Yesterday morning, my first cruise on Queen Mary 2 ended. A short five-night voyage, we left Sydney, visited Port Arthur and Hobart (both in Tasmania, and both maiden calls for this ship) and returned to Sydney. During my days of unabashed over-indulgence, I noticed these metal structures on the foredeck of Deck 7, and had NO idea what they were. Judging from the need to post the notice below, it would seem I’m not the only person who was puzzled!
Two years ago, my parents and I saw in the New Year at the Gran Hotel Ancira, in Monterrey, Mexico. It was a sit-down dinner event with a live band and dancing. We were puzzled by the grapes on the table — each place had a wine glass with 12 grapes. Our Mexican table mates explained that it was a tradition to eat the grapes at midnight, and for each grape you had to make a wish. In Spanish, it’s called Las doce uvas de la suerte, “The twelve grapes of luck”. I’ve read that you are meant to eat one grape on each stroke of midnight, but these grapes were huge! We’d have choked trying to eat them so quickly.
Happy 2016 to everyone! May your own 12 wishes be granted.
In this photo taken in Texas two years ago, the setting sun lights up the lamp post at the end of my parents’ driveway.
With Christmas Day falling on a Friday this year, I couldn’t resist a seasonal photo for Random Fridays! I’d like to wish all my blogger friends and visitors a happy and safe Christmas season, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.
Right, prepare to scroll down and down … herewith, the remaining Bench Series 2015 photos, presented geographically. It’s a mix of incidental benches and focus benches. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Jude to hosting and organising this challenge all year. I now have to train myself to stop photographing every bench I see!
And a trio from Kew Gardens, one of my favourite London places.
I love Eastbourne. I used to walk along the coast, up and down those rolling chalk cliffs with the amazing views out to sea.
Somewhere in Wales
I don’t mean to be cryptic about the location, I just forget where this is!
I don’t remember the name of my hotel, but it had this lovely grotto out back.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Lamy, New Mexico
Never heard of Lamy? Me neither. But I spent a few hot hours at its train station, waiting for a train whose arrival time became later and later …
Williams Junction, Arizona
Another place you may never have heard of — unless you’ve taken the train to the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon Village
near New Orleans
This is Oak Alley Plantation, well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
And that, you’ll be relieved to learn if you’ve made it this far down the page, is the end of the Bumper Bench Bonanza. “Thank you” to everyone who has visited these posts over the past year!
Here’s my final bench with a message, hot off the camera and only two days old! I came across this bench in the Fern Gully of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne on Saturday. I was intrigued by that phrase “in recognition of”, which is so unlike the “in memory of” that you usually see on benches. A quick online search revealed that Dr Philip Moors was the Director and Chief Executive of the Gardens from 1999 to 2012 and, from what I could find, he does not yet warrant a memorial bench. 😉 The gully itself is a cool, shady stretch of vibrant green that follows a gently twisting water course; as you stroll along the walkway, you are accompanied by the gurgle of water tumbling on its way. Quite delightful.
This is another photo of the same bench.
Don’t you think the Grand Canyon is, well, rather … dull? Underwhelming? Ho hum, yawn, been there done that. What it really needs is a bright yellow message on a bench! *
* no benches were defaced in the production of this image