a place called Atalaya

One of the places Beth took me two weekends ago was a lovely, historic beach home named Atalaya (Spanish for watchtower). Built by a businessman for his sculptor wife, it sits feet from the beach, a refuge for Archer and Anna Huntington. The perfect introverts’ sanctuary since it has no guest quarters. On purpose. I so get these people.


Ok, so from the outside, it doesn’t look all that incredible. I mean, the teal is cool, but just wait until we get inside…


But first we have to appreciate the teal door. I mean, hello. Teal.


And hello, Atalaya.


Oh, a beautiful courtyard, how terrible. That just won’t do. Said no one ever.


A door in Anna’s outdoor sculpting area.


Anna made all the wrought iron pieces covering the windows.


Clearly she had some skill with iron.


And I held up the people behind us so I could get this shot. What can I say? I have a thing for hallways. And the teal door at the end made it the perfect choice for a focal black & white effect.


I cannot get enough of these awesome textures.


It almost makes me want to paint every door in my house teal.


Believe me, if I could move into Atalaya, I would have. Even if I had to sleep in the icebox.

Many thanks to this lady for introducing me to Atalaya. And for playing “we’ve been murdered!” with me. (Refer to this post for proof.)

Thursday I’ll share pics of the beachfront part of our adventure . . .


When I was only 8 years old, I experienced something incredible. I was in my first play. (Not counting the random skits put on to entertain family.)

Over the course of two summer weeks, I had lessons in dance, drama, and voice at a local civic center, all culminating in a mostly-kids production of The Hobbit.

Not gonna lie, I kinda rocked the goblin look, don’t you think?

The Hobbit blog

(Gotta love the orange circles around my eyes. Note to self: add that to your makeup routine. Great way to draw attention to your eyes.)

Yep, I was a fantastic goblin. I even had speaking lines. (I’ve also had age issues ever since the adults in charge told me they would’ve made me a dwarf if I had been a little older. One of the thirteen mighty dwarves! Straight and strong and true, marching, marching on, with just one goal in view – to slay the dragon, the awful dragon Smaug! Ahem. Did I mention it was a musical?)

But even though I didn’t get to be a dwarf, it was still incredible. The lights, the excitement, the strobe-light fight scene (although a short, rope whip is rather a disadvantage in a sword fight), the fog-machine smoke, the hushed and sacred backstage.

It was intoxicating. I’ve loved acting ever since, and I think about how much I miss it at least once a week. There’s something magical about being on that stage, knowing an audience you can hardly see is watching your every move. To know there are no second takes. To step into a character and breathe life into him/her. It’s the purest form of magic.

Tomorrow, I get to be one of those shadowy outlines in the audience in the place where theatre lives: Broadway.

That’s right, I’m going to a Broadway show. Newsies, to be exact. It’s the second part of my birthday fabulousness. My husband and I are hopping on a train to NYC tomorrow and catching the show that night.

I can’t wait to breathe in the magic.

But before then, I have to figure out what shoes to wear. So if you need me, I’ll be buried in my closet…