Tag Archives: travel

Summer’s last hurrah

This photo was one I took the weekend before last, during our trip to New Hampshire for a day at Canobie Lake Park, an old and old-fashioned amusement park. It has become a tradition for us to go there the last weekend of August, to finish up the summer with a big bright and shiny adventure of lights and rides and noise and sugary treats and junky souvenirs. One last hurrah before the school year starts and the days start to grow noticeably shorter and darker.

fresh eggs in a Barcelona market

I took this photo in Barcelona, Spain in 2009. This ended up being one of my favorite photos of the trip.

I think part of the appeal is how differently the eggs are displayed and sold there vs. here in the US. Here, eggs are always in cartons, stacked neatly, and tucked into refrigerators. You just wouldn’t come across a giant mound of eggs, piled all higgledy-piggledy like this, in a US market. It is also fun to see the different sizes of eggs together: the smaller brown chicken eggs, and the larger pale eggs, which I believe are duck eggs. (I realized that I could just make out the sign, and for a moment was trying to figure out why it didn’t say “pato” for duck. But this was Barcelona, so most of the signs were in Catalan. I can just make out that the sign says “ous d’anec.”)

I also liked how the photo captured the moment and the atmosphere of the market. It was early morning, and I passed through on my way to the conference I was attending. Later in the day, it would be full of people and bustling. Just then, however, it was quiet.

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “eggs.” I do have quite a lot of eggs in my photo library, so once again, the difficulty lay in choosing which to serve up. To see what eggs others have on their menus, pay a visit to the fff blog.

the frankenstein of beverage containers

When one purchases a soft drink from a convenience store, one frequently has the choice to buy one in a bottle or in a can.


An ordinary-looking drink can.


An ordinary-looking drink bottle.


What’s this?


I don’t understand this confusing world anymore!

When my cousin and I visited Beijing a couple years ago, we came across this monstrous hybrid of a beverage container while going about our business. Naturally, we were compelled to buy one, and try it out. It turns out that Glinter, the soft drink that comes in the bottle-can/can-bottle (cottle? ban? bancottle? cottleban? Dear-god-what-is-this-word-coming-to-container?) is a fairly ordinary-tasting concoction. I say “ordinary-tasting” because I don’t much remember what it tasted like, though probably something much like Sprite or 7-up, but perhaps (judging by the image on the…packaging) more orangey. (A web search tells me that this soft drink is from Malaysia. I won’t link to it, since it plays music, and I hate when websites play music. But feel free to google it. If you dare.)

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “novelty.” My kids end up getting all sorts of cheap novelties from birthday parties and things, but mostly they are pretty uninteresting. (Can novelties get old? Yup, I think so.) But rather than dig out some plastic doodads, I thought I’d share these photos I had of something I found to be pretty novel.

Speaking of novel, when I asked John what the phrase “the frankenstein of beverage containers” evoked for him, he replied, “you’re talking about the Vessyl, right?” Of course, not knowing what the hell he was talking about, I thought he said “vessel.” But it turns out that the Vessyl is a weird cyber-monstrosity of a beverage holder. It’s a cup that, using advanced technology, tells you what beverage is in it. Or, as ValleyWag puts it, it is “the $200 smart cup that helps dummies remember what they’re drinking.” That is certainly…novel. (I wonder why they didn’t call it the iCup?)

And speaking of novel gadgets that actually are a bit more appealing (at least to me, seeing as I can usually remember what drink I’ve poured), have you seen this pen that can scan objects for color and mix inks to match them? I don’t really have a use for such a thing, but it does sound like it would be fun to play with.

To see what other novelties have been shared this week, or to share photos of your own novelties, pay a visit to the fff blog.
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an assortment of harps from Ireland

Here are a number of harps I encountered on my trip to Dublin last month. It’s one of those cases where I didn’t realize that I had amassed a collection of photos on a theme until after the fact. With the exception of the last photo, these are all just photos of things that caught my attention at different times during my visit.


Brian Boru’s Harp, from the 15th century, in the Long Room of Trinity College.


A harp of a more modern vintage, which appeared in a Dublin restaurant towards the end of my dinner one night.


A glass of Guinness, with the trademark harp logo. This was my first Guiness in Ireland, which I enjoyed in a little pub under the train station in Howth, a town on the seaside, outside of Dublin.


The Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin. Also known as The Harp Bridge. Photo taken from the top level of a double-decker bus, on my way to the airport.


The Euro coinage in Ireland has a harp on the back side. (This is the one photo I took after returning from my trip.)

The friday foto finder theme from 2 weeks ago was “music.” I was actually in Dublin 2 weeks ago today, and heard live music that day. (In fact, harps were played, along with a range of other instruments, including fiddles, banjos, a bodhrán, and Irish bagpipes.)

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “fridge magnet.” I actually probably did see harp refrigerator magnets for sale in Dublin (I know I saw magnets, and I know I saw souvenirs with harp motifs), but did not think to purchase (or photograph) any. I do have quite a few fridge magnets of my own, and will probably share some later. If you would like to play along with this week’s theme (or one of the past week’s themes, as I’m doing) pay a vist to the fff blog. New participants are always welcome!

taking off again


This is a photo I took on our flight home from San Francisco in February.

Here I sit in the Boston airport, waiting out a 2-plus hour delay. Soon, though, I should be in the air, and heading to Dublin.

I am beyond excited about this trip (though just now I am feeling more tired than excited). I will be attending a conference next week, and am padding my stay by a few days to be able to do some sightseeing. I have been so busy over the last few weeks, what with working on preparing presentations for this coming conference, and for another conference that was last week. There have also been a range of family and home obligations. I’ve been swamped. I have barely been able to work on the specifics of my travel plans. I picked up a little Dublin travel guide, which I plan to flip through on the plane. (I do intend to visit Brú na Bóinne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also a goal of mine to learn how to say Brú na Bóinne. I had enough trouble just spelling it!) I also have a copy of Roddy Doyle’s novel, The Commitments, as well as a copy of James Joyce’s Dubliners.

If you have been to Dublin, and have recommendations, I’d love to hear them! (Or even if you haven’t been to Dublin, but have recommendations!)

cantonment highlights

This week’s friday foto finder challenge was to find and share photos on the theme of candle I did poke around in my photo library for a few old photos of candles, and even found a few, but then today happened serendipitously upon some candles. We went to a Revolutionary War historic site, the New Windsor Cantonment, where quite a few candles were around and about.


A lopsided candle hangs out by a chess set.


Many of these tin candle holders were hung along the walls of the temple building.


You can see the candle holders along the walls.


This photo has nothing to do with candles, but it was fun to talk to the costumed staff member. (Really, the candles weren’t all that important a feature of the visit. It was much more interesting to learn about 18th century musketry and medicine.)


(Here are some samples of medicines that were used in the Revolutionary war era. Not shown was the equally fascinating array of surgical implements, including many used for amputations.)


But there were candles. (I was looking for candles.)


Candle wax that had dripped down the walls made interesting shapes.

To see what other candles are on display this week, check out the fff blog.
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filling the gap: 2 photos of Portland standpipes

So, um, yeah. These were 2 sets of standpipes that caught my eye in Portland, Oregon, when I was there on a trip for a conference. In September, 2012. (And so my gap of the previous post has been filled. More or less.)