Ten months passed way too quickly, and our time in California is coming to an end.   We brought two dogs with us, and two dogs will travel back,  but only one will recognize the place as his old, beloved home.  Oscar has no idea how much his life will change, from a small patch of astroturf to a big backyard with fat squirrels waiting to tease him.  It’s close to dog-paradise.

We will miss many things from our stay in this amazing city.  All the friends we made, the time with C & C  (aka ” LA’s coolest couple”),  the conversations with our  our boss (both scientific and otherwise), and all our labmates at UCLA.  We’ll miss the EARLY morning runs up and down Beverly Glen (we completed 81 of those!), interrupted by  sunrise over Mulholland Drive, the walks with the dogs through our neighborhood canyons, and the howling coyotes in the middle of the night. I might even miss the nano-kitchen…  😉

The bar at Katsuya Sushi in Hollywood, unforgettable spot…

Franklin Canyon

View from Yamashiro restaurant, where great food is just the beginning…

Until we settle into a new (old) routine, I’ll take a little break from blogging.   I hope to see you soon in the (full-size) Bewitching Kitchen!

Everything changes, nothing remains without change.

ONE YEAR AGO: 7-6-5 Pork Tenderloin

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After our move to Los Angeles many people we encountered asked “have you been to The Getty?” Our answer was “not yet, but we are planning on it before we leave next year.” Living in a place with so many touristic attractions is a double-edged sword: you’re never in a hurry to visit must-see places, because there’s always a another weekend approaching. Then, suddenly you realize that half of your stay is over, and the clock starts ticking… We didn’t want to miss it, so last week we took an afternoon off to visit the Getty Museum, located just 10 minutes from our home.

Majestic, marvelous architecture, with breathtaking views of Los Angeles below. The Impressionist collection includes a masterpiece by my favorite painter, Vincent Van Gogh… and the museum’s garden is itself a work of art!

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We took two guided tours, the first of which highlighted the major artworks (paintings, sculptures, furniture, tapestry), and the second of which explained the design of the Central Garden . The latter masterpiece was conceived and executed by Robert Irwin. It adds a dreamy element to The Getty, from the delicate stream of water flowing down to the constant change in shape and colors of the plants. Irwin once called it “a sculpture in the form of a garden aspiring to be art.” To remind visitors of the ever-changing nature of his compostion, he engraved these words at the bottom of the central stairway: “Always changing, never twice the same.” It was unforgettable.

I highly recommend the guided tours. Just like admission to the museum, the tours are free, and they add to the whole experience.

For opening hours, current exhibits, and general info click here

ONE YEAR AGO: Crowd-pleasing Pulled Pork (an American classic not to be missed!)

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We don’t mind long driving trips, quite the contrary.  My husband and I love to drive, switching the pilot and co-pilot roles every couple hours, so that no one becomes overly tired. We’ve taken many long trips together this way, but never with our dogs as (reluctant) passengers. This was a first for them, and because of  their advanced age we were a bit worried.  The first stretch took us from Oklahoma all the way to Sedona, AZ, where we spent a day resting our tired bones and making sure the dogs recovered.

They spent most of the day in the prone-position, alternating between profound snoring and dreaming, their paws kicking imaginary enemies or perhaps pursuing chubby squirrels in the backyard left behind. Nine hundred and twenty five miles behind. But that, was just the beginning…

The second and final leg of the trip, from Sedona to Los Angeles, was something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Our Dalmatian developed severe intestinal problems, but because of the heat while crossing the Mojave Desert, we brought them into the cab with us. The adjectives “stressful” and “uncomfortable” don’t quite describe it.   I only put things in perspective by thinking about a recent story from my friend Jenny, who endured an 11 hour train trip STANDING UP, in a super crowded, not exactly fragrant car in  China.   So, a 7.5 hour trip squeezed in with two stressed, smelly dogs didn’t seem so bad! 😉

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But, somehow we made it.   Our new “nano-house” needs some work to make it livable, but we started making progress yesterday.  I don’t have a recipe for you yet, so I’ll leave you with a song that we listened to a lot during our   journey.  The melody and rhythm of this song have the power to instantaneously make me happy, and the lyrics summarize how we feel (for the full lyrics, click here):

Home is wherever I’m with you!

Thank you for all the comments left on my previous post, it was absolutely wonderful to read them!

ONE YEAR AGO: Pork Medallions with Mustard-Caper Sauce

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