Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

This weekly challenge inspired me to post.  I love taking perspective photo’s like this.  been doing it for year.  There is something about the confined space where the photographer is on the inside looking out that draws the thought . . . “where do we go next?”

The following shots were taking from inside one of the towers at Castello di Amorosa in Napa, California.

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/photo-challenge-window/#more-66599

Tourist Art

What always surprises me is the multitude of ways that a community can make money.  They pick a theme, develop the tourism, the artists and free spirits arrive and take kitsch to a whole new level (and not necessarily an elevated level).

Tourist Art.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not being snooty about Tourist Art.  We by it, own it, and show it off proudly.  But I will call it out for the capitalistic venture that it truly is.

Think about it  . . .

There is no better way to bottle up those feel good memories than in a postcard or magnet that pictures the scene exactly as you saw it (well minus the tourists, grime, long lines, cars, traffic, high prices, and uppity sales people).

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Every city has it’s tourist art.  Even the small little tadpole city’s have some local artist that specializes in local photography, metal work or bunt cake at the local bake sale.  It’s the big cities and local mecca’s that take tourist art to it’s pinnacle level.  You can’t go to the top of the Empire State Building with out walking through a shop with miniature Empire State Buildings that have NY NY emblazoned boldly on the side (& made in China on the bottom).  San Francisco is  know for it’s sweatshirt sales because every good Midwestern is convinced that it is always 80 degrees and sunny in California, especially in San Francisco.  Chicago has Sears Tower (I mean Willis Tower).  Seattle has the space needle. Paris has la Tour Eiffel, London wouldn’t be the same without Lady Di or Big Ben.

Truly, I am not trying to be cynical about Tourist Art.  I love the pure capitalism that springs forth in these places.  Shop owners and goods makers each working to share their own little view of how they see their city. But what I really love is seeing something truly unique shared with the visitor.  IMG_1734 butterfly display in St Helena

So why am I talking about Tourist Art????  I am feeling the need to create a bit on my own.  I fell in love with the Bottle Chandeliers and various wine cask decor.  There were rocking chairs (equipped with a wine holder).  Candelabra’s and tacky wine cork screws.  Blah Blah Blah.  Lot’s of it.  But As much as it all looked wonderful.  I don’t want to bring home someone else’s idea of “branded Napa”.  I want to make it mine.

So . . . Stay tuned for a new creation in the making.

Motoring in downtown St Helena

Amongst all the kitsch girl shops in Napa, there was a Harley rental store.  The out building had large airplane motors.  very cool.  Such a nice clean shop. But when you walk in and see all the leather seats and saddle bags, they scream RIDE ME NOW please.

Big Sigh.

sorry and sadly I can’t.  so back to the girly shops I went.

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V. Sattui Winary

This is one of my favorite Napa wineries as they make a lovely madeira.  Madeira is a dessert wine that is just delicious.  Sattui was one of the first places that integrated a deli store with their tasting rooms.  Perfect place to stop for lunch and sipping.

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These large casks are aging that dark cordial goodness.

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the smaller casks are some of their various red body blends

 

Hippie’s Alive and Well in California

If you have had teenagers, especially teen age boys, then you know the game “slug bug”.  in Kansas, bugs and beetles are rare enough that it is fun sport.  Of course since my hubby and I don’t hit, we changed the game to “Smooch Buggy”.  Infinitely more fun for adults.  That, and everyone’s a “winner”.

In Napa, the bugs and beetles are sooooo prevalent that it is confirmation the hippies are also thriving in the valley.  Evidence by how many antique VW’s were on the roads.  Between the Prius, Tesla’s and bugs, I was almost shocked that  real car’s were prohibited from existing on the hallowed roads.

Antique Bus

Good thing the “I want more and more is never enough” still has a place in Napa.  I was happy to see a BUNCH of Bentley’s.    Ahhh.  At least the Hippie’s haven’t outlawed conspicuous consumption. Yet.

Bentley Medalion

From the fields to the tasting rooms, Napa is certainly a picture of contrasts.

Spr’ing in Napa

It never fails,  you leave the Kansas snow behind and marvel a the color and green in California.  I think Spring is one of the nicest times in California, as all the dry hills look so verdant and lush.  The bulbs and flowers pop from the ground thumbing their noses at the rest of the country that still slumbers in a late winter.

From camellia’s to grass, the ground are perfectly groomed at the Napa wineries.  Even the wisteria covering a local business looks perfectly placed.

 

If this doesn’t inspire you to go “ing outside, than I think you may need a little more Vitamin D in your life.

So what are you waiting for?   Go get out side already!!!IMG_1708 IMG_1707 IMG_1709 IMG_1731