We spent the holiday weekend accomplishing something that’s been rare for us these last several years.

We played.

My husband did not bring work home, I did not blog, we barely glanced at social media or much of anything on the Internet. I did not catch up on housework and he did not fix the sprinklers or any of the other jobs that have to be done around the house.

Instead, we went to the movies (Star Trek: Into Darkness, if you must know). We shopped and enjoyed delicious produce at a farmer’s market. We dined out. We took in the natural beauty of the Hollywood Hills. And we paid a visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Even our daughter took a break from studying by spending a day in the canyon for the annual Topanga Days festival, which means I had the pleasure of driving into the bucolic community to transport her and her friend home.

OK, I was a little less than thrilled when she called and asked if we could pick them up, have dinner at our favorite pub in Sherman Oaks and then drive her friend back to Woodland Hills.

“She has no concept of distance,” my husband muttered. I nodded. Some day, when she is paying for her own gas, she’ll figure that out. I told her we would do the pub with her friend another time, and she was OK with that. The point is, once I knew I would have to make the trek out to Topanga, I enjoyed it because it is one of my favorite drives in the city.

That was Saturday. Sunday began with a visit to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market, then we zipped up into the hills for breakfast at the Beachwood Cafe, nestled into the original Hollywoodland development. We had not been there for something like 20 years, so it was like being someplace new. It’s the kind of place where you can get kale salad instead of breakfast potatoes with your eggs, and it was good.

We followed up with a walk around Lake Hollywood, a location that’s not generally on the tourist map. In fact, I don’t believe many native Angelenos knew that it was there until this weekend, when the LA Times published an article announcing that it was re-opening after a 7-year restoration. The lake is actually a reservoir resulting from a dam designed by William Mulholland and built by the DWP in 1923-24 to contain water imported from the Owens Valley, and it may look familiar to you if you ever saw the movie Chinatown. There’s some fascinating archival material about it on the DWP Museum website.

With mild weather and cool breezes, it was a pleasurable 3.5 mile walk around the lake.

We were still basking in the glow of that walk yesterday morning, when I suggested we take another one: inside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which has been the forgotten step-museum in our family lately. I mean, we visit the Getty two or three times a year — and I have not ventured inside LACMA since the King Tut exhibit returned there in 2005. This is sad, because when I was young (and had disposable income), I was a LACMA member. There were certain paintings and sculptures I wanted to see again. In a way, I was there to visit some old friends.

And it turned out to be a great day to visit: It was a “free admission holiday Monday,” part of a program underwritten by Target. This is the kind of corporate sponsorship I like, because it really benefits the community. The next one is Labor Day in September. In the meantime, here’s a small representation of what we saw:


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