The Ultimate California Vacation Part Two

Whale Watching Cruise, The Getty Museum, and Hollywood

The world-famous Hollywood sign in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles.

The next morning we checked out and headed to the LA Harbor to go on a whale watching cruise. I just happened on the ad while checking out things to do around LA and thought it sounded like fun. I'm sure glad I did because this was an incredible experience. It was very foggy when we set out which made the Los Angeles skyline look surreal. I had to keep reminding myself I was really in LA. By mid-morning the fog had lifted and the sun came out. whales and as we were heading out to sea we came upon a pod of dolphins and they swam right along side of the boat.  It always amazes me how fast they can swim. I”m not sure how fast our boat was going but we were cruising along and they glided along effortlessly. We finally caught up with a blue whale and her calf. We only saw the calf surface once. The mother surfaced several times. When I look at the pictures it just looks like something rolling up out of the sea, they just didn't catch the excitement and enormity of these majestic creatures. Something none of us will ever forget.

After leaving Los Angeles harbor, we headed up to Malibu in search of the Getty Museum. That was my daughter's one request. She is a photographer and an art lover. Their ad showed they were displaying an original Van Gogh. I have to admit I was all for checking out the museum and seeing an original work of art, but I never expected to be wow'd by the place. You had to park and ride a tram up a mountain to get to the museum. Once there you had the most incredible views you can imagine. The place was huge and everywhere you went you were surrounded by the beauty of art, sculptures, culture, and endless things to see.

Van Gogh's Irises

I surprised myself getting all choked up and goosebumps when we finally located the Van Gogh. What a surreal feeling to stand and look at a real piece of history.  My daughter and the girls were even in awe of the experience and I think they will remember it everytime they encounter the painting in books. I consider it a priceless experience of a priceless work of art.

After we left the Getty Museum, we drove down to Hollywood to do the tourist thing and walk around the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Being on vacation, you sometimes don't realize the day of the week when you plan something and I never thought about how crowded it might be on a Saturday, but it was really crowded. It was difficult to look down at the famous footprints without getting bumped around. When you have young kids with you, it gets nervous. Just as we were about done with this mayhem, my daughter looks up and I saw the excitement in her eyes as I followed what she was looking at. Just across the street was a DISNEY STORE!!!! It was like seeing an oasis in the desert. We grabbed the kids and crossed the street as fast as we could safely go.  Not only was it at Disney Store (our happy place), but there was a Giredelli soda shop attached to it.  Could life get any better than that? After shopping around the store and buying a couple of souvenirs, we had to get a root beer float and chocolate sundae at Giredelli's.  We did get some great pics of the Hollywood sign from the shopping mall where we parked.  My advice would be to visit during the week and I'm sure you will have a much better experience of the Walk of Fame than we did. We might just have to return some day.

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