Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pageant of the Masters Trip

For many years, I have heard about the Pageant of the Masters. It's been held for 6 weeks every summer in Laguna Beach, CA since 1933. I always thought, I am going to go someday. I was reading a Sunset magazine recently and saw them talk about it, and I thought, why not now? I was quite excited to go. Some friends had planned to go along, but due to an emergency, had to cancel. I went anyway.
So here is the description of what it is: A theme is chosen every year. Then through a combination of narration, a little dance, a little acting, they recreate famous works of art, with real people in the paintings. It's awesome. I was stunned at how amazingly well it is done. Part is due to lighting, but they have been doing this so long, they have it down.
It's in an outdoor amphitheater and some of the depictions are on stage, some are on the hillsides around the stage. It was a beautiful evening with a full moon, cool, but not too cool. What could be better? And they have an Arts Festival in conjunction with it. They don't let you take photos during the performance, but I took a couple of photos from my program to give you an idea.
The entry way led into an outdoor area, shaded by sails and canopies with art, food court, gift shop and live music. A fun happening place.

This next shots are from the program. They show some of the art work that they depicted. Again, they were so amazingly done. I don't know how some of the people depicted as statues were able to hold their poses.
As a demonstration, they actually showed placing these boys in this painting.

 It was a delightful experience and one which may quite easily do again.
The next day, we had a whale watching trip planned. I went ahead and went. We didn't see any whales, but a group of bottle nosed dolphins, played surfed and jumped all around us for quite a while. It was awesome! I took some photos but there was also a professional photographer on board and I bought some of the photos he took.  These are some of his photos. They are great!

This is a Northern Fur Seal we saw all by his lonesome. They aren't usually seen here.
 Lazy sea lions
Here are a few I took. The water was really clear and you could see them really well, swimming around the boat.

 Some people weren't interested in what was going on around the boat.

There were lots of other activities going on in the beach area. This was Newport Beach. The captain pointed at the homes of several famous people, including Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer.
This is the boat we went on.
 Why do Sherriff's deputies become cooler, just because they are on a boat?
 First time I actually saw one of these things at a home. cool!

 This home used to belong to some foreign diplomat. The captain said you used to see guards with big weapons.

 Beach goers
Then I went downtown to the fabric district. Always fun! Got some fabric, trim, beads etc.
And the coolest thing, The Mexican restaurants had Protein bowls or Plates of protein! It was awesome to just order off the menu and be able to stay on my diet. I didn't have to hold anything but the cheese on this plate.
The next day, I went to the Mission San Juan Capistrano. It was very nice. That's the mission where the swallows come to nest every year in the spring. They had some beautiful water lilies in bloom, nice exhibits and a great gift shop!


Swallows nests

The oldest church in California

These are the ruins of the great stone church first built. A few years after if was built, there was an earthquake during services. The roof fell in and several people lost their lives.

 And finally, I stopped at the Richard Nixon Birthplace and Presidential Library in Yorba Linda. It was really very interesting. I could have spent a long time there, but I didn't read everything in detail. But I still very much enjoyed it. President Nixon's parents bought 9.5 acres in Yorba Linda for a citrus orchard. His dad built their home from a kit house. They lived there for about 10 years and then moved to Whittier, California.

Childhood home

 All items are actually from the Nixon's childhood home.
 Nixon's parents.
 The Nixon boys. Richard Nixon is second from the end.

 Lady bird Johnson's official White House china.

 There was a great exhibit of Madeleine Albright's pins, with photos of her wearing them and the message she was sending to the various leaders she met. It was great! No photos were allowed though.

 Blurry, but this is called the hall of leaders and it was folks that Nixon mostly worked with from around the world in his career. He chose who would be represented. I was surprised as I walked among them how short they all were. The only really tall one was Charles DE Gaulle.

 Lots of amazing gifts from around the world. This set was from the Shah of Iran.

 I was quite impressed by the display of Nixon's work with China. The Panda program wouldn't have happened if Nixon hadn't open China.
 Nixon and Mao.
 Jade horses.
 Actual segment of the Berlin Wall
 Earrings from the King of Saudi Arabia
 Presidential limo.
It was a fun fun trip!