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!

 

 

Learn to travel

If you’ve not traveled much there could be hesitation in going somewhere new or really far away.

Some people never even get out of the USA.

But there’s a big, beautiful world out there.

Interestingly, if you would like to travel somewhere Rick Steves probably has a class on it.

Travel classes are available through his site.

Learn to pack light, cruise, go somewhere in Europe or travel alone.

Wherever you want to do, he’s probably got a class for it.

So go ahead, learn a little more about that place you want to go…and GO!

 

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 to Nazareth

I’ve always wanted to travel in the Holy Land.

Walk the trail that Jesus walked.

See sites I’ve read about in the Bible.

I’ve never had the opportunity to go and even if I did, strife in the region has always made us re-think that perhaps choosing another vacation spot would be a good idea.

This article about Nazareth is wonderful.

Opened my eyes to traveling there and the possibility of seeing a place I’ve wanted to see my whole life.

I hope that things continue to improve in that region and opens things up to tourists.

If you read this article, have a tissue nearby.

It may bring a tear to your eye…and it’s wonderful!

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.

Cusco, Peru

As it says in the article, most people only stop over in Cusco long enough to settle in then head to Machu Picchu.

I myself have always thought it would be nice to spend a week there before heading up to the mystical mountain.

It’s a UNESCO site and my research has shown that they have numerous churches that I will want to visit.

If you have doubts, take a look at this article on Cusco, Peru and if you plan to go there, plan to stay awhile.

December Nights!

Last night December Nights in San Diego’s Balboa Park started.

One weekend of food booths, music, entertainment, crafts, art and everything in between.

All the museums are open from 5-9 pm for free and there’s also free concerts in the beautiful organ pavilion.

This is definitively the festival that launches the holiday season in San Diego.

We walked around and enjoyed the festivities.

Ate a few NON-diet friendly food items.

Listened to the music of some of the bands.

Perused the craft booths admiring the creativeness and ingenuity of others.

But probably my favorite part of the evening was taking pictures. (That’s always my favorite part of traveling)

Here’s a few from the evening.

Enjoy!

















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