Day Tripping: Norton Simon Museum + Fair Oaks Pharmacy {Pasadena}

Day Tripping: Norton Simon Museum + Fair Oaks Pharmacy {Pasadena} via LiveHappyLivePretty.com

DEGAS!

An impromptu visit to Pasadena revealed a bevy of delights in the form of old-fashioned ice cream treats and stunning pieces of art from some of my favorite artists. With an afternoon to kill and no specific plans, I set out for Pasadena to try out an old-fashioned ice cream parlor I’d seen a long time ago on the Food Network.

Day Tripping: Norton Simon Museum + Fair Oaks Pharmacy {Pasadena} via LiveHappyLivePretty.com

Fair Oaks Pharmacy is a charming little roadside stop in historic Pasadena filled with candies you definitely wouldn’t find at your local CVS. In addition to being an actual pharmacy, they also are an old-fashioned soda fountain serving up egg creams, rickeys, and malts. I had every intention of going for an old-fashioned treat, but was immediately distracted by a kid eating an ice cream cone. I don’t know what kind of ice cream they’re serving up, but it’s the creamiest I’ve had in awhile and the largest serving too {I went for the cookie dough}. The atmosphere is what really made it special though- vintage Coca-cola items, generational families and stained glass. The best part of my visit? Discovering Choward’s violet mints {if you’re a fan of Rosie Huntington-Whitely & the Violet Files, you know their significance}. When I go back to restock on my violet sweeties I’ll definitely be trying out The Kitchen Sink Challenge… and winning.

Day Tripping: Norton Simon Museum + Fair Oaks Pharmacy {Pasadena} via LiveHappyLivePretty.com

While filling up on ice cream I decided to google things to do in Pasadena. That’s when I came across the Norton Simon Museum… the best museum you’ve never heard of {if you’re like me}. I know about all of the big museums in the surrounding areas {or so I thought!} and love to frequent them, but my search never took me as far as Pasadena. I really lucked out in finding this most amazing of museums.

Day Tripping: Norton Simon Museum + Fair Oaks Pharmacy {Pasadena} via LiveHappyLivePretty.com

The quiet {I went on a Saturday and there was barely a crowd to speak of} museum is tucked into a picturesque corner of Pasadena and covered with shady trees. There is a very good chance that the friendly museum employees outnumbered the patrons. Turns out this hidden gem boasts the largest collection of Impressionist works in Southern California- even more than the Getty!

Day Tripping: Norton Simon Museum + Fair Oaks Pharmacy {Pasadena} via LiveHappyLivePretty.com

Day Tripping: Norton Simon Museum + Fair Oaks Pharmacy {Pasadena} via LiveHappyLivePretty.com

Needless to say, this museum is stunning and stole a place in my heart almost instantaneously with the overwhelming number of Degas bronzes housed just inside the doors. Degas’ bronzes have a bit of controversial air about them as many bronzed replicas do- Athena or The Thinker, anyone? Exactly how many replicas are there? Where is the original? His most famous sculpture {seen in the top picture, at center} is called Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, and is the only sculpture he, himself, publicly showed. {This article is a fascinating read about Degas’ sculptures if you want more.} There are dozens of molds floating about museums around the world and Norton Simon’s collection is most impressive in it’s size and variety. Degas sculptures can be broken into three categories- ballerinas, horses and the female form. My favorite sculptures are of women in the bath- the detail he captured in the shape of their hands and way a woman’s hair falls caught my heart.

Day Tripping: Norton Simon Museum + Fair Oaks Pharmacy {Pasadena} via LiveHappyLivePretty.com

The Norton Simon Museum also houses collections of earlier European Art and Asian Art. I saw everything from early Renaissance religious works to Picasso. The museum is small enough to tackle in a few hours, though I could have easily lounged about and soaked up the magic for the whole day. The museum also features a sculpture garden and pond.

Day Tripping: Norton Simon Museum + Fair Oaks Pharmacy {Pasadena} via LiveHappyLivePretty.com

Day Tripping: Norton Simon Museum + Fair Oaks Pharmacy {Pasadena} via LiveHappyLivePretty.com

There is so much more Pasadena to explore, but if you only have an afternoon, try this combo which is sure to hit the sweet spot.

Live Happy Live Pretty missy xo

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