September 20-22, 2019. We flew from Portland to Los Angeles for another very happy wedding. Once again we spent most of the weekend biding time with family. This was also a ‘return to the past’ weekend – I grew up in the northern San Fernando Valley. No family members live near there anymore, so I haven’t been to the area in a very long time. I was looking forward to seeing some of my past geography.
On Friday we flew out of the clouds in Portland. I was lucky to get a window seat, my favorite part of flying.
Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens and Mt Adams poking out of the clouds.
Clouds dispersed at the California border. The landscape of central California, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and then the transverse ranges north of Los Angeles were on view.
Central Valley farmland
San Fernando Valley
We flew over The Getty Museum in Sepulveda Pass. The Italian travertine building stone really stands out in the landscape.
We circled near the Hollywood Hills before landing at LAX.
The Hollywood Sign
Los Angeles River
After renting a car, we drove back to the Getty Museum. It was built after I moved away for college, so this was my first visit. The architecture is stunning, geometric, pleasing.
We wandered through a few of the many galleries, admiring paintings and photography. The most iconic is this iris painting by Vincent van Gogh.
The gardens were overflowing with seasonal flowers. Somewhere on these paths our wedding couple got engaged.
I was especially excited to see a blooming and fruit-laden pomegranate tree – another throwback to my youth.
After a lovely couple of hours at the museum, we returned via the tram to the parking garage, with panoramic views along the way.
Getty Tram view: The hills ahead were burned in a wildfire last year.
View south to the Los Angeles basin from the tram.
View north toward the San Fernando Valley.
I-405 Freeway wall mimicking the stratigraphy.
As we drove on the Ventura Freeway across the south side of the San Fernando Valley, enduring the infamous traffic, I revisited the street names that bound the geography of my childhood.
We were staying in Thousand Oaks, near the wedding venue. On Saturday morning we had time to drive over the Santa Monica Mountains to Zuma Beach in Malibu, to spend just a bit of time on the very beach I played on as a child.
View to the north
Sand castle and wave action
Then in the afternoon and evening, we celebrated with a very happy bride and groom and families.
Garden at Los Robles, before the wedding.
We flew home on Sunday, but alas, no window seat – not even an open window shade near me! Which makes me feel claustrophobic. I did get some knitting and reading done, but I can do that anywhere. Some of the most beautiful landscape in the world is out that airplane window!
In all it was a lovely weekend, a chance to visit with distant family members and see some of my historic geography. There is never enough time to do it all!