Month: December 2014

Travel Photo Thursday: Let It Snow!

Travel Photo Thursday: Let It Snow!

California lives on snow.

Snow that falls in the Sierra Nevada mountains in winter becomes a life-giving reservoir of water that sustains for much of the Golden State’s population as the snowpack melts from late Spring into Fall.

After a prolonged drought, this weeks storms have Californian’s yelling “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

Here are two versions of a snowy nighttime scene shot in Sequoia National Park not in Winter, but last May when a late season storm blew through the mountains.

The white snow turned yellow under the glow of incandescent lights at Wuksachi Lodge.

Yellow Trees at Night DSC03724

The second pays homage to Ansel Adams with a black and white rendition of the same subject.

Trees at Night DSC03724

(For more information on visiting Sequoia National Parks and the adjacent Kings Canyon National Park read “Big Spiders, Big Trees, and Mr. Muir’s Big Rock.”

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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Home (to Seattle) For The Holidays

Home (to Seattle) For The Holidays

Seattle was a bit of a culinary and cultural backwater when I was growing up there in the middle of the last century.

There was plenty of fresh seafood at downtown restaurants like Von’s where I’d lunch on sole with my grandmother before we went grocery shopping at the Pike Place Market, many years before it became a place where tourists line up to see fish mongers fling salmon through the air with the greatest of ease.

(Seattle Municipal Archives Flickr Photo)
(Seattle Municipal Archives Flickr Photo)

Perhaps because of its large population of first and second generation Scandinavian,  restaurants featuring Smörgåsbord were popular.

And I used to slurp up noodles at a “Chinese-American” food joint my parents favored.

But more sophisticated dining options were limited.

Things began to change in 1962 when the Seattle World’s Fair added a now iconic landmark to the city’s skyline: The Space Needle.

(Long Zheng Flickr Photo)
(Long Zheng Flickr Photo)

On the site of the Fair the old, run-down ice rink where I used to try in vain to keep my ankles from flexing inward by clutching the sideboard surrounding the ice, and where I saw toothless hockey players whack each other over the head with their stick weapons, was replaced with a first-rate performing arts center where I saw my first professionally-performed stage play.

You could now get liquor by the drink at a restaurant on Sundays, although you had to wait until noon to wet your whistle, after morning services at the city’s many churches had concluded.

Five years later, Seattle got its first top-echelon sports team, the Supersonics of the National Basketball Association, who arrived in town not long before I bid the city of my birth adieu.

For many years after my departure, the Emerald City seemed to be a decade or more behind the times compared to my new “hometown” region, the San Francisco Bay Area.

But that, as they say, “is history.” Today Seattle still has the same stunning natural beauty I remember from my time there, but the city has come a long way, baby.

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