Sunday, June 17, 2012

montreal weekends

Last weekend the F1 was in town. I am really not into cars but I do love anything that leads the city to close roads to cars! While most of the car people were downtown, a good part of St Laurent was closed, as was Mont-Royal for the Nuit Blanche sure Table Noir festival. I love crowds of people spilling into the streets... I was so excited to do it again this weekend.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

the mission

One of the most interesting neighborhoods I was introduced to in San Francisco was the Mission. Kind of a hipster/Latino culture mashup, there were so many interesting shops and restaurants. And amazing ice cream! And murals! And, of course, Mexican food and the requisite margaritas!

Friday, June 15, 2012

san francisco snapshots

I had such a great time in San Francisco. There are so many interesting things going on - luckily I had such a great tour guide in my friend Meg. We were room mates for a while in undergrad, and it had been too many years since we had last met up! It was such a pleasure to walk around S.F. catching up and reconnecting, and seeing the city through her eyes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

lazy day los angeles

Los Angeles is BIG. Everyone told me that, but I didn't really understand until I got there. I decided to spend my few days there just strolling around some neighborhoods, rather than trying to see the whole city. I ended up spending most of my time in Venice and Santa Monica.

I spent a good part of one afternoon popping into shops on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. After lunch at Lemonade (amazing salads), I browed some clothes stores, bought a book about the history of yoga (I always have a hard time resisting books! It's for learning, right?), and stopped in some galleries. I had a great talk with Melissa from the M Herrington Gallery, which showcases her own work as well as that of several other amazing women artists. They seem to host great events I wish I could come back to town for!
I kept returning to Santa Monica Beach without meaning to. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. I am definitely a coast person - there is no sound more calming to me than waves breaking and foaming on to the beach - but I imagined the beach in LA would be crowded and unpleasant. Instead I found a peaceful oasis that seemed a million miles away from city streets. Reading my book on the beach with no where to go and nothing to do - feels like vacation.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

cascades of orange and fuschia

Bougainvillea is absolutely my favorite flower. The flowers somehow look like clusters of beautiful, delicate, vibrantly colored leaves. And I love the way that it drapes, out of pots, over fences. It is just so ... luscious! My bougainvillea from last summer doesn't appear to have survived the winter, but I still have it on the deck, all spindly empty branches - just in case. There was bougainvillea all over Los Angeles. Here, it drapes over a fence near Venice Beach.

Friday, June 8, 2012

strolling Oceanside

The first stop on my Californian trip, Oceanside is a coastal city about 40 minutes north of San Diego. One of my room mates from undergrad lives there, and another of our room mates came down from San Francisco. It was the first time the three of us had been together in eight years! While the city of Oceanside itself extends quite a bit inland, the place to be was the beach.
The surfers did not seem at all intimidated by the sting rays clustering near the pier. 
The pier is actually the longest pier on the whole Western coast of the United States! Families were spending the day fishing into the deep water below, and from the end of the pier the land seemed quite far away.
Strolling on the beach with old friends, catching up, sharing lemonade - what a great way to spend an afternoon.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

old friends

I have been away from home and my computer the last few weeks. I traveled to California to visit friends from undergrad - stopping a bit north of San Diego, in Los Angeles and in San Francisco. It was so liberating to focus on the present moment, on catching up with people in person and leaving my worries at home.

A few friends I reunited with I hadn't seen in years and years, but we were able to pick back up where we left off. It was so wonderful to rediscover how much we have in common and how much fun we still have together!

I came home to my amazing husband, and jungle of a backyard, and a neglected inbox, but with memories of an amazing trip. I'll share a some snapshots in the next few days...