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Word a Week: Clouds #2

One of my favourite songs is this one, and it seemed rather apt for Sue’s challenge.

Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all  ~ Joni Mitchell

Here’s my second take on Sue’s ‘Word a Week’ Cloud challenge. Yesterday I got a bit sidetracked by the sweet little love birds, but today I’ve decided to give you some serious clouds. Just click on any photo to get a slide show.

I hope you enjoyed my cloud pics. To see more, just visit ‘A Word in Your Ear’, by clicking here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

The Weekly Photo Challenge ‘Inside’, had me remembering places I and my family had been delighted to be inside on our travels.

In 1995, our teenage son, who was at that time an avid Knight Rider fan, was thrilled to be able to actually sit inside the famous K.I.T.T. car, when we visited Universal Studios in L.A..

I’d read about the ‘Gunfight at the O.K. Corral’, but never dreamed that one day I would go for lunch inside the bar of  ‘Big Nose Kate’s Saloon’,

where the night before the famous gunfight, the participants had been carousing.

I was also thrilled to be able to go inside the infamous ‘Birdcage Theatre’, which in the late 19th century gained the reputation of being, “the wildest, wickedest night post between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.”

There are 120 bullet holes evident throughout the building, but I didn’t however expect that when I stood at the bar, the Sheriff/barman would pull out his gun and point it it right at me. ;)

It had always been a dream of mine to see the pyramids of Egypt, and  in 1992 that dream was realised, when I got to actually go inside the tombs of the ancient Pharaohs.

Elvis was my favourite Rock ‘n’ Roll star of all time, so in 1997, I was thrilled to find myself inside his home at Graceland, and to be able to wander through the Hall of Fame.

The Forbidden City in Beijing had always sounded so mystical to me, and in 1999, I was privileged to visit this palatial complex which contains 9,999 rooms. Here is a photo taken inside ‘The Hall of Preserving Harmony’.

Well, I think that’s enough ‘inside’ memories for this challenge. Hope you’re all having a great weekend.

Side View’s weekend challenge “My first” visit to the USA in pics.

Sidey’s weekend challenge, “my first,” made me think of my first visit to the USA in 1995. Hubby was attending a conference  at the Anaheim Convention Centre just across the car park from Disneyland. It was our first experience of riding on the wrong side of the road, and after thirty six hours of travelling, hubby was an absolute star at driving a strange car on the Los Angeles freeways whilst nursing a twelve hour jetlag. We didn’t have a GPS, but he found the hotel without much trouble at all. Whilst he was at the convention, son and I, after ordering breakfast in the room at the Pan Pacific, took the hotel courtesy bus to the South Coast Mall, our first experience of American shopping malls.

We were like kids in a candy store, as everything seemed so inexpensive, and there was such an incredible choice of goods. At that time the exchange rate was about R3 to the dollar. Oh bliss! I remember when hubby got back on that first afternoon. We gave him five minutes to get changed and then he had to take us back there in the rental car, for more retail therapy. Laughing
On the Sunday we went to the Crystal Cathedral,

and listened to the most amazing recital on this massive organ.

After the conference was over, we went to Disneyland, did the rides and watched the shows and the parade. What an experience!


Then we did a ten day road trip from LA, to Palm Springs, where we went up the mountain on an aerial tramway,

on to Tucson Arizona, where we visited an Indian interpretive centre and had lunch,

Next stop was the OK Corral at Tombstone, where the most famous gun fight in the Wild West, took place in 1881.

Grand Canyon, which we saw really early in the morning after a sleepless night in our motel at Flagstaff where we were kept awake by the train horn noise from the busy Burlington Northern Santa Fe line which passed very close by. At 3am, we decided enough was enough, and bleary eyed, just packed up and left.

The Hoover Dam, in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border of Arizona and Nevada, was an awesome sight.

In Las Vegas, we stayed in a really plush hotel at a very reasonable rate. They must have been very disappointed when we left without gambling a single cent. Wink

We drove through the beautiful Yosemite National Park, and as you can see, we weren’t dressed for the snow.

In San Francisco,  we rode on the famous tram cars and saw the amazing Golden Gate Bridge.

Then it was back to LA, where we stayed in Santa Monica for a few days.

Little did we know that this first time to the USA, was to be the first of many visits, and that our son would end up living and working in New York, less than five years later. Here we are now with a house in Florida, toying with the idea of moving here permanently. Some first times can escalate beyond all imaginings.

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend, Chat again soon.