Joe Benning Photography

Travel & Photo Blog

  •   Reston, VA

Busy in Bordeaux

We have been awfully busy lately. Among other things, we have been looking at the architecture of the city, which is pretty incredible and we still have a lot to see. Below, for instance is a iPhone panoramic photo taken inside one of the churches in St Emilion in the Bordeaux region of France. In […]

Read More »

Welcome to Bordeaux!

Well, we made it. We made it in spite of the fact that on our scheduled day of departure Air France sent us an e-mail a little before 6:00 AM informing us that our flights were cancelled. Just like that. Not even an explanation—even in corporate speak—as to why. Based on news reports we surmised […]

Read More »

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 »