You’d think in a city that has the long hot summers Pensacola has, that winters would be mild. They are – as mild as Kuwait. Having said that, ‘mild’ in Pensacola and Kuwait means the temperatures can still get down to freezing, and freezing is cold.
Last night, as AdventureMan was counting down to the last episode of Boardwalk Empire I dug out the flannel sheets my Mom gave us for Christmas the year we though we were retiring to Edmonds, WA. (We didn’t retire that year at all, and the following year we made a sudden decision to retire to Pensacola – a coming grandchild helped that decision along. :-) )
Good thing we still have those flannel sheets. There is nothing as nice as flannel sheets on a cold winter’s night. We have piled on extra quilts, the Qattari Cat snuggles in, and we are snug and warm.
The problem, of course, is getting out of bed in the morning, LOL.
(These are not my sheets; you can find these at Garnet Hill bedding)
I spent the day yesterday engineering outside lights and decos, which are simple this year. I got the lights up, new LED lights, green, even though they are white :-), only to discover that they are not the same white as the lights on the greenery around the door. It might not bother a lot of people, but . . . it bothers me. Does it bother me enough to take it down? No. It’s up, I’m just happy to have it done for this year and it gives me time to shop the sales for next year. The decorations I have are for a different house; I need time to think through what I want to do with this house.
Because the weather in Florida is so mild at this time of the year, people really have some lovely lights and displays. I will try to photograph some – from the sublime to the umm. . . err . . . not so sublime . . . for you.
We are eager to get going, but oh, we are shivering, and happy we brought a little fleece with us:
It is a glorious morning, bright sunshine, clear air, a day when we are glad to be alive and on the road.
Across South Dakota and Montana, we saw the huge round rolls of hay that we saw in France and Germany, but across Wyoming, most of the bales are the old fashioned square ones. We are thinking square is easier to store, but there must be some advantage, also, to the round ones, as they seem to be the latest invention. Anyone know why?
We find a rest stop so we can change drivers, and there is a set of sculptures there called The Greeting and the Gift, just as you are exiting Wyoming and entering Colorado:
I love this one. It looks noble. The First Nation (Native American) is offering a pipe of water. When I was a kid, I would have thought it was a peace pipe, but the explanation says otherwise. The Greeting statue I don’t like as much for two reasons – his hands seem out-of-scale large to me, and the hair does not look like a mountain man or explorer (to me) but looks sort of Hellenic. What do you think?
At the end of a very short drive is a city I love, Colorado Springs. I love it because (most of the time) the air seems clear and clean to me. I love it in the winter, when it is cold, and in the summer, when it is hot, it is dry heat, like Kuwait, but not so hot, so it doesn’t bother me. There are a million quilt shops here, all of which I intend to hit today while AdventureMan does some consulting and I drive the gypsy-mobile. There are also Macy’s department stores, which Pensacola doesn’t have, and Sephora, which Pensacola may be getting soon but did not have when I left.
We went to see George Clooney’s new film, The American, which gave us hours of conversation, and on our way to our Marriott home picked up a feast from Whole Foods – all vegetable! Balsamic grilled brussel sprouts, marinated grilled beets, a vegetarian meatloaf that really tasted like meat (!), guacomole, a pico de gallo with some bite, pita bread, sauteed garlic spinach, and some wonderfully tasty olives. AdventureMan picked up a really good bottle of Colorado merlot (yes, it exists, and is called Two Rivers: Chateau Deux Fleuves Vineyards.
Crowning our day was a sunset over Pike’s Peak. I don’t like a lot of drama in my life, but I love a lot of drama in a sunset. I loved this one so much that I am going to show you three different shots, because I can’t choose the one I like the best.
Here it is, our reward for zooming across the US, we gave ourself a break – one day to play, and we are right where we want to be, in Wall, South Dakota, from where we will go straight into some of the most dramatic scenery the world has to offer, the South Dakota Badlands.
The Badlands Loop was amazing. Few other tourists, but all blown away by the scenery and the displays. It probably took us longer than it needed to, but we were having such a good time. Many people were camping, and pulling long campers- there are many many spots for any kind of camper.
Then on to Hot Springs, with a few stops on the way, starting with Reptile Gardens, for AdventureMan. They have amazing displays, some very expert shows, and some of the fattest snakes I have ever seen. Here are some of the fat prairie dogs:
Then on to Mt. Rushmore, which is very impressive:
Then we took winding scenic highway 16 south, through the forests, and meadows full of amazing game; pronghorns, buffalo, and deer.
We took our time, stopping to watch the buffalo roam, enjoying the wonderful scenery. When we got to Hot Springs, we checked into the Red River Rock Resort and Spa, found our beautiful room, but still had time for one more special thing before our early evening massages – so we hurried to the Mammoth Museum, Wooo HOOOOO!
We had a great guide, Kelly, who kept the group informed and entertained, and my friends, this museum is totally awesome. Several years ago a developer began bulldozing this site for a housing development, but stopped immediately when he started unearthing these huge bones. With amazing vision, the city constructed a building to protect the site, which continues to be excavated, a little more every year. The museum is huge, and all the bones are still in their original locations, just partially excavated so we can see how they lay.
Kelly explained how mammoths used to come for the sweet grass growing around the edge of this sinkhole, then they would fall in and couldn’t get out. They have found many many skeletons of mammoths – and other animals – going down as far as they have been able to measure.
This museum is worth a trip – to South Dakota, and to Hot Springs. Our hotel and our massages were just a bonus, but this museum – this museum was the prize.
“That’s not tinsel, Mom,” my son said, “They’re beads. People throw them during the Mardi Gras parade, and they stick in the trees. And it’s not Shrove Tuesday, it’s Fat Tuesday, here in Pensacola.”
Today I needed to do a couple trips downtown and so I looked closely at all the colorful objects sparkling in the trees after the Mardi Gras parades. Yep. He was right. Beads.
It is still cold in Pensacola. The temperature as I was driving around this morning was just above freezing. But it is cold – and clear – and sunny, and those beads sparkle in the sunlight.
Tonight we are having Jambalaya for Fat Tuesday, the night before Lent starts. I have little Q sleeping next to me. Life is sweet in Pensacola. :-)
When I lived in Kuwait, every day I was thrilled by the sun coming up over the horizon. I never got tired of it.
Today, thanks be to God, I was out when the sun started getting low in the sky, and the colors have added dimensions – what a treat.
Some views of Doha at sunset:
Thanks, Grammy! If you have ever had an interest in exploring the Souqs, now is the time. The weather is perfect, nights are breezy and warm but not hot, there are a zillion good restaurants to choose from, AND tomorrow night is a very cool concert:
More guests, and another trip to the Doha Museum of Islamic Art. I never tire of the place. Most of all, when I walk in, I just take a deep breath, breathe in the serenity.
It doesn’t hurt that there is also a wonderful, clean ladies room.
Every time we are there, we see something new and wonderful, something that was there, but we hadn’t noticed before. Here are some things I saw this time:
What I love the most about this award is that it takes into account the usage of local materials. It’s also something I love about The Pearl development; all those buildings and villas built on the rubble carted away from earlier demolition projects and turned into reclaimed land. :-) Re-cycling to the max!
Museum of Islamic Art bags architecture award
Web posted at: 10/6/2009 1:19:1
Source ::: The PENINSULA
Dubai: Museum of Islamic Art in Doha was awarded “Overall Project of the Year” at the 2nd Annual Middle East Architect Awards.
Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) was presented with the award, for the Museum of Islamic Art – Doha, at a ceremony hosted by the Middle East Architect magazine.
The annual ceremony is the most prestigious event dedicated to recognise outstanding architectural projects in the region.
The Museum of Islamic Art was chosen for its traditional design principles that use indigenous materials and processes and integrates them with contemporary technology to create familiar, functional and environmentally sustainable architecture.
Accepting the award on behalf of QMA, Omar Chaikhouni, Manager of Public Relations and Information said: “We are delighted and honoured to be recognised as the top overall project in 2009 among all the nominees from the region. The Middle East Architect awards ceremony is a great initiative and we wish it all the success in years to come.”
Organised by ITP Business Publishing, the lavish awards ceremony took place at the Westin Dubai with the presence of more than 200 leading professionals from the region’s architecture industry, including architects, developers, service providers, contractors and building owners.
The 2nd Annual Middle East Architect Awards set out to raise the profile of the industry and reward and recognise those that have made significant contributions to its development.
Ten awards were presented at the ceremony in categories that covered a number of fields, from infrastructure project of the year to mixed-use development of the year, and from engineering firm of the year to architect of the year.
The winners were judged by a panel of experts, which consisted of industry-leading academics, architects and engineers from around the Middle East.
I LOVE what Yousef did. It’s a slow Saturday, nothing much going on. If you want a crack at this photo, take it. Play with it. Send it back to me, show us what you’ve done. Keep it clean. :-)
is that a WOW or what?
So . . . I don’t have all these tools. Go for it. The shot is in the Eid morning photos you will find here so have some fun with it.
I arrived in Seattle just in time. My dearest, oldest friend’s father died as I was en route, and the service was this week. On a cold and dreary day, fortunately I had a dark dress with me, and I quickly ran and bought stockings, which are so irrelevant in the heat and humidity of August in Doha, and so necessary for a relatively formal occasion in Seattle.
Last night, we got together and walked, something we have done through the years, and then grabbed a bite to eat. We walked along Sunset Avenue, in Edmonds, just as the sun was setting.
In one of the yards, we saw this wonderful tarted-up piece of driftwood:
The light was glorious: