All posts filed under: Strange Places

Treasure Hunt at Purser-Hulsey Park

The trails at Purser-Halsey Park are scenic and relaxing on their own, a series of loops that lets visitors decide if they want to take a short walk or a 3 mile trek. It’s the hand paint rocks hidden Ali g the trails that give it a little extra magic. Adorned with everything from Japanese cherry blossoms to silly dad jokes, they were nestled in tree branches, tucked behind roots, and scattered on the forrest floor.

Ocmulgee Mounds National Park

Earlier this month, as the impeding pandemic was just looming on the horizon in the US, my husband and I were traveling through Georgia. We stopped in Macon for an overnight stay, intending to continue on to Florida the next day. Ultimately we made the decision to turn around and return home the next day as news of the coronavirus’s spread intensified. We were however, fortunate enough to visit the Ocmulgee Mounds National Park before heading home. Fittingly, it is a testament to the resilience of humanity, as the park is home to a pre-historic American Indian site. Occupied by many different cultures for thousands of years, the Mounds were constructed around 900 CE, during the Mississippian era for tribal elites. Normally I would edit down the large amount of photos I take during a visit to a park or event, but since many of us are stuck inside and unable to travel, I decided to include more then usual, to create a virtual tour of sorts.

Byodo-In Temple

Over ten years ago I spent my final spring break in Hawaii for a two week study tour. The focus of the trip was on religion and culture, the course credits would complete my Asian Studies minor. I got to attend lectures at the University of Hawaii, and visited shrines and temples in the Waikiki area. The one that made the biggest impression on me was the Byodo-In temple in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. Set against the Ko’olau mountains, it is a replica of the original Byodo-In Temple in Japan. I was so entranced by the peaceful grounds, golden Buddha residing inside the temple, and elegant black swans, I still have the pamphlet from my visit.

Artisan Works

A few years ago my husband and I helped our friend Devin move to Rochester, NY. Our plan was to drive Friday, spend the day Saturday with our friend, and return Sunday. Although I was interested in seeing a different part of the state other than New York City, I didn’t know anything about Rochester, and didn’t expect it to be a particularly memorable trip.  On Saturday Devin suggested we visit Artisan Works, a self funded non-profit art space housed in a renovated 40,000 square foot factory. All of the artwork displayed is available to buy, rent, or stage offsite. The space  itself is crammed inside and out with all kinds of sculptures, installations, paintings, collages, and photography created by local artists. Live music is featured on the weekends, and the space has an amazing eclectic energy with all of the different works of art layered on top of each other.  The pictures themselves aren’t the greatest, but I still wanted to share since it is one of the experiences that inspired me to look …

UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens

*** A surprise southern snowstorm is blanketing the Charlotte area with an inch of sloppy, slushy snow, so I’m looking back at this old post of my visit to the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. I hoping it will already be melted by the time this posts tomorrow!*** Before I moved to Charlotte, I visited three months beforehand to do some house hunting and go on some job interviews. In between driving around with a real estate agent and prepping interview questions, I tried to do a little sightseeing, dispite the on and off rain. I still wanted the trip to be fun! One of the places I chose was the UNC Botanical Garden. I knew it was at a college and didn’t expect much, I just wanted to go somewhere I hadn’t been before during the trip. I was in for a huge surprise. Although housed in a small greenhouse and outside garden area, it was packed with unusual and exotic plants. Inside the eight greenhouse rooms were 6 different plant collections, including a fascinating …

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

My visit to the Edison Ford Winter Estates was a last minute decision designed to fill time while visiting my in-laws in Florida. Since I hadn’t done any research in advance, all I expected to see was a few historical homes, and maybe an antique car or two. It turns out, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison bought these neighboring homes on the Caloosahatchee River in the late 1920s to work with Henry Firestone on a very specific project. They were concerned with the Unites States’ dependence on foreign rubber, and were determined to find a plant that could be cultivated in the US, allowing for the production of domestic rubber. They constructed a laboratory on the land shared by Edison and Ford, and brought in plants from all over the world to test. Eventually they discovered a plant, goldenrod, that would work. Today the homes on the estate are preserved, along with the laboratory and 21 acre botanical garden created from all of the plants that were tested during the project. There is also a …

Vintage Expressions

Walking through the mall lately, I’ve been struck by how faceless the mannequins are. There is a complete lack of facial features, many don’t even have heads! The mannequins I spotted this past weekend at a few antique malls were quite the opposite; incredibly expressive. they all bore fashionably aloof expressions, even in some cases, without hair or clothes.

Körner’s Folly

When I first started researching Körner’s Folly, a historic home in Kernersville, NC, I assumed that it was haunted. Or at least had a tragic history or an eccentric owner. A 22 room house where no two windows are the same, the ceiling heights have no uniformity, that was continuously renovated until the owner died and then sat abandoned for years deteriorating had to have some kind of macabre history. Alas, the home has no sordid past whatsoever. The trap doors in the floor are not for vanquishing enemies but for cooling the home in the summer months. The home’s varied array of design features and finishings are the result of its owner, Jule Körner, being an interior designer and decorator who used the home to show off his work to clients. The strangest thing about his family is that his children had a pet raccoon named Bob. Despite the lack of ghosts or tragedy, this is still a fascinating place to visit. It’s currently in the middle of of being renovated, so some rooms …

Hubbard Glacier

When I first saw the Hubbard Glacier from a distance, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that it is larger than the state of Rhode Island. As the cruise ship I was traveling on drifted closer, the thin stripe at the end of the bay transformed into a stunning expanse of ice. Once we were as close as we could be, the boat came to a stop. I took in all of the gorgeous tones of blue in the ice and water, the quiet occasionally broken by the calving of ice, and exclamations of awe.

Chasing Foliage at Reed Creek Gold Mine

I never appreciated the fall foliage I grew up with in Massachusetts until I moved to North Carolina. In New England, brilliant hues of yellow, orange, and red would begin to appear in early September. Here in Charlotte, the leaves mainly turn a burnt orange in mid October. If you go looking for it though, you can still find a burst of color amount the duller hues around the end of November. And what better place to look then the trails around an old gold mine? In addition to foliage, you may spot veins of white quartz that may or may not contain gold, and the oddly placed raccoon skull.