Here, there and everywhere - Part 1

Hi everyone!  I know it's been awhile.  I've been on a few adventures over the past two weeks and decided to just revel in them and write about them later.  Later is now :)  

One of the things that I have been doing with this gift of time is embarking on as many adventures - visual and otherwise - as possible to help "feed the well" of my creativity.  Seeing and doing new things really gets my juices flowing and helps to see things from different perspectives. Thanks to my fabulous aunt and her partner, I had the opportunity to go to LA for a week.  It was amazing! I got a break from the bitter NY cold, saw some amazing art and architecture (street and museum), saw some great performances by local dance troupes, reconnected with an old friend, ate way too much, and got to revel in some of Mother Nature's glory.  It was inspiring and rejuvenating and I am extremely grateful for the experience.  I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking but there will be some commentary too. So this isn't too epically long, I'm breaking down the trip into smaller bites.  For today, let's look at Mama Nature 'cause boy is she beautiful!  

It all started with the plane trip out west.  I got a window seat as per usual because I have never gotten over the joy of looking out the window of a plane and seeing our world from above - whether it's an earth landscape or a cloudscape - I am entranced every time.  I know I posted some of these pics in The Recycling Center but you are getting some of them again because GORGEOUS :)

After hours of beautiful, bird's-eye-views of all those stunning landscapes, I landed at LAX to flowers, palm trees, concrete and blissfully warm weather (good-bye puffy, sleeping bag coat! It was only in the 60s but after a month of sub-zero temps it felt amazing). First stop was Manhattan Beach because all I wanted was ocean and sand.  

Happiness is sunset on the beach.

My aunt and I stopped at for some nourishment and a grand view of the sunset at The Strand House.  It's right on the beach - whole wall of windows looking out over the ocean.  I highly recommend going if you are in the area.  Gorgeous place and amazing view. What did we have? House made donuts and frites - just because you're in California doesn't mean you have to eat healthy ;) I resisted the urge to take foodie pics - which felt virtuous at the time but I'm regretting it a bit now.  

Right, right, we're supposed to be focusing on Mama Nature.  So, the next day was supposed to be the nicest (warmest) day of the trip so I decided I needed to just spend it at the beach.  There's something incredibly soothing about walking on the beach, the sound of the wind and surf just clears/drowns everything else out - forced into the ever-present-now as waves curl around your ankles and sand squishes between your toes. There's miles of houses and concrete and people so close, then this ribbon of sand and then acres of ocean and blue haze.  Gorgeous, peaceful, invigorating and calming at once.  So much to absorb - colors and textures, light and reflections.

I also spent some time walking out on the piers.  Between long periods of gazing out to sea, I was struck by a number of things: the pigeons taking a shower on the fish cleaning sink, the beautifully pitted wood on the tops of the railings, and all the Warning signs cautioning people not to eat the fish and shellfish - long lists of what to avoid due to contamination in the water. Worrisome considering the number of people I saw out there with fishing rods...

I also did a lot of covert people watching.  I always want to take pics of folks I see but I feel too weird taking pics of strangers - mostly because it's really hard to do it without people noticing and getting self-conscious - you lose the moment. However, I admit that if I had an unnoticeable mini-cam in my glasses/sunglasses I would totally use it.  That probably makes me a bit creepy but it's the truth.  Anyway, mental pics only of all the intriguing faces I saw.  There was a couple, both covered in a mix of beautiful and not-so-beautiful-to-me tattoos, sitting on one of the benches in an intimate tete-a-tete.   Two friends with a camera on a pole taking panoramic selfies of themselves.  Fisherman, sprinkled at intervals across the pier drinking beers and water.  Two teenage boys (probably hooking school) doing pull-ups on the struts underneath the pier and, later on, "sledding" down one of the sand dunes on a boogie board.  Sometimes when I'm out and about absorbing people and places, little fragments drop in - some are almost poetry, others are just...fragments.  Anyway, this one stopped by during one of my pier walks:

Ink my story on my skin

Lessons learned the hard way

Pain and blood


                                           I gave myself

 Temporary gifts

                                  For long term understanding.


There is none.

We strive for it

                             but everything fades


becomes unrecognizable.

Time and distance

                                    Sags and curls






Out of shape and reason.

Time tethers us and sets us free.


On that note, I''m signing off for today as time is telling me I have other things to attend to.  Back soon with Part !!.