While I frequently say that aside from my hometown, St. John is my favorite place on earth, the more accurate statement would be that Gibney Beach on St. John is my favorite place on earth. This idyllic little stretch of beach on the North Shore is never crowded and even when a few other people are on the beach, they are usually tucked away in the little palm and seagrape tree alcoves so that you barely see them. Crystal aqua waters, white sugary sands, palms behind you, and shallow waters with a soft sand bottom for frolicking in the sea that leads out to deeper water with excellent snorkeling. The reefs are decent to look at and there are large sea turtles and many fish to observe, as well!
My favorite thing on this beach is a palm tree that bends over the water and has a tire swing attached (photos to be posted soon). The swing is fun, especially when high tide is in, but the curve in the tree is perfect for draping a beach towel over the trunk and laying down, with the trunk as your cradle, and listening to the gentle waves rolling up on the sand just a few feet below you while warm breezes rustle through the palms. And if you happen to fall asleep, well, that is just fine too because you’re on island time!
Interestingly, the beach is also known as Oppenheimer Beach. And yes, it is that Oppenheimer…the Manhattan Project/atomic bomb guy.
Stay tuned for more photos…and enjoy a mental vacation while looking at this one!
Its Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI! Lovely sunset, eh? Well, here’s the very special part…sunsets over St. John are very often silvery sunsets, rather than flame-hued. Well, on this evening, the sky was shocking shades of pink and orange…and the entire town took notice! Everyone was packing the streets and balconies to gaze at the sunset…and I was so happy to be a part of it!
Taken with the Canon Powershot G12. Stay tuned for more snapshots of the USVI!
THIS. IS. HUGE. The Rubber Ducky art installation by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman left Hong Kong and landed in…PITTSBURGH!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, Pittsburgh! Needless to say, numerous U.S. cities are quite jealous that we are the first American city to get the Duck, but I like to think that we are just that awesome. Check out this link for more info: http://www.pifof.org/performance/the-rubber-duck-project/
It is a part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.
Ducky is “docked” in the Allegheny River by Point State Park and was welcomed with a huge “Launch Party” (that, sadly, I had to work during and missed). He shall be our big yellow guest until the end of October.
Lets just say that this thing is so *ducking* cute that I purchased the small replica Ducky…and found a prime photo opp! DOUBLE DUCKS!
Clearly, it was a gorgeous autumn day in Pittsburgh and a perfect day to visit the Duck.
Taken with the Canon Powershot G12!
Next up in Maryland: Swallow Falls Canyon in Garrett County!! If you haven’t noticed by now, Jay and I like to hunt down waterfalls. I don’t care if TLC warned “don’t go chasing waterfalls” in 1995…its FUN!!! So, whenever we travel, if there’s a waterfall that can be found, we will usually try to find it!
Swallow Falls Canyon has a fair number of small cataracts downstream from where this photo was taken. Each of these is perfectly lovely and you can catch glimpses of them through the hemlock forest. I thoroughly recommend hiking down to the water’s edge and climbing out on the rocks (as shown above!) for incomparable views. There is also the highest waterfall in Maryland (53 feet), Muddy Creek Falls, which will be featured in photos to come!
Luckily, for this photographer, it was a gorgeous sunny day and the trees were just starting to turn. Such a feast for the eyes!
Of course, this photo was taken with the Canon Powershot G12. And a quick note for anyone who wants to get out there to shoot waterfalls with a long exposure: sometimes, your better shots come on slightly cloudy days, so the water doesn’t come out as over-exposed. If it is sunny, try using a neutral density filter…it works wonders!
So, a short break from Deep Creek, Maryland and *poof* we’re now in Milton, PA. Yes, the motherland of my dear Jay. We stopped in Milton on our way to New York City this past October during a much needed vacation week. Roadtrip!!! Anyhoo, there are some photo op gems in Milton, if you hunt around for them. Luckily for me, the sun decided to line up beautifully with this oak tree.
I’d also like to say that I rediscovered one of my favorite childhood candies, SqueezePops, in Milton at the CVS. Who would have guessed that they carried that candy? I haven’t seen it in ages. So, in between my squeals of delight and giddy pleadings, Jay purchased one for me. Here’s a reminder in case you don’t remember this candy:
Yes, folks, its liquid sugar. In a tube. Ingredients: corn syrup and food coloring (and a few other very artificial components). Yes, my doctor-ly voice in my head was screaming, “Nooooooooooo!”, but my inner 5-year-old won out with an even more emphatic, “Yessssssssssssssssssssssss!”
BIG MISTAKE. Those who know me know that I get more or less uncontrollably hyper and chatty with large amounts of sugar (or caffeine, for that matter). Jay, bless his soul, knows this fact and still was kind enough to let me eat the SqueezePop on the way to NYC…while locked in a car with him for hours…with nowhere to go…and no other outlet for my new-found energy except singing, talking, and fidgeting.
Let’s just say, Jay regretted indulging me with the candy. I think his eyes were ready to bug out of his head by the time we drove into Manhattan around 4pm.
I was still up (and going strong) at 4am. Whee!
Oh, how I love this photo! Just let the mesmerizing shades of blue draw you in…and just try to imagine the sounds of the ocean mixing with the steady breeze. Sea & sky. **sigh** And, if you look very closely at the horizon, you can see the California coast (Los Angeles area). Click on the photo for a larger view. Taken from Catalina Island, California…looking across the channel to the mainland.
Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.
And now, for some very fitting lyrics from a great song:
So keep your eyes set on the horizon
On the line where blue meets blue
And I’d bet that silver lining,
Well I know it’d find you soon
‘Cause I have sailed a 1000 ships to you,
But my messages don’t seem to make it through…
~Rachel Platten, 1000 Ships
EEEEeeeee!!!!!!!!! Its my favorite photo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! McWay Falls at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, California! So gorgeous. It seriously seemed like a dreamscape. I mean, really. A waterfall crashing onto a beach with turquoise waters and crashing waves, with glorious flora all around? PARADISE!! It is a very easy place to get to…a short walk (maybe 0.5 mile?) along a very level trail and…BAM! you are struck with this view. This is the “other side” of the trail view that I mentioned in my previous post.
And now, I will stop typing. Because sometimes a picture truly is worth a thousand words, and no matter how much I write, it just won’t say all that this photo has to tell.
Stay tuned for some upcoming close-ups of the features of McWay Falls!