India| Vietnam | Cambodia | Laos | Thailand | Malaysia | Indonesia | NZ | Fiji | Cook Islands | USA

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Day 348-350: The Getty and the Gospel

It was a beautiful day that we visited the Getty Museum; sitting pretty high on the hills of Los Angeles it offers not only a stunning view of the sprawling city but far more exhibitions than one could possibly absorb in an afternoon's wanderings.

Much like the Guggenheim before it, the Getty Museum is one of those places where the building itself is one of the biggest artistic attractions. There are wide open spaces, frolicking fountains, great glass windows and sweeping sculpted gardens. And it's free to get in, once you've paid the $15 parking fee.

We wandered abound a small exhibition of Ankgor Gods, which made us realise how long ago it was that we visited Angkor Wat itself (for the record: 237 days) and a wonderful collection of impressionist paintings. On any visit to the Getty Museum, ample time must be allowed for coffee breaks in its numerous caf├ęs.

That evening we had plans (so many plans, so many options...) so we couldn't stay to watch the sun set over LA but it is open late and I imagine it is quite the sight.

The following morning, in varying states of hungover and with a new edition to the British contingent, another friend from home, Claire, we were making our way to the holiest of events down in Hollywood. It was Sunday morning and we had tickets to a Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues.

It was a buffet brunch and any preconceived notions I might have had about the American large portion-sizes were confirmed here. The buffet stretched from one side of the room to the other, almost as far as the eye (in an admittedly pretty dark room) could see and encompassed everything from scrambled eggs, muffins, waffles (plus toppings), macaroni cheese, salads (plural), cold meats, prawns, deserts (again, very plural) to build-it-yourself omelettes and watermelon slices. A feast! The perfect hangover cure – and that was just the buffet bit.

The best part was definitely the gospel itself; a choir lead by a woman with a voice like Aretha Franklin and an outfit like a wedding cake being attacked by a swan belted out hymns that were as funky as they were soulful. They also sung perhaps the coolest possible rendition of happy birthday I've ever heard to lucky birthday attendees.

It was all over too quickly and with full stomachs and an extra (if painfully out of time) skip in our step Natalie's house-mate Blake took us on a bit of a sightseeing tour around the city, stopping of course, for the obligatory Hollywood sign snap (you can see it behind us if you get your face really close to the screen and squint)

Our time in LA was coming to an end, it had been a crazy whirlwind of a week – certainly nothing like we'd experienced before and, probably, like nothing we'll experience again. A massive thank you here to Natalie for making so much of it possible.


  1. Gospel brunch sounds like so much fun!

  2. it was amazing, so amazing - if you're ever in LA it HAS to be done