When my dad plans a daddy daughter date, he is very thorough, and he has one philosophy he follows absolutely:
"Whatever you want to do."
On our last ski day together every run we went on was one I chose and he followed, I called the shots for picking lunch, stopping for dinner, and whether or not we would take the ski out. Whenever any decision came up, I chose, no matter how minor.
It should have come as no surprise then that when my Dad and I went to Los Angeles at the beginning of the month, I got to choose everything from the second I got off the plane. Did I want to be named on the rental car so I could drive around? Where did I want to go for dinner? It was only 8:30; what did I want to do right now?
Not only did Dad let me choose it all, he had compiled a very thorough list of all my options for the next day. He had details on many sights I could see, he had suggestions of places my sister and mom had shopped when they had been there, he showed me how to get around in case I just wanted to drive to the ocean and relax, he even had called my newly married cousin and asked if she knew of any YSA activities going on. All these options sounded appealing, and I was touched that he had given my entertainment so much thought, but I still wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do.
The next morning, Dad woke me up with a smug grin on his face. He had found the answer. That afternoon, while he was at his course, I should go to an art gallery.
An art gallery! Why didn't we begin with that? Why hadn't I just looked up "art museums in L.A." when I was planning this trip? That is the best place for me to find hours of amusement.
The museum Dad had discovered was the Getty Museum and Villa; two collections of art made available by the trust fund of J. Paul Getty. After researching their website, I decided to go to the villa in the afternoon as they are only open till five, and suggested Dad and I swing by the museum that evening.
It was the best part of my trip. The Getty Villa is a replica of a villa from ancient Greece filled with Greek, Roman and Etruscan sculptures, mosaics, and pottery. Not to mention the beautiful gardens, balconies and amphitheatre surrounding it. I spent a blissful afternoon lost in Ancient Greek mythology until I looked at the time and saw I was already late to pick up Dad.
That evening, we went out for fish and chips and had two things on our agenda; visit cousins and maybe stop by the Getty Museum. It was already getting to be on the late side, and I was having second thoughts about visiting the gallery. Had I not soaked up enough culture for the day? Would we even get there in time to enjoy anything? Wouldn't it be better to visit our family? I hadn't looked into many of the details of the museum online, was there really anything worth the trip? While I was hmming and hawing, Dad; the same dad who lets me choose anything and everything - made a final decision:
"You need to see the Getty, Elena."
Dad had never been there himself, but knowing me better than I know myself, he made a decision. We got to the Getty with a little over an hour to enjoy it. As soon as I saw the signs explaining the exhibits, I knew I had made the right decision.
"Rembandt, Turner, Monet?! Pisarro and Van Gogh?!?!? Oh why hadn't we come here the second my plane landed and just camped out on the patio?
Sadly we never made it to visit the Puentes and Ferreros. Instead, we ran from building to building and soaked up every work of art we could. Hitting the exhibits we cared about the most, we enjoyed lots of my favourite artists. It was like being a little kid at Christmas. I think I actually giggled with excitement more than once. This artwork actually gave me goosebumps:
Dad is a great person to go to museums with. Not only is he happy to spend hours staring at paintings, he does the come-look-at-this!-isn't-it'awesome as much as me. We stayed until the museum staff kicked us out, promising to return again sometime to spend a full day in the Getty. Or a weekend.
Needless to say, I am so glad Dad insisted we go. Thanks, Daddy.