Travel and Photography – A Lovely Day in Dresden

As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband and I were fortunate enough to spend our honeymoon in Prague.  We didn’t want to do the whole 7 countries in 6 days type of European trip.  We spent the bulk of our time in Prague, getting to know the city.  In fact, I found more photos and may need to post a “Prague – Part II.”

We did, however, take one day trip to Dresden, Germany.  While there, we visited the Zwinger Museum.  As you may know, much of Dresden was destroyed in World War II, including most of the Zwinger Palace.  It has since been restored, and it is a gorgeous building.  These photos are from August of 2008.

On the Road from Prague to Dresden

Zwinger Museum
Zwinger Museum

We walked around the city, visiting shops and gatherings. It was a rainy day, but we enjoyed our time.

We had lunch in this beautiful restaurant. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.




Travel and Photography – New York City

I’m really enjoying this trip down memory lane.  I’ve been reviewing photos I haven’t looked at in a long time.

Back in 2005 I met my friend, and some of her friends in New York City for a few days.  Any time I take a trip somewhere new, I wish I could spend more time there.  Yet, I get homesick after a week.  As I’ve said before, I’m a complicated being!  What can I say?!

This was another trip where the people-watching was part of the enjoyment.  While I’m not sure I would want to live there (who could afford to, for one thing?), I had a great time in New York.  I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed reminiscing.  Once again, I wish I’d had a better camera . . .

Setting up the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center
Too bad the horse’s head is cut off from the photo. I love this one because the guy’s horse started walking off, so he had to chase it.

Central Park – Of course, I have heard about Central Park my whole life, but I didn’t understand the enormity of it until I visited. The park spans 840 acres!
Bethesda Fountain
We learned early on that the subway was the best way to go, if you wanted to get somewhere on time!

A favorite because of the construction happening. I love photos that capture a unique moment.


Travel and Photography – Washington D.C.

Before I was married, as an adult, I traveled with my parents once or twice a year.  Some people may think that’s weird, but we had a grand time.  In 2006, we took a trip to D.C.  We were there three or four days.  I didn’t get to see everything I wanted, so I hope to go back someday.  Still, it was an amazing trip.  One thing about D.C., it’s full of memorials.  While worth seeing, it doesn’t necessarily give you the carefree feeling of vacation.  Some nights, I felt emotionally drained by the realization of the sacrifices people have made for our country.  I felt grateful to them, and for the opportunity to see these outstanding memorials.

In my other posts in this Travel and Photography series, I have chosen photos of landscapes and buildings, mostly avoiding photos of people.  But, people-watching was one of the most enjoyable things about this trip – I hope that shows in the photos.  We had many unexpected adventures on this trip, and I captured some great pictures, despite not having the best of cameras.

We stayed at the historic Watergate Hotel, and were there during the Cherry Blossom Festival.  I remember walking through the cherry blossoms – there were so many, it was surreal and wonderful.

Our first night there, we explored the area, and happened upon the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (aka “The Kennedy Center”) just in time for a tour.  That set the stage for the whole trip . . . full of surprises.

The Watergate
We had a view of the Potomac from our room. Every day there were people rowing -as you can see, they kept rowing into the evening. Super cool and fun to watch.

The Kennedy Center
We were there during the Kite Festival. Check out the kites in the background. Awesome!
Lincoln Memorial

Vietnam War Memorial

Jefferson Memorial
Inside the Jefferson Memorial. Spectacular.
Jefferson Memorial through the blossoms
Iwo Jima Memorial. I was disappointed that they were doing maintenance when we were there. But, when I saw the photo with the guy (see him in the bottom right corner?) I thought he made it unique and showed the scale. It became one of my favorite photos.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Something every American should experience.
I couldn’t get enough of the cherry blossoms. So beautiful.
Near the FDR Memorial
More beautiful blossoms



Travel and Photography – Prague

My husband and I went to Prague for our honeymoon in 2008.  What a beautiful city!  It was my first trip to Europe, and my husband’s first time going to Prague, so we enjoyed seeing it together for the first time.  I am realizing, going through these photos that I am missing some from an evening dinner cruise we took down the Vltava River, and a day trip we took to Dresden, Germany.  I may have to do a “Prague at Night” post later!  I hope you enjoy these photos of the City of 100 Spires (or is it 1000?  I’ve read both descriptions . . . there are a lot of spires).

Statue of St. Wenceslaus
Tyn Church

St. Vitus Cathedral in the Distance

Charles Bridge Tower

Path to Prague Castle
St. Vitus Cathedral
Tyn Church
Prague Castle
Astronomical Clock
Pizza Oven at What Became our Favorite Restaurant Across the Street from our Hotel
Wenceslaus Square
National Museum

Which of the 100 or 1000 Spires is this?




Travel and Photography – Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan

In 2005, I got to go on a cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico.  Here are some of the highlights.

From the Cruise Ship
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas
Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta


Travel and Photography – Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island is a very unique island in Michigan, on Lake Huron.  It’s like stepping into the past.  No vehicles are allowed on the island, so you must get around by bicycle, horse, or foot.  I’ve had the opportunity to visit twice, and hope to take my kids there sometime in the future.  It’s full of shops, great food, amazing scenery and interesting history.

From the Ferry, on the way to the island
The Grand Hotel from the Ferry
The Island House Hotel, where we stayed. It is the oldest hotel on the island.
Bike Parking in Front of our Hotel

Trinity Church
History of Trinity Church
Fort Mackinac
Fort Mackinac

Fort Mackinac
Fort Mackinac
The Grand Hotel

Horse Trip Around the Island


Travel and Photography – Alaska

These photos were taken in, around, and between Palmer and Seward, Alaska.  I’m sure you have heard how beautiful Alaska is.  I had too, but the beauty exceeded my expectations.  Some refer to it as “God’s country”.  One certainly gets that feeling, with the overwhelming and untouched scenery.

Travel and Photography – Oahu

No – I’m not changing this to a travel blog.  Well, maybe temporarily.  I love to travel, and I love photography.  While I enjoy travel blogs – I am not in a position to be traveling often enough to maintain a blog on the topic!  But, over the years, I have gotten to go on some great trips.  I just bought my first “real” camera in December.  So, while I didn’t always have the highest quality camera on some of these trips, I still managed to get some beautiful shots.

Hawaii seems to be in the air.  A co-worker just returned from Oahu and Kauai, and I saw an old classmate was on a plane heading that way earlier today.  When I decided that I might post some photos from some of my past trips, the first disk of photos I found was of my husband’s and my trip to Hawaii in 2009.  It was our last trip together before we had our son.  In fact, I found out the previous week that I was pregnant – so technically my son was with us in my tummy – although very tiny!

I enjoyed going through these photos and picking out the best ones.  I hope you enjoy them too.

This has always been one of my favorites from the trip. I love the variety of vibrant colors.
These trees could be found around the island. So bizarre and cool!
Through the roof of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. A beautiful and humbling Memorial site.
Took this during our road trip around the island.
Turtle Bay. We had a lovely day snorkeling in this spot.
Maybe this doesn’t fit in with the other scenic photos. This is from the Waikiki Aquarium. I couldn’t bring myself to eliminate it because I have fond memories of this guy. I watched him for a long time.
That was our hotel – the two towers. It was beautiful, and I loved the harbor in front of the hotel
I seem to have kind of a thing for harbors. Although, I have no desire to own a boat. Weird.

Honolulu, taken from the top of Diamond Head.







Planning Ahead – A Virtue or a Fault?

I am a planner.  Even more surprising in this day and age . . . I use a paper Franklin planner.  I have had this leather planner since 2000.  Isn’t that incredible?  I wonder how many thousands of times that thing has been zipped and unzipped.  Other than one spot where I spilled white-out on it (another outdated tool that I still use), it looks new.

I have tried electronic planners.  I’ve lost data when they have failed.  Unless I lose or forget my planner, I know it’s going to work the way it’s supposed to.

I write just about everything down.  I do also use my Outlook calendar at work – but it’s more of a back up for the times that I accidentally leave my Franklin at home.

I’m not saying I never forget about a meeting or show up more than a few minutes late, but it is rare.

I am an individual who is prone to anxiety, and it could be argued that planning and wanting to control everything are some of the negative traits associated with those tendencies.  While I’m not sure you can ever fully eliminate all of the inclinations associated with an anxious personality, I truly feel I have largely overcome my anxiety.  I actually enjoy planning.  Weird, huh?

I like work projects that require coordinating people and events and making the pieces fit together.  We have a trip coming up, and for me, nearly half of the fun is planning the route and where to stay and what we’ll do.  But, we don’t like to plan to be somewhere at 7:00 AM.  I even include relaxation time in the plan.

It’s probably no surprise to you then, that I see planning ahead as a virtue.  However, I know there are some negatives.  My tendency to plan (some may say over-plan) can be annoying to others – especially non-planners.  Thankfully, I married someone who has the same philosophy about traveling that I do.  The flight, the rental car, the hotels, all booked in advance.  The outings can be more flexible.

Speaking of flexibility – that’s the other downfall.  I don’t like unknowns hanging over my head.  I don’t like working around other people – especially if they are not planners!  These people drive me insane!  Why do I allow other people to have this power over me?  I try not to – but it is a problem!

I feel myself getting a little tense thinking about it.  Deep breath.  Reminder – God puts people, whom we may find difficult, into our lives, to refine us.  If everyone was like I, I wouldn’t have experienced some unplanned adventures, that frankly created some of the best memories of my life.

While I appreciate the positives about spontaneity, I don’t beat myself up over my desire to plan things out.  It makes me reliable – someone others can count on.  I like that.  My husband has expressed appreciation in my ability to map out the details or of our road trips, and that makes me feel good.  Also, I don’t see it as a burden.  As I said, I enjoy it.

But, as we all know, we can’t plan everything.  I try more and more to leave a little time free, in case we need to pull over and see the world’s largest frying pan.