Since the coronavirus pandemic started in 2020 I developed a new hobby to learn about growing plants! Before Covid I started with only 3 plants and now I have 60 unique plants! I love creating an urban jungle environment in my home with plants as it elevates my mood and relaxes me. I've been learning about plant care and propagation online, on YouTube and by visiting local nurseries. Above are pictures of some of my plants and local plant shops I have visited in Los Angeles. On my spare time I like to shine the leaves of my plants, prune them, water them, repot them if they are too big, stare at their beautiful leaves, and visit local nurseries. I also love to paint my favorite plants too for fun, above are all my planty doodles! My favorite plant in my collection is the albo monstera borsigiana. I love the variegation huge beautiful leaves of my albo monstera that I got from PlantMadness in CA, they have healthy beautiful albo monsteras that are locally grown and shipped with care. I designed my own Baby Yoda Monstera Albo T-shirt for plant lovers out there who love Grogu. Baby yoda is oh so cute using the force to make the monstera plant grow! The albo monstera is my favorite plant in my collection. It comes in men's and women's sizes and is made of a soft ring cotton fabric and you can order one here. You can buy my poster prints of my planty paintings here. Thanks for reading!
We went to the Tuscon Gem and Mineral Show in February 2020 to collect more rare and beautiful crystals and precious stone pendants and rondelles to design more Kblossoms jewelry! We attended 4 gem shows in Tuscon Arizona: The Pueblo Gem and Mineral Show, 22nd Street Mineral Gem and Fossil Show, Kino Gem Show, and Jogs Gem and Mineral Show. Many of the Tuscon hotels and city was converted into gem showrooms and tents. They even used hotel rooms as show rooms! I loved the huge deep grape color purple amethyst hearts and angel wing geodes from Uruguay. My favorite crystals were the clear quartz and citrine spheres and towers illuminated by lights. The Tuscon Gem and Mineral show is the largest in the country with great wholesale prices. I was so happy to hand select some amber, larimar, london blue topaz, emerald quartz, and green amethyst tear drop crystals and pink ruby rondelle pieces to create jewelry designs with. I bought some beautiful golden yellow and burgundy red baltic amber gold floral lining pendants from Poland.
A trip to Tuscon wouldn't be complete without visiting the beautiful Saguero National Park and Sabino Canyon. We went to see the tall saguero cactuses in the rain among storm clouds. Sabino Canyon has a beautiful mountains, creeks, and waterfall hikes you can do in a day. Just visit their visitor center for some suggestions. The saguero cactuses stand tall and have arms that seem to wave to you and they are so unique. We hiked among the sagueros in rainy conditions on this trip. We hope to come back one day to see the beautiful pink orange sunsets in the Saguero National Park, the classic Arizona sunset. Hope you like all the handmade precious stone jewelry I designed from the stones and crystals I bought at the Tuscon Gem Show! Check out my Poshmark store here to see all my precious stone jewelry designs.
Welcome to my Japan Fall foliage blog! After witnessing the beautiful cherry blossoms in Japan in March 2019, we were inspired to visit Japan again in November 2019 to witness the gorgeous fall foliage! We visited many Japanese temples, gardens, and parks around Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Aichi and Osaka to see fall foliage. My favorite leaves are maple leaves in vibrant red oranges all over Kyoto! In this trip to the mountains, temples and countryside of Japan, I feel like we got transported into a Hiyao Miyazaki movie like Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke as we saw all the beautiful nature, moss green covered rocks, tori gates, shinto shrines, lightning rope, spirit creature stones, maple trees everywhere!
We visited Icho Namiki (Ginkgo Avenue) in Tokyo in the rain. It was a gorgeous site to see and fun to take a stroll with gingkos above and on the ground. We also went to Showa Memorial Park to see a beautiful grove of gingkos lining both sides of a fountain. You pay a small entrance fee to get in and I highly recommend this park for gingko viewing. We took the subway to see the Hikarigaoka Park gingkos and maple trees which is a gorgeous site. At night, we visited the Rikugien garden fall foliage 🍁🍁🍁 a beautiful landscape garden night illumination in Tokyo. I love how Japan has beautiful serene gardens in the middle of the city among high rises.
We found beautiful fall foliage at Jokoji Buddhist Temple in Aichi Japan. There were alot of red and yellow maple trees. 🍁🍁🍁 It's so beautiful and serene here perfect place to meditate with nature. This temple was in a remote place where we took the bullet train from Tokyo to Nagoya and rented a car and drove an hour to the mountains to see it. It was worth the drive hardly any tourists there. We hiked up the pathway to Jakkoin Temple in Aichi Japan at closing so we only saw the base of the temple at dusk.
I highly recommend the 2 mile round trip mountain hike to the Minoo park waterfall as you will be rewarded by a waterfall framed by red and orange maple trees at the end. The entire hike in the forest is lit up like starburst colors and there are many food stands and restaurants along the hike. You can take the train there from Osaka to the mountain base.
We also found beautiful orange and red maples at Tanzan shrine, Nara. 🍁🍁🍁The vibrant colors are unreal and phenomenal. To get here we took the train to Osaka, rented a car and drove about 1.5 hrs to Nara in the mountains through switchbacks. We had to get used to driving on the left and sorta followed our google navigation which read off road signs in Chinese. I felt like I was crossing that red bridge in Spirited Away to the Muroji temple in Nara. Just like Chihiro did in the movie, I held my breath so the spirits can't see me. Next to the red bridge was a nice restaurant where you can enjoy a hot bowl of soba noodle overlooking a beautiful river and bridge on a cold Autumn day.
Ruriko-in Temple fall foliage reflection is so beautiful with rainbow colors, Kyoto 🍁🍁🍁🍁Rurikoin Temple is one of the most beautiful sites in Kyoto as the Buddhist temple is open for public only twice a year in Spring and Autumn. The main attraction of the temple is maple trees which display astonishing scenery with the historical buildings and traditional Japanese gardens at the temple. The orange red maple leaves reflection on the lacquered wood floors was a gorgeous sight to witness. Ninen-zaka Slope and Sannen-zaka Slope are iconic streets of Kyoto City, which represent Japan’s good old days. Lined with cute shops selling food, chopsticks, umbrellas, and Totoro and Studio Ghibli gifts.
On our last day, we visited Hoshi no buranko bridge at Hoshida Park in Kyoto 🍁🍁🍁, one of the largest wooden draw string bridges in Japan. It means place of many stars. The bridge is a little shaky when you walk towards the middle and you're literally suspended on top of a beautiful forest of orange and yellow maple trees! We drove an hour in the rain from Osaka to get here and then hiked up the mountain.
Japan has taken my breath away with it's natural beauty and preservation of nature. It has become my favorite travel destination to come back to frequently to see cherry blossoms in the Spring and fall foliage in the Autumn season. I don't think I would get tired of the beautiful trees and flowers here. Until next time beautiful Japan, thank you for sharing your nature's wonders and beautiful culture with us. I'm so inspired to paint everything that I've seen on my trip from yellow gingkos, rainbow landscapes of maple trees and bamboo forests and beautiful city gardens.
My golden gingko tree bird branch watercolor painting and gingko leaves jewelry above were inspired by the Japanese gingkos we saw all over Japan! You can find my gold citrine gingko jewelry in my Poshmark store here: https://poshmark.com/closet/jubileekat
Autumn is a second Spring where every leaf is a flower! This year in October, we went to see beautiful yellow and orange aspen trees in full bloom! 🍁🍂🍁. We love the crisp air and fields of golden yellow aspens fluttering in the wind! The whole valley and creeks were on fire and so lit with orange and yellow aspens! It's only a 5 hour drive to Bishop from LA and so worth the drive as the aspens were so gorgeous. The best way to see fall foliage in Bishop is drive on the roads towards North Lake, South Lake, and Lake Sabrina and stop anywhere where you see a forest of aspens and do a short hike towards the trees. That's how we explored and got these aspen tree pictures. Our favorite spot in Bishop was Mist Waterfall, you can park on the road and do a short hike to a beautiful bridge overlooking the waterfall with beautiful flowy streams with aspens on both sides!
Bishop's fall foliage rivals that of Colorado as Sabrina Lake and South Lake looks as beautiful as Maroon Bells in CO. Fall colors are not necessarily uniform in the Eastern Sierras. For example, fall colors may be at or close to peak color at one geographic location while another spot elsewhere may be just beginning to change color. For example, a place like Rock Creek Lake may have brilliant peak color while South lake is just beginning to turn color. The first three weeks of October are a great time to see the aspens turn yellow in Bishop, CA. Typically, the aspen trees lose their leaves later in October as color moves down into the valley extending the fall colors season into November. But an Indian Summer can extend high country foliage longer. Wind plays a role as well in how fast the leaves fall off. I love how the aspen leaves do a fluttering dance for you in mild windy conditions.
Above are some of my citrine yellow gold filled Kblossoms jewelry, citrine agate druzy necklace, citrine smokey quartz crystals that were inspired by the gorgeous fall foliage in Bishop. Stay tuned as we will be going to Korea and Japan soon to see fall foliage, can't wait to see vibrant yellow gjngko and orange red maple trees there! You can find all my Kblossoms jewelry in my Poshmark store.
As nature enthusiasts who love flowers and nature, we loved seeing Sensorio Field of Lights, the digital superbloom of LED flower bulbs in Paso Robles. The round bulbs of lights resemble dandelions which inspired the creation of my round bulb like Kblossoms colorful jewelry. Sensorio is a mesmerizing art installation by Bruno Munro! The lights are entirely solar powered! We arrived to Sensorio at around 7:30pm during sunset and watched the bulbs individually come to life in rainbow colors as it got darker. We spent about 3 hrs there. I recommend staying at least 2 days in Paso Robles and see the wine country views at Daou winery and the heart trees at Niner Winery and enjoy wine tasting and nice restaurants and live music after seeing Sensorio! I also recommend a relaxing day soaking in the River Oaks Hot Springs overlooking the Paso Robles vineyards. We drove about 500 miles for a 2 day trip to Sensorio. You can get tickets here as the exhibit ends in January. www.sensoriopaso.com
This is my San Antonio and Austin jewelry inspired jewelry blog! San Antonio is a mixture of cultures with southern charm. The city has many Spanish colonial missions and has an eclectic food scene, from Tex-Mex food to BBQ to farm-to-market food. The Market Square (El Mercado) is a colorful and vibrant place, the largest Mexican market in the US, with 100 shops selling colorful jewelry, piñatas, textiles and many more Mexican products. These markets are a great example of San Antonio’s strong connection with Mexico. My colorful vibrant Kblossoms jewelry above were inspired by the Tex-Mex culture and foods of San Antonio and Austin. The San Antonio River walk follows a network of waterways that wind around the city. It's a good place to cool down in the 100 degree summer heat of Texas. It's also called Paseo del Rio, lined with shops, boutiques, bars, cafes and restaurants and worth visiting either night or day. You can take a boat ride tour on the river. The river at night is beautifully lit with strings of colorful lights across the pathways. The San Fernando Cathedral light show was amazingly colorful and artistic telling the history of San Antonio including the battle of Alamo in 24 minutes. The have showings on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9pm, 9:30pm amd 10pm. If you're short on time and don't want to see all five missions in San Antonio, just visit the Mission de San Jose as it is known as the "Queen of the Missions". It's the largest of the missions and was almost fully restored to its original design in the 1930s and is a World Heritage site. I thought the frescos at the mission was beautifully design with symbolism in the heart, pomegranates, Virgin Mary, and Saints engraved in the frescos. The Alamo is a great historical site to see. The battle of the Alamo was fought between Texans and Mexico from Feb 23, 1836 to March 6, 1836 at the Alamo. The Mexicans won the brutal battle killing all 200 of the Texans inside the fort. For the Texans, The Battle of the Alamo became an enduring symbol of their heroic resistance to oppression, struggle for independence which they won later that year. Entrance to the Alamo is free and they have a museum telling you the history, a gift shop, and pretty garden. I recommend eating delicious and flavorful charcuterie board and fried quail and oysters at Cured at the Pearl District. Cured is a little pricy but worth it. You can choose from over 10 cured duck, pork, lamb meats and 3 different cheeses. I liked the Industrial art district vibe of the Pearl District, a great outdoor hangout for families, kids and dogs. They have farmers market on Saturdays with lavender, kombucha, bakery, yogurt vendors! The historic Hotel Emma is a beautiful place to visit. I love the 1800's industrial interior decor vibes of the hotel. The Japanese Garden in San Antonio is very pretty too with floating plants in a large pond lake and waterfall. We also visited the beautiful San Antonio Botanical Garden. They have beautiful orchids, ferns, and lotus filled lakes. To get some relaxation, we got massages at the Loma de Vida Spa and resort. Their masseus were great and skilled and I felt so relaxed afterwards and swam in their Infiniti pool. We spent 2 days in Austin which was a 1.5 hr drive north of San Antonio. We visited the Texas State Capitol in Austin, which is made of red granite and is built in an Italian Renaissance style and modeled after the US Capitol. The outer and inner dome is a beautiful piece of architecture and they have guided tours inside. Austin has over 1,000 food trucks scattered around the city made from Airstreamers or refurbished trucks. If you're hungry, I recommend eating small bites at various ethnic food trucks at Rainey street. We ate at Monk's Momos a Nepalese food truck serving delicious spicy dumplings! If you want to see great views of Austin, you can do a short hike up to Mt. Bonnell and the 360 Bridge which both have river views. We hiked in 100 degree heat in August so I recommend bringing water and shoes with tread as your going up limestone rocks on a cliff. At sunset I recommend taking a sunset stroll down the Congress Bridge to see bats and the Austin skyline. A 1980 renovation of the bridge transformed the Congress bridge into an ideal bat cave to 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats. Decades later, Austin's bat numbers have swelled and locals have adopted the beloved creatures as neighbors who happily handle the city's bug mitigation and provide an amazing nightly show. The bats come out in March to August to feed on bugs. After watching the bats at the Congress Bridge, you can take a romantic stroll west to the to the Hyatt Hotel and see the beautiful Austin skyline light up in the night sky. Watching the natural phenomenon of flying bats under the Congress bridge and seeing the gorgeous Austin skyline on the river was my favorite part of Austin. Lyndon B Johnson is the 36th president of the US, born in Hill Country TX. We visited the LBJ Library in Austin on our last day here. It's a great museum highlighting all his accomplishments in office. In addition to pursuing the Vietnam War, President Johnson passed an expansive slate of programs labeled as the “Great Society” that included three landmark civil rights bills, equal opportunity act, Medicare and reduced the unemployment rate by half. We can still feel the effect of his immigration and education bills giving federal aid to students pursuing college education, opening the doors to immigration in the late 60's, and many of our healthcare jobs are funded by Medical and Medicare. But the Vietnam war's impact damaged Johnson’s political base severely, and he declined to run in the 1968 presidential election. Thanks for reading! I hope I've inspired you to visit San Antonio and Austin one day!
This March, we did a 50 mile loop self guided tour of the Fresno Blossom trail! It has been raining non stop in California which creates perfect conditions for superblooms. Fresno is about a 3.5 hr drive from LA. Below is a map of the Fresno blossom trail. These are privately owned farms you can just park and walk into the trees to take pictures. It's not crowded as not many people know of these blossom groves so you can sometimes have a whole orchard to yourself for pictures! I recommend creating your own hanami picnic by getting fresh Japanese mochi at the Kogetsu-Do Confectionery and eating it by the blossoming trees. They even have peach, sakura, blueberry, and rasberry jam filling mochi flavors that are delicious. We saw the most beautiful white to pink groves of almond, plum, apricot, peach, and nectarine blossoms. The petals blow blissfully all over you in the gentle breeze. The almond blossoms are so white and abundant that they look like snowfall on the ground. I'm a lover of all kinds of blossoms especially cherry blossoms and these fruit blossoms are just as gorgeous! Cherry and fruit blossoms inspired the creation of all my cherry blossom paintings here www.kblossoms.etsy.com. You can now buy my original or poster print of my blossom paintings. Hope you all get to see blossoming trees this Spring!
Almond Blossoms have white petals. Two or more varieties may be planted in the same orchard for cross pollination by bees. Harvesting, usually done mechanically, runs from late Aug. to early Oct.
Plum Blossoms are white. At least two varieties will be planted in an orchard for cross pollination. Over 200 varieties are grown commercially. Harvested in June to late September.
Apricot Blossoms have pink petals. Fewer than 12 varieties are grown commercially. Harvest season lasts two to three weeks during mid to late May.
Peach and Nectarine Blossoms feature pink to red petals and bloom at the same time. Over 100 varieties are grown commercially. Harvest runs mid-May to October.
We went to see the cherry blossoms in Japan for one week in the third week of March this year which is a bit early, as it's hard to time the peak bloom months ahead as they are weather dependent, but we saw a few of them bloom. I would recommend coming the last week of March or first week of April to catch the peak bloom in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Nevertheless, it was still a beautiful experience to see some cherry blossoms as they are my favorite flower and the inspiration behind and theme of my Kblossoms jewelry and painting store! The theme of our wedding at Falkner Winery in Temecula, CA was also cherry blossoms, where I handmade all the cherry blossom cake, wishing tree, guests gifts, decorations, so I feel so blessed to be able to see so many of them live in Japan for the first time. You can see our cherry blossom wedding here; we were also featured in two wedding magazines since our cherry blossom wedding decor was so unique and handmade! For this cherry blossom trail trip, we flew into Tokyo and took the train South. We searched for all the cherry blossom trees, hanami festivals, which are cherry blossom festivals where people picnic under the cherry blossom trees and enjoy home cooked meals, barbecue, and drink sake. It's an important festival held all over Japan in the Spring. It is believed that the origin of the hanami dates back more than 1,000 years to when aristocrats enjoyed looking at the beautiful sakuras and wrote poems inspired by them.
Cherry blossoms are beautiful and ephemeral flowers; the blooms don't last more than two weeks; they have become the symbol of the impermanence of beauty in Japan. Cherry blossoms are featured in artwork that depict the Japanese concept of "mono no aware", or the realization that "nothing lasts forever" in this world. It sounds very Buddhist where they believe that life always changes, nothing remains the same, so don't be attached to people or things. Below is the 2019 cherry blossom forecast in Japan. The cherry blossom will start to bloom from the south, at the end of March, in Kyushu and will bloom northward until early May in Hokkaido. We were a week early for the cherry blossom peak bloom in Tokyo but we still saw a few trees bloom early.
In Tokyo, we saw cherry blossoms in Ueno Park, Chidorigafuchi lake boating, Yoyogi Park, and the Meguro River at night. We also did a day trip to see the snow monkeys bathing in the hot springs at Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano. It took about 30 minutes hiking in mud surrounded by tall trees or 1 mile to get to the snow monkey hot springs, it's well worth the hike as you will be fascinated watching these snow monkeys play in the wild. My favorite part was watching the baby monkeys frolic and play and seeing the strong bond between the mother and their babies. We also visited the Zenkogi temple in Nagano where it is lit up magestically at night. We then headed to the Fuji 5 Lakes area to see the Chureito Pagoda overlooking Mt. Fuji. However it was snowing and cloudy that day so we didn't see Mt Fuji and we saw only one cherry blossom tree that has bloomed there as it was still to early for peak bloom. The next day was clear luckily so we got great views of Mt. Fuji. We enjoyed a relaxing onsen at our hotel Fuji Tatsugaoka near Mt. Fuji, in this area you can find many hotels with private outdoor onsens overlooking Mt. Fuji. Onsens are super relaxing for your body and sore feet after a long day of walking and hiking. In Japan you have to go into onsens naked and can't have any tattoos, men and women are separated. We beared the crowds at the Kinkakuji temple golden pavilion in Kyoto, which was so beautiful and the gold leaf literally glows when the sun hits it. The Hirano shrine in Kyoto had beautiful cherry blossom trees that we photographed at dusk. We walked around the magestic Arashiyama bamboo forest, they had the largest and tallest bamboos I've ever seen. On the same day, we hiked up the 3.1 mile Fushimi Inari path to the very top of the mountain and passed 10,000 orange tori gates. There were drink vending machines, restrooms, gift shops and icecream along the way up so you can stop and rest enjoying views of Kyoto. Along the path you will pass many fox shrines and tombstones. At night we visited the Gion District which was full of restaurants and it is also a red light district. It is the ancient city where the geishas performed but today you see tons of tourists dressed up in kimonos walking all over Kyoto posing for pictures. I enjoyed talking a stroll by the Gion Shirakawa river as you can see many cherry blossoms illumimated at night there. The next day we visited the Osaka castle, and saw a few cherry blossom trees in bloom, they usually reach peak bloom in the first week of April. I recommend visiting the Expo Commemorative Park in Osaka as they have many paths with cherry blossom trees. At night, we grabbed takoyaki and dumplings street food at Osaka Dotonbori street that is like a nightmarket with lots of stores and people. It's cool to see all the bright lights lit up at night and the running man sign.
Below are pictures of all my cherry blossom watercolor and acrylic paintings that I have created that were inspired by the Japanese cherry blossom trees! You can now buy the originals or poster prints in my Kblossoms store here: www.kblossoms.etsy.com! I created some sterling silver cherry blossom necklaces with Swarovski crystals that were inspired by my Japan trip. The gold cherry blossom stud earrings are made by MXMJewelry in Berkeley!
The best way to travel around Japan is to get the Japan Rail pass in your home country before arriving and exchanging your voucher at one of the main JR stations. The Japan Rail saved us money for long trips outside of Tokyo. Within Tokyo we took various Tokyo metro trains and paid for them as we went. Use Google maps as it will guide you which trains and times to get around Tokyo. We ended up walking about 5 miles a day all around Japan which was great exercise and allowed us to eat all the good Japanese food and snacks we liked. We loved eating the yakitori, sushi and ramen as they tasted so delicious and home made. I also loved eating the freshest juiciest huge strawberries, grapes, and melons as they are organic and grown with the best quality soil and techniques. My favorite fruit in Japan are their huge juicy sweet strawberries; we ate them everyday as a snack to load up on Vitamin C, folic acid, and antioxidants. They are better than candy and way more nutritious. I love the natural beauty of Japan that I want to come back for fall foliage one day. Thanks for reading!
We did a week trip to Santorini and Athens to see the beautiful sunsets in Oia and the Acropolis, Meteroa and other ancient Greek ruins in mid-October which as perfect 70 degree weather and few tourists. My favorite part of the trip was watching the sunset architecture in Oia. The best place to watch the sunset is right below the Byzantine Ruins on the road that leads to the delicious Dmititri Ammoudi Restaurant right by the sea that serves great seafood. Be careful though as the cobblestone road to the bottom is filled with donkey poop and hiking back up is a killer. We walked down the donkey alley and took the cable car up in Thira. I really enjoyed all the delicious Greek food in Santorini from grilled octopus, cheese board, souvaki, gyros, fresh seafood, and Greek yogurt. My favorite drink I had every morning in Santorini and Athens was the iced frappe, so delicious and better than a Starbucks latte as it's so creamy and good. The people here all are super nice and speak English so it's easy to get around. I really enjoyed watching the sunset at Santos Winery where you can do wine tasting and enjoy a meal outside overlooking the entire Santorini caldera an unobstructed view through a glass panel. They also have a gift shop where you can buy donkey soap, honey, turkish delights and any other Greek desert. I really enjoyed the view at the top of Ancient Thira. You'll drive up this windy road and hike to the top of an ancient Greek ruins with a spectacular view. The dessert wine in Santorini is very sweet and delicious, probably the best I've ever tasted as it takes 10 kilos of grapes to make 1 bottle of wine. We visited the quaint little town of Pyrgos and wandered the narrow streets to the blue dome church at the top. I liked the colorful doors, jewelry, and sandal shops on this small down. I bought a comfortable Greek leather sandal from Sandalaki in Pyrgos. I have collected several evil eye Greek jewelry and designed blue quartz and white pearl necklaces and earrings that resemble the blue domes of Santorini which are Roman Catholic churches scattered throughout the island. If you love the scenes of Santorini above I highly recommend the Santorini calendar by 527 Photo on Etsy, her photography comes in blush pink tones and she designs beautiful calendars shown above and wall prints.
Athens is a modern bustling city. On the way walking I noticed alot of graffiti art all over the city. I feel it safe to walk around Athens, just use street common sense and don't talk to soliciters who may approach you on the streets especially at Monastiraki Flea Market. Learn to take the Metro as its fast, safe and convenient to see all the ancient sites in Athens. The Acropolis was an amazing architectural site to witness with grand marble columns. It's hard to imagine how people back in ancient times were able to haul huge blocks of marble across the mountains to the top of the Acropolis and carve the columns to geometic perfection. Be sure to visit the Acropolis Museum below the hill as it houses the actual scultural pediments of the Parthenon and they play a historical video of the history of the Acropolis and explains the beautiful scultures of the Greek gods carved on the building. I enjoyed seeing the doric columns on the Parthenon and the Erechtheion columns of maidens and the Corinthian columns at the Temple of Zeus. I recommend eating dinner to watch the sunset with a view of the Acropolis at Savvas Restaurant and grabbing a drink or coffee at the A for Athens hotel rooftop restaurant. The Plaka District was a nice place to walk around and see nice shops and restaurants and buy souvenirs. The Panathenaic Stadium is an amazing site to behold as it's the location of the first world Olympic Games in 1896 and is the only stadium made of marble. The tunnel underneath it is pretty too. A must see place second to popularity of the Acropolis is the Meteroa, rock formations in the sky. The beautiful 14th century Eastern Orthodox monasteries sit on top of these huge rocks in Kalambaka area of middle Greece. The monks made wine, prayed, and lived close to the heavens in these monastaries in the mountains. Meteora is a full day tour from Athens. You book a tour and take a 5 hour train from Athens to Kalambaka to then take a tour bus to the monastaries where you can go inside. It's a beautiful natural wonder to behold and a world UNESCO site, a must see in Greece.
I picked up a few evil eye bracelets and necklaces in Greece. The evil eye is believed to be a curse that is given by an evil glare. Any negative emotion can cause the evil eye curse, such as anger or even jealousy. It is believe that the curse itself causes bad things to happen to the person who has received the curse, such as headaches and even a string of “bad luck”. Wearing a special evil eye charm, also called a mati, is said to help prevent the curse from even happening. Hope you like the colorful evil eye jewelry I have brought back from Greece! Thanks for reading and be sure to checkout my Greek inspired Kblossoms jewelry at www.kblossoms.etsy.com
Welcome to my New Mexico and Colorado inspired Kblossoms jewelry blog. I took 4 days off for some hiking, relaxation and rejuvenation at the Pagosa Hot Springs, Trimble Hot Springs, Great Sand Dunes and Mesa Verde National Parks. We flew into Albuquerque, NM and went to Sante Fe, Alamosa, Durango, and Mesa Verde for a total of 916 miles of driving. The second day we visited the thousand year old adobe homes of the Taos Pueblo Indians and learned about their tragic history of persecution by the Spaniards and US government. I was amazed by their beautiful rectangular adobe homes made of mud, water, and grass that have been preserved for thousands of years. The Tao Pueblos Indians lived off the river that flows through their town. They baked bread ate corn baking them in dome like ovens outside their homes made of adobe and plaster. The Tao pueblo is one of the many living Native American communities in NM which I find more fascinating than a museum because you can witness the grandeur of the architecture and speak to the locals about their traditions and way of life. We then drove to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and hiked to the top of the sand dunes seeing phenomenal views that look like a Star Wars movie. The desert sand dunes was a magical beautiful natural land form made by sand and wind. We then hiked in nearby cold river to Zapata waterfall with rock slot canyons and a magical view of tall trees. Our 2nd day didn't end there, we drove to Pagosa Hot Springs and soaked in 100 degree water that was so relaxing. On day 3 we walked around the City of Durango a quaint town. We then soaked in the hot pools and swam in the long heated pools of Trimble Hot Springs rejuvenating our skin and soul. On day 4 we visited all the cliffhouses in Mesa Verde National Park. We took a two hour ranger guided tour of the Longhouse Cliff Palace built in 1150 AD. The pueblo Indians lived here year round and burned fireplaces in the cold snowy winters. About 120 people lived here in 150 homes, 21 kivas. They raised turkey and dogs and farmed beans, corn, and squash to survive. They wove baskets, made jewelry and traded them with other Indians. No one knows why the Indians abandoned this place, maybe drought and fires making their farmlands inhospitable? They painted petroglyphs on the walls and had their own natural source of spring water on the back walls of the caves. What an amazing piece of architecture! The Cliffhouse Palace was pretty beautiful too, you can see it at a lookout point. I counted around 10 kivas there, a ceremonial circular place in the cliff palace. If I were a Pueblo Indian in my past life, I would be the community jewelry maker and trade my jewelry for corn and squash. On the last day we went to Los Poblanos Inn to sample all their handmade lavender products as they have a beautiful lavender farm. We enjoyed a delicious farm to table breakfast at El Campo restaurant there, I loved the country chic decor. We also explored Albuquerque a bit. All our handmade orange amber, turquoise bar and gold filled star moon jewelry were inspired by my trip to the Southwest. Check out my Kblossoms jewelry www.kblossoms.etsy.com