I have been terribly remiss in failing to keep this blog current. It is way past time to post something, and what better subject than our trip to Cancun, Mexico?
Under ordinary circumstances we probably wouldn’t have chosen Cancun as a destination, since we aren’t exactly beach people, but we had a timeshare week to use and decided it would be fun to discover what the Mayan Riviera is all about. We had a two-bedroom unit (plus kitchen and living room) and we wanted to share it. My sister and brother-in-law, Wanda and Mark Ostler, were kind enough to agree to go with us. Mark is a vacation planner extraordinaire—we really should have paid him to join us.
We stayed at the Royal Mayan resort, one of three Royal resorts in a row toward the south end of hotel row. We had a wonderful view from our balcony, looking out over one of the swimming pools and beyond to the ocean.
We just returned from a cruise along the Rhine River, from Basel to Amsterdam. It was our “big vacation” for the year and the following posts will be my photographic essay, which I’ll break down by ports of call. First stop: Basel, Switzerland.
Basel’s central square was a colorful place – a hub for the many tram routes throughout the city. The beautiful red building is the Rathaus (Town Hall).
I just realized it has been several months since I’ve posted anything to my personal blog. This will be a quick photo-essay of my recent trip to Colorado during the week of May 28. My purpose in going was to attend a conference in Boulder titled “Aurora Multimedia Workshop: DSLR Filmmaking for Photographers.” I had recently acquired a Nikon D800 with video capability and wanted to explore the possibilities for creating video projects.
After the conference was finished, I took a personal day and drove up into Rocky Mountain National Park. I’ll show more photos from that day later in this post, but this was one of my favorites, so I’ll feature it here.
Dawn and I took a short vacation trip over the New Year’s weekend to West Los Angeles. This may sound strange considering that we live in Orange County, only about an hour’s drive from our vacation destination. But this has become an enjoyable tradition for us during the last several years. Not having to drive a long distance has its advantages and it is difficult to beat the Southern California weather. Perhaps if we were avid skiers we would feel differently.
What do we do? Mainly we catch up on end-of-the-year movies that are expected to contend for an Academy Award, many of which haven’t yet made it to the hinterlands of OC. We read, relax, check out the post-Christmas shopping sales, and eat. Then we go home.
One of the attractions of Santa Monica Pier is the Ferris wheel. This shot brought out the spectacular colors of the wheel against the brilliant blue sky, framed by the roller coaster.
This year I decided I wanted to go on a photo shoot one morning. After considering several possible destinations, I decided on Santa Monica Pier. It was a perfect day to go to the ocean — warm and sunny, the sort of day that cause out-of-towners to consider moving to Southern California.
Last weekend Dawn and I attended the annual Mormon History Association Conference, held this year in St. George, Utah. I gave a presentation at the conference titled “Edson Barney: ‘The Oldest Man in the Church.’”
Edson was one of my great-great-grandfathers. A carpenter and millwright by profession, he lived in St. George from the 1860s until the turn of the century and helped build the tabernacle and the temple there. Between sessions of the conference I had a chance to shoot some photos of those buildings while Dawn patiently waited. The photographs turned out quite nice, so I thought I would share a few of them, interspersed with a few words about Edson. I hope this format doesn’t seem too disjointed.
The theme of the MHA Conference was “From Cotton to Cosmopolitan,” meant as a nod to the vast changes in Utah’s Dixie from the time of the first settlers in 1860 (sent by Brigham Young to establish a cotton industry) to the current era, where St. George has become a vibrantly growing city, a destination for snowbirds and a retirement Mecca. I took this shot of the St. George Temple at dusk, with setting sun illuminating the stream of a 21st century jet behind the 19th century steeple. I thought it captured well the theme of the conference.
Our destination for Saturday (the final day for Dawn and me) was Petra, recently named one of the seven “new” (meaning currently existing) wonders of the world and, according to BBC, “one of the 40 places you have to see before you die.” An absolutely spectacular historical site, it did not disappoint.
On Friday we were up early for our trip into Jordan. We passed through the various border checkpoints without incident and drove through miles of desert until we reached the beautiful area of Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon. It was here that Lawrence of Arabia based his operations during the Arab Revolt of 1917-18 and I can certainly understand why.
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, named in honor of the book written by T. E. Lawrence.
Today was our last day in Jerusalem and our first stop was the spectacular Dome of the Rock mosque on Temple Mount. It is the oldest existing example of early Islamic archictecture, and was completed in 691 CE. It stands on the site of the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed during the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The outer walls are made of porcelain and the designs mirror the octagonal shape of the mosque.