Posts Tagged With: flowers

Saudade Starts My Monday Morn

The prevalent feeling is one of saudade (a word in Portuguese I am most fond of). It is practically an untranslatable word, full of contradictory emotions, but “longing” is mentioned in many definitions. It is unestablished of what exactly I am longing of. It’s early enough that the sun has yet to pierce the clouds and shine through. Maybe today, it won’t even attempt to.

I make my coffee, an essential part of any morning of mine, and after medicating and feeding the fur babies

 

I head to the back patio with a yet undefined purpose -despite the book in my hand-. It’s a bit chilly and my robe accompanies me and acts as a blanket.20190603_074704Inane thoughts come up before I even open my book with the determination of finishing it: My legs are still tanned from my jaunt to Miami. I love to hear the chirping of the birds in the silence of the morning. Darn it, the garbage pick up truck is piercing that silence (I get up and bring the can in.) 20190603_085145 The basil plant 20190603_074737still has many leaves -even after such a big batch of pesto I made.- I toy with the idea of lighting the fire pit for some warmth. 20190603_074718Discard it because half the fun is seeing the flames which I won’t really see now. Need to stop the cascade of unmatched and unnecessary thoughts (lots of “un” words in this post).

The thoughts stop; I read my book. About 10 pages in I get up, warm my coffee and remain inside since it is a bit too nippy for me outside. I hear the kitties little bells on their collar as they go in and out and it gives me as much comfort as my presence probably gives them.

 

A grumbling in my stomach indicates that maybe breakfast is in order. So I pick up a Le Creuset pan that reminds me of a wedding gift of a whole set of pans that I received long ago, despite them not being on my registry. I weighed 95 pounds at the time and these pans are super heavy. It was my lifting weights exercise routine! 20190603_075654 Maybe it was a regift since I got a set of 8. They stick (though now they are making them with Teflon coating too).

I heat a turkey picadillo I made yesterday and fry an egg. I’m on the Keto diet 20190530_084623 (lifestyle doesn’t apply since I do get off it at times) so bread is out of the question. I’m not one for breakfasts unless with someone, so this is unusual for me but the front patio of my friends’ house, which I am pet and housesitting for, makes it an inviting proposition.

 

I read a little, eat, and enjoy the pops of colors from the plants.

 

I glance at my cell and it’s 8:00 am and about time to start my day. Enough of lounging around. I enter my day relaxed and ready to take it on.20190529_132553

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Categories: Ramblings, Venice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Journeying and journaling on…

As those who have read me before know, I write because I love to share or, perhaps, I share simply because I love to write. However, I have been going through a bout of writer’s block. An article that I have promised my editor of www.better-lemons.com and the people I interviewed for it, remains unfinished. I grew tired of my computer screen mocking me with its blankness and decided, camera in hand, to take a walk. I am hoping this will guide me back to my keyboard and to getting things written.P1380796

Today I don’t feel like driving (unusual for me), so Baby Bright, aka: my Prius will remain parked in front of the house. Besides, I do not want to deal with having to find a parking spot.P1380685 Not that I ever do, but neither do I want to take a bus P1380681 and since I am lucky enough to temporarily reside in Venice, where the best way to really get around is on foot, I head out.

I would have missed a lot of fun images this neighborhood has to offer if I were not walking, like these circus-worthy bikes parked in front of a nondescript house.P1380683

Right from the start a smile finds its way to my face as I read a few license plates.

The first one also gives me a pang of nostalgia, reminding me of my Baby Blue, my previous Prius and a bond with it that I will never have with another. But back to Venice… This is a town of unabashed self-promotion, self-confidence and righteousness. Where most are a size 2 (or 4, at the most) which I will never be again which takes me, as I walk, on to the edge of that badland of doubtful self-esteem.

It is also a giving town,  P1380686 (So polite as well, the small sign says “Hello and Good Day! Please…) inclusive of all, P1380687 artful P1380693(There are hardly any blank walls, most have murals on it, some advertising something, others just leading you to a zen place and others expressing social justice.),

P1380788  P1380791  20170104_150015

with a real sense of humor P1380698and one that cares for its fauna. P1380697  P1380725 P1380726

P1380774 I have entered the Venice Canals,  P1380715 an area of Venice that I love. P1380732I am very much aware that due to my lack of sense of orientation, it is also an area that I may get lost in. I won’t mind though, for there’s a tranquility here that takes me to my quiet place. Quite an accomplishment since I tend to be a chatterbox.

Right off the bat there’s a “Yes indeed!” in my head as I read a sign.  P1380696

More than focusing on the canals themselves,

where swans become boats on steroids, P1380700 P1380735or just a canvas for reflections of palm tress,

I delight myself on the pop of color provided by the fact that it’s spring and flowers are blooming P1380705 P1380722 P1380716 P1380729 P1380721

Even the boats are trying to match them. P1380704

This little plant would be a perfect little Christmas tree P1380741 that would go really well with this deck that seems to have a bit of seasonal identity problem. P1380723

I love that on the canals an open space becomes a place to advertise creatively your art. This one certainly managed to catch my attention and I did go to this artists’ sites once home. P1380733 An abandoned post on the same lot also an opportunity to display art. P1380734

I enjoy the quirkiness of some canal facing decks. P1380702

Here, minimalist modern architecture and make-believe old new construction still live side by side with the old bungalows though there are fewer and fewer around since it’s an area where houses for sale start at 1.5 million and where one sold last year for 5.5 million.

All display some sort of art and my eyes stop at each façade searching for it.

This bridge reminds me that I live in a city where sets are common for this one IS a facade that in true LA mode sports an inspirational/positive quote of “No regrets. No bad days.”

Two hours later I manage to leave heading towards the busier part of Venice. First a walk on the pier. I really enjoy piers.

A brief look at the sea. P1380770 How does the saying go? A couple that surfs together stays together?  P1380758 Maybe not.P1380767

And then off to find a place to eat as I get more inspiration from store windows.P1380745 Reminders that, yes, I’m still in LA.  P1380772

Reflections that further remind me that I am in Venice.

And then… Thailand. P1380779 P1380781

I find a place that has an outdoor patio, a cheap lunch and that makes me want to be back in Asia even after this most enjoyable morning.

P1380777 P1380782 P1380784

On my way back home my eyes don’t rest and fill my brain with images I can’t disregard. I love blue.

I again smile for in this town the garbage cans/bins are not only multi-lingual but a perfect place for art. P1380744 P1380789

Where a convenience stores looks like it’s still in construction from afar until you get closer and see that’s the way it was painted. P1380798 And where a lone street sunflower reminds me that one should always look up and you will shine.

At the door… thanks for coming along.

P1380793

 

 

Categories: California, Venice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Finding a New Obsession… or Two, or Three.

We move again.  This time from a hotel to another apartment.  It is also the day that my scene will be shot.  The day starts relatively early for us since there is quite a bit to be accomplished.  For now I lazily get out of bed and go down to the café for breakfast.  A sacred ritual that must not be set aside even in the most hectic of days.  Must not let a heavenly croissant and noisette wait long. I watch daily life pass us by as I sip and go over my lines mentally.  Paris, France, 20th arrondissement P1150632 Then it’s onward to finish packing, doing my hair and getting into a taxi to our next home.  We get one quickly.  On the way he tells us that the neighborhood we are staying at is very much a village within a city.  I’m liking the sound of that.  We have been given instructions to ring the bell of the apartment owner’s neighbor and that she will give us the key and let us in.  Filming starts at 1:00.  It’s 11:30 and no one answers the bell. I breathe in and try not to think that I still have to find my wardrobe (for the shoot) in the suitcase, iron it (after searching for the iron in a new place), get make-up ready, hair retouched and centered for the scene.  We text the guy.  We wait. I breathe. I entertain myself with the floor tiles which are old and I really like. Paris, France, floor, tiles He texts back from California where he lives. That amuses me. I’m in his place in Paris while he is in my hometown. He, on the other hand probably isn’t amused since I think it’s about 2:00 am for him when we text.  We ring her again and she finally answers.  So we go in, and my mad dash begins.  Clothes found.  Iron inexistent.  Ring neighbor. May we borrow your iron?  Check.  Iron.  Good that I don’t have to search for the adapter. Go over lines. Make-up done. Hair retouched. And is it a film wrap (end of filming)?  No. It barely has begun. We film. I grab my camera when they do the other actress’ close up.  La Pleuresse, Paris, France, filming, short film They shoot my close up and then it really is a wrap!

The next day I wake up to my usual calm self. I look out the bathroom window and see the usual windows with flower boxes that I so like to look at. Flowers, window, Paris, France Flowers, window, Paris, France

We are off to the Sacre Coeur but knowing us, there will be a lot side trips before destination.  Already after coming out of the metro metro, Paris, France, Sacre Couer I see so much to photograph.  An old car antique car, Le Progrés, Paris, France, street scene, cobblestones, café, Parisian bistro that seems to be positioned just right for people to capture it on film.  I find it amusing that it is parked next to a café that is called Le Progrés (progress).  Is it trying to say something to this antique car?  Would love to identify what kind of a car this is. This building caught my attention Building, Paris, France not so much by its architecture but because it was on the top of a steep street and would probably have the best views. I find the balcony architecture, Paris, France, building, balcony that I would like to look out of every morning (second after the deck from our beloved péniche, Soleil, on the Seine.) We are in Montmartre; I’m hungry.  Grant you, no relation of one thought to the other but in my mind there is, for as soon as I see a place to eat my pace quickens and ends up in this café, Le Carrousel, which has gotten terrible reviews but I found really good with great friendly service.  I do notice, as I am heading there this group of women that have stamped on their T-shirt my feelings about this city: “J’adore Paris!” t-shirts, Le Carrousel, Montmartre, Paris, France Once mydog, street scene, water fountain, Abbesses, Paris, France tummy is full sandwich, pizza, hot sandwich, salad, food, Parisian bistro, latte we continue our exploration of the area. I’m enjoying seeing bits of life happening around me.  A woman kneeling down to get water from a fountain for her dog. Abbesses, Paris, France, buildings  Streets so steep it seems that they are going right into other buildings. Signs that make me think and laugh internally.  Imagining a conversation that goes somewhat like this:  Hi! Where are you staying? At My Hotel in France. Really?  Which one? Just My Hotel in France. Oh?  You own one? hotel, Montmartre, Paris, France Buildings that keep on making me look up.  Paris, France, Montmartre  Then off to see a street, rue Cavallotti, that a friend had mentioned to me that when the shutters are down, art comes up.  P1180924_2  P1180927_2   P1180929 P1180930 P1180931_2  Aside from the shutters I look into the few stores that are not shutter closed.  I love the mannequin on the window of a vintage clothing store with the reflection of a building on the glass. vintage clothes, rue Cavallotti, open-air gallery  A Do Not Enter sign made cute by graffiti. P1180935 We walk on and bump into Le Moulin Rouge.  The plaza is teaming with tourist, tour buses, people in line to go in.  I would like to see a can can dance but the place is crazy expensive and we have already done something crazy at Les Jules Vernes so I content myself to look from the outside.  Loving the red car in front of the place matching with the Moulin.Les Moulins Rouge As usual I find a window to be amused by.  Window  We walk a bit more. Loving the ups, downs and curves. P1180957   P1180958 And enjoying seeing an old windmill on top of the restaurant Le Moulin de la Galette.  Wait, a windmill?  Yep, one of only two remaining from 1717 (from 14 originally).  windmill, 1717, Le Moulin de la Galette  Did you know about D.E. Inghelbrecht? He was a pretty famous self-taught composer and director and we pass the building he lived in where he also has a statue commemorating him. music, classical, French director, composer,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9sir%C3%A9-%C3%89mile_Inghelbrecht  We are starting the roundabout climb to the Sacre Coeur.  Le Consulat I have a feeling this restaurant has been photographed a lot.  I look up, as always, and photograph one of its windows. It has a flower and bull (symbol for Taurus which is my astrological sign). Window

Chat NoirHere is probably the most bought souvenir image Tournée du Chat Noir and just in case you have been wondering as to the history, as I was, click here. More windows.  Windows And please say it ain’t so… a Starbucks amongst all this? Starbucks  A gallery window to counteract. Gallery  Wall art of something I couldn’t possibly have in this town.  Wall Art, Montmartre, Paris, FranceAnd more wall art of something that rhymes with it, but could be closely linked to it in reality.  Repression often brings depression. Repression

I’m learning so much about people I didn’t know existed.  Now we see the house where Maurice Neumont, a lithographer and painter who made propaganda posters, died. And I am loving the door.  P1180985_2   P1180986_2

I may have a new obsession with street art.  P1180987 P1180991_2 P1180992 P1180990 P1180982

I try not to dilly dally though, because the Sacre Coeur is just ahead. Sacre Coeur  I go into the basilica remembering my mom. The view from up here has always been so magnificent. P1180999

Sacre Coeur

We eventually make our way down passing the carousel.  Frankly the view looking up isn’t half bad either! Sacre Coeur

P1190042  Sacre Coeur  Carousel Horses

I wonder if this guy ever gets tired of his view? His apartment faces the basilica.  Window

Well, time to go back home so we get on back into the streets, Street Scene into the metro, Anvers metro Anvers and are able to reach home with enough light to look out the window onto a garden in the sky that our neighboring penthouse has.  Garden in the Sky

I know I have said this before but I do love this town!!

Categories: 18th Arrondissement, Abbesses, Anvers, Moulin Rouge, Sacre Coeur, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

“Te Amo”: Graffiti That Just About Sums it Up!

Today will be an art day.   Our feet will take us to the Musée Rodin.  7th arrondissement, art, sculpture, Rodin, Paris, France No doubt The Thinker  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, thinking, 7th arrondissement, museumis pondering when we will arrive but we are in no hurry so we leave Soleil leisurely.  It is always hard to leave her.  She has pretty much everything we need.  The péniche is the epitome of a room with a view.   Even as we walk the bridge we look back at her.  There she is, the only houseboat with a weeping willow on the right bank of the River Seine.  See her?  péniche, houseboat,  7th arrondissement, River Seine, houseboat, heaven

We must past the Eiffel Tower to get to the museum. steel, Eiffel, 7th arrondissement, tower, icon of Paris, Paris, France, tower  The mass of crisscrossed steel (9,441 tons of it) fascinates me and many stops are made to photograph her up close and personal.  She welcomes us.  steel, Eiffel, 7th arrondissement, tower, icon of Paris, Paris, France, tower She amuses us. steel, Eiffel, 7th arrondissement, tower, icon of Paris, Paris, France, tower She holds  our camera lens captive.   steel, Eiffel, 7th arrondissement, tower, icon of Paris, Paris, France, tower She serves as a background to a couple that just got married.  steel, Eiffel, 7th arrondissement, tower, icon of Paris, Paris, France, tower, wedding Seems like a popular location for couples; we saw another recently.

I don’t know how these players can concentrate on the soccer at hand having that structure as background.  But soccer players are fanatical and they pay no heed to anything but the game.  I love seeing it played.   steel, Eiffel, 7th arrondissement, tower, icon of Paris, Paris, France, tower. soccer

But not all is Pollyana.  A middle-aged woman goes through the trash in the park. steel, Eiffel, 7th arrondissement, tower, icon of Paris, Paris, France, tower. garbage picker

We continue on.  A flash of gold attracts our gaze.  9What is that?  It’s the Hotel des Invalides. The dome is quite spectacular.  7th arrondissement, Hotel des Invalides, Paris, France, gold dome, dome, museum, Paris, France So is the structure. 7th arrondissement, Hotel des Invalides, Paris, France, gold dome, dome, museum, Paris, France I wonder how it must felt to enter through such a grandiose door. 7th arrondissement, Hotel des Invalides, Paris, France, gold dome, dome, museum, Paris, France  We sit on a bench and just enjoy the sunny day.  Museum workers are out on their lunch break.  An elderly person on a wheelchair is soaking the sun with his caretaker by his side.

We move on and not much after that arrive at the Musée Rodin.  A column has many stickers on it giving it a festive look.  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, thinking, 7th arrondissement, museum, column Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, thinking, 7th arrondissement, museum, column People that leave the museum get rid of the sticker (proof of ticket purchase) there.  After a bit of a line we enter.  I immediately feel the same thing I did when I visited first, which is a sense – in spite of the crowd – of calmness.  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum,  Out of the bushes comes a new age type of music, an installation by Erik Samakh.  Not everybody’s cup of tea as is noted when a Brooklyn couple that is sitting in front of  The Gates of Hell, Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum, The Gates of Hell,   Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum, The Gates of Hell,  expresses in a not so soft voice.: F#!x music is morbid!”  I focus on a detail of the door.

This sculpture, Monument to the Burghers of Calais, Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum, The Gates of Hell, always draws me in.  Faces in despair. Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum,   Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum, The Gates of Hell,  

We go towards the garden Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum,  where on the wall is a scene of the artist at work.  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum, garden On a very irreverent note, I am still collecting butt images for a bathroom collection, so since getting real ones to pose is quite difficult and frankly unappealing to me I content myself in taking shots of those that can’t say no.  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum,

A class is in session and I am hoping no one saw me zooming in on the butt of the sculpture!  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum, art class  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, Rodin, sculpture, 7th arrondissement, museum, art class

A gelato break before we enter the museum itself. Musée Rodin, Paris, France

Not much commentary from me for a while, just follow along, will ya?

 Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin

The Kiss Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin

The sculptures are certainly the central point but the ceiling captivates me almost as much as the view from those beautiful windows.       Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin  Back to the sculptures.

 Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin Balzac  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin

The Cathedral  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin

And the artist Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin immortalized by others. Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin, painting,   Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin

As I leave, a sculpture made me feel great sadness.  I was going to continue but I came back took a photo and a second look.  Misery  Musée Rodin, Paris, France, museum, Rodin

We leave and I’m back to noticing what is unusual and cute to me.  A gas station on the side of the road.  Paris, France, scooter

Paris’ doors.  Paris, France, blue door Paris’ windows. Paris, France, window, flowers  Another wedding and is that Air France’s headquarters? wedding, Air France, Paris, France  A last look at Hotel des Invalides.  Paris, France

A chance encounter with my favorite bridge in Paris, Pont Alexander III.  bridge, Paris, France  bridge, Paris, France  bridge, Paris, France  bridge, Paris, France

Yep, Paris je t’aime! graffiti

I have mentioned I like this bridge, right?

bridge, Paris, France

But I tear myself away and back into the metro we go.  Paris, France, subway, metro  Meeting with a production assistant for the short.  I wait at a café,chandeliers and capture the “frenchness” of it all.

Parisian café, noisette, bistro, Paris, France

Parisian café, noisette, bistro, Paris, France   If I wasn’t sure where I was, I look out to this monument and a waving French flag.

Paris, France, monument, flag, French flag  I get picked up and as we cross the street I love seeing this couple on a bicycle.  She in the highest of heels.  Paris, France, bicycles, high heels  Paris, France, bicycles, high heels  Instead of going into the subway my stomach starts grumbling and we dive into a Thai restaurant that was actually really good!  Thai Food  Thai Food  After this we cannot avoid the metro but I oh, so don’t mind, because on our walk home this is the sight that awaits.

Paris, France, Eiffel Tower, 7th arrondissement

We hang around the terrace.  It’s a mild night and Parisians and tourist alike are out in full force.  There’s tango at one of the terraces that reminds me of a few friends back home.  They would love to perform/dance here.    Paris, France, Eiffel Tower, 7th arrondissement, tango dancers  Paris, France, Eiffel Tower, 7th arrondissement, tango dancers Paris, France, Eiffel Tower, 7th arrondissement, tango dancers  A photo shoot is being shot.  P1180218 race car  This time the Eiffel Tower takes a secondary part.  It’s the car that is the star.  race car, photo shoot

I feel so content that this is our route to return to our houseboat.  Don’t think I would ever tire of it. carousel, Eiffel Tower, 7th arrondissement, Paris, France carousel We cross the street and the United Nations road reminds me of my dad who worked there for over 25 years.  Eiffel Tower, 7th arrondissement, Paris, France, Ave. des Nations Unies  Back on the quay a little boat at the foot of Eiffel Tower.

Port Debilly, 7th arrondissement, Paris, France, boat,

And before we go into Soleil a last look at Eiffel and our weeping willow tree for the night.Soleil, Port Debilly, 7th arrondissement, Paris, France, boat,

I will sleep with the biggest smile ever.

Categories: 7th Arrondissement, France, Hotel des Invalides, Musée Rodin, Paris | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Clapton is Phenomenal the Second Time Around!

I look out the window and see the sun shining brightly.  Sunny Day, London, England, Queens Gate Road, KensingtonWe have a corner room so I go to the other side just to make sure and, indeed, the sun shines brightly.  Kensington, London, Queens Gate Road, sunny day

No time is spared to go out to enjoy the sun.  First the belly must be fed and in honor of the fact that we are to be tomorrow in lovely Paris we duck in an alley where there is a Parisian bistro, Cotê, to feed ourselves.  Love the little Coke bottle. Cote, parisian bistro in London, London, CokeMy plate was so good and the baguette gives me a taste of what Paris will offer.  chicken, salad, food, Cote, Parisian bistro in London, London

At the end of the alley on the main street is a TK Maxx – the equivalent of TJ Maxx in Los Angeles – and a Zara.  Two places I will hit since the psychiatrist I am portraying in Paris needs an outfit.  So, I, who rarely shop when in a foreign country, am doing so here.  The sizing is completely different but I manage to figure it out.  Done. Now off to Kensington Kensington Gardens, map, London, Kensigntonwhere Kensington Palace is. Kensington Palace, Kensington, London

The Brits are out in full force.  Rare are these incredibly beautiful and mild days.  Today is Sunday and what a gift it is for them to be free on a day like this. Tomorrow is a bank holiday too.  Kensington Gardens, Kensington, London park, London, England  Kensington Gardens, Kensington, London, England, gardens, sunny day

The Palace is shrouded in scaffolding so I’m concentrating on the gardens.

Kensington Gardens, London

The pathways are paved with shadows and so inviting.  garden arch, gardens, Kensington Gardens, London, England

The animals also attract my attention this duck is one of a select few chosen to reside in the fenced in pond. duck, Kensington Gardens, London, England

Kensington Gardens, pigeons, London, EnglandAnd these two pigeons seem to be pondering why that would be and stating that they could reside here if they so choose! 🙂 Or maybe they are just chilling.

We have to head back.  Time for the second Eric Clapton concert Eric Clapton is nearing.  And speaking of it, I am approaching it from an angle I had not seen it before.

Royal Albert Hall, RAH, London, England, Kensington     The Royal Albert Hall, London, England, concert venue, Kensington   Getting closer.   Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, concert venue

Majestic!  Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, concert, London, England

And here in all its glory!  Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London, England, concert venue

A few more steps, into the hotel,London, Kensington, England up the stairs to change, The Gore Hotel, London, England, stairs back out – through a back alley- Royal Albert Hall, London, England, concert venue into the Royal Albert Hall again and inside the RAH!!

On Friday we had a sky view, today we have a choir view.  Royal Albert Hall, London, England, concert venue, RAH     Royal Albert Hall, London, England, Kensington, RAH

Eric Clapton's opening act  Gary Clark Jr., Eric’s (yeah, we are kinda close by now) opening act impressed me a lot on the first night.  GaryClarke  Today, closing night, he is just as amazing.

And then comes Eric Clapton!  “Hello Old Friend”

Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England

Eric Clapton, Hello Old Friend  Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England

Close enough to capture his song list.  Follow along. Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England, song list

“Tears In Heaven”  Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England  Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England

And “Cocaine”   Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England   Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England  People are on their feet.  Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England  Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England

He leaves.  Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England An empty stage remains.  Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England  Until he returns.  Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England

Gary Clark Jr. and Eric Clapton.

 Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England  Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England  Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England

WOW!!!!!!!!!

What a way for the last night in London to end.  The concert was even better tonight!

Paris tomorrow, only two hours away on the Eurostar.

Categories: Eric Clapton, Gary Clark Jr., Kensington, Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace, London, Royal Albert Hall, United Kingdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Seeing Red and so much more…

Starting today with last night won’t confuse you, right?  It seems perfectly normal to me since last night we were surprised with an offer from a friend of Dean’s of two tickets to see a play I knew nothing about:  Red by John Logan, an American playwright.   A play I should have been well aware of since it won six Tony awards in 2010.  It’s about an episode of a Russian/American painter’s life in the late 50’s: Mark Rothko.  Only two actors in it. Quite intense and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  We went into a pizza place Pizzeria Rio afterwards.  The owner is Greek and the pizza was wonderful.

I was not about to let the remainder of my 24-hour double-decker fun go to waste and since I realized Bondi Rd. (a street very close to home) was on the bus’ route, I headed over there.   Unfortunately, Citysightseeing Tours stops are not clearly marked –in fact, not marked at all- and I couldn’t find one, so I walked over to Bondi Beach where I knew there was one.  Though still on the breezy side it was a lovely day and off I went.

Yesterday I learned that “Bondi” or “Boondi” is an Aboriginal word meaning water or noise of water breaking over rocks.  The Australian Museum records show that Bondi means a place where a flight of nullas (nulla being an aboriginal hunting stick) took place.   Bondi Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club is the world’s first surf lifesaving club.  Bondi Beach, Lifeguard, Sydney, Australia   After asking around I finally found the Tour Bus Stop but have to wait about 20 minutes before their first pick up at 10:00 am.  So I sit on a mosaic bench and stare at the beach.  Breeziness turns the temperature to cold.  Beach, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia  When the bus arrives it takes me up a street I had not been to before. We are headed away from the beach. Dover Heights, Sydney, Australia

It gives me a different perspective and view of the city.   Dover Heights, Sydney, Australia

We go through an area called Dover Heights which I really liked.  Of course it’s one of the most expensive areas in the city.  Property values are above $2 million. It’s hard to avoid views of water no matter where you go.  Sydney, Australia

We go back towards the CBD (City Business District) and we pass Woolworths, Woolworth food store, Sydney, Australia a store that reminds me of the now defunct Woolworth’s of my youth though this one is essentially a food store.

That’s another bus like the one I’m on and The Sydney Tower Eye I went up on yesterday.  It’s a Westfield mall on the first five floors. Sydney Tower Eye, Westfield mall, Sydney, Australia I love that the buildings here have names.  This was one of my favorites.  Sydney, Australia  Town Hall, built in 1875 maintains its dignity while being restored by the scaffolding being cloaked with a veil imprinted with its original façade.  Town Hall, built 1875, Sydney, Australia This Coca-Cola sign is heritage protected.  How lucky for Coke that their ad is a historic landmark!  Heritage protected, landmark, Coke billboard  Coke billboard, Sydney, Australia   After going through city, the bus loop takes me back to where I started.  I have to get off since my 24 hours officially end at around 1:00 pm.

It’s quite chilly so I’m craving something warm. I stop at Chocolatería San Churro which caught my attention when I arrived.    Touring is serious business and considering the weather, I succumb to a cup of hot chocolate before I walk back home.

Back on the road with my legs as transportation I see graffiti that makes me smile…  Graffiti, Park Bench, Bondi, Sydney, Australia   And graffiti takes baffles me, this one is inside an apartment.  Graffiti, Bondi, Sydney, Australia

Though Sydney people are not exactly friendly and outgoing I love how courteous they are.  Something that is reflected even on their mailboxes…

No Junk Mail

Respectfully Decline…

They even give reasons for rejecting things.  This photo is out of focus but it’s kind of appropriate it is so.

No Junk Mail

Your Junk Mail Will Go Unread!

My artist side was fascinated by a whole window display that started off with an explanation of what art is.

Art, Storytelling

Art is About Life

The rest of the window display explained that through the months, a piece of a story would be added and illustrated through found and borrowed objects.  I spent a while reading the story and saddened that it also had a good-bye note saying that the storyteller/artist was asked to vacate.

Storytelling, Art

A story unfolds…

I’m getting hungry and start searching for a reasonable place to eat and find a fish place, The One That Got Away, (half fish market, half fast food restaurant) that has a whole instruction manual on how to order.

Instructions to Order at The One That Got Away

I’m not reading all this just to be able to order!

The One Who Got Away menuAs I order a guy asks me where I’m from and starts talking to me.  I am surprised by the fact that he is a local, they don’t normally approach you and initiate a conversation.  But he was charming.  We exchanged some travel stories, he told me about the big Footy (Australian Rules football) that was on and that he was headed out to the stadium.

Today would be a day of conversation.  When he left, I approached a couple that were talking in Spanish.  He was from Uruguay and she from Argentina.  They shared my same thoughts.  They were shocked at how expensive Australia was even when they knew it wouldn’t be cheap.  They had planned to stay about a month and a half but were returning in a few days after being here a month.   The lady on the left was also speaking Spanish to her mom as she fed her.  It was obvious that her mom had Parkinson’s. My mom had Parkinson’s and their interaction brought back so many memories.  I still miss her so very much.

The One Who Got Away, Sydney, Australia

The One That Got Away

I still have a ways to go and decide to explore a supermarket and get some things to snack on at home.  Found a brand that reminded me of home.  🙂

Latina!!

The city reminds me once again that even with the chill, it is Spring.   I go by a flower store with orchids, trees in full bloom and flowers at ground level.             Orange Flowers

As I get close to the apartment (flat for Aussies and Brits) the bowling club (lawn bowling for us) is in white.

This is how I picture lawn bowling.  So civilized.

Young Bowling Fan

 

The church a block from the apartment is usually closed.  Today, as I pass, it bids me to come in.     

Australia is a very laid back country.  Even the signs take a rest at times…   My turn now.

Categories: Australia, Bondi Beach, Bronte, Dover Heights, Kings Cross, Queen Victoria Building, Town Hall | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Kob Chai Lai Lai

I am a bit disoriented.  Where am I?  Oh yes, Vientiane, Laos.  It is the capital and its largest city.  Sabaidee@Laos hotel (I promise to have a Review Page on all soon.) I had left the curtains open before I went to sleep and am rewarded with a pretty cool sunrise.  It is still dark.  I grab my camera from my bedside table and snap away as it gets lighter.   

I get up and notice that I have not unpacked yet.  I wonder why and go about doing so.  As I hum a song to myself and go into the shower I realize that I am feeling absolutely, completely well.  Was I really sick yesterday?  Was it a nightmare?  Did I imagine it all?  Definitely not!  My imagination is pretty developed but for good.  Never would have I imagined being so sick.  The main thing is that I am well and ready to go.  Later on I would consult with a doctor friend and he said it was most certainly a case of mild food poisoning, otherwise I would not have recovered in 24 hours.  I wouldn’t call it mild but it is now forgotten. Down to kow sao (breakfast  in Lao). I go with a smile on and a “goooooood morniiiiiing” to all.  It is so nice to find some of the group in the restaurant, remarking that it was good to see the old me come back.

We are taking a tour of the city.   Laos gained its independence from France in 1949.  Vientiane certainly has a “Frenchness” to it.   We pass by the Presidential Palace , which is not open to the public and only used for formal ceremonies, on our way to Ho Phra Keo “Hall of the Emerald Buddha”.  It was there that the Emerald Buddha, taken from Chiang Mai, had its home until King Rama I, repossessed it and took it back to Thailand.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t figure out whether to point my camera at the flowers…

Or at the Buddhas around the museum.   One in my favorite pose of “stop the war, make peace”   

Another in a pose –and attitude- I should adopt:  walking meditation  

In any position (or mudras as they are called) these Buddhas are beautiful.  This one is in the Bhumisparsha mudra symbolizing the enlightenment of the Buddha under the Bodhi tree. 

Or at the Nagas  (mythical serpents, protectors and guardians of treasures) flanking the steps going in. 

 We continue to Wat Sri Saket, home of 6,840 Buddhas.  Some in little niches.  Fascinating to see so many in one place.  

Really sad to see the storage room of the ones damaged in the war.  

But the surroundings are also worth exploring.  This is where I find a Smiling/Happy Buddha.  The story –according to our guide- goes that Buddha was so handsome that many where those he attracted while meditating.  To avoid interruptions he transformed himself into a plumper and less attractive version and therefore happily gained solitude for his meditation.  Looking it up it seems it may have other versions but the constant is that the parasol is for protection. 

Our trip leader finds a nest in a tree, of what is a delicacy in Thailand and Laos:  ants.  He points and pokes at it.      And the ants get angry.  

Then they are really, really mad.     So we leave them alone!

Next is That Luang stupa, said to contain remains of Lord Buddha.  It is impressive.  

The day is brutally hot, there is no shade at all and I can barely stand it, so head back to the bus.  Snapping photos on my way back.

It’s hot even for the monks! 

This building is a Monk’s Center.  The streetlights look very French to me. 

Off we go to Patuxai or Victory Gate.  It was built to commemorate those who fought in the independence from France.  At first sight it is a copy of L’Arc du Triomphe in France and when I ask our guide if he doesn’t find that fact ironic he doesn’t seem to believe so.  It is, however, decorated with mythological Buddhist half female, half bird figurines (kinnari) which makes it quite Laotian on inspection.     

Other details also make uniquely Laotian.    And as I climb steps up to the top on each level there is a mini shopping mall of Lao crafts and souvenirs as well as architectural details that continue reinforcing the Laotian side of this monument.       

The view from above.   

From there, the rest of the afternoon and night is on our own.  I decide to have a mani/pedi since it’s on our way to our hotel.  Will be my first in Southeast Asia.  Unfortunately, though the ambiance was unique the service was not the best.    My feet are happy campers anyway for the little TLC I have provided them.  Little do they know that in the afternoon I will join our guide and some of the group for a walk on Vientiane’s boardwalk and will make them work all over again.

The boardwalk is a surprise.  I am finding that in laid back Vientiane there is much more to see and do than I expected.  Again I wish that I knew how to ride a bike.  Though even as it gets darker the heat is quite oppressive.    
King Anouvong overlooks all this activity.      Giving his back to the “new” aerobics craze and the free class that is held in open air behind him.  
Which I decide to join… for less than a minute. 

I have a feeling he wouldn’t approve of this girl’s attire, an American flag printed on her shirt.  

Alongside freestanding exercise equipment stands this banyan tree, completely ignored by most.  I just stand in front of it awed by its intricacy (and dutifully avoiding –due to highly allergic reaction to exercise- even looking at the exercise machines in front of it 🙂 

At night I join part of the group to eat a pizza, of all things, at a French restaurant in Laos.  Kinda weird, huh?

We leave Vientane, and Laos, tomorrow morning.  I, once again, will be leaving part of my heart.  The Lao people have an acceptance of all things ingrained in them by their religion.  Acceptance… something I should add to my vocabulary and to my life.    Kob chai lai lai (thank you much) Laos for giving me a life lesson.

What will Vietnam (our next destination) teach me?

 

 

Categories: BLT+ (Burma) Myanmar, Laos, Uncategorized, Vientiane | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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