Saturday, August 18, 2012

Animal Kingdom

Last weekend we took a quick trip down to Florida to take the kids to Disney and decided to go the Animal Kingdom. I really loved it. We went early in the morning, so the animals were really active. This beautiful tiger was taking a nice swim in its ruined temple pool.
Here's another view of the tiger area. The attention to detail was really amazing! Walking through many of the ruined temples felt as though one was transported to a forest hidden very far away. Of course, the other people sort of eliminated the mood, but that's o.k.
This was in the Himalayan area. I liked how there were little markets and food stalls with items from the region.
There was also a dinosaur park, with a carnival and vintage looking rides. Max loved this huge dinosaur and didn't want to leave it.
Another little temple along the path. I couldn't help but admire all the gorgeous and carefully designed landscaping. One day, I'll have a huge yard with hidden ruins and tiny little spirit houses.
Look at this frescoe! I think I was supposed to be looking at hippos or something, but became totally bewitched by all the paintings.
This is a view overlooking a pond filled with an astonishing number of fish. I loved the colors and patterns the water made around the lily pads. I think I'll turn this image into a fabric design for spoonflower!
Now this is really cool, a hand carved tree! If you look closely, you can see animals sculpted into the bark and throughout the branches. I used to work in 3-d illustration, and this piece had to be a huge amount of work. The sheer volume of silicone needed to mold it....!
Our favorite thing of the whole day was the safari trip through the park. We got onto the truck/bus and the driver takes you through Africa. It was cool how it didn't feel like a theme park ride, since you were in a real truck on roads, looking at the animals without fences. I liked how expansive it felt, without all the usual bars and bland landscaping. The kids really enjoyed trying to find all the animals on the list and found it exhilarating driving through flooded roads and over rickety bridges with crocodiles floating beneath.
These ibex's were on the side of road, looking content. The park is so well designed, to have so many kinds of animals together, without any visible fencing. There were lots of huge rocks and moat type arrangements to keep the animals safe.

I love going to zoos and botanical gardens, so this was especially appealing to me. We spent the early part of the day at this park, but could have easily stayed all day long. Next time, I hope we do!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


The pace around Green Girl Studios is rather relaxed these days. For us, its a time of drawing, painting, making this and that, visiting family and aquariums. I love aquariums and could sit in them for hours. I find them restful and enchanting. I like to imagine cities far below the oceans surface, sparkling and twinkling star-like. Sometimes we bring our sketchbooks and draw the creatures, or the beautiful patterns in the coral. I always think about how I'd like to live somewhere close to the sea, even though I love the mountains so much. The aquarium we visited was in Gatlinburg, TN, a thriving tourist town, with gorgeous forests and loads of rides and games. The kids loved just driving through, although it was torture for them to pick just a few things out of all the choices.

I've enjoyed this summer so much. For our family it has been a turning point, magical almost, how different we are, or seem to be. I feel lucky. Sometimes no matter what is happening in the world around us, its good to appreciate how fortunate we really are.