Earlier in the year I visited Ca’Toga Gallery in Calistoga, California and knew immediately I needed to meet the artist and see his amazing Ca’Toga Villa. So as soon as we had the time we went for a tour which did not disappoint. The artist Carlos Marchiori hand built every piece of this house and prepared the blank property right down to planting every beautiful tree. (His proudest accomplishment by the way which I found interesting.) Between the watercolor murals, sculpture, ceramics, tile work, and his overall whimsical vision it was surreal and genuinely impressive. Carlos peppered genuine old world antiques like wood from a Portuguese monastery and real antique sculpture work from old dilapidated European buildings he brought over in a container in the 80’s. Everything else is hand made. Everything! Originally created as a life size way to display his work to perspective clients it’s clearly taken thirty years to realize a life love and obsession. If the mural look familiar you may have seen his work in multiple locations around the world most notably Las Vegas casinos and other casinos around the world. I feel very much honored to have seen Ca’Toga Villa, walked the grounds, and met the eclectic and entertaining master. Add this to any Napa visit for a special and interesting thing to do in the valley.
Bird Cage from the Bir’s perspective
Hippo skull anyone?
I love these gates
Interesting use of local materials
I love these gates
Image of the front gate
WHy not mosaic your own pool?
Working fountain with hot spring water
This seems like a good idea until I stood up and everything stuck to my dress
Protector of the house
The artist in his element
I’ve been visiting Calaveras Big Trees State Park since I was a kid. Back then there wasn’t a visitor’s center, camping, and all the trails. That said, they frankly enhance the park and encourage people to repeat their visits. I am happy the park has grown and with it the park’s attendance. The amazing giant trees can only be found in certain areas of our state and the world and they never disappoint. It’s hard to describe or capture the size of these trees but I did my best here with my good ol’ iPhone. I hope you enjoy because Mother Nature did her best when she created these specimens.
This trip I did something I always wanted to do and visited the south grove trail after visiting the main north grove trail first. I’m very glad I did because we were treated with a relaxing and cool respite at Beaver Creek. It was a hot hot day so our feet welcomed the swim.
I can’t wait to go back and hit a few more of the trails to see some of the big trees which are harder to find and take more preparation to plan for. I hope to camp next time so we can enjoy them in the calm cool morning. These miraculous trees deserve the effort!
It’s unimaginable how large these amazing trees are
You can’t help but look UP1
Dance floor anyone?
You can walk all the way through
A nice spot to cool off
Beautiful trail in the South Grove