Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Beatin the Heat

Two weeks ago, I went to visit my sister in Florida for a few days.


It was pretty warm and humid down there, as expected. One day we headed to Rainbow Springs to beat the heat. The springs are a perfect place to go on a hot day. Water from the aquifer is constantly bubbling up to the surface, making it completely clear and very cool (averaging about 70-75 degrees, I think). There are lots of these swimming holes all over Florida and up through the 60's and 70's, many of them were made into popular road-side tourist attractions, complete with performing mermaids and glass-bottom boat tours. Rainbow Springs was taken over by the State of Florida in the 70's and now there's a nominal fee of $2 a person to enter the park.

It was really great, there are walking trails, a butterfly garden, the remnants of an old aviary and zoo, and of course the river, which begins at the spring and on which you can take canoes and kayaks. Below is an old map of the amusement park in its heyday.

Rainbow Springs_

Kelley 2_

oh florida_

water fall 1_


swimming hole_


swamp _


more water_

Kate Smiling_

swimming hole 2_



This is a big part of Florida as I remember it from growing up there. Swampy, kitschy, sunny and replete with alligators, palms, oaks, pines, and Spanish moss. There are other tourist attractions like this that have survived post Disney. A great one is Ponce De Leon's Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine. I find these places fascinating; they're relics of another time in America's history of tourism, but they've persisted, so they also say something about us today and what we think about the past.

On another day, we visited a great pizza place that also has a tourist/junk shop attached.

Junk Shop_

And this was outisde, so we had to take a photo...


So that's my story. Has anyone else gone on a vacation lately?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Age of Wonder

Don't you love it when you come across a book that you wouldn't have thought you'd love, but that ends up capturing your imagination? Recently I found just such a book through one of my favorite podcasts, RadioLab . First, if you've never listened to this show, I highly recommend it. It's hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich and their website describes the show this way:

"Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we'll feed it with possibility."

My favorite part about the show is how excited and curious the hosts are and how fun and inspiring it is to listen along with every episode. They obviously love science and it's a joy to hear them investigate and laugh and discover. Plus the sound editing is great and the various staff members bring a lot to the table. day at work I was listening to one of their short episodes where they interviewed Richard Holmes, the author of The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science. It was so fascinating, listening to the author talk about how he went from writing strictly about Romantic poets to writing about an entire period in the history of science and how it was linked with romanticism. He does this by taking a biographical approach, following the lives and achievements of prominent figures in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

From Joseph Banks and his voyage to Tahiti (and subsequent nurturing of young scientific talent in London) to William and Caroline Herschel's astronomical discoveries, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and its reflection of fears concerning the newly envisioned occupation of scientist, and Humphry Davy's bold achievements in the field of chemistry, Holmes demonstrates how romantic science re-envisioned the world and the universe, inspired by a sense of awe, creativity, and possibility. He also sheds light on their personal lives, their joys, hopes, achievements disappointments and flaws, making them seem all the more compelling and shedding light on the context in which they made their discoveries.

The best part of the book is that it reads like an adventure story with many characters all endeavoring within the same milieu. My personal favorites were the Herschel's, the German brother and sister immigrants (to Britain) who cast & polished their own large telescopes in their basement (can you imagine?!) and went on to map and chart nebulae, discover comets and planets, construct and operate a 40-foot telescope, and promote the concept of deep space. I very much appreciated that Holmes paid equal attention to Caroline and her journey from neglected child to William's assistant and eventually to an internationally recognized comet huntress in her own right.

Personally, I was never previously interested enough in science to seek out books about it in my spare time. But this book was fascinating and downright exciting. If you're looking for something interesting and well-written, I'd definitely give it a try.


Well, I'm off to Florida tomorrow to visit my sister for the weekend. I probably won't write again until after I get back on Sunday, but I'll try to take lots of pictures. I hope everyone else has a great weekend!

xx Kelley Anne xx

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Simple but Flirty

Just a short outfit post tonight. It was so warm today, and even tonight. I decided to wear this light polyester dress that I thrifted last year. I love the ruffly little collar and keyhole opening in the front. These little details give a very sweet, feminine feeling to a simple dress. Its so nice to finally shed all of the layers from our long winter and as a result, I've been keeping my wardrobe very basic lately: few accessories paired with flirty, but pretty summer dresses like this one. Part and parcel, my silver spoon bracelet has become a fixture. Several years ago, my mom bought my sister and I these bracelets at a kumquat festival in Florida. It's both elegant and sentimental and always sparks conversation.





Dress: Thrifted Vintage
Belt: Linea Pelle (Marshall's)
Spoon Bracelet: Gift
Earrings: Thrifted
Shoes: Clarks

My short hair really does go along with this desire for simplicity lately. Its so funny, I'm not quite used to seeing myself this way and when I walk in front of a mirror its a bit surprising (but in a good way that makes me giggle at myself). I love the change and the thought of pairing my slightly boyish hair with all of the feminine frocks in my wardrobe.

Good night everybody!