Jerez de La Frontera

The weekend arrived, marking the start of our second week in Spain. Since we didn’t have any classes, we took a train ride of about an hour out to Jerez de La Frontera.  Jerez is the famous for its Sherry as well as its flamenco dancers and musicians. The flamenco shows tend to start late—some start in the early morning hours—so we didn’t make any of them this time around. 

We did get some photos of what turned out to be a charming and beautiful town. A few are below. 

Jerez Train Station
A wide angle photo taken in Jerez de La Frontera
Jerez, Andalusia, Spain–May 21, 2022. A wide angle photo of an outdoor market where patrons are also dining in Jerez, Spain.
Jerez, Andalusia, Spain–May 21, 2022. A wide angle photo looking down a curved side street in Jerez, Spain.

JFB

Sevilla, Spain

! Hola !

We made it and we are now settling in to our flat in Seville, where we will spend the next 6 weeks. We are in a (Spanish) language immersion program. Mary Anne is in the advanced class. Needless to say I am not. I am in the class with the other hopeless specimens. 

But all is not lost. I learned how to order both red and white wine (vino tinto y vino blanco).  So far so good. 

Our 2 bedroom flat is in the old town section and is quite comfortable. That said there is a soccer match between Glasgow and Frankfurt scheduled for tonight and the place is teeming with fans. We are hoping to avoid a round of football hooliganism. We’ll see. 

The city is very charming. I included a few photos taken in the neighborhood where we are staying.  More on the way as we get settled in and get more familiar with the city.

Joe

Photo of a park with Jacaranda Trees, known for thier purple flowers
Outside our Flat
Seville, Spain– May 16, 2022. Patrons dining outdoors at El Paseillo Restaurant in Seville.
Seville, Spain — MaY 15, 2022. A wide angle shot of the Seville Cathedral and the town square on a spring day.

On the Road Again–New Mexico

We are finally getting back on the road. We recently gave Road Scholar a test spin with a trip to New Mexico. Our group leader, Scott Aarestad, whose photo is included below, did a great job of showing our group around—with the sites ranging from places in the city of Albuquerque to Taos to Los Alamos to hikes in Bandelier Monument. Bandelier  is closed for the time being due to the horrific forest fires that are now raging in New Mexico. 

Anyway, a couple of photos from our trip, including one of our terrific group leader are below. We will post more photos in the coming weeks. In the meantime we are leaving this afternoon for an extended trip to Seville, Spain. After we settle in, expect photos and comments on that trip.

See you later.

JFB

Photo of Road Scholar Hikers in Bandelier National Monument
Road Scholar Group Leader Scott Aarestad Points out Sight of Interest
Photo overlooking a lake and waterfall in a park during spring in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Native Dancer Video

JFB

The Longwood Gardens

Longwood Gardens is an immense collection of botanical gardens in Kennet Square, PA. It is largely the creation of Pierre DuPont who originally bought the 1,077 acres to preserve the trees growing there. Located in the Brandywine Creek Valley, it is one of the premier display gardens open to the public year-round. 

Pierre DuPont, who was 36 years old when he bought the property, did not originally intend the create Longwood Gardens. Within a few years though,  he transformed it from a country farm into a leading horticultural display gardens. It was opened to the public in 1921. The Gardens have attracted over 1 million visitors a year since 2012. 

We recently visited the Gardens and took a few photos; some are shown below. 

A water show wiith some fountains at Longwood Garens
Photo taken on the grounds of LOngwood Gardens at dusk as the lights came on.
A Wooden Bridge
Colorful path in Longwood Gardens
Lake with Pop-up Luminaries
Fountain Display at Longwood Gardens

JFB

Asheville, North Carolina

The New York Times describes Asheville as a big blue dot amid a sea of red voters in western North Carolina. And it is that. It is also a tourist mecca and home to the Biltmore Estate. Built by George Washington Vanderbilt between 1889 and 1895 it is, according to Wikipedia, the largest privately owned house in the United States and a prominent example of a Gilded Age mansion. 

Originally built as a summer home, today with its 250 rooms and 130,000 square feet of living space, it serves as a museum. Vanderbilt commissioned the  architect Richard Morris Hunt to design the house, and Frederick Law Olmsted to design the grounds. Olmsted is famous for his design of Central Park in New York. He also designed Divine Park in Spring Lake, NJ. 

We visited the Biltmore and spent a few days looking around Asheville just recently. A few shots from the trip are below. 

Wide angle photo looking out over the city of Asheville, NC, as the sun begins to set behind the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Asheville, NC, USA — December 4, 2021. A 200mm telephoto image taken in Asheville, NC, looking down from a rooftop.
Asheville, NC, USA — December 4, 2021. A photo looking down onto a rooftop cocktail bar and dining area in the afternoon.
Asheville, NC, USA — December 6, 2021. A photo pf the billiards room decorated for Christmas in the Biltmore mansion.
Asheville, NC, USA — December 6, 2021. Photo of patrons viewing an immersive multi-media exhibit on Van Gogh’s life and art on display at the Biltmore estate.
Asheville, NC, USA — December 6, 2021. Photo of a mock-up of Van Gogh’s living quarters in the south of France.

JFB

Newport, Rhode Island

In October it was off to Newport, Rhode Island for a family wedding. (Congrats, Steve and Madison).

Newport is a gorgeous town—picturesque, very much a New England vibe, and with a lot of history. We got a chance to do some sightseeing amid all the festivities that included the famous cliff walk. 

If you get a chance to visit—go. Here below are a couple of shots from our time there. 

Sunset in Newport
Newport, Rhode Island, USA — October 23, 2021. A wide angle early morning photo of Bowens Wharf in Newport.
Newport, Rhode Island, USA — October 10, 2021. A woman walks on the beach in Newport, Rhode Island near the famous cliff walk.
Newport, Rhode Island, USA — October 21, 2021. Newport Marina
A long distance shot of a sea gull standing in shallow water while waves in the background begin to come ashore.

JFB

Fall Comes to Reston

Fall has finally arrived. This fall the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival returned to Reston Town Center. Sponsored by the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art, the festival provides a forum for artists to display their work and offer pieces for sale. This year’s festival was rescheduled from May of 2021 to September 9 though 12 of 2021. All in all a welcome development after last year’s festival was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A few shots taken at the festival are below. Also include is a photo of looking over Reston West and the changing colors of Autumn.

A landscape photo looks out over the lush scenery of Reston Virginia to the Blue Ridge Mountains as the seasons change; a plane in the sky is from Dul
Reston, VA, USA -- Sept 10, 2021. A woman walks by booths set up for the annual Northern Virginia Art Festival in Reston, VA.
Reston, VA, USA — Sept 10, 2021. A woman walks by booths set up for the annual Northern Virginia Art Festival in Reston, VA.
Reston, VA, USA -- Sept 10, 2021. People browse art exhibits at the Fine Arts Festival in Reston, Virginia.
Reston, VA, USA — Sept 10, 2021. People browse art exhibits at the Fine Arts Festival in Reston, Virginia.

Note: All photos protected by copyright.

JFB

More on the Outer Banks

There is a lot more to see and do on the Outer Banks in North Carolina than just hang out at the beach–which truth be told is pretty enjoyable by itself. There are plenty of other things to see. Among them are the lighthouses at Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras, the Jockey Ridge Sand Dunes, Corolla Park, the town of Mateo and the Roanoke Island Lighthouse. And not too far away is the Kitty Hawk Museum that celebrates the first flights of the Wright brothers. We visited them all. Some photos are below, available for licensing at www.evocativephotos.com.

Corolla Park, NC, USA — August 17, 2021. A curvy path leads to the historic Whalehead Mansion
A wide angle photo of the desert like Jockey Ridge sand dunes in the Outer Banks of North Carolina
Manteo, NC, USA — August 15, 2021. Wide angle photo of a boat steering past the Roanoke Marshes in stormy weather.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Nags Head, NC, USA — August 9, 2021. A horizontal landscape photo of 2 park rangers standing at the entrance to Bodie Light Station Keepers Quarters.
Nags Head, NC, USA — August 9, 2021. Photo of the Bodie Island Lighthouse on a summer morning.
Kitty Hawk, NC, USA — July 27, 2021. Tourists walk toward the Kitty Hawk Museum.

Duck, North Carolina

Summertime and the living is easy. Especially in Duck, NC, where we will be for the rest of July and most of August. The place is hopping. Vacation season is here and it looks like people are making up for the horrible 2020. 

The setting is gorgeous; the weather is terrific and there are plenty of excellent restaurants. But to get in, it’s best tp make a reservation well in advance. 

We arrived late Friday afternoon and have already gone to some fine restaurants and to the beach. Here are some sunrise photos, beach photos and night photos, with more to come as the month progresses. 

JFB

At the Beach, Duck, NC
Woman Walking on Beach at Sunrise
Cocktails in Early Evening
Boardwalk at Night
Moon Rises Over Duck, NC