Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Still a little bit of holiday cheer

Ice skating draws participants to Marietta, GA town square

 The end of 2017 and the beginning of the new year have been rather cold down South.

Well, that also means, naturally, it has  been cold up North, too.

And when one faces cold temps, going outside or hitting the road, is not always a priority.

But sometimes there isn’t any alternative.

So I will harken back to the weekend before Christmas when we were in Marietta, GA.

It was cold, but not snowing at the time.

The city’s downtown square had that holiday atmosphere. 

Christmas decorations adorned the area, Santa was keeping warm and entertaining children in a building on the square. And others who really enjoy the cold, were ice skating there.

The setting was idyllic.

And Webster, the dictionary, defines the word as “pleasing or picturesque in natural simplicity.”

And the town square was just that. Hundreds were out and about shopping, browsing or enjoying the variety of gastronomic offerings of the various eateries in the area.

My wife and I enjoyed a feast at a local place and then I strolled around the square snapping a few pictures.

Next post: January 23, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Fireworks and bonfires welcome Papa Noel

It was a combination of the Fourth of July and Christmas all rolled into one.

How can that happen?

Well, there were fireworks, a lot of them.

And then there were bonfires along the river lighting the way for Santa Claus.

Well, down in Cajun Country, he’s referred to as Papa Noel.

The combination comes together each year on December 24 along the Mississippi River levee just west of New Orleans.

It is a great tradition.

Thousands participate and show up in the river towns of Gramercy, Lutcher and Paulina for the annual event. Other areas also hold similar events.

Tradtiion has it that the bonfires along the river are lit at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve to guide Papa Noel (Santa Claus) so that he’ll be able to find his way to Cajun country.

Locals spend up to two months time building special wooden creatures which are set on fire. Others build the standard teepee style structures which, currently, are limited to 15 feet in height for safety reasons,

Apparently someone suffered injuries previously so those in charge started setting regulations.

I’ve been wanting to visit the area for the event for many years. My sister and brother-in-law often go down annually and this year I accompanied them.

It’s a great time. Hundreds help build the structures and thousands line the roadway on foot or in cars to witness the setting of the fires that guide Ole Saint Nick.

Next post: Jan. 16, 2018

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tis the season . . .

An explosion of Christmas color on a time exposure while twisting the telephoto lens
Photo was at Bellingrath Gardens, AL

With the first week of December almost over, it is amazing how fast the rest of the month will fly by.

It is raining outside our house tonight. The temperature is not cold enough to bring snow, although farther north, in places like Gatlinburg, TN, the forecast calls for some later in the week.

Once, while heading for some snowskiing on Sugar Mountain in North Carolina, we were doing an overnighter in Gatlinburg.

As luck would have it, as we headed down from I-40 in the Knoxville area, a light snow began to fall. That’s the only time I have been in that area to see the white stuff coming down.

I want to return to experience it again, and told my wife if it fits into our schedule this December, expect to be heading that way.

We are already planning a trip to Marietta, GA., the week before Christmas.

Maybe it will happen then and we can drive on up.

The days are shorter, the nights darker and the body more tired. The fingers are also a little bit slower on the keyboard, thus it is easy to take another break and enjoy the holidays. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Next post: Jan. 9, 2018