"Touring" is such a plummy word, and we're betting it is 100-percent Mom approved; after all, it implies that people are out, learning things, seeing things, soaking in sun and culture and ideas and sights, and they are not teasing their smaller siblings or creating mischief. Moms always like things that do several things at once.
That's why a tour for Mother's Day is as right as buttercream frosting on a vanilla cake -- it just works. Here are three we're liking for Sunday, May 10:
QUEEN ANNE COTTAGE: If you watched two minutes of television back in the 1970s or early '80s, there's a good chance you were watching "Fantasy Island"; Mr. Rourke, so very debonair. The famous house in every opening shot is real, and is located on the grounds of the Los Angeles Arboretum. Tours of the house, in addition to other nearby structures, are free (with Arboretum admission) on Mother's Day. If Mom was a Ricardo Montalban fan, and loves her old houses, we think our work here is done. May 10, 10AM-4PM. Arcadia. 626-821-3222
MONROVIA HOUSE TOUR: It's been a Mother's Day tradition in this historic San Gabe nabe (we did) for nearly three decades, and it just seems to attract more house-fanciers with each passing year. Which is understandable, because those Craftsman-y abodes, with their inlaid wood and their river stone and their pretty porches, are gor-ge-ous. Three syllables. Every friend we know, practically, has taken her mom on this one. We're only exaggerating a little bit. Sunday, May 10, 10AM-4PM. Monrovia
MOCA: Maybe your mom is less about stopping before pretty flowers/houses and sighing, and more Cy Twombly (so many moms are both, actually). MOCA Grand Avenue is hosting a big Mother's Day strut through the galleries. People are on hand to explain, answer questions, etc, and there's a pretty cafe there, too. Chardonnay for Mother's Day? Yes. Sunday, May 10, 2PM. MOCA Grand Avenue