Route 66 or How to Lose Your Bra on the Side of the Road

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I have lived in California more than 20 years at present count, yet I had no idea there were volcanic craters in Southern California just lying around on the side of the road in the middle of 27 square miles … Continue reading

Road Trippin – Tucson

My husband and I have never seen Austin, TX but have heard all about it, so we finally made the decision to go see it for ourselves! I decided to drive from San Diego plotting my route to maximize photo opportunities and meeting my husband’s flight in Austin where we will stay for a week. So far it’s been an easy, fun, relaxing and rewarding trip.  My first night was in Tucson where I visited the well know St Phillips of the Hills church. An historic and very beautiful church akin to many of the Missions you see up and down the coast of California built under the direction of Father Junipero Serra.  This first installment highlights a few of my favorites from the church and surrounding Tucson area.

St Phillips of the Hills Church Door

Bird nest in a Cactus

Night Time is the Right Time – Part 2

Inspired by an article I read and a visit from two of my nieces which landed me in downtown San Diego very late into the night I took this series of the Gaslamp district and part of San Diego’s waterfront after dark. Enjoy!

All photos copyright MScott-Photography.com and are for sale.

For archival prints MScott-Photography.com

Thanks Spain!

It’s always nice when someone comes to visit us in San Diego and we are forced to slow down and revisit some of the great places around town that we take for granted.  One of those places is Cabrillo Point.  A beautiful historic site about which the NPS says  “ In addition to telling the story of 16th century exploration, the park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources.” The Point is named in honor of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Spanish explorer,  who in 1542 stepped into history as the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States.   For most of San Diego this wonderful Park has much to offer. A breathtaking overlook to the bay, the city and Coronado Island; tide pooling; whale watching – during the annual migration of Pacific Grey Whales to Mexico from December to February; Military History and hiking on the 2 mile Bayside Trail.

There is also the crown jewel -a wonderful historic lighthouse The Old Point Loma Lighthouse which is one of the original 8 lighthouses on the west coast. It still stands where it always has restored to exhibit a tiny slice of life from the 1800’s.  Here is an interesting piece of information regarding the lighthouse from the NPS  “Did you know that, back in the mid- to late-1800s, children of light keepers at the Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument had to row a boat from Point Loma to Old Town San Diego to get to school?” No I didn’t!  If you would like to learn more about this beautiful and interesting historic place look here: http://www.nps.gov/cabr/index.htm

Enjoy a view from the Point without having to visit! Beginning with the foreground is Coronado Island Naval Air Station, the San Diego Bay, city views and finally the hills of Mexico in the distance.  The other shots are of the Old Lighthouse interior staircase and exterior shot.  Please visit www.MScott-Photography.com for archival prints, photo cards and boxed sets.  If you like what you see I invite you to comment!

Mojave Mojo

Back from a long weekend outside of Kernville, CA; Stayed at a beautiful cabin on the edge of the Sequoia National Forest.  It was located 7 miles, and a twenty degree temperature difference , straight uphill from Wolford Heights.  Wanted to ride the whitewater even though the river isn’t that great this year but had our doggie with us and nowhere to stow her while we rafted – so next time!

To get there from here (San Diego) you need to drive across a large stretch of the Mojave. I wouldn’t want to live in the desert but I do love to drive through it. It feels like anything could happen and is full of interesting things to see.   If you haven’t been –  It’s not like the Lawrence of Arabia type desert with flowing sand dunes. It’s a rugged, harsh landscape; full of rocks, hills, hard packed sand, cacti, Joshua trees and scrub. Here are a few shots from my view….  For more of my work look here: MScott-Photography.com

You can NEVER have enough Cactus ….or gifts for that matter!

Could be Iraq!

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To me…war cannot be fought without regret. In keeping with my latest visit to our Nations Capital I give you the “Three Soldiers” Commemorating the Vietnam War.

ISO 400 f/4.8 1/750 converted to BW

 

 

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As I mentioned we made a sudden trip to Washington, DC for the funeral of a dear friend. It wasn’t all doom and gloom and today I thought  I would share those things that brought a smile to our faces – with one exception- in the midst of a most unpleasant occasion. Bear with me there IS a photo at the end of all this…no cheating.

We needed to get from San Diego to Washington, DC within two days. My husband is a Naval Officer and as they have done time and again his command rallied to pick up the slack for him to leave on short notice. Next up the airlines. As you know they charge a premium for short notice travel. As this was not a family member there were no compassionate fares although the rep I spoke with at United tried very hard to find me a price under $2000.00. *gulp*  Perhaps only my husband would travel to represent us as that was way out of our range. I scanned www.kayak.com for a day and a half trying to find a seat that wasn’t yet sold out and had fewer than 3 connections/plane/country changes when I remembered that Southwest Airlines occasionally offers discounted military fares. Now mind you these are more than most of their published sale fares but for travel on short notice it was a big savings allowing both of us the opportunity to travel.  As it was mid-week travel we were able to get 2 seats on the same flight! A word about Southwest Airlines. I personally don’t like the no reserved seat policy but everything else is stellar. The airport check-in and in flight personnel could not be more courteous. The seats have a titch more leg room allowing this almost six-foot tall woman to sit without her knees pressed up against the seat in front, BIG thank you from me and the unnamed  person who usually has their lower back unwillingly “massaged”. The icing on the cake? The flight was early both directions!

Hotels. We originally had a reservation at the Key Bridge Marriott. Normally big Marriott fans (www.marriott.com) Yep -you guessed it – here comes the exception. The only recommendation I make about this hotel is to NOT stay there. “This is the oldest Marriott” the front desk personnel proudly informed me…*crickets* followed by first inkling of trouble … and despite the extensive facelift it had, still looks….. old. We were tired and had driven an hour from Baltimore so onward we pressed. “It was a dark and stormy night” came to mind when we got a glimpse of our room:  Very small, dark, dingy and ok not stormy but gloomy, not what we needed for the already somber occasion and this was a concierge level room!!! I shudder to think what the basic rooms are like. The worst of it was the heat. FYI on the East coast in many older buildings heat is controlled by management. What?? Yes it’s true. We learned this the hard way many years ago our first time living in a Bethesda,MD brownstone apartment.  Not something you want to hear as transplanted Californians enduring their first east coast winter! Anyway –  around 2 in the morning it became unbearable. I was sick from the heat and unable to remove any more clothing……. After repeated calls to the desk and assurances that they had turned it off and the cooling was on, it was still hot, well over 80 degrees hot. It was like we were in Bangkok not Washington, DC in February.  I will save you all the details about the rest of that awful exhausting night and cut to our hurried check out the next morning and off to the fabulous Palomar Hotel,Washington,DC for the next 2 nights. We were lucky to score an affordable rate online  (http://www.hotelpalomar-dc.com/) We are very familiar with Kimpton as they are a pet friendly upscale chain. One which we normally save for special occasions…$$  When they learned of the reason for our travel they upgraded us to a fabulous suite on the top floor, most importantly with temperature control!  It made a big difference to our mood coming back there after a long, sad, tiring day. They were very kind and accommodating and the service, decor, restaurant are wonderful!  I highly, highly recommend the hotel chain as a whole and particularly this hotel. If you have an occassion to travel to DC look them up you will not be sorry!. But don’t take my word for it…  http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g28970-d84093-Reviews-Palomar_Washington_DC_a_Kimpton_Hotel-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia.html

Restaurants. We ate at several but two stand out. The Blue Duck Tavern (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g28970-d622172-Reviews-Blue_Duck_Tavern-Washington_DC_District_of_Columbia.html) which has the most amazing open kitchen I have ever seen, a bit like dinner theater! The other was Clydes in Georgetown. Just what we needed when we arrived. Delicious comfort food, great cocktails ie: Diablo Mojito! and thoroughly enjoyable live music. A shout out to Shayna B who pointed us in the direction of both places! (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/shayna-brouker/11/730/301)

So ends my travelogue. Never underestimate the power of the little things and great customer service to make all the difference to any travel, but especially unexpected and undesirable travel. Please share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions for the DC area.  I am genuinely interested to hear.

A parting shot of the National mall from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Processed in NIK HD single image.

Bits and Pieces

Well this flu has been slow going. I have not been this sick in a very long time… basically bedridden for three days. Great for computer work but UGH there has to be an easier way to get motivated!  So as you may have seen I have been going crazy trying to create a logo of some sort without any experience with the adobe programs to create one such as Fireworks or Illustrator. I have learned an amazing amount in a short time and at long last I have something I really like! I introduce you to my new and only logo…

Yay ! One portion of my New Years goals completed!  I have big ideas for this year and am really stoked. One of my projects is going to be the design of custom photographic gift wrap. Not the kind where you stick your face on there but a real photograph made large on high quality wrapping. I want to challenge myself and this seems like a fun, creative way to share art with friends and to make art – particularly photographic art – more accessible to the general public! I am just now sourcing things so I will keep you posted.

Here is a cheery picture for what I hope is my last day lying around for a while. Taken with my Raynox 150 on my NIKKOR 75-300mm. This is a beautiful tiny little flower we saw blooming on our trip a couple of months ago to Joshua Tree. Enjoy!

I wish you ALL – Hearts full of Happiness and Homes full of Love

I want to take a minute to say thank you for all the nice comments and support. As a new blogger I can’t tell you how much it means to me that someone out there is paying a bit of attention. It makes my day – really!

Have a happy and blessed holiday season however you celebrate it. PEACE.

So- not exactly a holiday picture BUT it is full of Christmas-y colors. 🙂

From our recent trip to San Francisco a street view of Chinatown.