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….

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…

Original LA Farmers Market

Old and new come together in West Hollywood at the Los Angeles Farmers Market.  Now there are lots of farmers markets in LA.  Dozens.  But this is the ORIGINAL farmers market that started up in 1934 when a handful of local growers backed their pick up trucks at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax and started selling their produce.  The concept really took off and in a few months people were building stalls and restaurants at the site and it quickly became an institution. Today the market is next to the modern and hugely popular and upscale The Grove outdoor…

Mission Santa Barbara

Recent mudslides in Montecito, just south of Santa Barbara, closed Highway 101 for nearly two weeks.  Kongo tried to visit the old mission there earlier but couldn’t get through.  You literally couldn’t get to Santa Barbara from LA unless you took the train, rode a boat from Ventura, or drove about four hours through the mountains.  Even now there is a lot of construction along the freeway causing large traffic backups. Anyway, the monkey made it yesterday and he was glad he did.  Those guys at CalTrans do a great job! Mission Santa Barbara was the tenth mission built by…