Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Colors of Easter


The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas consistently produces one of the best floral displays. This spring, the botanical garden is awash with tulips. What a sight to behold amidst the slot machine jungle!


This carousel sits in a field of blooms - violet colored mums, yellow tulips. The Bellagio Hotel changes its floral theme every season. It's always fun to see what each season yields.


The inspiration of this floral arrangement comes from a landscape painting by David Hockney which is currently on exhibit at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. The exhibition entitled "A Sense of Place: From Monet to Hockney" continues through January 9, 2012.


There are a lot of whimsical touches such as shown above. Entrance to the botanical gardens is free. What a relaxing way to spend with family and friends admiring the happy colors of Easter.


And I love these parasols hanging from the dome of the Via Bellagio shops. It's just so spring-y!

Happy Easter everyone.

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Images by Charie

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Postscript: Buenos Aires

And one or more things about Buenos Aires:

Where to stay: I really liked my room at the Dazzler Hotel on Maipu 850, right in the center of town. The room was spacious and clean with laminated wood floor and breakfast was included. The hotel is a short walk to Calle Florida and Galerias Pacifico. My only complaint about the room was the noise from the street below as Maipu is a bus route. So ask for a room away from the street.


Parks: Buenos Aires has many beautiful parks, perfect for weary feet. Do go to a park where there are a lot of people so you're safe and be aware of what's going on around you. The plazoleta below is on Calle Arroyo and Avenida de 9 de Julio.



I also liked the Plaza de las Naciones where you have a great view of the Florialis Generica from under bright yellow outdoor umbrellas.


Another little square on Calle Arroyo was on the former site of the Israeli Embassy which was bombed in 1992. Today it is a quiet place for reflection. Rows of trees were planted here to represent the lives that were lost when the Embassy was razed to the ground. 29 people perished and a couple hundred injured from the bomb attack.


Museum: I really wanted to see the works of Xul Solar, Argentine artist of the avant garde but unfortunately, the Museo Xul Solar was closed. Luckily, I found a few of his colorful paintings at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes on Avenida del Libertador in Palermo. What a treat it was to gain free entrance to the Bellas Artes where I found a portrait by Rembrandt and an extensive collection of paintings by contemporary Argentine artists! This is a "must see".

Neoclassical architecture: Buenos Aires stuns with its architecture. Its a delight to see styles from different periods in history - from the neoclassical facade of the Catedral Metropolitana to the colonial structure of the Cabildo (across the street from the cathedral) to the Belle Epoque palaces and the futuristic Puente de la Mujer by Calatrava.

Catedral Metropolitana

And lastly, an excerpt from the song, Volver (Return), which was composed  by Carlos Gardel with lyrics written by Alfredo Lepera.
"Pero el viajero que huye
tarde o temprano detiene su andar...
Y aunque el olvido, que todo destruye,
haya matado mi vieja ilusión,
guardo escondida una esperanza humilde
que es toda la fortuna de mi corazón."
And yet the traveler who’s fleeing
Sooner or later must stop on the way...
And though oblivion, which destroys all being,
Has killed my old dreams, tearing them apart,
I guard a humble glimmer of ho
pe
Which is all the fortune I have in my heart.

Pues, espero volver a Buenos Aires pero no "con la frente marchita", but not with a wrinkled forehead!

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Images by Charie 

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Travel Photography 101 | Travel News from Fodor's Travel Guides


One of the lessons I learned from this article is that the best photos are taken at dawn or before/shortly after sunset. Which explains why this image (above) I took with my simple iPhone camera while walking at the salt marsh at sunset is a good example of taking photographs during "the golden hours".  For more info on how to take the best photos, check the link below. Travel Photography 101 Travel News from Fodor's Travel Guides.

Life Magazine, the purveyor of some of the most memorable photos we've seen, has tips on how to take great travel shots with images to match. http://www.life.com/gallery/41422/image/72868208#index/0.

Advice noted, all I need now is a good camera that can take my photos to the next level. My point and shoot fails me when I use the zoom feature or if I take photos in low light.

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Image by Charie