Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The architecture tracks the history of Texas, according to the center's brochure. The courtyard reflects the Spanish missions, and the limestone of the cistern demonstrates German farmers' craftsmanship.
I enjoyed the explicitness of this sign. Could any possible action have been missed here?
An important message of the center is that as much as 30 per cent of the world's native flora is at risk of extinction.
Path to gift shop. It's probably a good thing that we ran out of time before I went through it. For those interested in seeing more, check out www.wildflower.org.
This large piece (above and here) is called "Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer" by Craig Dan Goseyum. He watches over the place.
The buildings, earliest of which was built as a research facility in the 30s, are completely attuned to one another, as is all the signage and the landscaping of the area.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Rock wall just behind the guest house, which is at a higher elevation than the house where we've previously had most of our meetings.
A photo of our our hosts and moderators of these sessions, the four authors of the book on sabbaticals.
Good food, great ambience, and eight interesting women, along with the four authors of the book on how to get the most out of a sabbatical.
Friday, April 24, 2009
On Thursday before I boarded the Southwest Chief, Mike Spalter took me to lunch in LA's Chinatown. Ocean Seafood is known far and wide for its dim sum.
Most of the trip across California and Arizona took place at night. But these pictures were shot after we had crossed the border into New Mexico. I'm amazed still that the iPhone camera works so well at speeds up to 80mph.
Our weekend conference is being held on a 17 acre estate where the original buildings were designed by an artist. Here are just a few photos from this afternoon. I'll shoot more tomorrow. The Rancho de San Sebastian is both vast and intimate, a function in part of the air, the mountains and the sky -- but a testament to the woman who took the initial buildings and made them thematically complete.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Given my druthers, I would rather stay in a beautiful piece of architecture any time. Here's a view of The Biltmore's lobby.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I’m at the end of my second day of travel on the Coast Starlight. It’s been a lovely ride, a great way to begin this adventure. The sounds of a train are eerily familiar from experience, but also from books read to us as children -- the sound of the horn saying “make way, make way.” The metal- on- metal sound of the brakes coming into a station. The familiar voice of the conductor with his “all aboard!” Traveling down here along the California coastline has been a spectacular way to re-introduce myself to the American vistas we so often overlook. There’s actually time to do that.
The other pleasant disscovery was the neighborly ways of fellow travelers of a wide variety of ages, colors and hometowns. On this train there is an old-fashioned, restored “parlor car,” with comfortable swivel seats and big windows for sitting, reading, and then conversing usually when a spectacular view emerges.
Though we have had a couple of delays, we came in early to the Art Deco Union Station in Los Angeles this evening. I’m spending the night at the historic Millenium Biltmore hotel, which is spectacular. Late tomorrow afternoon after lunching with a former colleague and good friend, I'll board the train for an overnight ride to for Santa Fe.Trees in Washington and Oregon are especially lush this time of year. This is near Olympia and the Cheetwoot peninsula, the black bear place, according to Coastal Salish.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I've cleared my desk and sent emails that were still pending. I've got most of my high tech suitcase packed, and only my black briefcase left. Only things I can't fit in that I really wanted to take are my Ugg slippers....I thought they would be great for padding around on the train. But I've got my swim gear and walking kit, so I think as long as I can find a laundry along the way that I will be golden.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sponsored by the Veterans for Peace, "working together for Peace and Justice for all through the promotion of non-violent solutions for conflict," it's like being sucker-punched to remember violent death in the midst of such natural beauty.
Donations for this installation and setup in various locations can be made on site or by check to:
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I have started to tie up loose ends for my train trip. I leave on Tuesday morning. I am very much looking forward to having this time with myself, and with dear friends, several of whom are also relatives.