Marietta, Ohio – September 2019 – Sternwheeler Festival

In the early days of river transportation a common style of boat was the sternwheeler. With it’s distinctive large wooden wheel on the back (stern) to propel it, it was a common sight along the Ohio River.

Today most of the sternwheels are mostly decorative, with a traditional propeller providing most of the propulsion. The boats at the Marietta Sternwheeler Festival were mostly campers on boats.


































New York City – August 2019 – Circling Manhattan

With a trip for work to New York City I had little time for sightseeing, but my wife didn’t! This is her photo blog of a 4 hour New York Architectural Society (almost) circumnavigation of Manhattan. I say almost, since there was a bridge on the Harlem River in a down position so they had to backtrack back around.

They set sail from a pier in Chelsea.



And headed for the harbor…





Passing by Jersey City…



The trip was actually offered for college credit, so there was an instructor on board whom reportedly spoke ‘constantly’. The trip took them past Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, which I wouldn’t think would need any dialog to explain.





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It was time to head up the East River…



This carousel in a park in Brooklyn came from a defunct amusement park in my hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.



Nearby was a jet ski school!



As you make you way up the East River you go past many areas that are undergoing gentrification.



An interesting view of Roosevelt Island, and the 59th Street (Queensboro) Bridge.



The United Nations Building



Roosevelt Island was once home to a Tuberculosis Hospital, but now is home to thousands in new apartment buildings.



A great view of the bridge and the Roosevelt Island Tram.



A series of bridges on the far end of the East River, where they ended up turning around.



If you have plenty of money ($850 one way for a 30 minute plane ride) you can get from Manhattan to the Hamptons in a hurry on a seaplane.



Or a helicopter…



The cruise continued back down the East River




The late afternoon sun made a interesting view of the Staten Island Ferry with the statue in the background.



The World Trade Center from the Hudson River



One of the many New York Waterway ferries.



Finally some interesting new architecture along the Hudson.

I think you will agree her photos were great – I am so jealous I had to work, it looks like it was a great cruise 🙂





Cambridge, Massachusetts – August 2019 – Insider Tour of MIT

I am fortunate enough to know someone who has spent considerable time at MIT, and she was kind enough to show us around to sights on campus that most visitors don’t realize is there to be seen.

We started out with some familiar sites; the Kresge Auditorium. Designed and completed in the mid 1950s by Eero Saarinen, it is an excellent example of mid-century modern.






Next door is a chapel, also designed by Saarinen.






The Rogers Building serves as the center of MIT. It’s atrium is beautiful.



The windows facing Mass Avenue are equally impressive.




The Frances Russell Hart Nautical Museum is tucked away on an upper floor of the main building. It contains a number of intricately designed model ships.






As you wander the halls you come across all sort of great sights.



















While this might look like any other hallway at MIT, it is very special. It is known as the Infinite Hall, running the length of the main building and leading to a second building.

You have heard of Stonehenge, perhaps Manhattanhenge (a posting is available), and even Carhenge.

This otherwise nondescript hallway twice a year is the location of MITHenge – the sun shines straight through the entire distance, lighting up the floor. I need to come back in November!




The outdoor space is enhanced with sculptures. MIT is a very cool place, and thanks to an insider we saw some cool sights (all completely open to anyone, you just need to know where to look).






New York City – June 2019 – Different Ways to Get Around Town

On the ground, on the water, or in the air there are many ways to get around the city.

Let’s start with a city bus. Not just any bus, but a collection of historic buses from the MTA Museum:











Via the water…









Always a favorite – the Roosevelt Island Tram.



Or the train…



For now it is time to get out of town – over the swamps of Jersey.






Galveston, Texas – May 2019 – Beach and Bay

Galveston is located on an island, just off the Texas coast. While there is a major freeway crossing the bay onto the island, we chose the more interesting route by taking the ferry from the Bolivar Peninsula.




The Gulf of Mexico was angry this day, with a very rough surf, and red flag warnings for all to stay out of the water.



One the ocean side of Galveston there are the typical beach town activities such as an amusement pier.





One of the fishing piers shows how rough the surf was.




A monument to the victims of the 1900 storm is on the beach.




The bay side of Galveston is all business. An off shore oil rig construction company is located on the mainland side.




The Houston Ship Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the country.



The tall ship Elissa is located in Galveston. Built in 1877 it sailed under Norwegian and Swedish flags before being located in Galveston and after extensive restoration, is used for tourist and training of young would be sailors.




Another view of Galveston Harbor.



Like Morgan City, Louisiana, Galveston has a historic offshore oil rig. Unlike Galveston, this one has much corporate sponsorship. We passed since we had seen the ‘real thing’ a couple of days earlier.



One harbor was filled with shrimp boats.







Galveston has always been a point of origination for cruise ships, as was evidenced as one was in port ready for departure.







New Orleans – May 2019 – Getting Around The Big Easy

Getting to and around New Orleans has always been an adventure. Situated near the mouth of the Mississippi, the city is essentially surrounded by water and swamps.

While most people likely fly into the airport, or take I-10 from Mobile or Baton Route, the best route into the city by car is from the north across Lake Pontchartrain.



The Lake Pntchartrain Causeway is a 24 mile long bridge. Completed in the 1950s it is to this day the longest bridge in the world over water.



Which results in a funny looking navigation system – we are in the middle of the lake, still 14 miles from shore.



Eventually you get close enough to see the skyline of the city off in the distance.



Once you make it to town you see plenty of the ride share bicycles.



Although this person chose his own unique ride.



The Port of New Orleans is one of the busiest ports in the country, with constant ships coming in off the Gulf of Mexico and up the Mississippi River.



The tugboats stay busy all day.



At the base of Canal Street is the tourist ship The Natchez, a faux stern-wheeler.



The best transportation however are the streetcars.





New Orleans turned out to be a fairly easy city to navigate.






Hawaii – November 2018 – Day 20 Rainbow Trees and An Abrupt Stop

Our second morning at the Kauai Inn started after sunrise, which gave us a chance to see how beautiful the grounds and background was.

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As we left to go out for the day we found a new city have moved in down the street.

To quote a line from the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ – “I’m bettin’ he’s gonna swerve first”

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Our day had us headed to some waterfalls – first was Wailua Falls. I was expecting to drive into a park and go for a hike to the falls, but we ended up driving up and getting a glimpse of them from the overlook in the fog.

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Still the double falls was impressive.

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We then headed to the nearby Opaeka’a Falls. While more distance, you did get a better view – but still no hiking.

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The Wailua River Valley is historically a Native Hawaiian settlement area.

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We continued up the road as far as it could go until we got to the Keahua Arboretum.

Not a traditional arboretum, but more of a ‘woods’, it nonetheless has some amazing trees. These are known as Rainbow Eucalyptus trees.

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As Wikipedia states: “The unique multi-hued bark is the most distinctive feature of the tree. Patches of outer bark are shed annually at different times, showing a bright green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and then maroon tones. The previous season’s bark peels off in strips to reveal a brightly colored new bark below. The peeling process results in vertical streaks of red, orange, green, blue, and gray.”

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Easily some of the coolest trees I have ever seen.

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With that we headed back down the mountain, passing some houses with great views.

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We stopped by Poliahu Park.

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Where the remains of a Heiau (temple) remains from ancient Hawaiian times. People have left lei’s as an offering.

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Our plans were to continue north to a wildlife preserve and lighthouse when we ran into a bit of a problem – literally. An elderly man missed seeing us coming down the road and pulled directly in front of us – BAM.

Airbags are an exciting event – scared the #$%^ out of me.

Fortunately nobody was seriously hurt, and after getting a replacement car from Avis (who get’s a shout out about how well they handled this situation), we got checked out and were on our way.

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We decided to skip the lighthouse and instead went to the Spouting Horn Park, where we met some of the local sea birds.

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Spouting Horn was nice, but with the much smaller waves it wasn’t nearly as impressive as the ones in Maui.

With that our eventful day came to an end.

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