Skye found us a nice place for breakfast near the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Square One also just happened to be across the street from a massive blue Scientology Building. There were people around who were dressed up and wearing small name tags. I was interested, but not enough to make a visit. The whole religion is just bizarre, as are most religions.
Breakfast was delicious and the service was stellar. We ate outside in a small courtyard, which was nice. The weather was comfortable, as it has been for the duration of our stay in California.
The Natural History Museum was cool. They have a very large dinosaur fossil collection, which was fun to see. We walked around the various exhibits together and took pictures and talked. Jenna’s favorite exhibit was the history of Los Angeles, which has artifacts from the inventors and settlers important to the area. I did not realize that the “Hollywood” sign we’d hiked to yesterday used to be “Hollywoodland.” They have in their collection the desk Walt Disney made for him and his animators to photograph their drawings.
We visited the University of California Los Angeles after NHM. It’s a sprawling, gorgeous campus with large buildings and incredible landscaping. The campus was mostly closed because, I suspect, it was both summer and Sunday. We did go into the Math and Sciences building and walked around the empty, dark hallways. It was good, I think, for Skye to imagine herself in college and to get a little familiar with what it might be like for her next year. After our little self tour of the science building we went to the store, which was open. It is HUGE! Hayley, Skye, and I bought UCLA hats, which I needed since losing my Red Sox hat in the wind on the ferry in San Francisco.
From UCLA we drove back to Santa Monica to spend some time at the beach. We parked in the same lot we had before, but this time we walked south instead of north so we could experience Venice Beach. We walked along the Ocean Front Walk, which was interesting. It was packed with people, and often the various street performers would get large crowds which would block the flow of pedestrian traffic. There were lots of artists selling their wares, and even a freak show. My favorite act was a young kid playing the guitar and singing. Mostly it was sad. The people selling their art or a psychic reading or their politics and conspiracy theories seemed to be mostly downtrodden. I wondered about their histories, possible mental illnesses, and wondered where our society has let them down. It was certainly a thought provoking walk from a psychological and sociological perspective.
Much to my surprise, the girls wanted to go to the In-N-Out Burger on Sepulveda Boulevard to have a burger and watch airplanes. As we were getting ready to leave an A380 landed in front of us. That happened to me three times, but I was always in the car and not able to take a picture, so I looked on Flight Aware for the next scheduled arrival of a “Super.” One was supposed to be landing in seven minutes, so I opened the LiveATC app to get an idea of the sequencing of the landing traffic or two-four right. Sure enough, a 380 was on final, so we waited. I finally got a picture of an A380 on short final, which was awesome! It’s not a great picture, but being there and seeing and hearing it was very cool.