Travel theme: Gaudy

A friend of mine suggested the travel theme ‘Gaudy’ after reading about my trip to Las Vegas. That made me giggle; it’s true that Vegas is quintessentially gaudy but I didn’t want to single it out as the sole perpetrator of flashy ostentation, so here are a few flamboyant encounters I have had in other cities.

Never, ever combine silver leggings, ethnic prints and blue wigs. Unless you’re promoting a show at the Edinburgh Fringe.

edinburgh fringe festival scotland theatre performance street performers

I was happily enjoying an amble along the Jersey shore when I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of these shorts for sale. They scared me a little – pink’s not a good colour for me 😉

jersey shore hot pink lace shorts hotpants

Hiking out on the Olympic Peninsula, my gaze was torn away from the breathtaking scenery by a rather ostentatious sign advertising fishing bait. A giant, irridescent metal fish was suspended from a 20 foot high fishing rod. I found the pink eye a little unnerving.

olympic peninsula washington fish bait sign

And last, but by no means least, I give you New York. Every year, Governors Island hosts the Figment Festival, giving New Yorkers a reason (as if they needed one) to dust off their fairy wings, don their tutus and break out the roller skates.

figment festival governor's island new york

figment festival new york governor's island

figment festival new york governor's island

The word gaudy comes from the Latin gaudium meaning enjoyment or merry-making and while today the word may have a slightly negative connotation, it is, at its root, a celebration of the joy of excess. So go on, I dare you, embrace your inner desire to revel in colour and go seek out the excessive, the flashy, the clashing, the showy and the offensively bright. You might just have an awful lot of fun along the way! If you would like to join in this week’s travel theme (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Gaudy
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

Razzle-dazzle me.



About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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201 Responses to Travel theme: Gaudy

  1. aj vosse says:

    Not my kind of thing 😉 … I’ll have to dig deep to find something… 😉

  2. Great theme, Ailsa. For some reason these weekly themes are no longer coming into my reader while your trip travels in all their glory still are 😦

    • ailsapm says:

      That’s very odd, Mrs Carmichael. I have no idea why that would be happening unless it’s a glitsch in the WordPress reader. I wonder if anyone else has noticed the same thing?

  3. ledrakenoir says:

    When you are advised against to combine silver leggings, ethnic prints and blue wigs – so forget to advised against using these boots on the last photo combine to everything… ‘hahahaha’

    Wonderful photos for this theme… 🙂 😉

  4. Pingback: Travel Theme (Gaudy) | being mrscarmichael

  5. bit more of the gaudy

  6. DagEnDauw says:

    Hi Ailsa and travelthemefriends,

    Hopefully you don’t mind I put a link to a picture here from my archive…
    It was the first image I published on the photopage of my new blogaccount and it really fits perfect for the theme, don’t you think so too?
    Thanks for the oportunity

    – Dauw –

  7. markd60 says:

    This is from people of wal mart dot com, right?

  8. John says:

    I might – great photography!

  9. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gaudy | Wind Against Current

  10. I didn’t have a chance to go down to Times Square, and in any case the snow now falling will probably make it beautiful rather than gaudy. So here’s something like gaudy:

  11. Anay daaaarling – gaudy it is! Fantastic collection Ailsa:)

  12. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gaudy | Ese's Voice

  13. You have quite a collection, Ailsa, yet must admit this one was the toughest for me so far.
    Here you can see what I could come up with:

    • ailsapm says:

      I love this post, Ese, especially that last photo where once gaudy colours are now overtaken by the passing of the years, and that Nathalia Crane quote “Every gaudy color is a bit of truth” is perfectly beautiful. I have to ask about that top photo, what and where is it? All those little figures are so intriguing.

  14. Susana says:

    I was having a fun time reading and seeing your “gaudy” items until I saw the Mexican “calavera” and I became quite sad. Why do you think that a symbol of respect for our ancestors should be “gaudy”? Look at the Wikipedia entry for the Day of the Dead and you will see how images of death are quite gracefully encorporated into this yearly celebration of death and loved ones who’ve passed on. Here in California we celebrate it and many of the images were incorporated into the Grateful Dead’s artwork during the late 20th century. Gracias.

    • loganbruin says:

      I am Mexican-American and have been to many Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico, includnig the famous one at Pazcuaro, which I still call the scariest night of my life. I saw many things there much more gaudy than this candy skull. Commenting on the way something looks has nothing to do with what is being celebrated or honored. I am certainly not insulted by Aisla’s inclusion.

      • ailsapm says:

        Thanks, Logan, I have heard about the Pazcuaro celebrations, they look pretty spectacular. I’m intrigued to hear about the scariest night of your life, it sounds like an awful lot of fun! I think of those candy skulls as sweet reminders of our mortality. However, as I just responded to Susana, I can completely understand her misinterpretation of the photo and have updated my post to omit it out of respect for her concerns. xxx Ailsa

    • ailsapm says:

      Ah Susana, I am sorry you feel this way, it was not intended as disrespect but as a celebration of its brightness and the stark contrast between the object and its decoration. I have celebrated Day of the Dead – in Spain, though, not in Mexico – and think it a wonderful celebration and joyous way to pay tribute to the dead. Out of respect for your concern, however, I have updated the post to omit it.

  15. Excellent theme! This will be a lot of fun. 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      Such glorious photos Nuala, from all corners of the globe. The Holi festival in Jaipur is my favourite photo, how long ago were you there? What an incredible experience that must have been! xxx

  16. Pingback: Treasure of Gems | Canoe Communications

    • ailsapm says:

      Wow, what an amazing collection of jewels, that moonstone is huge – I doubt I’d be able to lift my hand wearing a ring that size!

  17. viveka says:

    I had to look up what Gaudy stands for; merry-making … and you have really made theme justice with your gallery. Wonderful happy and colorful shots.

  18. Pingback: Gaudy or Gorgeous? You decide at Portugal's National Coach Museum

  19. Hmm, I can’t imagine anyone looking good in those shorts! Here’s my take on the theme:

    • ailsapm says:

      Wow wow wow those coaches are amazing, Julie. Gaudy AND gorgeous at the same time, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Gosh, even the flashiest of Jaguars or Mercedes can’t hold a candle to these decadent modes of transport. Wonderful post!

      • Thanks, Ailsa. I was trying to imagine the reactions of the Portuguese population as this convoy of glistening chariots rolled along their roads. Gobsmacked is probably close!

  20. Pingback: 2-8-13 Travel Theme Gaudy (Barcelona Version) « The Quotidian Hudson

  21. I do love the fringe pix. I am sure the shorts would look great…Punny theme this week…

    • ailsapm says:

      I actually saw a girl wearing similar shorts not too long ago, Robert, and she did indeed look fabulous. I, however, could never carry them off! 😉

      • ailsapm says:

        Squee, I just saw your post, I was wondering who would be the first to post about Gaudi! Love it, and the museum of chocolate looks oh, so good! Stay warm in the snow, Robert. xxx

  22. Pingback: Travel Theme Gaudy | Le Drake Noir

  23. Pingback: Travel theme: Gaudy « Sasieology

    • ailsapm says:

      Oh Sas, what a wonderful post, and boy, that looks like quite a journey along Route 66. I only got to travel along a tiny part of it, but after seeing your photos I want to hit the road again and travel the entire distance. Love that smiley face. Oh, and thanks for the education about sandgrown’uns – that’s a new one for me! xxx

  24. restlessjo says:

    One of these days I’ll catch up! I’d just decided to post some shadows, when into my reader popped Le Drake Noir’s take on Gaudy. Foiled again.

  25. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gaudy | LoganBruin–An Unauthorized Autobiography

  26. loganbruin says:

    Gaudy, huh? Never having been called that myself–probably the only thing I haven’t been called–I tried my best, following your stunning examples; I wonder if that skull is made of sugar. . .

    • ailsapm says:

      These are brilliant, Logan, you’re right, the Burning Man decompression was a gold mine, those furry boots are intense, and that is indeed the funkiest chicken I’ve ever seen. xxx

  27. Those shorts are brutal. I’ll put up a post tomorrow. 🙂

    • ailsapm says:

      Haha, I have to admit, if I thought I could carry those shorts off, I would have got them then and there. Just because, every so often, you have to toss society’s etiquette out the window and say hey, I rock these pink lacy shorts. I, however, could never rock those pink lacy shorts, not in a million light years. And I’m ok with that. 🙂

  28. Pingback: Ailsa’s photo challenge: Gaudy Gourdy | Sounds like wish

  29. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gaudy | a hectic life

  30. What a wonderful idea for a theme! I can’t wait to find mine. I hope they can come close to the exuberance of yours.

  31. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gaudy « The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic

  32. kz says:

    ouch! my eyes…lol eye-popping photos those..
    here’s my interpretation of gaudy, but sometimes i like gaudy.. ^^

  33. Nia Simone says:

    I like the shorts the most! Funny theme. Have to see what I have in my photos!

  34. poppytump says:

    I love the idea of the Figment Festival 😀
    Pink Lace Skimpy Shorts 😮
    Great theme Ailsa !

  35. Pingback: Gaudy – Ailsa’s WTT | Ouch!! My back hurts!!

  36. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gaudy « A year in the Life

  37. thephotoseye says:

    Great images you posted! A really fun challenge, here are my gaudy spottings:

  38. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gaudy | Across the Bored

  39. ideflex says:

    Glitter is not just for pre-schoolers – please have a look at

  40. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gaudy | A Gringos life in Cusco

  41. Lyle says:

    Wow, I must say, that last one is a little disturbing, well here is my contribution, enjoy

  42. Pingback: Travel theme: Gaudy « humanTriumphant

  43. What fun photos! I just traveled around the block a time or time to retrieve mine:

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