Friday, September 9, 2011

Pink and Brown

I have been a bit light on the posts this week.  Something about the gray weather has left me a little blue. This is also the week of the anniversary of the death of my grandfather, in addition to the national tragedy that the nation experienced a decade ago (yeah, that was a bad year).  I still miss him terribly.  My grandfather was an extraordinary person.  At some point, I'll write a post about him to share with all of you.  I have to say, one of the most cherished things in my life has been to have my grandparents in my life well into my twenties.  My grandmother is still alive and kicking and I am grateful to have her.  The love from one's grandparent's is truly unconditional and for me, it has shaped the person I have become.

Today's outfit is one I am especially proud of.  The whole thing is thrifted.  The dress is Anne Klein, the bolero thing is express, and the shoes are Fratelli Rossetti.  I love this outfit because it fits and yes, I feel hot in it.

Dress: Ann Klein (thrifted); top: Express (thrifted); Shoes: Fratelli Rossetti (thrifted)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Place of Blue Smoke

I have survived Irene and returned from a short vacation.  My brother, mother, and I visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, primarily to avoid Irene.  It is a magnificent place.  Long before this area was a national park, the Cherokee referred to it as the "place of blue smoke."  Indeed that description is apt for this incredible jewel in America's breath taking landscape.  We drove through the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was spectacular, in addition to visiting several spots around the park.  Words, nor photographs do justice to this place.

This national park receives 9 million visitors a year, making it the most visited park in the United States.  Part of the reason for this might be that it does not have an entrance fee.  This is my first visit to a national park, and I did not leave disappointed.  After seeing the awesome splendor of this landscape, I have resolved to visit all the national parks in the United States.  It may take a lifetime, but it will certainly be worth it.  Perhaps what was striking to me was the fact that I had cell phone reception at one of the highest points of the park (Clingmans dome).  I guess in today's wired world you really can't escape technology, email, or the internet.  (Note to self, if going on vacation, make sure to go somewhere with spotty electricity so checking work email really won't be an option.)

Everywhere we went, we saw people stopping and gazing, awestruck, at the incredible landscape.  There is something to be said about saving wild places like these.  We Americans may not have cathedrals or piazzas, but we have national parks.  In my view, the best in the world.  In addition to being a national park, The Great Smokies is also a UNESCO world heritage site, primarily for its immense diversity in plant and animal life.  As the nation struggles through the doldrums of recession and we face hard choices on what we want to spend our money on, we should collectively think about where are dollars are worth spending.  For me, the national parks are on the top of that list.  It would be a national tragedy if future generations did not get a chance to experience the splendor of these unique wild places.  At the end of the day, they are part of what defines America.  I sure am proud to be a citizen of nation that had the forsight to save the last Edens on Earth from commercialization.  I only continue hope we retain that collective wisdom as difficult decisions are made on what to save and what to let go.  Years from now, what we save is how our generation will be judged.  I can only hope we make the right choices.  In the mean time, I will try to savor the natural beauty that makes up the American landscape.  My it is a sight to behold.