Off Duty…

… or not. Just this week I explained to a Board member that you are never “off” on this job. You are always building partnerships and relationships, and proliferating and promoting the Museum’s mission.


But there are no rules as to where all this work takes place. You can promote the museum and propagate the mission at house warming parties, which is where Jenica and I headed to on Superbowl weekend. Natalie (former BLM intern who worked at the museum with us)’s family had moved across town in Garden Grove, in the greater LA area. On the drive up the exit signs started to elicit a lot of “LONG BEACH, THE Long Beach?!” from my side of the car.


That weekend, I made the two girls take me to a beach – Huntington Beach – so I could experience California beaches (which were a lot like NJ beaches, but with palm trees and stronger waves) and stick my toes in the ocean. I’ve officially gone coast to coast.


Huntington Beach, CA


Location, Location, Location.


Taking similar advantage of our surroundings on our staff trips to Balboa Park we’ve been learning the history and exploring the buildings. Balboa Park, a 1,200 acre public park, was the home of the 1915 Panama Exhibition (kind of like the World’s Fairs, but celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal). The Exhibition building are now museums, and what exquisitely housed museums they are:


Botanical Gardens, Balboa Park


The Botanical Gardens was this week’s bonus. I think I love that building. Reminds me of the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston (did I ever tell you how I gave tours there at the After Hours event every Third Thursday? I’m pushing for a similar event at the IVDM. I can see it now….Ocotillo blossom champagne cocktails…)


Orchid Display, Botanical Gardens



Another fun detour happened while attending meetings in town and stopped for groceries on the way back to remote Ocotillo. In the Walmart parking lot there was a very conspicuous van on which was written “No cash, food and clothing only”. Having just purchased several bags of crazy discounted chips, I went over to share some with the van inhabitants. Their journey started in Texas and they now ride coast to coast picking up anyone who needs a hand. There are ‘only’ four people living there now, I was told. Can you imagine the relief it must be to be offered a proper meal and place to stay while you are down on your luck? It’s an interesting envelop, but I can respect the work they are doing.


Any one who donates, gets to write on the bus:


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