The history of Vail: the no-named mountain

The 10th Mountain Division during WWII

WWII veterans Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton established Vail Ski Resort. They discovered a peak with a good location and snow that they called, “no-name mountain.” We know it today as Vail which opened in 1962 with one tottering gondola and five dollar lift tickets.

In 1957, Eaton led his friend Seibert up a deserted mountain of treeless bowls of powdery snow and skiing terrain so beautiful that Seibert said, “We’ve climbed all the way to heaven.”

Seibert, who trained for alpine combat was in the 10th Mountain Division and fought on skis. The 10th Mountain Division was charged with driving the Germans from the Alps. Seibert was hit by mortar fire in the Alpine Mountains of northern Italy, and his right kneecap was badly damaged. He was evacuated from the front lines and after three days, doctors said he would never again walk. Two years later, Seibert was a ski instructor in Aspen. Eaton was an Army engineer. After the war, Eaton worked on the ski patrol in many slopes, including Aspen, where he met Seibert and he mentioned his secret no-name mountain. Eaton told Seibert that, “It was the damnedest ski mountain he had ever seen and that the only reason someone hadn’t already developed it was because no one could see the top slopes or the miraculous Back Bowls from the valley below.”

Seibert handled business affairs and Eaton played an important role in designing Vail’s layouts. Eaton was in charge of mapping and cutting ski trails and building the original lifts. Seibert said, “I’m the founder of Vail, but Earl is the finder of the mountain.” 

Founders of Vail, Eaton in the middle and Seibert on the left.

Today, Vail is full of first, second and third generation residents. It’s the playground for ski enthusiasts from all over the world. Vail quickly grew to become one of the biggest and most popular snow sports destinations in the United States.  

Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the morning to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous…for they may act on their dream…and make it possible.” ~Pete Seibert

Thank you Seibert and Eaton for making the best and most varied ski resort. Vail is the ski trip of our dreams…it’s like nothing on Earth!

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Vail: Rites of Spring

Vail: like nothing on Earth

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Robert Wyland…an artist inspiring future conservationists

Have you ever listened to a child critique art? They are the best…no filter, honest and very observant of things we might not see at their eye level. The conversations they have about art are priceless. One of my first grade students said while looking at a Wyland painting, “Look, I’m swimming with the turtle and I’m not even wet.” Every year during open house our elementary has a traveling art exhibit. This year we hosted Robert Wyland. Children could not pass by the beautiful art work without stopping to stare. We could only have the banners for one week but it gave children the chance to explore and hopefully recognize Wyland so that when they someday see one of his one-hundred Whaling Walls, they will remember studying Wyland.
Here are some questions, quotes and information about Robert Wyland to inspire you and your children…
 
Robert Wyland:

Wyland is a world-renowned marine life artist who celebrates art, science and conservation. He was the official USA artist for the Olympic games in England. Wyland has painted one-hundred Whaling Walls over twenty-seven years and he did them all for free. Did you know that he has used art and science education to inspire kids around America so they will take care the planet? He’s very passionate about teaching children and has painted with over one million kids in all fifty states and many countries around the world in the last twenty years. He wants to inspire children to protect, promote, and preserve our environment. Wyland’s paintings are a celebration of the wonder of our blue planet. His murals are designed to motivate environmental awareness and stewardship, particularly in children. Wyland says, “You can choose not to go into a gallery or a museum, but you can’t ignore a giant mural like this. If people see this beauty, I know they’ll want to get involved in protecting it.” 

Have you ever met a sea turtle face to face? How about a spinner dolphin or a blue whale? The ocean can be steps away, but their world couldn’t be more different from ours…dive in with Wyland without even getting wet. 
 
Wyland is all about educating children about conservation. Here’s some inspiration from him to help us teach our children to care for the planet…
 
Conservation tips:
When brushing your teeth, turn the water off while you are actually brushing. Use short bursts of water for cleaning your brush and this will save about 80% of the water normally used. 
A faucet that drips a drop a second is leaking 2,600 gallons of water a year…so fix the drip!
Did you know that it takes five-hundred years for one plastic water bottle to break down. Be certain your empty bottles head to recycling centers. Better yet, skip the plastic bottle and choose reusable water bottles filled from home!
Wyland quotes:
The ocean is an amazing, indescribable world filled with color, movement, emotion and light.
The only thing you can hope for is to enjoy every moment and try to keep the balance by giving something back.
Saving the planet is a cool thing to do!
If you happen to see a whale, it’s only because they want you to.
Water is life and we have to protect it.
 
Craving more? Here are a couple of little videos that I showed my class…

 

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Get Lost with your family in Lost Pines (part deux)

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Everything’s bigger in Texas…especially your vacation! Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa has a way of making families feel at home. This year, we brought our puppy with us and he fit right in with the alpaca.

Traveling in your own state is less stressful…it’s more like living part of your life somewhere else. It feels really exciting, especially when we feel good about taking the whole family (dog included).

On our first full day at Lost Pines we couldn’t wait to get started exploring and getting outside. My husband and I knew that we wouldn’t be able to get the kids out of the Crooked River Water Park so we planned our big activities (ziplining and horseback riding) in the mornings.

There are so many kid-friendly activities for all ages. My daughter couldn’t wait to go to the hair-braiding station and my son wanted to get up close with the resident longhorn. Parents can enjoy time to rest and relax at Spa Django while the kids enjoy Camp Hyatt.

There are nine Texas-style restaurants on site to enjoy. Shellers Barrelhouse and Old Bucks were our favorites.  They both have the Austin-style musical feel (with live music most nights).  We couldn’t get enough of the BBQ chicken and pulled pork sandwiches but made sure to save room for s’mores.

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Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort offers their guests a Texas experience that makes you feel like you’re deep in the heart of the Lone Star State. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a Texas-style vacation with out leaving the property… Upon checking in we were given an activity calendar of all the things we could experience: tennis, full-service Spa Django, 18-hole Wolfdancer Golf Club, horseback riding, kayaking, trap shooting, s’mores by the campfire, nature hikes, zipline, rock climbing, biking, archery, wagon rides, face painting, balloon making…My children’s favorite was the Crooked River water park because “a river runs through it!” This water park has a sandy beach, waterfalls, a lazy river, and waterslides.

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Get lost with your family in Lost Pines

Birthdays: Celebrating New Decades!

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Any birthday with a ZERO on the end is reason to celebrate! Almost all of our family has a summer birthday and most of us end with a zero this year…so that means we celebrated new decades together. My mother-in-law, my Dad, husband, daughter (and me too) happily share that zero.

Along with another birthday comes the inevitable question of how to celebrate… The good news about having a summer birthday is that it’s an excellent reason to skip town and celebrate!! The most important thing to remember about celebrating birthdays is that you want to make sure you have your family with you.

MY MOTHER-IN-LAW…

People and Events from 1936

My mother-in-law is quick-witted, business minded and has a love for horses and dogs. My children call her Nana. She is a super energetic Nana, quick-witted, and systematic by nature. Her recipe for a happy life might go like this…read a good book, ride a horse and cook with gas!

Song: Bing Crosby’s Pennies from Heaven

Movie: Anything Goes

Book: Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind is published

President: Roosevelt is re-elected for a second term

Fun fact: French chemist, Eugene Schueller (founder of L’Oreal), invents the first sunscreen this year.

Cost: gas was 10 cents a gallon, bread was 8 cents and stamps were 3 cents

Icon: Olivia de Havilland

Quote: Between two evils, I take the one I never tried before. ~Mae West in Klondike Annie

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MY DAD…

People and Events from 1946

My Dad said in his lifetime achievement award a few months ago, “Great effort reaps great rewards.” I’ve heard him say that all my life. Another favorite…”The Champion is the one that gets up the most times after he has been knocked down.” My Dad is many things: he’s a coach (on and off the court), a proud Tar Heel, a teacher, a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, most importantly…he’s a good man! My Dad is always optimistic, attracts plenty of attention wherever he goes, he’s wise, and is highly understanding.

Song: Dinah Shore’s Laughing on the Outside

Movie: The Best Years of our Lives

Book: All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

President: Harry S. Truman 

Fun fact: Bikinis and Tupperware go on sale this year.

Cost: gas was 21 cents a gallon, bread was 10 cents and stamps were 3 cents

Icon: Ava Gardner

Quote: The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe. ~Albert Einstein

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MY HUSBAND

People and Events from 1966

My husband who loves being together with his family, lives for Alabama football, makes a great cocktail and is a huge Beatles fan. He’s positive, diligent, charming and resourceful.

Song: The Rolling Stones’ Paint it Black 

Movie: Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 

Book: Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls  

President: Lyndon B. Johnson

Fun fact: Mini skirts and color TVs became popular

Cost: gas was 32 cents a gallon, bread was 20 cents and stamps were 5 cents

Icon: Audrey Hepburn

Quotes: Beam me up, Scotty ~William Shatner, as Cat. James Kirk, in Star Trek

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C’EST MOI

People and Events from 1976

I’ve always thought it was cool that I’m a Bicentennial baby! My parents took this picture when I was about three. My parents used to sing, Oh Sweet Pea to me and another one of my Dad’s nicknames for me is his “little quail bird.” I also nicknamed myself about this time, Sizzlean because I loved the name…I also love bacon!

Song: Starland Vocal Band’s Afternoon Delight

Movie: The Bad News Bears

Book: Peter Benchley’s The Deep 

President: Gerald Ford

Fun fact: Apple Computer was formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

Cost: gas was 59 cents, bread was 30 cents and stamps were 13 cents

Icon: Charo

Quotes: You talkin’ to me? ~Robert De Niro, as Travis Bickle, in Taxi Driver

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MA FILLE

People and Events from 2006

My daughter loves to paint, dance and swim like a fish…I call her my “little mermaid.”

Song: KT Tunstall’s Black Horse and the Cherry Tree

Movie: Cars 

Book: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love

President: George W. Bush

Fun fact: Pluto is downgraded from a Planet to a dwarf planet by The International Astronomical Union.

Cost: gas was $3.03, bread was 97 cents and stamps were 39 cents

Icon: Heidi Klum

Quote: I’d like to grow old with my face moving. ~Kate Winslet said about why she would not consider plastic surgery.

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Many happy returns to my fellow ZERO birthdays!

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Summertime Birthdays

Puppy Power

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Our new puppy, Archer, has soft puppy fur, floppy ears, and that curious look that is so darn cute! There’s also that special puppy smell…much like the distinctive scent of a newborn baby. He is full of love and energy…we like to call him, “Puppy Power!”

Meeting our puppy for the first time was quite an experience. As we drove down to Chappell Hill, Texas we were anxious to find out which puppy would be ours. We watched him play with his brothers and then he was the one that really picked us. He grabbed my daughter’s long braid and said, “Hey, I want to play with you!

It’s funny how a new dog makes you miss the old one. Archer takes great pleasure in ripping up a paper towel just like our other dogs. We lost our two basset hounds a couple of years ago. We are so happy to hear the pitter patter of puppy feet again and it’s nice to be reminded of our old dogs too.

Having a puppy is a lot like having a baby again. We are very careful to keep him on his schedule and are sure to have a wake-up call (even on the weekends) if we oversleep.

Sometimes I think Archer is a goat. He’s actually a Labrador retriever. But he sinks his chewy teeth into everything…boxes, barbie dolls, swimming goggles, candy wrappers, my son’s arm and of course shoes!

Our puppy training skills are rusty. Stay tuned to “Puppy Power” part two when Archer goes to school.

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Vail: Rites of Spring

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Sunshine, google tans, spring back to winter snow, cold après-ski cocktails on or off the mountain…the only thing not to love about spring skiing is the inevitable end of the season.

The clock bells chimed four times, that meant the lifts were closing. My husband said, “Hurry, we can still get on for one more run.” We weren’t out of steam just yet! The four of us hopped on the Eagle Bahn Gondola to end the day on a high note. If the lifts are running, so were we! It felt like we were the only ones on the mountain. It had just snowed like crazy and it was perfect skiing…powder on top of powder! We wanted to hold on to the day and the season just a little longer. It’s amazing how so much fun can take your mind off your sore feet and bruised shins.

Vail, how I love thee! Let me count the ways…

  1. Thousands of groomed terrain means there’s something for everyone whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or expert skier. Vail has the best and largest ski schools on Earth to help you get your kids to be future expert skiers. It’s nice to see your kids make friends with kids from around the world. Vail is the giant of ski resorts because it offers 195 named trails and it’s world-famous for its “Back Bowls” that span around 3,000 acres.
  2. Ice skating is a fun activity for the whole family. My daughter even skated with her American Girl Doll, Maryellen. Vail has both indoor and outdoor rinks. The Arrabelle in Lionshead steals our hearts with the beautiful scenery, outdoor fireplaces and twinkle lights.
  3. Vail is a foodie’s haven. These are our favorites: Up the Creek (a treasure by Gore Creek serving seasonal fresh farm to plate meals and signature cocktails), Campo De Fiori (authentic Italian cuisine with fresh and local ingredients), Mountain Standard (enjoy a rustic and relaxed atmosphere where the primal cooking method is over a wood fire), Swiss Chalet (traditional European cuisine in a casual mountain atmosphere).
  4. Vail is known for its relaxing spas. I think it’s nice to start out the vacation with a visit to the spa. After a plane ride and unpacking a massage makes you think, Yeessss! The vacation has just begun! The Spa at the Arrabelle (voted #19 of the top 270 spas in the world) was the perfect way to relax into the vacation.
  5. There’s more to Vail than winter…try hiking and mountain biking during the non-skiing months. Use the staff like you would for ski school and hire a tour guide to take you around so you don’t need the trail map. You can rent a bike and ride downhill. The bonus is that there’s a gondola bike haul.

Vail is known around the world as one of the most popular destinations for skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, fine dining, hot air balloons, spas and more. The relaxing vibe and town of world-class athletes makes Vail the perfect place to vacation. It’s the favorite place for serious athletes, foodies, and spa junkies. Experienced skiers and outdoor enthusiasts will agree that Vail is the best and most varied resort. No matter the season, it’s like nothing on Earth!

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Gustav Klimt and Georges Seurat…for children

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Children are the best observers. It was such a joy to come to school while the traveling art exhibit was on display and hear the conversations that children were having about Klimt and Seurat. I heard one of my students say…”Klimt was one of the greatest artists because he used gold swirly whirlies in his paintings.” It was fun to see my first graders be inspired by Seurat and create a painting using dots (pointillism) just like Seurat.  For one week, the school was covered in the happy wallpaper of Klimt and Seurat. Children could not walk by the banners without staring in awe at these incredible masterpieces.
 
Having these beautiful pieces of art at Hilltop made for a powerful learning environment…it gave children the chance to explore, observe and experience art that we can’t just fly off to Paris to see. When you go to a museum, you have the power to choose what to look at…the children now have the pictures stored in your head. The memories created are filed for future reference. It was a pleasure to be a docent for our school and to watch the children gain an appreciation for Klimt and Seurat.
Here are some questions, quotes and information about Gustav Klimt and Georges Seurat to inspire you and your children…
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Gustav Klimt:
Gustav Klimt was one of seven children. Klimt’s father was a gold engraver…around all that gold Klimt was very poor for most of his childhood. It was a difficult time to get work and he was very lucky to be awarded a scholarship to the Vienna School of the Arts. He loved art, life and his cat. Klimt’s style of swirling flowing lines and patterns was called “Art Nouveau” or “New Art.” Klimt lived a simple life. He wore a robe and sandals while he painted all day, every day…it paid off because some of his paintings sold for more than $135 million dollars. Gustav painted highly ornamental figures that appear to float in a dream like space. Exploring Klimt, gives us the opportunity to look at shapes with fresh eyes.

Questions to ask children: When would you have guessed these were painted? What shapes can you see? Why does Klimt like gold so much? Why does he like cats? Think about how Seurat and Klimt grew up…one was poor, one rich. Was money important? Did they both work hard and keep trying?

Quotes to inspire children:
Art is a line around your thoughts.
Look carefully at my pictures and try and see in them what I am and what I want to do.

Craving more? Here’s a little video that I showed my class…Who is Gustav Klimt?

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George Seurat:

Seurat developed a technique called “pointillism” using tiny dots of colors, which become blended in the viewer’s eye. If you have the chance to see it, look at it close up, then take a few steps back and see Seurat’s vision. Seurat never gave up…even when his art was rejected in Paris. He decided to form an independent art society as he developed his pointillism technique that later took off. This new method of painting used dots instead of brush strokes to create the picture was all the rage in Paris. Georges Seurat spent two years working on the painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” (French for big river)…it was as bigger than a mini van and was only twenty-six when he completed it. This same painting was on loan in 1958 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City when a fire broke out. The fire damaged some paintings, but Seurat’s beloved work was whisked away to safety through an elevator evacuation plan.

Unlike Klimt, Georges Seurat was from a very wealthy family in Paris during a time when money was hard to come by. Seurat worked with mostly crayons on paper…just like an everyday kid!! His work has been described as the most beautiful painter’s drawings in existence. Do you agree?

Other questions to ask children: Can art and science combine? Did you know that Seurat’s most famous painting has had more screen time than any other piece of art? Here are a few places you might have seen La Grande Jatte: Ferris Bueller’s Day OffSesame StreetThe Simpsons, and Looney Tunes: Back in Action

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Quotes to inspire children:
Some say they see poetry in my paintings; I see only science.
Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
Under a blazing mid-afternoon summer sky, we see the Seine (that’s the river you see in the painting) flooded with sunshine…people are strolling, others are sitting or stretched out lazily on the bluish grass.

Here’s a video about Seurat that children will enjoy and this video is “artrageous” too!

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Must have apps that manage life and make it sweeter

 

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Do you still keep a day planner and paper journal? I do…I love to use my pen but I’m also a techie girl and there are several apps that make life sweeter. When there’s a piece of technology that can put a zip in my step, I’m always up for it. Here are some tech apps that help manage life and make it more joyful. It’s easy to get hooked on a few apps that it seems impossible to imagine living without. These are my must-haves…

Texture
Seventeen, Sassy and YM were the beginning to my love affair with magazines when I was a young girl. One of my greatest pleasures is reading magazines, so I instantly fell in love with Texture. Big publishers like Conde Nast, Hearst Magazines, Time Inc. got together to make this fabulous app that gives you unlimited access to more than 160 different magazines…Vogue, The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Vanity Fair, Elle Decor, Real Simple…all on your ipad or phone. I like to binge-read them like I watch Netflix and get that same giddy feeling that I had finding Sassy in my mailbox.

Riffsy
This app is perfect for upping your text game and cracking up your mom and sister! I like to text happy puppies, babies falling asleep and friends laughing…
Price: free

Dark Sky
This is the holy grail of weather apps. Teachers can check Dark Sky down to the minute to see if we need to have inside recess. The app is able to predict weather for your exact location, not just your city, down to the minute. This is one of those apps that you will check everyday to bring out your inner meteorologist!
Price: $3.99

Cozi
I started using Cozi when I was a new mom…almost ten years ago! It’s perfect for busy families and moms who organize on the go. The nicest feature is being able to share with the whole family so everyone knows when and where the basketball game/school program/dance performance will be right from their phone. It helps manage my shopping list, appointments and even has a family journal.
Price: free

Square Cash: There used to be a lot of back and forth when splitting the bill with friends. This is great for your work friends when someone buys a baby gift or pays for the bill because it’s easy to pay someone back in seconds…just enter the amount and press send.
Splitting a bar tab with friends will never be a pain again, especially when no one thought to bring cash with them. Cash is an app by Square that instantly transfers money between friends, for free, even between different banks. I imagine Don Draper would have appreciated this app in the 60’s.
Price: free

Sky Guide
This is stargazing fun for all ages. I use this app to teach first graders about the stars. My family loves using it when we roast s’mores and stargaze together.
Price: $2.99

Waze
Whether you’re a big driver or just going on a long road trip, you should check out Waze. The app knows how fast users are traveling on the road and redirects you around traffic mid-trip, ultimately shortening your commute. Waze tracks more than just traffic; it also alerts you to construction, accidents, red-light cameras, and even police ahead on your route.
Price: free

Day One
Your old paper journal might feel great with your favorite pen, but it can’t compare to Day One. The beautifully designed app makes chronicling your life as easy to do as writing a tweet or Facebook post, and can even provide you writing prompts and reminders to keep your writing flowing. It syncs your private journal across the web via Dropbox or iCloud, and you can annotate each entry with tags, weather, location information, and even the music you’re listening to.
Price: $4.99

MindBody
This app is perfect for someone who likes to hop around from working out in a Pilates or yoga studio or finding a time that works for a massage/facial/manicure…I store all my favorite studios and salons so I can easily find a window of time that works for me to fit in some zen!
Price: free

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Modern Salt Caves for the whole family

 

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My friend and favorite yoga teacher, Sloane, introduced me to the Salt Cave of Southlake. Every time I’ve visited the salt cave, I leave feeling like I’ve been on vacation…totally relaxed. On Saturday, the yoga cave wasn’t ready yet (a couples massage was running a little over) and I was offered a mimosa before class…they really want you to relax! Since I’ve been going, I’ve noticed that I’m sleeping, breathing and feeling better than usual during these cold dry winter days. If you have the winter blues, a little salt cave time will make you feel happy and healthy.

Breathing in salt vapor during yoga class helps to breathe deeper…purifying the lungs and clearing sinuses. The combination of yoga and salt therapy naturally relaxes the body and opens airways increasing oxygen intake.

Salt therapy is an all-natural, holistic treatment recently made modern…inspired by Eastern European countries.  Natural underground salt caves in Eastern Europe have been used to heal skin conditions, allergies, asthma and more. Salt has been used for its medicinal properties as far back as the Egyptians. Modern salt caves can be found today above ground…made to feel like a natural underground European salt cave.

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The air is enriched with salt dust by reducing pure Himalayan salt crystals that are ground into miniscule micro-crystals and blown into a relaxing spa environment.

The benefits of salt therapy give a sense of well-being, reducing allergy issues, insomnia, boosting energy and alleviating depression and stress. It’s the same relaxing feeling after spending the day in the natural settings of mountains, waterfalls, or beaches…the negative ions emitted increase oxygen flow to the brain.

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The Salt Cave of Southlake also has a “Kids Cave.” My kids encourage me to go take a yoga class there so that they can come and play in the salt…it’s magical to them! Children can play, read, draw while Mom and Dad take a yoga class. It’s healthy for the whole family.

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We couldn’t survive without salt…it does the body good!

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Gustave Caillebotte…with children

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It’s a guarantee that when we are on a holiday, we will visit the museum. There are always a few paintings that make you want to step into the picture. When you go to the museum with children, it’s nice for them to be the leaders and see what paintings they would like to step inside of.

We seemed to agree that The Floor Scrapers, Traffic Island, Boulevard Haussmann and Paris Street: Rainy Day were three that pulled us in…making us wonder and feel like our holiday was in Paris (if only for the afternoon). Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth was a treat to see. Caillebotte’s paintings make the viewer wonder what it is we’re looking at, what we’ve decided we see, and why…

Do you know how to say Caillebotte? The Kimbell created this fun video…see if you’re right!

Here are three Gustave Caillebotte paintings that will make you wonder…

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The Floor-Scrapers
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The Floor Scrapers demand the viewer’s attention…showing a dramatic perspective. Look at the splayed stripes of the wooden floor being so laboriously scraped. Caillebotte visually drops the bare-chested workers right in the viewer’s lap. It’s a painting of three laborers at work preparing his first studio. It was in what was then the relatively new neighborhood of the 8th arrondissement, where Caillebotte’s father had bought. It’s an odd subject matter…very different from his Impressionist friends, Monet and Renoir. His colleagues invited him to participate in their 1876 exhibition. He chose to submit The Floor Scrapers, and it was very popular…viewers either adored it or hated it, but everyone was talking about it!

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A Traffic Island, Boulevard Haussmann
1880

Caillebotte’s Traffic Island is an aerial painting that captures a sensible and controlled environment. This is a true impression of a Paris street with people in isolation going about their everyday routines and repetitions. It might remind the viewer of Degas’s Place de la Concorde (1875) the way that you see these people going about their day as if the viewer were “people watching”…they both have a serene quality. Views like this one could only be afforded by buildings that were ten stories or higher…Caillebotte was one of few painters who could afford the view.

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Paris Street; Rainy Day
1877

This is a painting about intersections…working class and upper class mixing together in modern Paris. The Parisian bourgeoisie cross in and out of the picture on this Right Bank drizzle-slicked street. Caillebotte steals the limelight from Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir during this time because he created this glowing light that the great Impressionists were trying to capture. Sadly, Caillebotte was never considered a true member of the inner circle of the Impressionists…lacking the easy brushstrokes and sunshine scenes with people interacting. Instead, Caillebotte tells us two things we know about Paris (then and now)…the sky is usually grey and fashion is black.

Gustave Caillebotte had a short career: born in 1848, he didn’t start painting until his late twenties, and he was dead from a stroke by the age of forty-five. Upon the death of his father (who had much success on the Paris real estate market) Gustave inherited a hearty fortune. The cash meant that Caillebotte could work at his own pace, selling almost nothing; the large majority of his art still belongs to his successors. He never needed to work for a living, and never married or had a family. He painted current, in the moment surroundings…gardens, river boating, and his father’s country house. This is why he is one of the most modern of the Impressionists.

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All three paintings are remarkable for plunging perspectives for children and a sense of contiguity. Step inside Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye…it’s an air of modernité.

Related posts:

Botticelli to Braque…with children

Carravaggio…with children

Dega and Pollock…with children