April 29, 2011 § Leave a comment
Good Wacky isn’t to be found in the latest Rom-Com, or, for the most part, on any of the heads of those who attended that little wedding across the pond today. (Seriously, Beatrice and Eugenie, you both looked Bad Wacky. Sorry.)
It is never good when anyone is trying too hard to be “wacky”. However, it is totally amazing when someone just can’t contain themselves and Things Happen. Like these windows I spied on my recent trip to Amsterdam and Paris:
Good Wacky, Exhibit 1:
Antique Shop Window in Amsterdam, just before Easter, which this shopkeeper seemed to use as a major excuse to share his major love of little chick decorations:
This was just the beginning.
And we’re not even near finished…
I would agree with anyone who is thinking there is an underlying darkness to this display, but mostly, I think this shopkeeper really adores these little fuzzy things.
And one of my favorites, even though I think they are ALL my favorites:
Good Wacky, Exhibit #2:
Shopkeeper in Paris who expresses Easter Joy through weird little marching creatures made of chocolate:
Don’t they look like they are having the best time? If I were marching toward several cakes and other Parisian confections, I would be having a pretty good time, so this all adds up to me.
Good Wacky, Exhibit #3:
Not to be outdone in Paris, another window celebrating all that is Easter (if you feel it is about bunnies and stuff like that):
I hadn’t noticed that one bunny’s sweater — or that they are both wearing pants — until today. The French are really all about the clothes sometimes. I am not even touching the see-saw…
Especially when right next to these guys was this:
You know, a giant rabbit wearing a flower cape. What else could say “Easter”? Ahhh!! A life-sized goose wearing a flower cape, naturally:
Those bright pink and yellow feathers show that this window dresser means business. Really. I love this stuff. (Even though the goose looks a little high.)
Other non-trip-related Good Wacky examples:
1) Everything about the Rosalind Russell version of “Auntie Mame”. Being chic and wacky is a rare art.
2) Ummm….”Rosemary’s Baby”. Special shout out to Ruth Gordon as “Minnie”. Awesome.
3) Cindy Adams. (Especially the time I saw her wearing the biggest white fur hat I have ever seen, while dining with Joan Rivers. No. I am not making this up.)
4) Bjork. And she is also extremely cool.
5) Electing to live with twin terriers.
6) My own dear Aunt Bella, who taught me that red Chanel lipstick, fake cherries on your hat, and fearlessness when pursuing fun adds up to complete and utter fabulousness. I miss her.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night, while a very patient Mr. H took in the scenery and was hopefully thinking that his wife was Good Wacky.)
April 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
No, this isn’t a made up place. It is in Holland and according to Wikipedia it is the world’s largest flower garden, with over 700,000 bulbs planted each year.
That’s a lot of bulbs. An irresistible amount by my standards. So on a rainy April morning, Mr. H and I left our cozy hotel room in Amsterdam to see what we could see. And even though it was early in the season, which lasts about five weeks, we saw quite a bit.
First, we wandered into what I can only describe as a “Fairy Princess Garden”. While it wasn’t yet in full bloom, I could not help but imagine myself wandering around this place in one of those purple velvet princess dresses and the pointy hat with coordinating chiffon flowing from the top…
After the wandering and looking up wistfully at the sky, I would jump over this lovely rose-covered wall to meet, oh, I don’t know, some kind of Prince disguised as a Beast or something. But let’s face it, I don’t jump over walls and I have Mr. H, who I wouldn’t trade for anything. But if you get your Princess Head on, I am sure you get where I am going here.
See? These roses are right out of a story book. Total Princess Flowers.
Onward we walked, and found ourselves in a little petting zoo. There were adorable rabbits, fabulous guinea pigs, a pony (!), that cool pig from the post below and several lovely lambs. I haven’t a clue as to where these animals spend the other 47 weeks of the year, but they seemed to be having a fine time while we were visiting.
I have to say, these two have some seriously chic coloration going on. The photo does not really capture it, but trust me, they are beautiful.
At this point, Mr. H and I were beginning to wonder if maybe we were going to miss the insanity that is 700,000 bulbs in bloom. While I don’t think we got the Total Bulb Experience, the fine keepers of The Keukenhof managed to deliver on some serious floral viewing in their rather extraordinary greenhouse.
One bloom in a sea of tulips.
This is a real tulip, not CGI trickery.
These were almost iridescent.
And these reminded me of some Van Gogh paintings I saw earlier in the week. They are also oh-so-lusty-and-gorgeous, no?
Seriously, how do they get that red outline on these yellow tulips? They were stunning.
Get me a flowing summer dress in this print, pronto!
Once we left the greenhouse, we were able to wander around the rest of the garden where the cherry blossoms were showing off their stuff and the winding trails promised days and days of blooms ahead…
(With my Princess Head on, I was seeing swans here.)
Aside from the amazing plantings, what I loved most about The Keukenhof (which I can now type without checking the spelling!) is the notion of the enormous effort taken to create something ephemeral simply because it is beautiful and makes people happy. There were many moments on our trip where I found myself marveling at experiences just like this one, where the care and pride taken in each and every endeavor made me sit up, put down my iPhone and appreciate real, live Life.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night, with my most excellent new camera. Thanks, Mr. H!)
April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
Because I swear that new posts are coming soon. Many with a Dutch and French emphasis. And of course, musings on now being The Age After 39. For now, suffice it to say that it isn’t too shabby.
Ms. Forty… 4-0*
*If you are looking for something to watch, please put “All About Eve” on the list. So many things will be explained, and seriously, this movie is NOT all about Eve.
(Photo of the Keukenhof’s Pig in Residence: Some Cozy Night)
April 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
Mr. H and I landed in Amsterdam tired, but resolved. After a few hours on the town (we were looking for pancakes), we decided a major nap was needed lest we pass out before dinner. Fast forward to four hours later where we arrived at one of the first farm-to-table restaurants in the city: Restaurant De Kas.
Now, I was still awfully tired, but the place itself was instantly reviving. It is essentially an extremely chic greenhouse that serves simply delicious food. Roasted, marinated carrots, meaty olives and moist, crusty bread was the opening to a refreshing and lovely set meal of fish, veggies, veal (I made an exception), cheeses and sweets.
Upon leaving, we got a little tour of the mini-greenhouse. Aside from Meyer lemon trees, lime trees, rhubarb and lavender, I was able to shoot one lone patch of spinach that was not blurry and several extremely blurry shots of said items above.
Mr. H indulged in some garlic greens, and I just enjoyed the smell of soil and things growing. Spring is most definitely in site!
(Photos that I now see are ALL blurry…the wine was also good: Some Cozy Night)