Snack Trek: GETTY VILLA PICNIC- The Villa

Taking pictures of Lauren taking pictures. Not creepy at all.

At last, we’ve reached part 3 of 3! Of course the food of the picnic was excellent, but the setting was a major factor in the wonderfulness of the day. I adore the Getty Villa. It’s built in the style of an ancient Greek villa. Yes, please!

When I was in sixth grade we studied Greek & Roman Mythology for… in my memory, it was months and months of our history curriculum. There were definitely lots of art projects involved. I became a bit obsessed with the gods & goddesses. I read The Odyssey in 9th grade, and again in college. There’s something about the epic-ness of those stories. They’ve just stayed with me.

So it’s really cool to get to hang out in a place that’s all about Greek & Roman mythology, and also makes you feel like you took a time machine back to where it all started.

While we were walking around the Villa in a post-picnic semi-food coma, I noticed that there are a lot of food-elements to the space. Maybe that’s because a real Greek villa would have needed to grow its own food, and it also makes sense to have edible elements on the grounds, for snacking– grapes, pomegranates, etc.

Walking through the herb garden, we noted the gorgeous green basil. Lauren used basil in her bruschetta, and mused that she should grow some of her own. Life imitating lunch. (Our now-dwelling-in-NY friend, Pat– who we’re seeing tomorrow!– used to have basil growing in the window of his LA apartment.)

Yo, basil.

There were grapes growing around the big central pool. They must have been authentic ancient grapes, because I found some that had fallen, and they looked more like blueberries. As a modern person, I demand my Frankengrapes!

Hello, pretty sky.

One thing I love about the Villa is the cutouts in the walls. When I was in Rome, I was kind of obsessed with taking pictures through the cutouts in the ruins. And look what I spied, with my little eye…

When life hands you lemons...

Yep, more food! It’s uncanny, really.

And this ceiling might have been the ancient Greek version of The Daily Binge…

Around here there's a 75% chance of seeing grapes when you look up.

I’m a big fan of cornucopias. They’re basically hilariously shaped picnic baskets, no?

(At this point I went to Souplantation, and it’s PASSPORT TO GREECE month/week/time. Very appropriate!)

I doubt they had glass mason jars at picnics in Greece. They were less about shabby chic, more about GOBLETS.

Prodigious goblet, man.

I adore the colors in that mosaic. It’s part of a fountain that’s located in a little side garden. It seems as if every museum room at the Villa opens out into a beautiful outdoor space. That’s also attributable to the Greek villa design of the place, because back in ye olden days they didn’t have air conditioning. They had to harness the breezes!

The siren song (get it?) of these gardens kept pulling me out of the museum exhibit spaces. This one looked completely magical to me when I first glimpsed it from indoors. The bright light was such a stark difference between the darkened gallery and the sunlit slice of natural beauty. I couldn’t really capture the moment of discovery/revelation in a picture, but… eh, why not try?

The not-so-secret garden.

It’s such a nice palate cleanser to be able to step outside into the sunshine as you pass from one room to the next.

(Am I using food metaphors to describe the museum experience? I would, wouldn’t I?)

And as a former USC student– we love our fountains.

I had a total moment of Malcolm Gladwell fangirl geekout when I realized that this weird AVATAR-looking statue was a probably-forged kouros! (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, drop everything and read “Blink.” And then read “Outliers.” And the other one.)


You don’t need to see a picture of the actual kouros that was standing there. It was not that interesting to me. (It’s in the Flickr album, if you must see it.)

So yeah, such a good day. This may be the most uninteresting post, word-smith wise, because it’s Friday night and I’m wiped. But once again I want to express my gratitude to Lauren and Cole for knowing exactly what would make me super happy, and actually putting it all into action.

And you even gave me a few ideas for my next birthday. On my 25th birthday, I definitely need to rock a castle hat.

The Burger King crown of antiquity.

(They’re actually city walls. Shhh. Nerd-who-reads-the-placards alert!)

Oh, and crazy enough, the Getty blog linked my first post (The Savories). That’s some beautiful cross-promotion. I have no idea how they found me, in this vast blogosphere. But I’m pumped. I highly recommend you visit the Getty Villa. It’s free, other than parking. You just have to make a reservation.

Castle hats for everybody!


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