This is not Cedar Falls

This is not Cedar Falls

If you have ever talked to anyone who has been to the great big national parks in the western U.S., they will have undoubtedly told you that the pictures that you are now looking at, that they were somehow unnaturally compelled to show you, though dumbfoundingly beautiful, no, downright stunning, are not a fair representation of the the subject at hand. No, as glorious as the images are they simple have no sense of justice. To be perfectly truthful, the sheer cheek, the irrefutable sense of impropriety of these pictures…

They Sure Don’t Make ‘Em in Pittsburgh Like They Used To!

They Sure Don’t Make ‘Em in Pittsburgh Like They Used To!

Walking through the neighborhood of Shadyside in Pittsburgh last weekend was a delight. You see, I’m in love with old churches and other places of worship, and this part of town has several gorgeous specimens including the Third Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh. It makes me giggle when I think about how big city churches got their names. So, take this church for instance, in my mind there’s a conversation that goes something like this: “Aww man, someone’s already scored First Presbyterian and Second Presbyterian. Looks like we’ve gotta go with Third…

Caves Worthy of a Hike in Hocking Hills

Caves Worthy of a Hike in Hocking Hills

Two separate trips to Hocking Hills. Two separate visits to two separate caves, each one as beautiful as the other in its own way. Both have waterfalls when it’s rained, both have picturesque views worthy of framing. Both have hiking and walking trails surrounding each. If you’ve never visited, here’s the scoop on what makes Ash Cave and Old Man’s Cave worthy of a visit and why you need to make a visit to each. Ash Cave On our very first visit to Ash Cave, we couldn’t have picked a more…

Flying Hot Dog At Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Flying Hot Dog At Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

I’ve heard of flying fish, but this hot dog belongs to the band Phish so I guess I could say flying Phish! The 15-foot long foot log was a prop in the band’s 1997 New Year’s Eve concert in Florida. According to the band’s manager, John Paluska, they were all throwing around ideas for the concert when Phish’s drummer stated, “What if we flew out in a giant hot dog?” Everyone thought that was the coolest idea ever, so the flying hot dog was created. If you’ve ever visited the…

Pay Binoculars at Niagara Falls

Pay Binoculars at Niagara Falls

I have visited Niagara Falls, Canada, dozens of times in my life. In fact, I’ve been so many times that I couldn’t keep count. But, no matter how many times I’ve visited, the view from the pay binoculars is still as I remember it. It’s one of those views that I never tire of. I’ve seen the Falls in every season and in 100 degree and 10 degree temps. Looking through these pay binoculars makes me feel like a kid again- and I love that feeling! This past weekend, Mr….

Painting with Parrots at National Aviary

Painting with Parrots at National Aviary

When you have a chance to paint with a parrot at National Aviary, you take it.  This little beauty (man, I sounded like the Crocodile Hunter just now) is Lucky the Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrot. Not only does Lucky love to paint but the creative outlet is a way to mimic experiences that would naturally occur in the wild like picking up sticks to build nests. There are a few other birds at the aviary that enjoy painting and each has its own painting style, if you can believe it. Lucky…

It’s the Cypress Trees Knees, Man!

It’s the Cypress Trees Knees, Man!

Have you ever seen a Cypress tree’s knees?  Cypress Trees have them, or at least that’s the nickname, anyway. The trees’ roots rise up above the shallow swamp water – showing off their knees. When there’s a large concentration of Cypress Trees it’s termed a Cypress Swamp- and this pic depicts a perfect example.  We visited Wild Florida in Central Florida a couple of autumns ago (remember my teary-eyed encounter with Guy and Ana the sloths? Same trip.) and took a walk through its Cypress Swamp. I fell in love…

Irish Step Dancers in St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Historic Dublin

Irish Step Dancers in St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Historic Dublin

This photo could have been taken at any number of St. Patrick’s Day Parades across the United States, and is a scene I am very familiar with. Many years ago I, myself, used to dance in a St. Patrick’s Day Parade and, whether the sun was shining like in the pic or if there was a blizzard, there were always thousands that turned up to dance right along with us.  This year my family and I will be headed to Dublin– and we won’t even need our passports. There’s a…

What are you looking forward to most this spring?

What are you looking forward to most this spring?

After a long winter, where do you want to visit when spring rolls around? Is the the beach that calls your name? Or perhaps it’s the hustle and bustle of New York City?  For me, it’s a combination of both. I love traveling to spots that allow for some beach downtime but are close enough to a big city that allows me and my family to explore.  This photo, from Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch, New Jersey, is one of my favorite beaches. No kidding. The sunrises…

Star Gazing in Central Ohio

Star Gazing in Central Ohio

What is it about the night sky that’s so magical?  On nights that I do stay up later than normal and have the opportunity to check out the stars I find myself so drawn to it. I don’t need the television or radio playing so any other form of entertainment, for that matter. I remember exactly when I became a fan of the night sky. The summer of sixth grade. I asked my mother to take me to our local public library and checked out every book I could find…