Monday, October 31, 2011

Atlanta Halloween

I'm not a big fan of Halloween.  I just can't help but roll my eyes at the majority of what passes for costumes and decorations for grownups these days, and the ridiculousness of all those plastic pumpkins in place of carved jack-o-lanterns and the sheer mass of blow up Frankenstein lawn ornaments just makes me nostalgic for childhood... back when I was on the candy receiving, non-judgmental side of things.

My Halloween night this year was spent in Atlanta, a city I have discovered most certainly IS a fan of Halloween.  The decorations are abundant, both throughout the city and within the bounds of each front yard.  Here's a sampling:
Lawn bones
Lawn web

Cute little tree ghosts

Where kitsch goes to... die
Kinda creepy 
Super creepy
See?  There's really a little something for all Halloween tastes in Atlanta!  Unfortunately, only two trick-or-treater tots came to our door, but one asked to kiss my nephew ("Can I kiss your baby?") and the other was Elmo (did everyone see the man who voices Elmo on Jon Stewart the other night?  Amazing!), so clearly it was a quality over quantity situation.

I will totally decorate the socks off my future house if you'll let me live on Berkeley Road, Atlanta!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Santa Barbara

One of the joys of unemployment is the abundance of free time and energy with which to spend visiting (and chauffeuring) friends.  Since my Peace Corps soul mate lives in Santa Barbara, I recently enjoyed a weeklong stay in one of California’s most beautiful places.

Santa Barbara has so many perks!  Ocean breezes!  Beautiful architecture!  Cute dogs!  Fabulous seafood!  HAPPY HOURS! 

During one of my “alone time” days, I took a long walk to the Santa Barbara Mission, where I lingered on the lawn to both avoid tourists (a favorite pastime) and spend some time reading among the roses.

Did I mention the cute dog?

Being that I am an inland dweller, I never pass up an opportunity for ocean time.  Insert: Ellwood Beach “hike.”  Okay so this was much more of a stroll than anything, but it was gloriously cloudy, spotted with surfers but sparsely anyone else.  Such a lovely visit!

The best part of Santa Barbara = This girl

Saturday, October 15, 2011

weekend by the bay?

So there's a chance that I may be in the Bay next weekend with my friend, and I'm so excited by the prospect of my dropping by my favorite spots! One major upside of the potential trip: searching for the perfect elements for my next crafts project at Urban Ore, this amazing Berkeley treasure-filled store. Urban Ore helps the City of Berkeley progress towards its goal of achieving zero waste, by re-selling goods that would normally go to the dump. In this case, it could be just the place to find the perfect wood for my future garden table! Can't wait!

This, combined with a fresh cup of Philz coffee, brunch from Thai Temple and a view of the bay could make for an excellent weekend. *fingers crossed*

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Double Rainbow

A few weeks ago I spent my first cloudy (yay not 90˚+ weather!) evening in many months visiting with some friends in Sacramento.  Although I'm in and out of Sacramento pretty frequently, I hadn't been to Capitol Park in a really long time... so long, in fact, that my last memories of the area were probably from the viewpoint of my 4'9" fourth grader self.  Enter my surprise at how pleasant it is!

I love lamppost

A few days later it was on to LA, where against all odds I enjoyed some beautiful views from I-5.

Rainy I-5 all to myself
Double rainbow in Simi Valley
Such loveliness in the most unexpected of places.  Lesson learned: always have a camera ready.