Picasso Museum – Paris

Paris has been on my mind as is often the case when the weather is nice and the flowers are out. I was sorting through photos looking for something else and came across Picasso.  I realized I never posted on my visit to the Musée Picasso in Paris.  So bare with me while we re-visit Paris for a Master worthy of mention.

This museum is certainly worth a visit the earlier the better to avoid the crowds.  The variety of art on display is impressive; sculpture both large and small, paintings, sketches, metal, clay, pencil, chalk.  Be sure to take in the outdoor garden which has multiple large sculptures on display.  It’s amazing for an artist to master one form let alone so very many of them at such a scale.

This is the perfect place to stop to either get out of the Paris heat or the Paris cold depending on when you are in town!

What’s your favorite piece of his artwork?

For more of my Paris posts, of which there are many, please click here.

California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

I have posted about Golden Gate Park in San Francisco before but there is even more to talk about.  The California Academy of Sciences is a world class science center which proves entertaining for adults and children.  I was visiting the sites nearby and had a few hours to kill and thought it would be a fun stop. It’s been a few years since I last visited and the dinosaurs were visiting this time around!

One of my favorite features is the living roof which is reminiscent of a hobbit house being bulbous with port hole windows. From the roof one can see 360 degree views of the spacious and green park and get a burst of sea air.

Next on the list of my favorites is the indoor rain forest.  No time to travel south of the equator? Come here and see some lovely tress, flowers, birds, frogs, and butterflies native to the world’s rain forests.  Science center guides are available to educate children on butterfly and bird species and their habitats.

Not enough for you?  Head downstairs to a spacious and impressive aquarium where the littles can touch sea creatures in a tide pool and walk under the fish tanks. Don’t forget a visit to the famous albino alligator on your way out of the natural history museum area.  And bring a picnic because there is no better place to sit and enjoy the sunshine in the City by the Bay!

Don’t miss this wonderful stop on your next trip to San Francisco!

Bodega Bay’s Kortum Trail

My husband and I and friends have been camping in Bodega Bay for years and years. We typically camp on the beach in the Sonoma Coast State Parks which is pretty darn glorious. During many of those trips we hiked portions of the Kortum trail which parallels the coast for approximately 5 miles round trip. The mild and maintained trail connects Wright’s Beach all the way to Blind Beach.

Since baby made his arrival in my life two years ago we haven’t been back to the beach or the trail. So finally my Mom and son and I spent the weekend visiting the area and I took the opportunity here to show you some views from the trail. One can see magnificent views of the ocean, beautiful rock outcroppings, lovely wild flowers, seals, birds, rabbits, and sunsets. iPhone photos but hopefully I get the point across.

It frankly does not get much better than this friends.

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Salmon Creek Art Walk, Bodega Bay

While visiting Bodega Bay recently we stayed on Salmon Creek.  The tiny community hosted the Salmon Creek Art walk in part due to a large number of resident artists and secondly due to the sheer beauty of the area and its relationship in general to art.  While baby and my Mom were napping I snuck away and visited a few of the art walk locations and have posted a few of the more “interesting” finds.  A surprising number of people walked up and down the hills looking for the various locations and enjoying the architecture and landscape.  I particularly enjoyed getting perspective in to the interior of some of these adorable and eclectic beach homes.

 

Fisherman’s Fest – Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Fest occurred recently in coastal Bodega Bay, California.  The festival was a fun little stop while in town with my mother and son.  There was something for everyone.  The fest started with a blessing of the fleet, crafts, and tons of seafood.  There were bounce houses, dog parades, and tide pools for the tots.  The festival even boasted a contest for groups to build and navigate a wooden boat in only a few hours.  Naturally the coast guard is on hand for anyone who sunk!  Sadly naptime conflicted with timing so we didn’t get to enjoy watching all of the sailors compete in their handmade boats or go for a very cool swim when they failed.  However, we were able to watch a coast guard rescue demonstration with divers in the ocean and a helicopter adeptly plucking people and dropping them to safety.

Di Rosa – Modern Art in Napa

Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is not your average stop in Napa.  The art is serious and IT.IS.LARGE.  The grounds are lovely.  Wine is nowhere to be found (except for the vines on the property) which is welcome in a place where stopping at one winery about hits my max these days.

Di Rosa is highlighting the largest collection (over 100 pieces) of art by Viola Frey in one exhibition ever. Many many pieces were on display including her larger than life pieces in living 80’s color. Most of the pieces are ceramic ranging in size and purpose.

The exhibition space is spectacular.  Be sure to come early since they close at 4 p.m. and one must be shuttled to the exhibition space.  I was lucky visiting during the week as I was the only visitor and had the entire place to myself save one security guard.

Napa has some world class art happening which perhaps could be taken more seriously if everyone wasn’t so tipsy all the time. 😉

My favorite installation is below.  Something about a swinging angel was entertaining and not expected.  And what’s not cool about a random car hanging from a tree?

Below are the grounds and the main exhibition space with some pretty wild and colorful pieces.

Come enjoy Napa.  There is something here for everyone.  Cheers!

Random Napa

A lot of people go to Napa for the wine. Some come to shop or to visit the spas and places of healing. Many come for the outstanding world class food. I second all of those reasons. But this trip I came for the fresh air. I came for the antique stores and the art. (More of that later)  Mostly I came to get some fresh air.

A life-size corkscrew must bring a smile to your face.  And who doesn’t love a good tree lined drive?  What about a converted gas station wine tasting room?

I also wanted to see the burn area from the recent and devastating fires.  If you look close in a few of the photos you will see a lovely and charming country winery scene. But if you look close the hill behind the winery is the fire line and miles and miles behind it burned along with much of what was in its path. Many moons ago I presented my dissertation at the Mayacamas Ranch which sadly was lost in the fire.  They vow to rebuild and I wish them luck because their place was spectacular.  Its been a little while since the fire so green is growing but all of the trees are dead and much devastation still exists.  And a lot of building…

 

Notre Dame

An alert on my iPhone said it was burning. It’s just a building but I dropped what I was doing at work to look for additional details hoping it was just a small fire. How could a church made of so much stone burn? Surely it must not be bad? Text messages from a French friend and German friend start to come in. “Are you watching?” Disbelief and frantic searching for photos on my phone and in my computer to jog my memory as to how much of the facility was wood. People of Paris start to gather and the world watches. This church doesn’t only belong to the French. It belongs to the hearts of everyone who has visited, read about it, seen photos, or practiced it’s teachings. Hearts broke as the tower fell. Please don’t let it be terrorism. I couldn’t take that and was saddened that my mind even went there. All of the relics. The glass work. The lamps. The ORGAN.  The woodwork. There would be no way to save the woodwork. Please please save the magnificent front doors. Later stories of heroism emerge along with stories of waste and politics like usual. And now it rains and it is in danger again. I look back at photos and remember the service I took there while last in Paris where I heard the unmistakable sound of the organ paired with Gregorian choir making a sound only the heavens could create. A beautiful noise. Now, I only hope it will be restored so I can take my son to see it some day and with any luck hear the original organ and view the original woodwork, flooring, etc. It has survived this many years and I am confident it will rise proudly again for the people of Paris, for the people of France, and for the rest of the world who it belongs to in spirit.

CA’ TOGA ART GALLERY, Calistoga

My photography friend and I headed to Napa with the plan to photograph spring flowers. A quick and random yelp search layer led us to the random Villa Ca’ Toga. After seeing some of the images online and having never heard of this place flowers were out the window and we set coordinates towards beautiful Calistoga. Turns out sadly that the tours of the Villa start next week so we settled on the gallery. (Harrumph.)

A visit to the gallery did not disappoint and has well inspired us to take a trip soon to see the Villa which is home to and created by Carlo Marchiori. Carlo is a multi talented and prolific artist whose muse is his own Villa on the outskirts of Calistoga.  Every inch of the Villa is covered in interesting and eccentric art as well as the grounds which appear to be covered in random sculpture.

Who wants to visit the Villa with me?!

 

 

 

Springtime in Napa

It’s springtime in Napa which means mustard flower and cleanup piles. I have always found Napa to be a spectacularly beautiful place. But, I’ve always found the views away from the large commercial wineries to be my favorites. The side roads and country in between the touristy places can take your breath away. Napa is truly the most beautiful big time small town in Nor Cal and I never ever get tired of it in any season.