We now return to our regularly scheduled travel posts…
I’ve been in the Florida panhandle for several months. I love it here and hope to stay for a long time. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in the U.S. Yes, California and Pennsylvania are both lovely, but this area has several things those two don’t: lots of greenery, trees and beaches all together, wide-open country farms, and polite Southerners. There’s also a nice little airport, and a couple big shopping malls.
The sugar-white sand beaches are loaded with amazing sea shells, some as large as your palm, others the size of your thumb, the kind of shells you see for sale in souvenir shops. On the beach, they’re free for the digging. I recently got to dig for shells with a couple friends. I felt like a kid again, looking for perfect shell treasures, and running to my friends to show them my find.
Florida panhandle beaches.
Florida panhandle beach panorama.
There are also millions of very small shells all over the shore.
As I’m sure I mentioned before, the sunsets are amazing. The place has an overall sense of peace and calm I haven’t often found, and certainly not in a long time. But, wait! There’s more…
Maryland’s Elk Neck State Point and Turkey Point Lighthouse
Shortly before I left Pennsylvania, I took a day trip to Elk Neck State Park in Maryland to meet some fellow campers. It’s on a long peninsula, across Chesapeake Bay from Havre De Grace, home of the world’s largest duck decoy museum. The campground at Elk Neck State Park is heavily wooded, the sites a tad rustic.
The beach a short drive from the Elk Neck State Park campground.
At the end of the peninsula is the historic Turkey Point Light, built in 1833. Although only a 35-foot tower, the 100-foot height of the bluffs on which the lighthouse stands makes it the third highest lighthouse off the water in the bay.
But, wait! There’s more…
This post, the last from Bluz’s Tour of Baltimore, is a calming slideshow of the National Aquarium at Baltimore Harbor. Since it’s Friday, and since there are at least five pleasing photos, I’m including this in the Happy Friday 5 series. Yeah, I know it’s a bit of a stretch. Hey, it’s Friday.
Despite what it might seem by the few photos displayed here, the beautiful, modern building is huge. There is a wide variety of fish and critters to see – bring walking shoes. Learn more about the aquarium here.
This post is short. Now you have time to go out and do something fun! Enjoy your weekend!
I’m still in the Florida panhandle, but catching up on some earlier sightseeing adventures. There is a lot to see here in the Florida panhandle, but I haven’t yet seen anything other than the sunsets, and a few sunrises before the time change. However, I did get to meet the famous memory expert and motivational speaker Bob Kittell. It was an amazing experience – as fantastic as are his memory tips, his motivational stories about his life are inspirational and moving. He’s one of the better motivational speakers I’ve heard. If you get the chance, go see him.
Meanwhile, I’ll continue the long-overdue chronicling of my visit with BluzDude at Darwinfish and his tour of Baltimore Harbor. The first post about our meeting and the tour of Baltimore Harbor can be found by clicking here.
Today’s post is about my favorite site in the tour of Baltimore Harbor: the Seven-foot Knoll Lighthouse. I LOVE lighthouses – and a little, squat, red lighthouse is a bit of double awesomeness. The lighthouse was constructed in 1856, marking the entrance to the Patabsco River and Baltimore Harbor.
The Seven-foot Knoll Lighthouse in Baltimore Harbor.
They must be counting the seven feet from the floor, up. Or, I’m really much shorter than I thought. I look oddly short and squat next to the lighthouse… It must have a “short and squat” force field.
Here’s the other side… But, wait! There’s more…
Hi, remember me? I used to blog here. I’ve been busy in the Sunshine State (Florida) park hosting and working a short temp job. The temp job is over for now, so I’m back here to dazzle you all with my wit and stunning photography. Or not. Other than the lovely sunsets, I haven’t done any sightseeing in the Florida panhandle, so…
I thought I should at least catch up on some older sightseeing pictures. Hence, today’s post is brought to you by Ohio, the Buckeye State. I was there earlier this year while on my way to Pennsylvania. Interestingly, Ohio got it’s nickname from the buckeye trees – but it all started with ‘the feverish presidential campaign of 1840’…
Ohio, the “Buckeye State”, received its nickname because of the many buckeye trees that once covered its hills and plains.
But that’s only partly the reason. We have to go back to the feverish presidential campaign of 1840 for the rest of it.
William Henry Harrison, a Virginia-born Ohioan and military hero, was a candidate for the White House, but his opponents commented that he was better suited to sit in a log cabin and drink hard cider.
Some of Harrison’s leading supporters, who were experts in promotional know-how, decided to turn into a positive reference what was supposed to be a negative one.
They dubbed him “the log cabin candidate,” and chose as his campaign emblem a log cabin made of buckeye timbers, with a long string of buckeyes decorating its walls. Furthermore, in parades, his backers walked with buckeye canes and rolled whisky barrels.
The campaign gimmicks were successful. “Old Tippecanoe,” as Harrison was often called, beat President Martin Van Buren in the latter’s bid for re-election, and thereafter the buckeye was closely associated with the state of Ohio. (from http://www.50states.com/bio/nickname4.htm)
There wasn’t much to see or do in the region of Ohio where I was for about ten days. What little I did experience hasn’t made me long to go back. However, I did see a few interesting things.
A covered bridge near Fletcher, Ohio….
Covered Bridge near Fletcher, Ohio
A collection of chocolate molds…. But, wait! There’s more…
All things considered, I’m still glad I went.
Ok, so for those of you who know me, this will be a surprise. For those of you who don’t know me, let me tell you a little about myself…
When it comes to medical stuff, it takes a lot to gross me out. Ok, needles and gaping wounds do gross me out. Although, I really wanted to see my surgery photos – and that was cool. When I did wildlife rescue, I learned to suture wounds and give injections. That creeped me out because I do not like sticking anything with a needle.
Giant skeleton at Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, PA. Umm, do we have the same forehead? That’s disturbing.
I am not freaked out or offended by death or open casket funerals. So it should be no surprise it has been my long-time desire to see the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. For those of you that don’t know, the Mutter Museum is dedicated to medical oddities. Bodies, parts, dissected errant growths, freaky medical tools, and a lot of embalmed things in jars.
Of all the odd things I saw, But, wait! There’s more…
I’ve always loved all things miniature: miniature decks of cards, little glass bottles, little Christmas villages under the tree. Even stamps are little miniature pieces of artwork to me. Of course this includes miniature villages – they are the best! It’s no wonder I love making gnome doors, and creating miniature gnome homes “in the wild”.
Choo Choo Barn Miniature Village in Strasburg, PA
There are two miniature village roadside attractions in Pennsylvania. The first, Roadside America, is in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania. The second is the Choo Choo Barn in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. Strasburg may sound familiar to some of you… it’s home to a couple attractions about which I’ve previously written, Famous Amos, and Amish Boy with Pig. (Also, Strasburg is where the tornado touched down in February.)
Because of the lighting, or my phone camera, or a sun flare, the photos of the miniature village at Roadside America were not turning out good – they were all fairly dark so I did not take that many. The colors of the exhibit are much more natural and realistic than my photos would indicate.
And now, mostly because I’ve run out of stuff to say… SLIDESHOW! But, wait! There’s more…
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There is a phenomenon in Pennsylvania: Gnome Homes and Gardens.
Most RV parks in Pennsylvania are closed for the winter, November through April. May through October is known as “the season”. Much like the RVing snowbirds who flock to the southern states for the winter, northeast locals flock to a nearby RV park for the season. The difference between them and the winter snowbirds is that most of them have a stick-and-brick within several hours’ drive. Many only come out to their RV on the weekends during the season.
They keep their RV in one of the few RV parks over the winter, often paying the monthly rate but never going to visit it. The RV is usually covered and shuttered for the winter.
But come mid-April or May, everyone flocks to their RV. They unwrap the RVs, gazebos go up, TVs come outside, fountains go on, flowers are planted, and gnomes invade the park.
Yes, I said gnomes.
Godzilla eats the gnomes.
Along with the gnomes, goes every possible item one could put in a yard. Most of these yards have a variety of lights to rival Christmas. In fact, the decorating style is “everything but the kitchen sink, with gnomes”…. But, wait! There’s more…
This is a short post of a few random giant things in Texas: Giant Spurs in Gainesville, Giant Chess Knight and Castle Wall near Gainesville, and a Giant Chessboard in Giddings. In case you are like me and want to know the “why” of things, I’ll include what little I know about these items.
Giant Chessboard in Giddings, Texas.
This giant chessboard is at a camp on the outskirts of Giddings. I’ve seen a few of these around the country, just a fun way to play chess. But, wait! There’s more…
Even though it’s as green as the Emerald City, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Pye and I are cruising around southeastern Pennsylvania. When it snowed in early April a friend asked, “What do April snows bring?” At that time I had no idea what weather to expect in May, but now I know: April snows bring May showers. Lots and lots of May showers. We’re all developing webbed feet and hands.
As I’ve said before, it’s absolutely stunning! Everything is a lovely shade of bright green (from all the rain): the gently rolling hills dotted with farmhouses and silos, the tall trees with new foliage… much like The Emerald City in The Land of Oz must have looked like to Dorothy and Toto.
Dorothy and Toto – still in Kansas.
We’re not in Kansas anymore, but late last year I stopped at Dorothy’s House in Liberal, Kansas.
There’s a little museum, some statues of the characters, and a few buildings to walk around. They offer a tour, of what, I never got to see… But, wait! There’s more…