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Nooooo! ... and a story

We spend most of the day flying tomorrow, to a place with a projected high temperature of 13°F, but (smiles weakly) sunny...

We went to the Aquarium of the Pacific on Thursday. It was fun, a long afternoon's worth of fun, but they could have provided more interpretive text around the exhibits. Sometimes it was ridiculous: a set of cases containing spectacular frogs with a sign above them directing you to page 19 of the guide. Turn to page 19 and read, "Yeah, like we've got these poison arrow frogs? Wow." They had enough sharks and rays to keep Victoria happy, that was good. To be honest, I think they aimed most of the exhibits to a very young--preliterate?--crowd. I might have been disappointed if I went kidless.

Friday was Hollywood day. We saw 101 Dalmations at El Capitan theater, with an organ concert, appearances by Goofy and Cruella De Vil, and tissue-paper spots fired from cannons in the box seats preceding the movie. Then we went across the street to look at the handprints in the sidewalks. Next we went to the La Brea tar pits and the Page museum, which had a decent amount of text accompanying the exhibits, thank goodness. Those were my ideas. Brian's two contributions to the day's activities were in turn brilliant and bewildering. He somehow knew where to turn off of Santa Monica Blvd to find a miniscule restaurant with great food. Then he drove on and on down the road until we got to Rodeo Dr so that we could ride down the street and look at shoppers. Ok.

Today we went to Griffith Park, rented bikes and rode around. There's a collection of trains there, Travel Town, which kept us occupied for a while, too.

My story for you all today is about my dad's mom's mom. She and her husband ran a store and kept a small farm near Wilson, KS, for as long as her husband was alive. As soon as he wasn't, she torched the house and moved to Long Beach. She spent the rest of her life feeding surfers and her beloved pet turtles. The turtles I saw with my own eyes--they were too fat to fit in their shells--but the surfer part is heresay, family lore employed to illustrate how loopy she had become. Oh, and she saved empty boxes to balance on every edge in her house: across the curtain rods, halfway off of each table, along the back of the sofa (except she called it a davenport). The boxes would have to be in place before she went to bed; each morning she'd rise to inspect the premises. She didn't want an earthquake to occur at night undetected. So maybe she was a tad eccentric. But after a week out here I can see the appeal of this area (save the traffic, which is just horrible. Horrible! Compared to DC, which is already horrible.) End of story.

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