Superb Surfing

Main

March 24, 2009

Florida Part 3 : A wander around Sarasota and a flight to Chicago

These photos were taken on 21/o2/2oo9. In case you were curious...

IMG_1695.jpg

This statue, Unconditional Surrender, is based on Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photo of a solider and a nurse celebrating the end of WWII with the Kiss. It's one of the more famous Sarasota landmarks.

IMG_1697.jpg

IMG_1698.jpg

IMG_1701.jpg

IMG_1702.jpg

IMG_1705.jpg

IMG_1707.jpg

IMG_1711.jpg

IMG_1715.jpg

IMG_1721.jpg

March 22, 2009

A beach, the Ringling Complex, and another sunset (aka Florida pt. 2)

IMG_1598.jpg

IMG_1599.jpg

IMG_1608.jpg

IMG_1620.jpg

IMG_1622.jpg

IMG_1624.jpg

Below is me going in for a dip in the somewhat chilly 17 degree waters...

IMG_1627.jpg

The rest of the photos are all taken at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art which is actually a multi-building complex on a 66 acre estate. John Ringling not only built this massive estate, but much of Sarasota as well as his pet project of running a circus.

IMG_1634.jpg

IMG_1636.jpg

IMG_1637.jpg

IMG_1639.jpg

IMG_1640.jpg

IMG_1641.jpg

IMG_1642.jpg

IMG_1644.jpg

IMG_1645.jpg

A bit of the gardens:

IMG_1647.jpg

IMG_1657.jpg

IMG_1658.jpg

One of the highlights is the Circus Museum, celebrating all the mystique surrounding circus life, with little acknowledgement of the animal rights abuses and hardships that performers and workers endured... don't get me wrong though. Even though its one-sided, its still pretty fun to see!

IMG_1649.jpg

IMG_1650.jpg

IMG_1652.jpg

This circus in miniature was built over more than a 50 year period by one very devoted Howard Tibbals. I kinda wish I would've taken more photos of this display. The attention to detail is quite phenomenal.

IMG_1653.jpg

IMG_1655.jpg

This is the Venetian-style Mansion that John and his wife once lived in. On the terrace, once a month (just in time for my visit) there is a band, food and drink. It's well worth hanging out to watch the sunset.

IMG_1661.jpg

IMG_1680.jpg

IMG_1686.jpg

IMG_1692.jpg

IMG_1694.jpg

February 27, 2009

Please refrain from molesting the alligators (aka Florida pt. 1)


My father is evil.

I'm not sure if ya'll knew that or not, but I thought I should let you know. When he and his wife first mentioned coming down to Sarasota to visit them while they were on their Florida winter vacation, I was like... "... uhhh... I don't think I can do that... living on a student budget now and all." But from day they arrived he sent me text messages almost every day telling me how warm and sunny it was. "Beautiful day today. 26 and sunny". Meanwhile, I was trying to deal with my first full-time Canadian winter in three years. It was cold and snowy in Toronto and it didn't take too long before my fiscal responsibility protests melted away under the idea of a warm Florida sun. Of course, Kelly's offer of getting me to NYC for $5 was the first step that made my USA vacation possible.

And so, I found myself in Sarasota for 4 days. Here's a bit of what I saw:

IMG_1517.jpg(One of the beautiful bridges between Tampa and Sarasota)

A whole bunch of photos from Myakka River Sate Park:

IMG_1522.jpg

IMG_1526.jpg

IMG_1530.jpg

IMG_1532.jpg

IMG_1537.jpg

IMG_1538.jpg

IMG_1544.jpg

IMG_1545.jpg

We took the air boat tour of the river, which seemed like a great way to see some wildlife, but sadly high winds chased almost all the animals away. Well, except for this guy:

IMG_1548.jpg

IMG_1550.jpg

IMG_1555.jpg

IMG_1562.jpg

IMG_1563.jpg

IMG_1564.jpg

IMG_1566.jpg

Wild Boar

IMG_1569.jpg

IMG_1570.jpg

IMG_1575.jpg

IMG_1579.jpg

IMG_1581.jpg

Sunset on the golf course near Dad & Rosemarie's condo:

IMG_1583.jpg

February 24, 2009

Look. Up in the sky.

My love of flying is my most guilty unenvironmentally-friendly pleasure. I think I was almost as excited for my flights on this trip as I was for the places I was going.

Photos from February 17th's flight from NY's LaGuardia to Tampa, Florida.

IMG_1478.jpg

IMG_1479.jpg

IMG_1484.jpg

IMG_1487.jpg

IMG_1491.jpg

IMG_1492.jpg

IMG_1495.jpg

IMG_1501.jpg

IMG_1508.jpg

IMG_1512.jpg

February 20, 2009

we interrupt this broadcast...

...to bring you actual photos from the present.

That's right, I've taken advantage of reading week to go on a little trip through the USA. Part 1 of the trip is NYC. My lovely friend Kelly (yes, my Thailand and Hong Kong travel buddy) very kindly got me a bus ticket for next to nothing to the Big Apple and my four short day there turned out better than I could've possibly imagined.

The first set of photos were taken from the lovely hotel room I had the incredible good luck of crashing through a friend of a friend... First a night photo...

IMG_1349.jpg

The next 4 are from the daytime view.

IMG_1361.jpg

IMG_1362.jpg

The hotel is at 44th and 7th, in case you were curious, and my location was the 49th floor.

IMG_1366.jpg

IMG_1368.jpg

IMG_1370.jpg

IMG_1372.jpg

IMG_1374.jpg

IMG_1376.jpg

IMG_1379.jpg

IMG_1380.jpg

IMG_1414.jpg

IMG_1419.jpg

IMG_1420.jpg

IMG_1421.jpg

IMG_1426.jpg

IMG_1434.jpg

IMG_1438.jpg

IMG_1442.jpg

IMG_1447.jpg

IMG_1453.jpg

IMG_1461.jpg

IMG_1467.jpg

IMG_1468.jpg

IMG_1323.jpg

IMG_1325.jpg

IMG_1330a.jpg

IMG_1336.jpg

IMG_1338.jpg

May 20, 2008

LAX and beyond...

Aer Lingus non-stop flight EI144 from Los Angeles to Dublin. Flight time: 10 hours

IMG_0814.jpg

IMG_0815.jpg

IMG_0817.jpg

IMG_0820.jpg

IMG_0821.jpg

IMG_0828.jpg

IMG_0824.jpg

IMG_0836.jpg

IMG_0839.jpg

IMG_0846.jpg

IMG_0847.jpg

IMG_0849.jpg

A hike in the Hollywood hills

Desni's fabulous friend Amy very kindly offered to allow me to tag along with her and comrades on the daily hike in the hills. So for my last day in LA (April 21st, in case your were curious), I woke up super early, borrowed a tracksuit from Des and headed into the hills with the gang.

IMG_0780.jpg

IMG_0781.jpg

IMG_0782.jpg

IMG_0785.jpg

IMG_0787.jpg

IMG_0788.jpg

IMG_0791.jpg

IMG_0792.jpg

IMG_0796.jpg

IMG_0798.jpg

IMG_0800.jpg

IMG_0805.jpg

IMG_0809.jpg
(Amy and company: Amy is the second from the right)

IMG_0812.jpg

May 12, 2008

The Getty Center (Part iii - The view)

IMG_0632.jpg

IMG_0634.jpg

IMG_0640.jpg

IMG_0658.jpg

IMG_0660.jpg

IMG_0680.jpg

IMG_0682.jpg

IMG_0719.jpg

The Getty Center (Part ii - Pretty plants)

IMG_0675.jpg

IMG_0724.jpg

IMG_0726.jpg

IMG_0729.jpg

IMG_0746.jpg

IMG_0747.jpg

IMG_0754.jpg
(Do these cacti remind anyone else of the gooie pods from Aliens?)

IMG_0759.jpg

IMG_0774.jpg

IMG_0709.jpg

IMG_0771.jpg

May 11, 2008

The Getty Center

I'm dividing the Getty Center photos into three entries. This entry focuses on the built structures, the next on the gardens and the third is the lovely view.

IMG_0678.jpg

The Getty Center is funded by the trust of John Paul Getty and designed by the contemporary American architect Richard Meier. The Center was created to become the cultural heart of Los Angeles, which is why it is a center housing many buildings rather than just a museum. Meier came up with the design while sitting in the hills that would become the home for the Getty Center. His designs rely heavily on the landscape that surrounded him and you can see patterns from the hills and the city repeating in the architecture. Actually all the design aspects repeat throughout the different buildings that make up the Getty Center so thoroughly that all squares blocks that make up the walkways, walls and frames would all match up in a perfectly divisible ratio, should you wish to take the time to do the math.

IMG_0636.jpg

IMG_0644.jpg

IMG_0645.jpg

IMG_0669.jpg

IMG_0652.jpg

IMG_0655.jpg

Some of the community had concerns about the new massive Center that about to move into the neighbourhood. One of their concerns came from one of Meier's signature design elements, the brilliant white that he colours his creations. He is so married to this specific bright white, that the hue has been named after him, "Meier White". The community was very concerned that this luminous white under the bright California sun would become an eyesore, and so thankfully, he relented and painted the Center a much softer off-white. It was quite bright enough up there with the sun reflecting off the paving stones and the buildings, if he had gone with the Meier White I think it may have been a bit unbearable in the midday sun.

Another way in which the Trust was able to work with the community was by building the helicopter landing pad below. The base is filled with water so that firefighters can easily land and fill up their water tanks to fight fires in the dry fire-prone neighbouring hills.

IMG_0656.jpg

Below we see another example of of the symmetry that Meier worked so hard to incorporate. At the back end of the Center is a matching round structure, but instead of being used as a landing pad, this one is used as a garden.

IMG_0749.jpg

IMG_0672.jpg

IMG_0674.jpg

I thought about putting the next two photos in the upcoming Gardens entry, but these trees are such a good example of the kind of precision and thought that went into the design element that I had to include it here. You can see from the first photo that there are several trees in this line. but take one step to the side and you can see only one tree. Meier managed to created many different spots to test your perspective.

IMG_0667.jpg

IMG_0668.jpg

IMG_0689.jpg

IMG_0684.jpg

May 10, 2008

Los Angeles

My friend Desni has been living in the States with her boyfriend for just over two years now. She has asked me to come and visit on numerous occasions and I had always been very disappointed that with all of my own travelling, I've been unable to. So, I was thrilled when I discovered that between seat sales on Aer Lingus and Continental, I could get to LA and then to Dublin for the same price as getting myself from Toronto to Dublin. With the promise of a free place to stay, a couple of dinners in swishy restaurants, the opportunity to finally meet Desni's illusive boyfriend, and the chance to eat Desni's amazing cooking, who could honestly resist? I didn't have long in LA (two and a half days was the most I could sacrifice from days when I could be working) but it was just long enough to do a few amazing things and get to spend time some much missed time with a friend.

I love the flight into LA. There are so many different types of landscapes to see in such a short period of time.

IMG_0575.jpg

IMG_0598.jpg

IMG_0607.jpg

IMG_0614.jpg

IMG_0617.jpg

On the ground:

IMG_0619.jpg

IMG_0620.jpg

IMG_0622.jpg

IMG_0625.jpg

IMG_0628.jpg

IMG_0629.jpg

I had been wanting to visit the much lauded Getty Center for years. Luckily for me Desni was kind enough to take me there.

IMG_0712.jpg

What I really wanted to do at the Getty was take the architecture tour, and I did, but I'm going to put the photos of the buildings in another entry. For now, Here's a few pieces of art work that you will find around the center:

art_in_the_getty.jpg

IMG_0653.jpg

IMG_0692.jpg

IMG_0696.jpg

IMG_0708a.jpg

IMG_0769.jpg
IMG_0727a.jpg

IMG_0732a.jpg

This in not Getty Center artwork, but Desni and Carlos' adorable dog, Angus.

IMG_0737.jpg

++++++

P.S. When I go back through my entries days, weeks and month after publishing them I often find a zillion little errors. Typos, grammar errors, spelking (tee hee hee) mistakes, etc., etc. So, if you see any of these please feel free to let me know. I would love to hire my own editor, but as I can't afford one, I'll have to use my readers instead.

Thanks!