Atlanta: Decorated for the Holidays

My son’s negative Covid test meant that we were able to travel to Atlanta for a 48 hr stay over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Despite being home to over 6 million people, we were able to remain socially distanced and follow precautions while thoroughly enjoying the outdoor festive decorations.

These images are a mixture of Fuji and Android, most taken on the fly in cccoooolllllddddd temps.  I’m definitely not bragging about these shots … just trying to give you a taste of the city!

We stayed in Midtown and despite the frigid temps, the sun was shining and we braved the cold to explore the area.

We stayed at the Georgian Terrace Hotel which opened it’s doors in 1911.

The Georgian Terrace Hotel is right down the street from St. Marks United Methodist Church which was erected in 1902.

 

We spent Christmas evening at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens which boasts an incredible light show set to music.  Truly magical!

What a joy it was to be with family in such beautiful outdoor surroundings.  I am a fortunate woman indeed!

Stay healthy, my friends!  Wear a mask!  Do it for others if not for yourself.

24 Hours in Bristol

Covid-19 Update:  Since I picked back up on blogging, I’ve been sharing brief updates about our travels.  Rest assured, we are taking precautions.  Wearing masks, eating outdoors or take out (or in empty restaurants), and hand sanitizing. 

We are doing our part to keep ourselves and therefore, others, safe!

*****

Bristol Virginia and Bristol Tennessee are two cities that share more than a name.  They share a Main Street!  State Street, which runs through the middle of these two cities is the official state line, and the iconic sign shown below is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bristol, Viriginia was officially designated the Birthplace of Country Music by the U.S. Congress in 1998, and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, attracts 75,000 visitors per year.

Bristol, Tennessee is the home of the Bristol Motor Speedway, a place that hosts a fantastic holiday light show which runs for 8 weeks throughout the holiday season.  Part of the proceeds from the lightshow support the Speedway Children’s Charities.

Recently, Greg and I spent 24 hours in Bristol … both Bristols!

We stayed at The Bristol Hotel, a “Virginia remix of a Tennessee Classic” built in 1925 and recently renovated into a gorgeous boutique hotel.

We enjoyed cocktail hour on the rooftop bar, enjoying the views of the city and of the Appalachian Mountains.

After that, we spent a couple hours winding our way through the lightshow at the Motor Speedway.  What fun!

Brunch at Vivian’s Table the next morning offered delicious food and fun photography.

It was a quick, but super fun getaway in the middle of this busy holiday season.

I truly hope that you are finding some moments of happy during these difficult days.

Stay Safe! Wear a Mask!

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Covid-19 Update:  Since I picked back up on blogging, I’ve been sharing brief updates about our travels.  Rest assured, we are taking precautions.  Wearing masks, eating outdoors or take out (or in empty restaurants), and hand sanitizing.  We are doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

*****

Two weeks ago, Greg and I spent the weekend exploring some of Southwest Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and part of that time was spent in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

“Where the borders of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia converge, a path to new worlds appears. Early native Americans traveled through it along a game trail, before English-speaking settlers, including Daniel Boone, came through in the 1700s to carve out what became known as Wilderness Road. According to many accounts, between 200,000 and 300,000 settlers came through the Gap into Kentucky and beyond from 1775 to 1810” – https://www.nationalparks.org

I was standing in Virginia when I took the next photo and looked upon Kentucky.

In this last photo we celebrated Life and Election Results ❤

Historic Winchester, Virginia

VA / KY / TN Celebrated, too!

Covid-19 Update:  Since I picked back up on blogging, I’ve been sharing brief updates about our travels.  Rest assured, we are taking precautions.  Wearing masks, eating outdoors or take out (or in empty restaurants), and hand sanitizing.  We are doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

*****

We spent last weekend traveling the roads of Southwest Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The colors on individual leaves and trees were so varied and drew my eye again and again.

What a glorious way to spend Election Weekend!

Mother Nature was celebrating, too! ❤

Morning in Big Stone Gap

My new husband Greg and I decided to spend the weekend near Cumberland Gap National Park, Tennessee and left out of his home town in far Southwest Virginia early this past Saturday morning.

Pacific Coast Highway Tour: Astoria, OR to Newport, OR

We left Astoria knowing that we had less than 150 miles to drive.  Piece of cake, right?  Not on Highway 101 and not when we were stopping every few miles.

What an incredible day!  One minute it was gloriously sunny; the next it was raining, and all of it was wonderful!

I’d aleady had my feet in the Pacific Ocean off of the Washington Coast, and on this day I did the same in Oregon.

Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach

Whale Sighting!

Forgive me! I just realized that these next four images are from Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington!

The Astoria-Megler Bridge

My apologies for the lack of order of these photos! Hope you enjoyed them anyway!

Pacific Coast Highway Tour: Port Angeles, WA to Astoria, OR

What a thrill it is to spend the entire day driving the Pacific Coast Highway! Mile by mile of exploration with the only downside being that I wanted to stop and photograph EVERYTHING!  We had 10 days to get from Seattle to LA and we could have spent weeks!  Still, it was a gift just to be there and we will be back!

Day 2 on the road found us leaving Port Angeles, driving through Olympic National Park, and ending up in Astoria, Oregon.

This view brought tears to my eyes.

But that view came after miles of driving through fog, which was stunningly beautiful even though it blocked some of the view.

#mysawyerbracelet

At the end of the day, we found a local brewery and enjoyed a cold beverage.  Happiness!

Pacific Coast Highway Tour: 3 Hours in Seattle

What do you do when you have 3 hours in Seattle?  After arriving by plane from Virginia, and with WAY TOO MANY options, we picked up our rental car and made a quick stop at the Pike Place Market.

 

After enjoying Fish Tacos and a local craft beer, with vows to return, we took the Edmonds Kingston Ferry to the Olympic Peninsula.

Sideling Hill

What? Is this an actual post from LB?  Yes indeed it is!

I’m still struggling to balance work / civic commitments / some fun and blogging, and while I’ve continued to contribute to Monochromia each week, I’ve clearly not done so well here.  I’ll make it back, I swear!!

This post links to my contribution to Monochromia this week.

I took a 1200 mile motorcycle ride last week, my annual solo trip, and had the joy of riding through this gap. The Sideling Hill Road Cut on Interstate 68 and US 40 in Western Maryland, is a 340 foot deep notch excavated from the ridge of Sideling Hill.  It is notable as an impressive man-made mountain pass, visible from miles away, and is considered to be one of the best rock exposures in Maryland and the entire northeastern United States.

The image on Monochromia is of the bridge that runs over the highway.

This last image shows the cut in the mountain from many miles away.

Be back soon (I hope!)