Thursday, June 30, 2011

Los Alamos Depot Mall

I brake for antique malls.  One of my favorites is this only surviving depot from the Pacific Coast Railway, now a huge antique mall, filled with all those vintage accessories I collect.  It is located in the charming little town of  Los Alamos, along with other antique shops, art galleries and restaurants.

This trip, however, I didn't find a single pair of gloves, nightgown, scarf or hat.  I did find a gorgeous long leather coat with a fox collar, but it was one of those "If I lived in Paris, I would buy it" pieces.  I keep dreaming about that coat, which means I may stop again next time I'm in the area.  Like most women I know I play the game:  If it's still there, it's meant to be.

I did find this unique and beautiful bracelet in the contemporary art gallery across from the depot.  From now on, I brake for art galleries, too!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

An Ostrich Farm

Today I made a solemn vow.  From now on I am going to stop at every roadside attraction that I've ignored for decades.  I've been too eager to get to the final destination that I've missed countless adventures along the way.  No more.  I am stopping at every historical landmark, every museum, mom and pop store and freak show that crosses my path.

I must have passed Ostrich Land a thousand times and never stopped until now.  So what if I'm late for a meeting or dinner at grandma's.  It's not everyday I get to feed an ostrich!

 "An ostrich feather?  Are you kidding me?"
"But it's so elegant!"
"Just when I think you have good taste, you pull a stunt like this."
"I won't wear it in public, I promise."
"If I had eyes, I'd be rolling them right now."
"You're a real trooper, Mimi."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lompoc Murals

Does art enhance life?  Absolutely.  Talk to people who are surrounded by art and their speech--the nouns, verbs and adjectives, which make up everyday language, possess a spark that is lacking in those that live without it.  To go about your normal routine, but to pass a colorful, larger than life portrait of nature makes the 9 to 5 less stale.  Every city needs public art to feed the souls of their citizens.  The murals of Lompoc are pleasurable to locals and tourists alike.  Beautiful.  Colorful.  Joyous.  Worth a detour!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Marigolds and Artichokes

One acre of these intensely colorful flowers can produce up to 250 pounds of seeds, making Lompoc one of the top producers of marigold seeds in the world.

In addition to flowers, we saw many fields of artichokes.  I can't wait to get home tonight and roast a chicken, steam some artichokes and pop open a bottle of chardonnay.  Artichoke leaves dipped in butter!!  Yum!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lompoc Flower Fields

Fields and fields of blooming flowers left me breathless.  I am inside an Impressionist's painting--definitely one of those "There is no place else I'd rather be" moments that make traveling so addictive.

Delphiniums, sweet peas, cosmos and stock are all ready to be picked, shipped and ultimately displayed in homes all over the world.

Mimi is deliriously happy, too!  She's wearing an older Max Mara top and tree skirt.  See?  I do have florals in my closet, after all. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

More Summer Whites

Eileen Fisher pants and YaYa Alfalo top

The fog has lifted and the temperature is soaring, so I packed my summer whites in Mimi's suitcase and went on a two-day blogging trip this week.  Pure bliss!

Da-Nang tunic/dress

Monday, June 20, 2011

Santa Barbara Mosaics

Mosaic wonders are scattered all over Santa Barbara.

The mosaic boulder and reptiles were created by local artist Dan Chrynko.

If you are visiting our beautiful city and would like to create a mosaic piece to take home, the Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art offers weekend workshops.  What a fun project and a souvenir that will last generations, maybe even millenniums.  Now, that's an heirloom!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Roman Mosaics

Mosaic "cave canem", House of Tragic Poet, Pompeii
Mosaic floor, House of Dionysus, Cyprus
Mosaic floor, House of the Gladiators, Cyprus

Every time I wear these necklaces, images of ancient mosaics float around in that part of my brain that lives in Never Never Land.  Did I once live in Ancient Rome?  Hmmm.  Cyprus?  Most definitely.

"Am I wearing Armani?"
"Whoa.  And it looks like a mosaic.  Something subliminal is going on.  Creepy!"

House of the Neptune Mosaic, Herculaneum
Mosaic floor, Women's Baths, Herculaneum
House of the Mosaic Atrium, Herculaneum