The (Un) Caged Bird

"Let the beauty we love be what we do." – Rumi


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Floating Through the Clouds

Up in the air, I’m not sure where!

I’ve been traveling by plane since I was a week old so the experience has become pretty familiar.  I’d gone from being in awe of it to being annoyed and focusing on only the things I despised (yes, despised).  I had begun to seriously dislike flying because of this lame perspective I’d chosen to adopt. On my last trip to Europe I decided my attitude needed to change.

So, I changed my perspective and made the notes below.

I love clouds.

I love floating through clouds.

I love being surrounded by clouds.

I sat and pondered about the nature of clouds..

What makes them collect, congregate, and gather as they do?  Why do they appear white? Where does the stuff come from they are made from? How is it determined which elevation they’ll hang out on?  HowStuffWorks wrote an excellent article on “How Clouds Work” answering most of these questions. 

One of the Greek isles at sunrise.

I then drew some conclusions on my pondering..

Being able to soar through the clouds is a gift. Can you imagine how many of our ancestors must have longed to do this?  We take for granted what many, many, many generations could only dream of doing.  When you look at things from that perspective being in a plane is kind of like being a part of magic.

If you love clouds too click on some of the great links below.
10 Rare Cloud Formations

Weird, Rare Clouds and How They Form

Make Your Own Cloud in a Bottle

A cloud song! – Clouds Are Cool – by Christopher Strand

Nebula’s Cool Clouds

Over 16,000 Cool Cloud Images in this Flickr Group!

The next time you’re getting ready to fly somewhere try and think of what a privilege it is and of all the cool sights you’ll be able to see from the perspective of being up in air!  It helps to have something to look forward to besides *insert standard complaints about air travel here*.


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TRAVEL DIARY: Amsterdam Street Art

I am fascinated by street art.  Every city I go to I feel moved to record the transitory art that is painted on buildings, bridges, or drawn onto stickers stuck on mailboxes and newspaper dispensers.   I refer to this art as street art versus graffiti because I believe it adds value and beauty to whatever object it appears on.  Graffiti to me is something that is ugly and destructive and I feel it harms its canvas rather than benefiting it. I’m not a fan of people tagging their names and leaving their mark in an ugly un-creative way.  Here in Indianapolis there is one such tagger that does this all over town.  He simply spray paints his tag name in a very boring way which cheapens and destroys anything  he touches.  I won’t mention his name, but if I ever meet him I’m totally giving him a piece of my mind.  I adore murals as well, but those have been approved and commissioned and they don’t have quite the same charm.  However, I did include a lovely one of flowers painted on a house.

I love Amsterdam for many, many reasons.   One in particular is the beautiful art that has been painted onto old buildings and is under most bridges.  I love rounding a corner only to be accosted with a breathtaking image that makes me stop dead in my tracks.  I can stand and look at these images for many minutes.  I always wonder who did them, and when they created it.   There’s such a beautiful co-mingling of old and new in Amsterdam.  The charm of the old canals and cheeky crooked old buildings is only enhanced in my opinion by the counter culture that has made Amsterdam it’s home.  There’s something comforting in knowing that the people are still in charge and make the city their own.

I don’t know who any of the artists are of the paintings below.  A large portion of the photos were taken on Spuistraat.  Others, I couldn’t even tell you the street names of where I took them.  I tend to not pay attention to these things.   Feast your eyes upon these beautiful images and enjoy. I took all of these images when I was in Holland in September.


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TRAVEL DIARY – Flying from Indy to New York

7:15 a.m.

The driver rang my doorbell.  Surprise!  He was fifteen minutes early which I appreciated, but was not expecting.  He was also well dressed, professional, polite and attractive.  Just the kind of guy that you want driving you to the airport.  🙂  Limolink drivers also are not allowed to collect tips which was interesting to note.  There were some magazines, a daily newspaper and waters for the both of us in the car.  Apparently if you call ahead you can request any publication that you want to be waiting for you in the car.  I didn’t know this ahead of time, so if you use Limolink request a magazine!  I definitely appreciated the water, with all the coffee I had drank earlier in the morning I needed some hydration.

8:00 a.m.

Check in at Delta and pay fifty bucks to check my suitcase.  I’m annoyed that people who weigh way more then I do aren’t charged extra for their weight.  My bag and I together weigh 160 lbs.  The National Center of Health Statistics says that  the average weight of an American woman is 163 pounds and for a man its 190 pounds.  They get to carry around that extra weight on their bodies, I shouldn’t have to pay to carry my extra weight around in a suitcase.  Annoyed.

9:30 a.m.

At this point I was starving and we had time to kill so we stopped in at Cafe Patachou for some breakfast.  I’m thrilled that we have nice restaurants in the new airport and we don’t have to resort to fast food out of desperation like in the old airport.  I was very hungry and thirsty at this point having skipped dinner the night before and having downed three plus cups of coffee to try and overcome my two weeks of insomnia.  Hydration is very important for the body and caffeine and flying are dehydrating so I drank a few glasses of water with breakfast.

I ate the Broken Yolk Sandwich with Bacon which is my favorite at Patachou and I needed something substantial and filling.  The airport location doesn’t put avocado on the sandwich like they do downtown and it costs an extra 1.60 to have it added on.  I’m wondering why this is different at the airport versus the downtown restaurant.  Anyway, I paid the money because I love avocado and my sandwich just wouldn’t have been the same without it.  I’m very picky about some things.  I’ll be honest, I’m picky about almost everything.


After breakfast we sailed through security and waited in the terminal.  We browsed the magazines and then sat and waited some more.  I decided to try and accomplish a few more items on my to do list and charge my phone while there was a free outlet available.

I overheard a man talking on the phone in Dutch and my ears immediately perked up.   I rarely hear people speak Dutch anymore so I struck up a conversation with the man.  He turned out to be very interesting indeed!  Mr. Johan Bollen is an Informatics  professor at Indiana University and he was on his way to NYC to discuss his most recent research which is using Twitter as a significant method in tracking the stock market ups and downs.   He’s been dubbed the “Twitter Predictor” and you can Google him or read more in an article by the Dutch Daily News. We had a lovely conversation about the fashion industry, his informatics research, and Holland of course.  It was so much fun to speak Dutch again!  Oh how I miss that country and its people.   We talked about Amsterdam, how tall the Dutch are, and I cleared up some questions he had about the business of fashion.  I’m not going to go into the fashion details here.  You’ll just have to check back later this week when I write my guest blog for Indy Fash Bash about the experience of being at NY Fashion Week.

Our plane was delayed by about 40 minutes because of air traffic at La Guardia.  That gave me plenty of time to chat with Mr. Bollen, and of course to use the restroom one last time before boarding.    Okay, second rant of this blog, you’ve been warned.  People!  Please check to make sure that you flush the toilets!  The ladies restroom in my terminal had six, let me repeat that SIX toilets that had not been flushed and had disgusting bodily matters in them.  I know that we are all used to automatic toilets, but occasionally they malfunction.  Please, please, please check to make sure that your toilet flushes behind you when you’re done.  It’s not that hard and it only takes a second.  If the toilet does not flush push the little black button to flush it.  I already have enough public bathroom issues without adding that to the list.   Not flushing is just plain gross, rant over.

Sometime after 11:50 when we were supposed to leave we boarded.

I absolutely love flying.  I find the landscape below incredibly inspiring, sometimes it also makes me incredibly depressed but depression can be inspiring too.   We had coach tickets so my knees were all scrunched up against the seat in front of me.  It’s a good thing no one was sitting in it because I accidentally gave it a whack with my knees a time or two.  We chit chatted with a few obnoxious guys across the aisle, observed the scenery, read the in flight mag, and waited.

I fell in love with the landscapes that I saw below and found the patterns that the water created in the ground incredibly beautiful.  I’ve always believed that the sea and ocean with its waves is the heartbeat of the Earth and its rivers, creeks, and streams are its veins and arteries.  Basically I believe that the water is to the Earth what our cardiovascular system is to us.

2:19 p.m.

Finally, we arrived.  Yay!

You’ll have to check back to see what happens after we reach Manhattan. 🙂

xoxo

i


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LIFE: A dream come true – Thank you Michael Kors!

Today has  turned out to be one of the best days of my life.   I entered Michael Kors Fashion Week Sweepstakes on Facebook awhile ago and I won!
This is an absolute dream come true for me and I can’t wait to fly to New York next week to meet him and see the show at NYFW.

My agency, The Helen Wells Agency, is going to let me take a flip cam to record this special time and all the moments.
Stay tuned!  I am going to create a travel diary to share this experience with everyone.

Remember to keep dreaming, dreams do come true.