Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nothing spells adventure like dog puke

DISCLAIMER: these photos were not taken with a real camera. I miss my camera. R.I.P. But thanks to the smart phone this entry was possible. Yay for phones that are terrible to make calls from, but great for other things.

I always say yes to travel. But lately traveling with Claire has proven to be least our adventures always lead to good dramatic stories. Somehow I always end up without pants while Claire drives me to safety. (But she also lead me to The Peril....Hmmmm? I should investigate this.) This trip was no different than the ones that came before. There was salt water down my pants and some dog vomit on the ride to Newport. Who knew Newport could be so damn exciting?!?!?!?!??!?! And all this happened after the "kind" folks at Brooks Brothers wanted to boot us out of the store for looking too homeless. Ahhhh, adventures. 

That there is ma' dawg. She's a hot mess and this is why we are perfect for each other. She looks like the epitome of good health there, right? Wrong. Claire's car would beg to differ. She managed to yarf in the one spot of back seat that was not covered by her "in case she barfs" blanket. Coincidence, or doodle being extra dramatic? She does what she wants. So we pull off the highway, clean out the back seat and continue with our travels. So far we're off to an exciting ride there. Nothing else can happen, right?

I love bridges. Always. 

Check out that doodle shadow on the left! She looks like she shouldn't be messed with. Which is pretty true since at the bottom of these 40 steps she tried to attack a sweet little girl. The excitement continues as I prepare the ad for Neko's Petfinder listing.

I like tunnels too. Not just bridges. (We're approaching the magic hour light, folks.)

I especially love tunnels when they speak to me. *Love* Is* Life*. I may have written it LIFE IS LOVE, but I'm not complaining. Either way, it's a cool find. Newport, you may be interesting after all.

Claire dragged Neko and I on the famous Newport Cliff Walk. Despite the freezing weather and hurricane type winds, we dragged our bums across the 2 miles to the beach, even conquering the hurricane damaged walkway. It wouldn't be a Claire and Lauren adventure without breaking a law. We do what we want.

If only it were summer!

Claire and the doodle navigate the rocks.

I like the way the water is hugging the rock at the top left.

Claire tells me to go check this rock out. It involves some climbing. And I knew I was doomed from the beginning but I am not one to miss a good photo opportunity. I climb this bugger and just when I think I'm in the clear, a rogue wave gets into my pants. Thank you universe. You keep me laughing. And cold. Very cold. 

There are two more miles to walk to get back to the warmth of the car. Son of a...

If you ever want to buy me a house, you can buy one for me here. It was a worth a shot.

So I am pantsless in Claire's car. Good times. But Claire wanted me to get out of the car to take some sunset photos. Conundrum. Coat is soaked too. My pants are warming up on the dashboard and I told her to pull over so I can grab a shot through the car. Pants going back on were not an option at this point. Claire rolls the window down for me just in time for another wave to come and splash us in the car. WTF, universe? We were on a road, in a car...yet still there is salt water coming after us. Mr. McCatty was right back in high school. He told me, "Never turn your back on the ocean." Who knew that little nugget of information would be useful in my 30s? 

You can see the bridge far off in the distance here...Pretty.

I snag some dry fresh pants and head out to this roadside prettiness. I'm not one to say no to a nice sunset. Even when the hypothermia is setting in.

Framing. I know, brilliant. BOOM.

Sunset downtown.

If only it weren't winterish...this would have been a relaxing sight!

I love blue sky as much as I love bridges and tunnels.

Bye, bye Newport! Peace out, girl scouts.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Point & The Plank

These photos are an extra bonus to me. Somehow my memory card allowed them to survive their swim in the Long Island Sound. I put my card into a different camera and ZERO photos showed up. I put the card on my mac and nothing was there. A few minutes later they appeared. I don't know how or why, but I am thankful. All of these are from Old Saybrook, some from The Point and others from Chalker Beach, a neighborhood that took a pretty big hit during Sandy. I was only there a few minutes before I fell into and became one with the Long Island Sound. I didn't really get to explore the 'hood as I had wished. Nevertheless, these photos survived, so yay. =)

This carving is at my family's little inn by the water. Some of the pilings have been carved into shoreline animals.  

Disaster tourists (of which I am a part of so I am not being judgey) come to check out what happened to our marina. The surge actually rolled in on top of our stationary docks. 

Some sea junk piles up in one of the boat spaces. Thank goodness the storm arrived when the marina was empty.

Scary junk with nails and a little girl's shoe floating around...


Would you like some ice with that? It's not every day you see an ice machine floating in the Sound.

 Some context.

The bridge that joined the outside dock together with the main dock is no more.

On the bright side, it could make a good water slide now.


So, people won't be walking on the outer dock any time soon...

The main dock leading to the lighthouse sustained some damage, too.

My dad said this floating concrete thing was supposed to protect the marina from storms. It is now resting on its side. 

The lighthouse still stands! The toothfairy (grandpa) paid me many visits there!

More dock damage.

My favorite photo from the day, one not of destruction, taken during the magic hour. =)

This is all that remains of a pretty strong reinforced cement bench! Now we can see why this part of town had a mandatory evacuation. 

The mini golf business at The Point took a pretty big hit as well. I spent a lot of time playing there as a wee one. The rest of the building was washed away; all that remains is a microwave under its roof.

Not a typical sight at The Point...

Still standing...

Residents on Chalker Beach lost the back sides of their homes.

Look how close the water is a week later!!

Ah, the sea wall of doom. I walked out on this stupid thing, slipped on slime and then wrestled with that submerged tree there on the left as I tried to get out. Silly, silly, silly.

Rest in peace my Nikon D700. You were loved. (I'm not totally giving up on you yet, just because you refuse to turn on and do anything useful. You may end up being one excellent paper weight!)

Delirious. But I learned something useful. When you fall into the sea wearing a fleece jacket, it keeps your shoulders completely dry! Now you know. You're welcome. (Thank you to Claire for these photos.) I call this one "baptism." 

My sister seemed to really enjoy this, despite having to witness my stripping down to my skivvies in public, much to her horror. =)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Room with a View

Holy moly. I have working internets and cable. It's like a Christmas miracle over here in North Haven! Guess that means the internet gods will let me post some more Arizona photos!

Above is one of my favorite photos from this trip. I shot this as we hiked through Walnut Canyon on the Island Trail to check out some ancient cave dwellings.  It's hard to fathom what it would have been like to live here 700 years ago. Today it's a beautiful hiking trail featuring 25 different cave homes.  

One wall of cave dwellings faces another and if I closed my eyes long enough I could imagine the echoes that bounced off these cliffs back when life thrived here. Families grew corn, squash and beans together, called The Three Sisters. You plant corn first, then plant beans around it to grow up the stalks, finally you plant squash around the whole deal to protect your crops from animals, etc. This practice is still used today by farmers.

There is no corn growing here now. But the cacti are a plenty. This one just so happens to have an eye, a nose and a smile. Check the side profile, people.

In case you forget you're at super high elevation, here is a rock to remind you not to move too quickly. This is where I realized that Native Americans probably had pretty awesome lungs to survive here. 

The view from one cave dwelling to another...

That's a Tiff on the left hand side as seen from inside a dwelling.

The cave rooms are quite roomy. I could set up my bed, some chairs, a dresser here and live comfortably.

I have no idea what this plant is called but it was everywhere. I really enjoyed the curly spindles that grew off of them. Not sure why, but this photo (below) makes me really happy. 

The view from the top of the park.

Rule of thirds. Grrrr.

My home's front door. Come in.

Doing what we do best, posing for photos in pretty places.

In-camera vignetting is the devil's work.

Tiff risked her life for this photo. Who knows what type of horrible human flesh-loving snakes live  up in there?

I said something funny, I hope. Or maybe the altitude made her lose her mind. ;)

Dead wood with some pretty patterns happening. 

I never know what to say at the end of any entry. I think this is all there is for my Arizona photos. I am going to have to find another project to focus my attention on. Suggestions? There will probably be some shoreline hurricane photos coming up soon.  But what else?  Places? People?