Hanging at The Mackinac Bridge Visitor’s Center- Michigan

Well everyone it is almost Thanksgiving. In approximately 14 days, those of you that celebrate will get together for some fun and fellowship with family and friends. I hope that in all the hustle and preparation we can all pause for a moment and focus on what is truly important…. Our relationships with others.

Colonial Michilimackinac Visitors Center
Colonial Michilimackinac Visitors Center

I thought that I was almost done posting Michigan photos, but then I ran across these beauties. Surprised that I could forget them: The Colonial Michilimackinac Visitors Center was easily one of the favorite spots of my whole trip. Located right off of I-75 in Mackinaw City, the  visitors center entrance is literally under the Mackinac Bridge. It is also near the fort, which I did not visit and within the state park. The visitor’s center was easily the priciest of all the places that I visited by far, but there are still plenty of things to see and do without breaking your budget, if you had one like me.

Welcome
Welcome

I like this area mainly because you can walk right under the Mackinac bridge and this alone made for some really interesting photo opportunities. I witnessed dozens of people trying to find the right angle and little kids skipping the large, round smooth stones that litter the shore. There are plenty of things to see, like the Keeper’s quarters, and the lighthouse; This is actually one of the few that you can go up into. Not into walking? There are plenty of benches and picnic tables to rest on.

This shoreline is also known as the Straights of Mackinac, it gives you a great place in which to photograph and view the lake and the entire bridge…a feat for sure. As you walk along and look out across the shores of Lake Michigan, you can even see Mackinac Island from this vantage point. I can only imagine the shots I could have come away with, had I had a nicer camera with a bigger lens,,,but I digress. If you are looking for a place where you can walk on the beach, see beautiful sights, take in some history and enjoy a nice picnic lunch…this is it.

I hope you truly enjoy the photos. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Saturday – Panama City Beach Style

Hello Again,

Recently I had an occasion to visit some out of state family, who came to Florida on vacation. There was a lot of driving, 7-9 hours, and it was only one day….but it was Panama City Beach, who could say no?

Now I know what you are thinking…..People always look at me funny when I tell them that it takes that long to drive from south Florida to the panhandle. Not only does it take that many hours, and more, there is also a time change involved. This is  a bonus when driving to your destination, but not so great coming back. Regardless, a great time was had by all and the ten days it took me to recover (I am exaggerating a bit here), were well worth the fellowship we all rarely get to share.

Even though time was short, I did not completely put my camera down, I snapped a few quick shots just for the memories. The one thing I love about the drive in this part of Florida is the change of terrain, from palm trees and concrete to national forests and swamp land. The panhandle borders Alabama and Georgia, this area is home to some of the most picturesque bayous, marshes and beautiful old Cypress trees (In my opinion). It also has very beautiful white sandy beaches…somewhat different than the Atlantic side of the state.

Regardless of the time it took, just hanging out with friends and family is always high on my list of things to do, and Panama City Beach really has the most beautiful sunsets, along with those white sandy beaches I mentioned…..who could hate that?

There used to be a season to when one visited the beach, no more thanks to air travel and end of year vacations. But if you should happen to find yourself in Florida, in the summer, know it will be very hot and very humid, and still very much filled to capacity by tourists and snowbird residents alike. The skies are filled with small ad planes and helicopters giving 15 minute rides around the beach.

This day we chose fishing near all the action, right outside the back door of our hosts beautiful waterfront home. I spent several hours photographing the water here because of the lily-pads that had all but overrun this entire pond. Picture worthy for me, but the residents were not happy about these invasive plants taking over the whole scene; It makes it hard to paddle a boat or canoe around.

The heat, as I said this time of year is horrendous and humidity was brutal near all the water. My party decided to go watch the sunset after a long hot day of fishing, nothing like a nice ocean breeze to cool a body off. We seriously underestimated the traffic being such a nightmare, we almost missed the sunset…almost. Through all the chaos and confusion I managed to snap two or three quick shots before the light completely faded…that’s all I needed anyway. Once the sun went down my party and I opted for an evening on the board walk at Pier park…hmmmm. I wonder where that idea could have come from? That’s all for today Dear Reader, I hope you have enjoyed the trip, so until next time,,,,Enjoy!

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Condos, Condos Everywhere….As Far As The Eye Can See
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Watching The Sun Go Down
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Where The Sea Meets The Shore
Welcome To Pier Park
Welcome To Pier Park
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Dick’s Last Resort
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Nighttime Pier Walk

It’s Wednesday—- What Can I say?

Hello Again Dear Reader,

     Much has happened since I last posted. Independence day has come and gone, and I have had a few family and personal emergencies to attend to. It really is a pity that life never gives us a heads up, before pulling the rug out from under us. But “Such is life” as my father always said..

     I do hope that you all had a safe and memorable holiday. It was a good day for me.  Full of many things to photograph. And although I did not come home with a million photographs of actual fireworks, I did spend a leisurely day out and about exploring new places.

     This day my companion and I chose a state park that borders the ocean and inlet to the Indian river. I always enjoy spending time watching the various boats that pass through the inlet, as well as taking in the sights and sounds native to this area. One sail-boat in particular piqued my interest, as it reminded me of a video game I like to play. For anyone actually interested, BioShock Infinite and Songbird is what it reads (pictured below). I love how witty and creative boat owners are, it is one of the best things about boat watching.

SongBird
SongBird

     Besides the constant passing in and out of watercraft through the inlet, walking through the state park recreational area is just as enjoyable. There are many areas on the beach and littered around the park that family and friends can gather. The park has many pavilions, and bar-b-q sites, for those wanting to spend the day, or you can just take a rest under any one of the sea grape, or palm trees that line the inlet shoreline.  This side of the inlet, the Jetty is on the opposite side, is almost identical in that you can access both the ocean and the inlet from the park.

     This day our journey started up a pole studded path, that opened up onto a nice, white sandy beach.

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Waiting for The Wave
Waiting for The Wave

     There are always surfers, waiting for any wave; sunbathers, fisherman, and just families enjoying the sunshine and water here. I found plenty to photograph in the park, and would really enjoy visiting this particular area again.

     We spent most of our time, as I said on the inlet side, watching the boats zoom in and out.  Mainly out, as once inside the inlet, signs warn boaters to slow down as Manatee frequent this area. All in all a good day. So as always, I hope you enjoy.