Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Every once in a while, (or if you are lucky more often than not) you find yourself in a place you have never heard of, which is magnificant.  I found myself in this position when I was asked to go to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania.  I had never heard of this place and found it to be both charming and luxurious.

This destination resort is in southwestern Pennsylvania and has so many places to explore in either of the hotel wings, restaurants and outdoor areas, you never have to leave.  Below are a few pictures I took during my brief time at the resort.  Definitely, this is a place I need to return with more time to explore!

The opulent lobby and seating area.
This cherub statue sitting in a corner surrounded by stained glass and foliage is in a corridor of the resort.
An example of pieces that adorn all areas of the resort.  There are so many unique items and books here, you could spend a day just exploring the design.
These impressive statues reside in one of the outdoor courtyards.  Behind this large courtyard, is an airstrip for private, small planes.
I love the striking layers of statue and soft, but strong vegetation.

A pond outside of the Nemacolin Wild Side area.  

If you have a chance to experience Nemacolin, I would recommend it.  I am ready to go again!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright

Fans of Frank Lloyd Wright understand his views of a clean and efficient home design.  His ability to combine these goals with the beauty and stunning effects of his architecture and design is truly amazing.  Way ahead of his time, Frank Lloyd Wright cared about the environmental impact of his work and brought nature into his artistry.

This home was built for the Kaufmanns who had wanted a cottage in the woods.  The result was more than anticipated at the beginning of the project and definitely created an escape with all of the comforts I would love when "camping" in the woods.

Fallingwater is considered one of the Smithsonian's Life List of 28 places to "visit before you die."  The design was complete in 1935 in Pennsylvania.  The home was built over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains.  Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966, this is a place to visit.

Viewing this home, knowing it was designed and built in the 1930's, is like looking into a portal to the future.  From the steps taken to have little environmental impact to the streamlined look and feel, as well the open feel of the living area, you see into a mind that redefined American Architecture and remains an inspiration.

Of the 5000 square feet for this project, the Kaufmanns wanted Wright to manage a 50/50 feel of indoor versus outdoor space. He came close with 2900 square feet designated for indoor space.
The "crick" outside of Fallingwater.
This is an early example of understanding the importance of incorporating nature and residence. The house is built over a waterfall and the elements can be seen from every room. In fact, the design of the hallways and rooms is intended to draw you to the outside while inside the "cottage".
Every living area is attached to a terrace or balcony. The staircase leading down from the living room to the stream is accessed via movable horizontal glass panels.
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is entrusted to preserve Fallingwater.

The home and guesthouse cost US$155,000: house US$75,000, finishing and furnishing US$22,000, guest house, garage and servants' quarters US$50,000, architect's fee US$8,000 in 1935!

Over 2.7 million people have visited Fallingwater since it opened to the public in 1964. The house is located halfway between the villages of Mill Run and Ohiopyle on Pennsylvania Route 381.
 This is a truly inspiring space.  I certainly have not learned to live with so little or in such small rooms, but it is quite incredible.  It made me want to learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright and the Kaufmanns.  I also went home and had a huge purge of excess items.  No amount of house purging will bring me to the level of Frank Lloyd Wright, but it does not hurt to make a little effort every once in a while.

The information located for this post was gathered during the tour, from and wikipedia. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Salt Lake City in Winter

As it heats up in Las Vegas, my thoughts turn to cool places.  Last December I went to Salt Lake City for Christmas to visit family.  It is beautiful...and cold.  SLC is a place with great ski resorts, Olympic history and scenic mountains. 

I had joined in the Olympic revelery many years ago.  The number of people at the ski resorts during the Olympics versus last December is pretty incredible.  The snow was not the great "SLC" resort snow expected, but it was still a great time and breathtaking.

Glenwood Cemetary in Park City.  Very spooky looking on this day.
The marker on the gate reads:
The Glenwood Cemetery is a patchwork of sections owned by various fraternal and church organizations of Park City. Deeded to the trustees of Glenwood Association in 1885, the first record of burial is that of Alexander Smith in July of 1885.

Glenwood Cemetary, Park City, Utah
Glenwood Cemetary, Park City, Utah
No Name Saloon in Park City, UT
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, UT
Skiing in the resort area of Utah is awesome.  Expecially, when you find a day that you basically own the slopes.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Niagra Falls when Fall Heads into Winter

An incredible place in the world is Niagra Falls.  It is a wonderous place you hear about when you are young and grow up considering checking out as a romantic destination.  I headed there on a work project to the Canadian side of Niagra Falls and loved it. 

The power of nature at Niagra Falls cannot be eclipsed.  I was taken aback by the power, sound and force of this powerful place.  I would love to go back and see more.  I had a few hours each day (3 days) and would love more time.  I would love to return with a lover or a friend. 

I cannot imagine another place in the world as incredible.  OK, I can...but each piece of wonderment in the world has its own calling, beauty and power. 

Horseshoe Falls at Sunset
Horseshoe Falls at Night
American Falls at Sunrise
American Falls
Fall in Canada
Journey Under the Falls
Horseshoe Falls
Journey Under the Falls
Horseshoe Falls
Horseshoe Falls with a Rainbow
A place in the world that was on my Life List and I have seen.  I would go back again and again.  Majestic, serene and magical.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

In a New York State of Mind

Now that I am in a New York state of mind, Chapter 2 must happen.  I went to New York City in December of 2011 and had lots of things on my to to-do list including the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.  I was lucky enough to add a show on Broadway (On a Clear Day starring Harry Connick, Jr - fantastic) and a lot of other areas in New York City.

My good friend and I were working in Atlantic City and one Saturday took a bus ride to and from NYC.  I am a west coast girl, but there is a lot of convenience of seeing a lot of rewarding things on the East Coast in a short amount of time.

I went to Rockefeller Center during the day to see the Christmas tree and was incredibly disappointed.  It is a MUST SEE at night.  Incredible, but be ready for a huge onslaught of people all with the same brilliant idea.  Work your way through and get a picture.  It is incredible.

Now, presenting...Chapter 2 on this blog of New York City.

Rockefeller Center in December
Rockefeller Center in December
Home of Broadway Musical: On a Clear Day.  Fantastic!  But, if you are going to try to get discount tickets in NYC on a Saturday, be prepared for a long wait in Times Square.  Sometimes, it needs to become a decision of savings versus value of time.  We paid full price and I do not regret that decision at all.  The line for discount tickets was hours long.

Christmas time in Rockefeller Center.  Do it at night or you will be disappointed. 

Christmas time in New York: Rockefeller Center

BB King Club near Time Square is awesome!  There are two clubs here.  One that is ticketed and one that is free with up and coming artists.  I had a great time eating and watching up and coming artists!
 When in New York City, the fast pace makes sense.  There is so much to see especially in one day.  Well worth the hustle.  One of my favorite memories was this Saturday spent in December (not too cold this time) in NYC with a great friend.  You know she is a good friend when she is cool about being dragged back to the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center twice in one short, but clear day.

New York, City...Where Do I Begin?

When I was a young girl, I dreamt of going to New York City.  It finally happened for the first time when I was 22 and I have been lucky enough in the last two years to go several more times.  There is some kind of spell New York City holds over people.  Crowds, crazy traffic, noise, pollution...and this city that has all of these things I dislike, makes me smile.

I cannot help it!  This city with the bloodline pumping and people on the move has a hold on me that I would never ever try to seek refuge from.  How does this city continue to cast this magic on visitors and locals?  I don't know, but I am going to embrace the magic and go for the ride.

I have lots of pictures I love from New York City.  So, I decided this would be a post based on the pictures from my last trip where we were introducing New York City to a friend who had yet to travel to NYC.  I am sure more posts will follow with other pictures from previous trips.  So here is the first chapter.

I love Alice and I love Central Park!
Central Park in March
Central Park in March
Central Park in March
Central Park in March
Central Park in March
Central Park in March
Central Park in March
Central Park in March - the bloom is beginning
Rockefeller Center in March
Rockefeller Center in March
World Trade Center, March 2012
New York Building near Little Italy

Empire State Building in the Skyline

Time Square in March

View of NYC skyline from Hoboken, NJ
There are so many wonderful places to visit in New York City and nearby, I cannot imagine my adventures here could ever be considered complete.