Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Photographing Christmas in Historic St. Charles


One of my favorite Christmas outings is a walk down Main  Street in downtown St Charles, Missouri.  This charming town was built on the banks of the Missouri river.  I wrote about this town in a previous post World Wide Photo Walk
In that post you see the town decked out in their fall décor.

In this post I will give you a brief history of the town and then share my photos taken during early December.

A Brief History of St. Charles

Here is a few of the highlights of St. Charles history. If you'd like to know more, check out the link below.

  • Founded in 1769 by French-Canadian fur trader Louis Blanchette
  •  In 1804 on the banks of the Missouri river, Lewis and Clark met here to begin their westward expedition.
  • In 1818 Saint Philippine Duchesne established first free girls school west of the Mississippi.
  • Between 1821-1826 St. Charles served as Missouri's first capital.
  • Today it is a destination for over one million visitors each year.
https://www.discoverstcharles.com/about/history/


Conservatory for Weddings


Before we started our walk  down Main Street we stopped by the Conservatory a greenhouse turned into a wedding venue.  It was my first visit and I found it a delightful setting for small weddings.  Below is a shot looking toward the front of the greenhouse.


Photos from our Walk down the Historic Streets

After visiting the Conservatory  we proceeded down Main Street to photograph the historic buildings in their Christmas décor.  I was especially drawn to the windows and doors as you can see in the photos below.






Zazzle Products from Main Street Photos




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

River Street Sweets – Savannah Candy Store Review

(c) Wednesday Elf

The Sweet Taste of Savannah!

On historic River Street in Savannah, Georgia you will find a candy store that has been renowned for their world famous pralines for 44 years.  Everyone who walks into River Street Sweets will be enticed to try a sample of the pralines or fudge or other candies on display. 


A simple taste of these delicious handmade candies will also find you purchasing a bit of this, a little of that…. and of course a few pralines. So many sweet treats to choose from.  One whole wall is filled with every flavor of saltwater taffy you can imagine.  I have yet to go into the store without leaving with at least a few tasty tidbits. 



Oh Fudge – How River Street Sweets Came About


Chocolate Fudge - River Street Sweets
Stan & Pam Strickland had a gift shop on River Street called The Cotton Bale where they sold knick-knacks and Christmas ornaments.  In 1978 they were at a gift market trade show in Atlanta with their daughter Jennifer and son Tim looking for new items for their store .  Tim, age 11, found a fudge pot and begged his parents to put it in the store.  

They finally agreed and a week later, on St. Patrick's Day, the first batch of chocolate mint fudge was made. It sold like crazy and soon it became obvious that candy was much more popular than the gifts they had been featuring.  Within six months, River Street Sweets became a full-fledged candy store.

Today, they are known worldwide for their gourmet southern sweets. On a visit to River Street Sweets you can watch candy makers dip pralines onto a giant marble slab Stan bought from a gravestone company. You can also see them stir glazed pecans in  huge copper kettles and see the 100-year-old saltwater taffy machine in action. They make their sweets in the stores and also ship them out around the world.




Come on a video tour of Savannah Street Sweets




The Savannah store is run today by grown-up Jennifer and Tim, while just down the street Stan "The Candy Man" operates Savannah's Candy Kitchen, the largest candy store in the south since 1990. 


If you cannot make it to Savannah, other River Street Sweets stores can be found in the Mall of Georgia in North Atlanta, in two places in Charleston, SC, and in Myrtle Beach, SC, as well as Key West and Lancaster Maryland. New locations will soon be coming to Texas, New Jersey and South Carolina.  You can also order them online from Amazon or through their catalog or website.  



Holiday and Gift Baskets



Office Party Basket - River Street Sweets
The wicker gift baskets are popular with tourists for taking home to friends & family.  They are irresistibly filled with delights such as pralines, bear claws, glazed pecans, hand-stretched peanut brittle, nougat log rolls and creamy chocolate fudge. Or grab a box of your favorite sweets (mine is fudge with walnuts). 

All candies sold by River Street Sweets are made using their own family recipes to make the finest and freshest handmade Southern candies around.  Not surprising, their best sellers are the glazed pecans, their bear claws and the oh-so-delicious pecan pralines.




How the Pralines are Made





A Sweet Treat you'll love. 









(c) Travel Review written by Wednesday Elf (12/22/2018)




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Reviewing the Anker PowerCore Portable Charger

Anker PowerCore Review
Anker is becoming a brand name that I trust and depend on. And the PowerCore portable charger is no exception. Whether you travel and do not want to have the security risk of plugging in to public charging stations or you spend time off-grid but still want to keep that cell phone charged for emergencies, the Anker is an excellent choice for portable, secure, and dependable charging.

I bought one for myself but I think this little gadget would be a great gift idea.


What is an Anker PowerCore Portable Charger?


My description of the PowerCore is a rechargeable battery that is small enough to fit in my coat pocket but holds enough power to fully recharge my phone (and Kindle) many times. 

Even though it is an electronic gadget, it is foolproof. 

Three easy steps:

  1. Plug it in to charge the battery using the USB cord (using my laptop or the same plug I use to charge my phone and my Kindle)
  2. Remember to put it into my purse, coat pocket, or camping tote
  3. Plug my phone (or Kindle) into the PowerCore to charge as needed.



The Description from the experts:

  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 (24w) with Anker's proprietary PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology - fastest possible charge to almost any USB device. 
  • 7 days of power (fills the iPhone 7 almost seven times, the Galaxy S8 more than four times, and iPad Air 2 one and a half times) 
  • Quick Charge input, a full recharge is over in half the time of standard portable chargers. (written by Anker about the PowerCore 20000 Quick Charge 3.0)

Why I Chose the Anker PowerCore 20000 Quick Charge 3.0


I go camping at my cabin for days on end. I own the Anker PowerPort Solar charger and love it. It is dependable and perfect for off-grid living (see my review here). Perfect, except for when it isn't. 

This year was a record-breaking rainfall year in my area. Rain means solar charges aren't able to work properly (if at all). Lack of sunlight was causing either no charge on my phone or a walk (in the pouring rain) to the Jeep to charge (slowly) my phone. Due to all this rain, I bought the PowerCore "battery".  I charge it fully at the apartment, throw it into my camping tote, and I have a dependable way to charge my phone - rain or shine.

I depend on the Anker PowerPort Solar charger - except during a season of record rainfall.

I chose the 20,000 based on the higher number of charges it provides (compared to some of the more compact PowerCore chargers) and the price tag was as high as I wanted to spend that day.  

My PowerCore came with the charger, the USB cord to charge it, and a slightly padded travel bag. It did not come with the plug that is used in a wall outlet. But I already had several of those. 

There are many Anker PowerCore choices, smaller/less expensive and larger/more expensive.  I love that Anker provides so many options.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Visit Missouri-Augusta

On a beautiful early autumn afternoon I took a stroll through Augusta Missouri with a group of fellow photographers.  Augusta is a small town located on the Bluffs of the Missouri River about 35 miles west of St. Louis.  In this post I will review of little about Augusta and show you my photographs.

History of Augusta

Augusta was founded in 1837 by a settler that followed Daniel Boone to Missouri. (Here is a link to an article on the nearby Daniel Boone home site https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2018/05/review-of-daniel-boone-home-site-in.html ) Leonard Harold chose the town site for the excellent river landing on the shores of the Missouri river.  When the town was incorporated in 1855 it had become a booming agricultural community.  It's main produce was grain, livestock and wine grapes.

Augusta Today

Today Augusta is a thriving community of 200 residents.  It has two wineries, Augusta Winery and Mt. Pleasant Winery and several Bed & Breakfasts.  It has become a popular stop for tourists visiting the Missouri wine country.  Augusta has several small shops for tourists to stop at when they are in town.  Here are some photos I took during our stroll through the town.
Augusta Art Gallery

Cranberry House

Downtown Streets




Augusta is host to several different festivals during the year including:

  • Plein Air Art Festival
  • Harvest Festival
  • Candlelight Christmas Walk
If you are interested in visiting Augusta stop by their website at http://www.augusta-missouri.com/


Augusta Bed and Breakfasts

Red Brick Inn
Augusta features several bed and breakfasts, such as The Red Brick Inn pictured above, which was built in 1865.  Here you can enjoy a wonderful breakfast and great hospitality from the owners Chuck and Esther.  Just click on the link below the photo for more information.  It is a great place to spent your nights while taking in the scenic views and wonderful atmosphere of the Missouri wine country.  http://redbrickinnofaugusta.com/





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Photographing Historic Scituate Lighthouse



Scituate Lighthouse


On a trip between Boston and Cape Cod my husband and I made a small detour to see beautiful Scituate Lighthouse. This lighthouse is located on the South Shore of Boston. On this page I will review a bit about the history of this lighthouse along with sharing my photos from our visit.
 

Lighthouse History

Scituate Lighthouse is the 5th oldest lighthouse in New England and the 11th oldest in the United States.  It was activated in 1811 and is built of split granite blocks with a 1 1/2 story house attached.  While searching online for information on the lighthouse I found the interesting story listed below.  The information is from the Scituate Historical Society web page.



Captain Simeon Bates, the first keeper of Scituate Lighthouse, his wife, and nine children lived at the house. During the War of 1812 Abigail and Rebecca, young daughters of the lighthouse keeper, prevented the British from sacking the town. Noting the approach of two redcoat-filled barges from a British ship of war, the girls snatched fife and drum and hiding behind a thick cluster of cedar trees made such a din that the British mistook them for an entire regiment and made a hasty retreat. Abigail and Rebecca Bates have gone down in history as 'The American Army of Two" and their courageous act has been recorded in many textbooks and story books.    http://scituatehistoricalsociety.org/light/

I also find it fascinating that the captain and his family of 11 lived in the small house attached to the lighthouse.  Here is a photo I took of the lighthouse with the house attached.

The Lighthouse Today

Today the lighthouse is located at the  end of Lighthouse Road.  It is now an active private aid to navigation and is managed by  the Scituate Historical Society.  It is only open limited hours but we were able to walk around the grounds and I was able to capture photos from various directions.

As we left the lighthouse we pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant and I was able to photograph the lighthouse from across the bay.

Read More of Tales of New England

If you found the story of the two sisters fascinating you may  want to  read more tales from early New England or perhaps this story about a Rhode Island lighthouse keepers daughter.




Zazzle Candle from my Photo




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Explore St Louis-The Old Courthouse

In this post I will give you a pictorial review of the Old Courthouse in St. Louis Missouri. 


History of Old Courthouse

First I'd like to give you a very brief history of the Old Courthouse.  In 1816 land was donated for a courthouse in St.  Louis.  This land is just west of the St. Louis riverfront.  A federal style brick courthouse was first built on the site in 1828.  By the mid 1830's St. Louis had already outgrown this courthouse.  In 1839 construction began on the current courthouse which incorporated the original courthouse as part of the east wing.  Other revisions have been made to the courthouse over the years and the courts remained in the building until 1930.  In 1935 the courthouse became a National Monument and today it hosts many visitors.   The view below is from the southwest.



Important Events at Old Courthouse

There have been many important decisions made and events happening at the Old Courthouse.
Two of the most well known include:

  • 1847 and 1850  Dred and Harriet Scott sued for their freedom.
  • 1872  Virginia Minor sued for the right to vote.
Both of these cases ended up going to the Supreme Court and lost.  But they are both considered to be key  turning points in history.

Prior to the Civil war slaves were sold on the courthouse steps. See the plaque below along with  two photos depicting the Dred Scott case.




Photographing the Old Courthouse

I was able to go down to the Old Courthouse on two different occasions in September and was able to photograph the Old Courthouse from different angles.  The photo below shows the courthouse in a distance as I was walking through the park just west of the courthouse.
In 1965 the opening of the Gateway Arch changed the landscape of downtown St. Louis.  Since that time a popular photo of the Old Courthouse is one where it is framed by the arch as you see in the photo below.
On my second visit during September to photograph down by the arch and courthouse we arrived before sunrise and were able to get some photographs in the early morning light.

Zazzle Items from my Photographs





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Explore St Louis-The Gateway Arch

Gateway to the West
I have lived in the St. Louis area for most of my life and I never get tired of telling people about my home town.  There are so many wonderful landmarks in the area and over the next few months I hope to share several of them with the Review This readers through my photographs. 

Reviewing The Gateway Arch

The most well known landmark in St. Louis is the Gateway Arch.  The arch was built during my high school years and I still remember hearing about the construction.  The arch was built as a monument to the "Westward Expansion" of the United States.


Construction on the arch began on February 12, 1963 and was completed on October 28, 1965.  It was located on the site of the founding of St. Louis on the west bank of the Mississippi river.  The arch stands at 630 feet tall.  It has a museum below the arch that tells of the history of the area and the westward expansion.

I have been to the top of the arch several times and it is always thrilling (and a bit scary) to ride the jerky little elevator to the top and then look out over St. Louis through the little windows.
See small windows at top of Arch
Over the years the arch has become the iconic symbol of St. Louis.  Whenever I travel whether by plane or car and I am returning home when I see the arch it brings a smile to my face.

Photographing the Arch

Over the years the arch has been photographed over and over.  It is always a challenge for a photographer to get a unique photo of the arch.  It has been photographed from every angle and most July 4th's you will see wonderful photographs of fireworks framed by the arch.  They are set off on a barge in the river and people gather on the arch grounds to watch the spectacle.  

In early September my husband and I went to a Cardinal ballgame one afternoon and before the game we walked the several blocks over to the arch grounds to photograph the arch.  It was a beautiful sunny day with some fluffy clouds in the sky.  The two photographs above are ones that I took that morning.  The first photograph was taken from the top of the steps of the Old Courthouse just across the street from the arch grounds.

That trip got me excited to take more photos of the arch and I decided I would love to capture it in the early morning light just before sunrise.  A couple of weeks later my friend and I got up early and took a drive downtown.  Here are a few of the photographs I got that morning.



Once the sun came up it was too bright to photograph the arch from the front.  I had heard that they had added a reflecting pond during a recent renovation of the arch grounds so we took a walk to look for the best angle to capture the arch and it's reflection.  Here is my favorite shot.


My Arch Photos on Zazzle

Here is a poster I made on Zazzle the includes several of my St. Louis photos.  You can find more of my work by clicking on the link below the poster or going to www.zazzle.com/mbgphoto.

St Louis Landmarks Poster
by mbgphoto 
I also have several other items showing the arch on Zazzle.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.