Fascinating Fascinators

I got the wild hair earlier this week to do some posing shots with Marlyn. I ran it past her and she was more than happy to be my subject and wear some of her hats to show off! We headed to the Old Alton Bridge in Denton to use it as the backdrop. The 4 handmade fascinator type hats she decided to wear were inspired by Mark Twain, Muriel Barbery, Lewis Carroll, and Robert Louis Stevenson. I also took a couple of shots after that when we went to the main square and hit the local stores!

This First set was the Mark Twain inspired hat:

The second set is the hat inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Third set is Muriel Barbery:

And this last set is Lewis Carroll:

After we had our fun at the bridge, we headed into town and took a look at the comic shop and then the used book store. Marlyn decided to wear her Mark Twain hat:

Overall, this was a fun test to see how well I could shoot with her, and to see how her hats look in a more “real world” scenario for possible use on her website or Etsy shop!


Day at Sharkarosa!

Today we visited Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch! A ranch in North Texas that takes in and cares for various exotic animals that they come across! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at this place but I was pleasantly surprised once we got there.


It was a very warm day, especially for February. While it has been a mild winter, this day took the cake with a temp hitting about 85 degrees. I though my bald head would be find since the winter sun is not quite as harsh as a summer one, but I was a little wrong and had a tender head at the end of it. Worth it though!

The first thing we did was grab a couple bags of feed to give to the animals. Early in the day it does a great job of grabbing their attention, but not so much later once they are full. We got to see the reptile talk and pet the snake and baby alligator that they brought out to show. Lots of camels, llamas, alpacas, as well all mini version of cows, horses, and donkeys! Marlyn instantly fell in love with the mini cows as they are the size of a large dog and almost as wide.


The second part of the day we took the safari ride. Got to see some draft¬†horses, a zedonk, a zorse, camels, beefalo, zebras, and a Pere David’s Deer. Got to snag some photos of them as they ran around the tram. Was quite fun to see them out and about and not in a small cage. Overall, this place was quite fun for a few hours worth of entertainment!



Goodbye England!

September 11th, 2009

My last day officially sight seeing in London! I pulled out my trusty map of places I had marked earlier on the trip so that I could take hit the ground running! I had to sleep in a little due to my bumpy night train from Edinburgh. After that though, I was ready to go! I hoofed around and checked out Westminster Abbey first. It was rather busy considering it was a Friday, but I did my best to avoid most of the crowds. I made my way to the Parliament building and browsed around as well. While not overly exciting for me, they were places I had wanted to at least see while here. I was about to walk across the London Bridge when a slightly scruffy looking lady approached me with a basket of flowers. She smiled at me and pinned one to my shirt. I would later find out this is a high pressure sales tactic for some of the people targeting tourists, but sadly that crap doesn’t work well on me. I nodded and started to walk off when she grabbed me and demanded money. I just smiled and said I didn’t have any. She frowned and yanked the flower off of my shirt and mumbled as she walked away.

After that fun little tryst, I walked across the bridge, taking a few shots of the Thames along the way. After crossing, I headed towards the London Eye to get some fun aerial shots. It was actually quite nice riding that thing. You get great views and luckily the glass was clean enough to get some shots as well. Seemed fitting that my last day in England was nice and sunny as well since the whole trip had been that way. I stepped off and watched a few buskers doing their business and used this time to drop some of the last bits of coin I had since I wouldn’t be needing much of it when I left. I then walked across the Millennium Bridge and then the Tower Bridge. More boxes checked. Lastly, I headed to the Globe Theater. This was a fun little tour! Learned a little about Shakespeare, where the common people would stand for plays, and what play was currently being set up for. Sadly, I didn’t get to stay for a performance, but looking around the stage and the small museum was well worth it!

I headed back to my hotel later that day and started packing up. My flight the next day was not super early, but I figured I would not tempt fate again and triple checked my alarm to make sure I was ready.

Looking back on this trip I have learned some valuable lessons and tricks. Always check your alarm clock, especially if you are jet lagged. Never be afraid to take public transportation, that might not seem like a given but sometimes it can be intimidating if you are in a foreign country. It is perfectly fine to take a guided tour, especially if you are going to a popular site. I would not have rented a car to drive to Stonehenge or Bath on this trip, so it was worth the price to have the tour! Its OK to stray from your original plans. I am a big over planner, so this trip was my first to stray some from the original plan. And lastly, people watching is the best free thing you can do on a trip. From the guys on the train to Edinburgh, the mix of travelers and locals milling around in London, to the slightly silly changing of the guard, watching how people go about their day is extremely entertaining.

Just like Japan, this trip has a special place in my heart and will probably be a return visit very soon!