'scene' along the way, adventure, attention to detail, attitude adjustments, facing facts, Florida landmarks, history, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography

The University of Tampa…

I first became aware of the wonderful spires of the University of Tampa when my photo group met to photograph sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Tampa. After the shoot we walked to a nearby Irish Pub that sat along the river, but across the river you could see the spires of the University. The waitress said that people come to that area to take pictures of those spires with the sunset colors behind them. We attempted to do that once, but it wasn’t a great sunset that night. Now I’ll be wanting to try, try again.

We have ridden the water taxi along the river walk and had a slightly different view of the buildings several times since then, but this time we were attending the Holiday Stroll at the Henry Plant Museum that is located in that main building you see below. So, finally, a chance to see the building up close. Which is when I realized that it’s much too enormous to do justice to in a photograph. For me anyhow. That main building is Plant Hall, built in 1891 as the Tampa Bay Hotel. The hotel featured 500 guest rooms, a casino, and a race track. Guests might choose to hunt or fish, or quietly sit and listen to a concert on the grounds, and possibly enjoy tea while they listened. There was a struggle to make a profit however, and eventually the city of Tampa bought the property after Henry Plant died. Endowments by several prominent families provided enough money to keep up the property and expand the university also.

The doors of the feature photo are in the center of this view of the building. Through the doors you enter the grand hall, where students come to register, and other administrative offices are there as well. If you walk through you will exit to the rear of the building which is just as impressive as the front, as you will see.
I lamented the back view of this statue in the above photo, so I had to take a photo of the front of it.
This is the view from the front steps of the building. You are looking across a beautiful garden, and also across the river, at the ‘beer can’ building, that I also enjoy catching a glimpse of when we come to Tampa.
I find this architecture just amazing.
The detail boggles my mind.
Perhaps this statue represents the hunting dogs who resided here in the hotel’s heyday.
When I walked through the grand hall and exited through the doors I immediately saw the golf carts that I thought would ruin my pictures. But I did love the two round porches, and it took me a while to notice the photographer sitting at the base of the flag pole, and the little girl striking poses for him at the top of the steps.
I love looking at the porch, but I suppose sitting on the porch would be nice also.
Visiting on a Saturday during Christmas break meant there weren’t lots of students walking the paths, and not only that, you could park in the faculty parking lot too.
I have wanted to see a good view of this large round minaret so I was pleased when I spotted it.

Yes, this was a visit to do the Holiday Stroll, and we did. And it was lovely. I will post the pictures in the next day or so. I think this trip will have to be a holiday tradition from this time on. I never realized that new traditions can be just as meaningful as the memories of past holidays that we hold dear.

black and white, changing times, facing facts, faith, finding my way, history, perseverance, photography, Uncategorized

Getting it right…

It was quite a drive from where we stayed in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, to Acadia National Park. We chose to do it on the second full day we were there, and it was a bit disappointing to find so much fog in the scenery once we got there. I waited until we were home to process this particular picture in the computer since Lightroom mobile doesn’t allow for processing HDR. Or I haven’t found it yet. I don’t like the resulting picture as much as I thought I would, so I tried it in black and white and liked it better. But that could just be my mood lately.

I also liked it better when I saw the world in black and white. Right or wrong. The news, the political ads, the ugliness out there feels like an invading army to me. I seem to have misplaced my rosy glasses…

'scene' along the way, facing facts, fences, history, just imagine, learning, lest we forget, perseverance, photography, reality check, road trip


I found myself to be more affected by the trip to Gettysburg than I expected to be. Those beautiful preserved landscapes got to me. Looking much like they would have in 1863, it was impossible to imagine the scene as troops met in that peaceful looking place, and so many of them died there.

Fields and fences, beautiful now, as I’m sure they were then. The town was there, and quiet farms, and then the armies came.
The hills, the high ground, sought after by both sides.
I hope you can read this account of the day. I usually zoom in on the signage, but in this place I wanted the landscape to show also.
I used this picture in a previous post, but it does bring the lesson home.
What would it be like to charge up a hill in the face of canon fire?
Another account of battle.
The caption on the eternal flame reads, ‘Peace Eternal in a Nation United.’
Another landscape that I found so pretty, but the monument is in addition to what it may have looked like at the time.
Just as the battle came to the people who settled this land back then, the townspeople now go about their business among armies of tourists who come to remember.

We attended a screening of the movie Casablanca the other day at the Tampa Theater. We did this last August also, but this time the scene depicting the German army occupying Paris stood out to me. Another war, people helpless in the face of armies, and with much different weapons. And then my mind went to the war in the Ukraine, and I’m stunned to think that people are again, or should I say still, experiencing the horrors of war.

courage, death, exploring new places, facing facts, fences, history, learning, lest we forget, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip


If you ever get a chance to go to Gettysburg don’t do what we did. We were going to ‘see’ Gettysburg, only an hour from where we had stayed the night before, and then be on our way back home to Florida. We arrived at a little after opening, around 9:30 AM, seeing the Cyclorama (amazing) and the museum, and then heading out for the auto tour which we only finished by 5PM by rushing a bit at the end. I didn’t ever understand the impact of that battle on the outcome of the war, and my head is spinning as I look at the pictures and try to remember where each one was taken when we have just arrived home this morning. I was as much taken with the beautiful landscape of Pennsylvania itself, as I was by the historical significance of the scenes before me. And yet there are monuments to be seen in the pictures. Three days of battle leaving thousands of soldiers dead and dying in these fields, and a townspeople of less than 1300 to cope with the aftermath. This place is beautifully preserved lest we forget…

family, friends, history, home, making memories, memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, strangers become friends

That rocky coast of…

It’s the coast of Maine that is referred to as the rocky coast, but my childhood favorite beaches of Duxbury, Green Harbor, and Brant Rock are nothing if not rocky. I took Charley to Duxbury on a day when the beach was especially rocky and he was singularly unimpressed. But the two of us Brockton kids share a love of the same places, even if we didn’t ever know each other until 70+ years later. So we roamed, got lost, and roamed some more. And had lunch at Friiendly’s which we didn’t realize still existed. They did, in fact, have Fribbles on the menu, but I resisted, this time anyhow. The feature photo is the Scituate light, a place I never saw until this visit. Just up the coast. We have a wedding to go to this afternoon. Imagine the excitement of this morning for the bride and groom. Then tomorrow we will head up the coast to the actual rocky coast of Maine, where we will explore, and probably get lost, some more.

This stone depicts the grounding of the ship Etrusco on March 16, 1956. My friend remembers this happening, but he is, ahem, older than I am so I don’t remember this at all. The ship ran aground during a ‘devastating St. Patrick’s Day blizzard’, and the gallant members of the Civil Defense communications staff in Scituate managed to keep the lines of communication going which allowed all 30 members of the crew to be rescued.
I hoped to get another view of the lighthouse, and it’s there, in the center, dwarfed by the ships masts. Kind of a Where’s Waldo thing.
Rocks and more rocks.
Brant Rock looking north.
And again but looking south.
The Fairview Inn, where my parents and their friends would go to get away from us kids when we all stayed in cottages at Duxbury Beach for the same couple of magical weeks each summer.
I hadn’t realized I had captured an image of one of the watch towers along the coast. Dating from WW2, and in the process of being restored.
And two Brockton kids wouldn’t head back to Brockton to meet up with old friends at the Cape Cod Cafe without a cruise through Fields Park. I said I hoped I’d see the swans. That you will see Canada Geese is a given.
Just one of the families of swans that we saw.
Tower Hill, where many Brockton kids tobogganed down the hill into the golf course in the winter.

At first we didn’t think we had people in common, even though we grew up in the same home town. But my cousin’s husband proved to be the link between my friend and his long-lost best friend from childhood, so our little reunion at the Cape Cod Cafe last night was worthy of a Hallmark movie. It’s so good to be ‘home’…

coping, facing facts, finding my way, history, life goes on, perseverance, photography

Fence sitters…

A lizard came to join me and another photographer as we stood on ladders peeking at the goings-on at the rookery near my house. The term fence-sitting came to mind, and I realized that that’s a term that could apply to me. When I’m being kind to myself I could call it a virtue, being able to see both sides of an issue. My husband wouldn’t have been quite so kind. He was a more volatile personality, frequently mad at someone over what seemed to me to be not such a big deal issue. So I’d point out how that other person might be viewing the issue and my husband would get mad at me then, for ‘always taking the other guy’s side’. But he listened. Maybe it’s my Facebook feed lately. It’s full of stories of courageous women in history who spent their lives getting involved, making the world a better place for all of us. I wonder to myself what I would have thought if I’d lived back then, as if the world couldn’t use some improvement right this minute. In my own little universe I spent my life as a peacemaker. My lifetime has seen some incredible events take place in the world at large, but for those I’ve just looked on, sometimes in horror, but I’ve essentially been riding the fence. A watcher while this runaway train seems to keep building up steam…