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The trip to southern California was a very pleasant change from the chilly canals of Amsterdam (although I'd go back to Amsterdam in any month of the year in a heartbeat). I include some information about the wonderful museums to see in California.


A non-Van Gogh recommendation: The Huntington Library (1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, tel. (818) 405-2100): The Huntington Library is an incredible complex which comprises a vast library, art collection and a wonderful series of botanical gardens.

The library boasts some incredible and rare works such as a Gutenberg bible on vellum, a gorgeous "double-elephant" folio edition of Audubon's Birds of America and an amazing collection of the early editions of the works of William Shakespeare.

The art collection is equally impressive. One of the must-see holdings is, in fact, one of the most famous paintings in the world: Gainsborough's Blue Boy. In addition to the large collection are some impressive eighteenth-century French sculpture, tapestries, porcelain and furniture.

Finally, for me the greatest pleasure of my visit to the Huntington was a walk through the incredible and diverse botanical gardens. Throughout the 207 acre grounds you'll find a beautiful Japanese Garden a Zen rock garden, rose and herb gardens and, for my money, the most impressive of all: the Desert Garden which boasts a huge collection of cacti and other succulents. You could easily spend a full day (and more!) on the botanical gardens alone.

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