All posts tagged: travel

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (Chinese Lantern Festival)

I’ve visited the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden many times to escape into it’s captivating displays of exotic flowers and soothing water features, but this visit in 2017 is one of my favorites. A special collection of Chinese Lanterns was layered in between the flowers and foliage, creating a whimsical and colorful atmosphere. The lanterns were created in Zigong China,where the tradition of lantern festivals was born, and then carefully transported to North Carolina for display. Along with traditional silk lanterns, the collection also featured elaborate elephant statues constructed from Chinese teacups, and a peacock sculpture constructed from recycled pill bottles filled with colored water. Visit my instagram feed (everyday.strange) to watch a video of its elaborate display in motion! Usually when I am snapping pictures at an event, I try to eliminate people from my shots as much as possible. This time however, I couldn’t help letting a few children slip into my photos. They definitely help capture the scale, whimsy, and humor in the lanterns shaped as all sorts of creatures, from snails to …

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 …

Donner Train Tunnels

The arrival of 2021 hasn’t changed my limited ability to travel, so I’ll settle for living through others exploits for now. The Donner Train tunnels are a fun day trip from Sacramento. Located near Donner Ski Ranch one can hike through one tunnel or all of the tunnels for … Donner Train Tunnels

The (Probably Made Up) Legend of Blowing Rock

When travelers visit The Blowing Rock, the are presented with the following legend attributed to the strange rock formation: “It is said that a Chickasaw chieftan, fearful of a white man’s admiration for his lovely daughter, journeyed far from the plains to bring her to The Blowing Rock and the care of a squaw mother. One day the maiden, daydreaming on the craggy cliff, spied a Cherokee brave wandering in the wilderness far below and playfully shot an arrow in his direction. The flirtation worked because soon he appeared before her wigwam, courted her with songs of his land and they became lovers, wandering the pathless woodlands and along the crystal streams. One day a strange reddening of the sky brought the brave and the maiden to The Blowing Rock. To him it was a sign of trouble commanding his return to his tribe in the plains. With the maiden’s entreaties not to leave her, the brave, torn by conflict of duty and heart, leaped from The Rock into the wilderness far below. The grief-stricken …

Chasing Foliage at Reed Creek Gold Mine

I had another post planned, but never finished it due to the tumultuous events this week. So here’s some calming content of my hunt for fall foliage at a local gold mine last year instead. ****** 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.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a place I can visit over and over again. Named after the woman who spent her life collecting the art within it, and commissioned the unique building it is housed in. She personally oversaw the construction of the museum in Boston’s Fens neighborhood and personally arranged all of the artwork. When she passed away in 1924, her will stipulated that nothing in the museum’s galleries would be changed, and no items be acquired or sold from the collection. The museum is known internationally for the shocking theft of 13 paintings by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet, and Degas in 1990. One of the stolen paintings was Rembrandt’s Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee (his only known seascape.) If you visit, you will see the empty frames the paintings were cut out of still on display. Visitors can only take pictures of the museum’s intricate courtyard and gardens, but it’s Instagram account shares works of art, museum events, and pages from Isabella’s many journals.