Joe Benning Photography

Travel & Photo Blog

  •   Reston, VA

A Belated Welcome to 2024

January was a reasonably quiet month, although we did attend several local events. Among other things there was a conference at the CATO Institute and by Northern Virginia standards, quite a bit of snow. We also went to the Capital Arena in the District to watch the Washington Capitals face-off against the NY Rangers. The […]

Read More »

Walking in Memphis

“Put on my blue suede shoesAnd I boarded the planeTouched down in the land of the Delta BluesIn the middle of the pouring rain” —Marc Cohen, Walking in Memphis Toward the end of our Mississippi River cruise we stopped in Clarksdale, Mississippi while on our way to Memphis, Tennessee. While in Clarksdale, we saw one […]

Read More »

Vicksburg, Mississippi

Toward the end of our river cruise, we went ashore on an excursion with a tour group in Vicksburg, Mississippi. During the Civil War, Vicksburg was hotly contested because of its immense strategic value. During the war, the city was subjected to a 47-day siege by Ulysses S Grant. The siege ultimately proved to be […]

Read More »

Plantations in Rural Louisiana

Our initial stops in Louisiana included two plantation houses and grounds. The first was the Houmas House, named after the Houmas Indian tribe. The second was the Oak Alley plantation, named to reflect the magnificent collection of oak trees that form a canopy leading up to the entrance to the house. The plantation houses were […]

Read More »

The Big Easy

So we traveled to New Orleans—on Thanksgiving day no less, to begin a Mississippi Rover cruise with Viking. Despite all the news reports of horror shows at airports, we had a very smooth flight. We got to the hotel early and our room was ready. That’s tough to beat. We got to the Big Easy […]

Read More »

Ginkgo Grove 2023

The state of Virginia maintains an arboretum, complete with an experimental farm (The Blandy Experimental Farm) that is managed by the University of Virginia.  There students and ecologists maintain the farm and conduct experiments using a wide range of trees and plants.  Blandy’s Ginkgo Grove is one of the largest public Ginkgo groves in America, […]

Read More »

Living in Tuscany

We are finally back after spending most of September in Tuscany, Italy. We had actually planned to get to Florence from Aix-en-Provence by train but a rock slide in the Alps covered the train tracks leading from France to Italy, so that plan got shelved. In the end we managed to fly to Florence from […]

Read More »

Living in Provence

We recently spent 3 weeks living in Provence in a trip sponsored by the Smithsonian. Among other things we took a French language immersion course, a cuisine course and a course in French art and culture. After 3 weeksm=, we headed off to Florence, Italy. For more photos from. Provence, please follow the link below. […]

Read More »

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) Friday, June 30, 2023 Back in the USA for almost a full month, we paid a visit with friends to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) in Winchester, Virginia.  By car, the Museum complex is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Reston Town Center, but it […]

Read More »