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Saturday, November 27, 2010

We were thankful

For a very Soon it will be Christmas.
We had a nice surprise....thanks for coming. You made it special.

It was really nice to walk along the river and not have to worry about someone falling in.

Your cousins love it when you come.

Come back soon!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Brunswick, Canada

I went downtown and shopped and took pictures until my battery died. Much of downtown St. John is connected by their Pedway, which is an indoor sidewalk. See the green floor with the blue sign? That's the pedway. Very useful in Canada in the winter, I think. City Market was beautiful. It is like a farmer's market, but the size of a supermarket, with every kind of food you can think of and many I had never imagined. They had a lot of beautiful crafts for sale, too. The guy in the black t- shirt was our guide. He had Basil take this picture.
Whatdyathink? Basil says it kind of grows on you. He also took our picture. Then he told us to get back on the bus. My now famous, title page. Yeah, that's a post card. I bought a lot of post cards on this trip.

Le Preau Falls and Reversing Rapids were the main attractions that we visited on our photography tour. The rapids reverse every 12 hours so we had to go there twice. We had lots of time on the bus with the guide telling jokes. Really, it was more interesting than it sounds. We went to a little fishing village, too. See the blue boats. There were a lot of interesting churches on that road, but I was on a bus and couldn't get off.
One of the excursions were jet boats. I was happy to see everyone had on life jackets. They were pretty wild.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bar Harbor, Maine

We had a terrific lunch of crab cakes and blueberry pie overlooking the ocean then Basil found a nice place to sit in downtown Bar Harbor while I went shopping. There were hummingbirds in those pink flowers but we got only very blurry pictures of them.
Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the first place in the U.S. to see the sunrise for much of the year.

The little tiny pictures at the bottom of the page is my account of the bus driver with the cantankerous personality for which Mainers are famous. He was not shy to tell us we were 10 minutes late getting back to the bus.

First thing in the morning,we had a hike in the forest.

And then a hike by the ocean in the afternoon.

There is a kayaker in the ocean with no shirt. He may have been a little chilly down there. It is always interesting to me to get to know about our guides. They tend to have advanced degrees and a lot of different experiences. This young lady was a former school teacher and had lived all over the world. I would love to try that job, but I guess there would not be much demand for it in San Angelo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boston, Lexington and Concord

I'm still getting some extra time off, so my album is coming together very fast. Here is my patient spouse, texting while waiting to board the inevitable bus.
Louisa May Alcott's home in Concord... who loves Little Women besides me?
Here is my very cool paper with map of North America... Michaels was nice enough to sell me one of these papers for each town.

This is the church where Paul Revere (or someone) hung the lantern to warn that the British were coming. It seems there may be some confusion about the whole "One if by land, two if by sea" thing. The church is in the middle of all these other buildings and there is no way to get a good view of it with a camera. I did get a good picture of the stairs the famous soldier used to carry the lantern to the tower. (and of course, the hymnal.) Sometimes you have to get what you can.

At Lexington, the photos are a little vague, but they let us off the bus and told us a very long story about the first battle of the war. I'm pretty sure the guide is a former history teacher. Not that is a bad thing....but he didn't seem to know very many poems.
And we know what happened at Concord:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
here once the embattled farmer stood,
and fired the shot heard round the world.
Trinity Church..another chance to cut some really bad pictures into small pieces and try to make them look interesting.
Remember the Tortoise and the Hare?
Then, at Harvard we saw a protest in progress. It seems they had fired Joan, who is suing Harvard for age discrimination and the Union is not happy. It also seems that the statue of John Harvard is someone else. No one knows what John Harvard looks like because there are no pictures of him. He only lived to be 31 and his donation to establish the university was $371...honestly, that's what the guide told us. He also told us some other stories about things that may take place around the statue that I won't bother you with.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Newport, Rhode Island

There are lots of restored homes, churches, buildings, yachts and other stuff in this town. It is really beautiful and everything looks really old but very nice and restored. I think they call themselves "the playground of the rich and famous". We went on a tour here called "The Breakers and Cliff Walk". The Breakers is a mansion that was built by the Vanderbilt's in 1890 something. As far as I could tell, after the generation that built it passed on, the family could not afford to keep it up and they donated it to the historical society. We also saw Trinity church where George Washington worshiped 3 times and the church where John F. Kennedy and Jackie got married.

This is the "Cliff Walk". It was very pretty, but we wanted to go much farther. They only let us walk less than a mile. We decided that we are not "get on the bus and go for a tour people".

We will not be doing any more cruises. Everyone should do Alaska, but I can't recommend the Caribbean or this cruise. We wish we had gone to Maine and stayed there 2 weeks. On the other hand, if we had done that, we would have never gone to NYC, which we enjoyed very much. But I'm not taking it back. No more cruises for me. Everything on the ship is lovely, but tour buses do not do it for us.

Tons and tons of yachts and sailboats in the harbor. America's Cup used to be here, I think some tour guide told us.

The Newport Bridge and Goat's Island. Yes, I think there are goats there.
Here and also in Acadia, the ship cannot dock in the harbor. You have to go ashore in tenders. (The little boat) Takes a lot of time to get 3,000 people off that ship in those little boats. And then...they have to get them all back on!

This is the Atlantic Ocean behind The Breakers. There was a hurricane coming in so these guys were catching some big ones.

And, the long awaited Vanderbilt's mansion. They gave you little ipods and you listened to it while you walked through the house. It was very interesting to me to hear about their lives and see their stuff.

Salve Regina University is next door. It began as a Nursing School for nuns, but is a co- educational university now. They still have Florence's (Nightingale) lamp in their seal, though.
My resident expert said the 4 gold bars are for the 4 gospels.
This is the "wedding tree" on campus. I guess it was named that after the nuns left.
And more of the cliff walk.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New York City Scrapbook

First, I wanted to show you this book I got at a garage sale. I want to try to find this whole Collection. They are easy to read and have beautiful illustrations. I have read several books on the Civil War recently and have learned a lot. I was excited to be able to add a page to my National Park Scrapbook. This is our 28th national park and one of our favorite.

I finished my New York City album. This is a record for the largest album for the shortest visit ever. We were really impressed and enjoyed the city immensely even though we had never even thought of visiting there. We see it on TV every day, but it never seemed real.
The thing that impressed me most was how really small the area is in relationship to the number of people, buildings and things happening. It is nothing like West Texas, that is for sure. I have a whole new perspective when reading books or watching movies that involve that area and Boston. I never realized how much is written and filmed about those cities.

I am just going to show you a few pages from the album. They are really too small to be seen here. This page is one of my favorite.
  • Dog walkers was one thing I really wanted to see in Central Park and this group of young people were working together walking their dogs. Last week I read a novel about a writer in NYC who started walking her neighbor's dog because she had writer's block. She lost 20 pounds in addition to making some serious money.
  • Also on this page you see a nanny on her phone with twins in the stroller. The baby you can't see gave me the biggest smile ever.
  • The statue is Robert Burns and the street is called Poet's Avenue.
  • The couple on the bench were getting their wedding photos done. Her shoes and flowers were orange and they looked really happy.
  • There were musicians everywhere all over the city.
  • The last two photos are the filming of Madonna's movie.
    This is Top of the Rock at sunset and dark. We stayed up there at least 3 hours.
    I've already showed you these photos of Brooklyn,
    the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
    and the Japanese Gardens.
    I finished this album quickly because I have been off for over a week. We have a low census right now so everyone has been getting lots of time off. I have most of my photos printed and I'm ready to start working on the cruise album now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Some Faces That Are Making Me Happy Today

I am editing the pictures from our family reunion today and I have a silly smile on my face.

Try this link to see the on line photobook I made. You will have to register with snapfish to see it.