Today I visited The Getty Center for the first time, which is kind of surprising since it has been around for over 20 years. I was blown away by the architecture, and also the paintings from their permanent collection. Seeing more paintings by Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Cezanne was pretty mind-blowing. I loved it.
We were fortunate to visit on a super-clear day (due to the gusty winds) so the already-amazing views were absolutely breath-taking. You could see downtown, the San Bernardino Mountains, Long Beach, Palos Verdes, and Catalina. It was awesome!
Admission to the Getty Museum is free, but parking in the lot is $15. I recommend arriving early at the lot because it gets super-crowded. We got there at about 9:45 am (the museum opened at 10 am) and we were able to go right to our parking space, then hop on the tram that took us up the hill to the museum. But when we left at around 1 pm there was a huge line of cars trying to get into the lot. It looked like a nightmare. So go early!
Here are a few more photos from the grounds. The Getty Center is a definite must-do if you visit Los Angeles for a few days.
Today Koa and I were down in Baytown where he was attending a band camp. So after dropping him off in the morning, I had the day to explore the area. I decided to check out the San Jacinto Museum of History which seemed to be the biggest place of interest and very highly rated on TripAdvisor and Google.
When you drive up to the museum, the first thing you’ll notice (from quite a distance) is the monument with star on top. It’s an impressive 570 feet tall and was completed in 1939. It commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto, which was the decisive battle for Texas independence and happened on this location. Housed inside the monument is the museum itself, with an impressive display collection and theater where you can view a short movie that describes the battle. While it’s free to view the permanent museum display, there’s a charge to watch the movie, but it is worth it because the movie describes in detail the events leading up to the battle, and you can learn a lot about the main figures in Texas history, such as Sam Houston, Stephen Austin, and General Santa Anna.
There’s also a separate charge to go up to the observation level at the top of the monument where you can see views of the shipping lane, and the city of Houston in the distance. There’s not too much more than that though, so if you want to save a few dollars, you can skip this part.
Outside of the monument is the reflecting pool which is near the area where the Texas soldiers were camped. On the other side of the monument is where the Mexican army was camped. This kind of blew my mind because they were camped so close together before the battle, which the Texans won decisively in a rout. I’d estimate that you could walk from one camp to the other in just a few minutes, although I guess at the time there were more trees covering the area.
After visiting the museum, I drove over to the Battleship Texas Historic Site to see the World War I era ship. It was smaller than I thought it would be and very industrial-looking. But I guess the sole purpose of the warship was to sink other ships so it’s basically a metal platform for huge guns. Interestingly, the USS Texas fought both in both World Wars.
And that was the highlight of my day in La Porte, Texas. It was actually pretty cool to learn more about Texas History. I grew up in California, and we didn’t have much state history in our curriculum so it was surprising to me that my kids were being taught so much Texas history here. But honestly, the Lone Star State has a ton of history and I can now understand where “Texas pride” comes from.