Travel Theme: Still

Ailsa’s travel theme this week at Where’s My Backpack? is: still.  Still what?  Still nothing, just still.  Har har.  I make funnies.

Sorry, this is what happens when blogging while sleep deprived.  Anyway.  On to the theme!

This was taken at Keuka Lake during a day of rain and fog.  The rain stopped but the fog remained, and the lake was completely silent.  Even the birds were kind of hiding out.

Nothing to do but sit back and enjoy a glass of local wine.  :)

Nothing to do on a day like this but sit back and enjoy a glass of local wine. 🙂

While in South Carolina to visit family, we went to lunch at Caledonia, a golfing-and-fishing club.  I neither golf nor fish, but I do like to eat lunch.  Calendonia has that Southern tradition “thing” by the heaping bucketsful, and everyone there is charming and nice.  But I had no idea there were still places that garnished a grilled cheese sandwich with olives speared on the ends of toothpicks.

Oh for a gentler time, when olives on toothpicks were the height of sophistication.

Oh for a gentler time, when olives on toothpicks were the height of sophistication.

At home, this squirrel sat very still on the steps of the post office and let me take his picture.  I think he wanted a moment in the spotlight.

The squirrel is ready for his closeup, Mr. DeMille.

The squirrel is ready for his closeup, Mr. DeMille.

Ahh, Boston.  Beloved Boston, and the beautiful Public Garden therein.  For some reason (which to this day has never been adequately justified to me), Boston has no shortage of human statue street performers.  I.  Don’t.  Get.  It.  But I always see at least one, standing around somewhere.  Like in the middle of the Public Garden.

But seriously. Why?

But seriously. Why?

And speaking of gardens, we go back to South Carolina.  Near Myrtle Beach there’s a gorgeous formal garden facility called Brookgreen Gardens.  At this time of year they do their Nights of a Thousand Candles exhibit, and the gardens are strung from end to end in glittering lights and floating candles and lanterns and luminaria.  It was amaaaaaaaaaaaazing.  And despite the riot of lights and the crowds, there were parts of it that were incredibly serene.

Put this on your must-see list.

Put this on your must-see list.

So there you have it.  Hope you enjoyed the pics.  Go check out the rest of the still-blogs at Ailsa’s place!

32 Reasons Why I Love Boston

As we are surely aware, my beloved city of Boston suffered tragedy yesterday as [an as yet undetermined person or organization who I hope chokes on a bag of dicks] set off a few bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Now.  I could focus on being angry and sad, but it doesn’t change what happened.  And I get the contingent of people who say, “Oh, a bomb went off in a crowded public place?  Here, that’s called “Tuesday”,” though really, people, that sort of self-righteous cynicism only adds to the outrage so until tempers cool, do us all a favor and STFU.

Until we figure out who did it and ran, I don’t feel like I’m qualified to add fuel to the socio-cultural-impact fire.  I didn’t lose a loved one or know anyone who was injured.  I just hate senseless violence and so, I am sad.

So rather than focusing on the glum and the negative (I’ll let the various investigative departments worry about that), I figured I’d look at some of the many, many reasons that Boston kicks ass.  This is in no way a comprehensive list but rather, one comprised of the photos I have handy.  You can argue about what belongs on here all you’d like and I’ll welcome it, but I maintain: it is because of things like these that Boston kicks ass.

The MFA.


The Big Noodle.




This staircase.


This guy.


Cuervo Games.


The Feast of St. Joseph.


This street performer.


And this one.

Feasting at The Green Dragon.

356And live music at The Black Rose.


The T.


The Citgo sign.


This harbor tour boat.


Boston Harbor at night.


Rehearsals for Shakespeare in the Park.






One badass dude on a horse.


This lady.


Faneuil Hall.


The Sam Adams Brewery Tour.


The Hancock Building.


The surreally beautiful Public Garden.


The North End.


The Mary Baker Eddy Library.




Eric Clapton’s boat.


World’s saddest snowman.


Whale watches.


The wall of saints.


The skyline at sunset.


Travel Theme: Bridges

Ailsa’s travel theme this week at Where’s My Backpack? is pretty groovy: bridges. It must be liminal week for me because this is the second challenge in a row that involves me thinking about liminality, which was one of the best things I studied in college and here I am, still talking about it.

Since I have such a profound love for liminality it should surprise exactly no one that I like to take pictures in or around liminal spaces, and this of course includes bridges.  Why are they liminal?  Because they’re the transition point between one place and another.  Where do they stop belonging to one side of the ground to which they’re attached and become the other?  Or do they exist in their own netherspace, independent from the real estate to which they are attached?  What happens as you cross them?  Can the view from the middle help change your perspective?  I could go on.  I usually do.  But!  Let’s get to the photos instead.

Boston by day.

Welcome to Fairyland.

Welcome to Fairyland.

I adore the Boston Public Gardens, with their lush willows and their dreamy swan boats.  But this picture, with the graceful bridge anchoring the shot, gets me swoony every time I look at it.  Must go.  Must go now.

Boston by night.

On the overpass.

On the overpass.

This was taken this past summer from an overpass as we walked back to our hotel after a night on the town.  It’s so not the genteel look of the Public Gardens.  I also love the contrast; the city is stretched out before you, but the fence keeps you back.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia.

'scuse me while I walk across the sky.

‘scuse me while I walk across the sky.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia is GIIIII-normous.  When we went to Philly last summer, I couldn’t believe how much of Center City the hospital complex has come to dominate.  In order to connect one set of buildings to the next, they’ve built breezeways between them, which was something I first saw in Minneapolis and surely isn’t some revolutionary idea to anyone who has a winter but hey, it’s pretty striking when you turn the corner and see it.

And closer to home.

Under the stone bridge by Grove's Mills.

Under the stone bridge by Grove’s Mills.

Grove’s Mill is a fully operational water-powered grist mill located a scant four miles from where I live.  This bridge along the front of the mill has been relatively recently remodeled so it’s not one of the 70,000 structurally unsound bridges in the US, though they made sure it stayed all rustic-looking ‘n’ stuff.  But!  I’m delighted by the ducks under the bridge; could anyone tell me for sure if that’s a hooded merganser?

And close to home but in the other direction.

Rishel Covered Bridge.

Rishel Covered Bridge.

The Rishel Covered Bridge spans the Chillisquaque Creek (say that three times, fast!) and is five miles away from my house.  Built in 1830, the Rishel Covered Bridge is on the National Register of Historic Place and is quite possibly the oldest covered bridge in the US.  The bridge was pushed six inches off its moorings by the flooding that accompanied Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 and while it’s been reported that having the “bragging rights” to the bridge is worth the cost of repair, it’s been unused and untended for almost a year and a half now.  I grow more cynical about its repair by the day.  SAVE THE RISHEL COVERED BRIDGE!

Have fun checking out the other bridge bloggers!

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