Saturday, August 05, 2006

For some months now, I have been meaning to plan a vacation to Las Vegas. I'm sure faithful readers of this blog have been very concerned for my mental health, taking notice of how long it's been since I've been to my true spiritual home. But I recently got word that my sister received four passes for a tour of the Charles M. Schultz Museum from her local PBS affiliate. The tickets are good until sometime next year, but I've been meaning to go there for some time, and now seemed as good as any time. So I've decided to scrap my Vegas vacation and go up to see her and the baby.

As driving up to San Jose would involve passing through Los Angeles, I thought of stopping off at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, which I have badly wanted to visit since learning of its existence. But it doesn't open until noon on Friday, and looks like it requires a few hours to get the whole experience, seeing as they screen two one-hour films in addition to the museum. So I thought I might have to save the museum for another time, even though I really am anxious to experience this rather odd place. But then I remembered that I keep seeing advertisements on the TV in which George Lopez tells me and my fellow Southern Californians that we should take our vacations in Los Angeles, and I decided that George Lopez seems pretty on the ball, so I'll go ahead and make a day of it, and spent the night in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I'm planning on going right after Labor Day, and I've noticed several attractions (most notably the Huntington Library) I would like to attend have reduced hours in the post-Labor Day off-season. So seeing it all in one day will be a bit tricky (fortunately, the Museum of Jurassic Technology is open late). I'm considering spending two nights in Los Angeles, so I have a whole day with no travel time (except for the eternity it takes to get anywhere within Los Angeles), but since the room rates I've found for basic accomodations in neighborhoods I think are reasonably safe look to start at $99/night, if I can keep it to one night, that'd be good. I was also thinking about visiting the Hearst Castle on my way home from San Jose, and staying somewhere along the coast that night, rather than driving all the way home in one day. I haven't yet decided where I would like to stay, though, and as I was looking into the details of the Hearst Castle tours, it dawned on me that my plans would put me there on September 11, and I had to ask myself if it was appropriate to ogle the ostentatious wealth of a prototypical American fat cat on a date on which, while I mostly haven't done much to commemorate those who died, it seems fitting that I at least comport oneself in a subdued and contemplative manner.

Anyways, I spent most of this evening perusing various websites (AAA's, mostly) for ideas of things to see in Los Angeles (I'd planned to see Cash'd Out at the Casbah tonight, but I wasn't feeling very good, so I decided to stay in). I'm thinking maybe I'll go to the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanical Garden first, as it's near the Huntington Library, and then head over to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. I'd like to visit Will Rogers State Historical Park, but I don't think I'll have time, just as I know I won't have time for the Getty Center, unless I decide to add a day to my stay. Any suggestions of things to do in Los Angeles, or of a nice place to spend an evening on my way back from San Jose, are welcome.

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