July 8, 2005 A

"Happy Getaway"

Both Julia and I were up this early yesterday. In the tradition of the early awakenenings Laura used to have us do, we readied ourselves for a trip. This trip wasn't the spontaneous kind that she would initiate, but I know she'd have been pleased with our efforts. Neither of us good with long driving in a car, we've found a way to compensate.

On the return trip, I had a bit of a chuckle, as the loud speakers announced a last boarding for San Jose. I started singing, "Do you know the way to San Jose?" like the old Burt Bacharach song from the 70's. The next line is "I've been away so long." I sang instead, "No, but the pilot does." And as the Super Shuttle driver worked his way through the maze of LA traffic, I was indeed grateful for these seasoned masters of navigation.

Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia
(small, three seats across, and a little noisy)

It was enough for me to navigate my way through the swarms of people packed into the dark rooms of the King Tut exhibit. As we had waited in a covered walkway, a uniformed lady with a walkie talkie would only let so many enter at a time. They had that figured to the precise number of people that would pack the exhibit rooms. No doubt this lady was communicating with another posted at the exit doors, who counted people leaving. I felt like I was being positively rude to gently elbow my way in for the close looks. But I had to, or the press of people would have just shunted me by, allowing me only distant glimpses.

And one man was annoyed. I kept moving around to avoid having my shadow obscure the reading of one item's identifying label.I don't know what his problem was. He seemed more annoyed with my chatter than my movement. Talking to no one I could see, he accused me of talking to myself. When Julia finally edged near me, I asserted that I was talking to her. But it's worth braving the crowds to see these rare and beautiful items.

How I would have loved to have had my camera! However they carefully inspected each bag for not only contraband like weaponry, but also cameras and food items. We had to place these items at a coat check place, sent up under a temporary tent. At least the nearly fifty dollar exhibition catalogue has decent pictures of nearly every item, and some that were not included. Perhaps there was not enough room to show the silicone model that had been made by a forensic team studying Tut's skull. I was glad, however, to have read the news item online, and thus I understood the image of it on one wall.

Walking, walking, walking, my poor thighs are raw today. Julia, however, complained of her feet. But it was so worth it. And we also got to see the La Brea Tar Pits and some items in LACMA's permanent collection, as well.

La Brea Tar Pits

Statues showing how animals got caught helplessly in the tar

Yes, I could smell tar
(Bubbles of methane gas would periodically surge forth, as well)

Path from La Brea Tar Pits to Los Angles County Museum

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