Feel-good Friday:  Spaces & Places

Here in Palm Springs

Photos: d. king

There’s no lack of decadent little hidden gems that I’ve encountered tucked behind the hedges of unassuming boutique hotels, alleyways and restaurants. I’ve discovered so many attractive spots since the last time I was here.  These photos were taken from a narrow corridor at the”La Plaza” shopping centre which used to house workers and now instead, a handful of quaint little shops.

I’ve discovered some secret bars inside of a few restaurants that I’ve been to and didn’t  know about until someone in the know showed me….very inconspicuous. One is hidden behind a phone booth (really!) and the other behind an ordinary curtain.  I love that!

I’m spending time scouting cool locations for my Destinations page.  And let me tell you what a pleasure it is to do so.  It’s a pleasure! I’ll share them with you soon.

Getting back to Film Fest:  Since my last post I’ve viewed two foreign films.  “Everybody Knows” (Todos los Saben) shot in Spain with Penelope Cruz and her sexy real life husband Javier Bardem centering around a kidnapping at a family wedding and Israeli film “Working Woman” about a married woman with children who takes a  job selling high end real estate, only to encounter a “me too” experience when her boss tries to sexually abuse her in the workplace.   Both films were extremely well done.

After my hike tomorrow I’m looking forward to an independent film which centers around gambling, two documentaries from Mr. Rogers to Aretha Franklin on Saturday – (could they be more opposite?) and a Hollywood ending on Sunday.  I’ll be reviewing these throughout the week.

Have a Happy Weekend

 

 

 

 

 

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Moving forward as another year comes to a close…

Reflections on what 2018 taught me

About Staying Strong: while I lean towards improving overall bodily strength in the new year, 2018 was mostly about building inner strength.  Inner strength will help get you through tough times and give you the courage to move forward.  That, plus a good glass of wine and a hearty laugh.  Speaking of;

My witty friend Michael has this to say about humour: humour is like a tickle with a pitchfork.   The purpose of using humour is about expressing aggression, fear, taboo desires and life’s absurdities in an engaging and entertaining way.

About Feeling it Fully – the good, the bad and the ugly.  Learning to embrace it all whatever that may be.  Staying open. Learning to accept whatever life throws my way has been a happy, hurtful, grateful, sad, sometimes infuriating, overall empowering learning experience.

I like this excerpt from Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chödrön:

You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts. Embracing the totality of your experience is one definition of having loving-kindness for yourself.

About Relationships: when you spend more time analyzing a relationship than enjoying it – something is wrong.  But you know what? – maybe we should try to analyze what’s wrong.  Because maybe we can resolve it; or not! If it’s worthwhile it will be resolved. In the meantime….respect is essential and enjoyment is key.  As Oscar Wilde once said:

Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.

About Good Girlfriends: always keep your girlfriends close – they are a gift.  They’re the ones who know you, know what’s good for you and how to make you laugh. A good friend will always stab you in the front. ― Oscar Wilde

About Dogs.  No matter what, they never change.  They love you for all that you are and all you’re not.  I aspire to be the person my dogs think I am.

About Life: it’s pretty simple actually….if you keep it simple.  Confucius said: Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated. 

About making a leap:

Most importantly of all, there’s hope, perhaps the most powerful force in life.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday!

Website:  https://www.ihg.com/evenhotels/hotels/us/en/reservation

 

 

Forest of Hope

One Enchanted Evening

L to R: Stacey Harris, Lisa King, Maggie Parsons, Debbie King.
Photo: Stacey Harris
Pretty Prosecco Lady – YES PLEASE!
Top L: Kimberly & Maggie (Colleen’s niece) Top R: Paying tribute to Colleen Kohse on the big screen. Colleen was the longest living heart/double lung transplant recipient in Canada. In fact it was pointed out to me that she narrowly missed making it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest survivor. Nonetheless she was a trailblazer and tireless volunteer in support to patients and families living with CF.  Bottom middle : Larry Kohse (Colleen’s brother) with Debbie King. Bottom L + R:  a pretty forest nymph and greeter with photos and names of young people living with CF.  Photos: Stacey Harris.

It was a bittersweet event at Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront Hotel last Saturday for the annual 65 Roses Gala to benefit cystic fibrosis (CF) because of the absence of my BFF Colleen Kohse.  As The Globe & Mail wrote for some, Colleen’s very existence was hope itself. 

CBC TV and radio journalist Gloria Macarenko was the host of this annual fundraiser along with Jeremie Saunders of the Sickboy podcast. Jeremie if you don’t already know, lives with CF.

Gloria mentioned something eerie but special to me at the start of the evening.  She said last April she opened up her phone and the first thing that popped up on her screen without her searching for it, was a photo of her and Colleen from last year’s gala.  Then very shortly after that, a phone call explaining that Colleen had passed away that day.  It does make one wonder.

The evening began with a delicious signature lavender-infused gin + rosemary cocktail, prosecco and full bar.  In otherwords; no lack of alcohol.

Beautiful songstress Amanda Wood started off the evening with a gorgeous rendition of “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman along with help (not that she needed it) from a choir.

We ate a delicious multi course dinner with wine pairings and were able to peruse the silent auction items online as well as outside the ballroom.  Our photographer Charles doubled as the auctioneer for live auction items and did a fantastic job – multi-talented is he.  Entertainment followed which had pretty much everyone on the dance floor for late night dancing.

The 18th annual 65 Roses gala was proudly presented by B2Gold Corp. The evening was of course dedicated to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis, Canada’s most common inherited fatal disease.

Since its founding in 2001, the 65 Roses Gala has raised more than $4 million for CF research and patient advocacy.

We hope to continue to do more so that CF can finally stand for “Cure Found.”

 

To find out more and/or make a donation please visit:

https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/

Jane Goodall – All Good

Young Jane

I was very fortunate to be able to attend the special fundraising event An Evening with Jane last night at the Centre for Performing Arts.  Part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).

Overall yes; she’s an incredible woman, not only for having dedicated her life to studying chimpanzees in the wild.

Everyone has heard of Jane Goodall although some still tend to confuse her with Dian Fossey (as did a flight attendant who recently made a big fuss but when she learns that Fossey died in 1985 will feel pretty foolish).  Goodall recounts the story with humor and points out the importance of laughter.  You can’t help but like her as she discussed her life’s work which is groundbreaking in scope and has revolutionized our understanding of nature and humanity, as well as her hopes for the future.  She’s funny too.

She takes no fees for appearing in person, preferring to raise funds and donate all monies to promote the understanding and protection of chimpanzees and other great apes, along with their habitats. This special charity event helped raise funds for the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada.

 Her story is an otherworldly one considering she went to the wilds of Africa as a young woman and with no training whatsoever.  She had this dream as a child.  She lived her dream.
In the documentary preceding the sit-down discussion we find out more than we ever knew about this incredibly selfless human.

Story:

In 1960, at the age of 26 and with little academic training, Jane Goodall set off into the forests of what is now Tanzania to study the relatively unexamined life of the chimpanzee. Her discoveries led to a lifelong fascination with our primate kin, and she went on to transform the world’s view of them.

During the filming of this feature, Oscar-nominated director Brett Morgen unearthed 16mm footage shot by Hugo van Lawick in the 1960s. It is this gorgeous archival material–plus the energetic presence of Goodall herself–which elevates Morgen’s portrait to the highest level of biographical documentary. The film delivers a powerful and uplifting portrayal of Goodall, a supremely intelligent woman who has transformed our relationship to the animals more like humans than any other creature–and is still, as an octogenarian, fighting the good fight on behalf of ecologists everywhere.

She’s a name dropper too… letting us in on a little secret that Leonardo DiCaprio will be making a feature about her life.

This story is on-going…

Donations can be made at: janegoodall.ca/ways-to-give

 

Feel-good Friday: Riverside Adventure

Have you ever been White Water Rafting?

That’s me jumping off a rock into the super clean and clear water. Photos: Lisa King.  Riverside Adventures, Clearwater, British Columbia.
Goofing around with Margeaux and Lisa.  Photos: Lisa King

Hours before attending a wedding reception last Saturday, this is what we did.  We had an absolute blast whitewater rafting in warm, clear & clean water around the pristine wilderness of Wells Gray Provincial Park – in Clearwater, British Columbia.  There was haze in the air though due to the countless wildfires still raging in surrounding areas.  There was a moody grayness up above but down below we enjoyed every minute not knowing exactly what to expect around the corner.  There were a few good splashes along the way and those who wanted to swim could, in certain safe areas.  Two weeks from now the wild salmon will come to spawn.  That will be a sight to see.

Photo: Margeaux Bauman

 

See how clear it is? Photo: Lisa King