.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Old City Hall, Toronto, Canada

02 Old Toronto City Hall

In a city with hundreds of gleaming new skyscrapers, I found it refreshing to see and visit a view a few of Toronto’s older buildings, including this one in particular.  It was designed by noted Toronto architect, Edward James Lennox (who also designed Casa Loma).  The project took almost 10 years to complete, opening in 1899,  and came in at the then hefty sum of $2.5 million.  It’s a huge square quad building with a central courtyard.  Two types of colored stone were used in the construction: 1) grey from the Credit River Valley in Ontario, and 2) brown from New Brunswick.  To give you an idea of the scale of the project, it took the equivalent of …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Palm Springs’ Amazing Air Museum!

California, Spring 2009  107a.  Palm Springs Air Museum

The Palm Springs Air Museum is located on the north side of the Palm Springs Airport.  The Air Museum is housed in an expansive structure that includes the two main display halls and hangars, a theater, gift shop, research library, flight simulator and education center.  It’s website indicates it’s been rated by CNN as one of the top 14 Air Museums in the World. The museum provides an up-close look at the legendary fighters and bombers of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.  The warm, dry desert climate is ideal for preserving planes, so in this regard the museum is well situated.    What’s most amazing is that most of these planes are flight-worthy (27 flyable aircraft), making

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.All Trips / North America / Southeastern USA / Tennessee

Travels with Elvis (Part 4). Visiting Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville 2012 001 intro.  Pantheon

Until I attended my first medical meeting in Nashville, I’d never thought much about visiting this mid-sized city, an oversight on my part.  Nashville’s a fun destination in many ways, especially if you’re a fan of Country music.  I enjoy Country music, though don’t consider myself a particularly big follower of it, but I’ve had a great time in “Music City” each of the three times I’ve visited it.

Nashville was the last Tennessee stop on our Elvis tour.  We decided to see those sights in Nashville important to Elvis’ story because Nashville is where he recorded most of his wonderful music, including many big hits.  We also wanted to tour around the city and immerse ourselves in its Country music …

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.All Trips

“Pic of the Week”, April 3, 2015: Seal Rock, Haida Gwaii

QCI Skeedans 2003 026 Seal Island

While on a trip to Haida Gwaii, I did a one day Zodiak trip to see some of the ancient totem poles at Skeedans.  Haida Gwaii is well known for it’s totems, although those not harvested for museums are now in a state of decay.

While on the boat ride we came across this rock covered with seals.  The surf was powerful and I was a little surprised that they weren’t washed their perch.

.All Trips / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

Downtown Las Vegas

16 Downtown Vegas 2015

Las Vegas is one of the most loved — and despised — travel destinations in the world.  Some folks bask in and are energyzed by its non-stop action and adrenaline, the gambling, the booze, the neon lights — everything you imagine when you think of Vegas.  Others visit once and never want to set foot in the city again.  I’m sort of in between these extremes.  I enjoy Vegas, especially if I’m there to meet friends or family, but only for short periods of time (a weekend visit is about perfect for me).

There are two main regions to Vegas that attract very different visiting clientele.  “The Strip”, or Las Vegas Blvd, has completely transformed itself these past 25 years: from …

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.All Trips / North America / South Carolina / Southeastern USA

The Doors of Charleston

23 Doors of Charleston

Besides enjoying grand panoramas of a city, I think it’s good to look at the smaller things, too.  It’s often these that makes a place interesting and reveal a lot about its character.  Details of architecture are among these facets, providing a sense of style, color, sometimes even grace.

My wife has been taking pictures of doors for years.  I have to confess to being sensitized to entryways by her careful eye.  In modern towns and cities, doors tend to be fairly ugly things — prefabricated, mass-produced, often of low quality.  They lack character.  That’s not at all true of older buildings and older cities, like many of those in Europe, and it’s certainly not true of Charleston.  Here the doors …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

A hike up Tahquitz Canyon, Palm Springs

California, Spring 2009  026.  Tahquitz Canyon Waterfall and Oasis

It’s a great time of year to be visiting the desert regions of the Southwestern USA.  The weather is warm and pleasant, the wildflowers are in bloom, and the oppressive heat of summer is a distant memory.  This is the time of year to go on a hike in the Mojave and that’s what we’re going to look at today: a walk up tranquil Tahquitz Canyon just outside of Palm Springs, California.  This is one of several canyons in the area, each with its own character, each awaiting exploration!

Centuries ago, ancestors of the Agua Caliente Indians settled in the Palm Springs area.  They adapted well to life in the desert and developed a complex network of communities …

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.All Trips / Europe / Germany

Cologne Cathedral — A UNESCO World Heritage Site

40a Cologne Cathedral

I first saw Cologne’s Cathedral on a train journey from Amsterdam to Heidelberg in the late 1990s.  It’s an imposing and immense Gothic structure situated adjoining the Cologne train station near the Rhine River. I recall the cathedral’s massive spires (157 m or 515′ tall) inspiring me to think,  “some day I’m going to visit that church”!  It took almost 15 years from that train trip to finally visit the Cathedral, but thanks to friends Bernd and Monika, my wife and I visited Cologne and its great cathedral recently.

Cologne Cathedral stands on the site of a 4th Century Roman ruin, and if you’ve time, there’s a fabulous Roman history museum immediately adjoining it that’s worth visiting.  A previous church …

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