Collecting Inspiration

This year for my birthday, I celebrated at the beach.  Two days of listening to the pounding surf, as I hiked through sand brought in from the storms of 2017, while hunting for sea glass. The first day was windy and cold.


The second day on the sand was gorgeous, but there was not an abundance of sea glass.  I decided to focus on rocks with holes, lines and texture as my found objects.  (I always check for signage regarding removing objects from the beach).

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Rock Beads ©2017 Mary Lou Fall
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Lines, Intersections and Texture ©2017 Mary Lou Fall

My birthday celebration would not be complete without reservations at Cafe Rio in Rio Del Mar.

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Photo Credit:  Mary Lou Fall

Mango Salsa atop Swordfish resting on shaved Brussel Sprouts and Rice was delicious, but of course, I saved room for dessert.

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Photo credit:  Mary Lou Fall

Words cannot express the intense flavor of this dessert.  As Tess Flanders expressed in 1911, “Use a picture.  It’s worth a thousand words.”

My birthday 2017
Photo credit: ©2017 Mary Lou Fall

The end to a perfect evening and birthday.





It was time for a mini-getaway.  A chance to unwind and regenerate.  An opportunity to visit two of our favorite restaurants.  Time to experience solitary moments of peace and quiet.  While beach combing, sifting through grains of sand looking for the perfect piece of sea glass, I did not expect to find a smiling face staring back at me.  I’m sure we’ve all looked at clouds and identified something familiar or seen religious figures on toast, but to actually see a smiling human face in a fossil shell took my breath away.  In one solitary moment, it felt good to have a face smile back at me.  Human face processing or  (face pareidolia) continues to be studied.  I found quite a bit of sea glass too, but nothing can compare to a smiling face.IMG_4052

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Sea Glass and Sand Dollars

For Mother’s Day, my husband I decided to leave the city behind for sand and surf.  We spent two sand-filled days at Aptos, CA.  We were able to get last minute reservations at Rio Sands Hotel located a block from the beach.

Dinner our first evening consisted of fresh grilled fish and a dessert of coconut cheescake co-mingled with a wonderful bottle of wine at Cafe Rio.  We lunched at Pixie Delicatessen on Pesto Chicken and Southwestern Sandwiches.   The fresh rotissere chicken, melted cheese on a warm toasted  french roll was such a treat!

We walked all day through the surf and sand searching for sea glass.  Unexpectedly, we found an assortment of sand dollars.  We came upon a live purple sand dollar with barnacles on its back.  As the tide came in, I tossed it back into the surf. Sea Glass and Sand Dollars #6Sea Glass and Sand Dollars #4

I was quite fascinated by the sand sculpture along the beach, and was amazed the respect shown to the sculptor.  The sculptures constructed of driftwood were left intack.  Of course, the tide may predict otherwise.  Searching for sea glass requires a trained eye and one not distracted by all the beautiful rocks along the way.  I was so excited to find blue glass, which is a special find, according to a friend of mine that lives in Aptos.

After our final day of beachcombing, we had dinner at Manuel’s, a local Mexican restaurant.  There are no words to describe Manuel’s…Fun, atmosphere and good food reside in this world of cultural flavor.  Two sangrias later, my husband and I discussed our next adventure to Fort Bragg’s Sea Glass Beach.  What a lovely end to a beautiful weekend.

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