Has spring sprung?

As most of you living in the northern hemisphere are still experiencing cold weather, at least in the south (particularly in Florida) we are experiencing warmer weather – like in the 80s. 

So, my thought is?  Has spring sprung, although it’s not officially spring?  Just don’t tell the natural environment and the lizards. 

Peach tree blossoms in February

We have now passed on from the pine and are encountering the oak pollen.  Lot’s of sneezes to go around.  Lot’s of car washes too. 

I wondered if my peach tree of just over a year was even alive since the leaves fell in the fall and it didn’t look well. Now it has wakened.  I just had to take a picture and tell you about it. 

Those still shivering should know – it won’t be long – although you may have plenty of snow. 

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Ornamental glove?

Small Senate Rotunda and chandelier add uniqueness to the U.S. Capitol.
Floor and columns beneath the U.S. Capitol small Senate rotunda.

Well, not really; although at a glance that’s what came to mind.

Above these columns and opening is the small rotunda in the old Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol, designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe as an ornamental air shaft.  It was constructed after the fire of 1814 as a means of lighting the corridors and circulating air into rooms that open onto the space. https://www.aoc.gov/capitol-buildings/small-senate-rotunda

Small Senate rotunda in the U.S Capitol

In the pre-fire period this elliptical space housed the Senate wing’s main staircase. Benjamin Henry Latrobe remarked to Thomas Jefferson that “it was one of the most remarkable parts of the Capitol.”

The chandelier hanging in this rotunda since 1965 was purchased for $1,500 from the ABC Wrecking Co., which had removed it from the Capitol Hill United Methodist Church on Seward Square in southeast Washington, D.C., before razing that building. Wow, I can you imagine buying it today?

Imported from Europe in 1903, it previously hung in an historic Baltimore theater and a Capitol Hill church. Originally smaller, it has been enlarged and modified over its history. The chandelier reportedly has 14,500 crystals and weighs nearly 2,000 pounds.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

 

New Mexico back road

U.S. 87 traveling toward Amarillo.

While traveling from Colorado to Amarillo, Texas, we were never short of something interesting along the route.   Interstate 25 was picturesque and intriguing, and then we took U.S. 87.  

I could imagine the area filled with prehistoric creation combined with volcanoes in this area.  

Another thought occurred too.  Is this part of the terrain where monstrous cloud systems form, creating super cells and major tornadoes heading east?  That was certainly on my mind.  It didn’t help that occasional signs with warning lights warned motorists of potential high winds crossing the roads.

As we approached a dark image ahead we first thought it was part of a mountain range – BUT, we soon learned it was a large cloud.  Should we turn around? 

No, we would continue and see what it was about.  

While we didn’t see lightning I was still apprehensive about continuing through this cloud.  

Well, we didn’t even encounter rain until farther along toward Texas – just a lot of gray cloud cover.  

So, when things seem dark and scary as we face them, unless there is real danger we should continue pursuing our destination.  Sometimes the threat is not as ominous as we initially think.  

I thought it was neat to see the long trains on each side of U.S. 87 – sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right.  Here is a little video of the ride at certain segments.  

Traveling along U.S. 87 in New Mexico from Colorado toward Amarillo.  

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Where is this?

img_2191
Representation of the Roman Roads.

I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite places again recently – kind of a world tour if you will.  Guess where it is?  Here are some photos first.

img_2248
Short visit to Italy

img_2249

img_2250
Germany anyone?

img_2252
China along the way

img_2242-2
Patriotism for the U.S. is evident in this place.

IMG_2247.JPG
Inside the American Adventure there is patriotic music, flags of nations, special themes, video reflection on the USA.

img_2245

The Promise of America.  American Adventure showcases the importance of those who came to the U.S. over the ages and contributed to the building of a nation, and  allows those who want to enter for a new life and opportunity to do so under the law of the land.  The Statue of Liberty still shines bright.  (Rendition by Artist Herbert Ryman, 1982)

img_2243-2
Westword Ho!  From the east to the west those who ventured for a new life in the U.S.A. endured many hardships to create for themselves one nation under God, with Liberty and Justice for all – and the pursuit of happiness.  Countless souls lost their lives to experience the opportunities while establishing the western U.S. (Rendition by Artist Jack Martin Smith, 1982)

img_2254
Who is this?  Looks like part of the Scandinavian folklore.  

img_2255
Can you locate the vegetative images from a popular animated movie?

img_2256
This photo should confirm your suspicions.  You guessed it right!  Disney World Orlando – Epcot.  I returned this past week and decided to provide more updates.  

I’m curious.  Who has not gone to Disney World in Orlando, Florida?  If you haven’t what would you like to see if you were able to go?

For those who have gone, what is your favorite at Epcot?  I’ll post my favorite ones later.

(The Promise of America and Westword Ho! artwork in this blog is photography from Disney Imagineering in Epcot’s American Adventure.  Personal notes were added to the caption.)

Short venture at Disney – long in thought

disney-castle-front

I wonder how many people over the ages have been to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida?  This blog is not an adventure to gather statistics but as a point of curiosity.

I have made countless trips in the Florida Disney disney-castle-sideTheme Parks and mostly venture to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.  My favorite thing to do is just walk around and pop in a ride if the line isn’t too long.

disney-splash-mountain

In 2016 I intentionally backed off of the visits but decided to return recently.  There remains that certain feeling of adventure, excitement and escape from the daily routine that I missed.

disney-frontierland-2This visit was only for a few hours just to see how the crowds were doing, and if nothing else, just walk around.  I don’t have to ride every ride before I find enjoyment .  In fact, I don’t have to ride ANY rides to find enjoyment.  Have you ever just gone there, or any other favorite park, and simply observe the people, architecture, landscape, colors, pageantry and the like?  That’s what I mostly enjoy. disney-near-aladdin-crowd

disney-retreat-ceremony-3After years of being at Magic Kingdom we just happened to be at the right place at the right time upon entering and noticed the retreat ceremony preparing to start.  I had never noticed this before.  We decided to wait and watch.

With Disney-like precision the honor guard members formed, the band appeared and the color guard stood at attention to receive the flag of the United States of America.

The band strikes the chord and the honors begin.  The sound of retreat is played by the brass section, signifying securing of the U.S. flag at the end of day. Crowds gathered and most rendered their own salute to the Star Spangled Banner (National Anthem), which renews the feeling of patriotism.

The flag slowly flows from its lofty perch on the staff.  It is now secure.  Respect has been shown and the show goes on as people from all walks of life, nationalities and cultures from the world express their excitement in the events that unfold throughout the park.

 

I wonder!  What do people from other nations think about this patriotism?  Also, as one looks over or through the crowds, can you determine who is from North America, South America, Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa?

Don’t we all want to enjoy life?  Don’t we all want to live in freedom, laugh, play, disney-frontierland-2rear our children, make life meaningful and prosper?  What if we had a similar peace throughout the world like we experience at Disney as we are respectful of one another and desire good will upon each.  Wow!  No doubt the world would be better for humankind and people won’t need to live in fear.

disney-carousel

disney-people-mover-2The People Mover is one of my favorite activities at Disney.   It’s just an easy, simple ride on a tram-like cart traveling through attractions and is quite relaxing.  I can’t believe there was a line for this one this time.  We usually walk right on.  However, the 20-minute wait wasn’t bad.disney-people-mover

 

As night erupted, mixed with the colorful sky and the various rides where laughter ring out, my mind focuses on the color exhibited by the vast array of showcases.  Actually, can you see the castle behind this picture of color at one of the attractions.  We traveled on the People Mover and the lights screamed out at me to get my attention.  I couldn’t resist.disney-lights-at-future-land

We get so caught up in instant success and instant gratification we often become very impatient while we’re trying to relax and have fun, right?

Well, I’ll look for another trip and plan around the time when I can just enter attractions without a line.  And, if there is a line, I’ll walk around again and take in the sights and sounds like before.

I am pleased though to see the laughter and excitement on faces of old and young alike, from all walks of life throughout the globe, as they too enjoy the moment to simply “live.”  What is your escape from the harshness and routine of life?

Well, my thoughts wondered again.  I wanted to see another of my favorite Disney hall-of-presidents-at-disneyattractions in the three short hours of this visit.

The Hall of Presidents is always an inspiring venue that reminds me of the leadership and sacrifices of our presidents over the years to keep the United States of America free as a democracy so that all those who seek freedom and peace can still see the beacon of hope.

disney-hall-of-presidents-night-3 disney-hall-of-presidents-great-seal

I often take a look at the items on display in the Hall foyer before proceeding into disney-hall-of-presidents-washington-teeth-scalersthe main auditorium.  I attempt to visualize and absorb what these plain, everyday-type artifacts represent.  To me these are small reflections of those who led our nation at their respective times and still carried on their daily lives as well.

disney-hall-of-presidents-lincoln-pencil disney-hall-of-presidents-hoover-items

 

 

 

 

 

The Hall has a great, patriotic presentation in the auditorium.  I enjoy seeing and hearing the comments from George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama, and in the future – Donald Trump.   It’s amazing to see the likeness and interaction of the figurines as each president is introduced.

disney-hall-of-presidents-1

disney-hall-of-presidents-washington

 

 

 

 

 

disney-hall-of-presidents-lincolndisney-hall-of-presients-lincoln-items

disney-hall-of-presidents-obama2

 

 

 

 

 

We may not have a long heritage like some nations do but we have a proud heritage – and one that we want to maintain so that other people of the world can still look to the U.S. as a nation that desires peace and prosperity for all, and that we still are a beacon for anyone who wants to live peacefully and make a life full of meaning to benefit the human race.

disney-hall-of-presidents-washngton-and-obama2As the U.S. embarks on another inauguration of a president, how different will President Trump be from President Washington, or Lincoln, Jackson, Cleveland, Roosevelt, Ford, on and on?  That’s what I wondered as I visited the Hall of Presidents again.  Just like all the presidents before, they were given the opportunity to lead a nation – “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  May God help us to still stand undivided in this nation, and the nations of the world, for those who yearn to be free and enjoy life to the fullest, without fear, threat or intimidation.

Life is too short to not enjoy it with full meaning and in peace.  Let’s allow time to become our ally.