Monday, February 15, 2010

Put Another Candle on the Birthday Cake

Los Angeles City Hall

Disney Concert Hall

On Super Bowl Sunday my family celebrated my birthday playing in downtown Los Angeles. I can be happy anywhere if I am with all the kids, but I love walking around big cities, taking in the buzz, the architecture, the culture, and the outdoor art. We were able to park on the street FOR FREE a block from the Disney Center as the city was deserted because of the Super Bowl and because it was Sunday morning. We toured the concert hall, which is such an amazing building. The unique architecture and engineering of the brushed titanium combined with the warmth of the interior with its hand-designed carpets, and wood makes this building a world treasure. The garden on the third story is an oasis of beauty.

Disney Concert Hall Third Story Garden

Matt, Brenna, Jim, Marsh, Molly, and Kelly in the Disney Concert Hall garden

We walked to the busy and colorful Grand Central market where I longed to buy the inexpensive fruits, but didn't want to carry them. We saw the Bradbury building with it's beautiful rod iron work.

Jim at the Bradbury Building

We saw the Central Library, climbed Bunker Hill steps (a recreation of the Spanish Steps in Rome), and certainly got our exercise! We had lunch at a fun restaurant in China Town. The food was delicious and the kids picked up the check. They claim they are grown ups now! Hooray. The whole city had been deserted until we got to China Town, where all the shops were packed with people because next weekend is Chinese New Year. The girls bought the traditional red envelopes used to give money as gifts. (There are traditions associated with this money: It should be given in an even-numbered amount, such as 1.68, not $1.67.) The amount should not have a four in it. For example, $4.00 would be an unlucky amount. Eights are good luck, so you could give $5.88.) Molly brought along a sweet friend. All of us got along and I really enjoyed being with them and hearing more about their lives, and laughing with them. It was a great birthday.

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