How was your weekend? Mine was a wonderful one in Boston filled with rare steak from Morton's and rarer books at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair. Now I'm just relaxing from the long weekend and catching up on a little blog reading and web surfing. Here are a few lovely things I thought I'd pass along...
Once Upon by Heidi Lender:
What began as a self-imposed weekly photo assignment — “Stand on a bench. Make sure it’s Monday. Wear something pretty.” — transformed into this who-am-I photo-tale exploring the individual in various environments and apparel.
A former fashion editor and reporter on style-related subjects, I abandoned the world of words and appearances and moved to India nine years ago to study yoga and dive into the inner universe. My past and paths now collide in this project – personal façade vs. private interior.
Wardrobes and surrounding spaces are representations and reflections of who we are or who we purport to be. We explore, experiment and express the different aspects that are the ingredients of our individual, whether we are aware of it or not. Be it wild or controlled, we inevitably illustrate a part of ourselves.
The self-portrait series “Once Upon” whimsically plays upon this illustration. With a platform on which to stand, I investigate the host of personalities within, the layers that make up the self, the characters we hide, show, accept and reject, and the role that fashion and design play in molding those characters. My closet is colorful, a menagerie of clothes and accessories amassed on my journeys; though a collection untouched, unworn. Here, it has place and purpose. Headless self-portraits, piled with textures, lend a sense of objectivity, obscurity and freedom from identification.
via Happiness Is...
Nine Strange and Amazing Vacations:
Nine Strange and Amazing Vacations:
1. A Vacation to the Moon
Space Adventures provides the opportunity for you to blast off in a Soyuz spacecraft for a circumlunar mission. During the seven-day space flight, which reaches top speeds of 17,000 mph, you'll see stars, the illuminated far side of the moon, and the Earth from 250,000 miles away. Candidates must train for four months alongside Russian cosmonauts at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Two seats are available for $100 million each.
2. A $1 Million Vacation
A battle is brewing for bragging rights to the most expensive vacation. The Emirates Palace resort in Abu Dhabi announced a Million Dollar Travel package that "incarnates pure opulence."Along with first-class airfare and seven nights at a giant suite at the Palace, the package includes:
Chauffeur-driven Maybach at your disposal daily during your stay in Abu Dhabi.
Daily SPA treatments.
Day trip in private jet to Iran where you'll create your own Persian carpet with the country's most-exclusive and best-renowned hand-maker. Day trip to Bahrain in private jet for "a pearl deep sea experience," with the pearl hand-designed settings.
The Emirates is hoping the trip gets it a slot in the Guinness Book of World Records. But it turns out that Leading Hotels of the World has its own ode to opulence. Its $1 million Around the World in 80 Ways trip, which plays off the storied journey of Phileas Fogg, lets travelers recreate the 19th-century around-the-world fantasy experience with 21st-century comfort and flair.
3. A Vacation With Real Mermaids
At a west Florida intersection, where the 21st century runs headlong into 1947, is a roadside attraction that must be seen to be believed. There are no Disney cartoon characters or underwater mannequins, but living, breathing, bubble-blowing mermaids just an hour drive north of Tampa. Weeki Wachee Springs attracts tourists from around the world, and during its heyday attracted celebrities including Elvis Presley. But in recent times the park has fallen into disrepair and is faced with a few financial and political woes.
Weeki Wachee is a theater built into a natural spring-allowing the audience to walk into an underwater world without getting wet. With today's environmental laws, there will probably never be another place like it in the U.S. Clad in their iridescent Lycra tails, the mermaids perform choreographed routines and stories and are sometimes joined by fish, turtles, and manatees-creatures that some say inspired the original mermaid legends.
4. A Naked Vacation
A fun-but-unscientific poll found out that more Americans are open to the idea of naked vacations, a.k.a. nakations. The poll found that 48 percent of Americans would be willing to bare it all at a nude beach. That's up from 31 percent last year. Why the increased interest in nakations? Are Americans' attitudes about nudity loosening up? Or are travelers simply looking to travel light - so they can avoid the hefty baggage fees now imposed by many airlines?
All you'll need for the week (sunscreen, cap, sunglasses, shoes and toiletries) can fit in a small carry-on that will fit under the seat, avoiding even carry-on bag fees. But saving money on baggage is one thing. But what about the risk of sunburn "down there?" It's a real concern, experts say. In other words, slather it on if you take it all off.
5. A Vacation Where You Can Swim With Pigs
Swimming with dolphins? You can go one better! Visit the paddling porcines in Big Major Cay and jump in for a dip if you're brave enough. They won't bite---well, as long as you don't whisper "BLT" within earshot.
6. A Vacation In A Little People Themed Park
If you've hit up all the SeaWorlds and Wisconsin Dells of the globe, why not take a trip to a make-believe town populated by little people? According to TEA, Asia has the fastest-growing theme-park market-with 77.6 million visitors for Asia's top 15 parks alone. One of the region's biggest recent openings was the 2009 blockbuster debut of Dwarf Empire, a hilltop park in southern China devoted to-and almost entirely staffed by-people under four feet tall. The park also gained worldwide media coverage for employing many of the country's height-challenged, who traditionally have had a hard time finding work. Thanks to the park, many of China's dwarves are now gainfully employed as everything from janitors to crown-wearing empresses.
7. A Trip to Afghanistan
Although it is not considered safe for tourists at the moment, many look forward to being able to visit Afghanistan in the near future. Why? Take a look at some of the remarkable places you would be able to visit and decide for yourself. Would you take a vacation to Afghanistan? Tthe City of Screams, the Minarets of Ghazni, the Blue Mosque – these are just some of the incredible sites of Afghanistan. Astonishing lakes, ancient destroyed cities and breathtaking landscapes may persuade you to think a little differently about this war torn but still spectacular country.
8. A Ghost Tour
While Halloween brings to mind ghosts and goblins, did you know that many ghostly tours are available throughout the year? Florida offers a collection of tours and excursions guaranteed to scare up the need to plan a day trip or weekend getaway. As entertaining as they are informative, ghost tours explore paranormal phenomenon that may have you believing... or not
9. An Underwater Vacation
Talk about an extreme vacation! An Australian adventurer spent two weeks living underwater, riding a bike to generate electricity and using algae to produce oxygen! Breathing air provided by algae soaked in his own urine, "aquanaut" Lloyd Godson spent 12 days living in a yellow steel capsule submerged in a flooded gravel pit.
The 29-year-old's claustrophobic ordeal was intended to shed light on the practical and psychological challenges of living in an alien environment. His temporary home, a 10ft long box, was billed as "the world's first self-sufficient, self-sustaining underwater habitat." Back on dry land, and toasting the success of the experiment with champagne, he admitted to suffering cabin fever.
What vacation would you choose? If I had the money, I'd definitely go to the moon
A Whole Lotta Love,