The Loveliest Beaches In the World to Visit

I’ve been meaning to write a post about the most beautiful beaches in the world, but then I thought……..a picture is worth a 1000 words.
SO here are thousands of words in this little shared youtube video.

Which one calls out to you?

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The Giant Buddha in China

Leshan-Giant-Buddha-

The Giant Buddha is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world and is located in the Mount Emeri Scenic Area of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, by three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. This stone statue was built during the Tang Dynasty in 618 and ended in 907 when it was ruled under the Tang Emperors. It was during this time that it was the most powerful and prosperous country in the world.  Today Leshan City is still well known because it was one of China’s most famous period when its culture and military strengths was at its all time high.

In December of 1996, the Giant Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites.

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The statue dates back to the year of 713, it took 90 years to build ending it in 803 even though thousands of workers had exhausted their efforts and wisdom on the project.

Paysage panoramique du mont Emei, incluant le paysage panoramique du grand Bouddha de Leshan

It measures 233 feet high, and 92 feet wide which is about the size of a basketball court.  His feet along are big enough for 100 people to sit on.

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Buts not all about size when you see this enormous figure, it’s the architectural beauty that stuns us.  His coiled hair is made up of 1,021 buns. Each bun has been skillfully embedded in the head. The skill is so beautifully unique that the 1,021 buns seem integral to the whole.

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Another  architectural highlight is the drainage system as it’s structure design was made up of hidden gutters and channels, scattered on the head and arms, and behind the ears and in the clothes. The structural design helps displace rainwater and by keeping the inside dry, which plays an important part in the protection of the Buddha. The large pair of ears, each measures 23 feet long, is made of wood and is decorated by mud on the surface.  Being these were craftsmen of thousands of years ago, it could not have been so easy to fix these to the stone head to where they would fit perfectly.

Having such a long history Chinese government did begin repairing any work needed to maintain its history beauty as it does bring in tourist from all over the world.

How would you get there?

Presently there are not airports in the city. Though you can fly to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport which is about 93 miles away from Leshan City.

If you happen to traveled to China, would you include the “Giant Buddha” in your must see list?

The “Onion House” – a Kona home inspired by a dream to live in a work of art.

Artist Beth McCormick at play.   Photograph from OnionHouseHawii.com

Artist Beth McCormick at play. Photograph from OnionHouseHawii.com

“The Onion House was a combination of two people who had a passion — my aunt’s passion for Hawaiiana tradition and Ken Kellogg’s passion for creating structures that placed living spaces in harmony with nature.”

                                                                                         — Beth McCormick

The year was 1959 and Elizabeth Von Beck,  known as Auntie Dofeen – had a dream of living in a work of art.   So when Auntie Dofeen met Ken Kellog she “met someone who was like a kindred spirit” and the two of them created what became known as the “Onion House.”

Hand built by Kellog, today the “Onion House” is a landmark in the organic architecture movement, a term coined by Frank Lloyd Wright, and a philosophy of architecture that promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world through design approaches that are so highly sympathetic and well integrated with the environment, that buildings, interiors, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition.

Photography thanks to onionhousehawaii

According to Beth McCormick,  Auntie Dofeen’s niece,  the home at the time of construction caused quite a controversy amongst the local residents of Kona, who couldn’t appreciate the strange design.  So when a woman was overhead saying, “The damned thing looks like an onion!,” it was given the most appropriate name – made even more so by the fact that the house was, in part,  financed by the sale of dehydrated onions, as Auntie Dofeen so happened to be the niece of the founder of McCormick spice company.

Photography thanks to onionhousehawaii

“The house was as outrageous as it is now,” says Beth McCormick.  Kendrick Kellog wanted to create a “true Hawaiin house” where the residents could “live with nature.”   Kellog was inspired by the nature all around – as is seen from the palm trees, that were transformed into concrete arches over the fireplace to the lack of formal walls, made possible because of it’s location.  “The house … is designed for the weather of Hawaii on the Kona Coast, … [where] air temperatures range from 70 to 80 degrees, all year long” says Kellog.  It, “takes advantage of the natural breezes that come from the ocean in the day and from the lava-laden mountains at night.  It was built for the joy of living in the tropics.”

True to the philosophy of organic architecture, while you’re inside the Onion House there is a sense that you aren’t inside at all – something that the artists working with Kellog wanted to and were able to achieve, by brilliantly capturing the beauty of the outside and pulling it inside using intricate and beautiful artwork.

It is the scalloped shaped domes, however,  that rise over the pool, and gardens, that define the house – and give it the “Onion” look.   And true to Aunt Dofeen’s desires,  living in the house is like being inside a work of art,  with the light during the day streaming through the  translucent arching roof panels and resulting in spectrums of colours splashing throughout the house.

Photography thanks to onionhousehawaii

Photography thanks to onionhousehawaii

While inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, it was with the “Onion House” that Kellog rightly became known as an innovator of organic architecture – his work being described as “the Sydney Opera House meets Stonehenge.”

Photography thanks to onionhousehawaii

Sadly, during the 1970s the house and gardens fell into a state of disrepair, as Auntie Dofeen and her friends, lived their care free lifestyle.   It was in 1984 that Beth stepped in, having been involved with the house from a young age, saved it from foreclouse and completely restored the home to its present day magnificence.   Her Auntie Dofeen passed in 1987,  leaving Beth and the Kona with a home that encapsulates her free-flowing,  soulful, nature.

It’s no surprise to Kellog that Beth is an artist.  He says that children that have grown up in many of his living spaces have gone on to become artists.   The Onion house has most certainly nurtured the growth of Beth’s unique art form of elaborate designs of luscious color that are executed in the shimmering palette of bird feathers.

Visit “The Art of Beth McCormick” and you’ll discover stunningly gorgeous feathered shields and sculpted porcelain masks that appear to come from an obscure and colorful civilization that has yet to exist.

Photography thanks to onionhousehawaii

Photography thanks to onionhousehawaii

Photography thanks to onionhousehawaii

Should you feel compelled and have the  desire to experience a vacation where you won’t want to leave you vacation home, and when you do, your soul will likely be forever transformed then contact onionhousehawaii.com for rental details.


Art & Travel Go Hand-in-Hand

VacationDiggs happened to come across a travel blog that was written by Teresa Dominici who’s a self-taught artist.  Teresa was born in Tanzania (East of Africa) and has had the pleasure of traveling around the world. Her blog contains beautiful paintings of her on going journey’s to the sights she’s visited.  I was so impressed with her lovely paintings I thought why not share them here with our readers. After all, travel and art go hand-in-hand.

Portofino, Italian Riviera  is a small Italian fishing village in Liguria which is located east of Genoa.  If your lucky enough to sit at the top of the hill near the Botanic garden here’s what the view looks like.

And heres Teresa’s version seen through her eyes and displayed in her paintings.

Portofine1aBellagio, Italy – The pearl of Como is a beautiful little town located on the promontory where lake Como separates into two branches.  The lakeside village with staircase streets is something that everyone should see, should you ever find yourself traveling to Italy.

Heres the historic and charming staircase town and lakeside view’s by Theresa Dominici

Bellagio2 Bellagio3

Burano, Italy
In the Northern part of Venetian lagoon is famous for its lace – making and its brightly- colored fisherman’s homes.
Burano, Venice with borders

These are just a few paintings she created while visiting Italy.

If you visit her blog you’ll not only see many of her lovely paintings but you’ll learn about the culture, history, society, food, religion etc. in each place she visited.