Sometimes I long for exotic vacations, opportunities to explore places I have never been. I imagine wandering through iconic museums, looking up at skylines made familiar through movies and artwork, and a peek at a way of life different from my own. And then I remember that I live in a pretty special place–one that is exotic for others!
Today I had a rare day off and set off with my mother, my sister and my niece to enjoy a wonderful staycation day. We headed off to Coronado–best known for the Hotel Del Coronado (a historic, high-priced beachside hotel), a naval station (North Island), and miles of exquisite beaches. Locals call it an island and mostly access it by driving across the iconic Coronado Bay Bridge, a curving stretch with breathtaking views of the bay and the San Diego skyline, but it is actually a peninsula.
We walked and walked, feet in the cool water while the sun (even pretty early in the morning) warmed our shoulders. We noticed some posts in the distance and found the fence that separates the public beach from the Naval Air Station.
We also found that this far end of the beach was designated as a dog beach and the dogs were loving the water today. They chased and retrieved balls and chased and played with each other. There were dogs of all shapes and sizes, and like people, they seemed relaxed and happy as they played along the shore. They were obviously enjoying their own staycation!
After lunch at El Indio, a favorite San Diego Mexican restaurant, we decided to head to Old Town. I can’t remember the last time I explored this part of our city. It was HOT today, so the cool greens of the beautiful botanical art sculptures were soothing to the eye. I love the way the plants were a growing changing part of the art piece. (This is a full body, taller than me piece…but I was drawn to the face and the juxtaposition of light and shadow.)
Earlier in the week, as a part of our Summer Institute, we took folks out around the UCSD campus for a writing marathon. This University of California campus is a jewel, filled with natural beauty and with interesting art installations called the Stuart Collection. As we visited different parts of the campus, we took time to study the art, consider it in relation to our own thinking after nearly four weeks together, and wrote. We started with this piece by Michael Asher. As often as I have been on this campus (weekly for years) and have walked past this piece, I never knew it was an art installation. This ordinary looking water fountain is made of polished granite to look (and function) exactly like the metal ones we are used to seeing. I find myself still thinking about its placement, its ordinariness, and wondering how it ended up in the UCSD collection–and I know I will never look at it in the same way as I did in the past.
And then we headed off to another piece in the Stuart Collection–the whimsical, enormous engineering feat that is Bear by Tim Hawkinson. Made of local boulders, this bear stands more than 23 feet tall in a courtyard formed by three engineering buildings. This piece is a favorite of our young writers, an enormous reminder of childhood.
So consider a staycation in your place. What sights and sounds will capture your imagination? What might others see as exotic? Or how might you see your local place in new ways?
You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #staycation for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.
Share your place with us this week, taking us on a #staycation journey with you. What hidden treasures will you uncover when you vacation (even for a few minutes) right at home?