Friday, December 26, 2014

Towpath Trail Part III (12/26/2014)

Friday, December 26, 2014
Unseasonably warm and sunny, so we walked another section of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail between the I-77 overpass and Quaker Steak on Canal Road in Valley View. (We hiked the "first" section of the Towpath Trail that follows the old Ohio & Erie Canal on July 6, 2014 from Harvard Road to the Marcy Trestle. We started at the Canalway Center near the trestle and walked to the overpass of Route I-77 on November 9, 2014.)
Pedestrian bridge over Warner Road in Valley View
Kent and Brynne on the bridge at Bacci Park
Under I-480 at the site of former brick factories
Cleveland Block bricks
Dried thistle seed pods
Dried milkweed seed pods

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Bit of DC (12/13-14/2014)

Saturday, December 13, 2014
We visited Erich and Carrie in Washington, DC, and got to see the grandsons, Dylan and Pete. After lunch at Blue Jacket, a microbrewery, we took the Metro to the National Air and Space Museum. There was some discussion about the age of the museum, which actually opened in 1976 while what Tamiko remembered as a child must have been the National Air Museum (before Space was discovered!)
Pete checks out an early era airline meal
Erich, Dylan and Pete went on a Cosmic Coaster simulator ride, then we took the Metro back to the apartment in the renovated Foundry of the Navy Yard, for a taco dinner.

Sunday, December 14, 2014
This morning the lights went up on the Christmas tree!
The whole gang took the Metro to the Woodley Park station, the second deepest station in the DC area, and it has one of the longest escalators.
Dylan and Erich on the Woodley Park escalator
It is a half mile walk to the National Zoo from the Metro station, so we needed a quick snack.
National Zoo entrance on Connecticut Avenue
The zoo entrance is flanked by two bronze lions (ca. 2002) made by artist Reinaldo L√≥pez-Carrizo, based on the originals (1906) by Roland Perry, that were made for the Taft Bridge.
The first Giant Pandas (Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing) at the National Zoo were gifted by China to the U.S. in 1972. They died in 1992 and 1999. Breeding of pandas has become more sophisticated, and with the arrival of Tian Tian and Mei Xiang in 2000, the National Zoo has had two successful live births.
Pete and Dylan with the Panda sculpture by Eric Berg
Pete (and Dylan)
    Pithecia pithecia/Pale-headed Saki
    right at the window
    Salix discolor/Pussy Willow 
    Melanistic Sciurus carolinensis/
    Black Eastern Gray Squirrel
    We had lunch at Chipotles before taking the Metro back home.
    A short but productive visit. Thanks to Erich and Carrie for the hospitality, and thanks to Dylan and Pete for showing us the Air and Space Museum and the National Zoo!

    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    Christmas in Medina, OH (11/22/2014)

    Saturday, November 22, 2014
    First a visit to Castle Noel in Medina, OH. This enterprise opened at this time last year to show off the collections of Mark Klaus (great name!), who was previously located in Broadview Heights, OH. Mr. Klaus is a sculptor of Christmas themed ornaments and Christmas displays, who has collected and restored memorabilia related to Christmas. Click on "Castle Noel" above for a complete tour.
    Kent with Cousin Eddie's RV from the movie
    "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"
    Tamiko emptying the chemical toilet
    You enter through the Blizzard Vortex
    One of NYC Bloomingdale Christmas displays,
    the Gummy Bear Tree from 2009
    One of many displays in the
    "I Had That Toyland"
    There are costumes for several Christmas movies,
    including Dudley Moore's elf from the movie
    "Santa Claus: The Movie" in 1985
    Fantastic Christmas window displays form Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC
    The Re-creation Room was full of parts form Christmas window displays (KSS)
    A pair of New Yorkers (KSS)
    Another Bloomingdale Christmas window, also from 2009 (KSS)
    The Grand Hall has movie costumes and props,
    as well as Santa's Mountain and Slide at Higbee's
    from the movie "A Christmas Story" (KSS)
    A 2013 Bloomingdale Christmas window display
    Medina had the lighting of their Christmas tree in the Public Square gazebo last night.
    Medina Public Square
    Medina's 1878 Firehouse
    Finally we went to the John Smart House that was decorated for a Victorian Christmas, and John Smart himself and his daughter were there to greet guests.
    John Smart House (1886)

    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    Towpath Trail Part II (11/9/2014)

    Sunday, November 9, 2014
    We hiked the "first" section of the Towpath Trail that follows the old Ohio & Erie Canal on July 6, 2014 from Harvard Road to the Marcy Trestle. Today we started at the Canalway Center near the trestle and walked to the overpass of Route I-77.
    It looks like the path is leading us to cross on the sewer line!
    CSX Short Line Railroad Marcy Trestle
    Looking downstream at Lock  40
    Lock 40 sluice gate
    Log jam (KSS)
    Heron Swamp (KSS)
    Beaver lodge (KSS)
    Beaver-gnawed tree
    Flooded boardwalk
    Canalway Center squirrel

    Sunday, November 2, 2014

    Pensacola Oddities (11/2/2014)

    Saturday, November 1, 2014
    Lunch at Maguire's:
    Can you believe this liverwurst sandwich? (KSS)
    Sunday, November 2, 2014
    Beach Ball Water Tower (2005)
    The unique houses in Pensacola Beach:
    Dome of a Home (2002) at 1005 Ariola Drive;
    designed by Bob Bissett; available for vacation rentals
    Futuro Home (1968) at 1304 Panferio Drive;
    manufactured by Finnish company Oy Polykem Ab
    after design by architect Matti Suuronen
    Back in Pensacola:
    Graffiti Bridge (1888) painted pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
    Former Junior's Drive Thru Funeral Home
    at 609 N Alcaniz Street
    (viewing window added 1986),
    now the Mission Anglican Church
    The deceased was displayed in an open casket in the window to allow people to drive up for the viewing. (Junior's Funeral Home was owned by Willie Junior, one of the Escambia County Commissioners who was convicted on corruption charges, but he disappeared before sentencing.)

    The Chappie James Memorial Plaza:
    Birthplace of Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr at 1606 MLK Drive;
    the first African-American to reach the rank of a four-star general;
    listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000
    General James was an Air Force Pilot and Tuskegee Airman
    The steps of the first African-American school in Pensacola
    that was founded by General James's mother
    Granite Memorial for "Chappie" James
    At the corner of N Davis Highway and E Jordan Street:
    Crystal Ice House (1932) at 2024 N Davis Highway;
    listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983
    Crystal Ice House panel illustrates
    the hand signals used to indicate how much ice you want