Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: 2016 Week 26

I want to thank Cee for choosing last week’s entry, making me a featured blogger. Let’s see if we can make it two weeks in a row (no pressure Cee).

This Odd Ball picture was taken in a hospital cafeteria. I was just fooling around when the idea came over me to stage a silly shot. I like the results, even if it was taken in 2008 with a camera phone that was ancient by today’s standards.




Spanish Voyage Summary

Our most recent Voyage was a cruise called Gems of Spain on Holland America Lines. I have a blog entry for each day of the cruise, so I thought I would do a summary of the voyage with a single picture for each port and then a  link to the blog entry. That way, if you are new to my blog you can get a detailed look at each stop. If you have seen any or all of the previous entries, you can either skip or review.

We started the trip in Barcelona but did not get to visit its many attractions because we went directly from the airport to the ship. So here is the only picture from Day 1 of the cruise:


You see this again in Spanish Cruise – Day 1 – Barcelona.

Our first port of call was Valencia and it was one of my all time favorite stops. Here is a picture of the opera house called Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia that you won’t see in the blog post below.


So here is the entry for Spanish Cruise – Day 2 – Valencia.

Our second port of call was Cartegena. The featured image from this post was taken while on our walking tour of the city, where we climbed to the top of the hill to see the castle built in the middle ages to protect the port. Here is a picture of the surrounding hills of this port.


For more pictures and details go to Spanish Cruise – Day 3 – Cartegena.

Our third port of call was Málaga. Here we experienced our first bad weather of the cruise with a rainy morning that turned into a beautiful sunny afternoon. Here is a shot from the top of the hill looking down at our ship during the stormy morning:


To learn about bullfighting or flamenco dancing (including a video clip), click on this link for Spanish Cruise – Day 4 – Malaga.

Our fourth port of call was Gibraltar. This was another fabulous stop with many picture opportunities and a tremendous amount of history. Here is a picture from Gibraltar that I altered for Cee’s Black and White Challenge.


You can see the original picture in color in my post Spanish Cruise – Day 5 – Gibraltar. If you haven’t seen this post, you are not going to want to miss it.

Our fifth and final port of call was Cadiz. We had a wonderful tour of the city along with a fantastic stop at the Gonzalez Byass Winery, the home of Don Pepe sherries and wines. We finished our excursion at the  and a great tour of Spain’s Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art.


Come take a peak at this fun filled day on our voyage at Spanish Cruise – Day 6 – Cadiz.

My wife and I love to travel and experience new places around the world. We have taken many voyages which I hope to recount in the coming months. If you would like to voyage with us, stay tuned by following my blog.

Twin Partners – A Special Bond

I posted this picture for this week’s Wordless Wednesday challenge, but it fits so well this Daily Post Weekly Challenge that it is worth repeating and enhancing. There are no closer Partners than identical twins. From growing in the womb together, to making up their own language, to answering questions in unison with identical words and intonation, these girls personify the word Partners.

Abigail and Hannah 2012 002

Here they are graduating to first grade:

Twins Graduation 053

Here they are visiting the North Carolina Zoo with us:


How about opening presents on Christmas morning:

Christmas 2014 001

Where else can you find a bond as strong as that of loving your other self?



Echos of my Neighborhood

Echos of my Neighborhood is a photo challenge series hosted by Jacqueline. It offers a window into each blogger’s world for others to see. This is my first entry into the series. Today I want to share a few pictures of the actual neighborhood. If you want to see a few pictures of my home, check out my Daily Prompt blog entry for A House to a Home.

I will start with some pictures take over the last 8 years. Next week I will go out and take some current pictures.

Here is a picture from December 5th of 2010 when we had our first snow of the season:

Lennox Woods First Snow 2010 036

Now let’s switch to summer with two pictures at our neighborhood clubhouse and pool:


That is me with two of my grandchildren from the summer of 2009, a year after we moved into the neighborhood.

Next is a picture from Halloween of 2010 where the neighborhood comes together with a hotdog and pot luck supper with all of the kids wearing their costumes. As soon as it gets dark, everyone goes back to their homes and the kids (now sated from supper) go around knocking on doors trick-or-treating.

Kids Halloween Party 2010 005Kids Halloween Party 2010 004



Thursday Doors With a Story

The Story Behind a Door
Here are some yellow doors with a story. This picture was taken in September of 2005 at the Cambridge Hotel in Cambridge NY. The occasion was the 80th birthday of my mother and my brother-in-law. Here are two pictures of the doors:


The hotel was originally built in 1885 because it was near the railway station on the Delaware and Hudson Railroad route between Albany, New York and Rutland, Vermont. It has been through many hard times and was the subject of chef Gordon Ramsey’s “Hotel Hell” TV program in January of 2007. The boost from the show was not enough to save it and it went into foreclosure in June of the same year.

In 2014, the building was bought with the intention of opening an elder care facility. It is now called “The Cambridge” and officially opened in February of 2016. Here is a link to an article from the local paper which includes a current picture that I have copied below.



Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge: #23 Black and White: The Basics

I chose three photos from our Spanish cruise stop in Gibraltar. All three pictures were taken in color and then edited to black and white using the Windows 10 picture editor.

The first picture is the head and shoulders of a monkey sitting up on a fence, just waiting to be photographed (all the while looking for something to steal that might have food in it). Here is the B&W followed immediately by the untouched color original:


You get quite a bit of texture and contrast with this photo, which makes it ideal for the conversion to black and white.

The second picture I chose was that of the Gibraltar Airport runway that runs parallel to the border between Spain and Gibraltar.


The straight lines in the runway and the main highway that crosses the runway lend themselves to going black and white with enhanced contrast. The dark fence around the observing platform also lend some straight lines that keep the eyes focused on the runway. The texture of the buildings in the Spanish City of La Linea de la Concepcion serve as an upper boundary for the eyes so they don’t flow off of the top of the photo. Also, the many different color distractions are removed.

The third photo I chose was taken from the cruise ship as we were departing from Gibraltar. I wanted to see what black and white would do with the light blue sky vs. the dark blue ocean water. The black and white is a bit more ominous. In my mind, the judge is still out weighing impact of the switch. I would welcome any thoughts.


Here is a link back to the Cee’s challenge page.