Sometimes a picture is all you need.
Sometimes a picture is all you need.
“A flower does not bloom for itself, but for the world; do likewise.”
– Matshona Dhliwayo
On Sunday’s, I’ve developed a little HAPPINESS habit, I drive to Trader Joe’s and buy myself flowers (they have an awesome assortment). This week I selected a bouquet 💐 of beautiful pink and white roses.
I place the bouquet next to my bedside lamp, letting their soft fragrance lift my spirits in the sterile hotel room that has been my home for 6 weeks now.
What makes you happy?
By the way, go check out Cees Showcase of Photography for more inspiration!
A little known fact I have learned after living in the Last Frontier for over twenty five years is that when the winter sky is clear and brilliant blue the temperature is frigid. Saturday morning was no exception. The below zero temp rose to single digits as we made our way down to see the ice sculptures.
I explained to Miss R as we got our snow gear on that this was love, because this grandma absolutely hates the cold. Thank goodness this will be my last winter here (but that’s another story for another time). But a promise is a promise and it was time for an adventure! So off we went to explore Fur Rondy.
The snow sculptures are down in the Port of Anchorage across from the ULU Factory. A parking lot was converted to temporarily house the snowy artwork. The chilly temperature and icy cold drew people to the one and only food vendor like flies to honey.
With a hot chocolate and warm apple cider in hand we headed up the hill to the carnival.
Even in the arctic there is fun at the carnival. Miss R, impervious to the cold, was in high spirits as her and her mama went fishing – and won two squishy bears that found a home in my pocket for safe keeping. They now reside on my bookshelf keeping Miss R’s other toys company until she visits again.
A bit frozen (at least I was) we headed for home to warm up before I headed back out to 4th Avenue to meet C.
For ten years folks have had the opportunity to run down 4th Avenue with reindeer. Yes, you too could dress up (or wear nothing at all) and run down frozen streets with a herd of reindeer. I had this new Nikon camera and figured it would be a good time to test it shooting racing, walking and snorting animals and humans alike. To be honest – this little Nikon does an OK job but it doesn’t compare to C’s Cannon and her new lens. But I’m an amateur and will continue to test the waters…you will have to let me know I do.
I’m amazed at the participation from the runners to the audience. The Anchorage streets were packed with people enjoying the festival. Despite the frozen chill in the air you wouldn’t know it by all the happy cheering people. This race, presented by the KWHL 106.5 Morning Show and Fur Rondy, raises funds for Toys for Tots. By the attendance I’m sure they raised a good sum for a great cause!
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The mystic, the hermit, and the wander archetypes all come out to play as I breathe in the glorious colors at play. Closing my eyes I feel the colors of Fire sink into my soul. Its sherbet colored outcrops and forever blue skies centers me.
Breathe in Love. Breathe out negativity.
Embrace the vast emptiness. Let its peace flow through you . Feel the solitude. Know in this moment you are blessed.
Valley of Fire is a short drive, less than an hour, outside the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas. Go. Embrace the desert’s gift of solitude.
Hello! After my long nap – ok, all night, I was slowly waking up to a beautiful Las Vegas morning. Coffee is the one and only thing missing in my cozy room.
Just so happens there is a diner downstairs called the Coffee Shop. It’s reminiscent of an old fashion neighborhood 24 hour diner. Think Denny’s or a Village Inn and go back a decade or two. The lady’s uniform consists of a brown dress, apron and comfy walking shoes. She serves up coffee in carafes and plates full of eggs and pancakes and bacon and, I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.
I ordered coffee and an English muffin. I can see your eyebrow raise. The matronly waitress had the same look that said “is that all?” Hey, I’m petite and not a huge eater. I was in search of coffee and a place to slowly wake to the city before I headed outside for a walk down the strip and this, in my very own good opinion, was perfect.
The Venetian is across the street from Treasure Island. It houses my favorite bakery, Bouchon. With an order of raspberry beignets and a small cup of coffee yo go, I began the familiar trek towards Bellagio.
Here’s a 15 second zen moment – don’t forget to breathe….
Once upon a time ago, like last year, there was a restaurant called Serendipity that sat out front of Caesars. I’ve had several nice brunches there over the years. Today it’s Stripside Cafe & Bar. Whatever the name, there is a great patio area with tables that is a great stop on the way to Bellagio. Take a seat and enjoy some people watching.
But before you do say a prayer at the Brahma Shrine.
I love walking through the high end shops on your way into the Bellagio casino. I have a dream that someday I will be able to go shopping here. I’d stop at Fendi for a bag. Then into Tiffany’s for something shiny. And for fun I’d buy a beautiful Chanel jacket and pair it with a silk Hermes scarf. It’s a lovely dream.
When we were in New York a few weeks ago I mentioned that we needed to get off the beaten path and do something we had never done before. And we did.
About an hours drive out of Las Vegas sits 40,000 acres of brilliant red sandstone outcrops waiting to be explored – The Valley of Fire. Be prepared to be amazed at nature’s majestic colors. The park offers visitors hiking trails, picnic areas and even camping opportunities. Go early in the day if you can to catch the sun. By the time we got there it was already nearing sunset and the hills were falling into shadows. But where the sun hit the sandstone it turned into the color of soft sherbet – a feast for the eyes and rest for the soul.
The beauty of being in the natural world was striking after being in the chaos of the city. It reminded me that we are so small compared to the larger world. The vast ocean of painted rock and desert resonated deep in my soul. I breathed it in and let the stress melt away. It was almost better than the massage from the day before.
After a full day we dressed for dinner and headed to Lawry’s, a few minutes off the strip that specializes in prime rib. According to the restaurant, doggie bags and valet service originated with Lawry’s…who knew! With a flash of silver carts and spinning salad bowls, a delicious meal appeared and was un-apologetically devoured.
To be perfectly fair, this is not a budget friendly restaurant. In life and in Vegas you sometimes have to splurge a little. This was worth it and A was very happy and that’s all that counts!
Who loves to country dance?
We missed the free line dancing lessons. Time gets away and it’s hard to fit everything in that we want to do. We got there for the just in time for the live band so we paid the $10 cover charge. No surprise, the cover was worth it.
The band was amazing. Unfortunately I never did find out the name of the band but their performance was exactly what you come to expect from most Las Vegas entertainers – supremely talented. The lead performer was a petite young woman with a giant voice that filled the huge hall. They seamlessly played a mix of country, tossed in some good old rock and even some pop to keep everyone happy.
Drinks flowed, delivered by beautiful cowgirls dressed in chaps. I’m sure they had every man in that place ordering non stop just to see the pretty cowgirls.
I have to share the one mischievous-late-night-saloon-thingy that A taught me. I’m a very slow learner so we started it at dinner and took half the night before I could repeat the following phrase with out stuttering or just fall out laughing:
Dirty rotten, lying, no good, son of a bitching bastard!
My mother would be so proud…LoL!
If you like good music and the opportunity to dance the night away then Gilley’s Saloon is the place to be.
This week’s Challenge and rules:
To answer fours questions each week.
Bonus Question is always the same “What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?” Because we all need to be reminded that there are many things in our lives to be grateful about.
Hands down I love fresh fruit. It’s natures treat. Even here in Anchorage I tend to keep fruit and berries on hand for indulgent weekend brunch.
As I child I moved around quite a bit. It wasn’t until I moved to Anchorage as a young wife in my early twenties that I settled into a place I would call home. I’ve been here for almost 25 years!
Let’s paint childhood with all the colors in the crayon box! Each color carefully explored across all mediums… including unexpected masterpieces drawn on walls with a child’s hand.
Ways to Relax
I’m grateful that the snow has stopped, daylight grows each day and that I’m so very blessed with family and friends. I’m looking forward to the upcoming week; I’m off to Vegas for a long weekend! Can’t wait!