Lucky Baldwin’s Mine

Near our home in Big Bear, California. Lucky Baldwin was an entrepreneur in the 1800s in Southern California – a land owner and also owner of this mine up in Big Bear. The stamping mill here ran 24/7 in its heyday, but ruins are all that remain now.

A Birthday Trip to the Norton Simon Museum

My daughter arranged a birthday trip for me to the Norton Simon Museum – the interesting building you see in the Rose Parade on the other side of the street. I had wanted to see it for decades, so this was a real treat!

The best part, of course, is having a wonderful experience together with family. We started off with a surprisingly good lunch at the museum cafe, then explored the various exhibits including Southeast Asian Sculptures, European paintings and sculptures beginning in the 1500s, and a fabulous presentation of late 1800s Parisian art.

Here is a smattering of the 150 or so pictures I took, which is only a fraction of what is currently on display: Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rapheal, Dega, and Picasso to name but a few. Enjoy. I did! And just one more thank you before I post to my most splendid daughter. She is, indeed, my “Special.”

Additional Notes:

I love the rain, and unexpectedly this turned out to be a rainy day, so an additional birthday bonus as well.

We met at the Museum at noon – Mindi, Ed, Nicholas and Tomas. Mary rode with me. After Mindi paid for admission, the first order of business was lunch! They had a surprisingly eclectic menu at the museum cafe. I had the roasted vegetable Ciabatta , which had eggplant, peppers and squash among the variety of perfectly prepared flora. The bread itself was light yet dense as well as steamy/fluffy. I tried the Hibiscus flavored Italian soda as well.

As part of her meal, Mindi had purchased a roasted pear torte with the intention of sharing, and it was magnificent!

After lunch we began on the ground floor with the Southeast Asian exhibit featuring statues and sculptures of gods, goddesses, and iconic mythical figures.

The lower floor also offered an extensive temporary exhibit of late 1800s Parisian art – paintings, sketches, posters, and even a few photographs. I’ve always been enamored of Paris, so this was an unexpected treat for all of us, especially me!

Moving upstairs we found three halls featuring different eras of European art beginning in the 1500s and up to the mid nineteenth century. And lastly there was a modern art wing, which is not my usual cup of tea, though there were several works of interest, making the exploration a worthwhile venture.

It was four o’clock when we completed our excursion and it was raining moderately well, so I brought the car around from the lower lot so Mary could get under cover sooner, and Ed did as well for Mindi.

After, stopping for gas (as our tank was nearly empty, we reconvened with Mindi, Ed, and Crew at Outback Steakhouse in Burbank – one of my favorite places for a family meal, and was treated to steak, shrimp, lobster set against a loaded baked potato, and my share of a brownie topped with hot fudge and cold vanilla ice cream.

I love each marvelous individual in my family – my son and daughter, my Teresa, my Mary, my in-laws, and all three of my grandchildren. Yet I must say that Mindi’s proactive pleasure in arranging joyful experiences for others endears her to my heart and enriches my life whenever I am the beneficiary.

La Purisima Mission (session)

Another expedition set up by Teresa that offered unlimited photographic opportunities. I shot these the morning after a wonderful hotel stay that included a fine dinner and rooms in which celebrities has slept in the 1920s through 1960s. We enjoyed the “Judy Garland” room – chosen by Teresa because of my love of Wizard of Oz.