Exploring The Huntington’s Gardens

With granddaughter #3 visiting from Florida for an early start to Christmas, Kongo’s tribe set out for The Huntington in Pasadena. The Huntington is a world class research library, collection of art, and a vast array of fantastic gardens. Kongo had not been here before. With so much to see the monkey had to prioritize his explorations and decided to check out the Chinese and Japanese gardens and then see what else there was time for. Chinese gardens are very different from most Japanese gardens. Although the Japanese started out copying the Chinese, eventually they evolved their own garden philosophy….

After the Fires

Recent wildfires in Southern California burned about 100,000 acres of the Santa Monica mountains surrounding Kongo’s home west of Los Angeles. It was a scary time. Naturally Kongo was not at home when the fires started, leaving Mrs. Kongo alone with the grand daughters. (He was also away when lightening struck their home near Washington DC several years ago resulting in fireman traipsing through the attic putting out smoldering wires but that’s another story.) The phones started beeping with emergency alerts and when Mrs. Kongo got the message EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY that’s exactly what she did. She grabbed the granddaughter, her…

Fishing Monkey

So the monkey has been through a few adventures in the past couple of months. He finished a backyard remodel, started some additional and very intense training at the Getty Villa, and most recently survived the firestorms in Southern California. His house is safe but he did have to evacuate for a couple of days and that’s another whole story.  But to get into the holiday routine his #1 son had this great idea to go on an overnight fishing trip.  Right, what better way to get in the Thanksgiving and Christmas mood than go fishing? It’s been years and…

Fair Monkey

Kongo loves county fairs. There’s something about hot, sultry August afternoons, the smell of cotton candy, the carnival barkers, and the crowds that makes the monkey feel right at home. The Ventura County fair is like that. It’s not nearly as big or as sophisticated as the Los Angeles County Fair or the Del Mar Fair in San Diego. Now those are real fairs. Ventura County is kind of like your neighborhood 4th of July Parade with kids on bikes and dogs decked out in red, white, and blue. It was just right. Kongo was actually forced out of the…

A Walk in LA

Los Angeles isn’t really known as a walking city.  Sure, you CAN walk there but this is the land of Freeways and Uber so why would you?  Well, lots of reasons actually and that’s exactly what the Kongo’s did last evening.  Meeting some fellow Morocco survivor friends from Santa Monica, Kongo and his bride were in downtown LA to do a walking tour of City Hall. Since traffic in this city is always a question mark, Kongo planned for contingencies and left home well ahead of the scheduled meeting time. Without SigAlerts or some other disaster, it was going to…

Exploring California’s Central Coast

After a two-day business trip in Silicon Valley recently, Kongo decided to take his time driving back to LA.  So after the meeting the monkey spent the night in a great little Victorian Inn on Cannery Row in Monterey then got up early and took the scenic 17-mile drive around Monterey Bay before heading south on California Highway 1 as far as he could go.  It’s been awhile (like several decades) since Kongo has been to this part of California and he was keen to see it again. For several months Highway 1 has been closed south of Big Sur…

Where the Sun Sets: Morocco Travel

Kongo recently finished a 10-day visit to Morocco. If this country is on your bucket list it might be worthwhile to read on.  Kongo will clue you in on his latest advice for visiting this magical country. Morocco is known as the place where the sun sets.  It’s the west.  In ancient times Morocco was literally the end of the world.  The Romans called it Mauretania and they had a thriving colony here until the middle of the second century.  Before that were the Berber tribes and they’re still here.  Portuguese and Spanish left their influence in the Age of Exploration…