In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play. – Friedrich Nietzsche 

Outfit Details:
Red DressWhite BootiesB&W DressStrappy Sandals, Blue MiniGladiatorsBlack Dress 1,  Black Pumps, Floral Maxi, Black Dress 2 

Connection is the key to a happy life. And, when that connection happens to involve a spunky 6 year-old named Brooklyn, you know it’s going to be a happy one. It was time to head north to San Francisco and truly “Bridge the Gap” with multiple generations of women.  My friends in the North Bay were calling and I was game to immerse myself in youthful energy!

Pulling up in front of the Palace of Fine Arts on an unseasonably warm day (OK, stupidly hot at 105 F), we were ready for our adventure to begin. My friend, Karen Brooks of Wear With Passion, joined us as we made our way to the perfect spot to strike a pose. With the stunning architectural backdrop of the Rotunda, it wasn’t long before Karen and I began hamming it up. Karen, another member of Forever Fierce, launched her blog in February, to join in on The Fierce 50 Campaign on February 19th. Since that time, we’ve bonded at various blogging events and celebrated our midlife connection. Taking it a step further this fall with the launch of the “Bridging the Gap” Campaign, we’re mixing things up with the addition of the Millennial Demographic! C.J. Wells of With Love Style, joined the ranks of the campaign and brought along her little bundle of energy, Brooklyn. Having just turned 6, Brooklyn was the highlight of the day as kid energy always brings out the best in me!

The Palace of Fine Arts has its own illustrious history.  Constructed in the early 1900’s, the buildings were originally designed to be temporary structures. Having just recovered from the earthquake and the fire of 1906, it was a challenging time for San Francisco. It was also the brink of World War I.  The civic leaders of San Francisco came together and created a vision to bring the world together. Their vision would encourage trade and show the world the incredible potential for San Francisco to be an international hub. When you experience the grandeur of the buildings, it’s hard to believe they were built on a temporary basis. After a major fundraising campaign when the buildings were falling into ruin, the decision to preserve much of the palace was made and the dream of making San Francisco an important international center was born.

The renowned architect, Bernard R. Maybeck was chosen to design the project for the Palace of Fine Arts. His design aesthetic focused on the Roman ruins and he achieved what he set out to build. The architect’s inspiration was one of towering colonnades,  a grand rotunda, and a carefully constructed pond; it was meant to evoke quiet sadness and solemnity. And, that they achieved with grandeur. The overall feeling is one of immense beauty and gratitude. The magical history will almost transport you back in time. If you visit the Bay Area, I encourage you to visit this lovely spot!

With the temperature soaring over 100 degrees it was time to cool off. Brooklyn had spotted the ocean earlier in the morning and quickly led the gang to the water’s edge. Tossing off our fancy shoes and accessories, we couldn’t help but join in the fun. A tad overdressed, that didn’t stop us from acting like two-year-olds which wasn’t hard for these grown up kids. C.J. is from Thailand and she and Brooklyn travel the world, sightseeing in eclectic places around the globe. They are a delightful Mother/Daughter Duo and bring a lot of lightness and joy to the world through their Instagram Gallery and the blog. With a theme of “love” permeating C.J.’s blog, it was the perfect energy for the day as we truly bonded and plan many future get together’s.

Karen pulled out a fabulous red dress from Express to begin. Tossing on a pair of on point white booties made the look. C.J. and I have a penchant for Self Portrait and she was wearing one of my favorite dress designs. With strappy sandals from Steve Madden, it’s a classic look made current with the intricate lace detailing and flawless design. I threw on a fun mini from Alice and Olivia from Nordstrom. Comfy and in the most beautiful shade of blue with a hint of a floral design, it was a perfect choice for the climbing temperatures. Gladiators were an easy choice and fit in perfectly with the surrounding Romanesque collonades!

The museum was the ideal place for the shoot. We spotted a prima ballerina with her photog in tow, striking the most beautiful poses. Little Brooklyn was enamored. We happened to spot a man who was a dwarf. It was the first time Brooklyn had ever had this experience and it was a confusing concept for her. I sat with her and explained that he was a full grown man but he would always stay small. I asked her if she had seen “Snow White” and told her that there are real “dwarfs” in the world and they’re just like you and me, even though they look a little different. It was a delightful moment as there’s nothing better than the pure innocence of youth. Brooklyn’s lovely sparkly energy permeated the day. And, with that, it was time to head over to the Mission District and get a bite to eat.

We had changed into a second set of looks with Karen in a classic “LBD” from Express and pumps from Jessica Simpson from DSW. C.J. chose a floral maxi with some sandals from her own collection. I found a perfect “LBD” at Nordstrom from Alice and Olivia. The designs are whimsical and fit like a glove. Tossing on classic pumps from Aquazurra that are from last season, this completed the look. Although, with the soaring heat, we were happy to toss our shoes aside and hop into the chilly ocean waters!

Arriving at a casual restaurant, we settled in and began chatting amongst us. Brooklyn sat across from me and we started talking about dogs. I showed her a picture of my pup that went to heaven 2 years ago. Brooklyn asked me what heaven was. I told her it was a place where Angels lived. A beautiful place. She asked me what an “Angel” was. I picked up my iPhone, went over to Pinterest, and before I knew it we were gazing at images of heaven and Angels. Sweet Brooklyn was enamored and C.J. tells me she hasn’t stopped talking about Karen and I. I think it’s the two year part of ourselves she was connecting with as the truth is, it doesn’t matter your age, what matters is your attitude and the way you look at life. And, this kid at heart will be a kid at heart for life! Thanks, Brooklyn. I needed that! And, to Karen and C.J., I’ll be back to do it again soon. Cheers, my beauties!

4 comments

Reply

This was a magical day of fun with all of you beautiful girls. We couldn’t have picked a better spot in San Fran to do our shoot. The Palace of Fine Arts is stunning. I had so much fun playing in the summer heat even though I thought I would melt at times. It is a day I will never forget and cannot wait to do it again. Wonderful post my dear, sweet Catherine. xoxoxo

Reply

Fabulous women and fabulous connections!!
XOXO
Jodie
http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

Reply

Loved reading about the history of the Palace of Fine Arts. What an amazing day you all had–great pics!

Reply

Brooklyn and I had the most amazing time with you and Karen. You are a positive, role model and inspiring for all young girls out there. I am so glad I met you and I hope to see you again soon xoxo

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