“Pic of the Week”, December 25, 2015: Christmas at Disney Springs

04 Christmas at Disney Springs

Merry Christmas everyone!  Today’s featured collection of pics looks at some of the seasonal decorations at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) in Walt Disney World, Orlando.

Visiting Disney theme parks is lots of fun but has gotten quite expensive, especially if you’re taking the family.  But there’s a few places you can park your car for free and walk around without paying admission at the Disney Theme parks, and one of the best is Disney Springs.  Here you can stroll up a street beautifully designed in the Disney manner, go window shopping, get a snack or a meal, catch a movie, go bowling, or perhaps see a concert or a Cirque Du So-lei performance.   And during the holidays the park dresses …

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.All Trips / Pacific Northwest / Washington

A fall visit to the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden, Spokane, Washington

Fall 2008 031 Japanese Garden, Manito Park

One of the things I enjoy about blogging is sharing less commonly visited but interesting destinations.  The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden in Spokane, Washington, certainly fits that bill.  A smaller garden, well known to locals but not to many tourists, it has its charms!  When I lived in Spokane I’d commonly stop by as it was midway between the hospital where I worked and the library I frequented.  I enjoy the calm nature and beauty of Japanese gardens.  They are places where nature, tranquility, gardening skills, and art merge.

The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Garden sits on the site of the old zoo (closed in the 1930s).  The garden was designed by Nagao Sakurai, a master garden architect (who at one time was …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 13, 2015: Gator wrestling, Florida

05 Gator wresting

Alligators are fascinating animals.  Large, primitive, with alert eyes that, like any good predator’s, follow you wherever you go.  I must admit that when they fix their unblinking eyes on me, the hair stands up on my neck.  They are six inches long when they’re born, but as fully grown adults can reach a length of almost 20 ft (more than 6 meters).  Once a threatened species, they’ve recovered and you’ll find them in freshwater swamps and lakes of the southeast.

I recently visited Orlando with my father and one day was spent at the fun old-fashioned amusement park, Gatorland.  There are several shows at this venue, including one featuring alligator wrestling.  This is not a violent sport …

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“Pic of the Week”, September 4, 2015: Charleston Historic Post Office

02 Charleston Post Office

Charleston is one of America’s most walkable cities, especially the area south of Broad Street.  Compact enough to get around on foot, and with interesting architecture, gardening and history.   I’ve greatly enjoyed both of my visits to this city.

During my last sojourn to Charleston, we stopped by the historic U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, a grand building situated just south of Broad near the corner of Meeting.  It’s one of the oldest post offices in the United States and was completed in 1896 for the then staggering sum of $500,000.  It’s thought that construction of this building lead to a revival of the area that surrounded it, then already well over a century old.  The Historic Post Office is of …

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.All Trips / South Carolina / Southeastern USA

Signs of Charleston

23 Signs of Charleston

I enjoy looking at small things in places I visit, such as the signage of a city.  Among the best urban walks in North America is the area “South of Broad” in beautiful historic Charleston, past wonderful old mansions, most meticulously and loving preserved.  There are some businesses here, but most of the businesses are “North of Broad”.  This photo gallery has an assortment of signs that I found interesting in the city.  I hope you enjoy it.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, the right arrow to advance the slideshow)

 

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Pic of the Week, May 22, 2015: Magnolia Plantation, Charleston

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The vegetation in the southeastern United States is unlike anywhere else I’ve been.  I visited Charleston a few months ago and spent the better part of a day exploring the Magnolia Plantation, one of the grand estates of the Old South situated a few miles inland from Charleston.  The lovely and sprawling gardens of this plantation included several bridges which I thought incredibly photogenic — the still water, with reflected trees and Spanish moss, was beautiful!

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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 / 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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