JEXIT Stop 2 – A Lovely Day Out

All photos in this post are credited to A.

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My second day at JEXIT Stop 2 started with an all-American breakfast at a diner.  We forgot to take a picture so I’ll just tell you what we had.  A and I split a gigantic egg skillet – basically 4 eggs scrambled with onions, grilled chicken, tomato and cheese over a thick layer of hash browns – and I had rye toast and bacon on the side.  My day was off to a delicious start.

After gorging ourselves on breakfast, we drove about an hour west to Malibu.  This area is famous but I’m not sure for what, except its beaches and expensive homes where apparently a lot of the Hollywood elite live.  It was my first time in the area and I have to say that the view was pretty nice.

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Contemplating an ancient mosaic floor

Our main reason for going to Malibu was to visit the Getty Villa, an antiquities museum.  I don’t think A could have chosen better; we share a love of well curated museums and this one was very well done.  It’s designed in the style of an ancient Roman villa in the city of Herculaneum known as the Villa dei Papiri.  That one statement alone should give you an idea of how much I learned in our two-ish hours there.

After watching an introductory video of the history of the museum, we did a self-guided audio tour and learned a lot about the main pieces in the collection.  From statues and busts to sarcophagi and an honest-to-goodness mummy, from gardens and pools to mosaics and ancient jewelry, there was so much to take in.

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Stare-down with a creepy-eyed bust…the bust won

Let me pause here to say that, as a museum lover, I am deeply appreciative of philanthropists like J. Paul Getty.  I don’t know much about him except that he started this museum in the early 1970s in order to share his collection of antiquities with the world, and to do it for free, even up until now.  The only thing we had to pay for was parking.  They don’t even charge for the audio tour, the way many museums do.  I am appreciative, not that he decided to share his wonderful collection with us for free, but that he decided share it with us at all.  He didn’t have to.  Like so many other collectors, he could have kept his extensive collection of treasures locked away for his own pleasure, passing it down to his descendants forever (or for as long as they were able to hang on to it).  But he didn’t do that; instead he opened it up to the world.  He has been dead for 40 years (he died less than 4 months after I was born and never actually got a chance to visit his museum) but through his art foundations, he still shares his love of art and antiquities with the world.  For free.

After the Getty Villa, we decided that it was time for coffee so we drove to a restaurant and cafe down the road at the Malibu Pier.  It was picturesque, to say the least, and again the food was on point.

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Coffee break/lunch…cauliflower crust pizza and a black coffee with almond milk for A and coconut carrot cake and a caramel latte for me

Afterwards, we wandered around the pier a bit.  The day was bleak and overcast…and therefore absolutely perfect for me.  Did I mention that I’m not a fan of perpetual sunshine?  Well, I’m not, so I am reveling in the winter weather at my American JEXIT stops.

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Looking out on the Pacific Ocean from the Malibu Pier

Between eating, wandering and acting just a little bit silly, we spent a good hour and a half or so at the pier, then we got going again, headed for the city.  By this time it was getting on to late afternoon and we had dinner plans with A’s family for 7 pm.  Since we had a little time to kill, we decided to check out a quirky bookstore – torture for me because of luggage weight and no house to keep them in so I can’t be buying books right now like I usually love to do, but I do find it so hard not to at least go inside.

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One of the quirky sections of the bookstore…I didn’t buy anything but it was way cool

We wrapped up the day with dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse.  It was a little bit fancy, although to be honest, the service didn’t reflect that quite as it should have.  But I got to dress up a little and eat as much vegetables and beef as I wanted.  The restaurant was too dark for pictures so you won’t get any here.

As much as we managed to pack into the day, it still seemed to finish way too quickly.  But I was happy because it was satisfying in every respect – company, food and experiences.  I really couldn’t have asked for a better day.

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