Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Those were the days, my friend

In the clouds on our way to San Francisco

Sometimes I think I long for the good ole days of air travel.

But was it the good ole days?

I think they were. At least for me.

I can remember one year, somewhere back in the 80's I guess, when I booked a weekend trip for my wife and I to San Francisco. 

We left from New Orleans late Friday afternoon and flew back on Monday afternoon.

It was a three-night stay. I don't remember what we did when there, but it had to be fun. The City by the Bay is just that kind of place for me.

We must have stayed at the Hotel Californian (at the time under $50 a night) which is downtown. Nowadays it is the upscale Serrano.

The airline ticket cost right at $200 each. Back then that seemed to be a good price.

One thing I remember is that when you booked the flight, when you got to the place to finalize the deal, the price you paid was the price that was expected.

Nowadays, airlines offer relatively decent prices. But when you get to the final page of the deal, the price for the trip in some cases almost doubles because of the fees that have been added for one reason or another.

I was looking at airline ticket prices to Europe just the other day. They looked good. But I knew there were going to be other fees added. 

It becomes rather disheartening to see the price jump  dramatically.

But we still want to see the world. And air travel sure makes it a whole lot quicker. Although a whole lot more expensive.

Next post: April 3, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Shades of yesteryear add character

Sepia tone offers glow of "days gone by" look (color below)

Just a little bit more about the Big Easy and a return to the days of yore.

On a recent trip to New Orleans, I took a little walk around the Vieux Carre after sunset.

The skies were dark, but the lights of the city beckoned. Tour groups were making the rounds with guides spreading the history of the area. There must have been five or six wandering the area.

The palm readers and those who supposedly tell the future through the use of tarot cards  were also out. Of course, there was the traditional brass band playing.

But I digress.

It seems that over the past 30 years or so, we couldn't wait to be able to shoot color pictures at low cost. And then came the digital camera. And we shot and shot, filling up our computers with thousands and thousands of colored pictures.

It was hard to delete any. Even the bad shots.

Our computer had a lot of buttons and a lot of options, especially those dealing with photographs.

With the push of a button, we could change the character of a picture. And look at the photo as though it were an antique shot someone else took 100 years ago.

The button on the computer turned today's highly colored rendition into one exhibiting shades of black and white. Or sepia. We remember those days. Maybe fondly, maybe not. 

Not -- especially when we dealt with so many rolls of black and white film and usually had to send them off to be developed.

And seemingly waited, for weeks and weeks, for their return.

One can see numerous black and white and sepia photos around the Jackson Square area. And so I decided to turn some of mine into what once was all one could expect.

What is old is new again!

Next post: March 27, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On the sidewalks of the Big Easy

There are a lot of interesting items to see when out traveling.

And it isn't always the sunrise, sunset or the scene on the horizon.

Jut walking down streets, one can run across some interesting tidbits, whether it is signs or items on display for sale.

A visit to New Orleans turned up a good truism and an excellent play on words.

One of the signs pictured has to do with "quality of life" or one could say "quality of work." And the saying is, oh, so true. 

Although at times we take the inexpensive (or cheap route), when after all is said and done, we wished we had taken the other path.

The 'Good Work' saying was painted on the side of an automobile.

A couple other signs were posted on the outside of a store on Decatur in New Orleans. The wording makes it easy to figure out exactly what is being offered.

And then there wasn't a sign at all, but the flour-white hands and arms of the individual making beignets at the Cafe Du Monde. Check out my wife's blog Retirement Daze for additional photos.

And for a really good look at something handicapped, what else but a wheelchair.

Next post: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When in the Hub City, go southbound

It has been a long time since wifey and I have been able to visit one of our favorite coffee shops in Hattiesburg.

Once upon a time a few years ago the local daily paper, The Hattiesburg American, had a feature on the eatery, and so we decided back then to give it a try.

Wifey is from Hattiesburg (MS), also known as the Hub City, and through the past 65 years, she has seen major changes to the downtown and surrounding areas.

Trains pass through Hattiesburg on the major line going north and south. There are offshoots from the mainline where railcars loaded with raw products are taken to local plants and then the finished items are shipped out.

Looking toward the railroad crossing

That's where the hole in the wall gets its name.

Southbound Bagel is located just across from one of the offshoots where Front, Market and Agnes intersect. The newspaper article that sweetened our interest was the fact that they made cinnamon rolls, but only on Saturday mornings.

Enjoying a cinnamon roll

A couple years ago, when we first visited, they offered basic coffee and had one of those cappuccino machines like one now sees in gas stations. But they have updated and actually have an upscale machine that their baristas  use to make all sorts of hot coffee drinks.

Just last week, following a memorial service for wifey's mother, Linda threw out the idea of getting some hot tea.

I was headed out toward the University of Southern Mississippi to another coffee shop that offered free wifi. But I made a quick turn in our van and decided otherwise.

I am glad I did. It was about 1 p.m. and there was just another couple in the small establishment. Having parked  our van in a sidestreet and taken Linda inside, on my way out the door to park our van, I asked her to see if they had any cinnamon rolls.

When I got back, she said she wanted some milk instead of tea. I asked why? Because milk went better with cinnamon rolls.

I got some regular coffee and we spent a half hour or so just enjoying our visit.

Next post: March 13, 2012