NYC 2012 Birthday Trip – Day 4

On Monday, 30th July, I went to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, as I’d heard about it a few months before I left that the Enterprise Space Shuttle was going to be part of an exhibit at the museum. After a moderate wait in line, I got into the museum and got a tour packet that included the Shuttle Exhibit. After the tour – which we got a lot of interesting information on this history of aeronautics and the beginnings and current forays into space, the moon, and the technologies used.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 30 July 2012

My only complaint with the whole tour was the complete lack of any coverage of the Canadian contribution to aeronautics and the Space Program – the focus was primarily US (but that’s a given, since I was IN the US), but also British, German and Russian. That said, what I did see was pretty awesome. We were toured through the Hangar Deck first, then the Enterprise Exhibit was up on the Flight Deck.I have to admit, I’m not great at remembering all the names of the planes I saw on the Flight Deck, nor their specifications, but I had taken a bunch of photos of the planes for my Dad and my nephews. We also got to go to the Navigation Bridge and the Command Bridge, as well as take a look at some of the crew and officer quarters, the anchor room, and a few other areas that were in the public area of the former active aircraft carrier. However, rather than overwhelming you, these are some of my choices to include:

Mercury Capsule Replica, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 30 July 2012

Types of Rockets Used, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 30 July 2012

Going into the Enterprise Exhibit was impressive. It’s in a domed enclosure on the Flight Deck. The area has a number of informational posters about the Enterprise, pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, past & future space ships.

Enterprise Shuttle Exhibit, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 30 July 2012

Enterprise Shuttle Exhibit, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 30 July 2012

These are but three of the several planes that were on display at the Intrepid Museum:

Lockheed A-12 (Blackbird), Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 30 July 2012

USS Intrepid VA-95 Navy Green Lizards, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 30 July 2012

British Airways Concorde, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 30 July 2012

I knew it would be a while before I ate again, so I grabbed a soup & sandwich and drink from the cafeteria on the carrier before heading uptown to Jill’s to get a key for Tuesday, as I would be checking out of the hostel in the morning and my train didn’t wouldn’t leave til after midnight. So, we hung out for a while in the evening, chatting before I headed downtown to go see the independent film, Farewell, My Queen. I’d been wanting to see this since I first saw the trailer in the spring. I knew the opening date was mid-July and the likelihood of it ever appearing on the big screen where I live was next to nil. So, I found out where it was playing in Manhattan and made a plan to go. Well, with about 3 minutes to spare, I made it to the Angelika Film Center for the 10pm showing. I am SO glad I did. I loved the story and the filmography and costuming were gorgeous.

If it’s playing anywhere near you, I recommend going to see it! I got out of the film at midnight and walked over to nearest 5/6 train to go up to connect to the E train. It should have stopped at 51st but because of work being done on the line, they were bypassing the station after 10pm on the northbound run. Which meant the next stop was 86th St. So, I get off there, go topside, cross the street, and take the southbound train back to where I should have gotten off, and then transferred to the E train. I finally got to the West 23 St/8th Ave Station about 2am-ish. By which time I was hungry. Fortunately for me, the New Venus Cafe & Restuarant was just to the left as I came out of the station, so I went in and had a lovely soup and quiche, and for dessert bread pudding. All very yummy. Well fed and more than a little tired, I walked the rest of the distance back to the hostel – at about 3ish am.

My hostel mates were still up at the time so I was glad I wasn’t disturbing them when I came in. Got ready for bed and flaked out after another great day in the city. Sad to realise that there was only one day left.

NYC 2012 Birthday Trip – Part 3

Sunday – 29th July – The Birthday 🙂

I actually slept in until nearly 9am. I’d made plans to meet up with Jill – she was coming to meet me by the hostel – to begin our day of fun together. We walked around a bit until we came to a restaurant – I’m blanking on the name, but it’s one we’ve been to before when we were in NYC last March (2011) and gave Jill the first season of the OVS. I’ve yet to find a way to get a chance to pay for a meal when Jill’s around. Started off with French Toast (me) and Flapjacks (her), then we caught the subway over to Brooklyn so we could walk the Brooklyn Bridge back into the city. Despite the overcast day, it was very humid.

I don’t think there are pictures of ME walking the bridge unless Jill took some, as I was doing a fair bit of picture taking myself. But these are some of my favourites:

Brooklyn Bridge Walk. New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 29 July 2012

Brooklyn Bridge Walk. New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 29 July 2012

Brooklyn Bridge Walk. New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 29 July 2012

Brooklyn Bridge Walk. New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 29 July 2012

Brooklyn Bridge City Hall Subway Station Elevator, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 29 July 2012

Heading uptown, walking, to Times Square. Now, having done TS a few times, I wasn’t thinking I’d make a run back there, but I did want to go to the Swatch store to get a watch, and we did need to come up in that general vicinity as I had to be up there to go to the Gershwin Theater to see “Wicked”, so off we went. About mid-way up, the sun came out and it was getting warmer. Much warmer. 🙂 We went up to the Ace Hotel on 29th Street and had pictures taken on the stairwell. There’s a story behind that, that belongs to Jill, but I was glad to be part of…where everything is going to be all right.

Jill Hurst, Ace Hotel, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 29 July 2012

One of my best friends, Patricia, had decided for my birthday that she was going to get me a ticket to a Broadway show of my choice. So having picked “Wicked” after hearing many wonderful things about the show, she arranged for the ticket. Words can barely express how much I appreciated that. Just wow. I mean, I appreciate all my birthday presents because they are given with thought and love behind them. Not necessary but fun all the same. 🙂 Thanks to Jill as a birthday present I got a “Wicked” t shirt and the program book/poster. We went our separate ways as it was time to go to the show, and we were meeting up later to go for supper.

I’d gone into Wicked, not hearing the music nor reading the book it was based on. And boy was I impressed. It didn’t take very long to get hooked into the show. To put it bluntly: spellbinding. And more than a few times did I identify with Elphaba. Misunderstood, intelligent, stubborn, an odd sense of humour, sensitive & protective…except, you know, having a thing for Fiyero. Defying Gravity and For Good will always give me goosebumps. Just awesome.

Wicked, Property of Universal Studios.

Oh, and I went back and bought one of the Wicked zipped sweatshirt. Obsessed? According to Bettie, I was a Wicked virgin anyway, and it’s going to be a while before I get to see it again. It being rather warm when I came out of the air-conditioned theatre I headed for the subway to head down to the hostel to shower & change for supper.

As the restaurant wasn’t too far away, I walked down to Pepe Verde on Hudson Ave and met up with Jill, then Bettie and her daughter, Barbara. Oh wow, the food was good. And there was plenty left over – leftovers. Just as well we were walking again afterwards. We wandered over to the 911 Message Memorial and read over many of the messages that were turned into ceramic tiles. Just heartfelt.

911 Message Memorial, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 29 July 2012

After that, we wandered over to the Magnolia bakery and got some cupcakes. Jill had some birthday candles but we had no matches/lighters, so they called over a couple of guys who had a packet of matches and they all sang Happy Birthday to me. I’m quite sure I turned beet red, thankful that it was dark out, though. Walking along, we headed down to Washington Square Park, where there was a few musicians playing, with quite a good sized crowd gathered around. I took the shot below just as we were headed back out of the park.

Washington Square Park Arch, New York, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 29 July 2012

We walked over to Brother Jimmy’s on E14th, but alas Brian Malloy – Jessica Leccia’s husband, wasn’t working at that place that night. He’s also managing the Brother Jimmy’s up on 80th & Amsterdam. Jill & Bettie decided they were going to turn into pumpkins and headed to their homes, while Barbara and I stayed for a few drinks and watched some of the Olympics on the big screen tvs. We finally packed it in about 10:30 or so and headed over to the subway station where we parted ways. I finally got back to the hostel about 11pm more than a little buzzed. But hey, it was a great birthday with great friends.

To be continued…

NYC 2012 Birthday Trip – Part 2

On Saturday morning, I headed up to Jill’s and another friend, Bettie joined us for the day. Before we left for the day we got some pictures taken in Jill’s backyard on her Company bench.

Four Friends: Bettie, Lynn, Jill, Donna. © Donna D. Pool, 28 July 2012

There was a little restaurant we went to for lovely lunch at the Lexington Candy Shop & Luncheonette before we headed down to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There were so many amazing things to see. We did spend a fair bit of time there, but we were mindful of the time as well because Donna had to leave that evening to head home. I had hoped to be able to go back before I left to return to Canada, but it wasn’t meant to be this time. So, when I go back the next time, I will definitely be going again, and I’ll take my time going through. This is one of my favourite shots from the Museum (and one of very few remaining ones of there I have, aside from the ones Donna took and I grabbed for posterity:D).

Stained glass windows, American Wing Cafe, Metropolitan Museum Of Art, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 28 July 2012.

When we left the museum, it was pouring down rain pretty heavily, so we occasionally sought shelter in doorways, and by the time we were nearly back to Jill’s the rain had pretty much eased off. We ordered in pizza, played with the cat and watched more than a few Otalia vids (on iPad connected to the television), and then I got Bettie hooked on the Spanish series, “Hospital Central”. Before we knew it, it was time to take Donna back to Penn Station. We stood & chatted until it was time for her to go, then I headed to the bathroom before catching the subway, and then back to the hostel, a little frazzled but that would settle.

NYC 2012 Birthday Trip – Part 1

So, it’s been nearly a month now that I went to New York for my birthday and I’m only now getting round to writing up about it. But first a bit of lead-up. I’d planned on taking the trip back in April and booked the hostel and the train from Portland, Maine to New York (with a change of trains in Boston).

About a week or so before, I’d suggested to a friend of mine, Donna, that if there was a way for her to join us in NYC, I’d pay for part of her train ticket, if she was able to cover the other part. For personal reasons, she didn’t feel she was able to at that point. However, serendipity happened. Donna was talking with a mutual friend of ours later that day who’d pretty much suggested the same thing I had. Within a day of back and forth conversations, our friend Jill (who lives in New York), and I had arranged for Donna to join us in the city, splitting the costs.

On Thursday, 26th July, I left home in New Brunswick and drove the five hours to Portland, Maine in order to get the Amtrak train to New York…well, technically to Boston first. It’s a two hr ride to Boston, then once I got to Boston North Station, I had to take the Orange Line subway to Boston Back Bay Station. I should have remembered from last year how hot Back Bay station was in the summertime. The sweat was literally pouring off me, and the large floor fans did little to alleviate it. Thankfully, the time came to get onto the train bound for Penn Station – New York – the air conditioned train. I was a happy woman again. It was a long day by the time I got into New York that evening. I made sure to call Jill once I got into the city to let her know I was there, safe & sound. After waiting in line outside Penn Station for a taxi, I headed down to the hostel I was staying at on West 14th (New York Central Hostel). As I was late arriving, they had me staying at their secondary site on West 22nd Street. I was sharing with five other women. Not too bad for $48-$52/night. But it was a lovely neighbourhood in Chelsea. Two of the women were from Switzerland, another from Germany, and I’m not sure where the other two were from as I think I only saw them once in passing. I was pretty exhausted, but excited to be back in the city. Thankfully, the hostel also had air conditioning, so I grabbed a shower after the other girls were heading out.

On Friday, I headed back up to Penn Station to greet my friend, Donna, who was coming in from Maryland. Last time I’d seen her was March 2011 when I was there for Jessica Leccia’s Fan Luncheon. I gave Jill a text to let her know Donna was here and that we were in a cab up to her place. Unfortunately, Jill’s husband, Tony, who’s a great guy, had left that morning with the dogs to head to his family, so we missed seeing him this time. However, it did mean that we had Molly cat all to ourselves…okay, really, Molly had us. So adorable kitty. After hanging out for a bit at Jill’s – and cooling down with the AC, we headed out on the bus for Central Park, wandering from the 72nd Street entrance, heading northbound by the Conservatory Water.

Conservative Water, Central Park, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 27 July 2012

Then we headed a little bit further north to the Alice in Wonderland statue, where there were some kids playing around the statue, which reminded me of when I was a child and climbing around a bronze Peter Pan statue in Bowring Park (St. John’s, NL).

Alice In Wonderland, Central Park, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 27 July 2012

Crossing over and down a bit, we came upon Bethesda Fountain, watching musicians and performers, locals and tourists, kids of all ages enjoy the lovely sunny afternoon. This area of the park is one of my favourites. There are the Minton Tiles, which are absolutely stunning, the wonderful arches that lead into the tiles and the fountain. That day, there was a group of young adults gathered in a circle, sharing the center, dancing. It was great fun to watch. I’m cheating here a little – the middle shot of the Minton Tiles I actually took last spring, but I’ve not posted it here before, and I was in there this time, but I preferred this shot.

Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 27 July 2012

Minton Tiles, Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 12 March 2011

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, NY, © J. Lynn Stapleton, 27 July 2012

After a while though we moved on, heading down towards Strawberry Fields and out of the park to a nearby subway station to head downtown. Heading up streetside, we ventured along the west side, passing by St. Malachy’s – The Actor’s Chapel on West 49th St. We didn’t go in at this time, but taking a look at the website, I’d love to visit it again another time, just to see the internal architecture. We then headed down to the High Line, walking and chatting the whole time. At one point we walked past a little area where there was a foot level water source we we walked through, soaking our feet, cooling down before finally heading over to the Olive Tree Café on MacDougall St for some lovely food. We walked a little more before taking a cab back up to Jill’s (I had my bag still up there). We watched some of the end of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics and I headed back to the hostel.

Waiting at the 77th St & Lexington subway station, there was a woman – Laura Vecchione – performing on the platform; she was really good, so I bought one of her CDs, girl in the band. I happened to mention to her that her singing reminded me of Kyler England, and she seemed surprised, asking me about knowing Kyler – I’d told her about interviewing her last fall and seeing her in concert in Boston for her “Electric Hum” album tour. Laura mentioned that she’d gone to school with Kyler in Boston at Berklee College of Music. Small world. 🙂 We exchanged contact information, and I headed off on the train for downtown.

To Be Continued…

Exploring the Mal Oxford – May 2006

These pictures were originally posted on my LiveJournal account during my May 2006 trip to the United Kingdom. During this time, I stayed at the Malmaison Oxford (formerly Her Majesty’s Prison Oxford) on 21st May; for you Bad Girls fans, A Wing is the same ref to Larkhall’s G-Wing. These are some of the interior and exterior shots I took.

Front Entrance of Malmaison Oxford from the side view

A-Wing Exterior - Vertical Glass Window

Signage next to the A-Wing vertical glass window

A-Wing Exterior - Courtyard

Interior of A-Wing central stairway

A-Wing's interior room doors

St. George's Tower

Interior Gate Door on A-Wing

Exercise Yard at the Mal

My Hotel Room

Unfinished room on Ground Level

An Adventure Among Rocks…

A few days ago, I had wanted to go down to the Hopewell Rocks here in New Brunswick, but the timing didn’t work out, but I did get a chance to go today. It’s about an two and a half hour drive from Fredericton. Home of some of the highest tides in the world, the Hopewell Rocks Park has some really interesting geographic landscapes. The unusual rock formations, also known as the Flower Pot rocks, are created by the erosion due to the tidal forces. Made up of sedimentary conglomerate and sandstone rock, these flower pot rocks are free-standing (as opposed to connected to the ‘mainland’), and have vegetation growing at the top.

The Bay of Fundy is an area between the south end of New Brunswick and the northwest part of Nova Scotia, and in the map below, you will see where I’ve marked where the Hopewell Rocks are located. The Bay of Fundy park is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. (Park Map).

Hopewell Rocks on map [Google Maps]

Hopewell Rocks on map [Google Maps]

The timing between high and low tides is about six hours and 13 minutes and in that time the tide can rise from 0.3 metres (1 ft) to 13.9 metres (45.6 ft), depending on the lunar cycle. You can check out the tide tables to see the different levels of tides over the year. The highest tides average 10 – 14 metres (32 – 46 ft) as 100 billion tonnes of water flow into the bay twice a day. (info from the Hopewell Rocks website). Today’s first high tide was at 8:44am at 11.7 metres (38.4 ft), and low tide was from 12:12-18:12. When it’s at low tide, you can walk on the ocean floor. At high tide, you can take a go out on a sea kayaking tour run by Baymount Outdoor Adventures, (which I did) this morning. That meant I left Fredericton a little after 5am and arrived at the park at 7:30. Of course since the park doesn’t open til 8am, I had to wait a bit, but I wanted to make sure I got there in plenty of time, since I hadn’t booked with the kayaking in advance.

I had a heavy duty dry sack that I could put my camera in, and strap it to the top of the kayak in the cross-straps for [relatively] easy access. As I was on my own for the day, I had one of the kayak guides in the two person kayak with me. We paddled in and around several of the flower pot rocks and looked in on some of the caved areas.

Sea Kayaking on the Bay of Fundy, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Sea Kayaking on the Bay of Fundy, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Sea Kayaking on the Bay of Fundy, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Sea Kayaking on the Bay of Fundy, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Sea Kayaking on the Bay of Fundy, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Sea Kayaking on the Bay of Fundy, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Sea Kayaking on the Bay of Fundy, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Sea Kayaking on the Bay of Fundy, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

The paddling back was more challenging because we were going against the waves and wind, but it was fun and we got some more of the history of the area, the formations, and some local stories. Once on dry land, on the path back there were stations to wash off shoes/sandals/feet, so as to not track the mud from the beach into buildings. After a bit of a break by the Low Tides Cafe, I headed down the steps to the beach as the tide had gone out some. As you look through of the photos below, see some of the same rock formations with a lot less water.

walking on the sea floor

Walking on the Ocean Floor, Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Walking on ocean floor

Walking on the Ocean Floor, Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Hopewell Rocks, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

The main part of this photo is of the Estrans Daniels Flats, and you can see to the far left how far out the tide had gone.

Estrans Daniels Flats, Hopewell Rocks Park, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

Estrans Daniels Flats, Hopewell Rocks Park, 9th August 2011, © J. Lynn Stapleton

I had a lot of fun exploring for the day, getting a chance to see both high and low tides. I finished off with a lunch at the main building and then left a little after 2pm, and I was home by 4:45. A long day, but I had a fantastic time. Stay tuned for new adventures.

Adventures in Maine

Yesterday, Dad and I headed down to Portland, Maine, where he was getting a flight down to Florida; he drove the way down (about a 5 1/4 hr drive). He and Mom have driven that before and so we didn’t need the GPS unit for that. After he left, my plan was to head up to Camden, where I was planning to go for supper at a restaurant called Paolina’s Way, owned by the sister-in-law of Guiding Light‘s Orlagh Cassidy (Doris).

Now, to get there is the fun part – especially as the GPS wasn’t working properly. I had done a software update as the device required. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t complete the updates properly. So, device was acting FUBARish (kept resetting itself, wouldn’t give me directions, delayed time locating GPS signal sometimes). So, I ended up using the Maps application on my Blackberry Curve. Which meant using data outside of Canada. I’m crossing my fingers that the data charges won’t be thru the roof.

And since it’s now May, it’s also the early part of construction season on the highways, so detours in some spots as ramps in some areas were being worked on. Hangs head in frustration.I got lost. So what should have taken 1h 50 min, took almost 3 and a bit hours, including twice to ask for actual directions – since I didn’t want to leave my phone running up data as it searched for locations. Though the scenery going up Atlantic Hwy 1 was pretty, it was much longer than I’d planned. The weather, though was quite nice and sunny – 62-64F. For most of the trip up, I had the window open and the tunes from the car’s CD player rollin’.

However long the trip to get to Camden seemed, it was well worth the effort. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous. Coming into the small seaside town, the narrow streets and maritime atmosphere was so relaxing. As someone who grew up near the ocean, the salt-sea air is soothing. In the harbour were a bunch of tall ships – schooners, mostly. There was the Grace Bailey, Merchantile, and the smaller Mistress – each part of the Maine Windjammer cruise tall ships. There were also some other schooners docked in the port. I took a walk around the docks, taking some shots of ships, the bay and the surrounding area.

Camden Harbor, Camden, ME. 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

Camden Harbor, Camden, ME. 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

Tall ship schooners Merchantile (left) and Grace Bailey (right), Camden, ME. © J. Lynn Stapleton

Tall ship schooners Merchantile (left) and Grace Bailey (right), Camden, ME. © J. Lynn Stapleton

Tall ships, Camden, ME. 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

Tall ship schooners, Camden, ME. © J. Lynn Stapleton

As I walked along the parking lot facing the harbour, I could hear the rumblings of a waterfall and I went to investigate, as I love waterfalls. From a riverbed that pooled at the top, allowed for a gorgeous waterfall on two sides. Both were really beautiful. The first is the side falls view, then the front falls view.

Falls side view

Waterfall I, Camden, ME., 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

Waterfall II, Camden, ME., 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

Waterfall II, Camden, ME., 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

I was getting hungry, so I headed over to the aforementioned restuarant, Paolina’s Way for a bite to eat. And by a bite, I mean had good sized servings of amazing food. Started with slices of an Italian bread with an olive oil and spiced dip, a lovely bowl of soup, and a shrimp flatbread pizza (one of several types of their Italian flatbread pizzas), with a glass of white Pinto Grigio. The pizza was fantastic – I’ve had nothing like it before, but it was huge (it only comes in 13″ variety, so if you’re ordering – share it!). I ended up taking leftovers of that.

Paolina's Way, Camden, ME. 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

Paolina’s Way, Camden, ME. 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

Supper at Paolina's Way, Camden, ME. 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

Supper at Paolina’s Way, Camden, ME. 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

After the very filling food, I went out and took some more pictures around the falls, and out over the harbour. Then I happened to notice some ducks, so I wandered over the little pedway between Mechanic Street and Tannery Lane; there were probably eight or nine ducks of different colours there. I had some crumbs with me, so I dropped some down to them, watching as they rushed after each piece. It was a great relaxing, peaceful moment. I wandered around the small downtown area before heading back to the car as it was starting to get darker and I had a drive ahead of me.

Camden Bay

Camden Harbor, Camden, ME. 12th May 2011. © J. Lynn Stapleton

The adventures in non-GPS driving continued, as I worked to make my way back on Route 1, driving for quite some time before stopping at a Circle K convenience store to get the best way to get back to the I-95. Found way along, from 1 to 1A which took me all the way to Bangor. Actually, it took me over to Brewer, since I seemed to have missed the right exit. I’d been yawning most of the way back, and I knew there was no way I’d safely make another three hours of driving to home. Went into the McDonald’s in Brewer, got directions back to Bangor, and found myself a bed at the EconoLodge. Exhaustedly, I briefly checked email and twitter, before hitting the sack.

This morning, after getting ready and a bit of rerouting, I got onto the I-95 North and headed home. Breathe and relax.

A beautiful wintry morning…

Though it was a cold morning, it was quite beautiful and sunny, so I took the advantage of the nice weather and the camera, as I walked through/over the snow at Wilmot Park.

Wilmot Park, Fredericton, NB. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 10 February 2011


Wilmot Park, Fredericton, NB. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 10 February 2011


Wilmot Park, Fredericton, NB. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 10 February 2011


Gazebo, Wilmot Park, Fredericton, NB. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 10 February 2011


Wilmot Park, Fredericton, NB. © J. Lynn Stapleton, 10 February 2011

Capturing beautiful spirits…

I took some pictures of the pets this morning. Trying to get two Labrador Retrievers to stay still – when you want them to stay still – is harder than it looks. In order to get the close shots of them, they kept wanting to come much closer and then the focus was completely off. The front hall was quite bright with natural light coming in from front and back door window panes.

I love our pets. They make us laugh, they make us cry, they comfort us and sometimes drive us nuts, but there’s no doubt that they have such beautiful spirits.

These pictures were some of my favourites.

Maggie. Home. 13 January 2010. © J. Lynn Stapleton


Emma and Gage. Home. 13 January 2010. © J. Lynn Stapleton


Gage waiting. Home. 13 January 2010. © J. Lynn Stapleton


Regal Emma, Home. 13 January 2010. © J. Lynn Stapleton

And because I no longer have him – he was hit by a car when he was 18 months old – here’s one of my favourite shots of Vincent (aka Vinnie) when he was about 8 weeks old. He used to torment the daylights out of my older cat, Maggie (above) by jumping out at her from behind chairs and doors. He got along well with the dogs, though.

Vincent taking a nap. Home. 3 August 2006. © J. Lynn Stapleton