Travel Theme: Colourful

This week at Where’s My Backpack?, Ailsa has declared her travel theme to be “colourful”, in order to beat the doldrums that accompany the shortened days that come with winter. Is the lack of sunlight getting you down? Don’t worry! I’ve got some colorful plays with light, right here.

Starting off close to home, this is taken from inside the tasting room at a local winery, Fero Vineyards. It was a grey and rainy day, and I loved how this Italian horn pendant lamp was a bright spot against the weather.

A bright spot on a rainy day.

A bright spot on a rainy day.

While in Cleveland, City of Light, City of Magic, George and I were drawn in like moths to flame, to the bright lights in the alley that led us to the restaurant Zocalo. The food was…eh, OK. But the tequileria was superb.

What, like you wouldn't go check this out? #oohshiny

What, like you wouldn’t go check this out? #oohshiny

The subtle lavender-pinks and golds of a sunrise on Surfside Beach, SC, have to make a body feel better against the long nights. Check out my brother, looking all stoic and philosophical, one man standing alone to face the relentless forces of nature, yada yada yada.

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Waking up early pays off when you get to see something like this.

Staying in South Carolina…

We went to the Nights of a Thousand Candles at Brookgreen Gardens, all of which was INSANELY gorgeous. The gardens had lights dripping from anything that could hold a strand, floating on anything watery, wrapped around even the vaguest semblance of a trunk. And then they had this leaping goat-legged fellow.

I like the cut of his jib.

I like the cut of his jib.

Meanwhile, up in Vermont

Even in winter, you can find bright bursts of color. Here are some winter berries, dusted in frost and morning light.

Don't eat them. But they sure look purty.

Don’t eat them. But they sure look purty.

Go check out the rest of the participants in Ailsa’s travel theme! Or–hey, why not?–play along yourself. See you around the interwebs!

Here’s Randy Newman, singing about Cleveland, to play you out… 

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A Frosty Morning in Vermont

George and I recently celebrated our 9th anniversary.  I just looked it up; the 9th anniversary traditionally is the “pottery” anniversary, updated in modern times to the “leather” anniversary, kinky tarts that we’ve become.  Rather than leather it out, we decided to take a fabulous long weekend at The Essex, a spa/culinary resort about 20 minutes outside of Burlington, VT.  Yes, this was our ultimate destination when we decided to detour over to Syracuse for our night of fun-filled musical tomfoolery.

There will be more about all of this later.

What’s important here is, I’ve apparently developed an internal timer that won’t let me sleep when we’re away, if I need to catch a sunrise on my camera.  On the one hand, that’s cool.  On the other hand…

We were up while the moon was still out.

We were up while the moon was still out.

…it’s not like I hate to sleep.  It just seems that way, most of the time.

Anyway.  It was cold that morning!  Colder than I have yet to experience at home, since winter’s just getting her chill on in central PA.  I stepped outside and I realized…ohhhhh…the world is shimmering and crunchy.

Bluebells in the morning frost.

Bluebells in the morning frost.

It’s not a bad way to wake up, if you can’t help but find yourself wide awake at 6:30AM on your last morning of vacation.  Anyway, let’s get right into this.

The grounds at the Essex have a lot going on.  They’ve got manicured lawns and secluded tennis courts, raised produce beds for their kitchens and things like hammocks and gazebos for hanging out in on days warmer than the one in which I was running around outside. Surrounding that are some pretty thick woods and a steep ravine or two.  We made a right turn, started our way around the building and…

Pretty, right?

Pretty, right?

I have no idea what kind of plant this is.  Suggest away!

I played with the black and white on this a little, since this picture didn’t have a lot of color to worry about to begin with.  It was still pre-dawn and the branches of this whatsitsface plant were thick with frost.

The noble..errr...frosty chickenfoot plant.

The noble..errr…frosty chickenfoot plant.

Fine.  If I’m going to be out in the world menacing nature with my camera, I suppose the least I can do is learn the names of various flora and fauna (though I’m pretty good with the fauna, I must protest).  I will, some day.  But it is not this day.

We walked back towards where the sun was starting to peek through: see gnarly woods and steep ravines.  I was in no mood for climbing, not before coffee, mmm mmmm, no way.  So.

This was about as close to a clearing as I could get.

This was about as close to a clearing as I could get.

You're getting warmer...

You’re getting warmer…

I mean seriously. It's practically like time-lapse photography.

I mean seriously. It’s practically like time-lapse photography.

We wandered back behind the tennis courts like a couple of bad kids in high school.  Only I didn’t care quite as much about the sumac trees back then.

Awww, he didn't have to go with me. <3

Awww, he didn’t have to go with me. ❤

And on our way back across the lawn, encountered a frosty rose:

"Nice Martian seed", said a friend of mine. Pah!

“Nice Martian seed”, said a friend of mine. Pah!

A cluster of grapes that had come on hard times:

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Is it too late to turn this into ice wine?

And the remnants of a misspent evening.

I hope you're drinking white.

I hope you’re drinking white.

Ground cherries!

I couldn't help myself. I tried one.  Even frozen, it was delicious.

I couldn’t help myself. I tried one. Even frozen, it was delicious.

I kind of obsessed over this spigot.

I spent way too much time hanging around this spigot. But it's so cute!

I spent way too much time hanging around this spigot. But it’s so cute!

Photographed what may become Christmas cards from me and George.

Quelle rustic!

Quelle rustic!

And called it a day when we made our way back around to the front of the hotel and smelled bacon coming from the kitchens.

Soup's on! Figuratively speaking, that is.

YES! Soup’s on! Figuratively speaking, that is.

Stay warm, everyone.  And go to Vermont.  It’s extraordinary.  Just, you know.  Pack gloves and extra socks.

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