Showing posts from 2019

The Southern Experience - A Visit to Hilton Head

I've been enjoying travel this year - Cuba, France, NY and most recently, South Carolina and Georgia.  Each trip has been so very different but this was a getaway jam packed with my sisters and friends and we lucked out on a magnificent week weather-wise and lots of cool adventures. We were celebrating sister Liz's 60th and just happened to luck out on an opportunity to stay at a condo, for a very reasonable price, which was located a few short miles from where her dear friend, Linda, has a beautiful retirement home.  Linda is president of the Sea Turtles Patrol in Hilton Head so we got quite an environmental education while there. I even saved a turtle - albeit the pond type. We toured Daufuskie Island which was quite a treat - an island you can only get to by a private ferry boat, which is 5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide and is steeped with history and charm. Folks get around on unpaved roads with golf carts and everyone seems to know everyone else. Quiet, laid back

Fabulous France

We just had the opportunity to tour Paris, Bourges, the Loire Valley, Amboise, Brittany and Normandy on an 11 day Rick Steves Tour .  I'm surprised when I tell folks about this kind of tour and they haven't heard of Rick Steves. Nonetheless, there are still an abundance of "Rick-Niks" out there who know that he is a r espected authority on European travel who's provided valuable information via his books, radio and dvd's since 1976.Rick's  mission is "to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening.'' The Louvre - a very crowded place full of cool art. My daughter went to Italy on her honeymoon armed with Rick's book and was thrilled to have chosen good hotels and managed to get around using public transportation.  I took a look at the book and felt overwhelmed when it was our turn to tour Italy, so I googled Rick's name and was thrilled to discover his " successful small-

Always Something to Learn

I went on a Spring  Camping Extravaganza  hosted by Precision Camera and Mandy Lea Photo last weekend in Garner State Park. Despite the overcast weather, disappointing sunset and rained out sunrise, I came away with a few worthwhile images and good vibes from a fun photographic get together. My friend, Tricia, made her maiden voyage in her new-to-her Tab Camper, Towanda. I always enjoy an adventure with Tricia.   It was fun meeting the other photographers at a delicious pot luck dinner.  Saturday morning was overcast but we all had a good time seeking out worthwhile photos utilizing the reflections in the water and the fun trunks of the Cyprus Trees.   It was nice and serene in this beautiful spot and I was grateful for the time Mandy spent with me.  She helped me figure out a peculiar setting on my camera and explained why auto bracketing is preferable to manual bracketing. It was nice to catch up with someone who inspires me (her journeys and photography are ver

Meet Miss Margaret Cox

I took on this personal project of photographing what I see as "Beautiful Old Folks" because I wanted practice with my portrait photography and I believed these senior citizens were more approachable than high paid models.  What I've gotten in return is meeting some really cool people! Margaret Cox is a wealth of information on so many subjects.  Having worked as a librarian at UT for 35 years, she knows a lot about Austin and its history and its theatrical scene and so much more. She was there in '66 when Charles Whitman climbed the UT tower and shot 43 people, thirteen who died.  She was getting ready to go to lunch when the excitement began. "There were about 15 of us on the patio of the Academic Center when we heard shots.  Somebody said 'Hey y'all. We better go inside." The siege went on for 90 minutes and she could see people hiding in the bushes as she waited it out.  "35 years there and I was always looking over my shoulder for

Clara Newby - An Inspiring Artist with an Abundance of Energy

With her sparkling blue eyes, Clara Newby, showed me the "new" art she is selling at The Old Bakery and Emporium .  Clara, who has been an artist for many years, mostly painting flowers, is one woman who is willing to learn new things.  Just recently she has been experimenting with an acrylic art form (see the image on the bottom left) that "works a bit like watercolor" but the paints kind of swirl and take off on their own.  She has an eye for color and which ones work well together. Clara, a longtime volunteer at the Old Bakery, told me proudly that she is turning 94 in the end of March.  Hard to believe as you watch her move and hear her speak.  "I used to drive from Victoria to Rockport for art lessons," she explained to me. She didn't have a clue what she was going to paint until she got there but they always came out rather nice.  She showed me some of the notecards that she sells and I recognized them as ones I had already been attracte

Meeting Some Cool Folks

In my attempt to photograph some beautiful older people every week, it was my honor to meet Maida and Jody Meredith who just happened to be celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary.  A friend introduced me because not only are they kind, generous, compassionate people, but their roots in Austin's music history goes fairly deep. Jody "Slick" Meredith and the Round-Up Boys were regular performers at the Skyline Club which opened in 1946 and was popular until 1977.  According to Maida, it was the original, and for awhile, only music venue in Austin. A country-western dance hall in North Austin, Jody played there 4 nights a week, from Wed- Sat for 12 years. His band was the backup for Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, Ray Price and Marty Robbins. "It was a family place," said Maida who showed me a box of memorabilia, filled with images of a younger Jody performing with a slew of stars. She taught her boys how to dance there and the honk