Searching for World Peace in Santa Monica

Santa Monica might seem a strange place to seek world peace.  I mean really, Santa Monica?  Maybe some temple high in the mountains of Tibet or an ashram in Santa Fe, or even the UN building in New York but not Santa Monica.  Perhaps I’m wrong-headed about this but Santa Monica seems more like a live for today for tomorrow we die kind of place.  But yet, indeed there are people searching for peace in Santa Monica.  Right down on the beach next to the famous pier. Perhaps Kongo is just in a cynical mood but he doesn’t think a…

March to the Sea

This week Kongo marched to the sea.  Literally.  From his house to the ocean is an 8-mile trek through Point Mugu State Park in the Santa Monica mountains.  Now maybe “march to the sea” is a too exuberant an expression.  This isn’t much like General Sherman’s historic March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah during the Civil War.  This hike is almost exclusively downhill, which is pretty cool for old monkeys.  It’s still a good hike and not nearly as destructive or controversial as the burning of a 60-mile wide swath through the heart of Georgia. The route passes…

Whorls, Milestones, and Granddaughters

It happens to everyone.  The first time.  It’s a milestone and in Kongo’s troop this event is a family affair.  We’re talking about granddaughter’s first haircut.  Mrs. Kongo is quite keen on staging these family milestones and she arranged an appointment with Maria at the wonderfully funky Classic Kids Hairstyling Salon in Camarillo to mark this memorable rite of passage. Granddaughter #3, Persephone, and her parents visited Kongo over the holidays.  Escaping double-bomb cold on the East Coast they relaxed for nearly three weeks here in sunny Southern California.  At the age of three Persephone was in need of her…

Sunny Santa Barbara

So what do you do when out of town family is starting to get bored because all the presents have been opened, you’re knee deep in legos and Princess Minnie parphenalia  and you’ve watched  Jungle Book a half dozen times and it’s still four days till New Year?  Well, you pile all the extra family into #1 son’s new Sienna van and you and Mrs. Kongo put the top down on the sports car and head for Santa Barbara in a two car caravan!  What else? Now just as an aside, Kongo is pretty sure the monkeys in Jungle Book…

Christmas Hike in SoCal

So. what better way to take a break from all the holiday hullabaloo than to get out in nature and get some fresh air?  Of course, here in Southern California the air hasn’t been so fresh lately with the huge Thomas fire bringing air quality to lows not seen in years.  But the winds have pretty much shifted so the monkey took off for the hills. Kongo is fortunate to live adjacent to the Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation area and loves to take advantage of the dozens of nearby scenic trails.  On this brisk day he pretty much had…

Getty Field Trip

Gentle readers will recall that Kongo loves field trips with his two granddaughters.  This week the monkey climbed aboard a school bus with 22 budding classical scholars from Mrs. Hutson’s 3rd Grade Class and a handful of chaperones to visit the Getty Center in Los Angeles.  What a trip!  Most adults may think that art and 3rd graders won’t mix.  Not these kids!  They were all over this like Rococo on Versailles. The Getty Center is a wonderful place for children.  There are plenty of fountains, gardens, and outdoor things for them to experience.  Inside … well, inside it’s a…

Top O’ Topanga

High above the San Fernando Valley, home of Valley Girls, most of the world’s pornography business, 2.9 million people and the 1994 Northridge earthquake is a L.A. Park known as Top O’ Topanga.  The nine acre park is a popular spot to view sunsets and provides spectacular views of the Santa Monica Mountain, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the Santa Susana mountains in the far distance.  Topanga is a name that means “crazy people” and it refers to the early settlers who used to run around naked and grow sunflowers on the mountain.  (Kongo just made that up).  Topanga is…