Happy Sunday! This week, Tina from Travels and Trifles is the lovely hostess for this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge and she asks whether we’re a city mouse or country mouse as in what’s our favorite environments.
I do not like photographing anything – especially landscapes – through any kind of window or glass. It not only distorts the color temperature – makes the scene look cold when it’s supposed to be warm, add green when there shouldn’t be green, and don’t get me started about cloud colors – it’s a nightmare when it comes to editing these photos in Lightroom.
Sometimes though, I can’t say I have a choice like unless I suddenly sprout a pair of wings, there’s no way I could photograph in the open air more than a hundred stories above ground. I took these with my phone, by the way, in RAW before uploading them to Lightroom and stitching them to make a large panorama. If I remember, each of these images are made up of 9 to 11 images stitched together. The smaller focal lengths of the phone’s camera really helps sometimes.
I thought these came out great except for the bit of reflection, which as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get rid of them.
As much as I don’t like it, sometimes, it is the way to go and I got a few favorites that were taken through the window while the car was moving or through a plain old window.
For reference, day 10 is referring to September 29, 2022.
2 more days until home…
I felt a bit better, not coughing as much, though my voice still sounded pretty bad. The tough part has been getting through the night because that’s when the stuffy nose comes and I begin to feel like I’m choking. I think it might be caused by the dust in the motels which exacerbated the problem.
We stopped by the New Jersey State House in the morning. It was sorta a drop-by since we were heading toward Trenton to avoid bridge tolls. In the west, we call this the Capitol Building. I’ve never heard of it referred to as “State House” before. I learned that when I couldn’t find “New Jersey Capitol” on Google Maps.
This is definitely by far the oldest Capitol building I’ve ever been to. It was originally built in the late 18th Century before it was burned, rebuilt, renovated, and added several more wings over the years to accommodate the growing state.
It was also the one with the tightest security measures. It was like going through the TSA checkpoint at an airport. I must empty my pockets, place everything in a bucket, and walk through the scanner. We were also not allowed to tour the building ourselves. We needed to call and schedule a tour. Thankfully, the people at the Capitol building were willing to do an impromptu tour.
I learned a lot about the state of New Jersey on this tour like how it’s blueberries and peaches are well-known. I find it so fascinated to learn fun facts like these. The tour ended after 20 minutes and our guide led us to the door.
The outside of the complex is just as interesting as the inside like this tree that was dedicated to George Washington who famously crossed the Delaware River nearby and this fountain, which makes a great photo opp.
After the State House, we headed to Chambersburg, PA, where we will spend the next 2 nights and we’re planning to tour Gettysburg the next day,
For reference, day 9 is referring to September 28, 2022.
It’s day 2 in Philadelphia and I would say it felt more relaxed than normal. There wasn’t much rushing from place to place. I think the expectation has been lowered ever since we got sick, to not try to see the entire city but to focus on one place at a time. If there’s time, we’ll see more.
Mom seemed convinced she contracted COVID from the guy sitting next to her on the plane. He wore a mask and his wife next to him seemed to be on medication that made her sleepy and confused. She was listening to the symptoms of COVID all night long.
We stayed in a hotel in downtown Philadelphia the night after staying in the worst motel imaginable. The downtown hotel felt like heaven compare to the other motel. The first thing I did was take 2 showers to rid the smell of cigarettes from my body and hair. I washed and rinsed and washed and rinsed until I could no longer smell that dreadful scent.
We spent the morning visiting the National Constitution Center, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Once again, mom didn’t like it because of the so-called “skewed perspective.” I wanted to read every placard on display in that museum but each time I found something interesting, I’d get pulled away by mom.
The exhibits I enjoyed the most were the Civil War and Women’s suffrage exhibits. I find Civil War to be one of the most fascinating time in US history and I briefly listened to a podcast on women’s suffrage last month, so I was excited to learn more. Mom was uninterested to go to both exhibits but thankfully, she let me go alone while she waited outside.
I don’t know why I keep getting the feeling of being undermined. For example, I got hungry and wanted to make myself a bowl of noodle soup. Mom wanted me to wait until she got back but I figured I’m a grown-up and I can make it myself. I overheated the water and made a tiny mess in the microwave.
“I told you to wait for me.” She clicked her tongue. I hate it when she does that because that’s when I know I done something she thinks is wrong which has been often on this trip.
Anyway, it’s back to Jersey tonight because we couldn’t book an extra night in downtown Philly. We’re heading back to Trenton, NJ to see New Jersey State House before crossing over to Pennsylvania and head for Gettysburg where we’ll stay for the next 2 nights.
For reference, day 8 is referring to September 27, 2022.
I have so many thoughts at the moment. I don’t know whether that’s due to sleep deprivation or the fact that I am now sick, too, caught whatever Mom got from sharing a bed and probably not covering her mouth when she coughed around me. I feel like shit. My nose is stuffy, my voice is hoarse and at times, gone, and I’m coughing like there’s no tomorrow.
I’ve also been getting next to no sleep with mom blasting YouTube all night long while unconsciously snatching the covers, leaving me with nothing, and snoring so loud and I mean loud. I think my sleep at night has been more like catnaps – waking up every so often like someone’s anticipating the alarm to ring.
This morning, I woke up in the worst motel room imaginable, my hair and body reek of cigarette smoke and marijuana. I felt a bit better, not coughing as much. Mom was quite the opposite. She looked like she’s going to cough out a lung. That’s the last time I will ever share a bed.
At 9:30 AM, we arrived in the heart of Philadelphia, PA – the city of Brotherly Love. The traffic felt absolutely chaotic. The moment we got off the Ben Franklin bridge, we saw people walking in the middle of the road, among cars!
Aren’t they afraid of being hit? It is a highway after all.
After parking the car in the lot next to the hotel, we made our way around the city – first to Chinatown and then to Independence Hall.
I have never been to Independence Hall nor seen the Liberty Bell in person, only in movies. So I was excited to expand my knowledge of U.S. History.
Or so I thought…
Mom rushed me from one display to the next without ever allowing me to read the text. I told her to hold on and wait for me a few times but her answer was always, “there’s nothing to see here.” She said Independence Hall has changed drastically since her last visit which was 24 years ago. She said the history placards have been rewritten by the recent presidents to make the history of the Founding Fathers skew toward the institution of slavery.
To be honest, from the texts I managed to read, I did not see any skewing and biases toward African American. Sure, history is always told from one perspective and that perspective isn’t always right but that’s just what history is, isn’t it?
From my experience, to make a bridge takes many shapes – triangles, trapezoids, squares to name a few. These shapes typically make up the basic design of any bridge. I hope you enjoy my gallery of bridges.
When I saw the topic for this challenge, my memory almost immediately took me to this picture. This was a church long ago, back when Portuguese dominated this town, Macau, in China. Sadly, it was burn down and all that was left was this wall.