Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular

Angular need not be dull and scientific, as this colorful trio of martinis on the rooftop bar of the Market Pavilion Hotel in Charleston reminds us.

Charleston's rooftop Market Pavilion Bar

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Angular” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.

Christmas City of the North Parade

Holidays are steeped in tradition. For 56 years on the Friday before Thanksgiving, Duluth, Minnesota has kicked off the Christmas season with a parade through downtown, filled with festive floats, marching bands, and dance troupes.   Rain or snow, balmy or brisk, the Christmas City of the North Parade brings people out, bundled for whatever the weather brings, filling the curbs along the parade route as they look for family, friends and holiday favorites.

Christmas City Parade 2014

Buses filled with marching bands keeping instruments warm before lining up for the parade.

The parade staging area is filled with the energy of sled dogs and horses …. last-minute adjustments are made to lights and float décor … a group of brightly clad girls skip along the sidewalk with their dance leaders, excitedly waiting for the parade to begin.

Christmas City Parade 2014

Rudolph, is that you?!

Christmas City Parade 2014

A happy fish on the Great Lakes Aquarium float.

I tucked my hand warmers in my mittens and we bundled up with the rest of the parade goers, as the parade signaled the holiday season had officially begun.

Christmas City of the North Parade 2014

We don’t need a super-size parade selfie of Kat and her husband trying to keep warm as the parade started!

Christmas City Parade 2014

Santa Claus makes his first appearance, and children can be heard squealing his name, and calling out to Mrs. Claus as she asks whether they have been good this year.

Christmas City Parade 2014

Christmas City Parade 2014

City of Duluth Police Mounted Patrol

And the rhubarb stalk was decked out in colored lights, to remind us that CHUM’s summer Rhubarb Festival will be returning in June.

Christmas City Parade 2014

Royalty from towns and competitions in the region waved with mittened hands.

Christmas City Parade 2014

While some may be counting down to Christmas, others can count down to the Lions’ Pancake Days, an annual event as longstanding as the holiday parade.

Christmas City Parade 2014

The Disney musical movie hit “Frozen” was popular during the community procession, with dancers dressed as “Frozen” characters dancing to the popular tunes, and everyone’s favorite snowman Olaf guiding a float from one of the local auto dealerships.

Christmas City Parade 2014

Christmas City Parade 2014

In a northland holiday parade, “sleds” of all kinds can be seen.

High school marching bands from northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin looked sharp in classic uniforms, layered over stocking caps and ski gloves.

Christmas Parade 2014 Christmas Parade 2014

As the band moved past, the beat of the drums kept marchers in line and spectators’ toes tapping.

Christmas Parade 2014

We age and often become jaded about holiday — traditions like the Christmas City of the North parade.  But, when we leave ourselves open to possibility, that childhood magic can be recaptured — in the young parade goers’ hopeful anticipation of the first sighting of Santa, in the classic carols played in harmony by sons and daughters, or in the mesmerizing glow of brilliant strings of holiday.  We are reminded why the tradition has endured for over a half-century, and is certain to last another half-century more.

Christmas City Parade 2014

Ciao! ~ Kat

The Invention of Wings: The Rest of the Story

Kat at travelgardeneat:

Flattered to have the Grimké Sisters Tour creators ask to use my blog post and photos on their new website, as this favorite from our Charleston visit turns into an ongoing offering! http://grimkesisterstour.com

Originally posted on Travel. Garden. Eat.:

Charleston is a city overflowing with history, culture, and beauty …. not to mention an endless abundance of memorable food options.  A long weekend with camera in hand could yield months of blog posts at the rate I have been posting lately!  First, though, I want to share with you an opportunity that is available only through the 26th of October, as part of the Preservation Society of Charleston’s Fall Tour of Homes:  the “Invention of Wings” walking tour.  If you are in the Charleston area during the month of October, I urge you to order your tickets now for this tour that is certain to sell out as the word spreads about it.

Charleston's Unitarian Cemetery

The two-hour tour was led by Lee Ann Bain, who has put together the tour based on Sue Monk Kidd’s popular novel, The Invention of Wings.  The walking tour expands on the historical fiction profiles of the Grimké sisters to…

View original 513 more words

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

The 2014 Minnesota Section 7AA boys 4×400 relay … it is always the final event of the final high school track meet of the season, unless you happen to be one of those top runners or relay teams that qualifies for the State Meet.  From the start of the throwing events to the last 4×400 relay, this year’s Section meet held at the end of May turned into an almost 10-hour event, as lightning and rain storms repeatedly moved through and required delay after delay.  The events have to be run in order to send runners to the State Meet, and the final deadline for completing Section races in order to qualify for State was mere hours away.

2014 Minnesota Section 7AA boys 4x400 finish

As the sky turned black with storm clouds, and the rain started once again, the runners were rushed onto the track for the final heat of this final relay race of the day.  The gun went off, signaling the start of the race, hours after the originally scheduled start time.  The skies opened up as the boys ran their two laps each around the 400m track, handing off the slippery wet baton to the next runner, until all four runners on each team completed their circuit.  By the time the final runners crossed the finish line, you couldn’t even see 100 meters down the track.  Spectators and runners alike were soaked to the skin.  Competing in any race is an achievement, but the conditions under which these high school runners ran at this meet deserves special recognition.

Ciao! ~ Kat

This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.  ”Achievement” was this week’s theme.  Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.

Our Home Away From Home in Puerto Rico

Kat at travelgardeneat:

Reminded how precious and fragile life can be when I saw the news Inn owner and host, Michael Marra, had unexpectedly passed away last week. He helped make our visit to the Island of Puerto Rico and the Ceiba Country Inn a memorable one. He was a generous and compassionate advocate for the Island’s many homeless animals. In his memory our family will be making a donation to Island Dog http://www.islanddog.org/ — if you ever had the occasion to enjoy Michael’s hospitality, please consider honoring his memory in a manner I think he would have loved. ~ Kat

Originally posted on Travel. Garden. Eat.:

Sometimes you are fortunate enough to find a spot while traveling that allows you to relax and makes you feel like you are at home — without the hassle of housework, of course.  Instead, you can kick back, grab a good book, enjoy the view from a lounge chair, and even have a favorite four-legged friend at your side, for an extra-personal touch — so was our experience at the Ceiba Country Inn.

We spent a week in Puerto Rico in June of this year — a family vacation with the destination selected by my oldest son (the motivating factor: somewhere he could use his five years of Spanish without breaking the vacation bank).  He had the privilege of selecting the destination because the trip was in lieu of a high school graduation party.  (I admit, I strongly encouraged him to take the trip rather than the party — didn’t…

View original 463 more words