Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Bruce hiking and nesting

Nicola and I had set last weekend for Bruce Trail hiking. Due to "circumstances beyond our control" it would be the first one of the season. I drove the trailer up to Guelph Lake Conservation Area on Friday afternoon and had supper with Nic at her place.

Nicola had finished recovering my dinette cushions in a brighter fabric (they were beige and brown before, rather bland). The "day bed" was completed with a couple of body pillows and a couple of throw cushions. I didn't realize there was writing on the pillow slips when I bought them but I am OK with them saying "#Happy Place" as it is now a very comfy place to hang out with windows all around.
Saturday morning, after Starbucks, of course, we headed out to hike the section of the Bruce we had chosen. The hardest part of this hiking project is always, finding the parking spots. We left one car on 4th Line, near Georgetown,
and started the hike at Pear Tree Parking Lot, just west of Hwy 25 on 15 side road.
We had to walk about 1/2km on the road and then it was into the bush.
Although not too hot it was a bit muggy and very buggy (the insect repellent we ordered from the States to deter ticks worked very well on mosquitoes too). The trail was quite overgrown in places, with this vine
and tons of tiny, delicious, wild raspberries. We had a difficult time keeping up a good pace due to our tendency to snack on them until the bugs drove us on.
The trail was very rocky and rough though pretty flat.
There was no sense of being on the escarpment on this section, just woodland.
We took a couple of hours to hike about 6km and felt great about getting back to hiking and the Bruce project. We drove into Georgetown to have lunch and ended up in an "Irish Pub" on the main street. This got us talking about our upcoming trip to Ireland but I'm really not sure that we ate "Irish fare" as we had Irish Nachos (same as regular Nachos but served over kettle style potato chips instead of nachos) and a beet and goat cheese salad.
Mural in Georgetown
We lived close to Georgetown, growing up, and it had really changed. Quote from Nicola; "Who knew Georgetown could be cool" as we drank lattes at a coffee bar/hair salon, open to the street with bistro tables.

I have discovered how to draw on my photos, you may get sick of this while I experiment.
Saturday night we ate at the Baker Street Station Restaurant. It had a balcony and a porch area for outside seating but as we had not booked far enough ahead we were inside.
Dave and I shared the battered and fried Brie on a cranberry jelly.

I had this cauliflower dish (cooked al dente then deep fried so the outside was crusty, then covered with delicious stuff). Dave had chicken wings and Nicola had fish and slaw. The restaurant had a great atmosphere and some innovative dishes. The kind of place you could go back to again and again without replicating your meal.

Sunday we awoke to rain and after a few text messages back and forth decided we weren't that committed to hiking in miserable weather. Plan B was "nesting". We spent the day hanging pictures at Nicola and Dave's new house and continuing to make my trailer more "homey".
Nicola made me a curtain for the trailer door as it is the only window without a blind, right next to the bed.
We attached it with velcro.
We attached a coffee table leg to the bottom of the dinette table as it had a tendency to tip when using it as a bed.
Plastic baskets at the end keep the cushions from sliding and will be useful to keep shoes and other cumbersome items in.
Monday morning there were still showers around. After helping Nicola put together a cabinet for the basement, we hitched up the trailer, struggling again with the sway bar.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Las Vegas - art hunt continued

The Aria was beautiful with touches of opulence everywhere.
This table and flowers was so gorgeous I couldn't stop taking pictures of it.
Roses, glads, orchids in abundance
I probably took 25 shots, all different angles.
Chris insisted on the occasional selfie. I hate them but kept this one, the least awful of the lot.
One of the bars was walled by metallic cards.
The interior designers are artists too.
This was in an alcove with an "Employees Only" sign.

Cakes displayed at the patisserie.

Chris says there is a list of the good luck charms located in the various hotels. Rubbing this buddha's belly is one. He has a US $1 in his mouth. We rubbed his belly.

The walls of this Japanese restaurant were made of twine strung in different ways.
In one of the lobbies (not even sure which hotel we were in at this point as they are linked by bridges and walkways). This is HOTO by Tatsuo Miyajima
Covered in coloured LED counters cycling between 1 and 9.
On the other side of the lobby Chris noticed this public art installation or is it just a trolley of stanchions (According to Chris; a study in the order and chaos of humanity and how we relate to each other, subtitled "the need to Queque")
This mass of canoes and aluminum boats is one of my favorite pieces.

The Edge by Nancy Rubins. One of the reviews I read thought it should be called The Crash.
The Vdara hotel was the most luxurious yet and here we saw this little robot, painted like a puppy, with an LED display that said he was making a delivery.
Across another bridge and down escalators and we were in The Bellagio. This is a small section of the pool area.
Part of the largest chocolate fountain in the world by Jean-Phillipe Maury
We had come to the Bellagio to see the Conservatory and the fountains. Although there is a fine art gallery here we decided we didn't need to pay to see art as it was everywhere.
The floral arrangements here change regularly.
The current theme is Summer Picnic in Italy. This table cloth and plates is created using seeds.
The swans move
The floors are mosaic.
A picture made of flower petals.
In the lobby the ceiling was created by the glass artist, Chihuly.

Walking outside we just caught the tail end of the Fountain display.

Tired and still full from lunch we returned to the hotel room and just "chilled", literally as the air conditioning was very welcome.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Las Vegas - art hunt

Christine and I decided to spend our day searching for free art. We took the bus down to the Aria "campus".

I took this for my brother-in-law, Dave, who loves M&Ms. The store is right by our bus stop.

According to Chris' internet research we were supposed to be able to pick up a brochure, on the art displayed, at the desk at the base of this wooden sculpture (called The Treehouse) that also contained a restaurant. When we asked at the desk she said that they had run out.
We wandered around, guided sporadically by Christine's phone which is on the fritz. Since coming back to the hotel room I have sourced the brochure on line but it is difficult to identify my pictures as the descriptions and locations are rather vague. When I can I will identify the artists. There were few plaques and they rarely mentioned the artists name!
Columns of ice, rising out of a pool
with floodlights changing their colours. No artists listed in the brochure or on the plaque.
Halo, described as twisting water vortices, again had no artist listed.
It invited photography
especially as it also had changing lighting.
The Aria mall area, Crystal Shops, was very high end and the floral and water scaping was beautiful.
This is the Starbucks with sculptured wooden overhangs and inlaid wood flooring.
We were searching for a piece by James Turrell called "Shards of Colour", listed on the document Chris had on her phone;
We assumed this was it, lit "windows" on the next floor up
and when we got there found we were right and that they also changed colour.
We got on the tram that links properties on this section of "The Strip" and found this; Doze Green's "Crossroads of Humanity"
Looking down at the Aria pool area from the tram station.
What looks like convoluted columns in the entrance to the Aria hotel and casino are made entirely of stainless steel by Tony Cragg
and make me want to photograph the twisting and distorted reflected images.
By this point we were hungry and on our way to the Aria buffet that Chris had read was one of the best. While Chris waited in line
I took shots of these
polished and painted stones. No mention of an artist anywhere.
I couldn't find an artists name for these 3 either.
They were also up by the buffet restaurant.

The buffet lived up to expectations with Asian, Indian, Latin, Carvery, Salad, Seafood and Dessert sections. Chris' favorites were the fish tacos, water melon and grilled zucchini. Mine were the artichoke and raisin salad, chicken masala and creme caramel. We opted for the 2 for 1 unlimited drinks special which we could order from a limited menu. As one glass of wine was $12, the 2 of us for $19 seemed like a good idea. When I ordered the champagne (Californian) the waitress bought it in a water glass saying she was too busy to keep going back. There was so much I couldn't even finish it and I love champagne! Chris managed one grapefruit vodka spritzer and ended up tipping her rum punch into her water bottle as a traveller (which appears to be allowed here as everyone is wandering around with plastic cups and beer bottles).