Category Archives: Travel

Get Wordy With Me

Get Wordy With Me

Have you experienced this feeling? Well, I sure have. As a matter of fact…yep. Heart beating a little fast, jumpy with excitement, a little nervous…oh yeah, I’ve got all that going on right now. Boston, here we come!
‘Til next time,
Jessica
P.S. Did I mention I was going to Boston? I’m coming to Boston!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Oklahoma Renaissance Festival

I love May.  Although it is insanely busy, there’s a lot of good stuff that happens in May. I headed to the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival at the Castle at Muskogee over the weekend to see good friends, take in some music, and add to my ever-expanding collection of cool unique things.  Mission accomplished.

The girls who introduced me to Renaissance Faires and I piled in the car early on Saturday morning to make the short drive over to the Castle.  We ran into my friends who exposed me to the wonderful, terrible joys of Cards Against Humanity as soon as we walked through the gates.  I got to meet some new people, and catch up a bit before one of the kids wanted to see knights beat on each other. (Always entertaining.)

Frphoto (10)om there we headed over to visit the lovely Yolanda Pears of Royal Eggs.  She makes the most beautiful things, and photo (8)she does it all with real eggs.  Ostrich, rhea, emu, peacock, pigeon, quail (and probably more that I forgot about) all make an appearance in her art.  As always, temptation abounds when I visit her.  They’re all so pretty, but I only have so much money!

Fortunately, I narrowed down my list to four pretty quickly, and decided to let fate play a hand in which one I would bring home with me.  This time, the newly hatched Pegasus called my name…and my budget, plus the fire dragon went home with someone else.  The Pegasus is beautiful, and he now holds a place among the other fantastical creatures I’ve acquired from Royal Eggs along the way.

photo (6)

photo (5)However, Yolanda is not the only talented artist to cross my path at the Castle at Muskogee.  This year, I stumbled across someone new, and was immediately entranced by her designs (she’s just a couple of spots down from Royal Eggs).  She makes the most gorgeous and unique hats and jewelry. Lilly B. Haven‘s work pulled me in from the boardwalk to take a closer look.  Her hats, in particular, are just awesome, and I wish that I had some photos to show you.  Each one is a one of a kind piece, and as I was telling my friend, even if you can’t think of a place to wear them, they are works of art.  They would make an amazing addition to any wall they graced.

photo (1)For me, I was drawn to the jewelry with bullets as a design element.  I fell in love with the angel wings surrounding a bullet with stars as an identifier as well as a Winchester Colt 45 in front of a sunburst.  Not only did I find them to be cool as hell, but I thought it was also a nice, mostly subtle, way to show my appreciation for one of my favorite shows, Supernatural.

photo (4)Okay, for those of you who haven’t gotten sucked into this fandom yet, read this.  The ultra short version is that Supernatural follows the Winchester brothers as they hunt the things that make you afraid of the dark (unless you watch Doctor Who, then you know that the reason you’re afraid of the dark is the Vashta Nerada).  A special Colt with demon killing powers features heavily in the first few seasons, so finding a Winchester Colt 45 bullet at the center of a design that caught my attention, just seemed too perfect for words.  Between the angel wings and stars inscribed on the bullet, I had no hope of resisting the pin.

While the designs weren’t inspired by the show, both the ladies in the booth are fans of Supernatural, and loved the fact I made the connection.  By the time I finished talking with the lovely ladies there were hugs all around, and I was cursing my hectic May schedule that wouldn’t allow me to come back and visit the festival another day.

The whole day turned out to be wonderful, with friends, music from favorite pirate groups The Musical Blades and The Jolly Rogers.  Great stories set to music with Alexander James Adams, who plays and sings beautifully.  It wouldn’t be a faire without stopping to listen for a few minutes.  There was so much to see and do that we had to pick our favorites for the day, but, as always, it left us wishing for more time.

Even the one negative from the day, I lost my wallet, turned into a testament to the goodness of people.

A couple of days ago, after a rough start to my week, I got a Facebook message from someone I don’t know saying that she and some friends found my wallet.  They sent it back to me via Certified Mail.  They didn’t even take money for postage out of my cash.  Just in case you were wondering, there really are good people out there. (Yes, they are definitely getting a “thank you” card, and maybe a little something extra for their trouble)

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

To Boldly Go

 

 

Roddenberry's Star

Roddenberry’s Star (Photo credit: thewind)

 

To Boldly Go

 

In Oklahoma, we have this great media company, This Land Press, that tells the stories of our state that don’t get a lot of attention.  Through them, I’m learning a lot about the place I’ve spent more than half my life.  For example, today, I discovered that there is a place with a set made to resemble a Star Trek bridge.  You can go film there, take pictures for weddings, whatever…for free.  I’m not a huge Trekkie, although I’ve watched just about every episode aired, and every movie made (… wait … that’s a lot of Star Trek … maybe … whatever).  Now, I really want to write a short screen play, gather up anyone who wants to a film a movie…on a Star Trek bridge…in Oklahoma City…

 

‘Til next time,

 

Jessica

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Is Boston

Nocturnal view of Boston metropolitan area captured by an #ISS crew member on April 6, 2013.

Lately, Boston has been on my mind, for a lot of reasons.  With the anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing yesterday, I’ve been thinking about how grateful I am that those I know who ran in the marathon escaped without physical injuries, even though the tragedy has become part of them.  Which led to wondering how people can really think violence is a good resolution for…anything.

That’s when I came upon this image taken from the International Space Station last year, and it is just breathtaking.  I get to see that up close and in-person next month (that would be the city, not the space station…although if you can make the space station thing happen, I wouldn’t turn it down!)  I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity and the resources that I’ll get to visit a city that played such an integral role in the creation United States.  A lot of history can be found in those streets, and I can’t wait to take it in.  The countdown has begun…

‘Til next time,

Jessica

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Is Why I Fly Southwest

 

Stuff like this is why I travel Southwest.  I don’t work for them, and they’re not sponsoring this in any way, I just travel a lot.  Any time I get the chance, I’ll pick Southwest.  Although, I haven’t had any flight attendants who were quite that funny, but they’ve come pretty darn close. My flights have been serenaded by the flight attendants, treated to comedy shows by both the attendants and the pilots, and in general treated as real live human beings.   Their enjoyment of their jobs shines through, every time.

When I think about the people on planes, myself included, I realize the flight attendants have really difficult jobs serving clientele who are, more often than not, already travel worn, weary, and sometimes nervous about the whole process (we’re leaving off the air sick ones, because…eww).  In other words, not at their best, and they still try to make the travel experience a little better and more pleasant.  They’re always thanking us for choosing to travel with them, but anyone who can make a 6:00 am  or a 10:00 pm flight a little more comfortable or fun always gets a warm smile and a “thank you” from me.

 

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

More pretty things….Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American ArtI went to see more pretty things.  You may have noticed in my post about the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, I like art.  Well, maybe it was in my posts about art shows that you figured that out, or maybe you just discovered that I lack self-control when it comes to art.  I would like to say that I restrained my art buying impulses…but that would be a lie.  In the museum shop, I found a beautiful signed and numbered print that made me thing of my grandparents.  There was not option.  This was a necessary addition to my growing collection.  However, that was my sole purchase on this trip.  I may be getting better…or just have less money because I keep buying art.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is nestled in a ravine on 120 acres of land in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Ozarks, visitors can explore more than 3 miles of walking trails surrounding the museum.  Both the trails and the building are designed to take advantage of the natural flora.  This trip, we didn’t have time to walk the trails, but during the building’s construction, I had the chance to walk through the winding trails, filled with dappled sunlight and head to the overlook where you can see the entire facility.

The juxtaposition of natural and man-made beauty is gorgeous.  Architect Moshe Safdie’s design looks like it is embraced by the surrounding landscape, and utilizes the natural spring in the area.  Crystal Spring, from which the museum gets its name, fills the area around Crystal Bridges with sparkling spring water.  With pine beams, poured concrete, and red cedar trim, the building is as much a work of art as the masterpieces it contains.  The curved copper roofs of the glass, metal and concrete bridges suggest waves to me, and integrate the spring water wonderfully.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American ArtConceived and founded by Alice Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, Crystal Bridges is as moving inside as it is outside.  The museum isn’t just a pretty building filled with art, it is also a center of learning.   Inside you’ll find a library filled with comfortable chairs and books.  The temptation to sit and read near a window with a view out over the water was nearly overwhelming, but I refrained. (see, I don’t follow all my impulses)  The museum offers year-round educational opportunities for all ages.  Some of their offerings include lectures, workshops, films, gallery talks, and special events.  There’s even an app, and great content on their iTunes U site.

Hiram Walker at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Hiram Walker

Even though this was my third or fourth trip to the museum, Alice Walton’s collection is augmented by visiting collections on a regular basis, and there is always something new to see among the favorites I found last time.  The museum contains American Art from colonial to modern art.In the first six months, the museum drew more than 300,000 visitors.

Georgia O'Keeffe at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Georgia O’Keeffe

This visit we were there to see the The Artist’s Eye: Georgia O’Keeffe and the Alfred Stieglitz Collection on loan from Fisk University.  Georgia O’Keeffe is a long time favorite artist, and I will always jump at the opportunity to see any of her work on display.  I’ve even had the opportunity to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fé New Mexico, and prints of her work has graced my walls for…well, let’s not think about how long it’s been there.  However, I was not as familiar with her husband, Alfred Steiglitz’s work and collection.

An artist in his own right, Steiglitz’s photographs inspired me.  He pioneered new ways of taking photographs as seen in images such as “Steerage”, and brought to mind summer days spent daydreaming with “Equivalent”.  Although, I like to take pictures (these days mostly on my smartphone), I really loved learning about the different methods he used, and how they impacted the tone and mood of his photographs.

Stanton Macdonald Wright at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Stanton Macdonald Wright

Stieglitz was also well-known for his galleries and collection of art.  The paintings in his collection were just lovely.  I discovered new artists and found familiar names next to new paintings.  Stanton Macdonald Wright (seen left) and Marsden Hartley were two of my favorites from his collection.  Although picking favorites in art (as everywhere else) isn’t something I do well.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

I also loved the watercolor collection, At First Sight: Collecting the American Watercolor, that will be on display until April 21st, 2014.  My best friend asked me if I could imagine owning all of those paintings.  Of course, I can imagine it!  What I can’t imagine is how much it would take to accumulate all of those beautiful works of art or how big my house would have to be to display them all.

I made sure that I was able to visit favorites from previous visits too.  And I discovered that Crystal Bridges’s restaurant offers dinners from museum members on certain evenings….yes, please and thank you.  I would love to see this place lit up at night.

photo (4)The permanent collection at Crystal Bridges is amazing on its own, and admission is sponsored by Wal-Mart.  Although, there is sometimes a cost for the special collections.  The visiting exhibits and changing seasons on the trails make it a unique adventure every time.

‘Til next time,

Jessica

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Galveston, TX

So, I’m in Galveston, TX for the next couple of days for work.  The weather is warmer, my hotel room has a sea view, and my rental car is pretty decent.  All in all not too bad, but I can’t seem to shake this funk.

photo (1)The trip did not get off to an auspicious start, nearly leaving me stranded with no place to stay and messing up my coat. (I got the room fixed, but I need to ask the front desk for a sewing kit.)  Plans A-H for a productive, sales inducing day got scrapped due to various reasons and misinformation along with my lack of independent confirmation (even though I knew better than to just take someone’s word for it), and although my new hotel has a sea view, it is raining.  To top it off, I feel like the only resident of this enormous, historic hotel.  The hotel’s restaurant was completely empty when I went down for lunch, and the service…it left something to be desired.  I can’t seem to get anything accomplished, not even acquiring a decent cup of tea.  The only person I even know in this town…well, let’s just say I don’t want to socialize with him.

Maybe I’ll hit the gym for a workout with some upbeat, fun music before I get ready for tonight’s reception.  Seriously, I need to snap out of this before I need to go make small talk with a bunch of strangers…for the next two and a half days.

I’m in need of some funk banishing skills.  What do you do to put yourself in a better frame of mind?

‘Til next time,

Jessica

P.S. Excessive use of the word “funk” does make me sing George Clinton in my head. Now, off to the fitness center!


New Year’s Resolutions 2014

happy_new_year_266942Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  I do.  For me it is less about the “New Year” and more about getting goals down on paper (or on your blog, as the case may be).  It is easy to remember New Year’s Day as a time to do this, but I make sure that I check in with those goals a couple of times over the course of the year as well.  Maybe I’ve got some of those that I can cross off the list.  Maybe some of them need adjusting, and, quite rarely, maybe everything is right on track.  Goals don’t do you any good if you just write them down and forget about them, right?

New Year’s Resolutions 2014

  1. Commit Random Acts of Kindness (at LEAST one per month)
    1. DVIS Volunteer
    2. Packages for homeless
    3. Food for…whoever
    4. Smile & wave at strangers (if nothing else, it will freak them out a little, but most likely it will just make their day better.)
  2. Make time to write more.  Set up a daily writing schedule and STICK TO IT (also make sure to eat and sleep, that didn’t happen with the last writing schedule).  I love it so DO it!
  3. Make time for my family.  They’re awesome and I love them, spend more time with them, for crying out loud!  Work in some one on one time with each of them every once in a while.  They are fun and entertaining, but they are more fun and entertaining one on one!
  4. Make time for my friends…see above.  Regularly schedule something together or separately once a month.
  5. Create a realistic, manageable, budget and find a way to keep it. (It doesn’t count if I write it down but never track it.)
  6. Take time for myself.  Nothing else works well, if I feel overwhelmed or too stressed.  Take at least an evening (or two) every week to de-stress and relax.
  7. Eat more meals at home.  (I am a great cook…do it!)
  8. Set up meal exchange with a friend (less cooking, more variety, and I might try a new thing or two)
  9. Eat more vegetables (I love veggies, I could practically be a vegetarian, well, three days a week, maybe.  Why don’t I eat more of them?)
  10. Utilize all the hundreds (maybe thousands?) of recipes I have
  11. Make more food myself and get rid of all the extra sodium and processed food.  I hate the way the processed food tastes…don’t eat so much of it.  I love baking bread, bake your own bread.  If I have extra, freeze it or give it away.  I’m doing a random act of kindness every month, give away food!  There are great freezer tips for freezing your own soup and etc.  USE THEM
  12. Exercise – Run with my friends, train to run a 5K in October.
  13. Drink more water…just because I can drink soda again doesn’t mean you SHOULD!
  14. Be healthier – mentally, physically, spiritually… ( This is perpetual, but still necessary.)
  15. Run the Tulsa Run 5K in October.
  16. Train my dog.  We’re not talking therapy dog training time here, just more training.  It is fun and you love it…do it!
  17. Read every day.  It relaxes me, I love it, it makes you smarter, and improves your writing…why don’t I do more of that and less Television?
  18. Treat myself to a massage every now and again…seriously, I need it.
  19. Actually go to all my doctor and dentist appointments.
  20. Say “No” once in a while.  No one is going to hate me forever if I tell them I can’t do something.  If they are going to hate me forever for saying “no” do I really want to hang around with them?
  21. Go someplace new…or that I haven’t been to in a really long time (I’m thinking London here.)  Seattle, New York, Austin, North Carolina, Paris, Morocco (Wow, that last one just kind of typed itself.  I didn’t actually know I wanted to go there, but yeah, let’s go to Morocco!)… There is a lot of this country I haven’t seen.  Not every trip has to be out of the U.S.  I know lots of people in lots of places, maybe I should visit them.
  22. Seriously look into growing my own vegetable and herb garden. (Not like last year where all I did to “look” was pin stuff on Pinterest.)  Look into structure, pricing materials, really plan this thing.
  23. Plant my own herbs. (Even if I don’t do a whole garden, set up something on the back porch with my favorite fresh herbs…it will save me a ton of money!)

What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions?  What do you think?  Any tips to accomplish any of these goals?

Have a safe and Happy New Year!

‘Til next time,

Jessica