Yikes! I have a few days to catch up for Paula’s February Love Me challenge! Here are 3 more, in no particular order…
Feb. 6: I love…ice cream! Even though it is winter, and quite cold here, I can’t resist the temptation of ice cream once in a while!
Feb. 7: I love…art. I love to visit art museums whenever I can as well as do my own artwork! I just finished the book Frida in America by Celia Stahr, a new biography of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo focusing on her years in the United States with her husband, Diego Rivera. While reading the book, I explored her artwork on line and, although I was quite familiar with her work, I discovered a lot of her paintings I hadn’t known about before. I also love mural art wherever I find it – and usually stop what I’m doing to take a picture!
Feb. 8: I love…traveling. Anyone who reads my blog even occasionally knows how traveling is absolutely the thing I love most to do! And while traveling, I engage in one of my favorite hobbies, photography, and when I come back, I engage in another favorite activity, writing (or blogging). Below is a gallery random sample of travel photos from 2018-2019. There are no travel photos from 2020 due to not being able to travel during the pandemic! I have two international trips booked for 2022 and hopefully we can do a road trip in the fall of this year.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #104 is about summer. Ah, summer! My favorite season of the year! Even with the distancing measures of Covid-19, I can enjoy the summer. (Imagine if the shelter-in-place had been in the winter – we’d REALLY get cabin fever!)
Two recent photos of our senior community that represent summer:
Debbie’s Travel With Intent has a weekly photo challenge,One Word Sunday, and the word this week is umbrella. I tend to not have an umbrella when I need one (and do have one when it doesn’t rain after all), but I like this topic!
Because we’re not going anywhere right now, I have compiled a collection of doors I have photographed during recent travels for Norm’s Thursday Doors. In fact, I don’t think I’ve shared these doors before! (Well, maybe a few of them.)
I don’t usually get up early. Especially now – what’s the point? I can’t go anywhere anyway! I have a routine of getting up, getting a cup of tea (I can’t tolerate coffee anymore, although I love it), a banana and a piece of Babybel cheese, and then going to a comfortable spot to read and enjoy my morning snack. In warm weather, I like to sit on the porch and breathe the morning air. So it’s usually 10 a.m. or later before I get going with my day.
But when we travel with tour groups, we often have to get up very early, and on those occasions I do have the opportunity to appreciate the early morning, or Top o’ the morning, as the Irish say, (and in order to fit into Becky’s April Square Tops!)
So for Lens-Artists photo challenge#93 with the topic morning, I am posting some photos I took early in the morning while traveling, mostly with tours, in 2018-2019.
On safari, it’s a given to get up really early, so you can have breakfast and go on a game drive in the early morning when the animals tend to be more active. So every day, our alarm was set for 6 a.m. – when I hear that alarm tune on my husband’s tablet, I still think I’m in Tanzania!
DES MOINES, IOWA
My husband tends to wake up really early whenever we’re sleeping somewhere away from home. Sometimes he wakes me up too. Here we got a great photo overlooking the river toward downtown Des Moines. You can see the capitol building in the distance!
We were in Egypt in the winter, so I often captured the rising sun between 8 and 9 a.m.!
In order to cram as many sites as possible into one day, our tour company in Israel required us to be on the bus no later than 7:30. So we got up at 6 a.m. every morning, and went downstairs to breakfast between 6:30 and 7:00.
On our European cruise last summer, we only had to get up very early a couple of days. Usually, we’d wake up and go out on the balcony of our stateroom.
Although when I’m home, I stay up late (I’m writing this after midnight! – I’m late, sorry, Becky!) and get up late the next morning, when we travel, even on days we don’t have to get up early, we usually do because we are excited! I cherish these last trips we took before the quarantine put a stop to my planning for the next trip, scheduled for this month! But we won’t be stuck at home forever, and I look forward to more adventures soon!
HURRAY! I am back on my blog after being AWOL for two days! I had technical difficulties and it took the computer tech more than 24 hours to fix it. So I am at the TOP of my world! Oh, speaking of top…
I’ve missed a few days of Becky’s April Squares with the topic top, so I’m going to post several photos. I happen to have several photos of the tops of European churches from our trip to France and river cruise in 2019, so here goes…
Most of the photos are of church spires, but my first photo is, sadly, a beautiful cathedral that lost its spires to fire last year: Notre Dame in Paris. Look on the right side of the photo, stare at the clouds and imagine the spires! We visited only a couple of months after the fire, so we were not even able to go inside at that time. I would love to visit when it has been reconstructed and looks magnificent!
The cathedral in Bayeux, France…this cathedral built in the Middle Ages was the original home of the Bayeux Tapestry, which recounts the story of the Norman (France) invasion of England.
We stopped in Bayeux on our way to Mont St.-Michel, which had been on my bucket list for several years. Here is the tippy-top of the abbey spire.
Really, when one tours Europe, one is amazed at the number of churches/cathedrals – every city has one! Here is the top of the cathedral in Würzburg, Germany – the cross on its steeple is lovely!
Next is Bamberg, Germany, with more beautiful crosses on top.
What I like about this one, in Nuremburg, Germany, are all the mini spires decorating the roof, and especially, the clock!
I must soon post the photos I have of this lovely church in Budapest, Hungary – St. Matthias. Inside, it is very colorful and elaborate, but the roof of this church, with its colorful tiles forming geometric designs is also eye-catching!
Last year we were able to do quite a bit of traveling abroad. For Dutch Goes the Photo Tuesday Photo Challenge this week the theme is travel. He says: As most of use are not traveling at the moment, it might be nice to travel virtually through our various blogs and share some of those enjoyed moments with each other. So, let’s share some of those wonderful places that we have visited in this week’s challenge!
How could I resist my favorite topic? And of course, I couldn’t pick just one photo, but these are a few highlights of our Travel 2019.
Light show at Abu Simbel
The most meaningful place for me was the Garden of Gethsemane. This garden is full of centuries old olive trees, including one that was around when Jesus came here to pray on the night of his betrayal.
This is just a colorful shop that sells flowers (among other things) en route to the Sacre Coeur Church in Montmartre.
Bayeux, France: The cathedral in Bayeux is a lovely Gothic structure with beautiful stained glass windows. This is one of them.
June: Amsterdam – Our second trip to Amsterdam in just over a year. The weather in June is definitely better than January but there are a lot more tourists in June! The owner of our Airbnb took us on a private boat tour of the canals and harbor on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Later that day, we took our son to our favorite poffertjes place in Amsterdam – Die Vier Pilaren.
After a week and a half in France and four days in Amsterdam, we went on a river cruise – our first!
June: On the Rhine River in Germany
July: Our last port on the river cruise was Budapest. I love this classic view!
I spotted this bench on the street in the old Jewish Quarter of Budapest, maybe used for waiting for a bus? Or maybe just taking a load off…anyway, it’s definitely much used!
Xingfu Mama’s Pull Up a Seat Photo Challenge
The Lens–Artists photo challenge this week has a guest host, Viveka, whose topic is capitals.
On our road trips around the United States, we try to visit as many capitals as possible – not just the capital cities, but also their capitol buildings. I have a series of posts featuring some of the capitols we’ve visited lately. (Check them out in my archives – that’s why I’ve put the dates in below.) These are the ones that we have seen in the last 3 years.
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA (May 2017)
Capitol exterior and its dome from inside
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Some of the memorials and statues on the capitol grounds
KODAK Digital Still Camera
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA (May 2017)
Capitol building exterior (no, it doesn’t have a dome) and view of grounds from the top floor viewing area
Some famous North Dakotans
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA (May 2018)
Capitol exterior (the dome is at the top of this multistoried building), floor of the rotunda, visiting school group
Artwork viewed from the rotunda, including a colorful door
DENVER, COLORADO (June 2018)
Exterior and view from the dome
Stained glass portraits
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (June 2018)
Exterior and staircase
Slideshow of some of the sights inside
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO (June 2018)
The capitol building in Santa Fe is shaped like the Zuni sun symbol, which is also depicted in the rotunda and on the state flag. The first two photos are a partial view of the exterior and one of the curved hallways.
The New Mexico capitol building has a lot of artwork by New Mexican artists. The slideshow shows some of them.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA (June 2018)
The Oklahoma state capitol has the distinction of being the only capitol in the U.S. that has an oil rig visible at every cardinal direction. Two of these can be seen below. The middle photo is the dome from the rotunda, and the photo at right is a commemoration of Oklahoma’s native tribes, each of which has its own flag.
Sculpture, artwork, and artifacts in the capitol
DES MOINES, IOWA (Sept. 2018)
Capitol exterior and chamber of the legislature
Iowa’s capitol has colorful designs and patterns on its floors.
On the capitol grounds, there is a Holocaust memorial.
Interestingly, this post does not contain photos from my home state capital (Springfield, IL – I was last there in 2012) nor the capital of the state north of here, the state where I was born and I grew up (Madison, WI – I can’t remember the last time I visited the capitol).
I have also visited several foreign capitals in recent years (2017-2019), but not their government buildings – can you figure out which cities these are? One is a provincial capital, the others are national capitals.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #80 is about leading lines. Leading lines are one of the “rules” of composition: There are indeed “rules” of photographic composition, which like many other rules, are made to be broken. Whatever their skill level or experience though, understanding and knowing when to use the “rules” of composition can be helpful for any photographer. This week, our challenge will explore a key compositional element, Leading Lines. …Leading lines carry our eye through a photograph. They help to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between objects. They create a visual journey from one part of an image to another and can be helpful for creating depth as well.
This is how I spent the last two Junes, 2018 and 2019.
Our road trip (mostly) on Route 66: Sedona and Winslow, AZ
We visited the Painted Desert, too: first, horizontal lines.
Undulating formations which slope downward.
In Santa Fe, colorful pillars…
and a souvenir shop with paintings lined up along a counter.
When on Route 66, here’s a sight not to miss: Cadillac Ranch. It had rained the night before.
A year later, we were on a river cruise in Europe. One of the first ports of call was Cologne, Germany with its famed cathedral, with stained glass windows reaching toward heaven…
…and soaring arches decorated with sculptures of saints.
Later we crossed the bridge to return to our ship. The inner side of the bridge is covered with “love locks” – padlocks people leave in honor of their sweethearts. They stretch on as far as the eye can see!
Next stop was Marksburg Castle, which afforded beautiful views of the Rhein River and town below (I wish I could photoshop that pole out, but I don’t have the software).
And here’s a different view: a steeple rises up as seen through a turret.
Marksburg is definitely a “must” on any Rhine River cruise. It’s like a fairy tale castle!
Farther on down the river, a swan swam over near our ship.
We were passing through a lowland area.
I loved the small town of Miltenberg, which was so picturesque!
Inside a church, hymnals were stacked neatly in the narthex. One is drawn to the word Gotteslob, which perhaps means hymnal.
Our final stop on the cruise was Budapest, Hungary. A memorable part of the day we were there was a walking tour through the old Jewish Quarter.