Christmas Day on Duke Of Glaucestor Street

Colonial Williamsburg (CW) is a popular vacation and holiday destination, yet we are often in Williamburg, Virginia to visit my parents who retired there over 30 years ago. With the moniker of “the world’s largest living history museum”, CW comprises approximately 301 acres featuring “iconic sites, working tradespeople, historic taverns, and two world-class art museums”. Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area houses restored and historically preserved buildings, 88 of which are originals, including Bruton Parish Episcopal Church. The church was established in 1674 by the consolidation of two previous parishes in the Virginia Colony, and remains an active Episcopal parish.

While our primary purpose of visiting is to see and enjoy family, Christmas Day found us walking the streets of CW, a safe, outdoor activity in these days of Covid.

The Capitol Building

One of my favorite things to see are the wreaths that adorn the doors. Each year, Colonial Williamsburg holds a wreath making contest. Wreaths are judged on the types of natural materials used, the creativity and elements of the design, and the originality and faithfulness to the spirit of eighteenth-century decorative ideas. I didn’t have a chance to see all of the wreaths while there, but I did capture of a few of my favorites created with turtle shells, eggs, peacock feathers, oyster shells, pinecones, artichokes, pomegranates, and other natural items

Eggs, Turtle Shell, Orange & Cloves, Smudge Sticks from Dried Sage
Peacock Feathers, Lotus Pods, Pomegranates
Oyster Shells and Pomegranates
Artichokes, Pomegranates, Pinecones, Lotus Pods, Okra Pods

Aren’t they just so creative and beautiful? As always, if you are ever in the Williamsburg area over the holiday season, be sure to plan to take a tour.

New Year / New Blog Commitment

My very first blog post was in 2012 and I posted regularly until late in 2018 when somehow the fullness of life and work kept getting in the way. Back when I began, the goal was to “be able to look back on my life later and remember what a fabulous one it has been”, and by fabulous I mean truly fortunate. I intended to have Life on the Bike be a journal, of photos and words.

Each year, I create a desk calendar for family, friends, and personal use, and when exchanging the 2021 calendar for 2022, I noted one thing for sure. While my eye may be the same, my technical capability has markedly improved. Even still, it was fun to go back and view the years through my lens, and that is what I want this space to be. A record of travel and personal growth. Thoughts, introspection, and life’s journey. In order to make that happen, I need to commit to blogging more regularly!

Since 2012, I have published 738 posts, yet this past year I posted just 24 times, only 3.2% of the total posts. What should my commitment be? Weekly? Two Times Monthly? Only when I travel? How do you all commit yourself to documenting your lives?

In the meantime, from my hometown to yours, Welcome to 2022! May it be a healthier, more hopeful year for all of us!

The New River in Radford, Virginia

Greensboro: Denim and The Gate City

Long before becoming the third largest city in North Carolina, Greensboro was known for being the largest denim maker in the world. As Greg and I walked around the city last weekend, we saw many signs of this denim history. As I stopped to capture this mural, the driver of the car that was idling right in front backed up so I could take the shot. How very cool! And how perfect that the guy leaning against the fence was wearing jeans. We stayed at Hotel Denim and would have eaten at Blue Denim restaurant if the tables had not been booked all evening.

To commemorate Greensboro’s rich history with the denim and textile industry, Wrangler, VF Jeanswear spearheaded a public art project, dubbed “Jeansboro”, of painted jeans sculptures all throughout downtown.

Greensboro is also called Gate City because by 1890 there were more than 60 trains passing through the city each day. It had become a major transportation center, largely because of the denim industry.

We enjoyed the street life, the historic buildings still in use, and visiting the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum opened in 2010 as a comprehensive museum of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. It commemorates the Feb. 1, 1960, beginning of sit-ins at a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro, by the N.C. A&T Four college students, reflecting careful planning carried out with colleagues at Bennett College. Their non-violent direct action challenged the American People to make good on promises of personal equality and civic inclusion enunciated in the Constitution”.

Did you know that MLK was due to be in Greensboro the day that he was assassinated? He canceled his visit in order to remain in Memphis to continue his work with striking sanitation workers.

We only had 24 hours in Greensboro and are already ready to go back and explore some more!

Taylor’s Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Twenty-nine years ago, four women met while attending the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. Friendships were born during the challenges of graduate school and the process of becoming Nurse Practitioners, and a few times each year, we gather to celebrate our great good fortune in having met. We’ve been together through celebration and devastation, and have shared many a meal, a beverage, and lots and lots of laughter.

We call ourselves the Girls of August – the GOAs – (we WERE girls when we met) because during the first week of August we spend the week together. The only requirement to the location is that there must be water, whether it be ocean, bay, river, lake, or puddle. This year we stayed in a small rural location on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

A hurricane, a surgery, and Covid derailed the 2020 gathering, so this year’s vacation was a gift. A gift of time, friendship, the natural world, minimalism (no TV, no nearby stores), good food and drink, and wonderful friends.

Taylor’s Island proved to be the perfect place for those looking for a break from traffic, TV, and the fear of Covid. It was also the perfect place for the GOAs.

Cheers!

Bristol Tennesse / Virginia

Public Art: Take the Stage – Val Lyle, Sculptor

Back in December, Greg and I had the chance to spend 24 hours in Bristol, a city that straddles the state lines of Virginia and Tennessee. I posted about that quick visit and gave it the title 24 Hours in Bristol, and I almost, without realizing my mistake, gave this post the same title since that is about the same amount of time that we spent there.

We were in town to watch a debate between the 5 Democratic candidates for Governor of Virginia. After that, I managed to find a few moments to capture some of the flavor of this city.

The Paramount, preparing to reopen!
Under the bar …. it just caught my eye as I walked by
View of the backside of the City … I loved the subdued colors
Just a little fun with succulents
Evening on State Steet, the right side is Virginia; the left side is Tennessee
Public Art: Wall Mural reflecting the Virginia is For Lovers theme

Next time, we’ll try for a longer stay!

The Candler Hotel – Atlanta

The Candler Building was built in 1906 by Coca-Cola magnate and former Mayor Asa Griggs Candler. Standing on the site of one of Atlanta oldest churches, it was the city’s first skyscraper and tallest structure at 17 stories.

Now in the Hilton Curio Collection, the building underwent painstaking restoration and reopened as a hotel in 2019. Some of the features include:

  • Beau-Arts style, drawing upon the principles of French neoclassicism and incorporating Gothic and Renaissance elements
  • Picturesque, hand-carved marble staircase capped with The Candler Hotel’s iconic winged lion
  • Ornate décor using brass, mahogany & marble materials, that weaves an intricate family story is infused throughout the hotel
  • Lobby featuring two original Tiffany glass windows
  • Mysterious secret bank vault below ground
  • A historic Ballroom, completely transformed
  • A variety of window styles and layouts on each of the 15 stories
  • Detailed arched windows with elaborate cornices that crown the building, radiating its historical effect on downtown Atlanta