My idea of an easy weekend is…

We thought this weekend it was best to stay in town and take it easy by finally starting our pergola project. We’ve had the supplies in our garage — we just haven’t gotten around to building it because it been too hot to work outside…maybe if we did work on our project in the summer, we would have waited until the sun went down to do the work.

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September 2022 reads

I’ll keep this month’s reflection reads post simple. I’ve been pretty tired all week. The last two weekends we’ve been out of town — one weekend was recreational and the weekend after was volunteering where I was one of three chaperons handling 30 high school students. This weekend we decided to relax at home…and finally begin work on our pergola project. It’s funny how we are working on our pergola after the SoCal heatwave.

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35

Yesterday was my birthday and I am now 35 years old.

I was about to share 35 lessons I’ve learned over the years in honor of my 35th birthday but it’s not quite finished yet. Instead of having one big post of 35 lessons –which would have been a very long post — I’ll break it up throughout the most. Keep in mind, these are just how I feel at the moment. Some are a little cynical and some of them I hope I outgrow someday. I may be 35, but I’m going through some growing pains so some lessons may not be so feel-goody…anyways here are my 35 life lessons and observations:

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Vision boards for travel planning

Yesterday afternoon I was cleaning the deck and it now it looks good as new. I’ve been meaning to clean the deck for some time.

I’ll be honest, I actually cleaned most of the deck. So most of it does look nice. I did not clean that small part BIL occupies with his lawn chairs, sidetable, etc. It’s a mess and I don’t want to pick up after him. When he moves out I’ll clean that part of the deck too. I’ve given up asking him to help out long ago.

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Let’s escargot around town (PPAC #60)

We’re going to Le Mans, France — home of the famous racetrack, Circuit de la Sarthe, which hosts the 24-hour auto race in every summer. It’s funny to find a sculpture of a giant snail in the center of town rather than say…racecars? In doing some digging, I learned this snail sculpture came from a group of artists called the Cracking Art Group. They create these large scaled animal sculptures made from brightly colored recyclable plastic. In the Cracking Art Group gallery, you’ll find they’ve made sculptures of birds, rabbits, wolves, cats, meerkats, etc. It’s all really cool!

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Sublimation

It’s been a busy Saturday. Aside from the usual gym to the gym, my daughter’s dance class, budgeting, and cleaning up the house, I met up with some friends planning our upcoming trip in October. Initially, we were planning on going somewhere in Europe but we’ve been hearing about a lot of flight nightmares around cancellation and delays. Plus we decided to keep our trip down to a week since one of our friends has been very busy with work. Our trip choices are narrowed down to anywhere in North America which also includes the Caribbean — how broad. This week each of us will be creating itineraries and we’ll vote on the best itinerary (of course factoring in our budget and what kind of weather we’d be willing to tolerate). It’s been such a long since I’ve done any trip planning, so I find this assignment quite exciting!

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Books that take you places (July 2022 reads)

I am a little bummed out that I have not gone traveling for the past two years. I would have like to use the opportunity to travel this summer with Lana while my husband was in annual training but I just started my new job. Don’t get me wrong — I enjoy my new job a lot. It has made my life a lot better with a shorter commute and a well-supported team.

Anyways since I’m not travelling this summer (or likely not for a while), I decided to made my reading list more focused books that will take me to places. I’ll just call it my Summer Escape Reads.

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Daddies Tomato Ketchup (PPAC #40)

First of all, I can’t believe this photo is ten years old.

This was from a trip to New York City. I spent a week there with my college friend who arrived from the Bay Area. We explored the sites, walked through parks, and eat at a bunch of restaurants. In the middle of this New York City Hall Park, you would find this jumbo inflatable ketchup. It was so goofy, and of course, I could not help but take a photo of it. It reminded me of the style of Pop Art a la Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans.”

And yes, Mocha makes a cameo.

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Picture Frame (PPAC #20)

This is from Vancouver from a trip I believe in 2018. When I first saw it, I thought of it as a large picture frame in the middle of the park framing the bay. But in doing some quick research (aka Wikipedia), it’s more like an arch titled Gate to the Northwest Passage to commemorate Captain George Vancouver.

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High sand dune, low lagoon

Huacachina, Peru is a pretty cool place to take photos, though it’s very touristy. I did not ride the sandbuggy nor sandboarding, my husband and I walked (or crawled) to to the top of the sand dune. We were stepping away from the tourist-heavy parts to admire these waves of sand.

Huacachina desert
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Sun Voyager (PPAC #10)

Since I posted photos from Reykjavik for this week’s Lens-Artist photo challenge, I thought to continue the theme this week with public art. But also it happens to be the 10th PPAC! I decided every 5th and 10th PPAC for my blog would be public art outside of Los Angeles County just to break it up.

Anyways, if you leave the Harpa Concert Hall in Reyjavik, you would find this sculpture of what looks like a boat — it’s not a Viking boat! It is however a dream boat representing “a promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom.” Viking boats are much larger — though this boat could have been a scale representation.

Sailing to uncharted territories

PPAC10

Catching the light

For this week’s Lens-Artists photo challenge, It’s All About the Light, I immediately thought about Reykjavik and its two main landmarks: the Hallgrimskirkja church and the Harpa Concert Hall. I love the way those buildings capture light.

Hallgrimskirkja Icelandic church

Hallgrimskirkja church – at eight in the morning…on a November day.

harpa concert hall early morning ceiling

Harpa Concert Hall early in the morning.

harpa concert hall daytime ceiling

Harpa Concert Hall later in the day when the sun was high. Looking at the above photo, there’s this cool transition where on the right side, it almost looks like a pencil drawing. Quite a cool effect. There’s no filter needed.

See you next time, Iceland.