'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, boats, cats, friends, fun, making memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset

Hooters…

I’ve been meaning to go back to Hooters. For wings yes, but really for the sunset. Another photographer’s photo had clued me in to the view from the deck at the Hooters in my neighborhood, and on my last trip there my shenanigans with the camera didn’t seem to bother anybody. I must have mentioned it to my friend because last night he suggested we go there, so off we went. I was a little disappointed to see that the string of lights that had hung at the dock weren’t there this time. They went a long way to making me like the shots I had gotten there before. And as I stepped out onto the dock I remembered that last time there was a kitty out there and I thought it was a shame that she wasn’t there this time. I had taken a lot of pictures of her, which had amused me no end. I opened my mouth to mention the kitty to my friend and there she was…

She was strolling among the customers.
She decided to investigate my phone, and when I scratched her ears I think I made a friend for life.
I saw the lights coming on as the evening grew darker, and I hoped for a colorful sunset.
There was some color, but I hoped for more from the sunset. This was as good as it got.
When we drove in I was pleased to see that this little bait shop was still in operation, and I said that on the way home I wanted to stop for a photo when it was dark and the lights were on.

The feature photo is a panorama taken with my iPhone. Even if it wasn’t the prettiest sunset ever, it was a pretty enough night to make me happy. And there is always next time to look forward to…

'scene' along the way, a second look, attention to detail, bugs, Florida landmarks, flowers, gardens, life goes on, making memories, nature, Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, perseverance, photography

A quick trip through the botanical gardens…

I had to go to the bank the other day, and since it’s practically next door to the Spring Hill Botanical Gardens a stop seemed in order. But, unfortunately, the butterflies weren’t very plentiful while the no-see -ems certainly were. Consequently it was a quick trip, but not so quick that I didn’t notice all the changes that they have been making at the garden. First of all this sculpture, which is in progress. At the base of the wing you see a disruption in the tree trunk, which I’m sure is why the tree was sacrificed and this sculpture is being made. A beautiful solution. I hope it will be finished the next time I’m here.

Not everything was new however, just seemingly rearranged enough to make it look new. Namely the castle in the feature photo, I hadn’t ever seen it from that side before. I liked that picture.

I love this little scene and take a shot of it every time I go here, but I never sit down.
I suspect that this is a moth, they only flying insect that posed for me.
Just one of a few angels…
Looking for dew on the flowers…
This little scene is one I wish I could walk into and sit a while.

By this time my ankles were so itchy that I was ready to leave. I need to actually use the bug spray that is always in my car, but I forget it’s there. I’m hoping that the hot weather will let up soon, it has been keeping me close to home for a while now. I shouldn’t complain, soon we will be enjoying the weather that drew us to move to Florida in the first place…

a second look, adventure, attention to detail, friends, fun, history, making memories, perseverance, photography

Movie time…

Now that we have been home and caught our breath a bit a trip to the Tampa Theater seemed like a good idea. The Sunday matinee, we thought we bought. But somehow our tickets were for the alternate showing of Thursday evening. I had been to the Tampa Theater before, for a tour, and I took pictures and posted them. Being there in a crowd full of theater goers intent on buying their popcorn, and in some cases, alcoholic beverages, made taking photos this time a little more difficult. I could see the ceiling however, see the feature photo, and so I started shooting.

This is not your average movie venue.
The view as you enter.
This is the light in the ceiling directly over my seat. The attention to detail is amazing.
Just a peek at the surroundings.
Some theater history was presented.
Suddenly the audience was clapping and I wasn’t sure why. Then I saw that the organ, and organist, was rising up from the floor of the stage as he played. He entertained us for a while and then he slowly disappeared back into the nether regions of the theater.
The opulence of the place amazed me. Even the trip downstairs to the ladies room maintained the theme, except for the ever-present hand sanitizer to spoil the photo. I tried to remove it in Photoshop but it was beyond me.
And then it was time to go home and we got to see the marquee in it’s full glory
a second look, adventure, antiques, attention to detail, classic cars, making memories, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, technology

Antique Cars at the Heritage Museum and Gardens…

Yes, I already posted photos of flowers from this fun place to visit, but I held off on the cars because I took so many pictures, since there were so many cars, and it all seemed overwhelming to sort through and edit. So I decided to just post the pictures straight out of the phone, period. The easy way out. Since the cars are located in a beautiful Shaker barn, I knew the phone would handle the lower light better than I could with my camera.

Oh, the workmanship. I was alone the last time I was here. I admired the cars but somehow didn’t savor them. This time I slowed down and appreciated the details. Each of the old cars is a thing of beauty. Brass fittings. Wonderful details. The evolution of the windshield. And lastly, a car a friend may may have driven to school our senior year of 1966. Not me though, my family were Chevy people.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, blessings, bugs, butterflies, exploring new places, family, flowers, friends, fun, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, road trip

Those hazy views…

We looked into the haze at every stop along Skyline Drive. I don’t know if it was better or worse than usual while we were there, but it didn’t stop us from taking shot after shot at every overlook we came to. A couple of days ago I mentioned my previous trip there when the pop-up camper popped off the hitch of my car, and how I just headed for home after that. What I didn’t mention is that my cousin was a supervising ranger at Skyline Drive for 21 years, and that he lives in the area. We had lunch with him on Cape Cod while we were there, but he wasn’t going to be back home when we got to his area the next week. So imagine my surprise when I posted a picture of a surprise engagement shot I got on our first day on the drive, and he commented that his farmhouse is in the background of the shot. Small world and lucky accident of timing, it all factored into the shot, which I love all the more now.

They are strangers to me, but I wish I had approached them to say I had photos. Someone else took pictures and I assumed it was a friend of theirs, or a professional photographer, so I kept quiet. I regret that now.
I don’t know these people either, but I was waiting for them to clear out so I could take a picture of the sign. Then I decided that someone else’s memory-in-the-making would make my photo more of a story. Did I walk on the Appalachian Trail? Of course not, I do photos as a ‘drive-by’ of sorts, content with the overview rather than the details.
Okay, sometimes I take close ups. This fawn showed up just as we got onto Skyline Drive. Then he turned out to be the only wildlife we saw in three days oof driving the winding roads of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
What was odd about the views was that everything close to you was so clear, the distant view was hazy. The color was great. The not-so-great skies meant that the light was softer so your foregrounds looked great. And there were flowers in your foregrounds, and lively butterflies who challenged you to get their photo.
And when I got lucky I spotted bees too.
And yellow butterflies that spread their wings for you.
And yellow butterflies on pink flowers.

There are so many pictures that now I find them hard to group into a cohesive story. The iPhone will tell me where the pictures were taken, and when, which is helpful provided I also took a few shots with my phone as well as the camera. As we approached home I said that I didn’t know when I’d be ready for a long trip like this one was, but the thought of a couple of days here and there is already sounding like a good idea.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, finding my way, friends, fun, go with the flow, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Ups and downs…

The last time I drove Skyline Drive I popped the pop-up off the hitch when I drove over railroad tracks in Front Royal. Fortunately two very nice gentlemen appeared out of nowhere and jacked up the now bent front support and got me back on the road. So I drove the whole way preoccupied with the camper, worried it would pop off again. I know I took pictures and enjoyed the scenery to a degree, but not like I did on this trip down Skyline Drive. The fact that I wasn’t the only driver was both a blessing and a curse because we both really would prefer to be the driver, but we managed to share the driving duties peacefully. But driving that road with its ups and downs, and hairpin turns to the right, and hairpin turns to the left, and stopping at every overlook to take pictures, can wear a girl out.

And when you come to the end of Skyline Drive you immediately begin your drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with more ups and downs, and twists and turns. So we stopped for the night in Hillsville, VA. Which my son may remember from an infamous trip we took from FL to upstate NY, dragging a uHaul, and he said, looking at the map, “Mom, there is a road that’s a shortcut from the road we are on to the one we are going to”, and we took it. Much to our dismay we found it had twists and turns, and ups and downs, and we groaned when we saw that we had been driving, however appropriately, through Hillsville! I asked him if I had been driving him nuts by driving too slow over that road and he said no, I was driving him nuts because he thought I was driving too fast! I never imagined I’d spend four days driving that sort of road willingly, and calling it fun!

My first trip to Florida was in 1988 and I came away with the impression that it was entirely too flat. At this moment in time I think that Florida’s flatness just might be its best feature.