I almost forgot to tell you about my brief trip down under. I knew that the Australian seasons were a little different then the US seasons but I must admit I was not expecting 100* (f) weather. It was a little strange to be walking down the streets in Cairns wearing a tank top and shorts while Holiday music blasted from the outdoor speakers. As unusual as it was for this American, the trip was an amazing experience. The people we met were delightful and I even had some of the local residents eating out of my hand as you can see from my pictures!
Another trip to the ice regions of California took me past the Golden Gate Bridge, Exploratorium, and the water front. Thanks to all my friends who took time out to hang out with me once again! Union Square is so beautiful during the holidays. Here are a couple of quick shots for you to enjoy. I will post more when I get home later on tonight . . . ok maybe tomorrow
Thank you all for your comments on the holiday postings. I love the decorations and general holiday spirit that goes around this time of year and wish it would remain throughout the year.
Someone asked me once why I love the holidays so much and I had to think about it for a minute. After all, he said, the holidays bring traffic, stress, increased road rage, lines at the mall, annoying Christmas music and excess weight . . . and oh yeah - the dreaded fruit cake! As I pondered his words I realized that he had completely missed the beauty in the situation. The winter holidays (no matter what religion) are a time for people to come together. They allow friends and family to re-connect, there is a feeling of good will that enables compassion for those who are generally ignored (a feeling I wish would last throughout the year). Yes you may pick up a few pounds, but then you should use that as inspiration to be more active the next year. This time is so special for so many reasons, but sometimes it is more difficult to see the positive than the negative. The other day I went back to the grove with a friend and we were listening to the car horns honking while we walked from out parking spot. As she shared her annoyance with the holiday road rage, I told her to turn it into a song. Play your favorite holiday song in your head and see where the horns landed within it. She chose Jingle Bells and low and behold the horns actually fit in quite well. While I wish the holidays did not bring so much stress, I still appreciate and love them. I wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season.
I will be posting up my recent photos and telling you about my latest holiday adventures quite soon so stay tuned . . .
Who would have thought there would be outdoor ice skating in Santa Monica? The wonderful people of the Bayside district have created a holiday ice palace for would be skaters. Unfortunately the sun beats down on it during the day making it a bit of a slush palace, but at night the temperatures dip down just enough to not do any damage. I took my nieces skating the other day and it was definitely a time to remember. My two year old niece slapped on her skates and walked right out onto the ice while the rest of us sat there in amazement.
The ice rink is on Arizona and 5th for those of you in LA.
San Francisco is one of the most beautiful and eclectic cities I know. During this quick trip I went to Golden Gate Park, Union Square, and the Oracle Open World concert featuring Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Lenny Kravitz, and the English Beat. It was great to catch up with old friends and see the city I called home for so many years. I will be back up there in a couple of weeks to hang out with friends and take more photos.
We went out to the Grove last night in LA and thought I would share some of the holiday spirit with you. After a fantastic dinner at Maggianos, we went for a romantic walk down Christmas lane. Unfortunately Santa was out for the evening which was probably a good thing for him since my list is pretty long (I swear she says fingers crossed I have been a good girl this year). Again due to the restrictions of this website I will have to make this a double post to include all my pics. I could not just narrow it down to 5 as hard as I tried!
I took a quick trip up to our fair state capital to visit some friends. During my 4 day jaunt I managed to take in quite a few sights, but the most impressive one was Sutter's Fort. This fort, maintained in its original condition, allows visitors to see exactly how the pilgrims lived. As a matter of fact they even allow some visitors to experience it. The reason I was so enamored with my visit was the fact that people (a school class to be specific) were working and living there for a couple of days without any modern assistance. They lived just as the settlers did with only the same tools and necessities available to them.
I mapped several of my pictures simultaneously this time to see how they would plot out on the map. You can see I managed to cover quite a bit of area during my brief visit.
Juvenile diabetes mellitus is now more commonly called Type 1 diabetes. It is a syndrome with disordered metabolism and inappropriately high blood glucose levels due to a deficiency of insulin secretion in the pancreas. More and more children are being affected by this horrible disease everyday but organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) are working hard to raise awareness and find a cure. On November 4th, thousands gathered to walk for a cure. The money and awareness raised on this day will go a long way towards helping children inflicted with this disease. For more information about the race for a cure, please visit the JDFR website: http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=100694
I was able to snap a few exposures as I walked for a cure. Once again I am amazed how my movements did not affect the images snapped. The colors are so sharp and true to life; I could not be more pleased with my shots. This time I zoomed in on the GPS map details so you can walk along with my photos.
I can only attach 5 photos to this blog post, so I will add another post to with the rest of the shots.
After a brief recovery from Halloween, we set out to join old friends and meet new ones at the USC Homecoming game against Oregon State on November 3rd . Whether you are an alumni or just a sports fan, homecoming is one event you should not miss. Homecoming events on the USC campus start early in the morning and continue up until kickoff. Tailgating, picnics, music, games, and of course the USC marching band - if you only make one USC football game next year, make sure it is the homecoming event.
I took a couple of shots of the game and you might be surprised to know that the players did not stop to pose. In the second shot uploaded you can see player #7 actually running back to the bench. The Sony Cybershot has the ability to freeze moving action to allow the photographer to grab that perfect still even when the subject is moving. The true to life colors and crisp imagery actually gives me shivers. It's so realistic that it practically brings back the feeling of being in the seats (while the cold wind nipped at our noses).
I also mapped the pictures out using the GPS so you can see once again how it works.
Trick or treating with my nieces was the highlight of my Halloween. The Santa Monica decorations were spectacular and the ghouls and goblins were on their best behavior. Ashley was the perfect Cinderella as you can see from the pictures below. The night was cool and clear and we ended it with witch hunt at the Santa Monica pier.
Even in the darkest of conditions the Sony Cyber-shot comes through with crisp true-to-life pictures. In a creative twist, I took a picture of every house we visited and mapped out our route when we got home. For the privacy of the residence I have opted not to display that map, but rather a high level map with a single image on it so that you can see what I am talking about. It is possible to zoom in and see the exact street, but for this first post I am keeping the distance.
October and November have been a couple of really busy months, with a 5K for juvenile diabetes, a trip to Sacramento, a visit to the Getty museum, concerts, San Francisco, oh yeah and a couple of quick jaunts to the UK and Hawaii just to mention a few things. Of course I took my new Sony Cyber-shot with me every step of the way and snapped some amazing photos to share with you. The Cyber-shot is so small that it fits nicely into my pocket or purse. Its lightweight but durable frame even makes it strong enough to withstand the inner-riots of my purse. This camera (housed quite often in my purse without a case) was a champion. It is the first camera to successfully come out of my purse without a scratch or a dent. Keys, cell phones, lipstick, and even a couple of accidental drops on the ground did not phase (or dent) this mighty camera. If only my Ipod could fare as well.
I hope you enjoy reading about and seeing where I have been. I have also taken along the new Sony GPS and have mapped my pictures out so you can see just how this fabulous tool works. The GPS will actually allow you to pin point where you were when you took a picture. This is so handy for those of us on the go. When you travel as much as I do and could be in 4 cities a week, distinguishing between shots can be a challenge. Thanks to Sony this is a challenge I can now overcome.