Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #216 Urban Environments

This week Sophia’s challenges me to see how I view any urban environments I come across, either by visiting as a tourist or the place I live in. What makes that city or town special and how do I capture it?

Sometimes you come back from a vacation and you don’t take the time to look at your images. This challenge gave me the opportunity to review a trip to New York City in February 2014. I can tell that it was cold and damp. Snow delayed our arrival by one day.

Most of the snow had hardened into ice mounds. Lots of people moving quickly.

Stuck for a while
The day after Valentine’s Day

Looking up

Buildings of all shapes and sizes

We planned to visit the Empire State Building but the Security Guard advised us to come back another day. The clouds would just obscure the view. So we headed to B&H. For this trip, I used my Olympus OMD. I have since moved to a Fuji setup.

Warming up and thinking about future purchases.

When the weather doesn’t cooperate, New York City does not disappoint. I had never been to the Guggenheim Museum and I always visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Empire State Building

Food is everywhere. Katz’s Deli, made famous with the saying, “Senda Salami to your boy in the Army”, The Seinfeld scene, “I’ll have what she’s having!”

So many famous sites

I grew up in Nassau County, but when I go back to visit I like to stay in Manhattan. My husband and I had planned a vacation back to NYC in March 2020. Our actual arrival date was March 10th. Well, on March 11th the whole city shut down. Subways and Broadway stopped by CoVid. The pandemic was gaining traction.

Glad I decided to cancel our vacation. We still have the airline ticket credit.

This post is a bit delayed. The smoke from the Mosquito fire triggered an ongoing asthma attack. All the coughing has added to my dog Moxie’s unsettling behavior. No exercise, and listening to me all day. But I couldn’t let the challenge of showing you the urban city I love.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #208

This week’s guest contributor Solander challenges me to see my interpretation of summer vibes. He wants me to make you envy and wish to be with me while I enjoy my summer and my favorite summer activities! I will share my summer vibes with my images. Click here to see Solander’s summer vibes.

I have stopped counting how many 100º days we have had here in Sacramento, Ca. I remember back a number of years when my two oldest grandchildren were on the Sunrise Sharks! That summer they lived with me and swimming was our life. Swim practice all week, and swim meets all Saturday!

Swim team practice
Splash pad fun!

My father used to say, “I scream, you scream we all scream for Ice Cream.”

Does this photo quench your thirst?

I attended many festivals and fairs over the years. Covid and the increased heat have put a crimp in my attendance.

Dixon Fair
Kite Festival in Berkeley

Chalk it up occurs every year. Maybe it will cool down, and I can enjoy all this creativity.

Wide open walls started in 2016. When it cools down I plan to go downtown and see the new additions.

Many years ago the Rennaisance Faire was held at Fair Oaks Park.

The California State Fair has been moved to July, and it is way too hot to attend this year. The fair used to end on Labor Day in September. Nights were cooling down, and I have to admit, I was younger. But I do love to photograph fair food!

Summer means getting out and enjoying food, fun, and festivals. But not so much with the very high temperatures. For August, I am thinking cool!

So much happening, so many decisions to make

When last I sat down my grandson Baby Colton arrived, and a week later my puppy-to-be made an appearance.

Three weeks later and much has happened. My 22-year-old grandson visited us for one week in February.

Sacramento Metropolitan Airport public sculpture. I see my red Samsonite!

I haven’t seen him in two years, and the visit ended with him saying, “Best vacation ever!” Not that he has taken many vacations in his short working life. It seems like for being on his own he is doing well. But there were a few details that needed to be addressed. Haircut, eyeglasses, cell phone upgrade, and work clothes set the stage for a busy week.

One thing I have to say about this guy is that he is a foodie. Straight away he planned to eat his way through Sacramento. Straight from the airport, we head to his favorite Fish and Chips place. Interestingly enough, the owners remember him. I guess he frequented this establishment when he lived close by. For dessert, I visited Icicles. Curled up icecream created right before your eyes.

Delicious. Never knew this existed. I plan to visit again.

After taking care of all those details, we planned a day out of town. At first we wanted to go to San Francisco to meet up wtih my son and family. With everyone having a different schedule this was difficult to arrange, and so we went with plan B. Headed east with Reno being our destination. This is the first February where we didn’t have a drop of rain. Weather is just lovely, but I am starting to hear talk of drought again.

First stop, Donner Summit. Checked out Donner Lake. I tried to imagine the Donner Party stuck here.

It was the end of February and there was no snow around.

My two guys!
Some fishermen getting ready to cast their lines.
Another tourist from the Sacramento area. Love the colorful sari.

Searched for a open restroom. Didn’t know this was a seasonal condition. LOL!

We visited the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center with a very nice restroom.

We continue on to Reno and arrived about lunchtime. Headed for miles of food buffet.

Buffet at the El Dorado Casino

My grandson first took a look at the miles of desserts.

Miles of tempting desserts

He then placed his drink order. He has a unique way of ordering his meal items. But he does it with a pleasant demeanor and the servers try to oblige him.

We walked around Circus Circus, but no performances to view. We checked out the arcade. We needed to walk off that meal!

Tried our hand at 25 cent poker machine, and quick when we were ahead. Winner of $0.55. It was nice sitting and talking while we tried to beat the machine.

Argggh!

Thanksgiving in February with all the trimmings, except pumpkin pie. My grandson requested this holiday meal back in November so I kept a turkey in the freezer for this occasion. He remembered that I usually put walnuts in my stuffing. Not this time. Oh well. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to cook for a couple of days afterward.

Been paying close attention to the upcoming presidential race in November. California moved up the primary vote, and Super Tuesday came and went. No further comment here. I just hope, upon hope that our next president will be someone other that our current ____. You fill in the blank. Decisions, decisions, but not the greatest of choices.

My grandson headed back to Knoxville, and we focused on our upcoming trip to New York City. Then the news of coronavirus ramped up. Decisions, pro/con. After much discussion, we decided that New York City will be there, and we would postpone our trip. Booking.com made it easy to cancel the hotel reservation. I had a harder time with AAA air travel. I purchased travel insurance for my Jet Blue tickets. But I would need to file a claim, and there would be a big hassle. I called Jet Blue and they agreed to give me a 1-year credit for the tickets.

So next up, was opening day of baseball. But it was rained out. Luckily, game was called early. Go figure!

Each day from 1 pm until 7 pm I get to watch puppy television, starring Ginger and her litter of 10. And after 4 weeks they are playing and eating gruel. Next weekend the plan is to drive up north and meet the pups in person. Ginger has 10 puppies. Three girls, and seven boys. I am pretty sure that we will be bringing home a little girl pup, but we will see after we meet all of them next week. We wanted a solid colored pup (only a couple of boys fit that description), but all are so cute and personalities are starting to form. That is more important in the decision process. So excited.

So that is it for the moment. Trying to stay healthy. Relaxing and getting ready for my new adventure.

Pacific Grove here we come!

A couple of weeks ago we took the opportunity to head to Pacific Grove. Just a quick getaway for our 49th anniversary.

These two were engrossed in conversation. The light was right, and I took the shot.

Breakfast stop at Starbucks

Usually we stop near Gilroy to get some Bing Cherries. With the long rainy season the crop of Bings were delayed. All the end of season rain did not help with this crop.

Got some cherries, just not Bings.
Split cherries

Arrived in Monterey, and decided to explore Fisherman’s Wharf.

Boats awaiting destinations.
Tourists passing street musician.
Interesting way to repurpose a parking meter.
Getting hungry. Tempted with clam chowder.
Cute face!
Life altering copping! We needed to see what this was all about.
Great lunch/dinner. Not sure how my life has been altered? But my tummy was satisfied!
Got so busy eating that I didn’t catch a photo of the cioppino.
Had to grab this sign at another eating establishment. A whole lot of NO!
More street photography from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Our lodging this time was near Asilomar Beach.

The next day we decided to spend in Pacific Grove. Our grab and go breakfast did not make the cut. We went looking for something to eat.

Kind of a running joke. Often we enter somewhere new and follow signs that promise “Information”. But we usually find this not a very helpful way to go.
Interesting sign tells everyone not to play with wind chimes. But where are they? A little late, or did they remove them for safe keeping.
Peeking through the lattice.
Haircut Time!

Many buildings have found new purpose in Pacific Grove. The landmark store now is home to many businesses. This gas station has found a different kind of customer.

After walking along main street in Pacific Grove we head out to Lover’s Point. Sea Gulls and squirrels are unafraid of people.

I’ll pose for you!

Walking along I found some objects to capture my attention.

Got so close to these squirrels with my Fuji xt2 18-55mm lens.

No extra cropping necessary. We just watched each other.
Pretty soon another squirrel joined the party.
Lover’s Point overlooks Monterey Bay.

Watching season 2 of Big Little Lies. Looking for location shots.

Oh, to live near the water!

Ready for an afternoon snack. Belgium Waffle ordered and eaten.

Two forks. We shared this tiny waffle.

Caught a couple more images, and we head back to cottage to relax before dinner at The Fishwife.

Goodbye Pacific Grove. Time to drive home.

Driving next to us while we wait in traffic. Don’t want to end up like these cars.

Fun getaway. Guess I need to plan some more. Where do you like to go when you have a couple of days?