Highway 155, Lake Isabella, CA
I made it! Back down to the elevation of the lake — 3,200 feet above sea level. My friend Tom met me at the gate and helped me bring everything in. It is in the low 30s tonight and cozy in the cabin. Tomorrow I’ll head back to Los Angeles, and be ready to work again on Wednesday AM.
SNOW & TREE
I love when the world fades to black and white and all of the color is leached out.
About this point Sequoia National Park started posting signs stating that chains were required ahead, and that “winter conditions loom ahead”. I was already over 35 miles into the drive and was worried I’d have to turn around, backtrack and go around to the lower elevation route.
Highway 155 near Lone Quail Farm
Hundreds of miles of rolling grassy hills. The Sierra foothills outside of Sequoia National Park are peppered with Black Angus cattle. Today the sky added a bit of drama as well. My heart is in these hills. Born and raised a city girl, I’d give up high heels forever, to live on a spread like this.
FRUIT TREES IN WINTER
Highway 155, near Bakersfield, CA
This trip on the drive north, I stopped in Kingsburg, CA to visit the grave of my old boyfriend, Evan. It was raining and I couldn’t find it. I was going to stop by again on the way south and decided not to. When I was out drinking with friends this week I flippantly said the best way I could honor him, is to have a shot of Oban, smoke a joint and light his favorite incense…so, that’s the latest plan. I went to the cemetery, he’s not there.
In the meanwhile, driving through places like this always reminds me of Evan and of the time we spent together in the Central Valley. His parents grew peaches for Smuckers, grapes for Gallo and SunMaid. As a urban/suburban girl, it was a world that was totally unfamiliar to me. I was introduced by a farm boy who knew of no other life and I fell in love with the land as well as the boy. Conversely, he grew to love the city, and never looked back on his country roots.
TURKISH ANTIQUES - (I especially like the piece with the hand)
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
The Grand Bazaar is one of my favorite places in Istanbul, it’s crowded and confusing, but a great place to lose oneself, and they carry just about everything. Spices, glassware, gold jewelry, carpets, pottery, more tools than Home Depot, antiques, religious icons, lamps, you name it. And the discovery is a good part of the adventure.
Near Colca Canyon, Peru
I absolutely, loved Peru. I was sorry that I traveled alone as there were so many times on the trip I would have loved having someone to share the experience with. I spent 6 weeks in Peru. Two weeks were spent with Earthwatch (the Sear’s Wishbook for adults) observing Macaws and the clay licks at Tambopata — nine hours from Puerto Maldonado by boat. Afterward I traveled from Lake Titicaca in the south to the border of Ecuador in the north. It was just me, with a driver and guide so they tailored the trip to my preferences. Absolutely spectacular…from flying over the Nazca lines to stopping for a herd of vicuna along the highway outside Aerquipa, the white City.
Mostly, what I loved is that each of the rural areas have a hat and style that is unique to them. In Lima, the style is Western dress and very modern, but up in the hills, you’d women like these in heavily embroidered dresses stopping the chat. Everything about the hat/hairstyle means something, One braid, two braids, rim up, rim down, flower on the left, flower on the right, no flower.
Women also work alongside their husbands in the fields, maintaining the terraces, tending to the crops. It’s a hard life but a picturesque one.
ROSE PARADE FLOAT - tapir detail
A couple of years ago a friend of mine was working on one of the floats and invited me to visit the float barn where assembly as taking place. I hadn’t realized how cool these floats really are…
The Tournament of Roses Parade, better known as the Rose Parade, is “America’s New Year Celebration” held in Pasadena, California. A festival of flower-covered floats, marching bands, equestrians accompany the Rose Bowl college football game on New Year’s Day (but moved to Monday if New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday*).
Originally started on January 1, 1890, the Rose Parade is watched in person by hundreds of thousands of spectators on the parade route. It is seen by millions more on television worldwide in more than 200 international territories and countries. The Rose Bowl college football game was added in 1902 to help fund the cost of staging the parade.
Typically 48 to 72 hours prior to parade day, one can view several of the floats being decorated with flowery mantles in the various ‘float barns’ that dot the area not far from the start of the parade. It is a rule of the parade that all surfaces of the float framework must be covered in natural materials — such as flowers, plants, seaweeds, seeds, bark, vegetables, or nuts; furthermore, no artificial flowers or plant material are allowed, nor can the materials be artificially colored.
*The “Never on Sunday” policy was originally touted as an agreement with God - no rain on parade day in exchange for avoiding frightening horses tethered outside local churches and thus interfering with worship services.” The parade has never been held on a Sunday. Incidentally, the Rose Bowl Game is also not held on Sunday to avoid competing with the NFL. Other bowl games held on January 1 also follow this rule. More
SUNSET ON THE PACIFIC IN BIG SUR
Big Sur, California
Big Sur is a sparsely populated region of the Central Coast of California where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. The name “Big Sur” is derived from the original Spanish-language “el sur grande”, meaning “the big south”, or from “el país grande del sur”, “the big country of the south”, referring to its location south of the Monterey Peninsula. The terrain offers stunning views, making Big Sur a popular tourist destination. Big Sur’s Cone Peak is the highest coastal mountain in the contiguous 48 states, ascending nearly a mile (5,155 feet/1571 m) above sea level, only three miles (4.8 km) from the ocean. More
The Belvedere was built as the summer palace for Prince Eugène of Savoy, a successful military commander of French descent who succeeded in defeating the Turkish army in 1683. It was designed by court architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, who created a masterpiece of Baroque architecture.
After the death of the childless prince in 1736, his possessions, including works of art and a large library were sold off by his cousin Anna Victoria. She also sold the palaces to empress Maria Theresia [mother of Marie Antoinette], who decided to use the Belvedere to house the royal art collection. In 1779 she opened the palace and gardens to the public.
The lower palace [shown] was converted into a museum for modern art while the upper palace became the residence of archduke Franz Ferdinand until he was assassinated in 1914, an event that led to the start of the First World War.
FEMALE BARE-BREASTED COLUMNS
Facade Julius Meinl Grocery - Vienna, Austria
Right in the heart of Vienna you will find Julius Meinl am Graben, the culinary epicentre and premier address for Austria’s gourmets and connoisseurs, this is the entrance. The finest ingredients and materials from all over the world are on sale over three floors in an unparalleled atmosphere. More
I love the facade, but couldn’t find out anything about the lovely bare-breasted women, all the sites just rave about the food inside. :)
LIBRARY OF CELSUS - Detail
The library of Celsus is an ancient Roman building in Ephesus, Anatolia, now part of Selçuk, Turkey. It was built in honor of the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus (completed in 135 AD) by Celsus’ son, Gaius Julius Aquila (consul, 110 AD).
Celsus had been consul in 92 AD, governor of Asia in 115 AD, and a wealthy and popular local citizen. He was a native of nearby Sardis and amongst the earliest men of purely Greek origin to become a consul in the Roman Empire and is honored both as a Greek and a Roman on the library itself. Celsus paid for the construction of the library with his own personal wealth.
The library was built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus. Celsus is buried in a sarcophagus beneath the library, in the main entrance which is both a crypt containing his sarcophagus and a sepulchral monument to him. It was unusual to be buried within a library or even within city limits, so this was a special honor for Celsus.
WINDMILL AT DUSK
The windmills are the first thing seen when coming into the harbor of Alefkandra on Mykonos, as they stand on a hill overlooking the area. Most windmills face towards the North where the island’s climate sources its strongest winds over the largest part of the year. There are currently 16 windmills on Mykonos of which seven are positioned on the famous landmark hill in Chora. Most of them were built by the Venetians in the 16th century, but construction continued into the early 20th century. They were primarily used to mill wheat. They were an important source of income for the inhabitants. Their use gradually declined until they ceased production in the middle of the 20th century. Text Source
This is a house in a wealthy Roma “gypsy” neighborhood in Central Romania. They have these cool stacked metal roofs, covered with cutout metal decoration. I’d never seen anything like them before.
According to the 2011 census, they number 619,007 people or 3.2% of the total population, being the second-largest ethnic minority in Romania after Hungarians.
The first Roma reached Romania around the year 1241. At the beginning of 1300s when the Mongols withdrew from Eastern Europe the Roma who were left were taken as prisoners and slaves. According to documents signed by Prince Dan I the first captured Roma in Wallachia dates back to year 1385.
In fact the Roma people, and the Romani language, have their origin in northern India. The presence of the Roms within the territory of present-day Romania dates back to the 14th century. The population of Roms fluctuated depending on diverse historical and political events.More