Dianne's Creative Table

I am inspired by light, all things natural, reusing previously loved items, and bargains!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Come Sail Away

Last February my in-laws invited us on a trip to San Diego.  Of course, we went!  We had a wonderful week of thrifting, antiquing, pawn shopping and sight seeing, but the experience that I can't get out of my head was the whale watching sailing ship.

We knew we wanted to go whale watching and my on-line research revealed that there were several choices.  I was particularly drawn to one offered by the Maritime Museum.  It was a sailing cruise on an 85 foot sailboat. 
My FIL was very hesitant since he gets motion sickness easily, but after reading on Next Level Sailing's website that they offer a sea sickness guarantee, we all decided to jump on board.  So glad we did!  It was an experience of a lifetime.

We started our day with a tour of the museum ships in the harbor.  We particularly loved the Star of India. 

My husband, being an Eagle Scout, was totally taken by the ropes and knots. 
 My MIF, not so much!
You might remember the HMS Surprise used in the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. 
Once we boarded the America, we were all put to work raising the sails.
Downstairs there was a picture of our ship the America along side the America's Cup Winner in 2010, The Oracle. The America is a replica of the America Yacht, first winner of the America's Cup race.  

The day was picture perfect with calm water, sun and very little wind.  Not being a sailing person, I didn't realize the implications of being on a sailboat with no wind.  We ended up using the engine all day. 
My in-laws.  Aren't they cute?
All of the passengers were put to work looking for whales, but we didn't see any, not even one, DRATZ! Then as we were leaving, we found out they offer a whale sighting guarantee.  If you don't see whales you can get a refund or you can come back.  Luckily it was the first day of our week, so we arranged to come back on Friday. 
On our next trip out, we had wind and were able to use just the sails.  It was magical, but very, very cold. We brought a picnic lunch with wine.  The ship is beautiful and comfortable and the crew was amazing, even serving blankets and hot chocolate since it was so cold out on the water.  
Joe, our whale guide thought he spotted something.  

Poor guy, first day on the ship and they send him up there! 
Our whale!  They were the hardest things to photograph!  I was lucky I captured anything at all, but I was thrilled to finally see one. 
On the way back, we were treated to a nuclear sub coming in for a crew change.  All the ships in the harbor had to move out of the channel and navy police boats patrolled the water with their guns ready.
The patrol boat even came to our ship and said we need to move back!    
If you look closely you can see the gunner on the deck of the sub too.  They take security very seriously.  
A tug boat pulled aside and we watched a crew change.  It wasn't more than five minutes before the sub was underwater and on it's way back out to sea.  
If a sub wasn't enough, we saw a rare cloud formation called a Hole Punch Cloud.  Our captain said we were very lucky to see one.  Something to do with airplanes going through the clouds, ice crystals getting heavy and falling from the clouds leaving a hole behind.
We were so happy we decided to go out a second time. It was a perfect day!  If you are ever in San Diego I highly recommend Next Level Sailing.  

Linking up with Seasonal Sunday

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Chick Chick a dee!

The holidays are over, the bright lights are all put away and the skies are gray.  Winter is settling in in TN.  It's a rare day if we see sun in January so this year, I wanted to brighten up inside, but after all the Christmas color, I also wanted to keep it simple. 
Although this is not my photo, on any given winter day, we have at least 20 Black-capped Chickadees on our bird feeder or on the Winterberry Bushes in the backyard.  Let's celebrate this cheerful winter visitor. 
I started my table with linen Wedgewood placemats that I have had forever, then added a white swirl glass charger from Pier 1. 
Flatware is Fashion Lane by Alvin from 1944.  I love the simplicity of the design. 

I knew when I saw these Chickadee plates at Home Goods that they would look great with my linens.  I paired them with Miskasa Antique white dinner plates.

Wedgewood water goblets on clearance from Dillards.
Simple centerpiece of pillar candles, on a cake plate, and surrounded by a grapevine wreath.

Sweet Black-capped Chickadees on Dogwood branches.
Candlesticks from Hobby Lobby, clear glass globes with red berries to mimic the berries on the plates. I love the height the candlesticks bring to the table.
Red striped cotton dishtowels from Home Goods bring a little coziness.