All My Pics

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

California ~ all it's cracked up to be!r

Unlike the overrated tourist destinations back home in Orlando, I've found that the Golden State isn't just all hype. I love how nature and development are so interspersed here, and how hills and buildings coexist so that the buildings jut right out of the earth. The weather isn't extreme in any way, the air is fresh, and the sun is always shining at an angle that seems to make everyone content. At least in San Diego. Residents would probably tell me otherwise, but as far as I've observed, it's been nothing but everything I want in city: sunny, modern, artistic, musical, and highly focused on preserving the environment. I love the culture here, the priorities of the communities, the architecture, the views from up high, the harbors, the seals, the foliage, the flowers, the cute little apartments downtown, how dog-friendly it is... I just love, love, love! I'd move here in a heartbeat if I could. One of my favorite things I've been doing here, other than checking out the clusters of tiny art studios of sculptors, painters, jewelry-makers and glass-blowers, has been taking pictures (of quite a lot!). I've gone through my phone (I promise, one day I'll get a legit camera) and narrowed it down to several favorites that I'll post here. Enjoy!

                                                                  I love Koi ponds.

                               How lucky I was to find this view completely empty of people!

 If you happen to notice the duck perched on an above-ground root just to the left of the base of the trunk, you can tell just how small it is in retrospect to this mammoth tree.

                                                              The botanical garden

                                                                 AMAZING view...

A very opportune moment, successfully taken advantage of. I caught this adorable baby bunny looking at me in the japanese garden :D
                                       I have no clue what these are, but I liked this close-up.

                                      Bonsai garden - another one of my all time favorite things.

 Liked this view

Newlyweds in Cali!

I've been in San Diego for the past 4 days or so for my uncle and his fiance's (now wife!) wedding. It was on St. Patrick's Day at the House of Hospitality in Balboa Park. In the spirit of the holiday, the bridesmaid's dresses were olive-leafy green (despite the hideous cost our matching J Crew attire, I will probably never wear it again due to the unusual color and suffocating fit). Not only was there an Irish theme to the reception, but the sunny coastal city seemed to have attracted some Irish weather to match (luckily, rain on your wedding day is apparently good fortune). We were all freezing out in the chilly wind and rain in our tiny dresses while the photographer took what seemed to be 50 snapshots of the same position. However, after we got all this over with, the fun part began. The gaggle of groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girls and the ring bearer ducked inside to begin the ceremony. This is when I began to see that side of my uncle I didn't know existed until he met his soul mate (I'll call her 'D'). Let me give you a little of his background history:

He's always been the goofy guy who lacked common sense, responsibility, and often needed a reality check. He's got the brains of an engineer and plays saxaphone like a pro. Great potential, really, but his music kept him from the lifestyle he wanted. He was always more of an "I can't" or "I don't feel like trying" person. I guess a better way of putting it would be that he lacked direction up into his mid-thirties. For some time after he divorced his first wife, C, he got into drinking and was caught several times drunk driving.

Until, while kayaking in Kuwait, he met her. The woman that gave him a reason to change. And she obviously brought out that rational, responsible, more sensible(ish) side of him. One that would even make a good father.

Anyhoo, the wedding was lighthearted, cheerful, and fun. Some of his band buddies played a few upbeat celtic ditties for which everyone went footloose and didn't hesitate to kick off their sunday shoes. I managed to keep my crazy little cousins under control (they didn't break anything! Props to me!). The wedding cake was exceptional, to say the least. Everyone had a marvelous time mingling with friends of family and family of friends. Back at the hotel, I flopped down on the bed, exhausted. I tore off my dress, shawl and heels, yanked on a shirt, and passed out under the covers.