Winter Joy

Visiting the Phipps Conservatory of Pittsburgh is nice any time of year but I like it best in the dead of winter. When your skin is dry and you are cold and chilly it is wonderful to spend an hour or two in warm humidity smelling the blooms of orchids and other fragrant flowers. It’s almost as good as a spa treatment. I have no idea what the actual name is of this orchid but it brought me joy in the cold of winter so to me it is Winter Joy.

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Winter Joy

Winter Joy

Power Trip

We sat sipping margaritas waiting for the sunset on the Blue Docks in Cancun. I was amazed as we watch this speed boat. People were strapped into the back and the boat slowly went out into the center of the lagoon and then came full throttle at the pier. Before hitting the pier, the boat would do a sharp turn trying apparently to throw the idiot passengers from the boat. It was very loud and they would make a huge wave and then chug back out into the center of the lagoon and do it again. People pay to experience this and I am not quite sure why.

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Power Trip

Power Trip

The Phipps Conservatory of Pittsburgh

I think the best time of year to visit a conservatory is in the dead of Winter. It’s warm and humid inside and loaded with the scent of fresh flowers and orchids in bloom. In Pittsburgh we have one of the best conservatories in the world. The Phipps Conservatory has fourteen different green house rooms connected with walkways. Waterfalls, glass sculptures and benches are scattered throughout and volunteers and employees are there to answer your questions while they maintain the beauty of the environment.

The Bonsai room has some spectacular specimens that have been in training since the 1950’s and the new education center is one of the most advanced green buildings in the United States. All the environments are computer controlled and react to wind,humidity and temperature providing a perfect environment for the flora.

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The Phipps Conservatory

The Phipps Conservatory

Hot Tub at Sunrise

OK, can’t think a better way to start the day than a pre dawn walk on the beach and watching the sunrise from a hot tub. The scene at the Westin Laguna Mar in Mexico.

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PRe Dawn Beach Walk

PRe Dawn Beach Walk

Hot Tub at Sunrise

Hot Tub at Sunrise

Templo Del Alacrán

The Templo del Alacran is located adjacent to The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort atop Cancún’s highest peak. It is not much of a peak but one of the few cliffs in Cancún that looks out toward the Caribbean Sea. It is also known as the Scorpion’s Temple. Scorpions are a special animal in the Mayan culture. It is believed that this ruin may have been a lighthouse for the city of Tulum although it may have predated the existence of Tulum. This picture was taken at sunrise.

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Templo Del Alacrán

Templo Del Alacrán

Happy Martin Luther King Day

The way I create posts for this blog is to first find an image and then write something about it. It is after all an image blog first and foremost. So I went searching for a suitable image for Martin Luther King. When he was assassinated I was living in Los Angeles and the murder occurred four days before my 23rd birthday. Three months later on June 5th, I went to a hotel in L.A. to stand with thousands of others in shock over the murder of Robert F. Kennedy. So I began to look for images that would represent Dr. King’s day.

Of course I have pictures of flags but I have used those for other holidays and although Dr. King was a true American hero, he was much more than the flag. I have other images of African Americans and although Dr. King was an African American he was also more than that. As I thought about it, I thought this was a great image to celebrate his day. He is like an eternal flame of hope. He reminds us that as long as you have hope and show respect for humanity that your life is worth living. He is a symbol of working together and doing the right thing. Thanks Dr. King for your sacrifice.

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La Playa Paraiso

After visiting Tulum, we went to a lovely beach on the Riviera Maya called La Playa Parariso. The sand was pure white and the reef that runs for 70 miles along the coast offers gentle waves and warm waters. There was a nice little beach club offering drinks and traditional Mexican fare. I can’t wait to go back.

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Holding Court on the Beach

Holding Court on the Beach

Dos Sombreros

Dos Sombreros