Saturday morning we woke up to snow that was just "spitting" and making the ground wet but not actually sticking to it...however, it did collect on the trees and bushes and made all the "dull" surfaces sparkle. We decided to play "tourist" for the day and went into the city to the PHIPPS Botanical Gardens where I had read about the "Life in the Gardens" exhibit that featured hand blown glass by the Italian artist, Hans Godo Fabrel. It was a great way to see the city and we parked and walked on the "Carnegie Mellon" campus and saw all the beautiful, old buildings that had great architectural features. Holiday decorations were up everywhere, so I grabbed a photo of Tim & Ashley in front of the PHIPPS Christmas tree:
Once inside, we were all pleased with the "Fabrel" glass displays. All throughout the "gardens" there were hand blown glass flowers, fairies, sprites, amphibians and aliens...it was very cool.
Next up, the "visitors" are heading back to their geometric "ships"...which are large glass cylinders, connected and constructed into large cubes...that appeared to have landed and "rolled" into their settings in the gardens .
Here we stopped and posed for a group photo...the lighting and the lush backgrounds through-out the gardens are great for all photos...I took over 100 while we were in the gardens.
Then we came around the corner to the open atrium and found this AMAZING structure suspended from the glass ceiling...just unbelievable. This piece must weigh a ton and it was over 20 feet tall...it reminded me of the Murano Glass Factory in Venice...beautiful.
The best part of the whole exhibit, for me, was "Balancing" which is a play on "Frabel's" famous clowns. This installation consists of 13 clowns balancing on large, brightly colored, spheres that freely float on the water. It was also "interactive" were you, as a visitor, can participate by pressing buttons on a control panel to make the the "fountains" squirt up and gently move the beautifully "reflective" spheres and clowns around the pond. The message here was: "to enjoy life as it is one big carnival".
After we finished touring the gardens, we headed out to find a place to enjoy dinner and we found a great restaurant close to Tim & Ashley's home called "Pittsburgh Chops". It is a locally own/managed steak and seafood restaurant (not a chain...yeah!) that has a great atmosphere and menu. However, it did remind us, very much, of "The Palm" restaurants with their cartoon caricactures of sports legends (mainly Steelers) on the walls and the cigar/pipe smoke that came "wafting" in from the bar into the dinning room...thank goodness we were all done eating and that we were just finishing up our coffee and wine.
We had such a wonderful time, and now,Tim and Ashley have a great place to go for a romantic dinner or to take Ashley's family when they come visit over the Christmas holiday.