On the way to Morocco, I had a wonderful stopover in Madrid, Spain.  I was able to play tourist and walk around the town and take in the sights!  Most of the day was spent in the Plaza Mayor, which dates back to 1577 and was filled with vendors, restaurants, entertainers, tourists…and lots to see and photograph!

The rest of the day in Madrid I learned about Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote who was born, lived, and is buried there in the capital city of Spain:

One short chartered plane ride later, we arrived in Fez, the second largest city in Morocco.  A UNESCO world heritage site, the old city (medina) dates back to the 700’s and is considered to be the world’s largest car free zones.  It’s made of narrow winding corridors and is an amazing sight to see!

It’s like stepping back into time knowing the walls have been around for thousands of years… but I’m still a people photographer at heart so they are still my favorite images!

Hand-made arts and crafts are a true highlight of the region.  One of my favorite stops was to a ceramic workshop where the clay is shaped, baked, hand-crafted, painted…and ultimately crafted into beautiful goods:

Another highlight is the leather tanneries.  Chouara Tannery is reportedly oldest dating as far back as the 11th century. The hides are soaked, scraped, softened, dried in the sun and then finished.  Quite a sight (and smell) to experience!

A neat day trip to Bhalil (outside of Sefrou) was really enjoyable.  Known for houses built into the hillside (caves), colorful buildings and for hand-made buttons (Jelleba Buttons):

And one last look at more images from the medina in Fes:

The next stop on the journey was Marrakech.  The hotel itself was a true highlight.  Called La Mamounia, it was a 17 acre palace!

In the heart of Marrakesh is the Jemaa el-Fnaa, the world famous medina square that dates back to 1070.

Incredible, overwhelming, exciting, ancient…but definitely touristy.  And definitely not PETA approved…

Last on the stop on the way to the airport was Casablanca.  Of course made famous from the movie with the same title, but also home to the Hassan II Mosque (or Grande Mosquée Hassan II or Casablanca Hajj).  The city is urban with polluted beaches, but on the horizon and incredibly gorgeous is the Mosque overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  Largest in Morocco and 13th largest in the world, it’s the world’s tallest minaret at 60 stories high and can hold over 100,000 worshippers at once.

The 30th anniversary of the Carousel Ball took place this year at the Beverly Hilton and it was a giant success for the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes.  Here are a few of the details and scenes before the guests arrived, showing the red carpet set up, silent auction space and ballroom decor:

Started in 1978, this event has raised over $100 million through the years and continues to be chaired by Barbara Davis!

There were an incredible number of recognizable faces that walked the red carpet to show their support… here are just a few of the diverse celebs (from music mogul Clive Davis, to Alan Thicke, Samuel L. Jackson and Carmen Electra) :

Carousel Ball Celebs

But the best part of the evening occurred on stage.  Jay Leno served as the Master of Ceremonies, and the gorgeous Sharon Stone served as the auctioneer for the live auction:

Three Brass Ring Awards were awarded…Quincy Jones presented to Jane Fonda. Carole Bayer Sager presented to David Foster, and Sherry Lansing presented the final one to Anjelica Huston.

Brass Ring Awards at Carousel BallDenzel Washington presented Sir Sidney Poitier with the Inspirational Lifetime Achievement Award and was a wonderful moment to witness:

Denzel Washington Sidney PoitierA fun surprise was the incredibly talented voice of Quinton Aaron…actor from ‘The Blind Side”, he has an incredible voice! As does Idina Menzel and Jaime Foxx.

Idina Menzel Jaime FoxxThe fundraiser takes place every year but alternates locations between Denver and Los Angeles… Can’t wait for Denver next year! What an incredible event for a wonderful cause!

Barbara Davis

I feel so lucky to get to work at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  Gooding & Company is the official auction for the event (auction house specializing in the finest antique, classic, sports, and racing cars).  Widely considered one of the very best car shows in the world, it really is incredible to see.  From the number of events, to the celebrities, dollar figures on the vehicles, and the beauty of the area…I recommend the trip!

Pebble Beach SceneryThe auction itself was a giant success.  Gooding generated over $129 million in sales over the 2 day auction with an average of $1,128,606 per car!!

Gooding Pebble Beach 2016 auction

Some of the very best car, and people watching (outside of the Kentucky Derby) takes place on the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance!  Here are a few pictures, and a couple of images of the ‘concept lawn’ in the front of the iconic entrance to the Pebble Beach clubhouse:

2016 Pebble Beach Concours dThe weather was a mixture of overcast, and hazy.  In large part due to a huge fire (Soberanes) which brought the smell of smoke and piles of ash.  Hopefully the rain clouds helped the firefighters out, but for me, it means I prefer the black and white images the most!

2016 Pebble Beach Concours d

Wanted to share some photos from a wonderful event in Washington D.C.  The adventure began on the bus en route to Mt. Vernon (plantation house of George Washington, first President of the United States) where a tour guide rode along narrating historical facts about the city along the drive, it was wonderful!

Built in the 1750’s and nearly 500 acres to see along the Potomac River, it really is a trip worth making:

Mt. VernonThe next event took place at the Newseum, the interactive news and journalism museum just a couple of blocks from the United States Capital. There are many displays that are interesting, but just as many that are emotional.  From the 9/11 display with melted metal to the display of Pulitzer prize-winning photographs throughout the years, there are sure to be tears…

Newseum

Perhaps the location what wouldn’t have been on my list of tourist attractions I would have visited was the Library of Congress. However, it sure is on my list now!  One of the most stunning buildings I’ve ever seen (especially the ceilings).  Some interesting facts include:  the nation’s first established cultural institution and the largest library in the world, the place to register a copyright and it’s open to the public and any citizen 16 and older can get a Library card and use the collections!

Library Of CongressThe corporate event concluded with a reception and private concert by the incredibly talented (and gorgeous) Leann Rimes:

Leann Rimes

Now that’s a headline that most people will gladly skip right now.  The fact of the matter is that there is a lot of divide, polarization and a political campaign process that seems to go on for years and years.  Perhaps down the road it will be exciting again to have been part of this process because after all it’s our democratic system and history.

Here are the two candidates, first the Republican Nominee for President, Donald Trump.  He was speaking at the Western Conservative Summit for the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University.  Sarah Palin also spoke:

Donald Trump and Sarah PalinIn any political event (DNC, RNC, campaign stops…)  I find some of the most fascinating moments to be images of the protestors… Between the signs, and the passion, they are fun to watch, and some were pro-Trump and others anti-Trump, separated by a street and yelling at each other as the police watched carefully:

Protestors at Trump event

photography

On the other side of the aisle, I also photographed the Democratic Presidential Candidate for President, Hillary Clinton on her campaign stop in Denver.  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper accompanied her on stage:

Hillary Clinton in Denver

I find these last two black and white images especially powerful.  Anti-Clinton protestors on the left, and a few faces in the crowd on the right…