It’s fun having relatives visit–because we hit the Los Angeles attractions we never quite get around to seeing on our own. This weekend, we went up to the newly restored Griffith Observatory on the 4th of July, and yesterday to the (also newly restored) Getty Villa in Malibu. The floor above is in one of the smaller outdoor courtyards at the Villa. We went to Pompeii last year, so I think Nell understood the idea, that this was a lavish recreation (with many original items) of a Roman villa like those buried under the ash of Vesuvius.
Because it was Sunday, there were children’s activities in the covered walkway of the Outer Peristyle, so Nell and I made elaborate paper helmets with various Roman motifs. Mine is very, uh, collagy; Nell did more marker drawings on hers. We both chose Owl medallions for the forehead piece. And we wore them around the museum for the rest of the day.
We also enjoyed the Villa’s herb garden. We went on a brief children’s tour, and they let the kids pick herbs for a bouquet garni (gave out strings for tying). We got some marjoram and basil, some tarragon and bay leaves, some chamomile and mint, and some costmary. What’s costmary? I wondered too. It’s got a lovely scent!
The Observatory and the Getty Villa both have free admission. If you come to Los Angeles with kids, instead of blowing their college fund on Disney and the other theme parks, try these (and the California Science Center, for a third free place that’s great for the whole family).