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Go Fly a Kite!

There was no shortage of shopping in San Fransisco. We stayed in Union Square and it was packed with all the big name, high end department stores. Chinatown had plenty of kitschy Asian markets. However, one of my favorite spots for window shopping was from Fisherman's Wharf down to Pier 39. Yes, it was a little touristy, but the area had loads of fun finds, good food, interesting sights, and even some laid back sea lions.

One of the stores I could not resist was the San Fransisco Kite Company. Even if you are not a kite enthusiast, this store is impressive. There were kites in every shape and size imaginable. All the colors were breathtaking.











This sock monkey kite made me think of my friend Jacquelyn, from Musings by Jaquelyn, who is a bit of a sock monkey junkie.











The shark kite reminded me of my neighbor, also named Jacquelyn (what are the odds?) who has a love/hate relationship with sharks.











I also found a little inspiration at the San Fransisco Kite Company. These paper star lanterns looked perfect for summer outdoor entertaining. How hard could they be to make? I'm hoping to come up with a tutorial for something like this in the near future. I'll keep you posted.






Another delightful, but rather odd, attraction in the area was the Musee Mechanique. Part old fashioned arcade, part museum, and totally memorable. It was like walking back in time to discover some antique games and entertainment. Admission was free, but it was a quarter or two to play a games or see the mechanical scenes in action.





Some of the machines were fairly simple like this mechanical horse.









Others were quite intricate mechanized miniature scenes like The Mechanical Farm and...









The Carnival.









And there were a few that were just too disturbing to try, like the The Execution or this one called Song of the Prairie.

The sign at the bottom says, "IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED DO NOT PLAY THIS MACHINE."

I took their advice and kept my quarters in my pocket.





Fun Find Friday - San Fransisco

'Ode to San Francisco' by TheWerkShoppe

Golden Gate Bridge Pillow - Urban Throw Style no5 - 16 x 16 - Spring Colors - March - NestaHome
Golden Gate Bridge Pill...
$35
We Belong in San Francisco Mug - thelittlecanoe
We Belong in San Franci...
$17
Golden Gate Bridge Cufflinks - dlkdesigns
Golden Gate Bridge Cuff...
$50
Nicky Watanabe "Powell Street Cable Car" limited edition hand pulled serigraph - printsdotcom
Nicky Watanabe "Po...
$199.95
travel photography, San Francisco photograph, Marilyn & Joe, Saints Peter and Paul church, Coit tower retro blue teal romantic California - MyanSoffia
travel photography, San...
$17
Vintage Golden Gate Bridge silver plated Cameo Perfection souvenir spoon - nancyplage
Vintage Golden Gate Bri...
$3
Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco letterpress notes - DingbatPress
Palace of Fine Arts San...
$15
Orange and Black Felt Flag Banner Garland Bunting- Perfect for Sport Teams - BrooklynOwl
Orange and Black Felt F...
$15
San Francisco, CA Transit Token Necklace with Swarovski Crystal Heart Antiqued Brass ... California Cable Car Trolley ... Unisex Mens Dudes - walkonthemoon
San Francisco, CA Trans...
$32.5
San Francisco Cable Car Ceramic Hand-painted Bottle I left my Heart on Powell and Hyde - fallinloveagain
San Francisco Cable Car...
$15
GGIE Golden Gate International Exposition Tower Of The Sun Brooch - Xulha
GGIE Golden Gate Intern...
$99.99
photograph CABLE CAR San Francisco Trolley 8x10 photo Pig N Whistle art print 1930s decor - VintageBeach
photograph CABLE CAR Sa...
$5
Steam Tug "Hercules", San Francisco, May 31, 2009 - MountainsoftheSky
Steam Tug "Hercule...
$165
San Francisco Street - Postcard - JamesKeniston
San Francisco Street - ...
$1.75
Vintage San Francisco California Milk Glass Souvenir Mug - kitschparade
Vintage San Francisco C...
$6
Modern San Francisco Ferry Building Skyline - Poster Print  Wall Art for Home, Office, Child's Nursery - Top Seller - style-E8-O-SF13 - loosepetals
Modern San Francisco Fe...
$26



Stunning San Fransisco

I love to travel. It always fills me with new ideas, inspiration and a greater appreciation for life. It's lucky for me that my husband is an expert at planning some spectacular adventures. We've been as far away as Ireland, Moorea and Costa Rica and also enjoyed visiting some great U.S. cities like Washington D.C., New York City, and now San Fransisco.

If you have never been there before, I highly recommend San Fransisco. It is an amazingly diverse and unique city full of charm. Maybe it was the delicious food or the stunning sights that made this such a fun trip. (Maybe it was the fact that this was the first vacation my husband and I took without a child in at least 10 years.) Whatever the reason, it was a fantastic getaway.



Since we were only there for a few days, we did a lot of the traditional, touristy San Fransisco stuff. Our hotel was located in the heart of Union Square, a shopping mecca. Every night we were serenaded to sleep by a jazzy trumpeter somewhere down in the square.






Union Square is a short walk away from Chinatown. Although one thing we quickly learned was that even though a walk could look short on the map, it could still be pretty intense because of the steep inclines throughout the city.







We never made it back after dark, but I bet this area is a sight when all the lanterns and signs are lit up.








You can't go to San Fransisco and not ride the trolley. Ding. Ding. I was a little too cold and tired to try standing on the outside of the cars, but it was still a fun way to get across town.








Much better than climbing up the hills.









Another touristy must see was Alcatraz Island. We were actually there on the 50th anniversary of the closing of the prison.

Once there, we followed the Cellhouse Audio Tour. It was very well done and provided  a lot of history and stories about the prison without being dull. Surprisingly the island was quite beautiful, but I still wouldn't have wanted to be one of the families that lived on the island while the prison was still housing criminals.



We also visited Ghirardelli Square. There were numerous little shops as well as some decadent chocolate samples. Yum! One of the more interesting shops here was called Yap. It had everything you could possibly want for your pampered pooch. We were greeted at the store by Pronto, the darling Italian Greyhound that is featured on their advertising materials. Pronto is even on Twitter.





The highlight of our trip was going out to the Golden Gate Bridge. I don't know how it happened, but somehow we were convinced to rent bikes from a place called Blazing Saddles and ride out to the bridge. Even though I had to walk up most of the hills, it was a great experience with some breathtaking views.






On the way out to the bridge we rode on the path past Fort Mason and the marina along the water and then up to the bridge. We only rode about a third of the way across the bridge. It was pretty packed with sight seers, so once we got a few pictures from the bridge we decided to head back.






We took a different path on the way down and rode through the Presidio, around the National Cemetery (where supposedly Jeff's grandmother's aunt and uncle are burried), and past the Palace of the Fine Arts back to Hyde Street to return the bikes.







We're guessing that the ride was probably about six and a half to seven miles round trip, but give me a few weeks of telling the story and it will more likely be at least ten miles, up hill, both ways.

Back at the Hyde Street Pier, we indulged in a huge plate of sushi to refuel before heading out and exploring some of the ships.







There was a variety of sailing vessels on display here and you could even walk around inside them if you wanted to. Since we had already done enough walking and exercising for the day, we just looked at the boats, snapped a couple of silly pictures and then headed to the trolley stop for a well earned, seated ride back to the hotel.

Stay tuned for more San Fransisco adventures over the next couple weeks. There were too many great sights to pack into a single post.



My Fairy Garden

I've been anxious to create my own fairy garden for quite awhile. I first saw one last fall, but the weather was already cooling down and it wasn't a great time to start growing stuff outside. But now the weather is warmer and I finally have a magical little fairy house ready for some prime property.

Lucky for me I have the perfect place in mind. There is a small piece of pottery by our front door that currently contains some less than inviting, dead frost damaged foliage. It will be fun to display an inviting little landscape that welcomes visitors.

Materials


  • fairy house
  • pottery dish
  • potting soil
  • small leaved plants
  • crushed shells or small pebbles

Directions



You can purchase a pre-made fairy house. However, it's not difficult to create your own. I made this one for less than $5.








The size of your fairy house determines how large of a planter you need. My house is about the size of a coffee cup so I was able to use a small piece of pottery that is about 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep.

I have irrigation that runs to this piece, but it is not necessary if you don't minds watering by hand.




When I was choosing plants at the nursery, I quickly discovered that there are a lot of varieties of herbs that have small leaves and are perfect for a miniature garden scene.

I chose a rose scented geranium because it looked like a tiny tree. It's perfect for my fairy's yard.




Next, an upright rosemary. This plant looks like a charming little evergreen.









Finally a couple of pink chintz thyme. They look like lush fairy shrubbery to me. I love the delicate purple flowers.








Fill your container with dirt. Position your plants. Before placing your house, water the plants.

Add a dainty path to the house with some small pebbles or crushed shells.

Your landscape is ready for its magical residents to move in.


Fun Find Friday - Miniatures

'ITSY BITSY THINGS' by wondaglasser

Little Rainbow Bottle Necklace. Miniature Jars. Rainbow Bottles. Tiny Glass Vials - aptoArt
Little Rainbow Bottle N...
$26
Miniature bunny white brown polymer clay, Made to order - EmiliasCreations
Miniature bunny white b...
$8
Little Light Green Ceramic Squirrel, miniature squirrel, miniature animal, decor, little, small, tiny, ceramic animal, figurine, iammie - iammie
Little Light Green Cera...
$6
Fairy Garden Wheelbarrow - miniature - TheLittleHedgerow
Fairy Garden Wheelbarro...
$5.95
Breakfast Set (1/12th Scale Dollhouse Miniature) - PetiteCreation
Breakfast Set (1/12th S...
$20
Banana Nut Cake 1/12 Scale Dollhouse Miniature Food - LizBrownLovesArt
Banana Nut Cake 1/12 Sc...
$12
Miniature Dollhouse 3 Succulent Plant in a Pot - MinnieKitchen
Miniature Dollhouse 3 S...
$25
Fairy Garden Mushrooms miniature - red - TheLittleHedgerow
Fairy Garden Mushrooms ...
$4.99
Miniature Garden Chairs, Retro Paisley - InsideOutMinis
Miniature Garden Chairs...
$14
marimo MINIATURE aquarium vial with SEA FAN, miniature vial - Marimoinabottle
marimo MINIATURE aquari...
$14.99
A  tiny rustic ceramic beach cottage Ceramic miniature houses Home decoration (set of 5) - orlydesign
A tiny rustic ceramic ...
$48
Miniature fairy village in lilac and deep pink colours handmade from polymer clay - fizzyclaret
Miniature fairy village...
$38
Miniature Pokemon Pokeballs Polymer Clay--Charm or Earring - GraceByGrace
Miniature Pokemon Pokeb...
$5
Miniature Doll Wood Bench in 1/6 scale (Blythe, Barbie, Bratz, Momoko, etc.). Cottage Chic style. - miniCHAIR
Miniature Doll Wood Ben...
$39
Miniature Origami Crane Bottle Pendant Necklace Turquoise Blue - CMCCreations
Miniature Origami Crane...
$11
Miniature White Goat - Tiny Crocheted Animals - Made To Order - SuAmi
Miniature White Goat - ...
$55