CFFC: Colorful Buildings

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues with her theme “all about buildings” and this week’s topic is colorful buildings.

In Amsterdam, Holland:
the red light district

De Pijp neighborhood (across from our Airbnb)

Miltenberg, Germany:

the Town Hall (Rathaus)

Wurzburg’s colorful cathedral:

Budapest, Hungary:

Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico:

Costa Rica:

Sports stadium in Aswan, Egypt:

Tucumcari, New Mexico, USA on Route 66:

Shamrock, Texas (Route 66):

Cuba, Missouri (Route 66):

Uranus, Missouri (Route 66):

Monday Window: Windows With Grates

For Ludwig’s Monday Window Challenge, I am looking back at a cruise we took to the Panama Canal, stopping at several Central American Pacific ports on the way back. All these windows have grates. One of them, however, was taken in Jerusalem last year.

León, Nicaragua
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Antigua, Guatemala
KODAK Digital Still Camera
The purple sashes were there because it was Holy Week.KODAK Digital Still Camera
Actually, I think these windows have shutters, not grates.
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Todos Santos, Mexico
Jerusalem, Israel

RDP: Dancing, Yeah!

Ragtag Daily Prompt today is Dance.

A Sunday afternoon on Avenida Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil: Ballet and…

…political protest batucada: “Fora Temer” – a protest against the vice president (Temer) who took over for Pres. Dilma Roussef after her arrest.

Panama Canal Cruise – in Mexican town of Tuxtla Chico, Chiapas

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Panama Canal Cruise on board m/s Veendam: Mexican dancers

Verde Valley School 70th anniversary: Saturday night dance

Lens-Artists Challenge: Windows

The theme this week for Lens Artists’ Weekly Photo Challenge is windows.

Mormon church – Salt Lake City, UtahSONY DSC
Trigger – photography studio and wedding venue, Chicago, IL
Northlight Theatre, Skokie, IL – with sculpture in front
Bike frames in a window, Chicago, IL
Inspirational message on the rear window of a parked car, Arlington Heights, IL
House, Des Plaines, IL
90 Miles Cuban Café, Lincolnwood, IL
Vine covered façade, Oakton St., Des Plaines, IL
Flower pots on a window sill in Todos Santos, Mexico
Park Inn Hotel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Mason City, Iowa

Music All Over the World

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge this week is to show “live music.” Music is a very important part of my life. I love all types of music and am especially fascinated by “world” music – music from different countries and cultures.

Our favorite orchestra in the Chicago area is Chicago Sinfonietta. Every concert they play is unique and inclusive. They specialize in diversity, in honor of the founder of the orchestra, Paul Freedman, an African-American conductor and classical musician. They focus on a theme for each concert which includes performers from different genres and cultural groups. In this photo of their May 2018 concert, they invited a well-known professional gospel choir to perform with them.20180512_195835
Last November, they had a Day of the Dead themed concert, which included such works as Mozart’s Requiem, including a choir from Roosevelt University that wore skeleton costumes and masks during the performance. During the intermission, there were cultural dances and music from Mexico.
Music evokes such emotion and nostalgia in me. When we took a cruise to the Panama Canal in March-April 2017, we stopped at a small port in Chiapas, Mexico, where some of us took an excursion to Tuxtla Chico (I have blogged about this), a charming small town where music and dances were performed for us. Within a short time, I didn’t want to leave – all my emotions associated with past trips to Mexico were brought to the surface by the cultural atmosphere and the typical music. Here some women dressed in beautiful flowered dresses danced to music played by a marimba band.

Back on the cruise ship, some Mexican performers came aboard for a couple of days and performed for us by the Lido pool. This included a male singer and a couple of dancers, who performed dances from different regions of Mexico.


Steel pan music was also a feature of that cruise when we passed through the Caribbean, and Chicago Sinfonietta later that year featured steel pan music in one of their concerts. Here my husband Dale samples playing a steel pan, supervised by a professional steel pan player, leader of a steel pan band from Northern Illinois University, before the concert. NIU is possibly the only university in the country where music majors can specialize in steel pan music.20170916_185949.jpgI could continue with more examples of the music in my life, but this would become a very long post! So I’ll end with some “batucada” (percussion) from Flamengo Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (recorded in November 2016).









CFFC: Point and Click!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is cameras or photographers.

Usually I take pictures of people taking pictures while traveling – after all, that seems to be when most people take out their cameras, from cellphones to sophisticated SLRs.

I got a new camera and a new haircut right before our Baltic cruise.

Trying out my new camera

Trying out my new camera, Aug. 1, 2015

Dale takes a picture of me taking a picture

One of the first pictures I took with my new Kodak camera! Dale had just gotten this red Nikon basically free due to a mistake by Amazon.

In March-April, 2017, we went on a Panama Canal cruise.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

A woman takes a photo of an interesting fountain in Antigua, Guatemala (I have photos of that same fountain).

In Todos Santos, Mexico (near Cabo San Lucas), we went to a cultural center, which had interesting murals as well as eclectic artifacts.

20170404_152242 (2)

A woman on our tour takes a picture of a mural at the cultural center in Todos Santos.



Another room at the cultural center had historical objects on display, including a number of vintage cameras!

Last summer, with our trip to Tanzania several months away, I bought another camera. I was very dissatisfied with the Kodak, which would sometimes overexpose or blur a subject for no reason. So I bought a used Sony SLR with two lenses, including a 300mm telephoto lens, a camera case and other accessories. I didn’t think the Kodak would be reliable enough for photographing wildlife and I was right – the Sony worked much better!


My Sony camera & extra lens in the bag I bought to go with it, which has lots of pockets and essentially has become my “purse” when we travel!

A safari in Tanzania is, of course, a place to take lots of photos, from the most amateur cellphone photo to close-up shots of far-off animals with 600 mm telephoto lenses, and everything in between!


On a hike our first day in Arusha National Park, some people took pictures of giraffes and zebras, such as Susan (L) and Cheri (Middle – with her cellphone camera – her 600mm telephoto is slung over her right arm), while some (Doug – R), preferred to rest.


In the car behind ours, Cay focuses on a nearby animal.


Me (left), my new Sony camera around my neck, with my cousins Holly and Susan (who are wearing binoculars, not their cameras!).

This song, Desafinado (Out of Tune), sung in Portuguese, is a bossa nova, and one of the lines says: Fotografei você na minha Rolleiflex  (I photographed you with my Rolleiflex).