Santa Barbara Art Show

Santa Barbara Art Show on the Beach

I just was had my art screening and was accepted! I am happy to announce that I will be joining the Santa Barbara Art Show on the beach. It is every Sunday from 10am until dusk. It’s located from Cabrillo Boulevard, East of Stearns Wharf to Calle Cesar Chavez. Make sure to stop by and see me! I will be posting some sneak peaks of art every week, so check back and see what’s new!
My start date is November 23, 2014! See you then!

Art Screening in Santa Barbara

Art being screened.

Photos waiting to be screened for art show

Waiting for photos to be screened.

Waterfront Town – Morro Bay, CA

Charming Waterfront Town – Morro Bay, CA

We arrived in Morro Bay late afternoon.  After settling into our hotel, we headed down to the waterfront to check out the town.  Morro Bay’s most famous landmark, Morro Rock, welcomes you upon arrival.  It sits between the harbor and the beach, and belongs to a series of ancient volcanic plugs called the Nine Sisters.  They are situated between the cities of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo.

traveling in Morro Bay, Morro Rock, California Travel

Morro Rock – One of the Nine Sisters

After seeing all the boats out on the bay, we decided we needed to be on one!  We had heard about a Tiki Boat Booze Cruise and went searching for it.

Tiki boat cruise on Morro Bay, Travel in California

We found it!

If you have a chance to ride on the tiki boat, do it! The price can’t be beat, plus it’s a great way to see the Bay, learn some local history, and of course be entertained. This boat has a bar on board, and the Captain mixes your drinks. I recommend the Leaky Tiki! Yum! Once you have your drink in hand, your tour begins with the Captain playing the theme song from Gilligan’s Island! I’m not kidding… I did say it was entertaining!

Travel in Morro Bay Harbor, California

Touring Morro Bay Harbor

After our cruise we were ready for dinner. The Embarcadero is lined with shops and restaurants, so we asked the captain for a recommendation. We were looking for good food, drinks, and more entertainment. The Captain recommended the Otter Rock Café. It did not disappoint! The food and drinks were great, and the entertainment fantastic! We were lucky enough to catch the Phil Friendly Trio. They are a rockabilly band from Los Angeles that frequently plays in the area. Check them out the next time they’re in Morro Bay… Just make sure you have on your dancing shoes!

A Seaside Village – Cambria, CA

Cambria, CA… Here we come!

I picked up my friend and fellow photographer Jenna Dosch in downtown Los Angeles.  She had just taken the bus in from Las Vegas, and we were more than ready to be on our way to Cambria!  We had a 222 mile road trip ahead of us, and expected to arrive early evening just in time for a nice dinner and some wine.  That was the plan anyway… Instead, we ended up severely stuck in LA traffic for hours!  Our new ETA was 9:00 pm!

We called our hotel to let them know we were running late, and were told to get something to eat along the way if we weren’t going to make it by 9:00.  We should have listened… Cambria is not a late night party town!  We arrived just as all the restaurants were shutting down!

We checked into the FogCatcher Inn which is right on the coast, across from Moonstone Beach.  It’s a perfect place for a weekend getaway, and the location can’t be beat.  The rooms are cozy, and equipped with fireplaces for chillier nights.

Cambria, CA FogCatcher Inn, Travel in California

Beautiful Gardens at FogCatcher Inn

Still determined to find something that was open, we headed into the Village.  The downtown area was adorable, but pretty much shut down too.  We finally came across the Cambria Pines Lodge, which was not only open, but had live music as well! We went inside to the Fireside Lounge and found a very lively crowd and wine. Finally! Success!

The next morning we headed down to Moonstone Beach. We were in Cambria to photograph California Coastal Clean-Up Day along CA’s Highway 1 Discovery Route, and wanted to get some photos before the volunteers starting showing up.

Moonstone Beach, Cambria, CA Coast

Morning on Moonstone Beach

Cambria, CA, Travel in California, Moonstone Beach

Moonstone Beach Morning

Travel in California, Cambri Coastline

Cambria, CA Coastline

Moonstone Beach is such a lovely, serene beach. The coastline is absolutely gorgeous with all the cliffs and pine trees. Make sure to look for the shiny Moonstones while strolling on the beach. They are the very reason why the beach is called Moonstone.

If you like fishing and solitude, you will find it here. The uncrowded beach is a fisherman’s dream. I only counted three all morning.

Ocean Fishing on Moonstone Beach in California

Fishing on Moonstone Beach

If surfing’s your thing, you’ll appreciate this area too! The waves were good and there weren’t any crowds to speak of!

surfing Moonstone Beach

Checking out the waves

Surf Moonstone Beach, travel in California, Weekend Getaway

Found his wave!

If you’ve ever been out on a surfboard in the ocean, you know what a zen-like experience it is while you wait for the next wave. There’s nothing quite like it, and something I think everyone should try at least once in their lifetime.

Zen and surfing, Travel California, Cambria

Surfer Zen!

Surfing the Cambria Coast

Surfing the Cambria Coast

Coastal Clean-Up Time!
Coastal Clean-Up Day is held annually, and is one of the state’s largest volunteer events. The Volunteers will be collecting over 700,000 pounds of trash! That’s right… 700,000 pounds of trash! So, think about that the next time you are visiting your favorite beach or enjoying yourself while vacationing. You would be surprised to see what people leave behind!

I appreciate all the volunteers that came out for this event! They are an amazing bunch of people who really care about our beautiful coastline. If you would like to participate in
eco-tourism while vacationing along CA’s Highway 1 Discovery Route check out some Stewardship Travel opportunities. You can make a difference to the environment while you explore some wonderful nature preserves.

Cleaning up the coast of California, Eco Tourism, Cambria

The Volunteers have arrived!

Cleaning up the coast of Cambria, CA, Volunteer for Coastal Clean-Up Day, Eco Tourism

Volunteer for Coastal Clean-Up Day

Trash on the beach, Coastal Clean-Up Day, Eco Tourism in Cambria, CA

The trash left behind!

children participate in eco tourism in Cambria, CA

Young Travel Stewards on top of the world!

Solitary Angel – New Lensbaby Art

Lensbaby Art – Solitary Angel

This is the latest addition to an ongoing lensbaby art and photography project I have been working on.  It was shot while traveling in New Orleans. I used my lensbaby, brought it into photoshop and played a bit!  It will be available for purchase in the Gallery Store soon!

art in new orleans, lensbaby project, Julie Plevak, Artist, Lensbaby Art

Lensbaby Art – Solitary Angel

Funk Zone Time!

2nd Saturday Art Walk – Funk Zone

If you’re in Santa Barbara on the Second Saturday of the month, make sure to find your way to the Funk Zone.  Every month over 20 artists open their studios and galleries to the public from 1-5 pm.  Many venues in the Funk Zone feature live music, and there are plenty of wineries to check out too!

Start early if you want to see them all!

My first stop was The Arts Fund Gallery.  They featured multiple artists inside, as well as outside.  They also had live music, a food truck and free tastings from Jun Brewery.

Funk Zone Tasting, Jun Brewery, Santa Barbara

Jun Brewery Tasting

This is not beer my friends! It is a craft fermented probiotic drink. It’s brewed with Raw Organic Honey and Jasmine. It does have a light alcohol content, so if you’re a lightweight, watch out… Kidding! Joking aside, it was a tasty alternative drink, and quite refreshing on a hot day. And, I’m pretty sure it’s good for you too! You can schedule a tasting by going on their website.

Next I stopped was over to check out the art of Stafford Taylor. I absolutely love his art and will provide a link to his website soon.

The artwork of Stafford Taylor, funk zone, Santa Barbara, CA

Stafford Taylor and His Art

Santa Barbara Art Foundry & Gallery was next on the list. This place is super cool. It is an actual working bronze foundry, which you are able to tour. The art is an eclectic mix. You can find metal and glass sculptures, paintings, photography, and more. Don’t forget to stop by the wine bar to try some local Fox Wine!

Santa Barbara Art Foundry & Gallery, Funk Zone, Santa Barbara Day Trip

Santa Barbara Art Foundry & Gallery

As I was walking to the next studio, I came across a truck parked on Yanonali Street & Santa Barbara St. At first, I thought it was some sort of food truck. I decided to investigate, and was surprised to find handcrafted treasures from local artisans and designers inside. How fabulous… Mobile Art! You can find The Habitat Factory in the Funk Zone on 2nd Saturdays or check out their website for more info.

2nd Saturday, Santa Barabara, Art, The Habitat Factory

The Habitat Factory

I should have started earlier! I was running out of time, and hadn’t even been to half of the studios! I managed to squeeze one more in before it all ended. I was drawn in by a pair of cowboy boots that had been converted to roller skates. There they sat promising more of the unexpected inside. In I walked to find the sculpture and assemblage art of Dan Levin. He refers to his art as Objects Of Curiosity, and that they are! Finished pieces coexist among a fascinating array of random objects.

Santa Barbara, art, Dan Levin

Dan Levin’s Art

Last but not least, I headed over to Seven. A girl’s got to eat… and ok have a beer too! They also are a part of 2nd Saturday, so I figured I could see some art as well.
The Pulled Pork Sliders, Parmesan Truffle Fries and a beer were the perfect way to end the Art Walk!

Seven in Santa Barbara, Art, Food

Outside at Seven

9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial – Remembering Those We Lost

I spent the past New Year’s Eve in New York City.  It was one of the shortest trips I’ve taken there, and I had not planned on going to the 9/11 Memorial.  I’ve never been able to bring myself back to the spot where we were attacked… The place where so many were lost, and forever changed our country.

Just hours before the city started celebrating, I found myself waiting in a long line to get into the 9/11 Memorial.  It was so cold, and had just started to snow.  It was the last place I had expected to be on New Year’s Eve, yet there I was.

As I walked towards the two pools, I remembered the last time I had stood on that ground… The towers were still standing.  I had been inside of them with a friend… It was so surreal.  I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it, despite the fact I was standing right there.

I walked around the pools, touching the names of the victims which are inscribed in bronze parapets.  I wondered who they were, and what kind of lives they had lead. I thought of the families that were left behind, and the unbearable pain they suffered.

As I watched the waterfalls cascade towards the center abyss, I couldn’t help but think of all the tears that had been shed… So many tears for all who were lost.

As I walked away, ready to begin a new year, I reflected on all the lost souls that no longer could…

pool at memorial in New York City, 9/11 Memorial

911 Memorial Pool

Pool, parapet with names of victims, New York City, 9/11 Memorial

Lost Souls of 9/11

9/11 Memorial remembering the victims

Always Remember

Grand Central Market Los Angeles

Los Angeles Grand Central Market

I discovered the Grand Central Market, while hunting for parking in the Los Angeles Jewelry District.  Driving by, I wondered why I had never heard about this hidden gem in downtown LA.  It just cried out “Park your car and come on in”!  So, after shopping, I did just that. I wandered over to Broadway to check it out.

This is a market that got it right!  It has a history dating back to 1917 and has been operating since then… Once again, how did I not know of it’s existence?

It encompasses 30,000 square feet, and is filled with a crazy amount of food choices. I circled three times before deciding what I wanted! It has a little bit of everything… Multiple restaurants, fresh produce, bulk grains, desserts, fresh juice, coffee, and even a liquor selection.

You can find moles, dried beans, rice, and specialty products at Chiles Secos  or try Valeria’s for an extensive selection of Latin dry goods.   Fresh seasonal produce and vegetable are available at La Casa Verde, Sun’s, or Torres Produce.  The restaurant choices are diverse… Kababs, Chinese, Hawaiian BBQ, Oysters, Salvadorean and more!  The prices are ridiculous… As in really good!

I had such a hard time choosing!  The debate was between Bento Ya Japanese Cuisine, Kabab & More, or Sarita’s Pupuseria.  I ended up going with Bento Ya Japanese Cuisine.  It was hard to pass up Grilled Teriyaki Chicken for just $5.75!  It was a decent amount of food for the price, and tasted good too!

I guess I will have to find a few more reasons to hit downtown LA.  How else am I going to be able to try all the other options that I could only gaze at?

Los Angeles Day Trip to Grand Central Market

Entry to Grand Central Market

Los Angeles Day Trip to Grand Central Market

Lot’s of Produce Choices!

Day trip to Los Angeles Grand Central Market

Fish Anyone?

Day Trip to restaurant in Los Angeles Grand Central Market

So Many Choices!

Which Historical Site Next?

Top Ten Historical Sites in the World

Do you have a bucket list?  And, if so, would you pick historical sites to visit?  I’m debating on what I should add to my travel list…  I’ve only been to one of the top ten historical sites so far, and there are a couple in the running for the very near future.

The List

Machu Picchu


Pyramids at Giza

Angkor Wat


Stonehenge (Been There)



Easter Island

Taj Mahal



Gallery Store Is Up!

The Gallery Store – It’s Up and Running! I

I finally have the Gallery Store up and running!  There several different galleries.  Be sure to check them all out!  All images are available in a couple different finishes.  The metal prints have the image directly infused into the aluminum, and have a float mount hanger attached to the back.  The Metallic prints are unframed with a glossy finish, and metallic appearance.  
Come on in!
  There are many images to choose from!  Come back often, I am always adding more!

Gallery Store, Panoramic Photographs, Surfers, Julie Plevak

Available in the Panoramic Gallery

Image Gallery, Store Gallery, Prints for Purchase, Julie Plevak

Available in the Image Gallery

Mandala Art, Mandala Gallery, Gallery Store, Julie Plevak

Available in the Mandala Gallery