Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Ahh It's so nice to be back home! I had a beautiful Vacation in California that I can wait to tell you all about. I know it won't be hard for you to believe that I took over 630 photos over the 5 day period. My husband sometimes wonders if I'm enjoying myself or if I'm too busy taking pictures. I came to the conclusion that this is how I really savor the moment. I don't have a wonderful memory and when I look at pictures it's like reliving the moments, bringing scents & feelings back to you instantly. I had an absolutely wonderful time and I feel I could have gotton soo many more pictures.

Today I'm working on my Thank you gifts for all of the magical people in my life who made it possible to take a vacation. I collected smooth rocks from the San Simeon beach and painted on them during the kids nap time. I'm very happy with the outcome. Today I'll also be finishing my packaging for the Itty Bitty Swap. A great girl named Emily Rozell is putting on. She has created an artful recycling swap where we collect itty bitty art trinkets and put them in a Altoid tin or similar. In my case I used old sprinkle bottles. Now I just have to make them pretty enough to be kept out of a landfill somewhere. :) A refreshing idea. thanks Emily!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vacation Day 3

Still in San Simeon. Now it's time to go on the Hearst Castle tour. A huge incredibly intricate castle on top of a small mountain overlooking the beaches of San Simeon. This first picture is a small portion of the gorgeous outdoor pool. The next picture is of the ceiling tiles of the columns going along side the pool.

Their garden was maintained as this castle has been listed as a museum. I still can't believe the different range of flowers California has compared to Missouri.

Although it was hard to pick a favorite thing here. I enjoyed the large quantity of Statues the most. They were everywhere. On the terrace, balconies, in all rooms of the house & the gardens. They had a few very small replicas of these statues in the gift shop that ran for about $50.
Because this castle is now considered a museum they will not allow flashes, so I don't have any indoor pictures worth showing but you can imagine how it might have been by looking at the detail that went into the first bedroom in the guest house.
Outside shot of the Main house

This is my handsome husband admiring his dream home. As I'm sure many of you can relate too. My husband would rather have a home with rich hues & red velvet curtains & mahogany bookshelves for his library but he settles with all white shabby chic because it makes me happy. Someday I will decorate him his dream den & I can use these photos as inspiration.

Oh yes, & this is the indoor pool made of hundreds of thousands or is it millions? of 1 inch tiles. Some covered with 22k gold flakes. All of the tiles were hand laid by artists in a pattern consisting of mermaids and sea creatures. & of course more statues.

The pool is where our tour ended. They offer 4 or 5 tours altogether to see the all of the house. It was so much more tiring then I thought it would be so we only did one.

Next we stopped in the closest town Cambria for some Antique shopping. This is where the majority of the tourists go so I couldn't find anything worth the price tag but I did see some beautiful displays.

One of my favorite shots of the 630 pictures we took this vacation is this one of my husband going into the ocean after he wrote me this sweet note in the sand.

I happen to really love this picture because I can remember exactly how I was feeling. I felt like I had it made & there was no other place in the world to be. I couldn't have been happier. I am waving my husband to come meet me down on the bluffs because I couldn't leave this spot.

My camera took the liberty of capturing this color I've never seen it take before. What a beautiful place.

And finally the last picture of the night. Getting ready to make a fire and settle into our room for the night. This is the view from our balcony at the Cavalier Resort.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Vacation Day 2

Hello everyone! Hope everyone is having a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend! I wish I knew someone with a pool :)
So on to Day 2 of my beautiful vacation. You know I have to post everyday so I can relive these sweet memories. Since there is a 2 hour time difference between St. Louis and California I woke up at 6:00 a.m. This is the spot that I was lucky enough to be in that morning. By the foothill of the Kaweah river in Three Rivers. Watching the sun come up over the Mountains. I was able to journal for almost 2 hours here. I will be showing you my vacation journal soon in the next couple of posts. It's almost done.

After journaling I went in the River Dance Bed & Breakfast to find the hostess Sharon making us & another British couple breakfast. It was so delicious! It was nice speaking with this couple who were actors from Britain. They said they now taught acting classes and workshops in many different schools. They were a pleasant people who had a compassionate outlook on human suffering & valued life. After breakfast we were off to Sequoia National Park.

It was pretty shocking to see how big these trees grew & we were surprised to see snow still on the ground in small patches. As we walked down the short path to get to the Sherman tree (The largest living tree) we happened upon this Chipmunk who didn't mind the hikers in the park.

After seeing the magical trees I thought it would be whimsical if I wore a pretty crocheted dress. I can't wait to add some wings and creatures to these pictures when I'm scrapbooking.

Next we visited Morro Rock which is in the same park. We climbed 400 steps to 7,000 ft. elevation to see this view.

This was my favorite little resting spot on the way up and down. There was a nice breeze blowing through. It really wasn't as tough as I thought it would be . All together a great experience.

If you ever do get to visit this park. Make sure you do it in a convertible! It was so beautiful to be able to look up and out the whole time. After we left the park we had to get driving to the Coast of California to stay in a beach side resort and I didn't want to miss out on the Antique shops in Three Rivers so we stopped at a place called Rosemary's Remembrances. A cute name I thought. She had an array of many different cultured collectibles.

Of course my favorites were the china and jewelry collections.

I thought that was the only shop we were going to get to until we saw this on our way passing the Lemon coves. I had to stop. I was called by a fine artistic presence. A laid back feeling.

An old home made into an Antiques shop. I loved this display of interesting plates and silk flowers loosely put together in the garden.

The perfect motto to live by. I can't wait to make a large painting with this quote to go over my couch. I ended up with some vintage photos and old post cards for 25 cents each. I also found an Almanack in a different language from 1929 for only $1. Time to make the drive over to the Central Coast of California which was absolutely the most amazing drive I've ever taken. I wouldn't mind relocating to a small town like Cambria by the coast mixed in with those wineries. And finally, here is where we ended our 2nd day in California. The Cavalier Resort in San Simeon. We had a oven view room with personal balcony and fireplace. They even had champagne in our room when we arrived.
Their beaches were mostly rocks and bluffs a small amount of sand. As you can see we couldn't have asked for a prettier sunset.

I can't believe we experienced this in all one day. It was exhausting just showing you all of it. I would strongly recommend all of it though!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vacation Day 1

Since I have so much to show you all I think I'll share pictures day by day as it came. Let's start with Early morning on Thursday. 3:13 to be exact. Way too early by the way. Since it was a "get up and go on Vacation " instead of "get up and go to work" it didn't seem so bad. We went to the Airport in Saint Louis and this is the first picture I took. I said hold on I have to get this picture. As my husband is saying Umm okay... Well I don't see dress forms very often and this one just happens to be a pretty floral one. So on with the day. Airports usually do have interesting architectural detail but inside the Chicago airport were hand painted benches and lighting fixtures. Even a light show as we rode on the moving sidewalk.

Then we were off on a 4 hour flight to LAX. It was so fast paced there, we were just whisked away to the car rental location. All I remember is seeing very whimsical looking plants like I've never seen and we were going way to fast for me to get any pictures. I was pleasantly surprised at this fancy convertible waiting for us.

After picking up our car we drove immediately to Central California. It was a 3 1/2 hour drive to a town called Three Rivers with a population of about 2,000. Here is the scenery we witnessed the whole trip. A picture is nothing next to the real thing.

At last we arrive at our final destination for the day. A Bed & Breakfast called Sequoia River Dance. We passed it up at first because it looks like such a small little cottage home in a neighborhood but as we looked closer we learned it was a gorgeous, well maintained oasis.

If you live in California or are planning a trip you must go see this gorgeous experience. You will not find a better place to stay when you visit Sequoia National Park.

There are so many reasons this place is wonderful but this was my favorite

A large whitewater creek running through their backyard! They had two cement patios with furniture for you to enjoy the relaxing sound of the water flowing. A fantastic value! To end our evening we drove to a small pizza place with a magnificent view. Can't wait to start day 2!