Friday, September 26, 2008

Trip to Griffith Observatory

On my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, number 7 (Family trip to Griffith Observatory) was one I had been greatly looking forward to for many many reasons.

Quick Background Memory: As a child of separated parents, my brother and I lived with my Mother and spent many weekends with my Father. My Father's sister, Aunt Mary Kaye, lived with her two daughters in Burbank-- so mini family reunions were often par for the course... and since we were already all the way out if Burbank (in my kid-sized world that was FAR FAR AWAY from Tarzana, where I lived), we would do many things in the area. As such, my love of the Griffith Observatory grew.

Fast Forward about 28 years... and it was time for Rob and I as the parents to pass that love on to Em and Ro.

The history of Griffith Park is over 100 years in the making and holds both learning and entertainment options for everyone of every age; just as Colonel Griffith J. Griffith wanted it to be and become when he bequeathed the land to the City of Los Angeles in the late 1800's. The Los Angeles Zoo, the Greek Theatre, Travel Town Railroad Museum, the Museum of the American West... and about 4000 acres of natural terrain all reside in the Griffith Park family. Name an activity (walking, horse back riding, hiking) and we've done it here!

The Observatory had been closed for several years, reopening at the end of 2006 with limited, advanced, timed-entry reservations only for the first year... yes, it's that popular! We patiently waited for the hub-bub to die down as well as for Em and Ro to grow up a little... and finally this year, off we went on a hot, sunny, summer day for a visit. The Observatory is now over twice the size it once was (they built two new floors down into the mountain) but still retains its' signature 1930s architecture with copper clad domes and white plaster.
One of the main features I used to be fascinated by was the Foucault Pendulum... apparently Em loves it too. The ceiling from which the brass pendulum swings was painted by artist Hugo Ballin.
Ro's favorite sections were about the sun...After looking at everything inside, we went outside for a quick snack and to let the munchkins roam free on the large grass lawns.

Here's Ro looking up at Newton, one of six astronomers featured just outside the entrance to the Observatory.

We had such a wonderful time, we went back a few weeks later with friends!!