Travel Feed

Doing Time?

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It's all in the really and truely is! Because, if I summarized my weekend for you, it'd go something like this:

  1. Went to prison
  2. Got a parking ticket
  3. Spent some time in the cemetary

Ended up in the demetia ward!

I was sorely tempted to post that list as a status update on Facebook...wonder what would have happened?

So, let's flesh out those details...

Phil, Denise, and I visited the Eastern State Penitentary in Philadelphia on Saturday. What a hauntingly beautiful and fascinating place. I need to head back there, complete with tripod sometime soon. On the other hand, I did manage to stay off automatic and fiddled with different modes and ISOs. Baby steps!

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The prison was built in the early 1800s and closed in 1970. The officials nearly razed the place to make room for condos, but decided to keep it as a national resource.

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It's a photographer's and artist's paradise with glorious textures and colors. A wonderfully descriptive narrative via headphones brought it all to life.

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Look at the details in the railing supports; it's a cliche, I suppose, but they really knew how to build them back then!

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Glorious fleeting light made us catch our breath in delight. Dad, I apologize for rolling my eyes every time you raved about the light; I get it now. I do.

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Long narrow wings, cell after cell, each one with a hundred or so stories to tell. Al Capone stayed here; so did Pip, the dog, who supposedly killed the governor's wife's cat and did time, or so the legend goes. (The reality is most likely that Pip was a gift to someone here.)

As for the rest of the story...

2. We were so delighted to see an empty parking space, that none of checked out the sign stating it was one hour parking. Uh, oh. One of Philadelphia's finest left us a present.

3. Early today, we visited mom's grave, tidied it up a bit, and said hello to her.

4. I ended my stay visiting my dad in the dementia ward; not a great visit as he had both feet firmly entrenched in la la land. I did get a few smiles, rubbed his back, and had him say, "That's the best feeling in the world." I wonder what he might have said if he knew his two oldes had "done time."


A Box of Crayons

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Gypsy shoes? Check!

Color? Oh, yes!

Phil does the "leg work," so to speak, hunched over a keyboard, looking for places to explore...and then, off we go!

I need to 'fess up, here. Excursions to Frederick, MD, get repeated fairly often. The color captivates me - a world of color, each building a crayon in a box.

I love to wander through old towns; cookie cutter buildings rarely make an appearance. A liberal use of color does not offend or send the town's citizens scurrying away in horror.

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Doors invite you to come closer and explore a bit, like this one, and ...

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and, these, as well! Colors jumbled, begging to be sorted - or maybe left alone to play against each other.

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A "Pop" shop. I'll admit it, I never called this stuff "pop" in my life. I never even heard anyone call it "pop," or at least not until I met and fell in love with someone from Pittsburgh. But, you know what? Even after 30 some years of marriage, I have yet to call this stuff "pop!" Nope, it's soda, down in Philly. Still like this sign though.

Hand me my camera, put me in the car, drive me to a great old town, and I'm in photo op heaven.

And, now, the brain cogs have engaged, and ideas are forming; I think I've got a plain for these pics.

Stay tuned!


Gypsy Shoes on Dog Beach

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after clambering down a rickety set of steps

holding my breath and hoping not to fall

planting my two feet on Dog Beach

wondering if I can get out onto that pier

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after winding our way with a few false starts

bathed in sunlight and inhaling the scent of the bay

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playing with lenses

delighted by patterns and lines

wanting to capture the magic

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thinking I could easily live in one of these

yes, I really could

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with you

gypsy shoes planted firmly on our feet

watching you watching it all

we're water babies, you and I

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at the end of the pier now

and claiming this bench

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nestled against you

delighting in the sounds of the gulls

taking pictures of my shoes to prove I was here

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capturing shadows

capturing magic

capturing us



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Head bowed, buffeted by a bitterly cold February wind.

Tears streaming down my face

Eyes blinking against the sunlight's glare.



Head turned toward a radiant sun

Lost in the magic of stay puff marshmallow clouds



Numb hands gripping the camera's body

Wondering how to begin to capture this magic



Kneeling on wet damp sand

Listening to the shreiking of laughing gulls

Watching the itty bitties battling ferocious gusts of wind



Tasting gritty bits of sand

Capturing magic




Beans in the Belfry!

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We put on our gypsy shoes, and went in search of stairs to photograph today. I need 2 images for a photo book collaboration, which makes for a great excuse to go wandering.


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First stop: Brunswick, MD, where Phil hoped to visit a train museum. Although their web site promised to be open, no such luck. So, we wandered through the tiny town, just to see what thre was to see. Found "Beans in the Belfry," a church turned into a coffee shop!


I enjoyed this...


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and this...

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while listening to a jazz trio.


And, on the way out, I shot tons of pics, including this one:


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Still thinking about the second image.

Photo Heart Connections

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Just a week ago, I wandered through my sister's yard, shooting some photos as everyone finished up getting ready to go to breakfast. The tiny things drew me, this little whisp of a dying flower, going to seed, no bigger than a quarter. In fact, not much bigger than a dime. Quiet beauty, basically unnoticed by most of the world...just going about its business. The whispy bits delighted me, and I can't quite put into words why it tugs at me. Maybe, it's the beauty in its aging, maybe because it signals another change, one that I can't control. I'm learning to appreciate what the changes bring, whether or not I wanted those changes.

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I'm sneaking my August connection in here! The first week of September brought the beginning of school and all the craziness that entails. By the time I caught my breath, the time to link up had passed me by. I love the texture in this photo, and I love my sister's concentration as she figures out her new macro lens. The two of us generally head up towards Lake Erie right before school starts, and we both get lost in our cameras...whether it's Lake Erie, the beach, or downtown Philly. Many, many happy memories here!

Hit the Road, Jack!

Over at Focus 52, it's week 38, and we've been instructed to "hit the road." No problems here, as both Phil and I sport a pair of well worn gypsy shoes.

We spent last weekend in Charlottesville, making good use of Phil's birthday gift from our 3 children and their spouses. What a way to celebrate #60...a balloon ride!

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At this point, we were floating above this balloon, so I had to hang over the edge of the basket a wee bit to get the shot. Worth it? Oh, yes! (And, you can see the road, right? So, this one counts.)

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Loving the pop of the color here...

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...and how the curve of the road echos the curve of the river here.

Happy Saturday! We're off and about again today, taking my dad's advice: "There's a big wide world out there, see as much as you can."

Up, Up, and Away

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Busy doesn't begin to describe it; I'm the hamster on the wheel, running, running, running...

But, I had to indulge myself and edit at least one pic. Minimal editing - a bit of straightening and a tweak to the contrast. The adjusting needed; they're gorgeous on their own.

A magical Sunday - floating through the clouds in the Blue Ridge Mountain area and then a visit to an area winery, stopping along the wayto photography some rather blase cows.

Just what the doctor ordered; I highly recommend the "cure!"

Strange Woman in Aisle 13

So...yesterday, my hubby asked me if I'd like to head toward Westminster to check out an antique mall. Seemed like a good way to spend one of my last days of summer vacation. A sort of final hurrah...

On our way, hubby blissfully added that the fact that you can find "Alphabets" there, and we would be stopping at that store.

Now, you need to understand that the man adores "Alphabets." Adores them. Relatives and friends have been advised to check out grocery stores in their areas, as well as any vacation spots.

Darling daughter orders them from Amazon (Yes, they're available through Amazon!) for Fathers' Day and birthdays.

The adventure began...

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Sure enough...only one tiny section, way on the bottom shelf, but there they stood in all their glory.

Well, I needed a photo of something "blue" for Focus 52, and this fit the bill. So, I grabbed my camera and began shooting under less than stellar conditions, but shoot away, I did.

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When I finally scrambled to my feet, I met the eyes of a store worker, one with a very quizzical look on her face. Was this woman taking pictures a corporate spy? Someone from a competing store? Or possibly, a whacko? She seemed to be leaning towards the last choice.

Notice the hubby had not given me one hint that this woman was standing there. Nope, he left me to explain it all.

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Smiling and babbling, I gushed out that this was a favorite childhood cereal, not to be found in Northern Virginia or anywhere nearby. I informed her that it could be found on Amazon, and that a coworker told us we could find it here, and that we were so excited.

Darling hubby (and I use that adjective loosely, mind you) still said not a word.

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She escorted walked with us to the checkout. Darling hubby quietly pointed out that her shirt color varied from the everyday personnel. In other words, she had power!

As we got into the car...with 6 boxes of this troublemaking cereal....he also pointed out that "he does not do bail," a phrase our children heard frequently.

Lovely man, huh?

Want to be I was conversational fodder for several folks yesterday?

Here's to August Break, Day 19!