking at all the various animals, some on display as potential pets and some as potential meals! This time I wasn't so lucky in the shopping department, the shop keepers seemed to be worn out post Christmas, but we did get a light lunch in a Hop Woo where my daughter got her first taste of Chinese green tea.

Turn a corner in one of the shopping warrens and you might just encounter this alter.

My husband threatens to buy a live chicken here every time..shudder

Nice looking guitar shop, in Chinatown, who knew?

Her first Chinese green tea

Chinatown Christmas tree

Our view heading home, such a gorgeous day

18 December 2012

The Hobbit in the park at The Grove

These are pics of the of The Hobbit props on display in the park at The Grove. We went early, before any stores opened, so there wasn't a soul in sight and we could take our time looking at all the cool stuff from the movie. 

If you're a fan I highly recommend checking it out. 

Cheers! ~ J.

The Hobbit

The Hobbit

The Hobbit

The Hobbit