National Parks Week is April 21-29 this year, which means, admission to all the US National Parks is FREE.
Visit the National Parks Service to see which parks this includes then plan your trip!
Photograph: Tunnel View, Yosemite, by Don J. Schulte
I’m not giving up on the necklace a day project but I am a lot behind and what I’ve done I haven’t had good daylight to take pictures of, so. Expect a deluge of posts about that when the rain is gone. Or something.
In the meantime, do you know about the Google Art Project??? It’s been around for awhile but I just ran across it this weekend and oh. my. gosh. Virtual tours of museums all over, with the ability to blow up sections of the piece and wow. It’s not exactly like being there but it’s the best iteration of real-life art I’ve seen online to date. Here are a couple screenshots of just a few of the pieces over there. Seriously. Go check it out.
You can click the images below for bigger versions if you want to see more detail.
“Birth of Venus” is so huge. I don’t remember ever not knowing what it was or not getting all the references to it that are made everywhere, all the time. But if you’d asked me to sketch what I thought it was, it’d be just a woman standing in a big clamshell. Who knew there were other people there?
Dude. Napoleon is so hot.
Sometimes seeing paintings in the flesh is surprising. Like the size—I always assume painting are going to be about poster size, but a lot of them aren’t. Some of them are really small, like Dali’s “Persistence of Memory”, which is intricately fit onto a canvas about the size of an 8×10. Sometimes the texture is shocking. Van Gogh uses a boatload of paint.
LOUIS QUATORZE! Not a real role model but how sassy is he?
A couple sweet yellows I’ve been enjoying over on the poppytalk Summer 2011 Colours Week flickr group [click the photos to visit the photographer’s flickr page]:
You know I love the Yewknee Summer Mix Series, which is a clearing house of user-submitted summer-themed mixes e.g. a whole lot of free new music for you and me!
The 2010 collection is gangbusters, but here are a couple that made the cut and got downloaded at Chez Gwen [I’m still working on listening to them all].
Dreams in Audio: Express Yourself
Starsky: Crack & Weed
Jeremy Okai Davis: I Got A Story To Tell
upbeat sitdown: Run for Cover
Bret Easton Ellis Summer Edition [1980s club night]
Strawberry Fields are planted [Beatles rarities and 1960s]
Hope is just a waking dream [chillwavey]
For Pops: Taking it old school [1970s-80s R&B]
Savannah High: Nothing Stays the Same [1980s R&B/dance]
After our dazzling adventure in Half Moon Bay Saturday, we headed down Highway 1 to Santa Cruz. We did not stop in Pescadero for artichoke anything, and we did not stop at Pigeon Point to look for whales, and we did not stop to watch the kite surfers — we just wanted to get to the beach.
We tried out Natural Bridges but it was a bit nippy so we ended up at the boardwalk — it’s a bit more inside the bay so more sheltered and warmer. Oddly, this is the first time Chad and I have set up camp on the boardwalk beach together.
We ate, then went for a stroll down the boardwalk. It was insanely crowded and took us ages to get to the far end.
Then we decided to go ahead and walk out to the end of the pier.
We saw a rockabilly beach wedding and battling sea lions and an awesomely cool X-wing kite.
By the time we started walking back, the sun was already setting.
Our beach blankie was practically the only thing left — everyone had packed up and gone home already.
We watched the sun set over the parking lot from the beginning of Lost Boys.
Then we headed downtown.
Things to do in downtown Santa Cruz on a Saturday evening:
Admire the gorgeous lamps at Om Gallery.
Have a tikka kebab and samosas and pomegranate juice for dinner at Khyber Pass, then some Princess Torte for dessert at Hoffman’s Bakery.
Visit with some very hep mannequins at one of the various vintage shops.**
Say hello to my friend Gordon the Cheesemonger author on display at Logo’s bookstore.
* If you are wondering why we skipped from part one to part three, it’s because I have not done the part two photos yet. Life just works out that way sometimes.
** that photo of me is from several weeks ago but I needed something to fill the space. and I wanted to show you that I finally made something out of one of those spectacular vintage glass rings I got at the Alameda Antiques Fair months and months and months ago.
Saturday we went on a date day down the coast [I know, I know, you’re all shocked]. We used our new Fastrak gadget [a debit thingy that allows you to zip through the toll lines at the bridges here] on the San Mateo Bridge for the first time, then sat in lots of traffic going over the peninsula hills because it was Saturday and gorgeous out and who wouldn’t want to go to the ocean. I mean, really, this is why we all live in California.
Our friend George had a gig at a café in Half Moon Bay that we tried to catch but we were late because of the traffic and me screaming STOP HERE!!!! when I spotted the BERRIES 99¢ sign at the honey + produce stand.
99¢ is a third what blackberries and blueberries cost over on our side of the bay and corn was 10/$1 so you’d better believe we stocked up. In case you didn’t hear me, that’s TEN CENTS FOR AN ENTIRE EAR OF CORN.
And there was lots of local honey.
When we got downtown, George was already headed out, so we said hi then picked up some picnic provisions at the deli and did a little window shopping on Main Street. I loved this under the sea wedding cake:
While Chad was picking out cheese, I ran across the street for a fix at The Posh Moon, which is a lovely little boutique run by a seriously francophilic [?] mother and daughter and is wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling romantic neutral bohemian etc. clothing and accessories and some housewares, many of which are made by locals — I’m just in love with this girl Effie’s line that they carry. Anyway. It is the sweetest place and I just love walking in there. I bought a green silk summer blouse and a tiny pewter blowfish made by an artist in Rhode Island — I’ll try to take a picture of it later because it’s about the cutest little figurine ever.
I snapped a shot of their ribbon flower hair clips as a reminder, there’s an excellent book at our library about making these and it’s something I keep meaning to do. But you should go buy some, they’re very affordable.
I shall return with part two of our day.
I put up a few more photos from our anniversary trip [here!] and wanted to share one of my favorite attractions anywhere, which is also by far the most disgusting attraction I know of — the San Luis Obispo gum wall. It’s a little walkway between two buildings, the walls of which are completely covered by ABC gum. It’s very cool but very gross.
Apparently there are other gum walls around the world.
South African jewelry designer Genevieve Motley makes the most lovely, unique pieces you can imagine. Very economically priced, too. I won this fantastic necklace and have received many compliments on it over the past few days.
Head on over to her shop at genmotley.etsy.com.
If you’re a 7 1/2, they’re for sale over at Allen Company Inc..