Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Eye of the Beholder

Hey all,

It's a remarkable feeling to discover something new and unique.  I can't imagine living my life in the exact same way, every day, never getting to learn or do something different.  I guess that's why I'm an author and not working in an office cubicle or on an assembly line.  I admire those that do...those that have the stick-to-it nature that can do a job like that.

But I can't.  I'm not wired that way.  I crave the different and unusual.  Anything can be exciting if you look at it in a certain way, and luckily I'm in a position where I can indulge that curious part of myself.  And boy, does it give me fodder for my writing.

Case in point is this odd gravestone I found at the Pierre-La Chaise Cemetery in Paris.  Can't you just see a spooky story being birthed from this pic?

We've always known we wanted to travel.  And have done so as much as we could.  But week long vacations were never our style.  Immersing ourselves in a new place for only seven days was more frustrating than satisfying.  So instead, if we were curious about a city or country, we just moved there.  And several times, we just packed up and headed out with no real idea of where we would end up.

Try doing that a few times with three kids, two cats, three ferrets and many other assorted critters!!!  Yeah.  You can say we were crazy.  Most of our family did.  LOL

We've lived all over.  Been in every state of the USA and over thirty countries, I think, at last count.  We enjoyed it, but it wasn't until the kids were grown and on their own--so to speak--that we did what we'd been longing to do.

Become gypsies.

Working first over in Singapore, then Macau, and now with Cirque du Soleil in Europe is exactly what we'd always dreamed of.  We have seen things we'd always wanted to see.  The Great Wall of China, Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower, or the majesty of Mount Everest.  Experiencing all these well known places has been awesome, but I've enjoyed, just as much, the adventures that were surprises.  Unique and exciting because they were unexpected.  Some might think them odd, some might scratch their heads and say, "WTF?  This is fun?"  But to each his own.  And adventures and the enjoyment of them is all in the eye of the beholder.

So I thought I'd share some of the unique and the unusual with you.  Places and surprises that may not seem like much, but to me, were just as cool as standing on the top of the Great Wall and feeling the wind rush through my hair.  Ready?  Click on the pics to make them bigger.

The Catacombs of Paris.  Creepy, interesting and not for those with claustrophobia.  The amount of bones is overwhelming and a little bit frightening.  So many many lost.  Rich or poor, it didn't matter.  If you were buried.  And that was that.

One of my favorite adventures is discovering museums that are off the beaten path.  Those the tourists seem to forget about.  So was it with the Museum de Carnevalet in Paris.  A small museum, yet filled with so many delightful surprises.  This Peacock room was just one of them.  The color and the feeling of the room stayed with me long after I was gone.

You want weird?  How about a blast from a past trip?  Carhenge.  That's right.  In western Nebraska someone set up Stonehenge...but with cars.  How about that for unusual!!!

And a firmly believe art is where you find it.  Check this out in one of the subway stations of Barcelona.  When you went up the stairs you could see this great mural of one of Joan Miro's paintings.  But looking down from the top?  It was invisible.

These cuties were in a park in Amsterdam.  Dozens of them just hanging out.  I did a double take each time I saw them.  And yes...they are statues.  But why they are sitting in an Amsterdam park?  I have no idea.  I just enjoyed them.

I could go on and on, but I've already taken up too much space in this blog.  But I'll leave you with a pic I found in Antwerp, which is where we are now.  A random walk down an ally and I found this unique building.  We think it was a firehouse, but honestly don't know.  But the building caught my eye and when something like this does, I don't pass it by.

Just a few samplings.  I'd put more up, but the server here is soooo slow, it's ridiculous.  But I wanted you all to see a little of what draws me.  What I look for as I'm out wandering about.  The main museums, attractions and sightseeing have their place, but for me the excitement of the unknown is what keeps me looking around the corner for something new.

I'll be back on Friday with another Lighter Side!

Hugs to all,

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

Those lizards were statues? Wow! They are so life like. Such and exciting life you lead. I like reading about were you have been. It's my trip around the world without going around the world. Thanks!

Maria said...

Great pics CJ! Love the peacock room in the museum that looks really neat and cute statues but what a strange local for them. The building in Antwerp looks very unique but I love it!

CJ England said...

I know, Phylis. When I first saw the statues I thought we'd somehow drifted to another continent! LOL

CJ England said...

Thanks, Maria. That room is one of my all time favorites. The Peacocks were beautiful.

Ray said...

The tomb would make an interesting scene in a book. Old Georges calls out the younger ghosts late at night. A late night stroller walking through the cemetery is asked to do something for Georges. The other ghosts keep silent when she/he asks what the favor is. They know, but don't want to say it out loud.

When I was looking at the Peacock Room pic I was reminded of two things. Sometimes when you return to a museum the exhibits have been changed. There was a painting of a woman awaiting the flames to be burned at the stake. Her eyes were pleading for mercy. From any angle if the picture was visible her eyes asked me for help. The next time I went back I was told it was in storage. The third time the new docents had never heard of it. I looked at the picture for at least twenty minutes that first time.

Also my father-in-law raised peacocks.

CJ England said...

It would, Ray. I can just see it. You should write a story since you've got the idea. It could be a simple ghost story or a YA story. Go for it!!!