On our most recent trip to Florida, Kathy & I decided to fly, rather than make the 9-ish hour drive down unpredictable I-95. As a result, we had the very pleasant experience of using the Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MLB). What a nice airport and a refreshing change!
The Melbourne airport is modern and clean with everything you would expect in an airport – except crowds! With the exception of the occasional charter flight from the UK or elsewhere and a few non-daily flights, the airport appears to be largely a private and corporate plane base. There are a number of Northrup Grumman plants nearby as well as a number of space-related companies. Other than that, the commercial activity appears to be Delta flights to and from Atlanta, and American flights to and from Charlotte. It was quite a contrast to the madness of the Charlotte airport!
We arrived to a nearly empty terminal, found our checked bag in “Baggage Claim” (there is only one!) and found a pleasant covered spot to sit while we waited for the free airport shuttle to our hotel. On our return trip, the shuttle drivers at the hotel assured us that there was no need to arrive 2 hours ahead. Skeptical, I took him at his word, and sure enough when we arrived just over an hour before, we walked right up to a check-in counter, staffed by a real person, and turned in our bag. We then proceeded to the TSA checkpoint, where there were more TSA employees than passengers. We breezed through TSA Pre-check and waited in a mostly quiet waiting area. No clueless wandering passengers, no repeated announcements about maintaining possession of your carry-on, none of the drama of Charlotte. And no crush of impatient passengers trying to board. Nice!
Kathy & I decided that we could return to Melbourne any time. We found the hotel to be very nice, staffed with friendly people and in an excellent location on the beach. We’ll also take a look at other small airports we could fly to for a few days’ getaway!
We had dinner at a restaurant with perhaps one of the best restaurant names ever: Squid Lips! It overlooks the Indian River in Melbourne. I loved the way the late afternoon light hit the causeway, and interrupted cocktail time long enough to grab a few photos.
Today we’re having a pretty rare occurrence here in NC – a snow day! I won’t get into all the hyperbole about how we’re a bunch of weather wimps that don’t know how to drive in the snow, because everyone else has that covered. For me, I’m just glad I have a job that allows me to stay home and watch it out the window. There are few things more frustrating than having to make a decision about going to work. Although one of them would be being at work and having to make a decision about when to leave! Fortunately, Kathy & I both have computers that allow us to work from just about anywhere, and managers that are willing to let us. We have about 5 inches of snow on the ground here, and although the road in front of our house was plowed earlier, it’s going to be dicey going for a few days.
I seldom feel inclined to get out and take pictures in the snow, although once it is finished and the sun comes back out, I might decide to get out for a walk. I’ll admit to being a wimp when it comes to snow…why freeze my a$$ when I don’t have to! 🙂
A recent Charlotte phenomenon is the proliferation of something called “dockless bike-sharing programs.” By using an app on your phone (of course) you can pick up one of these bikes, ride it wherever you want, and leave it there. It unlocks automagically using the app, then presumably locks itself when you are finished.
It’s kind of an interesting concept, and I kind of hope it catches on, but I have to wonder just how many people are actually going to ride these things. A recent news article indicated the city council had authorized four different companies to have up to 2,000 bikes in town. That seems like a lot.
Maybe on the first 70 degree day we should have a Bike-In, and everyone head out at lunch time, ride a bike to some central location and leave them all in one place. Seems like a lot of trouble but what the heck.
There’s an office on the floor where I work that gets nice night in the afternoon. This past Friday the office was unoccupied and was getting nice light, so I took this photo with my phone. I posted it on Instagram but not too many people see it there, so I decided it might make a nice blog post.
As a bonus, here is a detail shot I made of the shadow from the blind cords.
Kathy & I spent some time at the NC coast in early July, visiting Belhaven, Washington and Ocracoke. While I took my camera with me, it seemed like whenever I saw something interesting all I had with me was my phone. Out of a total of 93 photos, 77 were taken with my phone and only 16 with my camera. These are all from my phone.
I guess I kind of knew it at the time, but I didn’t carry my camera at all while we explored the town of Estes Park. Mostly we were there in the evening, and when going to dinner I didn’t want to lug around a camera. But I had my phone!
Here are a few representative shots of downtown Estes Park. Nothing terribly artsy but it does give a good flavor. And yes, there were a number of salt water taffy shops…these are just a few of them!
The town of Grand Lake sits on the western end of Rocky Mountains National Park, and is the gateway to the park for those entering on the west side of the continental divide.
The lake known as Grand Lake is the largest natural lake in Colorado and lies at an elevation of 8367 feet. Grand Lake is known as the headwaters of the Colorado River.
We spent three nights in Grand Lake, and used it as a base for our forays into Rocky Mountains National Park. It has more of an “outdoorsy” feel than some of the other towns we visited, and we enjoyed it very much.
We were a little concerned when we found out that our motel didn’t have air conditioning. There are few places where we would want to not have it. But the first night we were there the temperature dipped into the 30s, so all we needed to do was keep the windows open!
This guy was hanging out on the window outside our break room at work, and I couldn’t help but make a few portraits of him with my phone.
One or more of my expert readers will set me straight, but I think this is a Pipevine or Blue Swallowtail. I don’t see too many butterflies, but this guy was pretty interesting. I did a little Snapseed magic to clean up the background and juice the colors a bit.
I’m currently wading through my photos from our recent visit to Colorado. Stay tuned!
Due to a “mishap” with my old phone, I found myself with a brand spanking new phone recently. I had been overdue for a replacement for nearly a year, and the technology had gotten a bit dated, considering that I run a lot of stuff on my phone that hadn’t been invented when I bought it.
My old phone was a Samsung Galaxy S3. It was a pretty good phone, but had started to slow dramatically and was eating batteries like I eat cookies. The latest reviews were raving about the camera in the new Galaxy S6, so I decided to give it a try. I haven’t taken many photos with it yet, but I’ve been pretty impressed with the ones I’ve taken so far.
I just may have changed my mind about using my phone as a camera. Or is it using my camera as a phone? I forget. More to come!