Weekend Snapshots 13

I spent the weekend in Richmond, Virginia with my best friend…

Friday

We met up on Friday and did the Canal Walk:

There are murals all over Richmond. These were right by the water:

We walked along the cobblestone streets in Shockoe Slip and had dinner at The Urban Farmhouse Market and Café

Saturday

Maymont!

We stopped off at Sub Rosa Bakery in Church Hill for a little snack.

Yep.

We met up with a friend at The Jefferson Hotel:

There used to be real alligators in the marble pool around the statue of Mr. Jefferson.

We had high tea:

We went to Carytown next:

I love this bookstore…

and this idea:

Sunday

We spent our last day in Richmond at the fabulous Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The building and grounds are as wonderful as the art inside…

 

Buffalo

We continued our Grand Tour in Buffalo. Yes, Buffalo.

First stop? Why, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, of course!

The next day we went to Niagara Falls:

We rode the Maid of the Mist:

And pretended to be a family of serial killers:

My daughter was especially perky before the boat started heading towards the falls.

The serial killer get-ups can only do so much as you go through this:

Here’s that perky girl post-deluge:

There were rainbows everywhere:

We continued with the serial killer theme in the Cave of the Winds:

You have to admit, that’s one very stylish family right there.

The last place we visited was the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. This impressive building houses an eclectic collection of modern and contemporary art:

At the end of the week, we compared notes and discussed what our favorite part of the vacation was. For everyone, except me, it was seeing Niagara Falls.

“My favorite part was when we were driving in the car, taking turns picking songs, and singing them at the top of our lungs,” I said.

My husband looked at me as if I was crazy, and it’s very possible that I am. But for me, it wasn’t so much about the destination as the journey itself and the people I shared it with.

The National Gallery

On Monday I walked around The National Gallery with my son.

We checked out two of the special exhibits going on there right now:

We lingered in the galleries featuring the works of Dutch masters…

In these galleries I discovered that I am far less sophisticated than my eleven year old…

“Look at the amazing way the artist painted the light and shadows on the columns!” he exclaimed in wonder.

I might have noticed that myself if I hadn’t been so preoccupied with this:

On our way out, we witnessed something really cool. This is someone painstakingly hand carving the names of benefactors into a marble slab:

The IX Art Park

The IX Art Park in Charlottesville, Virginia just had its grand opening on Sunday. The 17 acre park is a vibrant, dynamic, interactive community space dedicated to the arts.

There’s a “Before I Die…” chalkboard wall where people are encouraged to make public their most cherished dreams and aspirations…

It’s filled with inspiring messages of hope, such as:

“Find true peace in my soul”

“Travel the world”

“Build a flourishing practice that helps people love their lives”

I was busily taking photos elsewhere when my daughter came running up to find me with eyes shining. She brought me over to look at what she had written on the wall.

“Guess which one is mine?” she asked.

Gosh, I’m proud…

Simply bursting with pride, really.

The kids and I participated in the Rainbow Rush 5K, which was part of the grand kickoff for the Art Park. Inspired by the Holi festival, the race was designed to be a “color run.” There were stations set up around the route where people would pelt the runners with different powdered colors.

A few more photos back at home:

We had so much fun, my daughter and I went back on Monday to explore some more.

I’m signing off for the rest of the week. Hope your week is wonderful!

NYC, Day 2

On Sunday we spent the morning at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Costume Institute has just reopened after a two-year renovation with the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” exhibition. James’ ingenious architectural designs are shown next to computer graphics which show how the complex pieces are constructed. He is known for his highly structured ball gowns, capes, and coats cut from luxurious fabrics. Sadly, no photos were allowed…

I was however able to take a million photos of Greek gods and goddesses for my budding classicist:

This one was my favorite…perfect for Mother’s Day:

Little did I know that while I was admiring the art at The Met, this masterpiece was being created at home:

To be continued tomorrow!

Santa Monica Chic

It sometimes seems like Virginia is all brick, columns, and colonial architecture and interiors. It was fun to see a totally different design vibe in Santa Monica…

Le Méridien Delfina Santa Monica

I loved the art behind the reception desk. It’s the first line of this poem by American poet Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962), which also happens to be perfect for Earth Day:

To feel and speak the astonishing beauty of things – earth, stone and water.
Beast, man and woman, sun, moon and stars –
The blood-shot beauty of human nature, its thoughts, frenzies and passions,
And unhuman nature its towering reality –
For man’s half dream; man, you might say, is nature dreaming, but rock
And water and sky are constant – to feel
Greatly, and understand greatly, and express greatly, the natural
Beauty, is the sole business of poetry.
The rest’s diversion: those holy or noble sentiments, the intricate ideas,
The love, lust, longing: reasons, but not the reason.

Even more spectacular was The Penthouse, the restaurant in the nearby Huntley Hotel. We met up there for brunch on Saturday with a small portion of my very large family:

The views!

The ultra-hip lobby designed by Thomas Schoos: