I am certified fitness professional, promoting a grateful, positive and healthy lifestyle while empowering woman to be the best they can be to fulfill their God given purpose. I'm a motivational speaker and writer along with my sister, Maria Lauren. Both Maria and I sing, entertain and speak about our book - BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS, which we co-authored.
Nature has provided a bounty of wildflowers from the burn scar areas of the devastating Woolsey fire. Stunning shades of purple flowers stretched out into the distance on the Cistern trail.
Only a heavenly gardener could have arranged such a lovely arrangement of lilies and lupines.
Amazing plate size Matilija poppies graced the trail trailhead as my friends and I started out on our Cistern to Lookout Trail hike..
Bold magenta wildflowers and interesting rock formations added a degree of magic to an area that was only a few months ago black sticks and ash.
At the junction of Cistern and Lookout trail, vibrant poppies pointed to evidence of a tree charred by the Woolsey fire.
The fields in Agoura Hills were dazzling with color from early March and well into May.
Lookout Trail leads into Malibu Creek State Park, in the distance. It’s nice that this trail provides some shady areas.
Incredible hot pink color. The center looks like a flower within a flower.
Pastel wild lilies adorned the trails in local Westlake Village and Agoura Hills trails from April into May.
In the midst of the wild lilies and mustard with my furry friends. The hills of Malibu are in the distance.
A stunning perspective of Malibu Creek from above.
My first time seeing these dainty button shaped flowers.
April’s fields of lupin blossoms, gave birth to thousands of painted lady butterflies in May.
“Behold, I make all things new.” – Revelation 21:5
My wish for you is that you will be refreshed by nature as I have been. May God bring you into deeper levels of inner renewal. If you are going through difficult circumstances or have experienced loss, I pray the promise of spring’s restoration of the barren, fire scorched hills, will bring you hope,
“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” – Isaiah 61:3 NLT
“Divine Love has no trouble loving imperfect things! That is just our human problem. If God could only love perfect things, God would have nothing to do.” – Richard Rohr
Pushing through Rejection
The enemy loves to take our missteps and twist them into a tormenting irrational fear of condemnation and loss of God’s love. In the same way, the accuser will take personal rejection and turn it into an illogical fear that God won’t find us a better suited situation or relationship, making us doubt that God has a good plan for our lives. The devil sows just enough doubt that it is difficult to distinguish God’s voice from all the others.
If you are being swept away by a flood of negative thoughts, if you feel like you are sinking in uncertainty, reach out for God and look into the truth of His word. Turn your pain and struggle in the present, into fuel for your future. Seeking man’s approval has stolen enough from you, dear ones. Don’t let it steal the wonderful future God has in store for you.
Walking into the future depends on accepting God’s love and correction. I used to look at God’s discipline as a punishment, instead of my Father’s wise help. Have you ever held on to something too tightly or put your faith in the wrong people? I have taken more than a few misguided turns in my life. My ego has given me excuses not to follow God’s leading but I am learning not to trust the ego. God will always be my Father and I His daughter. He knows the real me and what is a true fitfor my life.
Repentance and Re-aligning
Now I see God’s correction and my repentance, as a re-aligning. God drawing back the bow so He can aim me towards the right mark.
God will still forgive us if we miss the mark or don’t repent, but if we don’t, we are not allowing our Father to lead us to our most life filled, fulfilling and fruitful life. We must allow God to release us from the past and the things and people that not longer serve His plans and propel us into our future destination.
“When you look at yourself, you only see the confusing, undecipherable mess of an unfinished work. When you look at Jesus you begin to find out who you really are.” – Lee Younger
We might get distracted for a little while but when we seek him with all our heart, Jesus, the lover of our soul, is always there. “I will never leave you or forsake you, he promises.” Let’s aim in the right direction, praising God along the way, especially on uncertain days or sad days because that’s when I need to praise Him the most.
My Renewal and Restoration
God has the power to renew or hearts and equip our minds for what is coming next. As I have received God’s love, wisdom and healing walking through my storms, I can now go and be the rainbow in someone else’s clouds. I will be the person I needed when I was hurting. I refuse to be bitter. I am better than what broke me. I am not the mistake I made or the person who hurt me. I am light; I am joy; I am peace; I am enough.
I praise you Father God for Your grace and goodness proven in the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus. I pray for more generosity of heart, for both myself and others. I ask for peace and freedom from worry, understanding life is more about being Your daughter than trying to earn Your love. May I walk in complete confidence knowing that you, Lord, are with me.
With a grateful heart, Linda
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5
Give gratitude your attention. Feel it’s light and energy. There are no limits to the greatness of gratitude.
When you practice gratitude, you create new pathways in your brain. It changes your perception. The more I appreciate, the more goodness comes to me. I am grateful for eyes that see natures beauty. What are you grateful for today?
Local Super Bloom
Spring is a beautiful time to explore natures bounty. I came across these amazing fields of wild poppies while out exploring the hills in my neighborhood.
The poppies were hiding in the trails adjacent to the Westlake Village Community Park. Just beyond the poppies, I discovered an area of delicate blue wildflowers spread out like a carpet. They danced in the breeze.
I was delighted and kept walking. Around the bend I found an additional surprise, large fields of wild Lupine. Butterflies were everywhere, flying in and out of the purple-blue flowers.
I could hardly believe my eyes. These hills were black a couple of months ago, burned down to the dirt by the Woolsey fire. The fire was the reason for so many wonderful wild blossoms.Tall stalks of mustard plants were growing along with the Lupine (lupin).
I’ve cooked wild mustard greens from the local hills with some onions, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mustard greens are delicious and a powerful superfood! They are full of the antioxidants, vitamin C and glutathione which boosts immunity and prevents cell damage. High in calcium and vitamin K, mustard greens can help avert osteoporosis. They have numerous other health benefits. Pick the tender new growth.
I was excited to bring my daughter and sister back to this spot on the weekend. They were thrilled with the dazzling display. We couldn’t resist posing with nature’s glory.
It was a perfect spring day. I’m so grateful we shared this time together. We found grace in our gratitude of this beautiful place.
“Nature does not, hurry yet everything is accomplished.”
– Lao Tzu
I enjoyed pausing for a moment to soak up the sun and listen to the song birds.
As we continued on our hike, I noticed some of the Lupine I had seen on my first visit was plowed down during the week, to make the hiking trail wider, but it was still lovely. Lindsay and I sampled some of the peppery young leaves of the mustard plants as we walked ahead, ready to discover more of God’s artistry and beauty.
My home town, Westlake Village is in the distance. What’s in your community? Check out the AllTrails App for hiking ideas.
The richest person in the world is not the one with the most money but the one with the most gratitude.
Happy Spring! ~ Linda
“On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.” – Psalm 145:5 ESV
Abigail was a beautiful, intelligent woman and one of the most overlooked heroines in the Bible. She was remarkable, especially considering the ancient times she lived in, but her story can still be applied to our lives today. Her saga is empowering and many women will be able to relate to the value of her discretion and strength in the midst of trying circumstances.
Abagail carried a burden in her heart, she was married to Nabel but it was not a good match. They were practically opposites.
“She was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings.” – 1 Samuel 25:3 NKJV
Nabel was a rich, mean brute, who owned extensive property near the area where the future King David and his men held camp. David’s presence close to Nabel’s property gave his household security and guarded them from marauders but Nabel, in his arrogance, did not see it that way.
One day David sent messengers to Nabel’s home and politely asked if they could “share any provisions they might have on hand.” Nabel mocked and refused them. He said, “Who is this David.” “Do you think I’m going to take good bread and wine and meat freshly butchered for my sheep shearers and give it to men I’ve never laid eyes on?” It seemed Nabel thought David was trying to extort ‘protection’ money.
Well, David was powerful, he had fame and some hubris himself, so when David’s servants told him what transpired, he was highly insulted and ready to destroy them all. “Strap on your swords,” he commanded! Four hundred of his men set out. – 1 Samuel 25: 12-13
Abigail’s terrified servants alerted her of the horrible mistake her husband had made. “David sent messengers from the backcountry to salute our master, but he tore into them with insults. Yet these men treated us very well,” they told her. “Do something quickly because big trouble is ahead for our master and all of us. Nobody can talk to him.” – 1 Samuel 25: 14-17
They all feared for their lives. After all, David had slain the giant Goliath! Nabel did not have very good sense. Thank goodness Abigail did. She was clever and quick-thinking and took heroic measures to save her family.
“Abigail flew into action. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep dressed out and ready for cooking, a bushel of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes, and she had it all loaded on some donkeys. Then she said to her young servants, ‘Go ahead and pave the way for me. I’m right behind you.’ But she said nothing to her husband Nabal.” – 1 Samuel 25: 18-19 MSG”
Meanwhile, as David rode on to seek his revenge, his anger grew. He grumbled, “That sure was a waste, guarding everything this man had out in the wild so that nothing he had was lost—and now he rewards me with insults. A real slap in the face! May God do his worst to me if Nabal and every cur in his misbegotten brood aren’t dead meat by morning!” – 1 Samuel 25: 20-22 MSG
“As soon as Abigail saw David, she got off her donkey and fell on her knees at his feet, her face to the ground in homage, saying, ‘My master, let me take the blame! Let me speak to you. Listen to what I have to say. Don’t dwell on what that brute Nabal did. He acts out the meaning of his name: Nabal, Fool. Foolishness oozes from him.'” – 1 Samuel 25: 23-25 MSG
Abigail went on the explain that she was not there when David’s men arrived. She reasoned with him and chose her words carefully. She didn’t point out that David would be wrong to take revenge; instead she turned his focus to how God was working in his life and spoke as if God and David had already chosen not to shed blood. By humbly going to David and honoring him, she was able to diffuse the situation. Her wise words and respectful manner towards him were important in saving her entire household from David’s wrath.
Abigail Gives a Blessing
Abagail humbled herself far more than her high social status required. Recognizing David’s anointing, Abigail referred to David as her “master”. “Forgive my presumption,” she said. “But God is at work in my master, developing a rule solid and dependable. My master fights God’s battles! As long as you live no evil will stick to you. If anyone stands in your way, if anyone tries to get you out of the way, Know this: Your God-honored life is tightly bound in the bundle of God-protected life; But the lives of your enemies will be hurled aside as a stone is thrown from a sling. – 1 Samuel 25: 28-29MSG
Abagail prophecies with these final words, “When God completes all the goodness he has promised my master and sets you up as prince over Israel, my master will not have this dead weight in his heart, the guilt of an avenging murder. And when God has worked things for good for my master, remember me.” – 1 Samuel 25: 30-31 MSG
Abigail Recieves a Blessing
David saw saw beyond Abigail’s beauty and saluted her as a good, smart woman. He thanked God for blessing her with sound judgement and reasoning that kept him from revenge.
“And David said, ‘Blessed be God, the God of Israel. He sent you to meet me! And blessed be your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and taking charge of looking out for me. A close call! As God lives, the God of Israel who kept me from hurting you, if you had not come as quickly as you did, stopping me in my tracks, by morning there would have been nothing left of Nabal but dead meat.’” 1 Samuel 25: 32-34 MSG
David accepted the gifts Abigail brought to him and blessed her with peace and understanding. I can imagine how she must have felt meeting a young, strong, reasonable man like David. He was more of a match to her qualities than Nabel. Could there have been a touch of longing in her heart? Yet, Abigail returned to her husband.
When Abigail arrived home, she found her husband partying and very drunk, she did not speak to him will he was intoxicated. In the morning, when he sobered up, she told him the whole story of their ‘close call’. Right then and there, he had a heart attack. He died about ten days later.
After Nabel’s death, David sent his servants to asked Abigail to marry him. She eagerly accepted and went to him with five of her maids in attendance. Could David’s proposal have been a strategic move? Now doubt, he considered the fact that he was chosen as the future King of Israel. Maybe it was only a gesture of kindness? In the Jewish tradition, Jews were exhorted to be benevolent toward widows. It might be that David was in love, smitten by her wisdom and beauty. Jewish Rabbi’s call her “one of the four most beautiful woman who ever lived.” In any case, Abigail was lovely and I think David was a blessed man!
I was particularly impressed by the talented artist, Sarah Beth Baca and her interpretation of Abigail. I think her portrait captures the heroine’s beauty and character, and yet still holds a lot of her mystery.
In her ancient world, where women were defined by their husbands, Abagail stands out as an independent thinker, confident in her own skin. I like this story because it points out that, you are allowed to use your common sense in the Christian idea of submission to your husband. Submission is dependent on you husband’s godliness and God’s covering over his actions. Abigail was the one who acted godly, not her husband. You are not required to acquiesce to a husband’s stupidity and rudeness. It’s regretful, that sometimes the Bible is wrongly used to subjugate women.
The Bible contains many things that only apply to the culture of those times, for example, most of the book of Leviticus and some of Paul’s writings on gender and slavery. I consider myself Christian but I do not adopt everything in the Bible literally. Abigail was just one of David’s several wives, he already had a wife when he married her. That wouldn’t be allowed today. I have never found a church or group of Christians that agreed on everything in the Bible or interpreted it the exact same way; nevertheless, this story is rich with good spiritual and practical information for me to apply to my life today.
I bought Sara Beth Baca’s lovely art print and keep it in my office as a reminder of God’s goodness and power in forming our character. The print can be purchased here.
As we continue to seek wisdom, we ask ourselves, “How can I be an ‘Abigail’ in my family and sphere of influence?”
As women rise in power, may we lead in Your strength Father God. May we all be blessed with Abigail’s wisdom, bravery, upstanding character and good sense. The world needs this now more than ever.
Thank you God, I have a loving, honest and open relationship with my husband. May we build each other up in moral strength. Father, continue to strengthen and shape our relationship. I ask that You restore marriages that are broken and heal relationships. All things are possible through Your love, mercy, grace and goodness.
I am grateful, my husband and his twin brother celebrated 70 years together this month. Almighty God continue to guide them as the leaders of their families.
Divine Father, guide me to be a good helpmate to my spouse and continue to bless our families.
~ Blessings, Linda
“Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.” – Psalm 119:66
Joyful energy is ours at any age. The freedom of being and expressing our real selves without fear of judgement is the joy and birthright our Creator gives us.Being your unique self, frees up all the life energy that can be trapped in conditioned thoughts and attitudes.
I just taught myself this yoga pose a few months ago. This asana is called, Wild Thing or Camatkarasana! One poetic translation means “the ecstatic unfolding of the enraptured heart.”
When I first saw this yoga posture, I was immediately inspired by the feeling of freedom and by the form of an open heart and a joyful, energetic body. That was all the incentive I needed to want to achieve Wild Thing. Inspiration is my best motivation! Being that I am in my mid-sixties, my attainment of this pose is a real testimony to the saying, “You’re never too old to learn something new.”
Yoga, like life, cannot be accomplished by force. Cultivating inner awareness and centering our Body-Mind-Spirit will give us stability and adaptability of consciousness. In this way, we can thrive and live dynamically amid the demands of our daily lives.
Nurture yourself and your personal growth with compassion and delight. Get creative with your fitness journey. There are so many options. A simple first step could be to get enough sleep.
Our body is in a constant state of recycle, healing and renewal. Sleep promotes this healing and renewal; 8-9 hours of good sleep is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your body’s life force. Yoga has some good resources for getting a good nights sleep.
A beautiful affirmation for you today … The light of my own being guides my life forward. The light of my own being guides my life forward.
With a joyful heart, Linda
“For the LORD delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” – Psalm 149:4 (NLT)
It seems to me, that in the past few years I’ve been seeing less Christmas decorations so I especially appreciated this beautiful display I saw in Las Vegas at the Bellagio. Pictures can’t adequately capture the splendor and grand scale but you’ll get an idea. Take a look.
The amazing thing about the decorations was that a lot of them were crafted from fresh flowers. During the holiday season or any time of the year, Las Vegas is a fun and festive destination. There you can see some of the most fabulous shows in the world!
From our hearts to yours Steve and I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year!
Many blessings, Linda
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6
This morning was the first day of fresh air since the Woolsey fire ravaged our communities. It’s been raining and the rain has washed away the stale odor of smoke from the charred hills. I’ve taken fresh air for granted until this devastating fire.
I am one of the lucky ones who’s home was spared by the ravenous fire but I still mourn the lives and homes lost.
I live adjacent to a reservoir, so even after the evacuation was lifted, for days I heard the buzz of the air dropping helicopters and whirlybirds that scooped up water nearby to fight the fire as it moved north.
I am so grateful to the firemen who traveled to my hometown, Westlake Village. They came from all over the United States, to help save our homes.
These gentlemen who are posing with my niece, Marianna, and my two dogs are from outside Seattle.
The fire tragedy followed just one day after the Borderline mass shooting in neighboring Thousand Oaks. My sister and I sang at this local night club, so we know it well. In my mind, I pictured every horrifying detail as it was reported.
God bless Sergeant Ron Helus who went in first and lost his life. His bravery saved countless lives. The other 11 casualties are: Cody Coffman, Justin Meek, Alaina Housley, Telemachus Orfanos, Daniel Manrique, Sean Adler, Noel Sparks, Kristina Morisette, Jake Dunham, Blake Dingman and Mark Meza Jr. I hope they will not be forgotten.
COMMUNITIES COMING TOGETHER
Our communities are rallying with an outpouring of love. We’re holding fundraising concerts and other events to help the families of the victims. I have seen blessings of grace where people are turning loss into gratitude.
In this frightening and confusing time, we are all searching for ways to help ourselves and others heal. My niece Erin wrote this poem to help process her grief.
I DO NOT ANYMORE
This morning I sit in my office, as I do most every day, My heart is heavy, thoughts are swirling, I know not what to say.
I cannot help but wonder if I’m safe behind my door, I used to feel safe and secure, but I do not anymore.
Is my daughter safe inside her school as she learns with all her friends? Is my father safe in the restaurant where a client meeting he attends?
Is my mother safe inside the gym as she lifts weights to get strong? Is my brother safe inside the club as he spins records blending songs?
Is my uncle safe in the courthouse as his clients take the stand? Is my cousin safe in the hospital where she holds her patients’ hands?
Is my aunt safe in line at the bank as she waits to cash a check? Is my rabbi safe in our synagogue with a tallit around his neck?
Are my friends safe is any space as they go about their day? Is my community safe as once again we light candles and we pray?
Are teachers safe in classrooms? Are actors safe on stage? Are revelers safe at parties? Or must they fear those with hidden rage?
Is there safety inside stadiums where for our favorite teams we cheer? Is there safety inside shopping malls as we shop for gifts this year?
I hear the word “tragic” yet again, read “senseless” in news feeds. “Thoughts and prayers” are thrown about, as if that’s what we need.
I have no words of wisdom, there’s nothing poignant I can share. I just exist here with a heavy heart and try not to despair.
Anger takes up space in me, tears overflow my eyes, As I think about holding my daughter tonight when out of fear she cries.
I ask the same question I asked last week, and too many times to count, When is enough is enough is enough for change to come about?
But for now, I sit here wondering if I’m safe behind my door, I used to feel safe and secure, I do not anymore.
– Erin Eichberg
This has been a sad and challenging month for our quiet community but with the rain, comes the hope of new life and new beginnings. As we rebuild, I’ll hold this hope in my heart.
“Each morning we are born again. It’s what we do today that matters.” – Buddah
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
I like it when an email comes in from Shutterfly saying “your memories from this week last year…” Looking back usually evokes joyful emotions and I am reminded of God’s blessings in my life. Physical reminders of God’s faithfulness in the past, can remind us to trust Him now and in the future. The photos from my daughter’s wedding recently arrived. I am going to savor the moment now and in years to come.
Preparations On the Big Day
Our photographer, Jordan Kubat did a wonderful job of capturing all the special moments.
My ‘Mother of the Bride’ dress is by Mon Cheri – Montage
Lindsay found fantastic hair and make up artists, Elite Makeup Designs, who helped everyone look their best.
The Elegant Nature Wedding
I’m not surprised my daughter’s priority was to get married outside in a beautiful nature setting. We eventual chose scenic Spanish Hills Country Club for the site of the wedding and reception.
Unique Floral Designs took expert care with the florals and helping to interpret our vision.
All Occasions Event Planning directed the entire affair, so everyone was able to enjoy the wedding to the fullest. As the guests arrived, they were serenade by a lovely string quartet.
I was overcome with emotion as my husband and daughter walked down the aisle.
Lindsay and Ben wrote their own vows to each other. They were beautiful; sharing their hearts gave everyone a glimpse into their loving relationship and their quirky personalities.
We did it! Husband and wife, united in love!
Each member of the bridal party shined! I’m proud of these wonderful young adults. The bridesmaids were pleased that they were able to select their own individual style gown from the same Mulberry color palette at Azazie.
One of the best things we did was to add an extra hour to the reception time. It gave people time to dance and relish the moment. Our DJ, Nicholas Whitzler – Impressions San Diego, was a marvelous MC and he kept the hits coming! Another good idea was purchasing flip flops at the Dollar Store, so the ladies could kick off their heels. We had a box full and they were all used.
The wedding cake from Viktor Benes Bakery received many compliments. We went with the strawberry cream filling. Delicious!
With all our loved ones around us, the evening couldn’t have been any better.
Thank you videographer, ByDesign Films for this wonderful highlights video!
With a grateful heart,
Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced. – Psalm 105:5
Our Barcelona adventure continues my previous post with a visit to the Waterfront, Gothic Cathedral, Plaza de Catalunya and Sagrada Familia.
We almost missed seeing the inside of this extraordinary Basilica because we did not buy tour tickets in advance. It is the most visited monument in Spain. Luckily we were able to get one of the last tours of the day. More about the Sagrada Familia in a moment but first let me tell you how our day of seeing the sights started.
in the morning we took a short taxi trip to the Barcelona waterfront. It reminded me a little bit of Santa Monica beach, except I was surprised to see men and women sun bathing in the nude. There were families with children around but no one seemed to mind.
The W Hotel punctuates the background of the Barcelona waterfront.
Steven and I didn’t bring our bating suits but I did wade in the water a little. It was a lovely beach day but we didn’t stay too long because we had a lot we wanted to see.
Next on our list was a stop at the Gothic, Barcelona Cathedral. The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia was constructed between the 13th and 15th centuries. The details adorning the Cathedral were dramatic.
We came upon at a cute little place for lunch while we waited for our tour to the Sagrada Familia. We learned a little too late in our stay that we were hugely over tipping. Tipping is not expected in Barcelona and if you do, it’s usually only about 5 to 8 percent.
Finally the Sagrada Familia, words cannot describe this wonderful work of art.
Our tour started by the entrance of the Passion Facade. It depicts the end of Jesus’s life, with the crucification and resurrection. Architect, Antoni Gaudi meant the rows of columns at the top to looks like ribs. The slanted columns remind the viewer of Jesus’s stretched muscles.
There is so much symbolism and geometric perfection contained in every angle, window, and artistic biblical representation of this masterpiece. Gaudi also uses the forms found in nature. This interior photo reminds me of trees in a forest, reaching for the sky.
“Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.” – A. Gaudi
The blue stained glass windows on the east side of the Basilica face the sun rise.
The west side, where the sun sets, the windows have warmer hues that turn the walls and interior structures a dazzling yellow-orange when the sun hits it.
Color in certain places has the great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic. – A. Gaudi
Our tour ended outside the Nativity Facade. The Nativity Facade prominently features the birth of Jesus. It is also filled with other biblical representations and characters. This work of art depicts many keys to understanding the Christian religion. There is also a third important facade, the Glory Facade.
Several architects contributed to the building of the Sagrada Familia, the most notable being Antoni Gaudi who constructed it combining Gothic and Art Nouveau forms. It is distinguished as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This Church of the Holy Family has been under construction since 1882. It remains unfinished and still under construction.
Our final day in Barcelona, I took a walk alone up to the other end of Las Ramblas after having a sumptuous breakfast at the Le Meridian where we were staying.
The heart of Barcelona beats in Las Ramblas, a wide boulevard that leads from Plaza de Catalunya in the center of the city all the way down to the sea.
A rich tapestry of human interaction characterizes Placa de Catalunya (Square of Catalonia).
As I stopped to take a photo at the beautiful fountain in the plaza, an intriguing building in the background caught my eye. I went in for a closer look.
My eye for interesting architecture lead me to some good shopping near the building on Las Ramblas. I wish I could have lingered longer but it was time to continue our travels on board the Royal Princess. Our first port would be Cartagena, Spain. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
“I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship,to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze,in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.” – Exodus 31:3-5
The beautiful Le Meridian hotel on Las Ramblas was the perfect location to take in the sights and sounds of Barcelona. Our first night in Barcelona, we decided to walk from the hotel and explore on our own. In the small center, right outside our hotel, an acrobatic street show was going on and a cheering crowd had gathered. Their energy put us in a festive mood.
The buildings along the way were beautifully adorned with interesting architectural details.
Las Ramblas was packed in the early evening. The street was teeming with the overflow of people.
After walking about 15 minutes and turning down aside street, we came upon the coolest place, Placa Reial. It was an expansive plaza with a dozen or more restaurants circling the inside perimeter. There we saw more talented acrobats performing. The street artists entertained the crowds as they dined. I was amazed at the dare-devil tricks they did on hard cement.
Watch this clip of the street performers as one of them does a flip over four people selected from the crowd.
A lovely, large fountain accented the center of the Plaza Reial square. my husband, Steven enjoyed people watching from his position at the fountain.
Steve also loved perusing the restaurant menu’s that were prominently displayed outside of each restaurant.
The biggest surprise of the evening was the stunning sunset in the Placa Reial.
Our second day in Barcelona, we met some family members who joined us on vacation. Our first stop was Gaudi’s Park Güell.
Park Güell features lovely gardens and architectural wonders by Antoni Gaudi.
The buildings reminded me of gingerbread houses. I love Gaudi’s creative liberty and imaginative, ornamental creations.
Gaudi put into practice a series of new structural solutions rooted in geometry. His works acquire a structural richness of forms, free of the rational rigidity or any sort of classic premises. In the design of Park Güell, Gaudí unleashed all his architectonic genius and that would become the symbol of his organic style.
My nephew, David peeks his head out of the window.
Charming, like a fairyland! Gaudi’s fantastic mosaic work was incredible. My photos couldn’t capture the amazing detail.
We bought our “skip the line” tour tickets to the park weeks ahead of time on Viator. I recommend doing that during high tourist seasons.