Christmas for Jake’s theme

Jake has posted some lovely soft images for his Christmas theme, and I still have some up my sleeve, even after posting most of my Christmas pics taken around Savannah a couple of days ago. I thought the decorations on this porch were so simple, but very effective.

DSCN0430

This house looked so beautiful, that I wanted to run up those steps and ask whether I could come inside and spend Christmas there.

DSCN0445

A few days ago, we saw this beautiful crib scene at our shopping centre in Florida.

IMG_1310

Our hotel last night had made the reception area and lounge look very Christmassy indeed,

DSCN0453

With Christmas carols playing on the TV.

DSCN0458

I used to absolutely love these ornaments when I was a child.

IMG_1316

I remember trying to get the bottom off one of them, so that I could get the Father Christmas out. 🙂

IMG_1317

Here is Tamsyn, our oldest granddaughter, all ready to pull the sleigh for Santa.

72338_10151257982013503_1263021656_n

We are still en route to New Jersey, and the traffic is horrendous; nose to tail most of the way. We will get there when we get there, I suppose, but I’m impatient and so excited to see all the family again.

I just have one thing left to say to you all on my Christmas post, and it’s this:

merry-christmas-cards

To see more posts on Jake’s Christmas Theme, just click here.

 

Come walking with me around Savannah

We booked into our hotel in Savannah, yesterday at about 4pm. Eliza Thompson House is a grand old home on historic Jones Street. It has been converted into a guest house, and has a reputation for being haunted. Confederate soldiers have been seen at upstairs windows, and a girl in a white dress, in the hallway. Lucky for me, I don’t believe in ghosts. 😕

DSCN0386

DSCN0378

The porter who showed us to our room on the ground floor, had the most gorgeous Georgia accent. Our room was beautifully furnished, and very comfortable.

DSCN0371

There was this large bust of what looked to me, rather like Napoleon, right at the bottom of my bed in front of the window.

DSCN0376

I awoke in the middle of the night, and saw this guy looking right at me. The light from the street lamp was shining through the window, and he gave me quite a fright, until I woke up sufficiently enough to remember where I was. A few years ago, writers from The South Magazine, stayed here to get a first-hand reporter’s view of paranormal activity. They stayed awake throughout the night to study the creaks and nuances of this historic home, and using their own “Fright-O-Meter” scale to compare the various local houses researched, they concluded that The Eliza Thompson House was a 4.5 out of 5. Well, even though I’m not a believer, the fright I got was a 5 out of 5.  😯

Before dark, we went out for a walk around the historic district. There were many parks, all with their various monuments.

DSCN0390

I thought this one in honour of a fallen soldier, Sergeant William Jasper, was quite beautiful.

DSCN0389

Chippewa Square was of special interest, because it’s outside this park, that Forrest Gump sat on a bench, and the feather came floating down. The bench has been removed to a museum, but we worked out where it used to stand. There was supposed to be a plaque marking the spot, but although we looked everywhere, we couldn’t find one. Hubby thinks that it was right where the name plaque is. Just the other side of the wall was a group of people listening avidly to a sermon being preached at great length by a very enthusiastic preacher man. There was a table with a couple of cooler boxes underneath, and I wondered if maybe after they’d been sitting on the cold concrete bench for an hour’s preaching, they may get rewarded with something to eat and drink. I certainly hope so.

DSCN0399

There were many churches along our route, all architecturally beautiful.

DSCN0403

DSCN0409

The Baptist one was the most stunning of them all.

DSCN0428

The shops were all decked out for Christmas, and their window displays looked quite tempting, but we didn’t venture inside as it was starting to get dark, and we still had a lot to see.

DSCN0393

DSCN0410

We got quite a surprise when in the distance, we suddenly saw a South African flag blowing in the breeze. We walked across the street to see what it was all about, but the establishment was nothing but a ‘greasy spoon’  takeaway, which didn’t look any too appetising. There were also American, Italian, and Swiss flags, alongside our rather garish Y-Front one.

DSCN0419

Just a little bit farther along, we saw this gift bag hanging outside someone’s gate. The tag simply said, “For Fred,” and I couldn’t help marvelling that one could actually leave something like this out in the street, and know that no-one but Fred would take it. This certainly wouldn’t be the case in South Africa. It would be gone in no time, as would many of the lovely outdoor Christmas ribbons, flowers, and wreaths on display. 😦

DSCN0425

There were so many beautifully decorated houses, and they all looked so cosy and inviting.

DSCN0443

DSCN0444

DSCN0435

DSCN0448

DSCN0440

After a really good nose around the neighbourhood, we went back to our hotel, and sat in the lounge sipping wine, and eating cheese and crackers, delicious sandwiches and pesto bruschetta.

DSCN0384

There was a French couple from Paris who were touring around looking for a historic property to buy as a holiday home, a couple from Michigan who had just come from marrying off their daughter to an Englishman, and an elderly couple from the Gulf Coast of Florida, who seemed to know a lot about the political situation in South Africa.

Today we are headed for Fredericksburg, stopping off at Florence which is the closest Starbucks along the route. Clever hubby found an app for my iPhone which tells me all the Starbucks locations. 🙂 It’s nice and warm in the car, but the wind chill factor outside makes it feel like -1 C, and my hair flies around like silk butterflies.

If I don’t get to visit your blog, it’s not that I’m ignoring you. I had to wait for 3 hours to even post this. 4G seems to be a rare commodity on the I-95 through South and North Carolina. 😦 Just talk amongst yourselves until I’m in business again.

Jake’s Sunday Post theme: Famous Movies

When I first saw Jake’s theme for the Sunday Post challenge, I thought “Oh dear I don’t think I have anything to contribute this week.” I then put on my thinking cap and started to think of all the places I’ve visited which are linked to various movies. Apart from “The Devil’s Tower” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” which I blogged about yesterday for the Daily Post challenge, “Close,” I came up with seven more photos of places I’ve visited which have connections to famous movies.

The majestic ‘Millenium Biltmore Hotel’ in Los Angeles where we stayed in 2006, was the place where young actress, Elizabeth Short was last seen before her disappearance in 1947.

The 2006 movie, “The Black Dahlia” was based on the novel by James Ellroy, about the mystery of  her disappearance and her unsolved murder.

This hotel was also used in the 1984 film, “Ghostbusters”

and is reputed to have quite a few ghosts of its own.

Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “North by Northwest” has Cary Grant swept up in a game of cat and mouse that takes him across the US, and eventually to the top of Mt. Rushmore for that classic chase scene across the presidents’ faces.

Here is a pic of the crew gathered at the bottom of Mt Rushmore before filming started.

Word was leaked that there would be a fight scene and a couple of deaths on the monument, which resulted in government officials barring them from filming it there, so the crew flew back to Hollywood, where Mt. Rushmore had to be recreated at MGM.

Another interesting place we visited is Tombstone in Arizona. The OK Corral here, is where the most famous gunfight in the history of the American Old West was fought in 1881. Can you see me bravely standing amongst all those cowboys with their guns? 😉

The 1957 movie, “Gunfight at the OK Corral” starring Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster is loosely based on this true story.

I’m sure that many of you remember “Rick’s Cafe” in the 1942 movie Casablanca.

This restaurant, bar and cafe was designed to recreate the bar made famous by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Set in an old courtyard-style mansion built against the walls of the Old Medina of Casablanca, the restaurant/ piano bar is filled with architectural and decorative details reminiscent of the film, and of course one of the most requested tunes for the pianist, is that wonderful song from the film, “As time goes by.”

In 2006, we were privileged to visit the beautiful Phi Phi Island in Maya Bay, where the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was filmed. We spent an idyllic few hours on that sunny day, relaxing on the soft white sand and splashing around in the surf.

Last but not least, is this park in Savannah, outside which Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) sat on a bench, telling his life’s tale to people waiting at a small town bus stop.

We just managed to snap this photo as our coach sailed past. Our guide said that the bench was just under the ‘one way’ sign, and is now inside the wall, in the park, probably where those people are sitting.

So you see, even though I’ve never actually been in a famous movie, I’ve seen lots of places featured in them. I find that quite thrilling really. 😉