While we were in CA we also took a drive down to Point Lobos Natural Reserve, south of Monterey. I love the Santa Cruz beaches, but I love these rough coast-y beaches too. So many lovely textures to photograph.
While we were in CA for vacation we took a trip up to San Francisco to visit with my lovely Brandy, who was there for a library conference. We took BART in and took the cable car to Pier 39. It was the girls’ first cable car experience that they can remember, and they enjoyed it greatly though they didn’t appreciate the line to get on.
I’ve been to SF tons of times, but it took being away for me to realize how much I love the look of the town.
I just created a new category for this blog! Now there’s a check box for Texas posts. How exciting!
When we were in McKinney to find our house, we took a day and went to Heard Wildlife Sanctuary. We hiked around for about an hour and didn’t see a 1/4 of it, and we didn’t go into the science museum either- I think repeat visits will be necessary. It’s a gorgeous place, we all loved it.
There’s a butterfly enclosure with lots of variety. There are few things I like better than getting a good picture of a butterfly.
Today B told us that he had a surprise, and we headed into Meguro. We went to Meguro Gajoen, a really beautiful building that I’ve never been to before. Inside was the most amazing exhibit. It will be seriously difficult to describe, and anyone who lives in Tokyo should make every possible effort to go before the exhibit closes on Aug. 8. Like, move mountains to go. As I was looking at the pictures tonight I realized that it felt like a real life incarnation of Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus- full of wonder and oddity and magic. Tiny literally sobbed when it was time for us to leave. We’re going back again next week. (My camera ran out of batteries part way through and so I will post again with pictures of everything I missed this time.)
Meguro Gajoen was originally built in 1931 and functioned as a gorgeously decorated wedding complex. Only part of it still remains in its original form, and this area contains the exhibit. 100 stairs go up, and there are intricately decorated tatami floored rooms off the landings.
The first room contained a collection of Japanese creations. Lanterns,
The next room was stunning in its simplicity. We all wanted to stay there for a long time. It was full of wind chimes.
There was a fan blowing so that the windchimes tinkled softly. One wall was filled with a diorama of bamboo (my picture came out blurry) and another had these cut, lighted bamboo stalks.
The next room was my favorite, and it was at this point that things stepped up in the awesome, weird department. The room was full of these strange containers (see the third picture down) with incredible dolls inside.
The next room was full of gorgeously lighted leaves. I wish I could have gotten more pictures, but my camera was losing it at this point. I will take more next week.
I seriously cannot describe how wonderful it all was. Each room was like a present, a lovely magic surprise. Tiny declared it her absolute favorite place we have been in Japan, and I very well might agree with her.
The Trick photography Museum is set up with a bunch of optical illusions that you can pose in for pictures. The paintings on the wall have the illusion of depth, so if you pose correctly, it looks like you’re part of the scene. The girls caught on to it more as we went on, but it was pretty fun.
We went out to Legoland earlier this week, and they had a deal running with Madame Tussad’s which is right next door. For 500 yen more ($5) you got admission into Tussad’s, and kids paid nothing additional. None of us has been to a wax museum, and I wasn’t sure if the girls would dig it, but I figured, why not. I am SO glad we went. The girls had a blast. You could take pictures with any of the figures, and they had costumes and props you could use as well.
Johnny Depp. The girls had no idea who he was until I told them he was Willy Wonka.
The girls saw Shakespeare and literally started jumping up and down. They were so excited, you’d have thought the man himself was actually there. He was the biggest possible deal to them, and it made me super happy. They were also really excited about Da Vinci.
This is Matsuko Deluxe, a cross dressing columnist who hosts various TV programs. We know him as the “Hot Pepper Beauty Lady”- Hot Pepper Beauty is a free magazine full of beauty product ads, and he has been on the cover. (His cross dressing appears to be a stage persona from my research.) Anyway, Z was overjoyed that he was in the museum.
Bruce found out about these gardens and took us all there the day that my parents left. What a way to end a Japan trip!