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A Castle, Fit for a Queen!

Adventures With Attitude!, Day-Dation Ideas!, Every Day is an Adventure, Fabulous After 50, Living a Royal Life, Travel and Adventure

Hearst Castle

We are so blessed to live in Southern California!  There are more places to explore, and more adventures to create than you could ever have time for.  One of our great California treasures, and one which took me FAR too long to go and see is Hearst Castle. I have lived in California almost 40 years and had never been there.

The views from Hearst Castle go on forever. He used to own all of the land from the castle down to the beach. Over 250,000 acres at one time!

The views from Hearst Castle go on forever. He used to own all of the land from the castle down to the beach. Over 250,000 acres at one time!

A few months ago, Don and I took one of our little adventures, flew up to San Jose, and spent a few days driving back home down the coast.  Our main stop was Hearst Castle, which we took 2 full days to explore. I loved every minute of it!  My only disappointment was that I can’t make it my own “personal” castle!  After all, every Queen needs a castle, right? (Perhaps if we all petitioned the state they might consider it????)

I truly believe in “Living a Royal Life!”  Well, it seems that Mr. Hearst had it down to a science!  The decadence and opulence of Hearst Castle is unrivaled, especially here in the United States!

The drive from San Diego to Hearst Castle is a beautiful one. We always make every little trip like this an adventure, exploring along the way. We stop on a whim when something catches our eye.  Fewer plans and more spontaneity make life far more interesting, in my opinion!

When you approach San Simeon, the ocean is on one side of the highway and far, far up the hill you will see the castle.  The day we arrived, in the field next to the highway were some of the zebras, decedents left from the Hearst menagerie that he kept many years ago.

I loved hearing some of the stories about the guests who frequented San Simeon, and some of the strange “quirks” that were passed on about William Randolph Hearst! I just eat it up!  I love it when you have a docent who has taken the time to find out every nugget they can, and shares it with passion! It makes a place like this come to life!

In front of Hearst Castle. I can only imagine how exciting it would have been to be a guest there back in the day!

In front of Hearst Castle. I can only imagine how exciting it would have been to be a guest there back in the day!

If you are a history buff, the history behind Hearst Castle, also known as San Simeon is fascinating! Check it out here! 

Planning Your Trip

We had to buy the cheesy tourist photo, right???

We had to buy the cheesy tourist photo, right???

There are hotels located on the beach, across the street from Hearst Castle. If you plan to have a full day, or even a few days of touring the castle, this is a convenient way to go.  The Castle is located in about the middle of nowhere, so driving back and forth to other hotels can be time consuming. Cambria and Morro Bay are about a half hours’ drive away – and you will find some more charming places to stay there, if you are willing to drive. We spent a few days in Cambria after our tour of San Simeon.

My man in the library! Such a masculine room! I just loved the feel of it!

My man in the library! Such a masculine room! I just loved the feel of it!

We took two full days to see the castle, enjoying two different tours each day.  As it turned out, it would have cost us almost exactly the same had we decided to do a private tour.  We then could have probably seen the whole castle in one day.  I would definitely recommend that you see as much of it as possible, because ALL of it is so interesting and fabulous! It is well worth the time and money spent. You can’t go wrong with one, or two, or four or more of these tours! 

Hearst Castle Sculpture

One of the many beautiful sculptures on the grounds of San Simeon

There are occasional evening tours, where the docents dress in 1930’s period clothing.  I plan to go back for one of those tours in the future. (Of course, you know me- I would be sure that Don and I were also in period clothing! ANYTHING for a costume!)

The artwork and collections that are on the grounds and throughout the castle are just unbelievable!  SO worth the trip!  I would suggest that if you can travel there when it isn’t peak tourist season (summer months) you will have the best experience, since it won’t be as crowded. The castle isn’t air conditioned, so it can be warm during the hot months.

You dont realize how large Hearst Castle really is, until you see the proportion of us next to the front door!

You don’t realize how large Hearst Castle really is, until you see the proportion of us next to the front door!

If you live in California, and haven’t taken the time to go and see it for yourself, you really need to do it.  It is an amazingly interesting and beautiful attraction! Personally, I can’t wait to go back and see it again!

Look at the detail in this room and in the ceiling! It is just amazing what was put into this castle!

Look at the detail in this room and in the ceiling! It is just amazing what was put into this castle!

Faster Than A Jet On Takeoff……

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Photo credit, Matt Ben Stone Photography

Denise Mueller-Korenek                                                                                                     Photo credit, Matt Ben Stone Photography

Faster Than a Jet on Takeoff!

I recently joined my local Soroptimist Club. Before joining, I knew a handful of the women in the club, and they were all women I admired and thought highly of.  When I attended my first meeting, was I impressed to learn that one of the members had set a world record for speed on a bicycle.

Just the weekend before I met Denise Mueller-Korenek, Don and I had rented electric bikes and took a ride around Mission Bay in San Diego for a few hours.  I had managed to take a spill on the bike, when I was stopping to talk to Don, and had basically scraped the crap out of my body.  After my fall, going about  12 miles per hour on the bikes had me scared spitless! All I could think of was the damage that could be done to my body if I fell while going “full speed!”  It had me as nervous as a mouse in a cathouse!

So….. imagine what I thought when I heard that Denise had broken “land speed records” on a bike!  I figured she had gone maybe as fast as 40 miles and hour or something!  No. She hadn’t gone 40 miles an hour.  Not even 50 miles an hour.  She had gone 183.9 miles per hour.  On a bike. WHAT??????

In my wildest imagination, I can’t even begin to think what it would be like to go that speed on a bicycle!  183 MPH is faster than the takeoff speed of a JET!  And all she had to protect her beautiful limbs and head during the process were a leather riding suit and a helmet!

An Awe-Inspiring Woman!

The first thing I thought when I met Denise is that I need to get to know this woman better, and I have to do an interview with her for my blog!  Talk about “Leading a Royal Life!”  This is a woman who isn’t sitting back waiting for life to give her an adventure!  She has taken adventure by the balls, and given them a big SQUEEZE!

Denise agreed to sit down with me and explain HOW it is that a woman goes God-danged near the speed of light, on a bicycle!

When Denise broke the world speed record for a bike on September 16, 2018 it was far from the first impressive goal she had set for herself, or- for that matter, the first world record she had broken! Not by any means!  Denise started competing and earning titles in racing bikes when she was 14 years old.  The minute she tried downhill mountain bike racing she was hooked and went on to earn the Silver medal in the Junior World Championships in 1991. When she hit 19 she stopped competing, and basically didn’t even get on a bike again throughout the years that she married and raised her 3 boys.

The Sign at Bonnevile Flats Photo credit Matt Ben Stone Photography

The Sign at Bonnevile Salt Flats                                                                                                                  Photo credit Matt Ben Stone Photography

The Competitive Bug Bites Again

When Denise was raising her boys, she realized the only way she could consistently get a workout in was when she went to a 5 AM class.  It was at that class that she met 3 women who were training to compete in the San Diego Rock & Roll marathon.  Denise and some others decided to go and support their friends, and that’s when the ” competitive bug” hit Denise once again. She decided that she would compete in the 2010 marathon with her middle son.

I guess the saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” has more truth to it than you might imagine, because her son Michael Boever decided he wanted to run 19 1/2 marathons that year at the age of 16. Setting, and achieving goals obviously runs in the blood with this family!

That followed up with Denise running 1/2 marathons with all 3 of her sons within 3 years.

In 2012 Denise ran into her old cycling coach, John Howard, and he told her he’d love to see her participate in a charity event.  Denise hadn’t been on a bike in nearly 20 years, but agreed to do it.

The athlete on her bike. Photo credit Jinna Albright Photography

The athlete on her bike.                                                                                                                                   Photo credit: Jinna Albright Photography

That’s when the “bug” hit her again. Denise planned to break a record in 2016 when she was being towed behind a Range Rover at the Bonneville flats. Unfortunately, after training intensively for 2 years, the last day she was to compete it rained.  At this point, although she had already achieved a  1st ever Women’s record at 147.7 mph, she knew she could do even better! Instinctively, she immediately announced, “We are coming back next year to do this.” (Just as this 2018 record , a distinction needs to be made between being towed to start pedaling vs being towed the whole way.  Some people think she was towed the whole way, which is not true.  She needs to be towed only to be able to turn the large gear over herself,  then she continues increasing speed unattached, but “surfing” the draft of air.)

That wasn’t to be, however, because her sponsor let her know that they couldn’t provide the Range Rover again in 2017, so she had to come up with “Plan B.”  Plan B was to beat the world speed record set by Fred Rompelberg in 1995, which had stood for 23 years.  His speed had been 166.9 MPH. And she would do it behind the same vehicle that Fred had used.  The vehicle required extensive rehabilitation, having not been used for a long time. Denise and her team worked to get her, and the vehicle “up to speed” (no pun intended) so she could compete at Bonneville in September 2018.  With her specially equipped bike, her coach John Howard and race car driver Shea Holbrook they were ready to go for the record breaking ride of a lifetime.

Shea Holbrook, who drove the race car, poses with Denise. Photo credit, Jinna Albright Photography

Shea Holbrook, who drove the race car, poses with Denise.                                                                  Photo credit, Jinna Albright Photography

Denise explained the way it worked. She had to be pulled behind the special vehicle until they got up to a speed of 110 MPH, then she unhooked from the car and rode in the airstream, pedaling until she hit the 183.9 average speed.  Denise’s son was driving the vehicle that followed to pick her up after the ride. Her husband, Chris followed in another sponsor vehicle from Optec to pick up the race car at the end.

Mueller-Korenek told me what it was like when her son came up beside her, doing a facebook live and told her that they had determined her speed at over 183 MPH. All they planned to do was 170 MPH to beat the record previously set by Rompelberg.  Denise said she screamed “WHAT?” when she was told the speed she had hit.

The breaking of a world speed record... Photo credit, Matt Ben Stone Photography

The breaking of a world speed record…                                                                                                   Photo credit: Matt Ben Stone Photography

As she explained it to me, she was going the  average of 1 football field per second, behind the “cup” of the vehicle in front of her.  All she was concentrating on was staying upright and pedaling her fastest. There was no way she could take even a moment to look at her speedometer.

Think about that speed. Think for a moment what would happen if you lost your balance, while going over sand at that momentum.  Personally, although I am pretty much of a daredevil, I can’t even begin to think of the consequences of one slight misjudgment in timing.

There is no “practice” for this type of endeavor.  It’s a one shot event.  Denise prepped physically. She prepped mentally.  But she didn’t get to go to the Bonneville Salt Flats and give it a test run.  Unimaginable!

When I asked Denise what her family thought about her doing this, she said she had their support, because the whole family was used to setting goals and meeting them. She had done it numerous times, her sons had done it with their marathons and other goals, and it just didn’t occur to any of them she wouldn’t achieve the goal.

Denise at the Bonneville flats! She believed she could do it, and she did!

Denise at the Bonneville Salt Flats! She believed she could do it, and she did!                                Photo Credit: Matt Ben Stone Photography

What an inspiring story!  A 45 year old woman breaking a world speed record!  This isn’t a 20 something athlete, this is a mom of people in their 20’s!

What’s Next?

What happens now?  I’d think that if you accomplished what Denise has accomplished that would be enough. But I was  wrong in that assumption. After taking a few months off, Denise is now training to break a record on a special type of bike.  A “Faring Pod.”  This is a recumbent bike, completely encased within a “pod.” The one that Denise will compete in doesn’t even have a window.  You look at a video screen to see where you are going.  The current women’s record is set at 75.6.  Somehow, I don’t think that record will stand on the books for very long!  There is only one place where they run this race in the country.  On a special “road” in Nevada.  Denise plans to go there to break the record this September.  I don’t doubt for a minute that it will happen, do you?

When we give excuses about why we can’t accomplish one of our goals, we need to look at what this awe inspiring woman has accomplished.  She has overcome many of the excuses we constantly tell ourselves.  I’m too old.  It can’t be done.  I’m not as good a another person.  I don’t have the time.  I don’t have the resources. We all use these excuses day in and day out.  Yet Denise didn’t listen to those excuses.  She just decided she would, she could and she did.

What unachievable goal can you set for yourself?

Photo credit: David Kamatoy

An amazing goal is achieved!                                                                                                                                            Photo credit: David Kamatoy

Spring in Holland….

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Spring in Holland

From the time we are small children, most of us associate tulips and wooden shoes with Holland. For the tulips alone Holland is worth visiting.  But there is SO much more to make a trip to Holland worthwhile!

Amazing Amsterdam

Amsterdam is such a beautiful city. Different than almost any city you will ever see, with few buildings taller than 4 stories. The buildings are lined up along the canals, and the architecture is so quaint and stunning in its simplicity.

We tied a 5 night stay in Amsterdam into another trip we had planned to West Africa.  Two VERY different places, two very different experiences, believe me!  But, we decided that on the way to our West African cruise we would take some time to “stop and smell the flowers.” So, that is exactly what we did!

There is a reason that First Class cost so much! Your own little "pod", Champagne or Mimosa in a real glass) before take off, a real pillow and a chair that turns into a bed.....Yep. A reason for First Class!

There is a reason that First Class cost so much! Your own little “pod”, Champagne or Mimosa in a real glass) before take off, a real pillow and a chair that turns into a bed…..Yep. A reason for First Class!

We had a flight that would get us into Amsterdam in the early morning hours.  Our hotel was The Grand Amsterdam Hotel. When we arrived they accommodated us checking into our  room by mid-morning, so that we could get settled before starting our sight-seeing. What a fabulous, and history rich hotel!  It was a convent in the 15th century, then housed royalty for a period of time before becoming City Hall for nearly a century.

The hotel we stayed in was beautiful, and they had amazing flower arrangements everywhere. I look a bit like a homeless woman, because it was quite a bit colder than I was expecting while we were there, and we were going on to 16 days in Africa, where the weather was really hot, so my combinations werent going to win any fashion awards!

The hotel we stayed in was beautiful, and they had amazing flower arrangements everywhere. I look a bit like a homeless woman, because it was quite a bit colder than I was expecting while we were there, and we were going on to 16 days in Africa, where the weather was really hot, so my combinations weren’t going to win any fashion awards!

From the minute you pull through the entry gate you feel the elegance and attention to detail.  The hotel is built around a courtyard, and in the middle of the courtyard is an antique cart, which was laden with tulips. Throughout the hotel were beautiful flower arrangements, cozy little sitting areas, terraces and gardens to enjoy, a lovely restaurant to enjoy breakfast or lunch and so much more.

Part of the lovely display in the courtyard entry to The Grand Amsterdam Hotel where we stayed.

Part of the lovely display in the courtyard entry to The Grand Amsterdam Hotel where we stayed.

This replica of The Grand Amsterdam Hotel was ceramic and part of the display out in the entry courtyard.

This replica of The Grand Amsterdam Hotel was made from ceramic and tile, and part of the display out in the entry courtyard. It was just gorgeous!

Since there was so much rich history in our hotel alone, we took a tour of the hotel one morning with one of the hotel employees. We got to see so much more of the hotel than we would have been able to without the tour! It was well worth our time! We got to see a small “chapel” with some of the most beautiful stained glass windows you have ever seen! Everything in the room was designed to continue the stories from the bible which were symbolized in the windows.

Our hotel had quite a bit of interesting history. It had been a convent for many years, then was the City Hall. These windows were part of an original chapel and all represent biblical stories. It was really stunningly beautiful!

Our hotel had quite a bit of interesting history. It had been a convent for many years, then was the City Hall. These windows were part of an original chapel and all represent biblical stories. It was really stunningly beautiful!

The whole hotel recently went through a freshening up, and I would recommend it to anyone traveling to Amsterdam. There wasn’t a detail overlooked in the whole hotel.   The Grand Amsterdam is only blocks from The Red Light District. Don’t let this little fact concern you however!  In America we would assume The Red Light District to be seedy and dangerous.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  Soon after our return from Amsterdam I wrote an article on their Red Light District.  I invite you to check it out here if you missed it!  

Live and Let Live!

The whole city of Amsterdam has the basic attitude that what you do is your business, what I do is my business.  There is very little crime, (beyond bicycle thefts- they are rampant!) and I felt very safe the whole time we were there. We were actually told that Holland has closed down a number of their prisons, because crime is so low there.

Pots of flowers are throughout the city, in plant boxes across canals and in large containers along the streets. It is just beautiful!

It’s funny, isn’t it that the first thing EVERYONE seems to ask about the beautiful city of Amsterdam is if you went to the Red Light District……..  That says a little something about Americans! To answer the question, Yes, of course we checked out the Red Light District, our first day there.  It is very interesting, to say the least.  My favorite part of the area was a dress shop I saw the first evening, which carried beautiful “vintage style” clothing, most specifically, the 50’s type of swing dresses that I love to dance in.  Let’s just say, after we visited there the next day, another suitcase had to be implemented for the rest of the trip!

Patti in front of some of the windows in the Red Light District. You may not take pictures of any of the women if they are in the windows. The police will get involved and you will lost your camera!

Patti in front of some of the windows in the Red Light District. You may not take pictures of any of the women if they are in the windows. The police will get involved and you will lost your camera! The “closed curtain” means that the lady is currently “occupied” and unavailable at that time.

Playing Tourist in Amsterdam

You will find Amsterdam has a little something for everyone! There are numerous fascinating museums, including the famous Anne Frank house, the Van Gogh Museum , Rijksmuseum, and many more.  We were unable to get into the Anne Frank house.  It is very small, and tickets were sold out nearly 4 months before our trip for the time we were there! I was really disappointed! So my big tip for you, if you plan to go to Amsterdam, get your ticket FAR in advance!

There are a number of companies that do boat tours through the canals.  It is well worthwhile to take one of them.  You get to see the lovely architecture that Amsterdam is so famous for, you go right by the Anne Frank house and many of the other attractions you wouldn’t want to miss, and can’t cover by foot. The one we took stopped a few times and let you get off and take photos.

This photo is a perfect synopsis of Amsterdam. The beautiful 3 and 4 story architecture, the canal and bikes pretty much sum up most of what Amsterdam is made up of..... the only thing really missing are the beautiful flowers, the Red Light District and the "Coffee Houses!

This photo is a perfect synopsis of Amsterdam. The beautiful 3 and 4 story architecture, the canal and bikes pretty much sum up most of what Amsterdam is made up of….. the only thing really missing are the beautiful flowers, the Red Light District and the “Coffee Houses!

Dam Square is another famous site in Amsterdam and it  houses the Royal Palace, still in use today.  Free Walking Tours are available, but you need to try to book early, or you may not be accommodated. There is quite a lot to see around the square, so it is well worthwhile!

What many people aren’t aware of in Amsterdam is how many BIKES there are everywhere!  There are actually many more bikes than there are people in Amsterdam, and there are multilevel parking structures throughout the city where only bikes are parked! It’s quite a site to see so many bikes in one place!

When we think of Holland, one of the first things most everyone thinks of is Tulips! As I said, there are flowers throughout the city, but if you REALLY want to see masses of tulips and spring bulb  flowers, you’ll need to take a little trip outside the city.

This picture is a great example of how much the shape and size of tulips can vary!

This picture is a great example of how much the shape and size of tulips can vary!

Keukenhof Gardens

Two fabulous places are the Flower Auctions or the Keukenhof Gardens. Don’t even THINK of visiting without going to Keukenhof if it is in season!  It is EVERYTHING you would expect, and then some! I could literally post hundreds of photos of the different flowers we got to experience while we were there!

Explaining Keukenhof is nearly impossible. Every year they plant more than 7 MILLION bulbs, and the flower beds are laid out differently each and every year.  There are over 800 different types of tulips alone in the gardens. Who could imagine that tulips could come in so man different shapes, sizes, colors and textures? There are, in addition to the flowerbeds, buildings that house new species of tulips, and specialty flowers,–such as Orchids.  Keukenhof is truly spectacular, to say the least.

There was a whole building, just for Orchids. They had displays in there that were probably 25 feet high!

There was a whole building, just for Orchids. They had displays in there that were probably 25 feet high!

We took a seat for a moment in one of the buildings where the new species of tulips are displayed. You can't begin to cover the Keukenhof in one day!

We took a seat for a moment in one of the buildings where the new species of tulips are displayed. You can’t begin to cover the Keukenhof in one day!

This woman was supposed to represent a character from a well known Dutch child's book. Her costume was just beautiful!

This woman was supposed to represent a character from a well known Dutch child’s book. Her costume was just beautiful!

 

The darker purple flowers looked just like our Iris', but they were only about 5 or 6" tall. Their name plates, however, said they were a type of TULIP! They looked exactly like short Iris' to my untrained eye!

The darker purple flowers looked just like our Iris’, but they were only about 5 or 6″ tall. Their name plates, however, said they were a type of TULIP! They looked exactly like short Iris’ to my untrained eye!

“Old Holland”

Another lovely day trip, which I would highly recommend to anyone is to go to “Old Holland.”  The small villages of Marken and Volendam are quaint and charming, and give you a real taste of what it might have been like many years ago, with the windmills, cheese factories and wooden shoes still being made by hand.  My only complaint with the tour we took is there just wasn’t enough time to take in all of the villages, and what they had to offer! I truly wished I could have set our own pace to see the different lifestyle that is still a part of Old Holland.

We got to see firsthand how wooden shoes were, and still are, hand made. In Old Holland we actually saw a few of the villagers still wearing them.

We got to see firsthand how wooden shoes were, and still are, hand made. In Old Holland we actually saw a few of the villagers still wearing them.

We got to tour a few of the old windmills, some which are still being used today.

We got to tour a few of the old windmills, some which are still being used today.

This was in front of one of the charming homes in Volendam.

This was in front of one of the charming homes in Volendam.

Though we had 5 days in Amsterdam, we didn’t begin to see and do all that the area offered.  It would be easy to  stay for a month and feel as though it wasn’t long enough. I hardly touch the tip of the iceberg in this little article about Amsterdam. I could post enough photos, and give you so much more information that you would be reading for days!

I didn’t even discuss some of the fabulous food we had while we were there!  One evening we were just out strolling and stumbled upon a lovely restaurant in an alleyway.  It turned out to be a “locals favorite” and was both delicious and charming! There is just too much that is fabulous about this city!

If you plan to take a trip to Amsterdam, check out  this article about 50 things to see while you are there. They are all well worthwhile!

Bodacious Blooms & Bountiful Butterflies

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Spring Has SPRUNG in Southern California!

The California Poppies at Lake Elsinore stretched as far as the eye could see!

The California Poppies at Lake Elsinore stretched as far as the eye could see!

When you live in Southern California, you become spoiled by the weather.  I’m not kidding when I tell you, if the temperature gets below 70 degrees, or above 79 degrees, most of us will be complaining, one way or the other!  It’s been a much needed rainy winter.  We need the rain, but still….many of us complain.  You know the old saying, April showers bring May flowers?  Kind of true, with a little “tweaking.”  Spring comes a bit earlier here in Southern California than it does in other parts of the country. By the time May gets here, spring will be finished and we will be experiencing “May Gray.”

This shows that the mix of flowers, which from a distance look like a solid mass of orange poppies, are actually a mix of poppies, mustard, popcorn flowers, California bluebells and lupines! What a beautiful bouquet they make!

This shows that the mix of flowers, which from a distance look like a solid mass of orange poppies, are actually a mix of poppies, mustard, popcorn flowers, California bluebells and lupines! What a beautiful bouquet they make!

This spring has been like no other I have seen in Southern California in my 40+ years of living here!  The super-blooms are everywhere and the migration of the butterflies has been amazing! People attribute it to our rainy winter, but I’m telling you folks, I’ve lived here through some rainy Southern California winters.  I’ve lived here through our “El Ninos.”  I’ve never seen either of these phenomenons like I’ve seen them this year.

Sitting among the flowers! (No flowers were trampled in taking this photo! I am on a pathway, although you can't see it!)

Sitting among the flowers! (No flowers were trampled in taking this photo! I am on a pathway, although you can’t see it!)

We who live in San Diego county are probably the luckiest people on earth!  Within 90 minutes driving time,  I can currently see the poppy super-bloom in Lake Elsinore, go skiing in Big Bear, enjoy the fragrance of the Lilacs in Julian,  savor the desert flowers in the Anza-Borrego Desert or relax with a book at our lovely sandy beaches, before the tourist fill them up for the summer.  It is incredible how many visual delights we are able to experience within such a short distance!

The Poppy Apocalypse!

The hillsides in Southern California are a kaleidoscope of colors right now!

The hillsides in Southern California are a kaleidoscope of colors right now!

This past Wednesday, Don and I had one of our “Date-Daytions” where we take the day off and go play.  (If you don’t know what a Date-Daytion is, I suggest you check out my previous article, What the Heck is a Date-Daytion? which explains them!)

Don and Me, taking time to "smell the flowers" on one of our Date-Daytions!

Don and Me, taking time to “smell the flowers” on one of our Date-Daytions!

We decided to head toward Lake Elsinore to see the “super-bloom of the California Poppies, because we had heard so many people oohing and aahing over it! They weren’t exaggerating!  The brilliance of the poppies on the hillsides are unbelievable!  From a distance, all you see are bright orange hillsides, but when you get in close proximity, you realize that they aren’t just made up of the brilliant California Poppies, but there are also Lupines, California Bluebells, Popcorn Flowers and Wild Mustard.

Although the picture didn't really pick it up, the reason I took this picture is that when you looked at this hillside there were patches of lime green, mint green, seafoam, thaos blue and other blues! The colors in nature were unbelievable!

Although the picture didn’t really pick it up, the reason I took this picture is that when you looked at this hillside there were patches of lime green, mint green, sea-foam, thaos blue and other blues! The colors in nature were unbelievable! The pictures of this super-bloom just doesn’t do it justice!  When you see it in person it is absolutely breath taking!

I was glad we went on Wednesday, because the traffic around the area was a bit crazy mid-week.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like on the weekend!  There were actually articles referring to this weekend’s viewing as The Poppy Apocalypse!  

Weeding through the traffic and hoards of people proved to be well worth it, however!  When we got near Walker Canyon, we were left almost breathless from the endless beauty!  We were also pleasantly surprised to see bridal couples having photos done, engagement and family photos being taken, and artists set up catching the beauty with their paintbrushes!  I does my heart good to see so many people taking the time to enjoy the natural assets Southern California has to offer! Our society has become so busy, and our noses are often so planted in our cellphones!  It’s wonderful to know people are taking the time to “smell the flowers!”

The poppies are so delicate looking when you see them up close!

The poppies are so delicate looking when you see them up close!

This couple was having photos taken on one of the hillsides. Don't ask me how she got up there in that dress, but what beautiful photos she will end up with! I couldn't help but wonder if the wedding had already taken place, or was set for a future date, as I doubt it was actually their wedding day on a Wednesday afternoon!

This couple was having photos taken on one of the hillsides. Don’t ask me how she got up there in that dress, but what beautiful photos she will end up with! I couldn’t help but wonder if the wedding had already taken place, or was set for a future date, as I doubt it was actually their wedding day on a Wednesday afternoon!

Butterflies “On a Mission!”

One of the other phenomenons that we have experienced this past week was a migration of Painted Lady butterflies.  (When I told my daughter they were called Painted Ladies, she said it sounded like the name of a strip club!  Kinda’ does, right? “Hey honey, the guys and I are off to The Painted Lady for  few drinks”……. )

Painted Ladies, for those of you who aren’t familiar with them, look like tiny Monarch Butterflies. The coloring is very similar.  This week they were migrating up from Mexico, and our skies were filled with them.  Don’t picture a sky full of meandering butterflies landing on your flowers, floating about your yard.  This isn’t what it was like at all!   Picture instead, “butterflies on a mission!” Each and every butterfly you saw was flying north at top speed!  Zip, zip, zip- they were moving like they were in the race of a lifetime! It was just crazy! I guess that when you only live a few weeks, you have to move fast to accomplish your migration!  No stopping to smell the roses for these ladies! They would come, en mass across my street, up my driveway and right over my house at the speed of lightning it seemed! Every intersection and freeway had them darting across by the hundreds, right in the middle of traffic! So many of my friends were posting how sad they were that they felt they had killed dozens of butterflies when they were driving!  It was the craziest thing you have ever seen!  Unfortunately, getting a good picture of them, where you could really get a feel for the number of butterflies was difficult.  They just didn’t really show up well. The attached article explains about the Painted Ladies, and also has a lovely video of the Poppy superbloom! It’s worth checking out!

The Desert is in Bloom!

The Borrego desert is in bloom! It is amazing the many different flowers you can see there!

The Borrego desert is in bloom! It is amazing the many different flowers you can see there!

We haven’t gotten out to the Borrego Desert yet this season, but last year we made a day trip of it and enjoyed the beauty of the desert flowers.  My friend, Adam Snider went out there just a few days ago, and shared some of his pictures with me. He is an avid hiker, and said that due to this year’s rainfall there are plants blooming that haven’t bloomed in many years! Every time you go, you are sure to see something different!

My friend Adam shared a few of his photos from his trip to Borrego this weekend. There are plants blooming this year that haven't bloomed in years!

My friend Adam shared a few of his photos from his trip to Borrego this weekend. There are plants blooming this year that haven’t bloomed in years!

If you haven’t ever taken the time to do so, it’s well worth it. When we went,  I was amazed how you could see one type of flower in one area, go 1 or 2 miles up the road and experience a whole different type of cactus’, flora and fauna!  This is not something you can enjoy from the car.  You MUST get out to see the many types of tiny little flowers you can’t even see with the naked eye while you are driving by!

Close up of a desert Lily

Close up of a desert Lily

Julian’s Lovely Lilacs

Nearby Julian has its own beauty to enjoy! People often think of going to Julian in the fall when the apples are ripe.  It’s too darn crowded there then for me.  I prefer spring in Julian!  Being a “mid-west” girl, one of the things I love, and miss dearly are spring Lilacs, daffodils and crocus’. Julian is just the place to get your “lilac” fix.  You can usually see the lilacs starting about the 3rd week in March, through the first week or so of April. Unfortunately, the past few years I have seen a lot less lilacs in Julian, because there has become such a demand for people to sell their lilacs to the flower stands in the San Diego area.  (If you try really hard you can imagine my sad little face about this detail!)  I remember that I used to drive up to Julian and you could find large bushes of lilacs, full of blooms just outside of town.  No longer!  Now if you want to bring some lilacs home, you are most likely going to be buying them. Lilacs are expensive, and only last 2 or 3 days once they are cut!  Even so, it’s a great day, driving to Julian, seeing (and smelling) the lilacs, enjoying a bit of their apple pie, seeing the coastal live oaks and driving home. Another “bonus” is that Julian is close enough to the Borrego desert that you can go and see both in the same day if you choose to make a day of it!

Yes, we spend a lot to live here, but I don’t know too many places in the country where they can find the diversity of beauty that we have at our finger tips!  If you live in Southern California, take some time to enjoy the beauty that is ours for the taking- just minutes away!

What the Heck is a Date-Daytion?

Adventures With Attitude!, Day-Dation Ideas!, Every Day is an Adventure, Everyday Magic!, Fabulous After 50, Family Time, Living a Royal Life, My Humble Opinion, Out and About, Sexy After 60!, Travel and Adventure

Day-Dations.  What are they?

You’ve heard of “stay-cations” right?  Of course you have.  It’s a vacation where you stay home, or at least stay near home for a little “relaxation.” Therefore – it becomes a stay-cation.  My man and I not only take as many darned VACATIONS as possible, and we also take an occasional stay-cation.  One of our fun little relationship secrets, however, are our “date-daytions.” (I’m thinking of copywriting this word, cause it’s a good one!) -day long dates where we explore, reconnect and have a fabulous adventure. (Check out a suggested list of Day-daytion ideas below!) By taking the time to connect I feel like not only are we doing fun things together but also growing our relationship. I am truly “Living a Royal Life.”  The kind of rich life I wish for all my friends.

If you are in a relationship, I highly recommend making sure to take the time to do these little “getaways.”  I know with the busy schedules we all have it can be hard to do, and  finances can be tight.  But in our area of Southern California there are SO many things you can do for FREE!  Be innovative, be creative!  (If you live somewhere other than Southern California I’m sure that your area has a lot of freebies there too, if you just take time to check them out!)

If you aren’t in a relationship———- don’t use that as an excuse to stop reading!  You are going to find some great ideas you can do with a friend, your family members, your kids……… WHATEVER!  I am full of it……. I mean them. Good ideas!  Keep reading.  You’ll see!

Staying Connected…

Carving out the time is UBER important if you want to stay connected. That’s just my humble opinion.  Not that I’m a relationship expert. My marriage track-record might prove that….  On the other hand, Barbara DeAngelis, who is supposed to be a “relationship expert”  and has written 15 books on relationships, has been married at least 4 times! She’s got me beat!  (Maybe I AM a realtionship expert, who knows?)  Take my advice for what you will.  What I will say is that my man and I have an amazing time together! we love to explore and we look forward to every adventure we have!

Back to date-daytions…….We try to do one almost weekly.  We had a FABULOUS one recently! (But then, they are all fabulous, because we love our little adventures!)  My daughter and her love were going out of town and had to fly out of LAX. We got up WAY before the crack of dawn, because if you’ve driven from North San Diego County to Los Angeles, you know you have NO IDEA how long the drive could take. Especially when you need to be at the airport at 9:30 in the morning. Better early than a missed flight, so we were on the road at 5:45 AM.  Lucky for us, we got up to the vicinity of the airport with more than enough time to spare, and had time to have breakfast together before they departed. Kind of a bit of “bonus” family time!

We had already decided we would go to the Getty Villa and explore while we were up there, but as we got near it, we realized we were both EXHAUSTED, and it was only mid-morning……. so we made the decision to get massages before we hit the museum.  I checked Yelp. found a few places nearby, and we were lucky enough that one about 10 minutes away- with great 4 star ratings had openings for both of us for 90 minute massages, and off we went.  Did we ever LUCK OUT!  We weren’t disappointed either! The place was clean and attractive and my massage was absolutely WONDERFUL! My masseuse was Dina- and she was fabulous!  (Don wasn’t quite as thrilled with his masseuse.) Just in case you are in Santa Monica and want to check it out- It is The Massage Place at 625 Montana Ave.

Taste Lived Up to Its Name!

After the massages we walked around the area for a bit then, this time, Don checked Open Table for a restaurant in the area. We found one called Taste in Pacific Palisades. At first, when we pulled in, I was momentarily disappointed.  It is located in a sort of a strip mall— which wasn’t what I had expected.   We parked, and went into the restaurant, which is actually very trendy and fun inside, but we chose to eat on their outside patio.  We shared a Chopped Sabrosa salad, and it was absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS! (I have to admit- I tried to recreate it at home, but couldn’t begin to match its DELICIOUSNESS!)

A few stores over from Taste was a dress shop with the cutest dress in the window….. so what’s a girl to do but go in and give it a try? The owner of the shop was charming and helpful, and a few minutes later I walked out with a new white summer frock.

“Getty-Up” to the Getty!

That about says it all. Look how beautiful even the entrance to this museum is!

That about says it all. Look how beautiful even the entrance to this museum is!

Then on to the Getty Villa.  Neither of us had ever been to either of the Getty Museums, so this was fun. And- BTW- the Villa is ABSOLUTELY FREE to get in to. They do ask that you go on line to get a reservation, because they limit the number of people who are there at one time. Luckily for us, as we didn’t know this little detail and since it was a slow day and they let us in.

I'm at it again, mimicking one of the sculptures. Some people's kids.......

I’m at it again, mimicking one of the sculptures. Some people’s kids……. Are we the only whack-jobs who mimic the sculptures?

For those who don’t know the difference, J. Paul Getty built the Villa before his death to house his personal collections.  It is designed after an ancient Roman country house called The Villa Dei Papiri.  It was opened in 1974, a few years before his death, but he never actually visited the Villa once it was completed. There are beautiful fountains and pools, mosaic floors, and amazing architecture.  Just the building alone would make a worthwhile visit.

The fountains and ponds throughout the grounds are absolutely beautiful at The Getty Villa. No expense was spared when designing the whole campus.

The fountains and ponds throughout the grounds are absolutely beautiful at The Getty Villa. No expense was spared when designing the whole campus.

Easy to see who they sculpted this piece after......... :)

Easy to see who they sculpted this piece after……… 🙂

One of the items in the collection was a real surprise to me.  If you remember the book and subsequent movie “The Girl With The Pearl Earring,” the sculpture you see on the cover of the book is at the Getty Villa.  Not only did I not expect to see it there, but I was astonished at its size.  The whole sculpture is only about an inch or inch and a half tall! I assumed it would be the size of an average head.  Not something you could put in Malibu Barbie’s house!

(Side note: We since have also gone to the Getty Museum, and enjoyed it just as much. However, you would need a number of days to do it justice.  Plus, they have constantly changing “temporary” exhibits, so you will never be finished!)

 

Small sculpture of The Girl With the Pearl Earring

You probably recognize this sculpture from the book, and subsequent movie, The Girl with the Perl Earring. What you might not realize is that this sculpture is only about 1 inch tall!

After spending a few hours at the Villa, we spoke to the guards as we were pulling out and asked what we should see nearby.  One suggested we go just a bit North and stop at Moon Shadows for a drink.  If you haven’t heard of Moon Shadows, you have certainly heard ABOUT it.  It’s the bar that Mel Gibson was in when he imbibed a bit too much, got pulled over and received his DUI. Then he unwisely decided to call the officer a number of anti-semitic names…….. and the rest is history.  Moon Shadows is one of those places that probably has been living on its infamy for a bit too long.  The inside of it is pretty tired.  But the view is one no one could tire of! They have a narrow porch that literally hangs over the water, and we had a drink and appetizer, and enjoyed the water view and a funny sea-gull who was looking to find a snack left by a careless tourist.

Sitting over the water at MoonShadows enjoying a martini.

Sitting over the water at MoonShadows enjoying a martini.

From Malibu we drove south along the coast, enjoying the scenery, the people, and the buildings.  We ended up in Redondo Beach at The Chart House in time for the sunset.  As is typical in California, the sunset was beautiful, although we didn’t get to experience a “green flash!”

Then reality set in and we had to run a few errands on our way home. I was having an event at our house the next day and I didn’t want to have to fit in running out again, so Home Depot and Trader Joe’s wrapped up our Day-dation! We even have fun doing the mundane together.

Finally, after leaving the house before the sun completely rose, we pulled into the driveway at just about the stroke of midnight…. with a fabulous Day-dation under our belts!

This is a pretty view of some of the gardens at the Getty Villa. Whats strange is that the whole floor is beautiful mosaic, but the only part that shows in this photo is in the shadow of the pillar, like Im on a little "magic carpet!"

This is a pretty view of some of the gardens at the Getty Villa. Whats strange is that the whole floor is beautiful mosaic, but the only part that shows in this photo is in the shadow of the pillar, like Im on a little “magic carpet!”

Day-Dation Ideas:

Trying to think up a few fun little dates but not feeling particularly creative?  Here is a list of fun things we have done on some of our Day-dations which could spark your creativity.  Look for words that are dark blue  and underlined below. They are live links for you to find out info about my getaway ideas.  (I can’t do much more for you than this people, other than take your sweetie on a date myself, and/or pay for your date.  Neither of which are going to happen, BTW!)

Just to let you know, the places I recommend are TOTALLY and completely only because I have gone there, done that, and enjoyed it!  No one has paid for me to go (well, other than my man), or to review them.

Newport Beach Getaway: We drove up to Newport Beach, explored a bit, took the ferry to Balboa Island. On Balboa Island we had lunch, walked around, and found an old arcade with the fortune telling machine which, of course, we had to do! You can kill a whole day just riding around, looking at the scenery, walking through Balboa, and more. Sherman Gardens is a fabulous little garden that is tucked away right off of Pacific Coast Highway.  We went there and had a fabulous time enjoying the gardens! There are also whale watching tours, gondola rides, amazing restaurants, beautiful beaches and more!

Segway Tours: This was a surprise Don did for me- he got Segway Tour tickets off of Groupon or Living Social. We then did a tour of LaJolla on the Segways.  No one else showed up that day, so it was just Don, me and the tour guide! The Segways are really easy to navigate, and SO much fun!  We had an awesome time zipping about, then we finished with dinner in La Jolla! A romantic mid-priced date. Could be done less expensively by bringing a picnic dinner and sitting at the cove enjoying the sunset. The surprise made it even more fun for me! Segway tours are also offered in downtown San Diego, Coronado, Mission Bay, Gaslamp, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and more. What makes them even more fun is that the guides show you little alleyways and paths you would never even know existed if they hadn’t taken you through them!   (Be sure to check out one of the discount sites and you can save up to 50%!)

Boating:  In San Diego alone you can go down to the harbor and enjoy a 1 or 2 hour “bay excursion” which gives you a fabulous and relaxing tour of San Diego Harbor. The 1-hour tour runs about $25.00; two hours is just $30.00. What a great afternoon!  Looking for something a bit more WILD? Check out The Patriot- which is a high speed boat ride that lasts about 1/2 hour. They take you around San Diego Harbor at what seem like death defying speeds, and rockets you in circles!  We went on it just last week, and it was a riot!  $25.00! Come on!  Not only that, but you might just find discounts on either Groupon or Living Social if you try! That’s AMAZING! There are similar things available throughout Southern California.

From a different area?  In the mid-west there are lakes that offer boat rides. Chicago has architectural cruises and sightseeing boats…….. nearly anywhere near water has a multitude of fun, and fairly inexpensive boating options!

Electric Scooters: The new thing around the “tourist areas” in Southern California are the electric scooters. The app’s are free, then the scooters cost $1.00 to start and about 15 cents per minute. They are an absolute BLAST and a great way to get around the city quickly from place to place without having to “re-park” your car! I think there are currently 3 different companies with the scooters in San Diego.We have also seen them in Santa Monica recently. A few weekends ago we scooted from the harbor area of San Diego, through the Gaslamp, up to Little Italy and back in a really short time!  And there are so many available everywhere you go, that when you want to jump off and get a bite to eat, or explore, you can do it and just find another to pop back on when you need it!

The electric scooters are SO much fun to bomb around on!

The electric scooters are SO much fun to bomb around on!

Foot Massages: Another surprise from Don- when we were first dating he asked when I could block 2 hours out of my day, and he surprised me by taking me to a one hour foot massage at a spa near us. They are surprisingly inexpensive and they put you side-by-side in a huge and cozy lounge chair where you get to hold hands with your sweetie and be pampered with your feet, shoulders, arms and necks being massaged! Most of the foot massage places are run by Asians, and they are very reasonably priced. Give it a try!

Play and a picnic.  About 30 minutes from us is an outdoor theater, The Moonlight Theater, where they put on great productions.  Tickets for this theater are surprisingly inexpensive. They have an unusual seating arrangement.  You can either choose a regular seat, or, in between the rows of seats, are a grassy area (no artificial grass) which is about 6 feet wide.  You can reserve a place on the grass, and have a picnic dinner before the play! They provide the low chairs, you just bring your picnic basket and enjoy a romantic time together.  It is less expensive than dinner at a nice restaurant! We have enjoyed it so much that this year we got 4 season tickets, and we try and invite a new couple along each play. Usually  people we don’t know well and would like to know better.  It’s a great way to build some “couple” friendships!

Hearst Castle:  OK, this is more than just a day-dation from where we live, however, I’m throwing this out there.  A few months ago, Don purchased a new car, and the one he wanted happened to be located up in Fremont.  Rather than pay $700. to have it transported down here, we flew up, and spent a few days driving it back home.  We stopped and toured Hearst Castle for 2 days, and had an AMAZING time. We also wrapped a night in Carmel-by-the-Sea into the trip. We stayed at a really darling little place called The Carriage House Inn, and had a darling and romantic room with a fireplace. Three days away felt like a REAL vacation! So, in actuality, this was more like a 3-day-dation…….. which probably falls between a Day-dation and a Vacation……..

Don and Me at Hearst Castle. We ended up touring it for over 2 days, we enjoyed it so much!

Don and Me at Hearst Castle. We ended up touring it for over 2 days, we enjoyed it so much!

Tourist in Your Town:  You know all the things the tourist do when they come to your city?  Chances are, you live RIGHT THERE and have never done them!  We have done “tourist days” more than once right here in San Diego.  One day we  drove to  downtown San Diego, went on the “Seal Tour” — you know them, the boats that go both on land and in the water, (and made unfortunate news recently when one capsized, killing some passengers.)  The tour was fun (and no, we didn’t capsize).  BTW- If you tell them at the Seal Tour desk (which is located at Seaport Village) you are a local, AND show your ID, you will get a BOGO!  (With the money you save on THAT little tip, feel free to take me to lunch!) We walked around Seaport Village, visited some galleries and had a great dinner downtown.  I’ll admit, I think we may have based the whole day around a massage deal I got off of Living Social….. It turned into a fabulous “day-dation” early in the day through the whole evening.

If you are from a different city, say the Chicago area…. what about one of the Architectural Cruises on the river (they are FABULOUS), or time in one of the fabulous museums such as the Art Institute, Field Museum or Museum of Science and Industry? Walking tours are offered and there is a display at the Watertower. There are always dozens of plays you could go to, or listen to music at Kingston Mines.  A stroll down Michigan Avenue can take all day between the flowerbeds, store fronts, and more!

Every city has a lot to explore. Most cities have “city tours” where you might learn about things you didn’t know existed, right up the street! Go to the places you send the tourists when they come to visit. You might be glad you did!

Ride Bikes around Mission Bay:  Take your own bike, or rent one— and ride about Mission Bay.  It is so much fun, and you’d be hard pressed to cover the distance in just one day!  There is so much to see, and so many places you can stop for a bite to eat, or a drink!  The people watching is fun too!  If riding a bike a distance is too much for you, I suggest trying one of the electric bikes. They can do some, or ALL of the work for you!  Check out Surf Monkey Bikes at 853 Grand Ave. SD- and Kalin will hook you up with a beach cruiser, a mountain bike, a tandem bike or an electric bike.  We recently took 14 family members who were in town for my grand-nephew’s graduation from Marine Boot Camp, and Kalin hooked us up with a sweet military discount!

Julian: For those of you from the San Diego area, Julian is just a short, and beautiful car ride away.  And the GREAT thing about Julian?  It has true SEASONS!  Go in the fall to see the change of leaves.  In the fall there are typically great craft fairs at their little community center, with fun, seasonally inspired decor. During the winter you can go to Julian to see and play in the snow, find more great holiday crafts, and find Christmas gifts.  Spring……… MY FAVORITE!  I try to go to Julian in the spring and see the LILACS in bloom!  Lilacs are one of the things I miss the most from living in the Midwest, and I love to see the plants, smell the blossoms and bring a few home!  Summer is lovely in Julian.  Strolling the old fashioned streets is always great fun. The many gift stores are fun to peruse.  One thing I have wanted to do in Julian, but haven’t yet gotten around to, is a tour of the old Gold Mine.  Doesn’t that sound fun?  If you want to make it more than just a day-dation, Julian has a number of fabulous B&B’s where you can stay and enjoy all the little former mining town has to offer!

Laguna Beach:  Laguna is where I first lived when I moved to Southern California almost 40 years ago, so it has a special place in my heart. There is enough to keep you busy any time of the year, between the beautiful beaches, dozens of varied art galleries and restaurants.  If you enjoy tide pools, Laguna Beach has my favorite tide pools to explore.  One of the things that Laguna is well known for is The Pageant of the Masters.  It is WELL worth going for. We visit it almost every year.  Explaining the Pageant of the Masters is difficult, and when you try, it sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry! But believe me, it hasn’t been going for 85 years because it is boring!  When you go up to see the Pageant, make sure to go up early enough to take in either the Art-A-Fair or the Sawdust Festival while you are there.  And a hint from one who knows- make sure when you are purchasing your tickets for the Pageant that you go DIRECTLY to their website.  There are some tricky websites that try to redirect you, and you will pay 4 or 5 times what you can get the tickets for directly through the Pageant!  I put it in my calendar, and go on right after the holidays to purchase my tickets for the next year.  This year we had 4th row seats! WELL worth planning for!

Up-the-Road-A-Piece:  I love to go an hour or two away and stay the night.  For us, that’s up to Orange County or LA area. There are SO many fabulous areas that you can get away to, explore, and feel like you’ve gone on a mini-vacay.  Think about it for those of you who are in Southern California.  A short jaunt takes you to Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, LA, Venice Beach……… it goes on and on and on. And each one of those areas have SO many fun activities you can do, so much to explore!  Museums, art galleries, beaches, craft fairs, street fairs, food truck nights………….

Subscribe to San Diego Magazine:  You will find more fabulous things to do, more date ideas, more restaurant ideas and nearby getaway ideas than you could EVER implement!  I keep files for future day-dation ideas…….. just in case we ever run out of our own ideas! They actually just implemented an “insider’s club” which will give you a lot of perks, discounts and fun events!  You may want to check it out!

This list doesn’t even begin to cover the many amazing dates you can dream up with your sweetie, or fun ideas you can do with friends!  If you have something you have found that is fun- let me know and I’ll add it to a future blog!

 

 

Do You See What I See?

Adventures With Attitude!, Every Day is an Adventure, Everyday Magic!, Living a Royal Life, My Humble Opinion, Out and About, Royal Ramblings!, Travel and Adventure, You Can't Make This Shit Up!
Am I the only person who sees not only a well defined crotch, but a waistline at the bottom of this tree?

Am I the only person who sees not only a well defined crotch, but a waistline at the bottom of this tree?

A Cabo Getaway

A few months ago, Don and I went down to Cabo for a little getaway.  We had really scored on an amazing condo through a fundraiser auction.  The place we were staying was part of the Pueblo Bonita Sunset Beach Resort, which includes three hotels, some private homes,  time shares and condos.  It’s a great place, because you can sign to your room or condo no matter what amenities or restaurants you are visiting.  It makes it so convenient! And between all the restaurants, pools, food court, shops and lounges, you won’t get bored!

Again, I see the sensual pose of a womans bent legs.

This tree had “2 sets” of people.  On the bottom portion I see the sensual pose of a womans bent legs. Then at the top left it also made me think of a torso with legs.  This is a “two-fer” tree!

Tree People

Funny thing is, as we were driving from our condo to the hotel, I noticed the trees that lined a lot of the streets.  All I could see when I looked at the trees, for some reason was what looked like people, turned upside down!  I know, I’m a strange and sick individual.  I will be the first to admit it.  But once I pointed it out, Don could see it too.  Some of our “vision” didn’t translate well in photos, but I think we got enough of them for you to get the gist of what we saw.

This tree looked to me like a set of legs on the left, facing one way, then the waist, crotch and legs of another person facing the other way.....

The “Menage-a-trois Tree” This tree looked to me like a set of legs on the left, facing one way, then the waist, crotch and legs of another person facing the other way and the spread legs of a third person on the right.  What can I say?  Kinky mind I guess!

 

This one looked to me like a torso, with the stomach, then butt, then bend of the knees......

This one looked to me like a torso, with the stomach, then butt, then bend of the knees……Like a woman in a long straight skirt.

Sad thing is, just like the “small world” song that sticks in your head for the next week after you hear it, now when you go down to Cabo and see these trees, YOU TOO will be picturing people standing on their heads, when you see these trees…… Honestly, I guarantee you will!

 

This tree makes me think of a basketball player from the back... you can see the shape of the back of the knees, the butt and the waistline...

This tree makes me think of a basketball player from the back… you can see the shape of the back of the knees, the butt and the waistline…and LONG, LONG legs!

Can you see this soccer player, leg up in the air after his kick- with the arm straight out?

Can you see this soccer player, leg up in the air after his kick- with the arm straight out?

 

This tree, once again reminded me of a womans torso, with her hands upstretched, her breast- with even the nipple showing, waist butt and legs.....

This tree, once again reminded me of a womans torso, with her hands upstretched, her breast- with even the nipple showing, waist butt and legs…..

 

 

Doesnt this one look like someone carved a stomach and belly button into this tree?

Doesn’t this one look like someone carved a stomach and belly button into this tree?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This made me think of uplifted arms holding torches....

This made me think of uplifted arms holding torches…. or laser sabers!

 

 

 

Finding interesting things in the everyday is kind of fun!  Take a look around, and you might be surprised at what you find! If you get down to Cabo and find some of these trees, let me know what interesting shapes you find!

 

 

 

 

Living a Royal Life, Part 3 of 3

Every Day is an Adventure, Living a Royal Life, My Humble Opinion, Royal Ramblings!, Travel and Adventure, Uncategorized
Living a Royal Life. What does that mean to you? for me it includes travel, lots of fun, delicious food and time with my man! My Royal Life may not be YOUR Royal Life! That's OK!

Living a Royal Life. What does that mean to you? for me it includes travel, lots of fun, delicious food and time with my man! My Royal Life may not be YOUR Royal Life! That’s OK!

Living a Royal Life

I have previously released 2 videos in this series. This is part 3 of 3.

Are you living you best life? If your life isn’t all that you want, and you feel like you are leading a mediocre life — what do you need to do to improve it?

This video gives you some moresteps to help you lead your best life.  You must first decide that you DESERVE to lead a “Royal Life.” No one else is going to give you the perfect life.  No one else can decide what your perfect life even IS!

If you want to improve your life, expand your tribe, add to your bucket list and make each day better than the last!

Here are your steps to you holding your head up high, wearing your tiara and learning that it doesn’t matter what other people think about you. Once you learn to “do you” and are comfortable in your skin, other people’s opinions don’t matter.

I hope you enjoy this video, and if you do —- share it with a friend who might also like to Live a Royal Life!

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to both my blog and my Youtube channel, so that you don’t miss any of the upcoming series and other fun and fabulous articles, events and adventures!

 

I Saw The Light

Adventures With Attitude!, art, Every Day is an Adventure, Out and About, Travel and Adventure
Chicago Lighthouse Art

This is one of my favorites! I just LOVE the design on it! The Light Within-Diane Robacy

Lighthouses On The Mag Mile

Chicago is a beautiful and diverse city.  When we arrived this trip, I noticed a few decorated lighthouses on Michigan Avenue and looked up what the story was.  I found out that the next day 51 Lighthouses would be debuted throughout the area.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This had a true feeling of movement under the sea. It was lovely. See View by Deborah Maris Lader

Many years ago Chicago was one of the first cities in the United States to participate in this type of art display when they had “Cows on Parade” in 1999-  all handpainted and decorated by local artists.  Other cities have followed suit in years since, with Dogs in Boonton, New Jersey, “Catfish out of Water” in Nashville, and numerous other similar community art projects. Last year Del Mar, CA had horses painted by local artists in honor of the Breeder’s Cup being hosted there. Every city that has participated in these community art projects has benefited by increased tourism and community solidarity.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

I loved the way the poppies were 3 dimensional on this lighthouse. It was simple, but very striking! We Bloom by Vivian Visser

This  summer, from June 19 to August 11 “Lighthouses on the Mag Mile” will be located throughout the city.  The purpose of this display is to bring attention to improving the quality of life for those who are disabled or visually impaired.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

My Layers Run Deep by Hillary Laff-Meyers

Each lighthouse is 6 feet tall, and 30 inches wide at the base, and they become the “canvas” for each of the artists vision of inclusion for all who deal with disabilities. Many of the artists chosen actually live with disabilities of their own, making their work even more poignant.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This one was REALLY different! The hands and eyes coming out of this lighthouse looked SO real! Make the World Felt by Yu-Hui Huang and Eduardo Arias

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Check out how realistic those hands are! They even had imperfections in the fingernails like real hands have!

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Be a Light, Oakton Community College Art and Design Students

Why a Lighthouse?

You may wonder why a lighthouse?  The idea is of a lighthouse being a beacon to champion causes for people with disabilities. The whole project was created by the Chicago Lighthouse, which serves the blind, visually impaired, disabled and military veteran communities. Numerous area businesses and organizations have supported the project with financial backing.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

I loved this one. A Twist of Nature by Didier Nolet

Being a practicing Realtor, I was proud to see one of the lighthouses sponsored by the National Association of Realtors.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This lighthouse – The Path to Ability– was sponsored by the National Assn. of Realtors- so I had to mention it! Created by William Douglas of Project Onward

You Can Own A Lighthouse!

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This lighthouse was incredibly beautiful! it reminded me of Monet- which is interesting, because Monet was visually impaired his last few years, and this artist is also visually impaired! Sailing Chicago Harbor by Jeff Hanson

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This is a close up of the work on this lighthouse. I just loved the three dimensional effect on the flowers.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Northern Lights by Lori and Fiona Murphy

Chicago Treasure by Rich Green

After the display ends on August 11th some of the sponsors will have an opportunity to keep the lighthouses.  Other lighthouses will be auctioned off online.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Rising to Succeed by Ken Klopack

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Dream by Mark Nelson of Gringolandia Studio

It’s amazing that using the same basic lighthouse, the artists could come up with such diverse interpretations!

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Eye Wonder by Lisa Birmingham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you can’t get to Chicago yourself to view these lovely works of art- please enjoy my photos of about half of the beautiful lighthouses which are on display.  And please, be the “beacon of light”  to those around you who may have disabilities.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Feeling the Beauty in Every Face is Not Blind by Peter Bucks

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Lighting my Path by Jim Carrol, The Pet Impressionist – featuring local Patricia Ward and her guide dog Carson

Perhaps this project, and the lighthouses might inspire you to question how you could help to be a part of access and inclusion for those living with disabilities.  If we all strive to make life a bit better for those who struggle, and help to focus  on the “ability” in the word disability, we can all help to light our world and make it a bit brighter.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This little girl was fascinated with touching all of the different colored and patterned discs on this lighthouse. She spent quite a bit of time walking around and touching all of the different patterns on the discs, exploring the colors and looking at the detail.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This is a close up of the detail on this exhibit. This one had some of the most detail of any of the lighthouses! So interesting!

Chicago Lighthouse Art

This one was very pretty. Boundless by Pooja Pittie, an artist with Muscular Dysptropy

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Special Olympics 50th Anniversary By David Holt of Project Onward and Cassidy Winston

Chicago Lighthouse Art

I loved the braille on this lighthouse. The tactile experience is really cool on this one! Touch and See by Kristi OMeara.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Blindfold Brushes by Erika Vazzana

A Chicago Lighthouse

Lift Us by Hamza Muhammad, an artist with anxiety disorder and ADHD

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Rise up by Fernando Ramirez of Project Onward

SHINE
Love & The Machine – Dan Capuli, Amy Loevy & Edwin Capuli

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Close up of this lighthouse and its message.

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Lava Lamp by Chris Silva

Chicago Lighthouse Art

Colorful Cloud in a Dark Abyss by Brandin Hurley

For more information on the “Lighthouses of the Mag Mile” please visit their website: https://lighthousesonmagmile.com/

This link will tell you specifics about every lighthouse and the artist who created it: https://lighthousesonmagmile.com/gallery-artists

Information on the Chicago Lighthouse may be found at: Chicagolights.org

Lions and Tigers and Pirates…….. Oh My!

My Humble Opinion, Raves & Rotten Reviews, Royal Ramblings!, Travel and Adventure, You Can't Make This Shit Up!

Cruising the West Coast of Africa

Silversea Silver Cloud

The Silversea Silver Cloud on our trip.

We went on a Silversea Silver Cloud cruise up the coast of  West Africa recently.   We went to 6 countries to be exact.  There are basically 3 questions people ask you when they hear you have been to “Africa.” Question # 1- Did you go on a Safari (or did you see any “big game” animals- as both are basically asking the same thing.)  Question #2- Why in the world did you choose to go there, of all places. Question # 3-Were you worried about Pirates.

No, we weren’t on a safari, nor did we see any big game animals. That takes place more in central or east Africa.  What we saw most of were goats, pigs, chickens and cats, because all of those animals roamed  freely- and abundantly – through every village and city we were in. We did see some good sized monkeys swinging through some trees one of the days while we were riding in the bus.

In Morocco we saw some camels at a Bedouin camp, and also just roaming around in the middle of the desert. In Marrakesh we saw few snakes, which were being “charmed”  for the sake of tourist. The snake charmers were scarier than the snakes.  You’ve got to watch out for those guys- they don’t want to let you go without getting the big bucks out of you!

Senegal Village Animals

This picture of animals in a Senegal Village shows about the biggest “game” that we saw on this trip. Camels, goats, cats, sheep, a few pigs and a boar were about the extent of our animal viewing!

Other than that little menagerie, no “big game” stuff. No lions, or tigers, elephants or giraffes.  Wrong neighborhood for them.

Why we chose to go to West Africa is another story.  My man had broken his foot last fall, right after we moved into our new house. (Great timing on his part, I have to say- thank you very much!) He was bored to death, and started looking into places he’d never traveled, and trips that would get him closer to his goal of 100 countries.  A “luxury cruise” up the west coast of Africa came up in his search, and next thing I knew, we were going to West Africa. So, question number is now answered.

Senegal Village

This Senegal Village was fairly typical of many of the villages. You’ll see a goat in the background. This village was one of the few that had any sort of “toilet” facilities. This outhouse had buckets in it to go on. Quite sophisticated compared to many!

Was West Africa on the top of my bucket list of travel?  Heaven’s no!  However, if you know me, you also know I’m always up for any adventure, and always up to try the unusual. So- when Don asked if I’d go on the trip, I gave a resounding yes…….

Captain Phillips, Here we Come!

As soon as we mentioned a boat, and Africa the question of safety and pirates came up constantly. After all, who hadn’t seen Captain Phillips, right? So, of course, we asked our cruise line, Silverseas, if pirates were a possibility or concern. The question was poo-pooed- and we were told that pirate activity is on the east side of Africa and we had nothing to worry about. WHEW!

Silly Americans! We don’t even know where the pirates hang out in Africa. Tsk, tsk, tsk…….

So, onward and upward we went with our plans for our trip.  We decided to tack on a trip to Amsterdam to see the tulips on our way to Akkra, Ghana.  Thank God, because if we hadn’t I wouldn’t have found that great shop with the fantastic 1940’s style dance dresses…….. (Good thing I brought that extra duffel, because it was filled up on day 3 of the 23 day trip!)

Patti in one of her 40's dresses!

This is one of the 40’s style dresses I got in Amsterdam! What a find THAT store was! (And BTW- this is my granddaughter Nell at her graduation from grade school a few weeks ago!)

My prior cruising experience has been on the uber-large cruise ships. Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland, Costa- and yes, I’ll even admit to Carnival- back in the day!  Don has only done small “expedition” type of ships.  This cruise, on the Silversea Silver Cloud was to have approximately 200 passengers.

The “luxury cruise” part of the trip had me from Hello.  Unfortunately, the “luxury” provided didn’t add up to the cost of the cruise in ever-so-many ways………..

But I digress…….

Ghana Port

This poster was on the wall going into the Ghana Port. You would not have BELIEVED the one asking them not to poop in the port! That one was really graphic- but unfortunately we weren’t able to pop a photo fast enough! Things run a little differently in Africa than some of us are used to!

As we pulled up to the port (after a rocky start and less than impressive trip to the ship), Don noticed that the back of the ship had large bars added across the back deck where the enormous water cannons were. Water cannons? Why would the ship need water cannons?  We thought that perhaps the ship goes to other areas where pirates might be a concern……..

So, blithely we boarded the ship.

And, as with all cruises, muster is the first order of business on all ships. A lovely letter awaited us when we entered our suite, telling us when muster was to take place, and how focused Silversea was on making our voyage special, personalized, pampering, blah, blah, blah….

Safety First!

Our welcome letter upon arrival on the Silver Cloud

Off to muster we went.  Then the ship left dock. After familiarizing ourselves with the ship, we went back to our suite, to find another letter………… informing us that we were in a “high risk area for piracy

 

If you are of my age group, you will remember Saturday Night Live, and church lady from years ago. Can’t you just hear Dana Carvey saying “How conveeeeenient!” ( Not to mention the following line- “Who made you do it, was it the Devil?”)

How conveeeeenient that the second letter was given to us JUST AFTER we left port!  And worse- it stated that the “enhanced measures” were in effect from April 8-14.  THREE DAYS BEFORE WE BOARDED THE SHIP!

These assholes knew for 3 days before we got on that Captain Kidd, Blackbeard and Henry Morgan were in the ‘hood, and didn’t bother to tell us?  Holy shit. Are you kidding me?

Then the letter went on in explicit detail telling us how to handle the possible boarding and takeover by pirates. My favorite line was, “in the rare event that pirates succeed to board the vessel, do not panic, and do as they say.”

Roger that.  I am going to stay as friggin’ as calm as a clam.  Yessiree! Ahoy there mateys- nothing to worry about.  I’ve seen Captain Phillips. These are reasonable people……….

Silversea- what in the name of all that is normal is wrong with you people?

Where is Johnny Depp When You Need Him?

The pirate with a parrot on the seashore

Not only are we dealing with totally unreasonable people with pirates in the African waters, none of them remotely begin to look like Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. There is just no upside to these pirates at all.  Just sayin’.

For the next 4 evenings we were told we had to keep our curtains to our decks drawn and not to open the sliding doors. This was mighty convenient, as the AC was also not working on the ship, and we were in near 100 degree heat………..

If THIS doesn’t all spell out “luxury cruise”- I don’t know what does!

In the public areas of the ship, every curtain was buttoned up as tightly as a nun’s va-j-j.  Where there weren’t draperies, the windows were covered with paper and duct tape. And the decks and outdoor restaurant were closed down.  No “romantic strolls” around the deck were taking place here folks! I felt like I was in London during the second world war blitz attacks.

Again, I know I am repeating myself here, but if THIS doesn’t all spell out “luxury cruise”- I don’t know what does!

Another great tip pointed out in the letter was that if the pirates were to approach the ship, and/or board, we were to go to the common areas of the ship and get down with our hands over our heads.  Fuck that shit- I’m hiding under my damned bed and hope they don’t check there for me. I figure that these pirates probably aren’t into doing a lot of work, or they’d have more upstanding jobs.  Maybe they aren’t going to look under all 100+ beds, right? But go hide out in the open- with my hands over my head?  Are you kidding me?  I’m going to come out and line up for the machine gun rally? Come on, I’m smarter than I look! (I’d have to be, or they wouldn’t let me out alone….. But again, I digress.)

(Our Silversea “Pirate Warning Letter”- delivered immediately after the ship left port. At this point it was bit too far for a swim back to shore,  I’m afraid!)

Every Day is an Adventure!

Now I realize that earlier I stated I am usually up for any adventure. I’ve jumped out of planes.  I’ve zip-lined. I’ve snorkeled and dived. I’ve bungee jumped. I’ve married a variety of men.  I’ve had children….. the list of adventures goes on and on.

However, in all those cases, these were experiences that I had preplanned for.  The adrenaline spike is because of the thrill of a “controlled” thrill.  One that most people live through. One that has safety parameters built into it.

Not friggin’ PIRATES! I never signed up for PIRATES!

So, for the first 4 evenings of our “luxury cruise”, while sweating like I was in an Indian Sweat lodge, with my drapes and balcony window buttoned up tightly, I wondered if I would live to see the good ol’ US of A!

There ain’t NOTHIN’ that spells luxury like that folks!

Captain Boczek’s last lines of his letter left me feeling calm, “special and highly personalized” (refer back to letter #1)… “Your safety is of paramount importance for us at Silversea…..”

Really?  Really? My safety is of such utmost importance to Silversea that they didn’t tell me about my tryout for a role in Pirates of the Caribbean before the ship set sail? THAT’S how paramount my safety was to Silversea!

That all being said, I guess we can add a few jackasses to the list of animals previously noted. But they were all on board our ship, wearing nautical costumes!

As you can probably decipher from this post, we did make it out of Africa alive.  No pirate boarding or takeovers.

Don & Patti in Marrakech

The last tour day we had lunch at a hotel which was once a palace. This little room looked like where you’d go to smoke your hookah!

You might have also figured out that I am not going to be the head cheerleader for Silversea!  Oh hell no!  I wish the pirate fiasco and the lack of AC was our only issues on this “luxury liner”, but no…… those were just the tip of the larger-than-hit-the-Titanic iceberg. I’m not even going to mention the numerous small items, like Don finding a shard of glass in his lunch one day. We’ll overlook those “little annoyances.”

Silversea asked for feedback on the cruise, which I provided. Over 6 weeks ago.  Then followed up 2 weeks later- to make sure they had received it. Then again 2 weeks ago again.  No response in any way. Not even a form “we received your letter and someone will get back to you” canned response! The last time around we even spoke to Ricardo who booked our cruise, made him aware of our letters, and resent the correspondence to him directly.  He promised he would “pass it on to his supervisors.” That was 2 weeks ago, with no follow up from anyone.

I’m sure I’m not being ignored.  I think I’ve figured out the problem.  PIRATES!  The pirates probably boarded a Silversea ship which had a company meeting going on with all of the customer service personnel, the head honchos and the marketing people, and they are being held hostage RIGHT NOW!

Someone contact the authorities, and send out a search and rescue team!

Meanwhile, I’ll stick to my “non luxury” cruise lines, and I can get 12 -15 cruises for the money one Silversea cruise cost!  (Not to mention, I’ll have AC in my cabin!)

_______________________________________________I had to add on a little “follow up” addendum to this story. While writing it, I sent a second email to our Silversea representative, Ricardo, telling him how disgusted I was with their company’s total lack of customer service.  I will admit, this particular email was not full of unicorns, flowers and glitter. No, I wasn’t really my most nice on this round.  I did mention in it that I now submitted a review on my experience to cruise critic and that I was now in the process of writing an article for my lifestyle blog regarding Silversea and their Silver Cloud ship.

Miracles DO happen folks! Yessiree! Amazingly enough within a few days I actually received communication from Silversea’s Guest Relations department. They apologized for the lack of response, stating that my original emails were “caught in their spam system.”  OK, hold on here Frank…….. may I call you Frank, Mr. Sansone?  You are going to tell me that Silversea- a large corporation, has a customer service email system, which you ask passengers to send their feedback to (feedback@silversea.com) and when they do, it goes into your spam folder?  Now THAT is a clever way to set things up! Very helpful to all involved……. Of course there was no explanation as to why my letter to Ricardo hadn’t been responded to for over 2 weeks at this point either…….. hmmmmmmm. Maybe their employees letters ALSO go to spam. Again, a clever and efficient way to run things.

So, that all being said, with his effusive apologies- well, kinda- sorta’- this following line of the letter threw me off a bit- “We appreciate your candor in evaluating your experience aboard Silver Cloud which we anticipate will stand out in a positive way in terms of service and product.”  Perhaps something was lost in the translation of my letters when Frank read them, because I would think it apparent to all involved that Silversea, indeed did NOT stand out in a positive way in terms of service and product….. Oh my. Consistant.  At least they are consistent…..

So, in the end, what Frank offered us was some credit on a future cruise, an amount which is basically equivalent to an upgrade from one class of cabin to the next level. SERIOUSLY Frank? Oh, and the other detail is that we must use that oh-so-generous credit for travel within the next two years.  I’m pretty certain that we will be getting our calendars right out and check which of the Silversea cruises are going to fit in our travel schedule. Or………..maybe not.

And last, but certainly not least- the following video has nothing to do with the idiots at Silversea, or even me- but after my rant I thought you deserved a bit of fun- so watch this great video of a young man who has been to every country in the world (how does he do that at this young age?).  He shares some cute little ditty about every one of the countries he’s been to- because…….. as I always say- Every Day is an Adventure!

From Boring to Beautiful!

Adventures With Attitude!, Every Day is an Adventure, Out and About, Travel and Adventure
Carlsbad Mural of tigers

I love this mural, found in Carlsbad, CA. On the side of Witch Creek Winery. I love the play between the black and white, and the color on the 2 tigers.

I don’t know if you have noticed it, but it seems that every time I turn around there are more and more buildings with murals painted on the sides of them.  More often than not, the building where the mural pops up is a small, unassuming would-be-dull little building.  You may have driven by 100 times, and never even noticed it.  Then suddenly – WHAM!  Someone puts a mural on the side of it, and the dull building jumps out and makes a statement!

Some of them are a bit unpolished.  Others are amazing works of art- but in most every case, they do brighten up the area and I really enjoy them.

I thought I’d share a few of the buildings I have noticed in just the past few weeks, as I go about my day-to-day life.  Most have been local to me, but a few have popped up in my trips to Sedona and other recent travels!

If you have photos of murals you have seen, send me a picture and I’ll add it to this post!  It may be the “ever changing, ever growing” mural photo-album!

Side of the Pour House bar in Oceanside, CA.

Pour House, Oceanside. CA. Coincidentally, this is one of the first places I ever performed comedy a number of years ago! It had a different name back then. The Beach- something-or-other………

Wander. Being a girl with Wanderlust, this mural on Coast Hwy. in Oceanside caught my eye!

Leucadia Murals

This looks like an alien takeover to me! This one is on the side of The Whet Noodle Restaurant, Oceanside CA. There were 4 or 5 murals within less than a block in this area!

Carlsbad Mural of surfers

This mural of surfers at the beach is in Carlsbad, on the side of a liquor store at the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive an PCH.

OK- technically this isnt a mural. However, when photographing murals in Leucadia, this was outside a bar there, and it made me laugh- so you are getting it too!

This beautiful beach scene is perfect on the side of Pacific Coast Cycles, in Oceanside CA. I love how the bikes look parked in front of it!

Carlsbad Mural

This mural is in Carlsbad on the corner of State and Carlsbad Village Dr. Kind of weird, because the tenants at the restaurant put their planter right over part of the mural….. Go figure! They could have just moved it to the right a few feet.

Oceanside Mural

The side of a building in Oceanside where “Matafied Salon”

Oceanside Mural at Revolution Coffee

The side of Revolution Roasters in Oceanside, CA. Sorry about the cars, but if I cropped them out, 1/2 of the mural would have been gone too!

Oceanside Surfer Mural

The side of Angelo’s burgers in Oceanside. Typical So. CA. surfer scene!

Vista Mural

A work in progress! My daughter Alyse and I went to the Vista, CA strawberry festival, and he was working on this mural. I’m not sure if this was a new mural he was painting,  or if he was touching up an old one.

A mural at San Diego Airport

I’m not sure this really qualifies as a “mural”, but I liked it, so it makes the cut! After all, we all need a little motivational saying here and there! This is on the outside of Southwest Airlines at San Diego Airport.

Pop Pie Co.

Side of the Pop Pie Company, San Diego. This is such a cool little place!  I just love the vibe, and when I’m down there, I pop in for a quick bite.

San Diego Mural

The side of a building in San Diego next to Pop Pie Co. Very esoteric! I feel like I could build a whole story around this little creature!

Leucadia Mural

This mural is on the side of “Bar Leucadian”, which, you guessed it- is a bar in Leucadia. This place changes their outside paint job more than any building I have ever seen. It was pink for breast cancer awareness, then changed to- gray I think. Now the murals. Someone must have inherited a paint store. Or has a lot of spare change. Not sure WHAT is going on at this place. (I admit I still hold a slight grudge in my heart against them for stopping Country Western Mondays a few years back. It was my regular Monday dance hang out. Bastards to take away my good times with friends! Don’t they know who I am?)

Leucadia Mural

This mural is on the side of “A Little Moore Cafe” in Leucadia, CA

Leucadia Mural

This mural is kind of tucked away off PCH in Leucadia, CA I love the intricacy and detail on this one! I felt that the subdued coloring is really masterful too!

Leucadia Mural

This lovely mural is located on one side of the Royal Liquor Store on PCH in Leucadia. The other side also has a mural on it!

Leucadia Mural

This is the other mural on the side of the Royal Liquor Store on PCH in Leucadia.

Leucadia Mural

This mural is also in Leucadia, off PCH. I’m not going to lie to you- I forget where exactly. (But when I remember I will change this info, so I look like I was well informed the whole time……)

Leucadia Mural

This fun mural is also located on PCH in Leucadia, CA

Patti in front of Sedona Healing Arts

This was outside the Sedona Healing Arts, where I found the “Angel Wings” from the “In Search of Angel’s Wings” post on my blog!

Side of Sedona Healing Arts

Sedona Healing Arts side of the building.

Leucadia Mural

This is a great mural, located in Leucadia, CA. on Coast Hwy. I love the paintbrush which is painted on there!

So that’s it for now, but I think I will be adding more as I come across them.

As I said before, if you have some to send me, I’d love to put them up! Let me know where you took the picture, and I’ll recognize you too!

Meanwhile, take a few moments when driving around to notice and enjoy the many murals out there! They do tend to brighten up a day!