wednesday in LA

by Stacy

Since my husband has to work over Christmas (hey, hotels and hospitals never close) he got to take a few days of vacation this week. We decided to take a short trip north to Los Angeles since my only previous visit was for a day and a half last month. A cruise up the interstate and a jaunt in the carpool lane got us to our hotel in one piece, and we were ready to go!

We met Ronnie for a quick lunch at Amandine and she joined us on our tourist escapades. First stop? The La Brea Tarpits. Nothing says LA like a lake of ancient sticky goo.


Where else can you see a sculpted relief of saber-toothed cats attacking a mammoth while sinking into asphalt?

It didn’t end well for the mammoth.


It was an interesting museum. The grounds are an actual dig site (they are currently working on 23 crates of excavated material discovered while digging to expand a nearby parking garage) with a working paleontology laboratory in the museum called “the fishbowl” because the workers are seated so that visitors can watch them work.


There are tons of fossils displayed there from Ice Age era animals in the area. Other than mammoths, there are dire wolves, American lions, weird-looking giant sloths, and (below) the commonly-misnamed bison and saber-toothed cats.


Saber-tooths were not tigers, as they often called, but large cats who attacked by pouncing. And bison, of course, are often mistakenly referred to as buffalo. Totally different.

Apparently there were bears in addition to the weird ground sloths. They are about as large as modern bears. I am taller than a polar bear, but shorter than the ancient short-faced bear. See?


Ronnie was closer to grizzly bear-sized, and the hubby was bigger than the short-faced bear. If we came across all three at once, I think we would lose anyway.

The end of the museum had some cool displays which showed the massive number of specimens that have been collected of various animals over the years. They had some notable Old Dead Guys who were important to the tar pits, and a suspiciously-out-dated timeline that could use some anthropologically accurate attention. Either that or Ice Age men had AMAZING hair products.


Bidding farewell to the guard lions, we left the Page Museum behind in search of food. You know who grows food? Farmers. Know where they sell it?


Sadly, not here. The LA Farmers Market has tons of food, most of it cooked or packaged. There is a produce stand, and several places to get organic/free-range/non-scary meat and poultry, but not what we were expecting from a farmers market.

Luckily, we did happen upon Monsieur Marcel where we procured a baguette to go with ….


du fromage. A nice hunk of deliciousness came with us to pair nicely with some fruit and champagne for a relaxed dessert after a delicious dinner at Musha in Santa Monica.

We learned a few things, saw some new sights, ate some good food in good company, and ended the day with champagne and cheese. A++ very good visit, would visit again. What’s left to do before we head home? The Getty Center, free lipgloss, and a potato ricer! None of them are related. More photos tomorrow!

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