Posted on July 31, 2019
I will start out by saying Happy Summer and advise you that this is going to be a long post. I’m sorry but this place warrants it, for me. As you will recall were were in San Antonio in April and I wanted to share this day before moving on to New York blogs.
The last day in San Antonio, I managed to convince Richard that we needed to go and visit the missions. Now I will tell you that looking at old buildings is not Richard’s favorite past time. I on the other hand, love history, old buildings and anything genealogical. I mentioned it before but it is worth mentioning again, the bus system in San Antonio is fantastic. We got around pretty easily. I had listed 3 missions to visit; Mission San Juan Capistrano, Mission San Jose Church, and Mission Concepcion. If you are interested in doing this trip, just be prepared to make it a day trip so that you can take time to appreciate the essence of each mission. Make sure to take lots of water especially if you are in the summer months.
Each one was unique and well worth visiting, in my opinion. However, the one I really enjoyed the most was Mission San Jose Church. This mission is known as the Queen of the Missions. You will see why as you read through the blog.
As you enter Mission San Jose, you get the sense of being part of something so old and so historic. In February 23, 1720 Mission San Jose was founded by Father Antonio Margil.
These missions were founded to secure the land, and to be able to teach Christianity and its way of life to the local Indians. These Indians were the Coahuiltecan Indians, a small band of Native American Indians that lived in the Rio Grand Valley. This tribe of Indians was seriously diminished by disease such as smallpox, and of course, slavery.
The inside of the outer wall, we found a number of doorways. The outer wall was thick enough to build housing for around 350 Indians.
The buildings included rooms for guests, officers, a place to eat and a pantry area.
As I walked along the pathway I wondered how long, and how many people it took to build this incredible building.
In 1768, a church was built using local limestone. This church is still an active church today and Order of Friars Minor, a Catholic order, staffs the church.
In 1794, the property was given to the Indians and in 1824 the missions activities ended. The photo below shows the entrance gates into the mission grounds.
When I researched the various sights to see, I remember seeing and being fascinated with the beauty of the arches in this building.
In 1932, the buildings were repaired and restored. The walls, quarters and bastion were restored. The granary was also repaired and restored. In 2001 the gristmill was opened
I was able to walk into a small chapel in my wanderings around. It was simple and peaceful. As was the bench outside.
Below, this window is known as the Rose Window. History would have us believe that there were two possibilities to the naming of this ornate window. The first was that the window was possibly named after the creators girlfriend who, when traveling from Spain, tragically died at sea. The other possibility was that the window was named after the first Saint of the new world, Saint Rose of Lima. The craftsman however, is not known, although it is thought that he could be Pedro Huizar. This window is one of the finest examples of baroque architecture.
The tile in the image above is apparently the original tile, although somewhat faded and damaged.
While I have tried to research the significance of these two crosses, I have not found the answer.
We meandered to the back of the church and came across the granary and the grist mill, both equally interesting.
The granary was also repaired and restored. If you are interested in reading more about the granary and the grist mill reconstruction you can do so here.
There is these mini aqueducts through the garden carrying the water to the mill.
Once again we headed back to walk along the side wall heading out of the mission. I came across some interesting areas that just caught my eye.
Inside this glass casing was a miniature replica of the entire Mission San Jose.
This stunning Queen of the Missions became the showplace of the Southwest. I can certainly believe this. Its rough beauty is unparalleled to anything I have seen. If you are in San Antonio, stop by and visit this beautiful mission.
As I said, it is a long post. There were just so many corners and arches and places to visit.
Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives. This is a circle blog. Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. Beth’s Photoblog is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.
Posted on July 29, 2019
30 Minutes of fireworks. These were taken on the 4th July at a local park. We had some friends visiting Florida and since it was their first 4th of July as US residents we decided to celebrate that with the fireworks.
This time of the year is mosquito time and I have to be honest I was dreading sitting outside in the humidity with mosquito’s feasting on me. I believe that mosquito’s think I am their food source. So I put on a pair of jeans, sneakers and a short sleeved shirt and took a sweater. Not fun being overdressed in the heat.
We found a spot on the edge of the lake and Richard and I friends walked around I watched the beautiful sunset. Before we knew it, it was time for the fireworks and before you knew it 15 minutes later it was over.
The little girls behind us thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks and every time one explored we heard shrieks coming from them. I did not think they would have voices the following morning.
I tried different settings for these images, trying fast and slow. Some I love and some were just okay. Here are a few for this month’s blog.
Thank you for joining us for another month of 30 Minutes. Just a reminder that this is a circle blog. We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, making us now 14 bloggers, and so I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Ivana from MaMagare KidzPhoto, and see what she has for you this month. I am pretty excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world. I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.
Posted on June 30, 2019
It’s time to blog and I am sitting without a computer so I have pulled up some photo’s from last year that I had edited but not posted. Last year we did an impromptu trip to Maine. I happened to be chatting to my work colleague about how I needed to use up some vacation time but really hated wasting vacation time on a staycation. She told me she had a cottage in Maine that we were welcome to use. Having never been to Maine we jumped at the opportunity. We headed up late September. The weather overall, except for our whale watching trip, was fantastic. Not hot not too cold. The whale watching trip was bitterly cold out on the ocean, and it was foggy. We did not see whales, in fact we saw practically nothing.
If you read my blogs, you will know that when I travel I am a bit of a planner. I see very little point in going somewhere blind. Yes I know there is spontaneity in doing thing impulsively and I am game for that, but I also want to have some idea of what I want to see and have some kind of plan. If we don’t get to see it, all fine well, if we do and it is on my list, I am super happy. There is nothing worse for me arriving in a unknown place, as a co-pilot and trying to find where to go. Don’t ever asking me to do Amazing Race. GPS is my best friend.
On of the places on Richard’s list was to go up to Bar Harbor, and Arcadia National Park.
Here are a few of the images I have already edit. When I get to the rest I will have to come back and share them.
As we meandered up the coast we pulled into little towns that appeared to have places of interest or we just thought we would mosey on through.
Hopefully by my next blog I will have a working computer, but who knows. I pushed the button, hit send after a 3 hours self debate of was I ordering the right piece of equipment. That said it is now ordered and along with that a 34 inch monitor, so I cannot wait to play. I am just hoping that the tech guys will manage to transfer the data and images off my laptop, since I just realized that my San Antonio images were on there and I don’t think I have a disc with them on. Bummer if they are all gone.
Thank you for joining me on this very quick and impromptu trip along the Maine coastline. This is a circle blog so I would encourage you to visit my friend Mindy and see what she has for you this month.
Posted on June 24, 2019
At some point in your life, you tend to come up with a bucket list of things you would like to do, and you set out to achieve them. Most of my bucket list has involved traveling, and we have done a fair bit of it. We have traveled through Europe, done more traveling in the USA than I ever imagined us doing, and I still continue to look for places to visit.
One of the places on my bucket list for the USA was Niagara Falls. To be honest I really did not think that we would get there any time soon. However, 2 weeks ago my 2 work colleagues and I headed up to Rochester, New York for training for a program we are in the process of implementing in our offices.
I knew that if we were going to go all the way up there, we needed to make time to do the trip to the Falls. We had to fly up the day before to be there to start training the next day at 9am. So with some creative planning I figured if we caught the 5:30am flight to Rochester via Atlanta we would have enough time to drive to Niagara Falls and back before it was too late in the day.
Of course, I am the furthest from the airport, so I woke up at 3am and began my hour drive. It becomes a very long day when you only get back to the hotel at 9pm but it was well worth every minute that we took to go out there.
On recommendation we decided to drive along the 401, the scenic route, through small towns and farmland. The downside is always the changing speed but the towns were pretty and it was good to be able to see them. Florida is one housing community after another and this was definitely a change of pace.
The day was bleak, cold, windy and overcast, which leaves the images feeling just a little gray. My first view of Niagara Falls took my breath away. The falls are amazing and the force of water going over the falls was just incredible. Water is so incredibly powerful.
Some moments you just had to stop and stare. The image below is one of those moments. Due to the wind there was a lot of water spray coming off the falls and it leaves this hazy effect.
While we heard that the view from the Canadian side of the falls was spectacular, one of us did not have a valid passport, so there was no slipping into Canada to view the falls. However, I suggested that we head down the elevator and take a boat ride into the bay.
I realized that potentially there would be some water. I have a rain sleeve for my camera. What I did not realize was just how much water there would be and how misty the images would look, partially from the water in the air and partially from the amount was water sitting on my the front of my lens.
My thirty minutes technically ends here, but I did want to make the trip one blog post and so I have shared the rest of our days outing.
There was constant wiping of the lens, and doing my best to keep my camera dry. I will admit I had a few worrying moments when my camera started blinking at me. For a while I put it under my rain poncho and did nothing, but the beauty of the place had me pulling it back out again.
We were seriously wet. My colleagues managed to stay slightly drier than I did. I found it difficult to try and focus on the camera and have the hoodie slipping around my face, so eventually I just lost the hood and decided to allow my hair to get wet. I carry a mini brush with me so at least I could tidy up my hair at the end of the ride.
The last image before I put my camera under cover was this boat coming out of the falls.
Arriving back on the base we had the option to walk up this pathway to get closer to the falls. At the base we were already getting wet, I could not imagine taking my blinking camera up closer to the falls.
Back at the top I resonated on what I had seen from the top and the bottom of these incredible falls. If you have the opportunity to visit Niagara Falls, I would encourage you to do so. We still had 1 hour and 45 minutes to drive back to Rochester. We took the lake road, and so now at least I can say that I visited and touched the water of one of the great lakes, Lake Ontario. To be honest there was not a lot to see along the lake road, but we happened to stop in one small town for dinner. Being the planner, I researched the menu before recommending the stop. I had a cup of lobster bisque to warm me up, and then my all time favorite calamari. I have to be honest the last stretch of the road trip was catching up with me and I was happy when we arrived back in Rochester at the hotel.
Thank you for joining us for another month of 30 Minutes. Just a reminder that this is a circle blog. We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, making us now 14 bloggers, and so I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Caroline of Elles & Eux Photographie , and see what she has for you this year. I am pretty excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world. I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.
Posted on June 3, 2019
Yes I know it says May, and it is now June, but truth is we delayed it one week so that we would all have a chance to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend. For me it was an awesome 11 days of vacation. 5 of those days were spending in the stinking hot sun down in the Florida Keys. Phew, when shade is at a minimum, happy hour seems to be the way to go. But more about that another day.
For this month I wanted to continue with the San Antonio trip. My flu that I had just before the trip left me in a funk and so I am really behind on editing. For our afternoon session of sightseeing, my brother was going to join us. I know that he likes to visit things like Botanical Gardens and such. So we decided to jump on the local transportation (which I highly recommend as a way to get around San Antonio), and head to the Japanese Gardens, and then on to the Botanical Gardens. These photos were exactly 35 minutes of walking around the garden.
We have a Japanese Gardens locally at home, and I know what that one is like and so my expectation was that this one would be bigger. The one we have at home is a 2 mile walk. It normally takes me 3 hours to get around.
The upside of the short time frame was that we were not sure how long it would take us to get around the Botanical Gardens.
Our first view was of the beautiful lakes with pathways going through them.
In the water were koi, and the random ducks.
We meandered along random pathways taking in the beautiful stonework, the rich colors of gardens.
And were impressed by the creative building behind us. Layers of rock had been used to build the pillars, the pathways and the bridges.
The gardens were very peaceful and I guess we were fortunate that there were not too many people visiting at the same time as us.
There were small waterfalls and large waterfalls.
Amazing bridges to cross. Each stone layered one on top of the other.
Typical of our walk about, Richard is 10 steps ahead of Barry, and I am lagging with the camera another 10 steps behind. There was too much that captured my attention.
We walked past the waterfalls and slowly climbed the pathway to get a view of the area below.
We continued to meander along this random pathway until we found our way back to the building area.
My brother started out his career as a Civil Engineer, and he spent a good bit of time looking at the structural layout of these pillars and how each stone had been laid uniquely above the one below.
As we walked away from the structured building I looked down below to what was probably garden storage buildings.
Barry and I meandered along this short bridge to a deck adjacent to what appeared to be some kind of silo.
It gave us a better view of the buildings below.
Of course, it was hot, and so we ventured inside to get some liquid refreshments and sat for a while in the shade of the umbrellas. We all got to try Japanese beer.
We also had company while we were relaxing.
I took one final lookout from the sheltered area. The trip to the Japanese Gardens had been fun and it was definitely well worth going to visit.
Last but not least, this was one of my favorite images of Richard, and I just felt like it had to be in black and white.
Beers were drunk, bags packed up, we are off to the bus stop. Next stop is the Botanical Gardens. Look out for a blog post soon.
Thank you for joining us for another month of 30 Minutes. Just a reminder that this is a circle blog, so take some time to visit my friend Stacey Markel Photography, and see what she has for you this year.