Monday, October 26, 2009

email alerts

I have received some requests for email alerts so I thought I'd offer it to everyone. If you would like to receive an email when I have a new post, just leave me a comment or send me an email and I will include you in it. If you are currently getting an email alert and wish not to (no hard feelings, I understand) just let me know. And btw, I love receiving comments here. If you are or start receiving the email alert, replying to it comes to my email (which is fine if that's what you prefer) and doesn't post as a comment. To comment on my page, just click the link at the bottom of the email that says Painting on the Road. Once you are viewing the post in your browser, you can leave a comment in the box at the bottom.

If you have any questions, let me know.

Back Packing in the Pisgah National Forest

I went back packing for the very first time this weekend. It was beautiful. There are still lots of fall colors and the weather was perfect. I am still kicking myself for not remembering to put my memory card back into my camera (was still in my computer from my nyc post), so :( no pictures. I made sure to stop and look up and around, taking it all in so I can hopefully remember.

Friday, we went to a second chance gear shop and got some appropriate light weight clothing and a map. Then to Rei for my first back pack, thermorest, some dehydrated food, etc. Picking a back pack took forever. We were there 3 hrs! I ended up with a mens pack because it fit the best and the womens version was out of stock.

Saturday we drove to the spot (the Fish Hatchery in the Pisgah National Forest) where we parked and started our hike...oh probably about 1:30pm. It was originally suppose to rain, but not a sprinkle in sight... just the bluest sky you've ever seen. All the colors yellow, orange, red, green, over the blue sky background was just so beautiful. Maybe around 5 we found a really neat spot to camp. (We didn't bring a watch, phone etc so the rest of the trip we were just guessing on time.) It was right next to a stream and had an established fire ring. I LOVE camp fires. I love building them. I love the stoking/maintaining them, I love the warmth, and even love the smell of them. Ok, a little ahead of myself. After we found our spot we stashed our packs there and decided to do a little more exploring. We found a larger camping area not too far from us that had a father and son there. They invited us to stay, but we choose to be secluded instead. Their spot was really pretty, though, the trees were really tall and some spots opened up, letting in the sunshine. There were some big bolders and it all butted up against Cedar Rock Mountain (a very round, bare rock surface). Well, we had ample time to gather wood, pick a tree for the bear bag, set up the tent, build a fire, eat are pretty tasty dehydrated meal (vege lasagna) and cornbread, plus dehydrated dessert (berry cobbler), and enjoy the sounds of the crackling fire and running spring before bed. Sleeping. hmmm well. Not so bad. I slept in a mummy bag for the first time. A tad claustrophobic at first. I was warm though. (even though I had a dream I was in Alaska). Then there was the mental trip of "not falling off my raft (thermorest)" as I slept. Needless to say, I was up and out of the tent when the sun came up.

Sunday morning, we resurrected the fire, ate breakfast, packed up, and hung out til the fire died. We thought it was about 11:30 when we headed out. We went out a different way we came. I prefer loops. It's always more fun to see something new the whole way through the hike. We finished on a popular downhill mountain biking trail that criss crossed over rivers making it muddy and rutted in parts. We also got to see some amazing waterfalls. On most of them, we dropped our packs and climbed down to see them. Got our feet wet and all. This was the first one we saw. This one was nice, but I can't find a good, let alone fall, picture of it. And this last one was fun because we climbed down the mossy rocks you see here on the right. Then we jumped our way over to the rock here on the left.

Be sure to check out the links if you are itchin' for some pics. (if you click on the "amazing waterfalls" first, then all the links should work.)
Here is a view of Looking Glass Rock from a lookout we passed on our way to the Fish Hatchery. This is a view from the south side of Cedar Rock Mountain. Both of these were taken just over a week ago so the colors are pretty similar to now. This guy has some nice pictures.

Me after returning home from my first back packing trip. Nick said I was a real trooper :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New York City

A week in New York City. Arrived on Tuesday afternoon and left the following Monday morning. Here's what happened between that time and the pictures to prove it.

Tues we arrived in NYC in mid afternoon and checked into our hotel in Herald Square (right by the Empire State Building). It was one of the few sunny days (tho still needed a hood/hat after dark) and we didn't want to waste any time. So out we went, walking to Chelsea to check out some art galleries. There are so many there, we barely scratched the surface.

Our first hotel room. Black chandelier ... nice touch.

Our bathroom in the first hotel we stayed in.

my favorite artist/artwork I found in NYC. (and Now I can't even remember his name)

Central Park

We stopped to eat at the Boat House express cafe. It was good and reasonably priced. And I had my first Black and White (cookie for those unfamiliar). I regretfully did not take a picture of it. (or the slice (pizza) we got later that night leaving Time Square.) We also road over to the Guggenheim Museum and saw lots of Kandinsky. No cameras were allowed.

some hungry raccoons. (no WE did not feed them)

The bikes we rented from some individuals hanging out at the entrance to Central Park. I was hesitant, but we did it anyway. It all worked out fine.

Riding Bikes in Central Park after Dark

We walked through Time Square

And we saw the Naked Cowboy. You'll have to forgive me for rotating my camera. If you have a laptop, Great! If you rotate your computer and set it on its side, it'll be perfect.

Walking back to our hotel we happened to pass through Korean town, and Nick suggested a Korean Karaoke Bar. So in a Korean Karaoke Bar on the 4th floor in the Korean Neighborhood of New York City, Nick sang his FIRST karaoke. I sang with him so we had to find something we both knew most of the words to. We sang "My Girl".

view from our hotel. Ground Zero. 24 hr construction wk.

Raining in little Italy

a huge Michael Jackson made out of broken records and some cds (shiny part of his glasses). it was, hmmm $9000 or so, and sold. It's sitting on the floor. You can see the tiny tag on the right.

A painting in SoHo

Cafe Reggio in Greenwich Village. So quaint and cozy. We ate ravioli and carrot cake. both delicious. and some lavender tea. they claim to have brought the first cappuccino machine to America and we sat at a table next to it, and among other antique paintings and furniture. We just stumbled across this place. We were walking around hungry and it looked good and prices were reasonable. It was a great choice.

band from a random bar we found in Greenwich Village

Graffiti near the beginning of the Brooklyn Bridge on the NYC side

We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge.

the cars below us

view of the Manhattan Bridge from the Brooklyn Bridge

the streets of Brooklyn

Inside a vintage/thrift store in Brooklyn. Don't think she was for sale, but I love this mannequin.

We found a cozy spot in the Connecticut Muffin shop, ordered hot cocoa and chili, and found a spot on the upper level. Having a few hours together, we decided to go see "Where the Wild Things Are" on its opening day. We were over 20 mins late, but found the theater, finished our drinks, used the restroom, and climbed to the 9th floor to watch it. Well worth it. Great movie and what a neat experience. (the below pic was actually taken at the nyc public library a couple days later. I propped the camera up on a bean bag that I sat on a chair... in the kids section.)

Nick went back to the hotel to get ready for work and I was off on my own again.
Fridays from 4 to 8pm is free admission to MoMA. It was packed, but soooo worth it. If you go, the secret is... they keep all the good stuff on the top floors. I looked at a map just now and realized I didn't make it to the top. There are 6 floors (above ground) of Art, and I'm pretty sure I only made it to the 5th floor. I wasn't counting at the time. It's HUGE. I just kept going and on the last floor, I retraced my steps back to make sure I didn't miss any rooms, and sure enough I did. Awesome. loved it. If I ever go back, I'm gonna start at the top and work my way down.


detail showing the trees are made up of paper text and images

Jackson Pollock
I have a better appreciation for him after seeing his work in person. The best part is getting up close and seeing/imaging how the artists applied the paint. In some of Pollock's works you can see full hand prints.

Did I mention it was grey and rainy a lot of the trip? I decided not to alter/photoshop the pics for this post so the pictures might be even greyer than real life.

Statue of Liberty

proof "I" was there :)

Triborough Bridge/Robert F. Kennedy Bridge

I believe this bridge is 1 or 3 that makes of the Triborough Bridge. It sits to the West of the bridges pictured above it.

This is the point in the tour that we had to turn around and head back the way we came (due to high tide) instead of making a full circle around the city. We missed out on some more bridges and such, but I got a second chance to photograph monuments we had already passed by once. This time I was outside on the open deck and got better shots.

yGondola Next to the Queensboro Bridge

Williamsburg Bridge

Manhattan Bridge in front of the Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

A barge full of the results from the Cash for Clunkers project.

A Thai restaurant not far from our hotel in the financial district.

An old grave yard near Wall street and Broadway. I can still smell the roasted nuts from the street vendors.

We kept walking around and found the September 11th memorial. (no pics taken). Nick stayed at the hotel and napped before going to work. I headed out on my last day in NYC. First stop, the NYC Public Library.

The children's section. I really liked the drawings of the city that were in here so I took pics of the ones I visited.

a lion fountain

one of the many stairwells

the Rose Main Reading Room

These are the actual toys that inspired the Winnie the Pooh books. Displayed in the children's reading room, of course.

Grand Central Station (constellations painted on the ceiling)

Coincidentally, I arrived at St. Patrick's Cathedral just as Mass was starting, so I stayed for it.

It was dark when I left the cathedral. As I walked the city streets, I was drawn to the colors pouring out of a lighted gallery. To my surprise, it was open and I entered.

My last night in NYC. hmmm what have I not done yet? Let's see. My cousin suggested Dylan's Candy Bar. Googled their hours on my phone. Yay! open for 2 more hours.

Their interior stairs. Right after I took this, one of the workers advised me of their picture taking policies (have to have people in them). So this was the last one I took.

Spent way too much in that store, but it was all I bought while I was in the big apple. Does everyone know why it's called the BIG APPLE? While on my cruise, the tour guide informed us that it was because NYC use to be known for Sugar and Money...and An apple is the most sugary fruit. So hey, I spent a lot of $$ on sugar in New York City. fitting. (I decided to see if he was right. Wikipedia did not agree)

Took the subway for the last time back to the hotel, packed, and went to bed. We took a cab to the airport early the next morning.

And now we are back in North Carolina and plan to stay put til December. So time to enjoy a day of sunshine and the rest of our time here.

Happy adventuring to you all.