The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California

The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California

Down on Main Street in Cambria, on the ground floor of the historic Bank of Cambria building is The Vault Gallery. It’s a really cool art gallery with lots of cool art!

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The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California

We wandered into the space, housed in the restored and historic brick building built in 1928, on an overcast Sunday afternoon while walking around downtown Cambria.

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The Vault Gallery in the Historic Bank of Cambria Building – Cambria, California

Vault Gallery sign

The Vault Gallery on Main Street in Cambria, California (not my pic)

The Vault Gallery is a large “U-Shaped” space partioned into smaller spaces by walls and art pieces on display. There are paintings and sculptures and other types of fine art exhibited and available for purchase.

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Laylon, the Owner of The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California

Enter through the front door and then left into the gallery. The paintings on the walls of the reception area, a front office work desk, a smaller room filled with art, and a shelf of handcrafted items (jewelry, small ceramic pieces, etc.) from local artists greet you along with the the owner, Laylon.

Walk farther into the gallery and you will see more beautiful paintings on the walls, fantastic glass art sculptures, the larger ceramic pottery pieces and other special works of art created by a community of artists that has called the Central Coast of California home since before the 1950’s.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

Some of Michael Courville’s other work! Click on Pic to See Larger Pic!
Pics from The Vault Gallery’s fb page, these pieces have been sold:

NOTE: We took some good pictures of some of the art pieces. It was impossible to photograph everything and we were enjoying the work as well as “documenting” it. Pictures of art don’t do the art justice. We always recommend you experience the artwork first-hand in person to fully experience the artist’s creation and intent!

From The Vault Gallery’s facebook Page:

The Vault Gallery was Estab. in 1991. Celebrating 25 years representing 45 established artists in Plein Aire-Contemporary-Sculpture -Assembledge.

Gallerist Laylon’s career in the art business has transcended over 30 years. In 1991, after moving to Cambria from Carmel, CA, she saw a “For Rent” sign on the old Bank of Cambria building and established The Vault Gallery. After almost 22 years, the gallery has thrived with outstanding painters, photographers, and sculptors that reside on the Central Coast. The works of the over 30 artists represented reside in the two side by side locations and an outdoor sculpture garden completes the harmony.

The represented artists are some of the most recognized Plein Air painters in the country. They are members of Oil Painters of America and the California Art Club.
Photographer Arthur Tress, a resident of Cambria, just finished a three month retrospective at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. Artist Tracey Sylvester-Harris was selected as the feature artist in an upcoming film starring Ed Harris and Annette Bening. The luster glass creations of Carl Radke, a gallery exhibitor for 18 years, has found homes for his lamps in restaurants, homes, hotels, wineries, and corporate offices.

We hope you enjoy visiting our gallery and invite you to explore our newly launched website. 

The Vault Gallery – 2289 Main St., Cambria, California 93428
805-927-0300 http://www.vaultgallery.com http://www.facebook.com/thevaultgallery
Mon-Sat 10:30am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm

Unless otherwise noted, all photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California

Moonstone Beach – Cambria, California

Saturday Evening and Sunday Afternoon at the Pacific Ocean in Cambria.

THIS BLOG IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

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Pacific Ocean View, Big Sur, California (not my pic)

We have combined the pics from previous blogs and added new pics into this one.
This Blog was just UPDATED April 9, 2017.

Hearst San Simeon California State Park owns and controls most of the waterfront property along the 20-mile segment of Highway 1 north of Cambria on the Central Coast as well as Hearst Castle and the surrounding land. There are thirteen different beautiful, uncrowded and remote “hidden gem” beaches in northern San Luis Obispo County and southern Monterey County between Cambria and Big Sur.

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

Moonstone Beach is a California State Park and part of Hearst San Simeon State Park. It runs along Moonstone Beach Drive and parallels Highway 1 in Cambria. The shoreline is made up of brown sandy beaches and coves separated by rocky headlands. On the beach, there are a number of natural ocean tide pools filled with marine life, and in the park there are easy hiking trails and an abundance of natural flora and fauna.

NOTE: Dogs are allowed on-leash on the trails and the boardwalk, but not on the beach!

SATURDAY EVENING

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Marine Layer Rolling In Over Cambria and the Pacific Ocean on Saturday Evening

Moonstone Beach was the end of a long road trip from Ashland, Oregon. We left in the morning without a destination and arrived in Cambria at sunset. The marine layer and heavy fog had rolled in as we were coming down Highway 46 from the mountains, so there were gray skies and it was chilly outside the car when we reached the ocean.

NOTE: Read the previous Blogs about our Spring 2016 Oregon Roadtrip, Historic Cambria, the Vault Gallery and the Bluebird Inn in Cambria (see the links below)

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Sunset at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

We parked the car at the Beach next to the Moonstone Beach Boardwalk. The marine layer was over the ocean and there was only a thin line of orange on the horizon as the sun went down over the ocean, but it was really beautiful as we watched the sunset.

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Sunset at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

The one and a half mile long boardwalk runs the length of Moonstone Beach along the bluff top and walking it is a great way to experience the beauty of the Pacific Coastline.

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The Boardwalk at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

There is easy access to the sandy beach via stairs down from the bluffs and there are many wooden benches along the Boardwalk to just sit and enjoy the view.

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

As the sun set, we called and found a room was available at the Bluebird Inn. We had a very nice dinner at Robin’s restaurant and went for drinks afterwards at the Cambria Pub and Mozzi’s Saloon and then stayed the night at the motel.

Read the Previous Blog! (RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)
Saturday Night at The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3gi

NOTE: There is not much to do after 9pm in Cambria. There is no real nightlife, except for a few bars and restaurants that stay open late.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

After a good night’s rest and the morning breakfast buffet at the Bluebird Inn, we spent the early part of the day walking around downtown Cambria exploring historical sites and visiting shops and galleries (Read our previous Blogs).

Read the Previous Blogs! (RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)
Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria, California! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3ik

It was still overcast, so we decided not to drive north to Big Sur. Instead, some time after noon, we walked back to the car at the motel and then drove down to Moonstone Beach and the Pacific Ocean.

Moonstone State Beach in Cambria, California

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

SEAGULLS!

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

 

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

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Moonstone Beach – Parking Lot and Picnic Area

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SQUIRREL! “Hey, nice marmot!”
They Have No Fear! Please DO NOT feed the wildlife!

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SQUIRREL! No Fear! Please DO NOT feed the wildlife!

This little squirrel tried to “panhandle” us in the parking lot!
It came right up (not even 3 feet away) and posed for these pictures exhibiting little fear of people and obviously looking for some food from the tourists…
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, consisting of small or medium-size rodents. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including woodchucks), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs.

That word “squirrel” first specified in 1327, comes from the Anglo-Norman esquirel which is from the Old French escurel, the reflex of a Latin word sciurus. This Latin word was borrowed from the Ancient Greek word σκίουρος, skiouros, which means shadow-tailed, referring to the bushy appendage possessed by many of its members.

The California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi), is a common and easily observed ground squirrel of the western United States and the Baja California Peninsula. “Beechey’s Marmot” (named after Frederick William Beechey, an early 19th-century British explorer and naval officer) is common in Oregon and California and its range has relatively recently extended into Washington and northwestern Nevada.

California ground squirrels live in burrows which they excavate themselves. Some burrows are occupied communally but each individual squirrel has its own entrance. They readily become tame in areas used by humans and quickly learn to take food left or offered by people. They spend most of their time within 82 feet of their burrow and rarely go further than 160 feet from it. The squirrel’s fur contains a mixture of gray, light brown and dusky hairs; the underside is lighter, buff or grayish yellow. The fur around the eyes is whitish and around the ears is black. Head and body are about 12 inches long and the bushy tail an additional 6 inches.

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Squirrel! No Fear! Please don’t feed the wildlife!

 

TRAVEL ALERT!
Highway 1 IS CLOSED! Pacific Coast Highway from Cambria to Big Sur!

 

TravelAlert-614x201

HIGHWAY 1 NEAR BIG SUR IS CLOSED DUE TO STORM DAMAGE!

There are currently temporary closures on Highway 1 after winter storms damaged the coastal road again. The highway north of Big Sur has reopened but a full closure due to landslides (Paul’s Slide) near the town of Lucia will continue for at least four to six more weeks. The highway continues to deteriorate at Mud Creek near the town of Gorda as slide activity continues. It is currently closed there and it is also closed at Ragged Point, 24 miles north of Cambria. They remain closed to travelers according to Caltrans as of April 4, 2017. Caltrans completed demolition on the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge just south of Big Sur Station on March 20 after the bridge failed in mid-February and is planning to build a replacement bridge. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, the only road that cuts through the Santa Lucia Mountains from Highway 101 and allows access to Big Sur, reopened in late March.

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Big Creek Bridge and Cove – Big Sur, California (not my pic)

Moonstone Beach at Hearst San Simeon State Park
6216 Moonstone Beach Drive, Cambria, CA
Free parking along Moonstone Beach Drive and in the park parking lot.
NOTE: Bring a sweater or jacket! It can get cold, even in Summer.

Read the Previous Blogs!
(RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)
Master Blog! Spring Roadtrip 2016 to Ashland Oregon! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-35M
Seagulls! Moonstone Beach in Cambria http://wp.me/s3dhVM-seagulls
The Bluebird Inn Motel in Cambria 
http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3gi
Historic Downtown Cambria, California http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3yI
The Vault Gallery in Cambria, California http://wp.me/p3dhVM-4lQ
Sweet Offerings Confectionary in Cambria, California! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-3ik

Hearst Castle website: http://www.hearstcastle.org

All Photos copyright 2016 JoshWillTravel

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Pacific Ocean at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California

 

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Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California


Wine Wednesday – Bella Fiore Caprettone 2014

Wine Wednesday – Bella Fiore Caprettone 2014

A Fine Wine! Bella Fiore Winery’s Bella Esprit label – Award Winning Caprettone 2014

Bella Fiore Winery

Bella Fiore Winery – Bella Esprit Caprettone 2014 (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

READ THE BLOG! WINE TASTING AT THE BELLA FIORE WINERY & ESTATE> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1QU

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Road Trip to ‪Ashland‬ ‪Oregon 2015‬! pt. 2 – NEW BLOGS!!!

Spring 2015 Road Trip to ‪Ashland‬ ‪Oregon‬!

New Blogs posted:

RIGHT CLICK ON LINK OR PHOTO
AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO READ THE LINKED BLOG!

Memorial Day 2015 ‪ROAD TRIP‬!

Food, Wine & Theatre in Ashland Oregon with JoshWillTravel

Food, Wine & Theatre in Ashland Oregon with JoshWillTravel

The ‪Brickroom‬ http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1AV

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

The Brickroom in Ashland Oregon

Oberon’s Tavern http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Bj

Oberon's Tavern in Ashland Oregon

Oberon’s Tavern in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Dn

Harvey's Place in Ashland Oregon

Harvey’s Place in Ashland Oregon

Saturday Farmer’s Market & Anti-GMO Protest http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1zH

Anti-GMO Protest in Ashland, Oregon

Anti-GMO Protest in Ashland, Oregon

Sunday Morning in ‪Lithia Park‬ http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1yg

Lithia Park - Ashland, Oregon

Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

Ignition Gallery and Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1xO

Ignition Gallery

Ignition Gallery

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1xx

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Cripple Creek Music Co. http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1CX

Cripple Creek Music Store

Cripple Creek Music Store

O’Ryan’s Irish Pub and the Black Sheep Pub http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1CF

O'Ryan's Irish Pub

O’Ryan’s Irish Pub

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AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO READ THE LINKED BLOG!

Tokyo Sushi – Dinner in San Jose CA http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1wF

Tokyo Sushi - San Jose, CA

Tokyo Sushi – San Jose, CA

In-N-Out Urge! National Burger Day! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1wu

In-N-Out Urge!

In-N-Out Urge!

National Donut Day! And a Tribute to Mitch Hedberg! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1zk

Mmmm....Donuts.

Mmmm….Donuts.

16200 Hits! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1Cy

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner Party at N/Naka! (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

“Dear Jerry” Envelope Art! http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1BO

“Dear Jerry” Envelope Art (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

and still more to come.

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel.

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Rogue Valley Sunset - Ashland, Oregon

Rogue Valley Sunset – Ashland, Oregon (copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel)

Ignition Gallery and Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps in Ashland, Oregon

Ignition Gallery and Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps in Ashland, Oregon

“In the Tiki! Tiki! Tiki! Tiki! Tiki Room!” All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel.

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LARGER PIC!

Ignition Gallery

Ignition Gallery

A very cool retail gift store specializing in Tiki “kitsch”, mugs, Hawaiian shirts, art, tropical decor, rugs & lamps and other stuff:

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ignition Gallery

Ignition Gallery

Ignition Gallery

Ignition Gallery – musical instruments and a light up glass and pink flamingo

Ignition Gallery - Tiki Mugs

Ignition Gallery – Tiki Mugs! Not cheap.

Ignition Gallery

Ignition Gallery – Gift stuff. Not cheap.

Ignition Gallery

Ignition Gallery – Hawaiian Shirts (Mostly new, not vintage)

Ignition Gallery

Ignition Gallery – Wall art and other stuff.

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LARGER PIC!

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

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Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW LARGER PIC!

All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel

Ignition Gallery & Ala Kalika Rugs & Lamps40 N. Main St., Ashland, OR

Spring 2015 Road Trip to ‪Ashland‬ ‪Oregon‬! New Blogs> http://wp.me/p3dhVM-1EC

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EXPERIENCE ASHLAND, OREGON with JOSHWILLTRAVEL facebook page
> http://www.facebook.com/theatreinashland

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Flower of Life Crystal Gallery in Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery in Ashland, Oregon

This store rocks! All photos copyright 2015 JoshWillTravel.

Who doesn’t like crystals? Here’s a retail store devoted just to crystals, rocks and jewelry:

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery - Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – Ashland, Oregon

Flower of Life Crystal Gallery – 40 N Main St, Ashland, OR 97520 www.floweroflifecrystals.com

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The Avatars! Cool Art by Kristine Schomaker!

The Avatars! “A Comfortable Skin” by Kristine Schomaker

Brewery Art Walk - Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk – Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

I first fell in love with Kristine Schomaker’s Avatars at the Brewery Art Walk in downtown Los Angeles last year. While touring the open studios at the bi-annual event, I chanced upon the beautiful artwork and the multimedia presentation you see in this blog.

NOTE: My pictures don’t even do them justice! They really have to be seen up close!

Brewery Art Walk - Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk – Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk - Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk – Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk - Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk – Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk - Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk – Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk - Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Brewery Art Walk – Downtown Los Angeles (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The multimedia presentation, includes the Avatars, matching paintings (acrylic on canvas), an animated video projection with soundtrack, and her website and blog. The original genesis of the work comes from her experiences in the “Second Life” online virtual world.

And so last summer, when Kristine was showing three of the Avatars at the Art Party in Beverly Hills, I had to see them again in a proper “gallery setting”.

One of Kristine Schomaker's Beautiful Avatars at The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

One of Kristine Schomaker’s Beautiful Avatars at The Art Party in Beverly Hills last summer! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Avatars have been since been displayed at UCLA, at the W Hotel in Hollywood,  Downtown, and most recently at Thursday night’s DTLA ArtWalk.

One has been sold to a lucky collector.

the Art Party in Beverly Hills

Hangin’ with an Avatar at the Art Party in Beverly Hills (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

The Art Party in Beverly Hills! (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel) – SOLD!

The next evolution is a photo series of the Avatars around town. City Hall, Hollywood, Barnsdell Park, the Beach, Griffith Park and more places. Do you have suggestions where she should take them?

Visit Kristine’s Website and Blog for more pictures, art, writing, cool stuff and contact info: http://www.kristineschomaker.net/blog/2014/7/11/the-avatars-around-town

Here’s a youtube link to a video about the making of the Avatars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqJmEwUentc

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Three Great Adventures in Los Angeles near UCLA!

Three great adventures in Los Angeles near UCLA!

“Can you recommend a 5-hour round trip from LA to see the most sites? My husband and I will be visiting our son and his wife at UCLA in October from Alabama. While they are busy during the day, we would like to venture either north or south, preferably on the PCH to see some of California. In addition, we would love to find an interesting boutique or historic hotel to stay in near the UCLA campus.” ~ Nancy M. from Birmingham, Alabama

UCLA is in Westwood. Stay at the W Hotel Los Angeles in Westwood!

Five hours (round trip) is not a lot of time and Los Angeles is a very big place. Here are three great adventures near UCLA:

1. Santa Monica and Venice Beach

Santa Monica Pier Sign at Ocean Blvd

Santa Monica Pier Sign at Ocean Blvd

I recommend you head to Santa Monica (you can take a drive down Wilshire to San Vicente through Brentwood and do some shopping on Montana Avenue). Walk the Third Street Promenade, Palisades Park, and the Santa Monica Pier. Do some shopping at Santa Monica Place and have lunch at one of the many restaurants down by Santa Monica State Beach or head south on Pacific Coast Hwy to Venice Beach. Have lunch at one of the many restaurants there and visit the Venice Beach Boardwalk, Main Street and Abbot Kinney Blvd. If you have time drive into Marina Del Rey and have a drink at the The Ritz-Carlton.

A Nice Day in Marina del Rey (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

A Nice Day in Marina del Rey (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Take the 10 freeway or the Marina freeway back to the 405 freeway north, exit Wilshire Blvd east and you’ll be back in Westwood.

*One more quick note: You can also visit the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades-Malibu as a great side trip from Santa Monica. The Getty Villa houses a fantastic collection of ancient Greco-Roman art and sculpture! It’s FREE but you need to make reservations. http://www.getty.edu/visit/villa/ ___________________________________________________________________

2. Century City and Beverly Hills

Century Towers - Century City, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Century Towers – Century City, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Park at the Westfield Century City Mall in Century City, CA. There’s lots of shopping (including Bloomingdale’s), restaurants and the AMC Century City 15 movie theater. Take a walk into Century City (follow the people in suits going back to work) and visit the CAA building (aka “The Deathstar”), the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza (also a great place to stay), and the Century Towers and Plaza.

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel - Century City, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel – Century City, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

There’s more shopping and even better restaurants there (Craft is Tom Colicchio’s steak place). Be sure to visit the shops underground at the Twin Towers! Century City also has the The Annenberg Space for Photography (FREE!) and a few other art galleries. There are fantastic buildings and lots of hidden things to see if you just walk around during the day. Here’s a link to a list of museums and other info for the area (Westwood-Century City): http://centurycity.patch.com/directory/art-galleries

Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Rodeo Drive from the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

You can also drive to Beverly Hills and visit Rodeo Drive, there’s mega-shopping and wide variety of some of LA’s finest restaurants: Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen, Mastro’s Steakhouse, Spago Beverly Hills, Il Pastaio, Il Cielo, Fogo de Chao, Matsuhisa, Lawry’s the Prime Rib, The Farm of Beverly Hills, and many others! in addition to the The W Hotel Los Angeles – Westwood, the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills is a great boutique hotel and they have a wonderful restaurant, where you can dine indoors or outdoors in a poolside cabana at Oliverio at Avalon Beverly Hills restaurant.

Party at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Bathtub/Walk-in Shower & view at the InterContinental Hotel (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

and The InterContinental Los Angeles Century City Hotel, the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, the Montage Beverly Hills, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills Hotel, Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive, Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel, SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, London West Hollywood Hotel, Mondrian Hotel- Hollywood and Chateau Marmont are a few of the finest luxury hotels in the city.

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Sunday Brunch at the LUXE On Sunset (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Each hotel has at least one amazing restaurant and/or bar: 24/7 Diner and the Cactus Lounge/Pool at the Standard, Scarpetta and the Scarpetta Bar (and the hidden whiskey lounge Ten Pound by The Macallan), On Sunset @ Luxe Hotel (amazing Sunday Brunch!), LIVELLO, Culina, Modern Italian @CulinaLA, Tres by José Andrés, Saam at The Bazaar by José Andrés, On Rodeo Bistro Lounge, The Rooftop Grill, the Parq Bar, and Cut (Wolfgang Puck’s steak house) to name just a few.

LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

On Sunset Restaurant Patio at the LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

You must try Stan’s Donuts and Diddy Riese ice cream in Westwood Village And for a quick and tasty Chinese lunch or takeout try Jin Jiang at Santa Monica and Sepulveda. ___________________________________________________________________

3. The Getty Center

405 Freeway and the Getty Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

405 Freeway and the Getty Center (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

One more great 5 hour trip from UCLA is a trip to the The Getty Center and it’s FREE! http://www.getty.edu/visit/center/plan/

Getty Center Central Garden (view from museum)

Getty Center Central Garden (view from museum)

From the Getty Center website: “The collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center includes pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts; 19th- and 20th-century American, European, and Asian photographs; contemporary and modern sculpture; and Robert Irwin’s Central Garden, designed specifically for the Getty Center….Contemporary and modern sculpture is featured throughout the grounds, including 28 modern and contemporary outdoor sculptures installed at the Getty Center, donated by Fran and Ray Stark.” In addition to the absolutely incredible Permanent Collection, they also have changing exhibitions. Here is the exhibition schedule: http://www.getty.edu/visit/exhibitions/

You won’t be able to see everything in five hours!*

So, take your time and explore two of the four art pavilions, walk the gardens and enjoy the amazing view from above.

Panoramic View of West L.A. from the Getty Center

Panoramic View of West L.A. from the Getty Center

There is food available (but it’s not inexpensive), so you might want to bring a picnic lunch from one of the hotel restaurant I mentioned in my previous post, or from Whole Foods Market in Westwood, or if it’s Thursday the Westwood Village Farmer’s Market. There’s also the lovely Bel-Air Bar & Grill on Sepulveda or On Sunset @ Luxe Hotel for fine dining, either before or after. The Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel is a beautiful property, and I recommend an upstairs room by the pool with a balcony if available.

LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

LUXE on Sunset (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“Josh, these suggestions are fantastic—-can’t wait to show them to our kids before they move—-they will love them! I especially appreciate your recommending the Avalon Hotel. We love boutique hotels and this one is very reasonable! We may have to extend the trip and leave the kids behind! Thanks so much!” ~ Nancy M. from Birmingham, Alabama

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Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills

Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills  (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)