Classic Car Show at the Lebanon Blues Festival

My husband and I went to the Lebanon Blues Festival this weekend and enjoyed checking out the cool cars at the Classic Car Show.  I asked someone sitting next to us to take our photo.  I have very few recent photos of my husband and I together…I’m usually the one taking the pics!  We’re really enjoying this perfect summer weather.  It’s been in the high 80’s and low 90’s here in Cincinnati and when the humidity is low, we love it!

CarShow-26

We arrived just in time to take some photos at the Classic Car Show before it ended…

CarShow-4

They had the street closed down to traffic which makes it nice.

CarShow-1

CarShow-3

I rarely photograph cars, but had fun experimenting with different perspectives…

CarShow-9

CarShow-10

This car reminds me of a gangster car…

CarShow-14

My husband made this “Chevrolet” shot his cover photo on Facebook.

CarShow-16

Love the colors in this one…

CarShow-17

Next, we weaved our way through the crowd and past the food and crafts vendors towards the music stage.

DSC_7575

We really enjoyed listening to The Doug Hart Band.  That’s him…he’s great!

CarShow-23

We found a seat quite a distance away from the stage, but were in the shade and we don’t like being too close to the speakers.

CarShow-25

Summer’s slipping away…we need to pack in as many festivals and outdoor events in as possible!

Best hiking in Ohio

Remember the handsome and helpful Park Rangers I mentioned in my last post about hiking the Ledges, well this is the gorge they told me to visit instead of going to Rocky River Reservation.  It’s called High Bridge Glens Park and there’s an overlook that you would easily overlook (no pun intended) unless someone in the “know” told you about it.  As I walked out and saw the view, I literally said “wow” out loud!

DSC_7354

Looking to the left, I changed from my wide-angle lens to my 18-200 zoom lens and captured this series of cascading waterfalls way down below…

DSC_7360

I got back in my car and drove a couple of miles down the road to hike the Gorge Trail.  All of this area is part of the one of the Metroparks

DSC_7365

There are two trails and one of them was down by this lake, so I decided to see where it took me…

DSC_7368

I came to a boardwalk…

DSC_7370

that led me to this cascading waterfall that I’m assuming is a dam…

DSC_7375

After that gulp of beauty, I drove to Brandywine Falls and walked along a boardwalk until I came to these stairs…

DSC_7389

and another boardwalk…

DSC_7390

to these stairs and alas…we can see the falls!

DSC_7391

It’s beautiful, but I’ve heard when there’s been a lot of rain and in the spring they’re even better!

DSC_7392

Stepping back to take in the view…

DSC_7396

and down the boardwalk we go to another vantage point up above to see them.  I took a photo from that view also, but it’s better in person.

DSC_7397

I probably got in a total of 4 miles of hikingCleveland’s Metroparks are amazing!

Hiking the Ledges in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

I’ve hiked all over the world, but absolutely loved my 1.8 mile hike at the Ledges in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio!  It was my third and final day in the Cleveland area and the Ledges were first on my Itinerary for the day.  In contrast to the hot sunny day yesterday for biking, this day was overcast and a bit humid.

DSC_7327

These rocks were so massive and they went on and on for most of the trail!  I was happy to see a few people along the trail to provide a perspective of the scale of the beautiful formations…

DSC_7334

Backing up to my arrival at the trail head.  I ran into these two friendly Park Rangers who gave me pointers about the trail and also information about their recommendations for hiking at the area Metroparks later in the day.

DSC_7286

I entered the trail here…

DSC_7287

Very green and serene.  I felt like I had entered the enchanted forest…

DSC_7290

Continue reading

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio has six floors of memorabilia, history, and amazing exhibits of the music and artists that were/are passionate about this genre of music; and how it has evolved thru time.  The architecture of the building itself is amazing!

DSC_7117

Good thing I had my wide angle lens with me!

DSC_7206

DSC_7207

Rock and Roll in particular has been very vocal in the political arena and continues to lobby for positive changes our society wants and needs!  Also, spreading the message of love, peace, and acceptance!

DSC_7209

How cool are these!

DSC_7216

and from the back…

DSC_7221

Continue reading

Urban Hike in Cleveland

The last time I was in Cleveland was the year 1963 and all I remember is sticking my hand out of the car window to pet a policeman’s horse to only have it slobbered on!  Well, Cleveland definitely impressed me this time!  She has whimsical toys for children in front of the Science Museum…

DSC_7122

I awoke early (as usual), and after a 30 minute drive from my Airbnb, arrived downtown at 7:15am.  My first stop was going to be the West Side Market, but they were closed…so I changed gears and walked all over downtown, lots of miles, and took the free trolleys a couple of times.

DSC_7121

A visit to the Victorian era Arcade in the Gateway District was on my agenda.  I wanted to go to the second or third level, but the Hyatt Regency doesn’t allow non-guests upstairs…

DSC_7143

This outdoor seating area is great!

DSC_7154

The Old Stone Church is lovely…

DSC_7155

The Fountain of Eternal Life is beautiful!

DSC_7158 Continue reading

Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The 85 mile long Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail runs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio (near Cleveland) and I have to admit I didn’t know there was a National Park in Ohio until a couple of months ago!  When I found out, I decided to see it as soon as possible.  I planned my three day itinerary after booking an Airbnb.  Located less than four hours from my house near Cincinnati, I began my adventure bicycling 21 miles along the trail from the Big Bend trail head in Akron to the Canal Exploration Center trail head closer to Cleveland, and then took the Scenic Train through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park back to my car.  It’s only $3.00 for bicyclists to ride one way!  There are 13 trail heads within the Park.

DSC_7038

As you can see, the trail is beautiful!  There’s construction going on between the sections of Big Bend and Botzum and not much scenery, so I would begin in Botzum.

DSC_7031

I bicycled day before yesterday, a Wednesday, so there weren’t many people on it, which was nice.

DSC_7034

The Beaver Marsh area is really cool…didn’t see a beaver though.

DSC_7046

There were frogs and turtles…

DSC_7050

Continue reading

I Made the Sun Disappear at Auschwitz

I planned our visit to Auschwitz on the last day of our eight country…33 day European adventure and was hoping for overcast skies to match the horrific history of this place.  Unfortunately, it was a bright blue beautiful day, but I made the sun disappear…

DSC_6554

While touring the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps, things I had read ran through my head.  Over 1 million people murdered here.  I tried not to think about it and focused on taking photographs…I wished I could go back in time and save them!

DSC_6587

DSC_6592

DSC_6607 Continue reading

A Rainy Day in Krakow

Sometimes it even rains when you’re on vacation, which is fine with me, so long as it’s not an all-day pounding rain!  It makes everything look different and there are cool reflections…

DSC_6452

and the sky is interesting!

DSC_6453

Some times (not for this photo) umbrellas are fun to photograph…

DSC_6461

I love to photograph entryways, tunnels, etc.

DSC_6427 Continue reading

A Sunny Day in Krakow

I reserved three spots on a train from Warsaw to Krakow a month in advance of our travel date to make sure I received the lowest price.  On July 2nd we boarded the 8:25am train and arrived in Krakow at 10:49am.  I then purchased our bus tickets while still at the train/bus station for our trip to Auschwitz two days later.  I couldn’t find an online site to purchase them before I left the United States.  We had about an hour to kill before we could check-in at our Airbnb, so we walked to a restaurant across the street from the train station for lunch.  After walking 10 minutes to our Airbnb and dropping our luggage, we strolled through Planty Park and made our way to the main market square.  These are some of the sights we passed…

DSC_6336

DSC_6348

DSC_6354

On a warm day, water fountains are quite popular…

DSC_6356

and the children really enjoyed the misting water…

DSC_6360

Continue reading

The View from St. Anne’s Church in Warsaw

If you’re looking for a great spot to climb up for a beautiful view of Old Town Warsaw, St. Anne’s Church is the place!  As I was surveying the scenery, I noticed a Nun cutting flowers…

DSC_6305

Here’s part of Old Town Warsaw…

DSC_6297

Love tiled roofs, dormer windows and color…

DSC_6309

Simply beautiful…

DSC_6312

I heart Warsaw!

The Streets of Warsaw, Poland

With only 1 1/2 days to explore Warsaw, I made the best use of my time walking the streets and taking lots of photographs!

DSC_6266

Warsaw was much prettier than what I had envisioned.  I loved all of the quaint sidewalk cafes!

DSC_6281

The center of Old Town was much like that of the other Eastern European cities we visited.

DSC_6290

The Central Market was well stocked and very nicely laid out!

DSC_6234

Continue reading

Lazienski Park in Warsaw, Poland

We arrived in Warsaw on June 30th via the 7 1/2 hr. Lux Express bus from Vilnius, Lithuania, and took a taxi 1 1/2 miles to our Airbnb.  After meeting with our host and dropping our luggage, we walked a couple of miles to the gorgeous Lazienski Park.  The 187 acre park is Warsaw’s largest, and dates back to the 17th century.

The Palace on the Water in the Park was even prettier in person!

DSC_6215

We explored the lovely interior…

DSC_6189

DSC_6205

Out on the terrace, a couple of peacocks were making lots of noise (maybe it was mating season).  They are my favorite bird!

DSC_6209

Continue reading

Green Acres is the Place to Be!

Green Acres Canoe and Kayak Rental  is my favorite place to canoe or kayak in the summer!  Located in Harrison, Ohio, on the West side of Cincinnati, the scenery is outstanding…

DSC_6919

Here’s where you pay and sign your waiver form…

DSC_6931

Continue reading

Magnificent Trakai Island Castle in Lithuania

Situated only 45 minutes bus ride from Vilnius, Lithuania, Trakai Island Castle is a perfect day trip.  The morning of June 29th, I escorted my tour participants to the Central bus stop in Vilnius, a 15 minute walk from our Airbnb for the short ride to Trakai.  The buses run every 10-20 minutes per day to Trakai and cost about 2 Euro each way.

The bus lets you off about 2 km away from Trakai Castle, so I was glad we arrived early enough to walk to the Castle before it opened at 10:00am.  Having seen photos of the Castle, I was so excited when it finally came into view.  It’s like a fairy book castle!

DSC_5977

The first phase of the Castle was built-in the 14th Century and had great military strategic importance.

Beyond the gate is a spacious courtyard.  Once inside, we agreed to meet back in an hour and went off exploring on our own.

DSC_5989

The drawbridge is massive!  Those are people standing beyond the door…

DSC_5996

It’s set up like a museum now, with lots of artifacts and exhibits from the Castle’s history.

DSC_5998

As you can see, the weather gods were shining on us yet again!

DSC_6032

I just had to pose in the guillotine type structure.  It was heavy!  That’s my purse hanging down on the right.

DSC_6034

Uzutrakis Palace is off to the left of Trakai Palace…

DSC_6059

Here are my tour participants, Paul and Jing…

DSC_6083

DSC_6094

After our explorations, we had lunch at one of the outdoor cafes bordering the lake with a view of the castle!

Views from Gediminas Tower in Vilnius, Lithuania

If you’re looking for some wonderful views in Vilnius, Lithuania, head to Gediminas Tower!

DSC_5893

We arrived just as they were opening at 10:00am and began climbing to the top…

DSC_5888

Paul and Jing — bringing up the rear…

DSC_5889

Continue reading