Photos of the Day – June 5th and 6th

Here are my Photos of the Day for June 5-6, 2017:

JUNE 5

# 156 Photo Prompt – Round:

“Big, Red Ball”

#round

# 156 Caught By My Lens:

“Firemen at Kohl’s”

I planned to do some shopping at the Kohl’s in Batavia, but when I arrived, they were evacuating the store and soon after the fire trucks arrived! WOW! I understand there was some smoke and the lights were flickering…….everything must have been OK cause when I drove by about two hours later, there were no firetrucks and the parking lot was full of cars!

JUNE 6

# 157 Photo Prompt – Cooking:

“For When I Get Ambitious”

#cooking

# 157 Caught By My Lens:

“Purple Clematis”

One of two in my yard! 🙂

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June 2017s Photo Prompts:

Photos of the Day – June 1-4

Hi…..you may notice that some of my photos for the past four days are related to the Wizard of OZ….well, that is because I spent the weekend in Chittenango, NY at their annual Oz-Stravaganza Festival! I had a BLAST!!! More about my adventurous weekend later…..for now…..

Here are my Photos of the Day for June 1-4, 2017:

JUNE 1

# 152 Photo Prompt – Joy:

“Sodus Point Lighthouse”

#joy

This represents “Joy” in two ways – 1) I adore lighthouses and it is always a joy to visit one! and 2) It was the start of a weekend adventure, which is joyful on its own!

# 152 Caught By My Lens:

“Feeding The Giraffe”

I was so excited to be up close and personal with this gorgeous, gentle creature!!!

JUNE 2

# 153 Photo Prompt – Besties:

“You’re the best friends anyone ever had!”

#besties

# 153 Caught By My Lens:

“A lovely, quiet spot to sit and read after a full day of exploring!”

Bird Brook Bed and Breakfast, Chittenango, NY

JUNE 3

# 154 Photo Prompt – Reflection:

“Me with Dorothy and Glinda”

#reflection

# 154 Caught By My Lens:

“Where is the rest of the gang?”

Looking for The Cowardly Lion, Glinda, and the Wicked Witch of the West to catch up to them!

JUNE 4

#155 Photo Prompt – Local:

“Marshmallow Farm”

#local

Who knew there were local marshmallow farmers right in our Finger Lakes Region!!!???

Not far from Cazenovia, NY

# 155 Caught By My Lens:

“Sunflower and Bees on a Barn”

Geneva, NY

So, there you go……

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June 2017s Photo Prompts:

 

Seattle Adventure

And, now….finally…..I am posting photos from my time in Seattle….the last stop on my West Coast Adventure the last week in March and first week in April! I promise to try to keep up better with my posts of future adventures!

I arrived in Seattle late at night – about 10:00-ish – from my Coastal Starlight Train ride from San Francisco. I was delighted to discover the hotel we found on Expedia for a very reasonable price was AWESOME – Hyatt Place, Seattle Downtown!!! And, the view from my room was pretty amazing, too!

Talk about security……you need your room key card to make the elevator work!!!!

When I opened the drapes to see what kind of view I had, the sight of the Space Needle all lit up and so close took my breath away! It was just a couple blocks away.

I planned the timing of all the portions of my trip to where I only had two full days in Seattle. I didn’t think I would need more than that and I knew that by the time I got to Seattle, I would be at the end of a two week trip and would most likely be ready to head home. Well, in hindsight, I wish I had allowed more time there…..at least one more full day – maybe two! I saw the two things I knew for sure I wanted to see – Pike Place Market and the Space Needle – and a few other things, but there was more I read about while I was there that I wished I had time to see or do! But……there is always the option to go back – in fact, I mentioned in my post about the Coastal Starlight Train that I’d love to do that again, so that would definitely put me back in Seattle…..someday…..maybe!

But, as for THIS trip, here are some of my photos:

DAY 1:

I wondered why I couldn’t find much in the line of Gray Line type tours when I was researching Seattle in preparation for the trip. It was part of the reason I only allowed for two days – I didn’t find much in the touristy area. So, I figured I’d take public transportation or taxis to what I did find to do and what I already knew I wanted to do. Well, it turns out that the hotel I stayed at had a FREE shuttle that was available 24/7 to take me to a wide variety of attractions. I just had to let them know when and where I wanted to go and then call them when I was ready to get picked up! Well, whadda-ya know!!! So – I used this service on Day 1 to go to Pike Place Market. This was THE main thing I wanted to do — if I didn’t get to see anything else, this would be enough to make me happy! You see, when I was still working…..before the wonderful experience of retirement took me to a whole new understanding of loving life and being adventurous……the company I worked for adapted the Fish Philosophy – a motivational program based on the employees of Pike Place Fish Co. – you know, the famous flying fish guys! I taught the class for that program for years, loved the video, and always said that if I ever got to Seattle, I would definitely go see this place!!! So…..I did!

The Pike Place Fish Co. was the first vendor I visited in the Public Market. I stood there for a long time just watching them throw fish and joke around with the customers and have a ball! I LOVED IT!!!! Unfortunately, I had a hard time capturing the flying fish in photos, but I got a few and I have the memories! It was such a thrill……I still feel the aching in my cheeks from smiling and laughing!

Right beside the Pike Place Fish Co. is what I understand is a famous piggy bank……everyone was taking turns having their photo taken with the pig or sitting on the pig……I just waited till the crowds parted and I could get a good shot of it……guess I should have asked someone to take my picture with it, but……I didn’t!

There was a lot more to the Pike Place Public Market……lots of vendors and restaurants and other fish markets and entertainers and things to see and do – inside and out! I spent a few hours there just wandering around, looking, and….of course…..having some fresh seafood for lunch!

And, I sat my butt right where Tom Hanks sat HIS butt while he was in town filming “Sleepless in Seattle“!!!

The pick up location for the shuttle was outside a cupcake place. After spending a few hours walking around, I was pretty tired and overheated, so I went in to sit a while and enjoy a cupcake and a glass of ice water before I called for the pick up to end Day 1.

I considered finding a nearby place for dinner, but I was pretty tired, so I just ate at the little cafe in the hotel lobby…..it turned out to be a fantastic dinner of tomato basil soup and a ham sandwich with fresh fruit! Perfect, since I had a big lunch! The hotel also served a complimentary breakfast buffet that you’d easily expect to pay big bucks for in a restaurant……very good!!!

DAY 2:

On my second day, I decided to walk the 2-3 blocks to the Space Needle – I also saw on the hotel info that there were a couple museums near there, as well.

I waited in a LONG line to get tickets to the observation deck. When it was finally my turn to get up to the ticket window, I asked about the possibility of having lunch in the revolving restaurant at the top. As luck would have it, they had room in the next reservation time for one walk-in…..and that time was as soon as I could get up there! It was actually brunch time and the three course brunch meal was a flat fee of $50. It was nice — the views as it revolved around were amazing and the food was good……I’m glad I did it, but it is a “been there, done that” kind of thing – wouldn’t do it again and would probably tell others to do it if they just want the experience, but don’t do it if they expect a meal so fabulous they won’t ever get another like it……I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and, like I said, the food was really very good…..but not something I couldn’t get elsewhere for a lot less and the views were the same from the observation deck – the observation deck ticket was included in the meal price, but if I had done it alone, it would have cost me a LOT less! So……my advice is – save the $ and just do the observation deck and have lunch somewhere else!

There were several options on the brunch menu — I chose the tomato soup, huckleberry pancakes with sausage, bacon, and potatoes, and bread pudding for dessert.

After brunch, I went up on the observation deck……since I already had a 360 view while eating, I strolled around the deck in the fresh air for a while and went back down. I can now say I was at the top of the Space Needle……it was beautiful!

Across the street from the Space Needle is the Museum of Pop Culture. I think it cost $25 to get in and another $5 to see the special “Star Trek” anniversary exhibit. I was underwhelmed, to say the least. Aside from an awesome sculpture made out of hundreds of guitars that extended multiple floors, a small Jimi Hendrix exhibit, and the Star Trek exhibit, it was pretty much a bust……mostly newer pop culture stuff surrounding video games and modern science fiction stuff that I had no clue what I was looking at, but the kids around me seemed to be fascinated with. The parts that I enjoyed took me all of about 1/2 hour to see. Unless you’re into video games and modern science fiction, save your money!

The building was interesting…..supposedly, it was designed in the shape of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar…..I didn’t see how that could be!

This was VERY cool!

The steps up to the Star Trek exhibit were cool, too!

I saw Darth Vadar and one of his Storm Troopers on my way to the next museum! That was pretty awesome! Darth was a “dummy”, but the Storm Trooper danced around and talked with the tourists and let them take their photos with him.

The very BEST thing I saw while in Seattle…..well, probably ties with getting to watch the fish throwing guys……was the Chiluly Garden and Glass Museum! This place is right beside the Space Needle – if you get a combo ticket for the observation deck and the Chiluly museum, you get a discount. The museum is all glass sculptures created by an amazing artist. There were also outside gardens all around the museum where the flowers were also glass sculptures among live foliage! This place was INCREDIBLE!!! I was in awe the entire time I was there…..each room I entered took my breath away…..totally awesome!!! THIS was WELL worth the admission price and is an absolute MUST SEE if you get to Seattle!!! These photos pale in comparison to seeing it all in person!

I saw this sculpture walking back to my hotel and also stopped to listen to a few different street musicians.

Then, on my walk back to the hotel, I noticed a station for a Duck tour — those land and sea tours you see in most big cities with water ways. I did one in Mobile, AL and had so much fun. I decided to see if I could get on a tour and was able to get on the one that was just about to pull out! I got a great tour of the city on land and then we splashed down in the harbor and toured around the water. It was GREAT!!! Sometimes the best things happen when you decide to be spontaneous and throw your plans out the window!

We sailed by several communities of house boats….including the one from Sleepless in Seattle – but, it was pretty far away from where we were and I couldn’t tell exactly where he was pointing for us to look at, so I didn’t get a photo! 😦

We sailed by this….whatever it is….that used to have a function, but has since been abandoned and rusted…..but, it was going to cost way too much to get rid of it, so they made it into a park and a tourist attraction! Way to re-purpose an old eye-sore!

More of what I saw on the Duck Tour:

This huge display actually moves – the arm swings the hammer on the thing in his other hand!

After my duck tour, I went back to my room to freshen up to go find some dinner. I walked several blocks around the area of the hotel, but every restaurant I stopped at either required reservations or there was a VERY long wait for a table! I finally found Zeek’s Pizza and had an awesome pizza and a glass of really good local micro-brewery beer. It was a great end to the day and to my time in Seattle!

I found Seattle to be a really pretty city with lots and lots of cultural things to see and do……although I made a couple not so great choices, I also made some incredible choices and discovered a few other things that I would have checked out if I had more time! So……yes, I’d definitely consider returning to see more someday!

That’s it for my 2017 West Coast Adventure! If you missed the other posts, go to the categories list on the right hand side of the screen, click on “2017 West Coast Adventure” and it will bring them all up…..the cruise……the shore excursions all along the California Coast…….San Francisco and the day trips to areas surrounding San Francisco……the Coastal Starlight Train ride…….and this one of Seattle! It was a FABULOUS trip – two weeks jam packed with so many awesome sights……the west coast from top to bottom!!!

I still owe you a post of my Washington, DC adventure. I’ll try to get that posted early next week! Until then, take time to find the adventures in your life – big or small – and enjoy them to the fullest!!!

Photos of the Day – May 31st

Good Bye, May…….

Here are my Photos of the Day for May 31, 2017:

# 151 Photo Prompt – Something Red:

“Nap Time”

#somethingred

# 151 Caught By My Lens:

“Lazy Frogs”

And, the perfect end to the day……

First ice cream of the season at Watts!

Black Raspberry ice cream with caramel, spanish peanuts, whipped cream, and a cherry!

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June 2017s Photo Prompts:

Photos of the Day – May 30th

Here are my Photos of the Day for May 30, 2017…..can you believe it? June is just around the corner and the first day of Summer (end of Spring) will soon be upon us! This year is FLYING by like a sonic jet!!!

# 150 Photo Prompt – In My Hand:

“A Tiny Life Lost” 😦

#inmyhand

I found this on the ground beside one of my lilac bushes. I tried to find the nest – assuming it was in the bush – to put it back in hopes that Momma would take it back. But, the nest was nowhere to be found, so maybe it was dropped there by some other critter!

Even though I thought it was a little too big, I thought it was a robin egg. But, when another friend questioned its size, I googled “birds that lay blue eggs” and now think maybe it might be a starling egg, instead…..looks the same as a robin egg, but just a bit larger!

(See starling egg – second from bottom on the right and the robin egg third from the top on the left)

Any other opinions? Either way, it is so sad that this egg got lost! 😦

# 150 Caught By My Lens:

“Fairy Village”

Instead of doing Fairy Gardens this year, I decided to arrange all the fairy and gnome related stuff I’ve collected into a Fairy Village under my weeping crab apple tree near the Bird Buffet in my front yard island!!! LOL

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May 2017s Photo Prompts:

Just one more for May – Something Red!

Sneak Peek at June 2017s Photo Prompts:

Some interesting topics for June!

Photos of the Day – May 29th

Happy Memorial Day! Hope you all took some time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedoms and this wonderful country we live in!

Here are my Photos of the Day for May 29, 2017:

# 149 Photo Prompt – I Want To Eat This….

“Memorial Day Dinner”

#iwanttoeatthis…

T-bone on the grill, grilled veggies, and grilled onions for the steak! YUM!!!

# 149 Caught By My Lens:

“Home Sweet Home”

The happy couple have definitely chosen the cobblestone as their new home!

Scroll down to see the May 28th Photos of the Day post to read the back story to this!

“Standing Guard”

They must have been decorating the place to suit them, today. The Mr. came and went several times and then he sat here for a long time while the Mrs. came and went over and over……like he was standing guard while she decorated! 🙂

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May 2017s Photo Prompts:

Linwood Gardens Tree Peony Festival – 05-28-17

Today, I visited an amazing hidden treasure near Pavilion, NY – a little less than an hour from my home. It is the second time I have attended the annual Tree Peony Festival at Linwood Gardens – an event that opens the gardens to the public for three weekends about this time every spring. I learned to love peonies from my Mom – she loved them and I have always thought they are one of the most romantic flowers – so delicate and lacy! I have eight peony bushes in my yard and this year I added a red peony tree in Mom’s honor – actually, a friend gave me one just after she passed last April, but it didn’t make it, so my landscaping friend found a more mature one to replace it…..hoping for beautiful red blossoms on it next year about this time!

This is an excerpt from the festival brochure about the history of peonies:

The tree peony is a royal plant from Asia, well-known from the ancient past as the “King of Flowers”. It was held sacred in the gardens of monasteries and temple courts and grown as an exclusive treasure of the Imperial Palaces. To the great artists, it has always been a favorite subject in painting, poetry, and ceramics, and it was traditionally embroidered on the trousseaux of princesses.

 

Tree peonies differ from the common herbaceous peony in two conspicious ways: 1) they develop rough-barked, woody stems that, instead of dying back to the ground each winter, continue to grow year after year, so that a bush (not a tree) is formed four to six feet tall and as many feet wide; 2) they bloom about two weeks earlier. Tree peony flowers are also much larger than the herbaceous kinds.

Linwood Gardens was created as a summer house for William Henry Gratwick II from Buffalo in 1901-1910 and it has remained in the Gratwick family. William H. Gratwick III was responsible for the addition of the Rare Plants Nursery and making the tree peonies a focus of the gardens. He was also an artist and landscape architech – contributing many of the sculptures and new garden areas to the property. Gratwick III’s daughter, Lee Gratwick, currently lives at Linwood and preserves the Tree Peony Collection, the Gardens, and the Summer House. The property played a major role in art and musical culture for the community throughout the years and continues to host various cultural events.

I adore this place…..it is beautiful, peaceful, and a lovely way to spend a warm spring day! It truly is a treasure!

The grounds consists of the Summer House, a swimming pool, an Italian Garden, a Labyrinth, Saunder’s Hill, Dwarf Village, a Vegetable Garden, the Tree Peony Nursery, a Walled Garden, a Lily Pool, and a Chapel.

Each day during the festival, a different musical performance is presented. Today, I enjoyed listening to the American Recorder Society – just lovely!

While I sat to listen to the music, I enjoyed a delicious bowl of tomato basil soup, some pastries, and a glass of lemonade!

The pool is one of the first in NY state and is a cement box in the ground…..no drain, no circulation….it has to be pumped out to be cleaned and refilled.

People love walking around this labyrinth!

One of the entrances into the Italian Garden

One of many, many bull frogs in the Lily Pool and the Italian Garden…..there were also thousands of tadpoles!

Exterior of the Walled Garden

The Tree Peony Nursery

What is left of an old water tower

Lily of the Valley always reminds me of my Grandmother!

I look forward to the opportunity to spend time in these beautiful gardens again year after year!

There is one more weekend of the festival – if you’d like to go see for yourself, the last weekend for this year is June 3-4, 2017. For more information, click here to visit their website!

And, now……some sights I saw on my drive along the way:

This funny guy in Elba caught my eye!

Armor Building Supply in Batavia

I have GOT to find out if this is open to the public…..I would LOVE to spend some time with fainting goats!!!

This truck, sitting near the side of the road, has seen better days…..but, it is still quite the handsome dude!!!

That’s all for now!!! 🙂