Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cirque Imagination:Montage!

Disa and I went to a circus this afternoon. Cirque Imagination is a spin off of Cirque du Soleil. The Montage performance was great - there is not so much of a phantasy story within a carnival in here, but a carnival atmosphere nevertheless and the performers and their skill level are top class. We had a grand time.

" It is a grand show of circus daring and skill, starring former members of Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere, O, Saltimbanco, Alegria and Quidam. This production aims to defy the perception of what are impossible - fusing strength, flexibility and technical skill, fostering an appreciation for the beauty and capabilities of the human body" - says their promotional piece.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spa day

Today is a pampering day. Manicure, pedicure, body scrub, massage, facial, hair cutting and styling. I like a pampering day with my daughter - otherwise I consider it too boring... but it is a part of living in the big city routine, so it has to be endured more often here than on a tropical island.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Clematis on our balcony now in bloom

Clematis in the sun

Clematis which i planted on Disa's balcony a month ago is now in fool bloom!

Clematis in the rain

Too bad that the rose, which I planted it with, just finished blooming for a while. But better one plant in bloom than neither one.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Milledgeville - the First Lady of Georgia

Milledgeville was the second stop on my and Disa's Mother's Day trip on Georgia's antebellum trail.

Milledgeville prides itself on its history, which began in 1803, when the state of Georgia searched for a site for its new capital. Because this area offered a central location and ample springs, it was deemed to be the perfect spot and for more than 60 years Milledgeville was the capital of Georgia.

Many area homes and structures survived the periodic fires and willful destruction of the War Between the States, so it is an interesting stop on the antebellum trail, although, when you decide to go, do not make a mistake we did and do not go on a Sunday, when all historic buildings and other attractions are closed and can be seen only from outside :-(((.

So we just walked the streets, looked at prominent buildings, like an old capitol building, now a military academy,

A sculpture of a dog near the library on military academy's campus

an old governor's mansion, etc., etc. and at the remnants of a street art festival, which took place a day earlier:
colorful "murals" painted on the streets.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial weekend bargain hunting

At the beginning of the week I got an email from IKEA announcing a Memorial Day sale. This classic modern chair, designed by Noburu Nakamura some 20 years ago (?) was on sale today only, for a super bargain price of $39 each. I could not resist... for both practical and sentimental reasons.

Practical: before I left for Puerto Rico I left my bedroom, guest room/study and dining room furniture in storage, but sold practically all my living room ones - and left furniture I had in Puerto Rico there, so, once I moved into my new place I would have nowhere to sit, unless I bought something new, so a couple of those chairs, especially at this unbeatable price seemed like a perfect solution.

A street in Ystad, a well preserved medieval town

Sentimental: I owned a couple of those - with pale blue cushions - some 15 years ago, when I worked in Poland, but had a seaside apartment in Ystad, in southern Sweden.


Poland at that time was still in its early post communist period, and was certainly a fascinating place to work in, but utterly uncomfortable to live in, so every month I worked for about 24 days straight, workdays and weekends, just to be able to escape to my tranquil Swedish seaside paradise for one week, breathe some fresh air ( I worked in Lodz, at that time a heavily polluted industrial city of almost one million inhabitants squeezed like sardines in tiny - and mostly dilapidated - communist era apartments, or crumbling - and equally dilapidated - early industrial ones),

walk on practically empty, miles long beaches, flanked by wild rose hedges,

heather filled meadows and pine forests....

I loved it there... but work - and new adventures took me elsewhere... so now I had to have at least those armchairs again!

On Thursday Disa and I went to IKEA for lunch ( Swedish meatballs with lingonberries!) to preview the various options before today's mad dash, and there, while testing the different types of cushions for style and comfort, I got engaged in an animated conversation with an interesting guy... and made a new friend :-)

Friday, May 15, 2009

:-((( the pool at my gym is temporarily closed

Yesterday, during my water aerobics class I found out that the sunny Olympic size swimming pool at my gym, the highlight of my near daily gym visits - is going to be closed for 11 days due to some reconstruction work. :-(((

One of the pleasures of my post-Puerto Rico life are daily (except weekends) visits to the gym.

I take hourly water aerobics classes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I take weight lifting, stretching and toning classes designed for people my age and/or work on weight machines and elliptical trainers.

Try to find anything even remotely resembling it in Puerto Rico... I could not -and missed gym all the time I lived there!

But after each "dry" workout I enjoy relaxing in a hot tub and swimming in the pool. So, when the pool is closed, I won't go to the gym, even though all the "dry"classes and equipment are available. Without a pool as a reward it would not be even half that much fun. :-(((

So today, instead for going to the gym I went walking in Piedmont Park, while Disa was jogging there, and we ended our al fresco work out passes strolling among the flowers and the sculptures in Atlanta Botanical Garden (there is a Moore exhibition going on in there right now, but I'll blog about it later - today my camera had no working batteries).

Too bad that the water in the condo's outdoor swimming pool is still a tad too cold for a swim. :-((

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Georgia Antebellum trail: first stop: Monticello

War monument at the square in Monticello.

Behind it, on the right is the Greek revival courthouse building, made famous by the film "My cousin Vinnie".

I was looking forward to a trip to Georgia's Golden Isles on Mother's Day, but the weather forecast, which suggested it would be unseasonably cold - and rainy - there this week, made us to postpone that trip and do a day trip length part of the Georgia antebellum trail that Sunday.

Southern magnolias burst into bloom in Georgia right now!
Their flowers are as big as sandwich plates and they bloom profusely all summer long. they are also a symbol of the south and a symbol of scenic drives in Georgia.

The antebellum trail runs from Athens to Macon and showcases the best examples of remaining antebellum (here meaning pre 1860 war between the North and the South) architecture in central Georgia.

Bank building in Monticello - another example of Greek revival architecture

General Sherman's scorched earth war strategy resulted in most of Georgia (including the city of Atlanta) being burnt to the ground during that war, but he spared Savannah and some towns in middle Georgia, which made the antebellum trail possible. The monument above is dedicated to the memory of soldiers fighting in the war.

Since it was Mother's Day we decided to go to a traditional Mother's Day brunch after all, but to do it with a twist. We had no reservations, so we did not attempt to have brunch in Social Circle, but chose the next best thing: the Red Clay Cafe and Gallery in Georgia's Monticello: a quaint and very picturesque small town.

We had brunch at Red Clay Galleria and Cafe on the square.

The cafe and galleria are owned by Sandra (in the middle of the picture, above), who - like Monticello (My cousin Vinnie was filmed here), is also known from playing in several films: she played in Fried Green Tomatoes with Jessica Tandy and had a dancing role in Medea's Family Reunion.

The patronage of the Red Clay Cafe is racially diverse, which adds to it ambiance.

Just look at the goergeous smile of the lady in the center and the equally gorgeous red hat with pink and magenta flowers of the lady on the right... all of it against the background of a fabulous wall mural!

I love to watch the contrast between the "Sunday casual" outfits of Americans of European extraction with the elaborate - and usually very stylish - "Sunday finery" of African-Americans. I also love - every now and then, since it is definitively not healthy, but good - traditional southern cooking: grits with red eye gravy, melt in your mouth biscuits, fried chicken, cured ham, okra with tomatoes, fried green tomatoes, fresh peach cobblers - to name just the most famous dishes.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day trip to the Golden Isles

Yippi! Tomorrow morning - instead of going to a traditional Mother Day's brunch - we shall jump in a car (we haven't decided yet which car we shall take: Disa's car is more roomy, but burns more gas, while mine is easier to park) and drive south to the Georgia's Golden Isles for a few days!
So see ya when I get back!

Friday, May 1, 2009