Land of A Thousand Pictures, con't
Ghost Ranch, New Mexico
My mom's a painter. She feels the same way about Georgia O'Keefe that I feel about J. K. Rowling - they're more than just role models. We're glad that they exist, because these creative people have added so much to our lives. Their art is a thread in the tapestries of our lives.
Okay, I'm done being poetical now.
But we went to Ghost Ranch, the place where Georgia O'Keefe spent the last years and painted TONS.
I did not expect the burros on the way in.
The tour we took focused on the specific spots O'Keefe painted.
I don't remember what this painting is called, because I was a bad listener...
This one is easier to see.
For comparison, here's the painting, Gerald's Tree:
We crunched around on a lot of old snow,
which looked really cool against the scrubby plants.
I think this tree is the Lawrence Tree:
I told you I took many pics of trees and sky in New Mexico.
I'm sure it's because Georgia O'Keefe painted many of them. Her composition stuck with me.
This one is just preeeetty.
Lake Abiquiu, New Mexico
It was basically across the street. Of course, we went to see it.
It looks just like a car commercial.
I couldn't resist.
Here's a picture of the actual lake.
You know, if you AREN'T obsessed with Mini's, like me.
And here's Mom taking a picture of Pedernal Mountain.
Georgia O'Keefe kind of treated it like her backyard. Yep, the whole mountain.
That makes her one awesome old lady.
Then, we drove to Taos for the night, and the moon was huge and beautiful. Of the ten million I took, this is the one that turned out the best.
I know. Not a great picture.
But this is the painting of Georgia O'Keefe's that it reminded me of:
Ladder to the Moon, 1958
The Land of National Parks
Petrified Forest National Park
I've wanted to see the Petrified Forest since I was a little girl obsessed with semi-precious stones. I had some petrified wood, and I got excited when I found out there was a whole forest of the stuff.
We didn't get many pictures of it, though. We arrived there thirty minutes before it closed, and we had to rush across the park as fast as the park speed limit would let us (not fast).
You can't really see it here, but the prettiness is worth it.
But here's the Jasper Forest.
There is a lot of petrified wood, but not as much as they used to be. Pioneers used to grab some when they visited. The park rangers don't let that happen anymore. They made me declare any petrified wood I had in the car.
It's a crack in the earth. No, seriously. These pictures don't show the scale of it.
A DEAD tree and sky - a new twist! :-P
These are the trails we didn't go on.
People do this on donkeys...I can't even fathom...
Did you guys want to see our wildlife sightings?
A mule deer, I think.
Here's her buddies.
These ravens were everywhere and the size of my English bulldog.
This one was starting to get aggressive.
I won't lie - the DIVERGENT scene where Tris takes on the ravens flashed through my mind.
the Land of Destinations
Mojave National Preserve
I passed a lot of places in the Southwest that I thought were desert,
but this is the real deal.
It was awesome.
We didn't exactly stop for pictures though. This was taken via cameraphone.
Okay, so I really wasn't there that long. I only took pictures of the airport (research for Ever Afters 2) and of the Warner Brothers Tour (also, research). The first is kind of boring, and I'm 98% sure that Warner Bros asked me not to post pictures.
Old Mission Santa Barbara, "The Queen of the Missions"
It was big. It was pretty. It was founded in 1786.
Sorry, the picture is dark. The sun was setting.
The inner courtyard.
Is it wrong that my favorite part was the graveyard?
And especially this tree?
It was built by William Randolph Hearst and his architect Julia Morgan, the newspaper mogul. He basically bought a whole bunch of random fancy stuff, like ceilings and lampshades and greek pottery a couple thousand years old, and he built a place to house it. Then he invited up Hollywood royalty for lots and lots of parties.
I obviously didn't take this picture. I found it here.
I just wanted you to see how big this place is.
Lots of my pictures of the house's inside didn't turn out, so I'll just show you the highlights.
The grounds were pretty.
The view from the front.
That would be the ocean in the background.
And this would be the view from Hearst's bedroom.
I looked for famous names, and I found one.
The Book of the Homeless, by Edith Wharton
THIS is his office.
So much JEALOUSY.
Random fact: Hearst had these fruit trees planted everywhere, and he just kept the fruit on the trees for decoration.
Isn't that insane?? Those are oranges.
Well, one of them.
I know - too pretty to exist. Basically.
The other pool!
There's actual gold on the mosaic floor.
My mom wanted to see some redwoods before she left for Charlotte, so we went here:
Just like The Secret of Kells.
I didn't take this picture. Found it here.
It was just too lovely not to share.