A Travellerspoint blog

8 October, Thursday

Today we decided to visit the GETTY. This is a very large museum in West LA. It was totally funded by the Getty Foundation and free to the public. You only pay for parking ($15,00). It is filled with artifacts owned by the Foundation, not like the Heritage in St Petersburg that is all stolen.
You are provided with a recording device that tell you all about each work of art. The grounds are huge and very interesting. Several gardens with all types of vegetation and mazes.

The same parking pass allows you to visit the Getty Villa in Malibu. This was the original home of Getty. He kept enlarging the Villa to exhibit his art. It finally became too large so the Getty Museum was built. Again this is all free with many docents to explain along with recorded devices.

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7 October, Wednesday

We still had tickets left from our group outing to Catalina, SO we decided to use a couple. Josh, from the SCICO provided us with tickets to the SKYLINE TOUR. This takes you thru the upper and outer reaches of the island. You end up at the airport where you have time for a drink and one of the fantastic cookies they offer. Weather was great, not too hot, as the bus is a 1951 FLEXIBLE without air conditioning. On the way up we saw Bison in the distance, BUT on the way back they were right next to the road. Matter of fact one was lying on the shoulder. Great pictures were availed to us. There are many camps in the outback of Catalina. They host hundreds of students from schools all over California and Arizona. It is a full weeks class of conservation.

Back in town we had some great fish on the wharf and then decided to head home on an earlier Express. Got back in time to retrieve our mail from the front office.

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4 October, Sunday

Off to the Los Angeles Farmers Market. This was established in 1934 and has been going strong ever since. It does have the fruits and veggies that you look for but it is mainly now places to eat. There are several booths with trinkets and such. Next to the Farmers Market is THE GROVE. This is an upscale shopping area. By upscale, I really mean upscale. Prices are high, but the quality is excellent. The place was extremely busy since it was Sunday. We did find some cucumber salad and a papaya to take home. You pretty much have to buy something to cut the parking rate.

On the way home we followed the coast as best we could. Again being Sunday the roads were full. Drove past the West end of LAX that used to be expensive home but is now barren. They were bought out because of the noise. I was disappointed to see all the interior roads have been blocked off. It used to be interesting to park there and watch the Big Heavies take off.

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3 October, Saturday

After a week of relaxing we headed first to an Aging Show put on by the local newspaper. It was mainly for California residents, however there were some interesting facts we learned. Then we headed to Costa Mesa for a matinee of the Vanguard University's theater group of "ROCK & ROLL, THE BEAT GOES ON" This was a performance of the history of Rock and Roll. With many changes of costumes, many dances and many, many songs the history of Rock and Roll was traced from the '50s to present time.

A stop at Seal Beach for dinner on the way home filled the day.

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27 September, Sunday

BIRTHDAY, I turned 76 in age and maybe reached 40 in attitude. Eight of us ventured to Belmont and Nick's restuarant. They offer chicken and waffles, shortrib benedict and oatmeal bruelee. Everyone was impressed with their meals. Off for a brief visit to the Farmer's Market on Marine Drive and then the big event. I had rented a 18 foot DUFFY, electric boat for a couple hours at Huntington Harbour. This is the area we kayak in often and know the canals and bridges. With a little wine, crackers and water, we toured the "small" homes and "small" boats. Everyone was amazed at the money available in the area.

At the end of the boat ride each couple headed in a different direction on their way home. We came back to the RV Park and collapsed.

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26 September, Saturday

Business day at the convention, General Membership meeting for the pilots and a Wive's coffee. Both went extremely well with much business being done. Afternoon was free to explore Long Beach.

The evening brought the Banquet. Had 14 tables of 10 with a great meal. I had decided to rest somewhat and have another friend be the Emcee for the evening. He did the welcome and introductions and then the door prizes. It was time for the auction of the solid gold wings that had been donated by a fellow pilot. I was acting as spotter towards the rear of the room. My wife was holding the framed wings for all to see. What I did not realize is she was having communications with the auctioneer. When the gavel pounded for SOLD, she walked to me and handed me the wings as a birthday present. Needless to say I was stunned.

After the auction we had the entertainment of the Darden Sisters. We had seen them at the IOWA picnic earlier in the summer. They range in ages from 14, 15 17 & 19. Each plays one or more instruments and they sing so we can understand the words. We had little in the budget for entertainment, but when we passed the hat, it was made up for. Nearly a $1,000 was raised.

Banquet over, Reunion over for another year. Next year we head to Albuquerque.

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25 September, Friday

TOUR DAY. The second day of our Reunions has always been a day to tour the area. This year we are doing something different, a trip to Catalina Island on the Catalina Express. Up early and leaving the hotel at 7:00 to walk 5 blocks to the Terminal, and then board the CatJet for the trip.
The boat holds 400 or so and we had 134 people. The trip across was the smoothest I have ever seen it, barely a ripple.

There was a marine layer as we left the Harbor of Long Beach but it all burned off by the time we reached Avalon. The sky was blue and clear. The hills around Avalon were radiant. Upon arrival the first of the tour busses were waiting for their people and the Avalon Scenic Tour. The remaining people were to get their tour with in the hour. After the tours there was plenty of free time. People took advantage of the great discounts the Santa Catalina Island Company offered, some 20%. The Zip Line and the Casino were the most visited, but many went on the Outback tour to see the Buffalos and other side of the island.

The trip home was quiet as all were tired. We departed Avalon Harbor at 6:00pm and arrived back in Long Beach at 7:10. Most headed to their room, but many decided to visit the active points of Long Beach.

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24 September, Thursday

A very busy day. The Board of Directors had their meeting and check in for the Reunion started. Once checked in the attendees could do as they please until evening. The CVB (Convention & Visitors Bureau) did a fantastic job in providing discounts to several venues in Long Beach. If you wore your name tag many merchants and visitor sites offered major discounts. After 12:00 the Aquarium of the Pacific offered entry for only $8 and the Queen Mary tickets were less than half price.

The Catalina Room of the Hilton provided the locale for our Presidential Reception. Two bars were set up and enough food for an army. Everyone had ample opportunity to meet and greet their old working mates and renew memories.

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23 September, Wednesday

More attendees checking in and many more stories and remembrances being told. In the afternoon the Board of Directors gathered in the hospitality room and assembled the welcome bags. After that we all went to a unique place to eat called Bo Beau. On the upper floor the seating area is open to the outside. It is a combination sports bar and disco. We were early so as not to have to listen to all the disco music. Food was good and the beer was cold.

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22 September, Tuesday

Start of a busy week. Left the RV Park and checked into the Hilton Hotel on Ocean Drive. This is where we are having our RNPA Reunion with some 134 attendees scheduled. We were able to get the hospitality room early so we could unload all the goodies we needed to load the welcome bags with and set up for registration.

The Hilton is in the process of completing a major renovation. I had been scheduled for the Presidential Suite, BUT it is next on the list for rehab, so got a very nice king size room instead. Still very good.

For dinner we joined with several others we had not seen for some time and headed to Belmont and 2nd St. Many eating establishments all with excellent food.

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19 September, Saturday

The Port of Long Beach offers 4 free tours a month. Last year we were on the evening tour, this year we were lucky and got on a daytime tour.
The day tour is much more active. The Long Beach Port is second largest only to Los Angeles, across the river. They handle over 800,000 containers a month. Much pride is taken on the requirement to become GREEN. Ships approaching Long Beach have to slow to conserve fuel. When in Port they have to hook up to shore power and shut their engines down. Emissions have been cut 85% in the last 5 years. Also helping the effort is the requirement that all tractors of the semi's be less than 5 years old. In the future a rail system will move the containers from Long Beach to outlying hubs for transfer to highway vehicles.

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Sea Launch

Sea Launch is a company that sling-shots sattelites into orbit. They go South to the Equator and send up units for Direct TV, Dish, and other companies.


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Super Bouys

These are two of the bouys used for the large ships.


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Bulk Cargo

Another aspect of the Port is bulk cargo. Here you see a load of lumber destined for the Orient.


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Oil Tankers

Besides the container shipping the Port is very active in petroleum products. Tankers arrive from Alaska and the Orient with crude oil for the refineries.


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