Sunday, June 30, 2013

JUST DUCKY!

 
I love going to the lake. I think everybody who reads what I write here knows that. But what you may not know is that I love photographing wildlife too.  It's a hobby of mine. Though once upon a time I got paid by a newspaper to take pics. For the record... ducks and geese are particularly fascinating to me. So I tend to gravitate to where they might be. Some ducks happened to congregate at a boat dock we frequent. We go there to watch the PONTOONS and people too. Birds of a feather flock together. It's an entertaining way to spend an afternoon, to be sure. So I started snapping away with the camera.

THIS FELLA WAS DOING A LITTLE DANCE
 
MOMMA WITH HER YOUNGSTERS
 
THIS MALE AND FEMALE IN CONVERSATION
 
 
SILLY BIRD MIXED IN WITH THE DUCKS
 
THESE TWO WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO FEED THEM
 
UGLY FISH APPEARED IN THE WATER
ANY GUESSES WHAT KIND IT MIGHT BE?
IT WAS HUGE WITH A BIG MOUTH.
AREN'T THEY INTERESTING?
 
 SITTING BY THE
DOCK OF THE BAY... OOPS! LAKE
WASTING TIME AND LOVING IT.

Friday, June 28, 2013

BLIND TRUST

 
I hate to travel. All those decisions. Where to stay? What to wear? What to take? And now with technology it's even worse. You have the cell phone. The computer. The tablet. The kindle or nook. All the chargers.  We usually travel by car, so that means everything gets tucked inside it for safe keeping while on the road. That makes me nervous. Clothes in a suitcase I can replace. The rest of it, not so easily and not without great expense. Yet sometimes you have to trust complete strangers to treat you right and not take advantage.  Case in point this past trip east. We drove  hours to see a concert and got there before we had time to check into a hotel.  So everything we owned was packed in the car, covered by a blanket. And the only parking lot available was one where you had to leave your car keys for them to move the car. They state up front they are not responsible for anything. I was hysterical and did not want to leave the keys for them to ransack through my personal belongings. My hubby shrugged it off and simply said, this is the way people do business and we have insurance. This did not comfort me, so I was fidgety throughout the entire performance worried about all our stuff in the car.  Not to mention the thought of our identities being stolen, too because of all the pertinent information on the computers. Therefore, I did not enjoy the concert as much as I could have. When we came back to get the car, everything seemed in tact. Nothing appeared out of place. But you never know, do you??? Something could still happen down the road as a result of this? Would you trust a total stranger with your car keys, car, suitcases and computers and just walk away for three to four hours??? And hand him $15 too. Seemed everyone did. But I wonder how many were from out of town, with a packed car, like we were?
 
 

Monday, June 24, 2013

WHEELING IN THE RAIN

 
When we travel we are usually in a hurry, coming and going. Sightseeing is a luxury at best. In all the years we've traveled back east we have never stopped in Wheeling, West Virginia. Yet we have heard all the jokes about it. So this time we decided to explore the town. We originally were going to visit America's Taj Mahal the New Vrindaban Palace of Gold, known for it's lavish gardens, spectacular interior and architecture. But with the weather being so bad and it being located off the beaten path we decided to save that visit for another time. So we focused instead on seeing the Centre Market district.

It is an area full of eateries, arts and crafts, antiques and historic houses. (I found the cost of things to be pricey here, though.) Older than the state itself, the market was originally built in 1853 and has been in continuous operation since.
 
 
 
 
After a couple hours there... seeing all the vendors, including the famous, Coleman Fish Market... we waited for the weather to improve because we were getting antsy to go outside and explore the antique shops and historic houses.
 
 
 
(CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE, SO YOU CAN READ AND SEE THEM BETTER)
 
 
 
Afterwards we then continued downtown to look for The Railroad Station, which was built in 1907 and stopped passenger service in 1961. It is now a community college.
 
 
We also wanted to find The Old Custom House which served as a Post Office and Federal Court back in the day.
 
 
And last but not least... we hoped to see a Vaudeville Theatre with live entertainment. It was established in 1904. And nowadays features drama, comedy, Blue Grass, Country and Barber Shop music.
 
 
 
Unfortunately, none of the above were open at the time, we happened past. But I had the chance to photograph them, so we can say we were there. The rest of the trip to Wheeling was spent looking at the rain pour from the car window.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

FLASHBACK TO THE 50's

 
When we travel we like to eat in restaurants unique to the place we're visiting.  That way you can get a feel for the town and the people in it. Driving through the mountains we happened upon this old 50's diner. And we fell in love with it. Look at the decor.  Just like the places we remember from the good old days. The food was wholesome, like mom makes... but basic, with no added frills. And it tasted good. The cost was affordable, not too pricey. And the waitresses were down to earth and friendly as can be. It made for a wonderful meal in an interesting setting. NOT like going to a chain restaurant, at all.
 
 
THIS BEARY COOL GUY GREETED US
WHEN WE WALKED IN THE DOOR
 
 
DON'T YOU LOVE THE RED AND WHITE SEATS
AND CHECKERBOARD TILED FLOOR?
 
 
AND LOOK WHAT THEY MADE A GUM MACHINE OUT OF
 
 
DON'T YOU LOVE THE WINDOWS?
ON THE OTHER SIDE WERE MORE TABLE AND CHAIRS.
 
 
EVEN THE BATHROOM WAS COOL
WITH IT'S ORIGINAL FIXTURES
AND THAT ROUND MIRROR
 
 
SPINACH OMELET WITH HASH BROWNS & TOAST
 
 
ME ABOUT TO DIG IN TO BREAKFAST
 
 
EXITING THESE DOORS TO CONTINUE OUR JOURNEY
 
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

OPULENCE AND GRANDEUR

 OUTSIDE OF HEINZ HALL
LOBBY
ONE OF MANY STAIRCASES
CONCERT HALL & AUDITORIUM
SEATS
THE GRAND TIER, MEZZANINE
'LOGE' SEATING.
WE USED TO SIT HERE
WITH OUR DAUGHTERS
ON SATURDAY MORNINGS
FOR THE SYMPHONY
CONCERT SERIES FOR CHILDREN
TICKETS WERE AMAZINGLY CHEAP
OVERHEAD LIGHTS
IT'S HARD TO SEE HOW ORNATE THESE ARE
DOORS
ARTWORK
WATER FOUNTAIN
MIRROR
LADIES BATHROOM
NOT FAR FROM THE STAGE DOOR OUTSIDE
IN DOWNTOWN PGH
 
"Heinz Hall was originally built in 1927 as a Movie Palace called
Loews's Penn Theatre. It featured vaulted ceilings with bronze and crystal chandeliers, marble staircases, 24kt. leafing, silk draperies and massive ornamental columns. In 1964 the theatre closed it's doors and was scheduled for demolition. Henry J Heinz II rescued and renovated it creating a new home for the Pittsburgh Symphony. It reopened in September of 1971."
 
(CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE FOR A BETTER LOOK)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

 
ENJOY. LET YOURSELF GO. RELAX.

Friday, June 14, 2013

THE CLASSIC LOVE OF MUSIC

 
My hubby is a classical music enthusiast. He is serious about his music. His dream is to someday go the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. We spent many a year with season tickets to the symphony wherever we lived, with the exception of here.  He is not too impressed with the quality of the local small town orchestra here, so we do not attend.  But when the opportunity to go elsewhere to get his music fix arises he jumps at the chance. But that always means a road trip. This year it was a five hour jaunt. He got tickets to The Pittsburgh Symphony at Heinz Hall in Pennsylvania. Our old stomping grounds from 35 years ago. They were featuring Yuja Wang a young world renown pianist. She would be playing Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 23 with conductor Manfred Honeck. My husband was beside himself. He was like a groupie going to a rock concert. I probably would have felt more at home at a rock concert myself, since classical music is his passion, not mine. But I love Pgh. So I was happy to be there.  I have never seen him so excited, though. Since I got the new camera for my birthday he asked me if I could take a picture of her for him. He told me she would come out in an evening gown and stand by the piano. That was the shot he wanted. This was not an easy feat, but I did manage one. She is a charismatic force on stage. And ladies and gentleman to say she can play the piano is an understatement. This woman is a superstar who was born to tickle the ivories.