Where in the World is LB and Where is She Going?

Forgive me, WordPress Friends, but it has been 5 Weeks since my last confession … er, I mean, post!

In the almost 6 years that I have been blogging, that may just be a record.  So! Where have I been?

Inauguration

In early January, we traveled to Richmond, Virginia’s Capital City, to see the Inauguration of our new Governor.

It was a cold, but beautiful winter day and we were all so excited to be there!

As you might guess, I took a ton of photos.  Sadly, I just haven’t had time to work through them yet.  This image, though, shows the impressive sight of all 1600 Virginia Military Institute Cadets march by in the Inaugural Parade.  Our new Govenor, Ralph Northam, is a VMI Grad.

The Women’s March in Roanoke

One week later, I hit the streets of Roanoke for the Women’s March.

From the Women’s March to the Swearing-in of Delegate Hurst

We left the Women’s March a bit early and drove straight to the swearing-in of our new Delegate, Chris Hurst.

I loved catching this image of the Delegate in concentration,

and of course, enjoyed a quick visit in his office.

It was a long, exciting day and I’m so glad to have had this man to share it with.

Puzzle Time with Family

 I enjoyed a quick run to Williamsburg to spend time with some of my family,

followed by a brief stop in Richmond on the way back home.

8 weekends in a row of travel, with work in between, and suddenly blog posts take a back seat.  As much as I have loved all the road trips, some of which I didn’t include here, I was grateful to be home this past weekend.  Why?  So I might be able to plan the BIG TRIP:

New Zealand and Australia!!

I am the luckiest gal to be leaving in just 12 days for the Southern Hemisphere!  Even better, I’ll be spending time with dear blogging friends: Pauline from The Contented Crafter, (and her awesome daughters), Alys from Gardening Nirvana, and Boomdee from Boodeeadda.

I anticipate lots of laughter and love, good food and drink, gorgeous scenery and many, many photo ops.  I’ll be traveling on foot, and by car, plane, train and hopefully motorcycle, and I simply cannot wait to share it with all of you!

Brewery Ride- Day 1

The sun streaming through my window had me awake and excited about a weekend on the bike.  Since I only planned to be gone for 36 hours, I was packed and on the road in no time.  Just 45 minutes later, I met my sister for breakfast, and then continued the trip by avoiding the interstate and riding the old state road, Rt 11 North.  The purpose of this trip, after all, was to have unscheduled, unplanned time.   To take my time, stop where I wanted, ride where I wanted, and to explore with no schedule.

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When I stopped in Buchanan to check out the swinging bridge, I saw that I had a Voice Message.  A good Samaritan had found the wallet that I didn’t know I’d lost 45 miles back in Salem.

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So much for leisurely riding!  I hit the interstate hard and fast, thinking the whole time how fortunate I was to have a good guy find my wallet.  It could have been a disaster! It turned out to be an hour and a half detour, but I was definitely not complaining.  Besides, the weather was perfect.

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The only definitive plan I had was to meet some highschool friends at Old Bust Head Brewing Company.  It had been over 35 years since I’d seen Ike, and I was looking forward to visiting the brewery that he and his wife had opened.  After riding 340 miles under clear skies and on dry roads, I rode the last 10 minutes in thunder, lightning, and rain.  Thankfully, Ike directed me into an empty garage space and I was able to keep the bike dry.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the Chinquapin Chestnut Porter, although rest assured that I am extremely careful when I ride the bike.

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Bill, another highschool friend, and his son Bobby, also came out for a mini-reunion.

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After hours of conversation, it was time to check into my hotel.  It was then that I realized that I’d only taken a couple photographs, and I decided I’d return to the brewery early the next day.  Despite being less than an hour from Washington DC, much of Fauquier County is rural, horse country, and the roads back to Old Bust Head made for heavenly morning riding.

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The brewing company is located on property that has changed hands and purposes several times as the centuries rolled by.

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When the U.S. Army moved out of the secret listening post they had installed on this old Virgina farm called Vint Hill, they left behind warehouse buildings full of history and intrigue (this from the Old Bust Head website).

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   Ike and his partners have reclaimed these buildings and have plenty of room to brew, imbibe, and expand in their 30,000 square foot facility (again, from the website). With so much redevelopment going on, directional signs are needed.

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Even with backtracking to reclaim my wallet, Day 1 of the ride was a blast!

 Stay tuned for Day 2!

What a Ride!

It was time for a much needed getaway.  No schedule.  No appointments.

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Just 36 hours through the mountains of Virginia to visit a few breweries and see some highschool friends.

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The time went far too quickly, and before I knew it, I was back home and back on the job.

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I’m working through the photos, and will share them soon.  Until then, I’m off to visit you!

Travel: Trains and Bikes

It’s the beginning of the weekend, and while there is still one more day of work, I’m anticipating a weekend on the motorcycle.  YAY!

The images you see here are my recent contributions to Monochromia.

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If you haven’t visited Monochromia yet, please do! Photographers from around the world contribute some incredible B&W images to this blog, and several of those photographers, including me, will be meeting in NYC in October.

How cool is that?

My travels will prevent me from visiting each of you until next week.  Sending peaceful thoughts during tumultuous times.

Green Atlanta

This third and final post about Atlanta (#1 Art and Architecture and #2 Cuisine and Cocktails) reveals the green side of the city and surrounding towns.  Trees are everywhere, and my early morning walks were much cooler because of the shade.  If you saw my previous two Atlanta posts, you’ll see that many of the photos show the green in the neighborhoods and right in the heart of the city as well.

Piedmont Park, whose mission is to “enhance and preserve Piedmont Park as a vital urban green space and as a cultural and recreational resource that enriches the quality of life for all Atlantans” is a 189 acre park located one mile from Downtown.  The park has been evolving since 1822, and has gone “through several phases, first from a forest to a farm, then to a fairground and suburban park, and finally to the urban park that it is today”

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As Andrew and I walked the trails, we remarked that it seemed similar to New York’s Central Park.  In fact, “in the early 20th century, a redesign plan called the Olmsted plan, was begun by the sons of New York Central Park architect, Frederick Law Olmstead. The effort led to the addition of scenic paths in the park and the joining of the park with the Ansley park system”.

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We walked along a few of the many walking / jogging pathways, but there are so many more things to do at Piedmont Park.

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Green markets, special events, a community garden, sporting events, beekeeping, and a Dog Park offer something for everyone.

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Now you see me …

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Now you don’t!

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Don’t forget to look up while you’re walking!

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The Magnolia trees were huge and full of blossoms,

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and the hydrangeas were lovely, too.

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Speaking of Green and Alternative Transportation, Atlanta has a growing cycling community.  As we pulled up to the traffic light after dinner late on Friday evening, we were stopped by the 4th Annual Moon Ride, a 6 mile night time ride through several intown neighborhoods.  The event is “open to anyone who wants to hit the streets, whether you’ve got a street bike, a mountain bike, a wheel chair or a good ole cruiser”.

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I wish I’d known about it ahead of time as I surely would have joined in.  The photo quality is not great, but that might be because I was dancing to the music that was being broadcast from various golf carts.

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Much to the embarrassment of my son, my dancing got the attention of the police officer monitoring the intersection, and she insisted on taking my photo.

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What a hoot!

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Of course, the whole reason I went to Atlanta was to visit my son, so I’m throwing in a few random shots of Andrew and his Atlanta family.

Mother and Son

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Jon (how I messed up the settings on this easy shot, I will never know)

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Wilson

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Tela

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Thanks for coming along with me on a fabulous trip to Atlanta! I hope you get to visit sometime. It’s a great city and I cannot wait to go back.

Atlanta: Public Art and Architecture

You all understand the challenge.  You travel to a new city / country / place and arrive back home with a zillion photos to work through.  It takes time, but it also offers the opportunity to remember the experience and relive the fun.

I was in Atlanta for just 48 hours, but oh my gosh, I had a blast!  My son Andrew, who has only lived in Atlanta for 2 years, knows the city like someone who has lived there much longer, and he was an excellent tour guide around this diverse, exciting city.  He took me to the Jackson Street Bridge, a local landmark known as THE place to get a shot of the cityscape.

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With this post, and the two that follow, I’ll introduce you to the Atlanta that I experienced.  The posts are longer than typical for me, but years from now I’ll look back and be able to remember everything.

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While quite the tourist attraction, and evidently a bit controversial, the Atlanta Skyview allowed me to see Downtown from on high.

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All images were taken through the glass of the gondola.

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What fun it was to ride high above much of the city!

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The Skyview towers over the 21 acre Centennial Olympic Park, created for the 1996 Olympic Games.  Today the park performs a dual mission: it serves as Georgia’s lasting legacy of the Centennial Olympic Games and it anchors efforts to revitalize residential and commercial development in Georgia’s capital city of Atlanta.

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We spent much of my visit in various parts of Midtown, which is the “second largest business district in the city, situated between the commercial and financial districts of Downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north. Midtown is known for it’s cultural attractions, architecture, and urban layout”.

We visited walkable, intown neighborhoods, each one unique with shops, restaurants, and public art.

Visit my post on Monochromia to learn more about Celebration by Gary Lee Price.

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Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, the current Dekalb County Courhouse was completed in 1918.  The four previous structures were destroyed by fire, war, and demolition.

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I’m sorry to say that I did not document the name or purpose of this next building, but I loved the architecture.

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Whether commisioned or not, public art is everywhere.  On the sidewalk, seen during my morning walk,

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and along the Beltline, the city’s bikeway / walkway system.

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“The Beltline is transforming the city with a combination of rail, trail, greenspace, housing, and art. It will ultimately connect 45 intown neighborhoods”.

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Public Art can be found in Piedmont Park,

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in neighborhoods,

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and sadly, along the streets.

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If you’ve visited my blog in the past, you’ve learned about Ghost Bikes.

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When taking shots from the Jackson Street Bridge, Andrew pointed out a sticker for Tiny Doors Atlanta, an Atlanta-based art project bringing “big wonder to tiny spaces.  With the installation of a door, what was once a wall or the column of a bridge becomes an entrance to collective creativity and an invitation to whimsy”.

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As we walked along the Beltline, Andrew pointed out this tiny door.  How cool is that?

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I was also enamored by the messages posted on various streetlamps.  The words of Harry Crews, an American novelist, playwright, short story writer and essayist, are posted here.

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“So far as I can see, nothing good in the world has ever been done by well-rounded people.  The good work is done by people with jagged, broken edges, because those edges cut things and leave an imprint, a design”.

Next Post:  Atlanta Cuisine and Cocktails

It Is About the Destination Sometimes

A visitor to my blog might wonder where the name Life on the Bike came from considering that I haven’t written much about riding lately.  Between the campaign and starting a new business, my 2015 time on the bike was limited.

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2016 will be different! And in fact it already is.

Last weekend, I took at 500 mile ride to Virginia’s capital city of Richmond to have a reunion with friends.  It’s about 250 miles to get there and for efficiency in time, I took the interstate.  Bikers can often be heard to say “it’s the journey, not the destination” and sometimes that is true.  Every now and then though, time is of the essence, and the interstate is the way to go.  I was just glad to be on the bike.  It was a beautiful day and I was a happy woman.

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A quick stop on Afton Mountain, Virginia’s main passage across the Blue Ridge, offered a break for water, a handful of almonds, and a beautiful view.   Meanwhile, my roommates from Old Dominion University were waiting on me, so I was off and riding again in no time.

I met Jan and Angie 38 years ago, and we have maintained contact in one form or another ever since.  Isn’t it amazing how friendships can endure the test of time?

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Soon enough, we were sitting on the porch of this lovely Richmond home, reveling in the fact that even though it had been many years since all three of us had been together, we were completely at home with one another.

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It was a very late night, filled with lots of talk, laughter, and wine and I was glad that we didn’t have to do any driving (or riding).

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While opportunities for photography were limited, this curved brick wall caught my eye.

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The next morning, we enjoyed a delicious, homemade brunch,

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and of course, made time for pictures!

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Back roads carried me home to Radford, and while I didn’t have much time to stop for photography, something about this salt and pepper shaker made me bring out the camera.  You know me!

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So, sometimes it is about the destination, happily so.