The Getty and Rhônya's Birthday Dinner

Even early on today we were greeted by the natural beauty that surrounds us, sunlight, clear, bright blue skies with about 20°C/68°F.

We hit the road late morning en route to Los Angeles and, more specifically, the Getty Museum, which is about a 163km/101mi drive. Once we arrived we found that this was not some small-time museum with just a few rooms of paintings, oh no. This museum hosts about half a dozen galleries spread out in different buildings and provides a nice garden area to stroll through or simply rest on the grass —ahhhh.

You can walk around here for many hours studying each painting, reading the annotations or even taking the guided tour.
When looking esp. at the Dutch artists of the 17th century (Rembrandt and his contemporaries), I felt a kind of romantic draw that I’d have a hard time putting into words. The popular theme of the day was to idealize the simple country lifestyle. I was immensely impressed by the fact that these artists were able to create such wonderful depictions of nature and village life with such grandeur and detail and soul and with such crude materials! Never in my life have I ever seen artwork such as this surpassed, and these were done 300-400 some years ago!! The 17th & 18th century art of Dutch, Italian, French and German artists I’d have to say is definitely one of my favorite eras for theme and technique.When looking at some of these paintings you can actually sense, feel what it must have been like to live at that time, to breathe the air, to wear the clothes of the time, drink your ale with your friends and go about your country life without much care in the world. In stark contrast are those paintings of the aristocracy which I’d rename to “parade of the walking dead.”

On another note, Malibu has some nice little surprises to offer when it comes to cuisine. I decided to surprise Rhonya by taking her to an Italian villa turned restaurant called Beau Rivage. I’d never been here before but had a feeling it’d be just right for the occasion… I’ve taken a few candlelit snaps that I may add later, aside from that, you can peruse e.g. the menu on their web page (green link above). A really nice accent for that evening was when the pianist started to play and the other guests joined in singing Happy Birthday to Rhonya …

C’est tout mes amies!