Over the weekend Mike and I traveled to Eureka Springs, Arkansas for my cousin Alana’s wedding. I haven’t been there for a long time, but I used to go there as a kid because my great aunt lived nearby. We’d hit the toy stores, and then head to Branson for a little Silver Dollar City action. I think this photo, circa 1987, is from there:

I remember it being a cute little town with trolleys and lots of shops with lacey dolls and fudge. I also remember the drive in being windey windey to the point of making us nauseous.

Well, some things have changed.

Thankfully, the roads have been updated so that only the last 20 minutes or so are windey. The town is still cute as ever, lots of stone buildings built right into hillsides and full of cute shops and restaurants.

This guy was just hanging out.

But now in addition to the townies they also have a good sized biker population alongside a good size gay population and a good sized hippie population. According to the groom, when they checked out the rehearsal dinner spot last year, a tranny convention was going on.

Oh yeah, and apparently pot is legal, too. We dubbed it the San Francisco of the south. You should go!

It worked out well for us because this eclectic crowd also digs the fair trade coffee and vegetarian food. We ate very well over the weekend.

But, what we were there for was a wedding, and it was just beautiful. They couldn’t have asked for better weather. Here’s where the ceremony took place (outside the supposedly haunted Crescent Hotel).

Isn’t this a lovely lady? My grandma Mason.

And how about this cute couple.

Only to be outdone by this even cuter couple.

More vacation photos

A while back I realized I had dozens of photos from our vacation that I never posted. Things have been a little hectic since we got back so I’m just now getting to putting them up (apologies). I can’t remember which ones Mike took so I’ll just say they’re from both of us.

Mike takes on a statue in Boston. And wins!

Mmmm, pastries.

Harbor in Portland, Maine.

More from Maine.

A schooner that passed us on the ferry to Nova Scotia.

A crazy caterpillar we saw on our hike.

White sand beach. I try not to think too much about the fact that I’m not still there.

I just liked this tree. (spoken like a true hippie)

They know how to pick paint colors in Nova Scotia.

At the Anne of Green Gables house, Anne’s room.

Toward the end of our journey, with about 50 million miles under our belts.

Vacation photos

Our approach to travel is a little unconventional but it works for us. We try to see as much as we can possibly see – that we have never seen before – in just over a week. Two summers ago we covered the deep south, 13 states and 3,500 miles. This time, with a wedding in Hudson, New York as our excuse, we decided to try New England and the Maritimes — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in Canada.

I think this trip was much more stressful than the south trip. You try driving to a new major city every single day. Navigating took all the patience we had and some we didn’t. But we reaped the rewards in extraordinary views, and weather that always seemed about 12 hours ahead of hurricane Hanna. She let us be, and we soaked it up.

Here’s the wedding venue, a factory turned empty warehouse turned theater.

One of many, many, many statues in Boston.

I loved Boston. Couldn’t get enough of it. What a smart city, full of history and cool architecture and great shopping and restaurants. Best pizza and bread pudding I’ve had in my life was at Figs in Beacon Hill.

What else? A lighthouse near Portland, Maine.

The view at lunch at a little pub in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. By this point we were trying to master driving in the metric system. Do you know how fast 100 km/hour is?

Sunset in Lunenburg, NS.

That afternoon we drove through little beach town after town and stopped for a hike in the Kejimkujik (i think?) national park. There were seals and crashing waves and white sand. I just don’t think our photos captured how incredible it was.

Me in front of the Anne of Green Gables house on Prince Edward Island.

That’s right girls, it’s a real place, and it is incredibly beautiful. So picturesque it doesn’t seem real.

Switching gears, Stephen King’s house in Bangor, Maine.

Driving there the night before in dense fog was so creepy I completely understood how he could imagine his stories.

Mike examining a canon at Fort Ticonderoga in New York. I never said we weren’t huge geeks.

Is this heaven? No, it’s Vermont. A state full of hippies and Ben and Jerrys. Love at first sight.

Childhood photo project

I have been wanting to finish this project for a while now, and it is so nice to finally have it done. And I’m happy to say I did not have to buy a single thing. I already had photo paper and a printer, and the frames from a previous project I had done. They were just sitting empty in a Rubbermaid tub.

The photos were all taken between 1980 and about 1988. I went through albums both at my house and at Mike’s house and picked out the ones that we (and our moms) liked the most, either for photo quality or good memories.

There is some seriously cute stuff here.

I guess I’ve just been really into the idea of showcasing great photos instead of keeping them stuffed in an album lately.

This is what I did:

-Scanned in the photos at 300 dpi (this allows you to blow them up if you want them bigger).
-Imported them into iPhoto. This is where you can make any adjustments to the size and color.
-Printed them on photo paper. I was able to select what size I wanted, so I went with mostly 5x7s and 4x6s. Some 3x5s, too. (Many times I order prints from Snapfish. I think the quality is great, and shipping is usually only 99 cents.)
-Then I just arranged them, sort of like a collage over the 6 frames. I trimmed some so they would fit better. I hung them on the wall in a random pattern.

The frames aren’t high quality by any means, but I can always put the photo collages in better frames if I get them someday. For now, I love having those photos out for all to see.

Not recommended: Photography while driving

When I was driving back to Iowa from Kansas I, of course, passed through a storm. When I was coming up on it, it looked really ominous. The water coming down through the clouds formed a kind of funnel shape. But then, while it poured down rain, a hole opened in the middle of the clouds and the sun came out.

As I continued on and the sun set, I just thought the sky was beautiful. The clouds were bluish-purplish and pockmarked with little indentations.

And then last week I took this photo while I was walking to work. Amidst all the panic at work about the flooding, life seemed to go on for downtown workers. These guys worked in tandem to clean every surface of this building.