Caravaggio at the Getty

Spectacular birthdays are rare when you’re an adult. Most people, I find want to just pretend the years aren’t going by. Others celebrate with reckless abandon.  I’m for the latter. There is nothing you can do to stop the passage of time, so why not embrace it? Have fun with it?

This month we celebrate my Prince Charming husbands birthday, and I found something I knew would make his day special.

His favorite artist of all time is the incomparable, Caravaggio. His real name is Michelangelo Merisi, (no, not that Michelangelo that painted the Sistine Chapel, the other one), but he is known worldwide as Caravaggio.

Caravaggio is famous for his skill with light and shadow. A technique that would be copied by countless artists including Rembrandt, Rubens and Vermeer.

For those of us that paint, I enjoyed looking at the paintings, much like I do with Monet, (my favorite artist) trying to understand how he created these masterpieces. Studying brush strokes and drinking in their beauty.  Hoping that just being near them will instill in me some magical stroke of his genius and make me a better painter. My husband enjoyed them just for their beauty.

Seeing these paintings is extraordinary for several reasons. First, the Getty is located in Los Angeles and recently there was a fire raging on the museums doorstep. Fortunately the Getty was built with the foresight of just an event so all was well. But I admit, I was worried there for a while.  Second and probably most amazing is that these paintings haven’t been out of Italy for 400 years! They have been housed in the Galleria Borghese in Rome and are just now being shown here in the US.  Finally, seeing these paintings is a gift because Caravaggio had a very short career that only spanned less than 20 years. He died, mysteriously at 39 years old taking his genius with him.

Fortunately, unlike some of us, and I mean me, I’m well past 39 years old and I still haven’t figured out what I’m meant to do. I’m so pleased that Caravaggio knew at a young age and pursued it, much like we should our birthdays with that reckless abandon I mentioned earlier. Otherwise we would never have seen these exquisite pieces of art that I believe, will change you forever once you see them.

The three Caravaggio paintings are on view at the Getty until February 18th and no matter where you are in the country, if you are an art lover, get yourself to Los Angeles and go see them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re here, I can safely say there will be a layer of smog hanging over L.A. like a warm blanket. The day we were there, it was clear as a bell.  You could see the ocean in the distance, far off buildings and the homes that barely skirted the fires. Another gift toward making this a spectacular day.

I’ve included a video I took of the view and trust me, a clear day like we got, is as remarkable as seeing these paintings.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xSeSLilqu3w

Next birthday, I hope you get a day this good…and every birthday after. They truly are a gift, go ahead and celebrate!

 

 

Cycling in Europe

I have often thought of cycling through Europe.

On a bicycle your view of the world is different. More intimate.

Riding past flower fields, old churches and meadows.

Not whizzing past charming towns and villages in a car, but slowing riding through and taking it all in.

Stopping to look around is easy and the whole time your exercising and staying fit.

Here’s a lovely article about cycling through France.

Travel Tips

Traveling is expensive and takes work to organize.

But, Oh My! It’s worth it!

Here are some tips I found on another bloggers site.

Travel Tips.

Take a look.

Christmas Travel Plans

With Halloween right around the corner you may be starting to think of Christmas.

Me, I love to travel at Christmas.

Going to places I’ve never been, all dressed up in all it’s holiday finery.

I love it.

Here’s a link to the best places to travel to for Christmas.

Some of them look awfully good.

Which one would you go to???

 

7 Wonders Of The World

Do you know what the seven wonders of the world are?

If you click on the link you’ll find out.

I’ve been, so far, to only one of them.

The gorgeous and spectacular, Coliseum in Rome, Italy.

Here’s a couple pictures I took there.

 

Coliseum In Blue

Coliseum After Dark

I would love to get to all of them.

Has anyone been to all of them???

 

 

Sistine Chapel

 

The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, Rome, Italy is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

The first time I saw it, I was overwhelmed with emotion and began to cry.

If you haven’t seen it, then you are truly missing out on one of the most magnificent pieces of art ever created.

But it’s in danger.

The Vatican has put in a new A/C system, but if it doesn’t cut down on the damage that pollution is doing to the fresco, they may have to limit visitors.

Either way, it’s a tragedy.

If you get to Rome…go see this treasure.

While your there, say a prayer that they find a way to save it.

Traveling Alone

Have you ever traveled alone?

And I’m not talking about a weekend in Vegas.

I’m talking about a trip. Airline ride over the big ocean to Europe or South America.

I read travel articles all the time and I read about these brave souls going to places alone that I’d be afraid to go with someone else.

For me, I’ve always had someone there to go with me. Not everyone does.

But traveling alone shouldn’t keep you from traveling.

I’ve heard people say, “Well I’d go, but I don’t have anyone to go with.”

I can understand it…but I say, so what, I say go.

Here’s an article by Rick Steves on traveling alone.

I hope, if your single and want to travel that it inspires you to book your next adventure.

Venice

I love Venice.

It’s beautiful, charming, romantic, and so much more.

The art, the piazza, the buildings and bridges…this city is captivating in ways other cities just hope for.

But tourist traps exist and it can ruin a trip, or at least a day there quick.

You don’t want that.

Here’s a few tips on avoiding tourist traps in Venice.

Trust me on this, read these tips and take their advice.

We got got in one of these awful tourist traps in Rome many years ago and we’re still talking about it.

Camping

Ever thought of camping on vacation?

Maybe you camp in the U.S., but how about camping in Europe?

Here’s an article about great camping spots to check out.

I think I want to go to the one outside Venice.

How wonderful and what a way to see the area.

 

 

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