Tag Archives: travel

Wanderlust Won! A Road Trip through North Carolina, then Istanbul, the Greek Islands and Athens is my Excuse for Six Weeks of Missing my Blog

76sign-webAs soon as school ended, the next morning my best friend and I loaded the car and took off for Asheville, North Carolina antiquing and shooting photos along the way. No electronics allowed. Especially after my friend threw my phone at me. We found so many places to wander that I’m still editing. A week later , my husband and I landed in Istanbul.

istanbulatnight-webAmazing adventures and so much to assimilate. We then cruised the Greek Islands on a motorized yacht and landed in Athens.


acropolis2lgwebAlong the way there were so many new ideas, realizations, and lessons, that I’m still trying to retain them and find a way to share experiences without becoming one of those dreaded people with the slides or a pack of photos that you avoid like the plague. As we traveled, I mentally wrote posts so I felt like I took you all along with me.I was only one pound under on baggage so you understand that I mean metaphorically. Over the next few weeks I have lots to share and hope you will tell me if I overdo.

Imagination Sets Sail

chihuly-boat-webBorrowing a rowboat filled with Chihuly glass that I shot in St.Louis several years ago, adding some spice and playing around  freely, provided my imagination with the perfect mode of transportation. Whimsical and fragile during the day, it would sail powered only by a deep breath. At night, after settling into it carefully, we would glide through the sky and out twinkle the stars until sunrise would lead us home. A perfect vehicle for imaginary journeys, and it’s free.

Painting Spring

artist1blurwebA sunny Friday before Christmas in Charleston, South Carolina. The wind blustered and howled down the crowded streets.The raw air from the waterfront forced us to don scarves and gloves. As we were propelled along the streets , I continued to people watch. On the curb, more into traffic than not, this painter stood silently engrossed in his work. I couldn’t resist looking over his shoulder and then across the street to his view. While the trees were bare, his trees were full of life and color. I enjoyed his purposeful approach, focused on his task and oblivious to those that fanned out around him. There were so many parts of his story that I’d never know. Was the painting a gift that he ached to finish before the holiday? Did he only have a small, precious bit of free time to do what he loved? Were the spring leaves a sign of better days to come? I left thinking how lucky he was to be able to focus and follow through on a creative task, and how lucky I was to feel this breath of spring.

Fields of Lavender in Provence

After admiring recent posts of lavender fields throughout the United States, I wanted to add memories of lavender fields in Provence. In these  images, the blurs are not post production but caused by hanging out the door of a bus thanks to our helpful and permissive guide.  We did actually get to stand in the fields, check out the resident snails and bees and drink pernod. Every time I smell lavender it transports me to France.

A Visit to Superman’s Hometown in Metropolis, Illinois(?!)

On the way to St.Louis, traveling on Rt. 24, from Paducah Kentucky, I couldn’t resist the signs for Metropolis, Illinois. My  first thought was to grab a cute photo of the sign for my husband and to make tracks for St. Louis.As we drove into town, I realized it would take a bit longer. I didn’t know there was a statue, a newspaper called The Planet and a museum.

An old town on the Ohio River, Metropolis sits in the far southeast corner of Illinois. Still maintaining its history and buildings, the town has tied its tourist status to Superman.In 1972, DC Comics named Metropolis, Superman’s hometown.

Every year, the town hosts a four-day Superman celebration in the second week of June.Unknowingly, by only a few days, I had missed the chance to shoot hundreds of people in blue tights and red capes as they swarmed or flew into town.Disappointed at the missed opportunity, I still checked out the museum and store.

As I wandered, my faint knowledge of comics made me question the hometown issue.(While I admit to reading Superman, Archie and Veronica, and Millie the Model; my favorite was a comic about codes and spies during WWII . )I was concerned because I thought Superman, born on Krypton, was  raised on a farm in Smallville . I realized that as an adult he worked for the Planet in Metropolis, but to me that’s not a hometown.

When I returned home to Memphis,  I checked several dictionaries for “hometown” . The consensus is the town of one’s birth, childhood or main residence. For me ,there’s a difference. I consider New York City my hometown because I was born and raised there. I’ve lived in Memphis a great part of my adult life, but it’s not my hometown. Even today, natives will hear me speak fast and say “You’re not from here, are you?”

The Cambridge Dictionary refined its definition by adding ” especially the one in which they were born and lived in while they were young.”

Back to Metropolis, it seems that DC Comics changed the location of Superman’s childhood in Smallville  many times in its comics. Over its history, Smallville has been located in Kansas, Pennsylvania, northeast New Jersey and Maryland.Maybe it was just easier to choose a town like Metropolis and be done with the hometown issue. Of course then there is the town of Krypton, Kentucky (population around 3,400) and Smallville, Mississippi in Jackson County and how they missed out on the title.

I think that Metropolis was smart to trade in on the PR value of its name and has tried to do right by Superman and the town.
But on the highway, next to the Superman billboard, is this man in the grocery store parking lot . If something were to change, he looks ready to help out.

So my question is : what do you consider to be your hometown? If someone asks “Where are you from?” What do you answer?

Accepting a Gift From Nature

When I read a description that included the words old iron gates, columns and foundation remains, I had to visit Wormsloe Plantation near Savannah, Georgia. Arched stonework , hand-forged gates, and a live oak-lined drive didn’t disappoint. Standing over the foundation of the house, I barely heard the interpreter as I shot in lawn-sprinkler mode: turn, shoot pause, turn, shoot, pause….I had the rhythm but not the engagement. So I wandered off down a path toward the river. No tourists, no interrupted thoughts as I stood admiring the river. It had provided for those who had lived on the land for generations and vowed silently to continue.As I took notice of my surroundings I realized the still life in front of me , calm in the afternoon light , would recall the afternoon in a way that none of my automatic shooting could. I accepted the gift and made one shot.

Lately, as I have been reading about contemplative photography, which talks about receiving rather than making photographs, I have the example of that December afternoon to remind me.

A Pirate Ship in Boston Harbor : Take Time for Adventure

The reality of a pirate’s life doesn’t interfere with our more romanticized view.We see  a chance to sail the seas in search of treasure and adventure. Standing in ninety degree heat in Boston Harbor, waiting to cruise and visit the tall ships , I was uncomfortable and out of suitable subjects to shoot. Along sailed this ship and I could imagine standing on the deck, a parrot named Rousseau on my shoulder and a brass spyglass in hand. Emeralds and gold adorned my neck and command of a crew of sailors to do my bidding. Not all adventures must be that bold ,but the ship reminded me that the opportunity for adventures appear unexpectedly and I must be ready to embrace them.

Beach Shack in Provincetown

If I ever run away, it won’t be hard to find me. Just look in this little shack looking out over the dunes where the murmuring of the waves and screeching of gulls are all the conversation I need.It isn’t a new idea. Many writers and artists have taken refuge in these shacks over the years.Eugene O’Neill and Norman Mailer both worked on the dunes. They were on to something.

French Gates in Provence

Beauty is in the details. In southern France, I couldn’t resist shots of old gates and shutters. Their age and color are responsible for tempting my camera. While playing, I layered other photos over them to create this result. Enjoy Provence!

A Voyage of the Imagination

It’s hard to know if you are ready,  if you are willing to look and reach beyond your comfort zones. These are the decisions we make as we stretch our creativity. Embarking on a new voyage brings its own complement of thrills and fear.Stepping onto the deck begins the journey.This infrared image ,shot in Ladew Topiary Gardens in Maryland, symbolizes that voyage for me.

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