LACMA – Los Angeles, California

As far back as I can remember visiting art museums has been a tradition between my dad and I. No matter where it was that we were at, there was always a museum, or gallery or store full of art to be visited. He is an artist and I have always wanted to be just like him. Real life happened  and I didn’t go into the arts, but I do appreciate them as well as paint from time to time.

There is nothing like one of the best art museums on the west coast to light the artistic fire in you. After visiting the LACMA I spent the rest of my summer afternoons painting in our backyard.

The LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) opened in 1965 and has expanded in both its collection and physical size ever since. The museum is huge, far too much to see in a single day but worth every minuet if you enjoy the arts.

We wandered around for a few hours, had lunch in their cafe which is actually pretty good and then wandered around for a few more hours. Our taste in art differs a lot but mostly in the type that we create. In many cases we do tend to like the same things in other people’s work. Which means spending a lot of time standing around a few pieces and then breezing through entire exhibits that don’t interest us as much.

Aside for the exhibits, the museum itself, like most museums has some pretty impressive architecture as well as exterior installations.  The museum shares a campus with the La Brea Tar Pits, so even if you don’t have time or the energy to go through the museum itself just walking around and taking it all in is an experience. All in all it was a really great visit!

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24 hours in Minneapolis – Minneapolis, Minnesota

The final post in this edition of Minneapolis is a whirl wind and that is because the last leg of this trip was that as well. I only had 24 hours after my last meeting to experience more of the city than the skyway and my office building. And luckily for me the weather was incredible!

Shop: I Like You
It is a little like the Made in Oregon store but for a younger or perhaps just more kitsch. T shirts, cards, candles, jewelry, art, you name it they have it all handmade in Minnesota  and in some way touting the Minnesota theme. It was lovely and had I had a larger suitcase with me more people would have received Minnesota themed gifts that year.

Do: Minneapolis River-walk
The Twin Cities is built around the Mississippi river and as such there is a very impressive expanse of walking trains around the area. I had a friend as a tour guide so we just took off and start taking pictures of the lovely scenery but if you are looking some sort of guidance this walking guide is quite nice.  It is about a 3 mile loop in all, it took us a few hours because we stumbled on a farmers market.

Eat: Mill City Farmers Market
The market is only only open on Saturdays BUT if you happen to find yourself in the area on a Saturday it is a must eat. Tons of vendors from snacks to sweets to full meals. Everything smelled amazing, we couldn’t decide so we just ate a lot of samples.

Tour: Mill City Museum
Sadly I did not have time to go in, but the lobby of the Mill City Museum is impressive enough on it’s own for a stop through. The museum sits inside the ruins of what was once the largest flour mill in the world. Destroyed by a fire (did you know flour is explosive? I had no idea) the building was shored up and converted to a lovely history and art museum.

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Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City was another of my work conference trips and honestly a city I probably never would have gone to otherwise. I was however very pleasantly surprised by the trip and thoroughly impressed with the cities art deco architecture.
While we were out there I found out the local art museam had a traveling exibit of one of my favorite photographers so I took a few of my coworkers to the museam. I think the highlight for them was when I got too close to a statue in the garden and it started yelling at me. I assume that the sculpture garden has video cameras and speakers hooked to the security desk, but we will never know for sure.

We were there during one the wildest lightening storm I have ever experienced, and spent most of one night huddled in my broken sleep number hotel bed terrified I might get electrocuted if I touched anything metal in the hotel directly. Yes I realize this is not how it works, but we don’t get storms like that on the west coast. It was scary.
Because of the storm that was in the area the hotel was also hosting a team of storm chasers that were out filming tornados. I loved getting a chance to talk to them and learning more about what they do. But it didn’t necessarily help the fact that I was terrified of major storms.

I was pleasantly surprised by the food in Kansas City, not only was the BBQ the best I have ever had in several local restaurants. I also had an unforgettable breakfast at the 12 Baltimore Café in the Hotel Philips. The stunning art deco interiors may have played a hand in that review though.
One of the friends that I tortured into accompanying me to the art museum is a sports fan, so she took me to a Kansas City Royals game. Which happened to be hosting ladies night.  We go free t-shirts and way too many margaritas. I had a blast even though I am not the biggest sports. The margaritas may have had a hand in THAT one.

On the last day in town I wandered around some antique stores and happened upon the City Market, which I wish I had known about earlier in the trip so I could have spent more time there.
Kansas City in one day:
Stay: Hotel Phillips
Eat: Jack Stack BBQ – Martin City Location
See: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Have you ever been to Kansas City Missouri? What are some of your favorite must do’s in the city?

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