Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween, American-Style

I have been told by my British friends that they were utterly amazed as they drove across the USA around the time of Halloween. It seems that many Americans go above and beyond the norm in their celebration of Halloween (All Saints Day), especially in their use of decorations.  Yesterday I happened upon a photo opportunity to capture  it in a concentrated form at a local park that has camping facilities and would like to share this with you.

It was interesting to wander around the state park campground and experience the variety of ways that people expressed their creativity and sense of fun.  The campers included young families, people who were grandparent-age, couples without children, and every combination in-between. Some had been coming and camping there on this weekend for years.  There was a definite sense of community, with the joy of Halloween celebration as a common bond.

The ways in which camp sites were decorated intrigued me.  For some, the event meant a few subtle decorations.  For others, it was a time of excess.Some decorated to shock and terrify, while others had cute ghosts or a Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin scene.  All were hosted by friendly people (some in costume) who were ready to share the spirit of Halloween and some candy with Trick or Treaters once the sun went down and the decorative lights went on.

It was a lot of fun wandering around in the afternoon daylight watching campers put on the final touches to their campsites and sit back and admire each other's efforts. The intense surge of political competition was temporarily forgotten, even though the elections are only two weeks away. People camped  together, shared with each other, and enjoyed each other's company. It was a pleasant island of normalcy in an otherwise overwhelmingly divisive political month. We enjoyed every minute of it.

Thank you for visiting, I hope that you enjoyed your stay. I enjoyed sharing part of my culture, even though I am not one to become overly involved with this particular holiday myself. Please feel free to stop by the Tavern in the future and see what's next on the menu. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Santa Fe Tranquility/Thoughts On Travel Blogging

This photo is one of my favorites for my visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It is atypical of the locale in a variety of ways.  Much of New Mexico's landscape is brown, dry, flat, with amazing rugged plateaus and distant mountains.  A garden with shade trees is a rarity.  New Mexico is also mostly a cultural blend of Hispanic, American Indian (Native American), and Northern Europeans. This Buddha is part of a Tibetan cultural center found on a quiet side street-tranquil and projecting a feeling of permanency and belonging.  It a perfect example of what I have said in other postings of the joy of travel when you find the unexpected.  This is one of the aspects of travel that I enjoy sharing.

To me, the act of sharing in a travel blog is just more that acquiring a high number of visitor hits from as many countries as possible.  While it is rewarding to look at my counter and see that people have actually visited the Tavern (and perhaps even enjoyed their visit), what it doesn't tell me is their reactions to either the photos that I have posted or my travel thoughts.  There haven't been comments left on the last few posts that I have made and that brings two questions to my mind.  First of all, have my posts become repetitious and uninteresting?  Since the Tavern has been in operation since 2007, I suppose that is very possible.  The other question is-Is the effort put into posting on this blog without viewer comments worth the effort to continue? Ultimately, my hope was to have a dialogue with those interested in travel and photography. It was not simply a way to see my photos and words in print for my own gratification.  One of the things that I did to facilitate two-way communication was to include the Google Translate application so that more could read and comment. At times, the dialogue has been rewarding and an incentive to keep this blog active.

Thank you for visiting and listening.  I realize that the way we use the internet to interact socially has changed greatly since 2007.  I look at Face Book (which I use daily) and Twitter (which I use occasionally) as chances to quickly interact in a drive-by fashion.  Bloggers and the blogs that they produce in some ways have become cyber-dinosaurs. On the other hand, they do provide some insights that drive-bys do not.

For the present I will continue to post my photos and thoughts.  I will also follow through my own words and visit the blogs of those of you who have chosen to follow the Tavern, and perhaps even leave a comment behind. In the meantime, may your travels be both interesting and enjoyable.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why Bother to Travel? (Irish Scenes)

                          Dublin's Grafton Street on a Sunday Afternoon

                            Dublin Street Signs Political and Social

                                                             Sculpture of Reflection

                                                                Famine Memorial

                                                           Dublin "Hen Party"

                                                            Castle Remains

                                                     Pasture Land

                                               Coastal View

Every so often when I am between trips I ask myself the question, "Why travel?". Some people who I know are satisfied where they live and really don't feel the urge .  Others say that in this post-9/11 time, it's just too much of a bother to deal with airport security, planned packing, and the expense of it all.

My answer to myself is curiosity....the wonder of what is just beyond the horizon.  It's a combination of land, history, people, and culture that makes it all worthwhile to me.  Have there been times when I've regretted a travel choice that I have made, most certainly! In spite of some overall regrets or disappointments, I can't think of a place that I have spent time in that I haven't found something that made the visit worthwhile.

What I have tried to do in this post is include images of different elements that make travel interesting to me.  In addition to those found here, I might add local foods and drinks and local music.  In previous posts, I've included samples of Irish foods.  As for music, I usually leave my camera in my bag and just enjoy the sounds (I rarely do video photography of any kind).

I hope that you have enjoyed glimpses of Ireland.  I also hope that you have been provoked to consider why you like or dislike travel yourself.  Any comments that you have on the subject would be very interesting to me.

Thank you for visiting the Tavern. I extend an open invitation to you if you are ever in the mood to revisit.  In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.