Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Encounter with the Queen

On another trip to London, a few years before the events described on yesterday's post, I had an opportunity to actually see Queen Elizabeth.  Unfortunately, you can't see her through the glass of the car in any of my photos.  The Queen was addressing Parliament this day so we made our way to the Sovereign's Entrance to watch for her as she departed.  She even gave us (well, the crowd all around us) a royal wave.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tower Bridge

Here is another very recognizable sight, Tower Bridge in London.  The last time I was in London, I stayed at a friend's flat right on the Thames with this bridge as my view from the balcony.  It was a perfect place to stay as there was a lot of activity on the river below.

The river was especially busy when the King and Queen of Norway arrived in their yacht and escort ship and dropped anchor right outside the window.  We could see (and hear) the gun salute from the Tower of London and a royal escort boat was sent to take them up the river toward Buckingham Palace.  You can see the sailers standing at attention on the escort ship.  They were waiting for the King and Queen of Norway to transfer to Queen Elizabeth's escort boat (pictured below).

It was quite an unexpected and exciting thing to watch and from our balcony, we had the perfect vantage point.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Bean

In downtown Chicago there is a fairly new park called Millennium Park.  When I worked in Chicago back in the late 90's and early 2000, my contract ended before this park was complete.  It wasn't until I went back a few years later that I got to see all the wonderful things this park holds.

The above is a sculpture by Indian-born, British artist Anish Kapoor titled "Cloud Gate" but locals loving call it "The Bean".  It's made of 168 stainless steel plates welded together.  The surface is highly polished exposing no seams.  It's quite large measuring 33 X 66 X 42 feet (10 X 20 X 13 meters) and weighs 110 ton.  The artist state that it was inspired by drops of mercury.

It reflects and distorts the Chicago skyline as well as all the people who gather around to photograph it.

The underside was most interesting, reflecting multiple distorted scenes.  Sometime when I go back for another visit, I'm going to photograph it at night.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Foggy winter day

A Grand Canyon view on a very foggy winter day.  I believe this was Thanksgiving Day a few years ago when my sister Judy and her husband Chet and I went to the Grand Canyon for Thanksgiving dinner.  That was a great experience.

It was fun to see the Centennial dinner wear on the beautifully set table.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Some things are recognizable even if you've never seen them in person.  This would be one of those things.  The unmistakable image of the Eiffel Tower.  A trip to Paris would not be the same without a stop here.  One time, a friend and I went to the top around midnight to see the lights of the city in all directions.

Friday, July 26, 2013


One of my favorite photos from a visit to Oxford England.  Around every corner in Oxford is the scent of academia. The many colleges are clustered in the center of the city with beautiful old buildings everywhere you look.  Peek into the entrance of one of the colleges and see the students and professors walking across the quadrangle.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Streets of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a beautiful city with an endless supply of things to see and do.  Walking the streets you really get a feel for this perfectly livable city.  There are plenty of green spaces to enjoy and take you away from the apartment life.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Port of Call

A view of St. John's Newfoundland from the deck of a cruise ship.  I took a cruise once and will probably never do it again.  I quickly learned that cruising isn't my preferred form of travel.  (I"m not a sit and relax kind of traveler.  I'm more of an always on the move seeing things kind of traveler.)  This cruise went to Halifax Nova Scotia and St. John's Newfoundland and back to New York.  Unfortunately, Halifax had been hit by a hurricane two days before our landing and many of the land excursions were cancelled because of it.  St. John's was much better.  I enjoyed walking the streets here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Asolo Italy

Asolo Italy is a mountain village in the northern, Veneto Region of Italy.  Like all of Italy, it has a long and rich history.  It has become known as "the pearl of the Provence of Treviso" and if you visit there you will quickly see why.  It's mountain top setting makes way for fabulous views of the valley below and the town itself is laced with winding steep streets framed by beautiful, tile-roofed buildings.

There is an American connection to this town.  A theatre was built here in 1798 at the Castle Caterina Cornaro. In 1952 it was sold to the state of Florida, disassembled and reassembled at the John & Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. Later in the 50's, it was decided that it should be a working theatre so restoration began and in1958 it was opened as a usable theatre.  At least, that's what Wikipedia is telling me.  Sounds like I need to make a trip to Florida to check that out.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Bryce Canyon in southern Utah is a spectacular place full of "hoodoos" as they are called.  A hoodoo is an odd shaped pillar of rock left standing after the forces of erosion.  There are hoodoos all over the world in different places but Bryce is by far the largest concentration of this land formation.  The Bryce Canyon web site describes the place as "hoodoo-iferous".

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Share the road

When you are in Costa Rica, you must learn to share the road with all kinds of interesting critters like this handsome iguana who was lumbering down the road next to me.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

You never know....

...who you might run into while partying in Las Vegas.  
It just might be one of those Elvis impersonators!

Friday, July 19, 2013


The Tyrrell Museum is a fantastic museum located near the city of Drumheller, Alberta Canada.  It's a very popular attraction for tourists and scientists alike.  It has a collection of 130,000 fossils most of which were found in this area of Alberta.  The museum is named for Joseph Tyrrell, a geologist who discovered the first dinosaur remains in The Red Deer Valley in 1884.  The most popular area of the museum is the Dinosaur Hall  where 40 mounted dinosaur skeletons greet the visitor.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Florence Italy quickly became another "favorite" city of mine as I strolled the streets and admired the architecture.  The Duomo is a stunning center point for a beautiful and art filled city.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Red phone booths

At first glance, you might think this photo was taken on a rare sunny day in London England but, it actually was taken in the Recoleta area of Buenos Aires Argentina.  Behind the phone booths is a lovely little patio cafe.  A perfect place to relax after spending hours in the famous Recoleta Cemetery.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Victoria British Columbia

This is probably the most photographed spot in Victoria British Columbia and how could one resist taking this shot of the beautifully lit Parliament Building reflected in the waters of the boat harbor.

Monday, July 15, 2013


On of my favorite photos from a trip I took to Paris in 2006 is this photo of a street in Montmartre just north of the Sacre-Coeur.  Probably about three years ago, I went to see a French movie (the title escapes me now) and imagine my surprise when the film opened to this exact street.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Calf Creek Falls

In southern Utah there is a wide area called the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.  Within that area you will find a place called the Calf Creek Recreation Area.  You can camp there right next to a cool, gurgling creek.  But, the real adventure begins when you take the 5 1/2 mile round-trip hike to see the Calf Creek Falls.  I will admit that about half way there you might be wondering if the hike will be worth it but, when the trail opens up to this wonderful oasis, you know it's been well worth the long walk.

I haven't been to this place in many, many years.  I'd love to go back and get some new digital photos.  For today, I had to make do with this twenty year old, scanned photo.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Costa Rica

If you visit Costa Rica and stay at Julie (Scottsdale Daily Photo) and Dave's (Tamarindo Costa Rica Daily Photo) Langosta condo, you can relax on the balcony and enjoy a spectacular sunset.

You can also take a day long adventure that includes strenuous hiking,  a little horse back riding, and a little climbing.  For your efforts,  you will discover volcanic fumaroles bubbling and steaming.....

....and spectacular water falls pouring into cool, turquoise pools!

Friday, July 12, 2013

California ocean views

In the city of Corona Del Mar in California, there is a park that overlooks the ocean and is a popular place to watch the sunset over the Pacific.  There are also a row of houses that are are literally hanging on the side of a cliff that plunges down to the water.

It's a place where real estate prices soar to astronomical levels and I'm sure insurance costs are right up there too.  That is, if you can even get insurance on one of these precariously perched abodes.

But, if you are just visiting as I was, you can enjoy the houses hanging below, enjoy the sun sinking into the ocean......

......see a sea nymph frolicking among the shore plants and.....

 the pelicans looking for an evening snack.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lake Louise

It's been a very long time since I've been to Lake Louise and I only have a few photos of the visit there.    I distinctly remember being awestruck by the beauty of this place.  The photo shows The Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise, a beautiful and historic hotel sitting right on the water's edge.  I was traveling in a motorhome on this trip so I didn't stay at this lovely place but I did have a wonderful, leisurely lunch here sitting at a table with a spectacular view of the lake.  Lake Louise is located in Alberta Canada.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Burano is one of the islands in the Venice lagoon and the interesting thing about this quiet place is all the brightly colored houses.  It is said that the fisherman who lived here painted their houses bright colors so they would be easy to recognize when they returned from the sea.  I'm not sure that still applies or if it ever did but, the tradition has lived on.

If you are there in the late afternoon as we were, the bright colors will reflected in the canals making interesting photo opportunities.

The colors are incredibly bright and vibrant on every street.  It's impossible to put your camera down.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tiny boat, big sea

I thought I'd begin this blog with the photo I chose for the background of my header.  I took this photo in late May of 2012 on a trip to Italy.  We were on our way back to Venice from a late afternoon exploring Murano and Burano both beautiful places with individual personalities.  It was evening on the ride back and the sun was starting to set.  I was standing at the railing of our vaporetto watching the sun on the water when I spotted that tiny boat out there with several rowers.  They looked so alone out in the big expanse of water.  Just one of many memorable scenes from one of the most picturesque places on this planet.