New York City – Holiday Edition

Other than making connections in New York, I had never actually been into New York City (and I don’t count the time we stayed overnight during a long layover because a travel agent had no clue how to do her job).

I thought Mom had always wanted to go to NYC to see the Christmas windows. She thought I had been dropping hints for a long time. We both thought this little jaunt was for the other, but regardless we had a good time. Despite the FRIGIDLY COLD TEMPERATURES! But I guess it wouldn’t be December in NYC without the cold.

We arrived a little early to the hotel, so we walked around as much as we could stand (which wasn’t long).

View of Central Park from our room

The Plaza

Walking to Rockefeller Plaza

 Rockefeller Center!

Top of the Rock!

It snowed overnight, which was BEAUTIFUL!

But it slightly dampened and tampered with the open-air double-decker downtown bus tour planned for that morning. But I made the best of it, shivering all the way!

These were probably cool shots, minus the ice on the partial enclosure.

Times Square

NY Public Library


One of the Christmas Marts. We went to the one in Columbus Circle and I don’t know if they are all the same, but the one we went to was more of a flea market.

Brief glimpses of the Brooklyn Bridge

I’m not 100% sure what all of these buildings are, but I’m pretty sure the justice statue is from the NY City Hall building.

After zooming in, I could see this was the US Customs building.


Charging Bull in Wall Street. The tour guide said it was “anatomically correct” and if you take a picture from the bull’s back, it is said to bring good luck. I’ll take his word for it. Not sure there is any superstition to putting one’s purse on the horns, but they ruined a good on the move shot!

We had to disembark at Battery Park for some inexplicable reason. The new bus would not arrive for 15-20 minutes, so we walked down to get a shot of the Statue of Liberty.

Was also able to see the Freedom Tower unimpeded by other buildings and ice on the windows. Hard to believe that was the site of so much devastation.

Our new guide pointed out a rich guy had to move to NYC, but didn’t want to leave his cape cod, so he moved it piece by piece and reassembled it on top of a building.

Our new tour guide was strangely obsessed with pointing out every hospital and medical center on our route, rather than the popular touristy sites, so not sure if any of these buildings are actually something, or just cool.

This is just something cool though.


Empire and Chrysler (respectively)

Not sure, but the connected walkway is cool.


I think this is Brooklyn.


Rockefeller Plaza (from the ground)

Saks Fifth Avenue (finally some windows!)

More Christmas-y stuff!


After the tour, (and after I regained feeling in my lower extremities) I walked around on the hunt for decorations!

Bergdorf Goodman

A cool building that was concave (did I say that right?)

Tiffany & Co.

I don’t know why I find this juxtaposition ironic.


Ferragamo and Cartier

Several more…

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, just smack dab in the middle of all the sparkles.

And half a block away is St. Thomas Church.


Back to the sparkles!

A walk through Central Park ended my adventure.





The next day was even colder and kept us inside while we waited to go to the airport. But I experienced de-icing for the first time!

All in all it was a very merry adventure!!


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!

The Great (Richmond) Eclipse of 2017

As much as I wanted to see The Great American Eclipse from a city that would experience totality, I live a little too far away from the closest city, so I had to settle for our 88% of coverage.

Thanks to Mom, who is ALWAYS thinking of me, she ordered a solar lens for my camera months ago before all of the hype was…hyped!

I came down with a cold this weekend and stayed home from work, but I wasn’t sick enough to not throw on some flip flops and walk outside every 15 minutes to snap photos of the journey.

My camera records the time of day with each photo, but unfortunately the time was about 30 minutes off, so the times are my best recollection of the time I took them.

1:10pm just before the start!






Same time, with some foliage for perspective






2:40pm (roughly during the fullest coverage we received)








Richmond didn’t get to see the ring around the sun, or experience the sunset at two in the afternoon, but I did feel a significant drop in temperature (more like humidity). I also noticed a drop in ambient light in the living room, but not when I was outside, which I found interesting.

It looks like the next total solar eclipse in the US will be April 8, 2024. Never to early to start planning a trip!


Getting to know Virginia – Downtown Bridges (Potter’s bridge)

On an amazingly warm February day, I took a stroll across the new Potter’s bridge (official name T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge).┬áThe bridge is named for the late T. Tyler Potterfield, a senior planner in the Richmond Department of Planning and Development Review who was the project manager for the bridge. The project objective was to establish a universally accessible pedestrian and bike path connecting both sides of the James River, specifically Brown’s Island and Manchester.

Canal walk and part of the skyline.




View of the Lee Bridge with the Belle Isle Pedestrian Bridge underneath it.




Lots of turtles!





I then drove up to the Virginia War Memorial to see the views from there.


Train tracks in the lower portion, Potters Bridge in the middle, with the Manchester Bridge at the top.dscn0848

75 degree days in February in Richmond don’t happen very often!!