We’ve been visiting with friends Jeff & Mary Pat in Eagle Harbor, Michigan. They are blessed with this wonderful view from essentially their front yard. I braved the mosquitos for a little while to receive a few gifts of a beautiful summer sunset.
A few evenings earlier I watched an even more colorful sunset from the comfort of their living room. That night the friendship, the conversation and the bourbon made it a good place to be simply an observer, but I didn’t want to leave without at least making the attempt at a photograph or two!
My brother Bob has a pretty sweet location, right across the road from the Lake Erie shore in Avon Lake, OH. Whenever we visit, we make a point to trek across the street for sunset. His across-the-street neighbor has made a nice little safe harbor for his boats, and has graciously allowed Bob and his guests access to the breakwall. During the traditional 4th of July events, the gang makes a point of heading to the breakwall to watch the sunset. While it is nice to get a few photos of the silhouetted people watching the ball drop, I often stick around until well after “official” sunset because I know that is when the best color will occur. It also means that all of the non-photographers will head back across the street to resume their respective shenanigans.
Most photographers know that the best photographs often happen after the “tourists” have left. And this is just one example. We went over there on three separate nights, and I got nice after-sunset photos each night. Every one just a little different. It definitely pays to stick around!
And a bonus: I finally got to field test my new tripod! 🙂
Kathy pointed this scene out to me the other day at my brother’s house. I was too lazy to get my camera out of the car but used my phone to make a few photos. The attraction was the one cushion that was up, the other one down and the shadows they made.
We’re on our annual ‘Friends & Family” road trip, currently in Avon, OH visiting my brother and his family. A few days ago we met some friends for lunch at North Park near Pittsburgh (sorry Howard, we were only there for a few hours! 🙂 ). I “snagged” this photo while waiting for our friends and sitting on a bench alongside the lake. I hadn’t gotten my camera out of the car, but this little scene convinced me to go back and get it.
Last week, Kathy & I ventured to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville to take in the spring flowers in the gardens, check out the Renaissance Alive art presentation, and of course to eat and to buy wine. 😉
Biltmore is an easy 2 hour drive from Charlotte, suitable for a day trip but also a nice way for an easy overnight. We had reward points that allowed us to stay for free at a motel in nearby Biltmore Village, so we had the better part of two days. As Annual Passholders we didn’t have to pay extra for the visits, which can otherwise be a little pricey.
Even without visiting Biltmore House itself, the grounds and gardens are such a nice place to spend a day or part of the day. The gardens are extensive, and the Conservatory itself is larger than most homes. We concentrated mostly on the outside gardens, although as we were getting ready to leave, the sounds of a hammered dulcimer drew us inside for a listen.
After our visit to Martinique, we traveled about 50 miles south to the island of St. Lucia. St. Lucia also has a bit of French influence, although not to the extent of Martinique.
St. Lucia is a beautiful, tropical island, featuring The Pitons, the twin mountains that are actually two parts of a huge, now-extinct volcano. The biggest issue with seeing St. Lucia is the continuously winding and undulating roads.
We started our tour sitting in the very back of the bus, and while I don’t usually have trouble with motion sickness, I got so woozy that I asked to sit in the front of the bus. I joked with the driver that if he needed me to help him with the driving I would (although I would be terrified!). 😉 The good part was that I was able to take some photos through the windshield, which was fun and a nice distraction.
We had a nice tour, however. Our stop in Anse La Raye reminded me of our first visit, back in 2000. The beach there always has some colorful boats, which make for nice photographs. The downside is the residents that pester you for money, offering to pose for photos. One guy was really annoying, until I told him I didn’t have any money. He walked away and didn’t bother me any more.
We stopped for lunch at a nice restaurant with a great view of The Pitons. After lunch we visited a waterfall and a cocoa plantation, where we tasted some roasted cocoa beans and fresh coconut. Yum! On the way back to the ship we passed a parade celebrating St. Lucias 44th year of independence.
St. Lucia is a beautiful island, but I was reminded that the next visit we should take a boat, instead of a van on those winding roads! 🙂
My pictures may not prove it, but we were at Biltmore about a week early for peak fall color. I had to “help” the color a bit in processing to make them look as fallish as they do, but they still give a pretty good idea of what things looked like.
Last week’s blast of cold air and accompanying winds discouraged any thoughts I had of getting out early and took care of our bold plans for a picnic or two. But we still managed to find some nice color on a couple of days.
I’ve got more photos to share and will work on them over the next few days.
Kathy & I are at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC celebrating our 42nd anniversary. I’ve been joking that this is quite an upgrade from our honeymoon in Gatlinburg, TN. 😉
We did an early morning guided house tour on Monday and have a few days of exploring planned, including taking in their Leonardo Davinci exhibit on Wednesday. I’ve taken a few photos so far, including this one of the Biltmore House from The Lagoon, a spot along the French Broad River.
Monte enjoyed my motion blur photo from a couple of days ago so I thought I would serve up a few more. Sometimes the camera moves, sometimes the subject moves.
Lots of motion blur here today as we await Ian’s arrival. It’s been rainy, breezy and chilly – a good day to work on photos and watch Formula 1 practice! Ian keeps angling further east of us, which is good for us but unfortunately not so good for someone else. Should be by us by morning, hopefully!