Category Archives: Travel

Thursday Door – Solvang

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Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Dan Antion at No Facility invites us to join in by creating a Thursday Doors post and then sharing the link in his blog anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

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I made a reservation to Banff, Canada in August 2021 for our anniversary. Canada extended the border closing several times. By April, I didn’t want to wait any longer. I canceled the booking and made a reservation to go to Santa Barbara, which is 120 miles from home. While in Santa Barbara, we took a half-day trip to Solvang, which is 33 miles north of Santa Barbara. The last time we visited Solvang was about 20 years ago. I went back with great expectations.

Here is a brief history of Solvang.

Solvang, “The Danish Capital of America” is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Solvang’s origins date back to 1804 when Mission Santa Inés was founded by the Spanish under Esteban Tápis.

In 1911, adventurous Danish-Americans traversed the plains from Iowa to the golden state of California. They purchased 9,000 acres of the former Rancho San Carlos de Jonata and situated their new community next to the historic Old Mission Santa Inés during the Mexican period.

It was not until 1946, after World War II, that promoters of the idea of a “Danish Village” could finally move ahead with plans to redesign the existing facade of the town and to mandate this style for new construction.

To establish a Danish community far from Midwestern winters, they took on its distinctive Danish-themed architecture beginning in 1947 and has since become a prominent tourist destination. Solvang was incorporated as a city on May 1, 1985.

Though only about 10% of residents in the 21st century are Danish, the town attracts many tourists from the Nordic countries and has been the subject of several Danish royal visits, most recently by Prince Henrik in 2011. 

I had planned several places to visit and things to do in Solvang.

1. Windmills. There are five of them. We got the map from the tourist center. The map shows the locations of the windmills. We visited all but didn’t take photos of all of them.

2. Danish pastries and sweets. The last time we went to Solvang was about 20 years ago. I loved the pastries. Yet this time, the pastries were not appealing to us anymore. They looked too sweet, and we cut down at least 70% carb intake since the last visit.

3. Shopping. I stopped any travel collection for many years. We only went in and out of the souvenir shops but bought nothing.

4. Wine tasting. I was going to take a wine tour but didn’t have enough time. Also, we would not spend money on purchasing wine. There was wine sampling in many locations downtown. They all open at 12:00 noon. We passed by one, but we didn’t go back (no photos).

5. Candle manufacture. I remember visiting the candle manufacture. I watched them making candles by dipping into the different colors of wax, then carved the soft wax into beautiful patterns. I found two addresses, but they were closed permanently (no photos).

6. Cuckoo clock shop. I always dream of getting a cuckoo clock or Grandfather clock. I know it will never happen because my husband doesn’t even like to hear the chime under our eaves. Besides, some of them cost thousands of dollars. I still wanted to visit. We found one. I took a video, but the owner stopped me in 15 seconds. There were many items from artists placed there on consignment. They have copyrights.

I enjoyed the colorful Danish architecture. All the buildings have unique styles of doors. It was an enjoyable half-day trip.

Thursday Door – Solvang

I hope you enjoyed the highlights of Solvang and the colorful doors!

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

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Give Thanks in All Things, Part I

Ganz "In All Things, Give Thanks" Hanging Wood Sign ~~NEW~~ | eBay

November 2021 proved to be an extraordinary month for me. My heart swells with gratefulness and joy.

Back in early October, I invited my daughter Mercy and her family to come from Portland, Oregon, to spend Thanksgiving with us in California. Her husband Will had talked to his cousin in Seattle about visiting her for Thanksgiving. They couldn’t decide because his cousin was waiting for her dad to see if he would visit her family for Thanksgiving. Each one’s decision was depending upon another person’s decision.

I wanted to book the air tickets early. The airfare was reasonable, and many seats were available in October. Thanksgiving is one of the two most travel holidays of the year. The closer it gets, the more expensive the airfare is, and the seating availability would be limited as well.

The last time my daughter came to visit was Thanksgiving 2018. Autumn was fourteen months old then. Autumn is an excellent traveler. She flew with her parents about ten times before turning two. She slept most of the way or enjoyed doing things even when we went to Hong Kong and Japan in January 2019. My younger granddaughter is twenty months old. I would like her to have the advantage of flying for free before she turns two.

At the end of October, I asked my daughter about their plan. She said they hadn’t heard from Will’s cousin. I didn’t want to rush, even though I was anxious. Then on November 1, she texted me, attaching many photos of Halloween trick-or-tricking with a message that they were coming for Thanksgiving.

I got on Alaska Air right away to look for the flight schedules. The airfares for the flights fitting their schedule had gone up to about $695 to $1095 each. The main cabin on several flights was fully booked. I could find a few flights with seats close to each other in the Premium section. I gathered the flight schedules and seating and emailed them to Mercy. After she passed on the info to Will, we video called to do the booking.

The anxiousness fell off my shoulder after I clicked “purchase” for the air tickets. On the flight coming, I got the only three seats together in one row. On the returning flight, I got two seats on one side and one seat on the other side of the aisle, but at least they were in the same row.

Mercy said they would check in two car seats and a Pak-n-Play. The car seats would be free, but they would have to pay for the Pak-n-Play. I remember the much luggage they took when we went to Hong Kong. It was when they had a sixteen-month-old Autumn. This time around, they have a toddler and a twenty-month-old. I can’t imagine traveling on the plane, taking care of the kids, carrying the luggage plus two car seats and a Pak-n-Play.

I got busy right away, calling my friend Rhonda and asking if I could borrow something from her. Rhonda has nine grandchildren from toddler to eleven-year-old. She said she had a toddler car seat, Pak-n-Play, and a stroller for me to use. I took photos of the items borrowed and texted them to Mercy. She was delighted to find out she only needed to bring one car seat.

The amazing thing was that I got a free infant car seat the next day. There are Facebook groups called Buy Nothing. It is a group where members post items they want to give away. Other members show interest in those items. The givers and receives make arrangements for pickups. I’m a member of one local group. I had posted many give-away items. When I scrolled through the posting, there was a person giving away two infant car seats. She said she was a foster mom but didn’t want to take any more infants. I showed interest in one and picked it up the next day. After I told Mercy, she was really excited that they could travel light.

Now I could get the house ready for their visit. Mercy’s bedroom is always kept in the same way as it was when she lived in the house. I just needed to fix up the other bedroom for Autumn. There is a full-size bed in the room. I was debating whether to put it away to replace it with a twin bed or not. I picked out a stackable twin bed and a mattress online and saved the online links. When Mercy lived in the house, I had a bunk bed for her, and it’s stored in the attic. Setting up the bunk bed was another option. It would be a lot of work. Nora won’t be ready to sleep in a bunk bed for many years. I may not want to have it open yet. After all the considerations, I used the existing full-size bed. It would be a little big compared to the toddler bed Autumn has in her house. I picked up a couple of large stuffed animals to make the bed comfy and cozy.

There are student activities in the attic from my teaching days. I found a set of six new puzzles, coloring books, simple board games, dominos, and large Legos. I also saved some of Mercy’s medium and small size stuffed animals. To complete the activities, I bought sets of 20 crayons, 10 washable markers, and four-color play dough. These would be enough to keep them busy.

There are boxes of books for Autumn also, but I took the age-appropriate books to her on my previous trips. I’ve been reading to her every six weeks except during the pandemic. I know the books she’s interested in. The local library is only two miles away. I checked out twenty-two books for Autumn and six books for Nora.

After getting all the things needed, I converted the family room into an activity room for the girls.

The next thing to do was to get the food. Mercy’s family is vegetarian, and Mercy is allergic to dairy products. I couldn’t buy some things too early because of the expiration dates. A few days before they arrived, I bought individual yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit, non-dairy milk, and creamer for them. The day before their arrival, I cooked two dishes of veggie quiche and two packs of tofu. I wanted to reduce the cooking time and spend the maximum time with them.

All the preparation paid off. The kids felt very much at home. With no surprise, Autumn went to the books and picked out a bunch for me to read to her. Nora had fun playing with the play dough and building towers with the Legos. My husband played with Autumn one day before I got up. She finished four puzzles. After I got up, I watched her finish the other two puzzles.

When I’m around, Autumn prefers me to read bedtime books to her. Since it’s a special treat for her, she could ask me to read three to five books plus her devotional book. Even though sometimes my throat gets dry and sore from reading, I don’t want to stop. She likes me to read to her. On their returning trip, I went with them to the airport. Will drove. She wanted me to sit in the back seat with her and read to her all the way to the airport.

Reading to Nora
Reading with Autumn in the morning when I still had the bathrobe on
We went to a local park
Autumn was making a cake. Nora always wants to help.

One of my daughter’s best friends since third grade lives close by. When her friend went to college in New York, Mercy visited her. When Mercy got married, she came from New York to attend the wedding. Whenever Mercy is in town, they always get together. Mercy’s friend’s mom was an OB/GYN and their Girl Scout leader. She presented sex education in a mother-daughter meeting. I laughed so hard when she drew a big circle on an easel and a large almond shape in the middle. Having a childhood friend is precious. They are like your siblings.

On Thanksgiving Day, I cooked a yam dish and a corn dish. Will cooked a pumpkin pie and a mixed-berry pie. We got together at my husband Lynton’s brother’s home. With the six of us, we took two cars. Will drove my Acura. Lynton and I took the Hummer. The drive was surprisingly pleasant, with no trucks on the freeway. I found out later that most of the major stores, such as Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s, and JC Penny, were closed all day, partly because they were open super early on Black Friday.

There were twenty-five people at the Thanksgiving dinner. My sister, Queenie, and her daughter were there. I hadn’t seen my sister for three years. She gave me the exciting news about her engagement a month prior. I was so happy for her. It has been eight years since her husband passed away from cancer. I jokingly offered Autumn and Nora to be her flower girls.

They love each other
Autumn didn’t want to look at the phone camera. She had enough photos of the day

Several days zipped by in a flash. We all had a wonderful time together. Now, I’m looking forward to Christmas.

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Lens-Artists Challenge #168 – Seen Better Days

This week Tina of the Lens Artists team invites us to join them in exploring places and things that have “seen better days”. I’ll explain the reason I close the photos for this theme.

My husband, Lynton, is a helicopter pilot. During our travel, we often visited the military aircraft museums, submarines, and battleships. He wanted to be in the military to defend this country, but he was in the middle of his schooling and missed the opportunities. He has family members who were in the services for many years, but I’ll stay on track to do this post.

When we went to Arizona one year, we visited the Luke Air Force Base Airpark. The aircraft had their glorious and courageous days to defend this country or assist other countries. I took many photos of the aircraft displayed and included these four in this post. They proudly retired. Their appearance reminds us of the price the heroes paid for our freedom.

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it… it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” – Unknown

Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of fighter aircraft is to establish an air superiority in the battle space. Domination of the airspace above a battlefield permits bombers and attack aircraft to engage in tactical and strategic bombing of enemy targets.

The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft. The USAF has operated the C-5 since 1969. At that time, the air lifter supported US military operations in all major conflicts, including Vietnam, Iraq, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan, as well as allied support, such as Israel during the Yom Kippur War and operations in the Gulf War. The Galaxy has also distributed humanitarian aid, provided disaster relief, and supported the US space program.

The C-130H performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission and can carry out a diverse number of roles, including airlift support, Antarctic ice resupply, aeromedical missions, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray missions, firefighting duties, and natural disaster relief missions. 

I’m not an aircraft expert and can’t identify this fighter aircraft. It looks like this is a single seat F-16 fighting falcon. I know there are experts and retired military heroes out there. You could help me identify this one.

Air Force Rescue helicopter can be deployed in casualty evacuation, medical evacuation, non-combatant evacuation missions, civil search-and-rescue, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and insertion or extraction of combat forces.

In Boston, we took photos of the USS Constitution and toured the warship USS Casson Young.

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” – Abraham Lincoln

The greatest glory for Constitution came during the War of 1812. Constitution’s crew defeated four British frigates during three separate engagements. She earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” because the cannon fire from enemy ships seemed as if they couldn’t penetrate her strong oak hull.

Built for speed and capability, USS Cassin Young engaged in seven Pacific battles in World War II, survived two Kamikaze hits, and served another full decade beyond her expected lifetime. Built in 1943 in San Pedro, California, she is one of 175 Fletcher-class destroyers built during World War II. 

When we were in Australia, we visited The Australian National Maritime Museum and toured the destroyer HMAS Vampire, and the submarine HMAS Onslow

“The sanctity of our battlefields, monuments, and veteran’s institutions is of utmost importance to preserve military history and pay respect to those who fought.” – Henry Waxman

HMAS Vampire was the third of three Australian-built destroyers serving in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One of the all-welded ships built in Australia.

The submarine Onslow was laid down at the end of 1967 by Scott Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Scotland, launched almost a year later, and commissioned into the RAN at the end of 1969.

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Lens-Artists Challenge #168 – Seen Better Days

Thank you for reading

Have a Wonderful Week

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: Going Wide

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Patti invited us to look at the photos with wide angle images. The wide-angle view is perfect for capturing a broad vista like a landscape, seascape, or cityscape.

Well, I have a small camera and I haven’t made any investment on camera equipment. When taking photos of landscape, seascape, or cityscape, I take them at different angles to capture the wide views.

I included two sets of photos from my travel archives, one set from Spain and another set from Germany. In Spain, we arrived in Madrid and took the tour bus to Toledo, Seville, Granada, and Barcelona. In Germany, we arrived in Frankfurt and took a boat to Cologne. We took a high-speed train from Cologne to Berlin. Then we were on the tour bus from Berlin to Würzburg, Bavaria, Munich, and Schwangau.

Here are the highlights of our travel.

Fountain in front of the Royal Theater

Teatro Real (Royal Theatre) is a major opera house in Madrid. Founded in 1818 and inaugurated on November 19,1850, it closed in 1925 and reopened in 1966. Beginning in 1988, it underwent major refurbishing and renovation works and finally reopened in 1997 with a capacity of 1,746 seats.

Royal Theater

Toledo is known as the Imperial City because it was the primary venue of the court of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in Spain.

Old City of Toledo and River Tajo

The Roman bridge of Córdoba is a bridge in the Historic center of Córdoba, Andalusia, southern Spain, built in the early 1st century BC across the Guadalquivir River. The bridge was built by the Romans in the early 1st century BC, perhaps replacing a previous wooden one.

The Roman bridge of Córdoba

The City of Arts and Sciences is a cultural and architectural complex in the city of Valencia, Spain. It is the most important modern tourist destination in the city of Valencia and one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela. The project began the first stages of construction in July 1996 and was inaugurated on April 16, 1998. The following structure L’Umbracle is an open structure enveloping a landscaped walk with plant species indigenous to Valencia 

L’Umbracle

We took the high-speed train from Cologne to Berlin. At one point the train was going 220 mph.

Cologne Train Station

The Berlin Wall, once known as ‘The Wall of Shame’ that separated the east and west Germany. In 1989, the wall finally came down. The 1,316 meter (4,317 feet) long remnant of The Berlin Wall was kept as a heritage protected landmark. The Wall was decorated by many international and German artists with graffiti and street art, expressing their hopes and reflecting their feelings on this momentous occasion.

Berlin Wall

The Würzburg Residence is a palace in Würzburg, Southern Germany. The Würzburg Residence was commissioned by the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn and his brother Friedrich Carl von Schönborn. It was built and decorated in the 18th century. The Residence was constructed between 1720 and 1744, decorated in the interior from 1740 to 1770 and landscaped with magnificent gardens from 1765 to 1780. 

The Würzburg Residence Garden
The Würzburg Residence Garden

Bavarian Alps is a summarizing term for several mountain ranges of the Northern Limestone Alps in the Germany state of Bavaria. Like the Alps as a whole, the Bavarian Alps were heavily influenced by the last ice age. Depositions by the ice age rivers and glaciers left behind a gently rolling landscape in the Alpine Foreland with lakes and bogs.

Germany Bavarian Alps

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: Going Wide

Thank you for reading.

Have a Wonderful Week!

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Anniversary Trip

Lynton and I celebrate our anniversary this week. We have been in Santa Barbara since Monday, August 16 and will stay until the 20th. Even though we’ve visited our granddaughters in Portland, Oregon several times during the last eighteen months, as far as vacation, this is the first vacation in almost two years.

Our original plan was to go to Banff, Canada, for our anniversary, but because of the pandemic, we had to change the plan. Santa Barbara is only a two-hour drive from home. The last time we came to Santa Barbara on a train probably was twenty years ago.

We decided to drive this time so that it would be more flexible to go to nearby places. Two days before the trip, I listed of the information of the places to visit. So far, we’re on schedule. We have walked around Santa Barbara downtown, visited the Old Mission, and the Botanical Garden. Today, we drove to Solvang which is forty-five minutes away. Tomorrow, we’ll visit the Natural History Museum and the butterfly garden.

After we return home on Friday, I’ll rest on Saturday. My next trip will go to Portland, Oregon from Sunday, August 22 to Saturday, September 4. I’ll help my daughter to take care of my granddaughters, but basically just take care of Nora. My daughter got a job and started working already. Knowing that I would take a trip for our anniversary, she asked me to go afterwards. She needs me to help until Nora goes to the daycare on September 7th, the day after Labor Day.

I have a couple of posts scheduled for the next two weeks. I’ll also post some news about Autumn and Nora, and try to pop in to check your blogs every so often.

The following photos are Downtown Santa Barbara and our first dinner there.

The drought affects all the plants in the Botanical Garden. The creek is as dry as the dessert.

Santa Barbara Harbor boat docks

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #155 – On the Water

John Steiner is the guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #155. He says throughout history, people have gravitated to water for trade and for relaxation and he invited us to share the photos on the water.

This week, I have fun reflecting and finding the quotes and sayings about water and ocean. Please enjoy the scenes and the wisdom about Water throughout history.

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” – Lao Tzu 

Toledo, Spain

“Water is soft and humble, but it is the most powerful and is the most endurable.”Debasish Mridha

Huntington Library, California

“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” – Sarah Kay

Newport Beach, California

“Dance with the waves, move with the sea, let the rhythm of the water set your soul free.” – Christy Ann Martine

Maui, Hawaii

“Water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing, in the end, can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone.” – Margaret Atwood

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Moulton Falls, Washington

“Life is like the ocean; it goes up and down.” ― Vanessa Paradis

Bondi Beach, Australia

“To reach a port we must set sail. Sail, not tie at anchor. Sail, not drift.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Pacific Ocean, Ensenada Cruise, Mexico

“We ourselves feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

 “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” ― Ryunosuke Satoro

Sunset, Ensenada Cruise, Mexico

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #155 – On the Water

Thank you for your visit. I welcome your generous comment.

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Up in the Air

I visited my daughter’s family in Portland, Oregon for six days and had a wonderful time with my granddaughters. I asked my daughter and her hubby to take a short getaway to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. Even though they didn’t go on an overnight trip, they took a day trip to a river for paddle boarding. Nora takes a nap every two hours. I got to spend time to watch The Little Mermaid with Autumn in the morning and did a project with her in the afternoon before their mommy and daddy returned.

Alaska Offering 30% Off Flights Through Valentine's Day Weekend | Travel +  Leisure

On June 22, I flew home and expected to arrive in the early evening.

“Do we have any doctors or nurses on board? We need medical assistance.” A flight attendant announced on the speaker. The passengers in front of my row turned their heads around and kept looking. Apparently, something happened.

A slim, tall, middle-aged gentleman from the first-class section walked past my row and said, “I’m a doctor.” He continued to walk toward the back of the plane.

A few minutes went by, and he didn’t return to his seat. My curiosity nudged me to have a glimpse of what caused the commotion. I got up from my aisle seat to go to the restroom in the back of the plane.

The doctor stood in the aisle three rows behind mine, slightly leaned forward, looking at the woman in the middle seat. Behind the mask, the woman’s face was as pale as a piece of white paper. A flight attendant approached from the back, carrying a gray cylinder of oxygen tank. At the foot of the doctor, there was a red briefcase size first aid kit.

I walked slowly toward the restroom. The concern, questions, worries, and prayer came simultaneously to my head.

What a bad timing for this woman to be sick.

What kind of illness does she have?

Can the doctor and the flight attendant have enough resources to help this woman?

What if she has a serious condition that requires emergency landing?

God, help this woman to hang in there for a couple of hours so that we could reach our destination without delay.

The doctor and the flight attendant were in the middle of the aisle to leave me not too much room to squeeze through back to my seat. I stopped and leaned against an empty aisle seat. The woman’s white mask was replaced with the yellow mask connected to the oxygen tank. With a violently trembling hand, the woman held the mask covering her nose and mouth but lifted it up from the mouth a little to answer the doctor’s question. The flight attendant was holding a chart, and the doctor took a quick look and said something to her. Another flight attendant gave something and a cup of water to the woman. They then stopped and waited to see how she responded. I thought it would be a good time for me to return to my seat.

Shortly after that, the voice came from the speaker again. “Thank you for your patience when we had a medical situation. We will serve the snacks and beverage shortly.”

When the snacks and beverage cart came by, the woman at the window seat in my row said to the flight attendant, “I’m a nurse. If you need any help to follow up on that lady, I can help.”

“Thank you. She was afraid of heights. She had a vertigo and vomiting. With the doctor’s help, we gave her some medicine, and she seemed to do better. Her son is with her, and she handled it very well.”

“It’s good to know she is doing better,” the lady at the window seat said.

“Yes, thank you.”

Thank you, God. She is okay.

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Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

This week for Lens-Artist Challenge #139, Tina invited us to visit our special moments. While there are so many, I would included three events.

Mount St. Helens in Washington state was erupted on May 18, 1980. I was a student at Seattle Pacific University. The 5.1 magnitude earthquake caused a lateral eruption that reduced St. Helens’ height by about 1,300 feet (400 m) and left a crater 1 mile (1.6 km) to 2 miles (3.2 km) wide and 0.5 miles (800 m) deep. It was a major eruption among the 48 states since 1915. The ash drifted over many states and could be seen as far as Chicago. The evacuation was announced before the eruption. Mr. Harry Truman, a caretaker of a resort lodge, refused to leave. He said he belonged to the mountain and would die with the mountain. He, along with fifty-six people were killed.

My family and I went back to visit on September 10, 2016. The mud and debris still filled the river, and the crater was still very much alive. It seemed like nothing or few things would survive. I was in awe to see miles of century-old forests destroyed by the eruption have come back, richer and different from before. There were many beautiful wildflowers. Life overcomes!

I came to the US as a student in 1977. In all the years I was in Hong Kong, I had never visited the Great Wall. In 2012, some family member expressed the interest to take a family vacation in China. I got some tour information from the Chinese Newspaper and made contacts. One tour company offered a private tour with a van and a driver for ten people. After I got the commitment of eight members, I started planning. By the time we set the itinerary, made reservations for air and hotel, three members couldn’t make it. I was a little disappointed. The tour company contacted the tour in China they agreed to accommodate the seven of us. It was a special vacation because I have other countries on my visiting list and may not return to see the Great Wall.

We rarely get to celebrate the birthdays or anniversaries on the day of the event. In 2016, I could plan a trip to Spain in August during our anniversary. When we visited the Mosque of Córdoba, the architecture fascinated me, and I was busy taking photos. The tour moved on without me. It panicked me. Fortunately, my husband is tall, and I spotted him, and quickly merged back to the tour saying nothing.

We were in Barcelona to celebrate our anniversary. I wish to tour inside of Basilica de la Sagrada Familia but the tour didn’t not schedule it. We only had time to take photos. I literally was lying flat on the ground to get the view from the bottom to the top. Of course, my husband was on guard so people wouldn’t step on me and kill me.

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc (Font màgica de Montjuïc) in Barcelona.

Lens-Artists Challenge #139 – Special Moments

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Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137 – Soft

This week for the Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137, Ann-Christine wanted to continue with another S – Soft. This is all about how we interpret Soft.

I see soft Physical appearances, softness of characteristics, and hear soft sounds everywhere. The photos included here represent the several things that are soft in sight and in touch.

“Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events.” – Sharon Draper

This photo was taken from the ship of the Ensenada Cruise. It was my first time watching the soft glow of sunset in the middle of the ocean, even though we were not too far from land.

“Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We saw the fluffy clouds all the time when we were in Maui, Hawaii. They don’t seem to bring any rain except on one trip among our multiple trips.

“Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This clearly shows the principle of softness overcoming hardness. ” Lao Tzu

Water is soft, but when it combines with other natural phenomena, it can be powerful. The tide was coming in this sunny afternoon on the Makena Beach, Maui.

“The red rose whispers of passion, and the white rose breathes of love; O, the red rose is a falcon, and the white rose is a dove. ” – John Boyle O’Reilly

I love the softness of the Iceberg Roses. The innocent color brings me refreshing calmness.

“The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats…” – Albert Einstein

This was my daughter’s neighbor’s cat. She had such an unusual combination of soft fur colors and soft blue eyes, and I wondered if it was a kitten. I would love to have a kitten like this one.

“A wee bit of Heaven drifted down from above, a handful of happiness, a heartful of love.​When the baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into thousands of pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.” From Peter Pan

Thank you for Balroop Singh‘s comment on the softness of a newborn baby. I added this photo of my younger granddaughter Nora. My daughter Mercy did a photoshoot of her when she was three weeks’ old. Nora will be one-year-old on March 22! I look forward to going to her birthday party.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #137 – Soft

Weekend Sky #19 – March 6th

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #136: Subjects Starting with the Letter–S

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #136, we’re circling back to the alphabet. This time, Patti invited us to focus on the letter S. She quoted Mike Wilks who strung a sentence with all the words begin with the letter S and indicated on the shelves in his store stacked with stock of 1,234 Ss to see.

I don’t want to list some seventy-seven S-things. I only chose several to be included in this post. I simply tried to have samples.

“May you see sunshine where others see shadows and opportunities where others see obstacles.” – Anonymous

Sunny sky above the summer sand

“Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.” – Mario Fernandez

Sunny sky above the snowy summit

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” Helen Keller

“If roses tried to be sunflowers, they would lose their beauty; and if sunflowers tried to be roses, they would lose their strength.” Matshona Dhliwayo

Sunflowers surged into the sky searching the sunlight

“Millions of trees in the world are accidentally planted by squirrels who bury nuts, then forget where they hid them. Do good and forget. It’ll grow someday.” – Anonymous

“Little squirrel opens human heart because they have lots of practice with the nuts.” – Swapna Ch

Squirrel, squirrel, what do you see?

“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” -Tom Wilson

“Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you.” – Peace Pilgrim

Sweet smiles from my daughter Mercy

“Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of. You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there.” – Amy Li

“Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.” – Margaret Mead

Songs sisters Autumn and Nora sing together

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #136: Subjects Starting with the Letter–S

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