Monthly Archives: April 2013

Z is for Zuma Beach

There are beautiful beaches all over the world, but how about living not far from a place like Zuma? Paradise, I’d say.

Zuma Beach is in Malibu, and Malibu is a place of beauty in and of itself. If you think  I’m exaggerating, here’s the reason I’m not even kidding.

Malibu is plagued by landslides and fires more than any place in California — complete destruction of multimillion dollars mansions due to the geologically unstable terrain — and people just don’t go away. They rebuild and stay put. That’s how beautiful it is. Kind of crazy, you might say, but who said humans are sane?

Now, like with all beach communities, there’s overcrowding. Not a place I’d like to drive to every evening after work, fight traffic on PCH and whatnot, but to visit and spend time on a perfectly clear and sunny So Cal day, that’s a whole different story.

As locals, and with so many beaches around, we don’t visit nearly enough, but it’s most definitely on the list of places to see in L.A.

Yeah, it’s awfully L.A. — usual to spot celebrities and flashy cars in the parking lot, and it’s very California with surfers everywhere. But it is also beautiful, and during the week the beach is quiet and most enjoyable.

And since ideas and energy are in short supply here at the end of the A to Z Challenge, I leave you with some fun facts about Zuma Beach and a closing comment.

Zuma was a site for the television series Baywatch, I Dream of Jeannie, and the famous final scene of Planet of the Apes (among many other shows and films).   

It is mentioned in the song “Some Girls,” by the Rolling Stones, and “Why I Came to California” by Leon Ware.

Singers Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale named their second son Zuma, after the famous beach. 

And that’s it, friends. I’ve really enjoyed being part of the Challenge. If I neglected returning a comment, please know it is only due to the large number of posts, and would like a chance to visit your blog and comment soon.

I am also on Facebook, if you’d like to connect: http://www.facebook.com/silviavillalobos.140 (if that doesn’t work, my email svillalobos.ro@gmail.com is another way to connect on Facebook).   Now on to the Reflection post.

Thank you for teaching me so much about blogging.  I hope to see you around.

Best regards.

_______

Photos credit: Zuma Beach County Park, from Wikimedia; Zuma Beach, from latimes.

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Y is for Young at Heart

Remember how good it felt to goof off as a child? When laughter came easily, skipping and jumping brought the simplest joy? Relaxing and letting go at the end of the day … no problem. Sleep, oh I remember sleeping so well as a child.

Then we grow up, as we should. But while taking on grownup worries and tasks, there’s a part of us — I know this is true for me — that stays young. We’re young at heart.

I still want to laugh, and I do, giggle and goof off. Granted, I’m not what’s referred to as old at 43, but hey, that jumping I did as a child does a number on my joints now.

I feel the changes, oh, yeah. The aches, the inability to stretch and exercise as well as I did. But dang it, I still want to have fun. Get together with girlfriends and act silly, go to carnivals and amusement parks, put on make up just because, and color my hair in rainbow colors. And dance, oh, I love dancing.

I lived in Europe in my teen years, when ABBA were big. Disco dance, remember?  “Dancing Queen Feel the beat of the tambourine, oh, yeah …”

I don’t do all those things mostly due to lack of time, but I squeeze some in. And why not? If fifty is the new thirty, then forty is the new twenty, right? Can’t say I was all grown up at twenty, though I did a great job pretending I was.

I sometimes see people of a certain age on the street dressed and made up as if they’re never too old to be young at heart. And I say, good for them. Laughter comes easily to them, I can tell, and that’s wonderful. Laughter is good medicine, good for the soul, contagious. All true. When I laugh — I mean really laugh — I feel good.

So, here  is to staying young at heart and celebrating your inner child. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go crank up Dancing Queen.  

~~~ How do you stay young at heart?

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Photo credits: Young at heart, from galaguru.com; abba-dancing queen, from brokeassstuart.com

X is for Xanadu

A rather short entry for letter X.  But since the post describes beauty and inner peace, the fewer words the better.

What is Xanadu?

An idyllic, beautiful place poet Samuel Tyler Coleridge saw in a dream, which drove him to write “Kubla Khan,” an imaginative composition.

The poem is a piece of art in every respect, even though only a fragment of a longer work Coleridge had planned to write. We are left to regret the knock on the door, which erased the rest of the poem from his mind. As it exists, however, the poem is a perfect representation of verse attributed to mystery in dream.

As is the case with art in early stages, critics denounced “Kubla Khan” as incomprehensible, “a composition of sound rather than sense.” Not until years later, did the poem receive due recognition and admiration for its literary meaning:  mankind (a tyrant who imposes his will on his people) set against natural beauty.

And so what started with a dream prompted by the poet’s reading of the Purchas’ 17th century travel book, Purchas his Pilgrimage, and a fix of opium taken before he fell asleep, became a state of mind, a “place of beauty and contentment.”

Here is a fragment. I hope you enjoy it.

Kubla Khan (Partial)

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery…..

It was a miracle of rare device, A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

W is for Winding Down

We’re winding down, folks. Three more letters and the Challenge is over.

File:Winding mountain road - geograph.org.uk - 750830.jpg

See the mountain in the photo above? That’s where we were, on the other side of the mountain, driving through the winding roads, barely making it without going over the edge.  Encouraged to stay on by friends who came over to read and comment day after day.

Now, we’re on the home straightaway. The finish is in sight, no more sharp turns, no more dangers … I mean, not really. We’ve just about made it. Three letters. Can you believe it?

I don’t know about you, but my eyes are blurry, especially at night … but I click on one more blog. I don’t want to get too comfortable, now that the finish is in sight. I don’t want to miss out on a great article. 

I found posts that blew me away with in-depth writing and thought-provoking articles. Some funny ones, too — some really made me laugh — and who doesn’t like blogs about traveling or arts or anything that pulls you in and just doesn’t let go.

In the process, I met interesting people from all over the world. And that is really cool!

So, now here we are … on the home stretch (to use a sports analogy). Hang on tight, because this is the last winding bit before it’s all over. Before we can throw our hands in the air and say, “Heck, yeah!”

File:B3134 - The Combe - geograph.org.uk - 1504444.jpg

And there it is … the last winding bit.

I thought you’d enjoy a little breather  — hey, I sure need a break to go with the great pep talks over at the A to Z Blog. Just a little time to look at the distance we’ve traveled and appreciate our collective efforts.

The Challenge is fun, but it also takes lots of time and determination. Now, here we are. So, let’s do this. Woo-hoo!

Hope to see you at the finish line.

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Photos credit: Winding mountain; The Combe —  both from Wikimedia Commons.