Photo fails

Oh dear, sweet, loving mother of mine. Why are things growing out of my head? Not once, or twice, but several times??

Two years in a row I had a tree (or antlers) growing out of my head at Easter.


I couldn’t escape the antlers, even during Halloween.


Or how about the time we were at Disneyland and she found the ONE space in the ENTIRETY of the park to put me in front of…and I have a light pole growing out of head (and little Megan is just waving and smiling, oblivious).


Last but not least (and Mom’s favorite fail), we were in the mountains (probably Big Bear), and Mom said to little Megan and Dad “go stand over there, that’s a great spot!” Low and behold…in the ENTIRETY of the FOREST, Dad has a tree growing out of his head.


I love you Mom, but apparently NOT anyonecantakeapicture!



The Jefferson

The Jefferson is one of those places that I tend to take for granted. It is close by, so I have no excuse. It is historic, so there are plenty of photo opportunities. But because it is right there, I don’t go often.


In a nutshell, it is a luxury hotel built in the late 1800s by Lewis Ginter and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Beaux Art. It has been partially rebuilt twice from fires, and undergone numerous renovations. 13 presidents stayed there, along with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and countless other celebrities.

Apparently, alligators used to live in the pools at The Jefferson. They now have sculptures in and around the building to memorialize them.

I’ve been twice (or three times, I can’t remember) for their infamous Sunday Brunch Buffet. I’ve also gone to a couple of work-related happy hours during the holidays.

The most recent trip was for a belated birthday brunch for Mom. Her birthday is in July, but they didn’t have any openings until August.

We were seated right next to the giant dessert table!


My perfect breakfast (including a mimosa!)


Me and Mom :)


That is what a normal photograph of people in a picture should look like. The next one is, well…a representation of the kinds of photographs my Mom used to take before we banned her from taking pictures (we purposefully posed for this one).

Note the ice sculpture is now “growing” out of her head…


…and cue the “photo fails“…

Getting to know Virginia – Westmoreland Park

We are experiencing unseasonably pleasant weather for late August, so I took a trip to Westmoreland Park yesterday, located in Montross, VA, about an hour and a half northeast of Richmond. It is on the Potomac River and separates VA from Maryland.

I want to go back after school starts, on a weekday, when its less crowded and hunt for stuff. I didn’t make it to the other side of the park this time, but they have a beach called “Fossil Beach” where combers have found ancient shark teeth (hence why I have to go back)!!

I did find some sea glass though (again, I need to go back)!


The drive is mostly through farmland, but there are some antique stores and restaurants that look intriguing.

The drive into the park is heavily wooded and would probably look really pretty in the fall.


When you enter the park, you are up on the cliffs overlooking the river. It is so expansive, it almost looks like an ocean.



The land on the other side is Maryland – about seven miles away.

The park itself is very well maintained with lots of picnic benches, a pool, and a “snack shack.”







Unfortunately there are jellyfish in the water. But after a quick search, I believe these are moon jellyfish and the stings are minor.


A fish carcass.

I think this is an osprey.

The park also has cabins throughout the park that you can rent.


All in all, it was a lovely day, with a lovely drive, and a destination I definitely will return to!

Gem Mining – Take III

Take three for Dad and I visiting Lucky Lake! We found a few new gems and four or five palm-sized ones!

The last time we were there, I found a very dark-colored amethyst, and I brought it with me to have cut. This is the before and I will post the after when I go back in a few weeks to get it.


Blood Jasper – as legend has it, named because it was the stone underneath Jesus as he was nailed to the cross.

Giant rose quartz

Giant amethyst

I think this is picture jasper…but jasper nonetheless.

Spider jasper – some look like they have hieroglyphics on them. One of these does, but its hard to capture in a picture.


Rubies and Garnets (I think I know which is which, but without being certain I lumped them together).


Twix decided he wanted to help.

Smokey quartz. The larger one has a piece of mica growing out of it!



The whole catch!