French Quarter Hitching Post

In an era when automobiles rule the streets, it is a bit unusual to find streets lined with hitching posts. Such is the case in the French Quarter in New Orleans. However, here you will find horse-pulled carriages in this section of town, for the benefit of the tourists, that wish to travel the crowded streets in style for all to see. So it is not uncommon to find these French Quarter hitching posts on many of the blocks. Most are weathered, which only adds to the character of these street decorations.

 

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Stuart Tank

When you visit the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, TX, you need to take out the extra time and take a stroll a few block away to the extra exhibits. Only about 20% of the visitors do this, which is too bad. There you will find a restored warbird, PT boat, and tanks. Several times a year, they have actual reenactments that with actual tanks, flame-throwers and more. We hit an off-day, so though there were no crowds, there were no reenactments either. This Stuart tank is used during the show and looks like it just came off the battlefield.

The M3 Stuart was an American light tank used in World War II. They were the first American-crewed tanks to engage the enemy in tank versus tank combat.

 

The M3 Stuart was an American light tank used in World War II. They were the first American-crewed tanks to engage the enemy in tank versus tank combat. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Loyola University New Orleans

One of the fun things about visiting a city with someone that has lived there before, are the things you get to see that you never knew about. Not because they are not worth knowing about, but simply because they were never on your radar. On our trip to New Orleans, my friend David Morefield and I went out late (how could you sleep, when there was a photo opportunity waiting somewhere) and we drove around with no particular destination in mind. We came upon Loyla University, thinking it was a church our friend Andy Crawford had shot earlier in the day. As it turned out, it wasn’t the same church, but it was still worth the stop.

It was around midnight, so we could not do much, but the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church on the left and Marquette Hall on the right, made for a very impressive main entrance. 

 
The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church on the left and Marquette Hall on the right, made for a very impressive main entrance to the Loyola University in New Orleans. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Yard Bling

An attractive garden or flowerbed may contain a few extra items to add color or structure. Take these large pots and orbs (I think that is what they are called). Strategically placed, they draw attention and offer the viewer and little bit of yard bling in addition to the flowers or plants they help support. This colorful collection was found out behind a shop in Fredericksburg, TX.

 

These large pots and orbs help draw attention and offer the viewer and little bit of yard bling in addition to the flowers or plants they help support. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Presidential Documentation

I would imagine that Presidents generate a lot of paperwork. Considering the number of letters, briefs, reports and the bills they sign into law, it has to be quite the job to collect and mange those for the presidential library that is sure to follow. Living in Texas, we are fortunate to have several within driving distance. Last summer, our family visited the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, TX and recently visited the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin.

While not visible in the Bush Library, the LBJ had a multi-story viewing area where visitors could see bookcase after bookcase containing binders of documents from Johnson’s term in office. While those floors are not open to the general public, they can be visited by appointment for historians, researchers and others.

I have driven by this building many times when visiting Austin over the years, and am glad we finally took the time to visit it. Tickets are very affordable and the exhibits only takes a few hours to go through. Even if you are not a Democrat, you will still enjoy the visit ;-)

 

While not visible in the Bush Library, the LBJ had a multi-story viewing area where visitors could see bookcase after bookcase containing binders of documents from Johnson's term in office. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Texas in Lights

My family went on an overnight trip to Austin, just to spend some time together. Our goal was to visit at least the LBJ Library, which we did, but we also visited the Bullock Texas State History Museum, whose purpose it is to tell “the Story of Texas.”  Both museums were great for different reasons and well worth the time spent. The Bullock was more grandiose, and the price of admission reflected that, but you won’t be disappointed if you decide to go. There are three floors, an I-Max and second theater to enjoy also.

This view from the third floor looks down on a large neon light illuminating the foyer within the museum exhibits.

 

This view from the third floor of the Bullock Texas State History Museum looks down on a large neon light illuminating the foyer within the museum exhibits. Photograph by Tim Stanley Photography.

Closed aGlow

I have always had an attraction for lights, especially those at night. So it was no surprise that I was drawn to a little store we found in Fredericksburg called It’s aGlow. They specialize in unique decorative items made from a natural stone called Honeycomb Calcite.

With a light or candle, these creations illuminate a soothing glow with unique patterns. They resemble small cells grouped closely together, to large areas that give the appearance of petrified honey. Only discovered in 1994, go to their website for more information on this remarkable stone.

Having visited the store during the day, I came by after hours to see the store lit by the warm glow of this stone. Not having my tripod earlier during the day when they were open, I wasn’t able to capture a nice closeup. Shame on me.

 

Having visited It's aGlow during the day, I came by after hours to see the store lit by the warm glow of this stone. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.