Galveston Oh Galveston

To The Beach Snail LOGO600xPSHow many times have I been to Galveston?

Well, I’ve collected a bucket load of spiels, tales and blurbs to chronicle throughout my hundreds of trips to Galveston Island during my lifetime.

Today I want to concentrate on “Galveston Beach”!

 

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Whistling Winds

The beach wouldn’t be the same without our flying feathered friends hovering over our snacks or swooning into the ocean waves making a splash of delight for us!

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Feeding Frenzie 

Finding my way to Galveston Island after rescuing my nephew from the floods of Hurricane Harvey in the Lake Charles area, we spent the day relaxing and beach combing along the shore.  If you have ever thrown one frito in the sky, you know what it’s like to end up with hundreds of Seagulls and Sand Pipers nipping in the wind above you.  I took more than 100 photos of the flying birds, couldn’t help myself!

 

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Young Boy Surfing Galveston Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, on the other hand, a good ole’ run with your toys and boogie-boards in the warm Gulf Coast wavelets can churn up a healthy experience!  You can never get enough of the surf!  With the shallow waters you’ll find it quite safe for the little ones and on a more storm-coming day the taller waves attract the local bigger kids!  Surfing in Galveston is a popular treat for Texans all year round!

I have done the boogie-thing, rode the waves with my skinny body and have skied behind power boats where I drank too much salt water during the experience.

All in all, while visiting Galveston be sure to play some in the waves!

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Relaxing in lounge chairs Galveston Beach

Now if you’re after a more relaxing experience,  it’s nice just to roll out the beach chairs and create your own sweet session of peaceful solitude.  Listening to the dynamics of ocean waves with the wind blowing in your hair can truly heal your spirit and bring a sense of calmness to your life before heading back to the hustle & bustle of your busy life.

 

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Mom & Daughter playing Galveston Beach

 

 

Day after day families flock to the seacoast craving the inevitably ultimate vacation on the island.  Spawning unforgettable memories,  you too can build castles in the sand, splash in the waves and soak up the sunshine.  There’s plenty of beach for everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love it when you ask someone if you can take their photo and big smiles come across their face!  This precious little gal was surely enjoying a day with her Mother.

 

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Ocean Pacific Flip Flops on Galveston Beach

To Flip-Flop or Not!

That’s right.  It’s your choice.

Strolling barefoot along the sandy beach is a great idea not only to clear your mind, burn some calories and nab some natural Vitamin D boost, but it’s a means to save some bucks  at those spendy Spas while the wet and loose sand simply exfoliates those tuff toes and heels!  As soon as I told my nephew, Chris, this ~ off went the flip-flops!  And look what we found when we returned!

 

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The Dawn Condominiums and Grafitti on Galveston Beach Seawall Boulevard

 

I’ve always been attracted to the colors that blossom throughout coastal towns.  The beach homes, condos and storefronts are dripping in quintessentially themes of turquoise, bright tropical shades of peaches and limes and sprinkled with citrus cheer!

While most graffiti may tell a mecca story or detail a street-wise depiction of life in unusual comic or outcry mural form, the photo I took here shows a more informational quest to teach you the safety in watching the seafood’s destination from which you eat.  Hence, a Saving Wildlife styled mural and recommending to download the Seafood Watch App.  Their goal is to make you aware of sealife animals that are caught in fishing nets.

A Texas local artist, Mario Enrique Figueroa, Jr. (also known as GONZO247) has been a recipient of several Awards where he painted five murals to highlight the area’s wildlife and the threats and conservation work around them.  An action focus for beach-goers to take in saving wildlife is painted throughout each of his murals.

This mural can be found along the Seawall Boulevard between 69th Street and 73rd Street where the The Dawn Condominiums creates a colorful backdrop.

Seafood Watch App

Saving Wildlife Seawall Murals

 

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Lifeguard Galveston Beach

 

Here’s a Lifeguard who does not go home smelling like French fries or spilled coke from a normal school-age grind!  His job is a bit tougher than you would think!  Looking at bikinis all day, soaking up the sun for that golden tan and stretching his eyes as far as he can to ensure no one is in danger; just part of his work load.

 

 

 

And, seriously, we are most certainly glad Galveston provides these well trained CPR Certified peeps not just for emergency sakes and keeping people from drowning, but to remind everyone to follow the rules of the beach.   (Notice all the signs posted?)  If you are planning a trip to the beach with small children, anyone who might need special attention for various reasons it would be a good idea to find your spot for the day near one of these fellows!

 

 

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German Shepherd & Sand Piper Galveston Beach

 

 

Galveston Beaches are pet friendly! 

We took To-To with us on this trip and I am sad to say this was her last beach adventure since at the age of 19 years of wonderful years with me.  (No Photo of To-To available yet)

While we sauntered among the bubbling foam and streams of slow tides along come a scene I rushed to photograph!  What a beauty this German Shepherd was to watch and I caught him just as a Sand Piper appears to make no mind to his splashing!

I know it’s best to keep your pets on a leash, but sometimes you just have to let them run and play!

 

 

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Pleasure Pier Galveston Beach

 

A day in Galveston wouldn’t be the same without a drive-by or the purchase of ticket to Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier!

I call this photo “Summer Wonder” because you can’t help but remember the wonderment of riding a carousel or dawdling along an ocean front boardwalk during a vacation or family day with your loved ones.

Pleasure Pier is packed with rides, dining and shopping adventures.  I was pleased to see that Hurricane Harvey only did minimal amounts of damage to the pier and I caught a photo of some of the workers as they readied the rides once again!

Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier

 

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Five Venues The Spot Galveston Beach Seawall Drive

 

I told you I wanted to focus on the beach for my blog blurb here, and while The Spot is a popular and premier beachfront dining and entertainment point, they boast that every seat in their (house) “hut” is the best view of the beach!  Enjoy the Gulf of Mexico while sprinkling lemon on their fresh locally caught shrimp, chomping down on their Award Winning Best Appetizers, sipping on their Ritas and hopping from one (house) spot to the next for a novel experience…

This venue was originally built from houses that were going to be torn down!  Make your plan and start your bounce at The Spot’s front entry to their Tiki Bar to their SideYard to their Rum Shack to their Squeeze’s outdoor courtyard.

For my moment here?  I stood on the beach and turned around to capture a memorable view of their enticing venue!  And, of course, later that evening we enjoyed their menu items and ocean front view!

The Spot!

 

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1900 Storm Memorial Galveston Texas

 

One of my main purposes to spend a couple more days in Galveston yet once again was to capture a photo of a bronzed sculpture and monument that has become legend for this Gulf Coast town; “1900 Storm Memorial”.  While I have photographed this amazing piece before I wanted to take special attention to it with a purpose to create a painting with the moon shining down on it from my photo.

(See my painting here!)

 

The monument is dedicated to victims as well as survivors of the 1900 Storm that took over 8,000 precious Galvestonian lives.  David Moore, the artist, is well famous for many more notable pieces found around the city.  He sadly moved on to Heaven in 2001 at the age of 80.  With the devastation of Hurricane Harvey at least we didn’t suffer this grieved amount of lives taken from the Great State of Texas.

 

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Sleeping Man On Galveston Beach

 

One more…

I guess he missed the chair?

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Quote Of The Day:

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”— Gustave Flaubert

Galveston Fine Arts Collage
Tanya Howard’s Fine Arts Collage ~ Visit Website for more information.
If you loved my photography above and would like to see my Fine Arts I created with them, please visit my website:
Tanya Howard on SmugMug

 

Thank you for visiting my Galveston Blog today!

Feel free to leave a comment!

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2017 Ogle School FACE OFF!

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Some here among you may already know the electricity you feel while catching a fashion show and being part of the wonderstruck audience.  While there is more going on backstage and days prior to the Ogle Face Off, a fiendish magic transmits pain staking hours of preparation and planning into artisanal makeup application and “hautest” hair design….

 

Ogle School Denton Texas & 2017 Ogle School FACE OFF Palladium Ballroom Gilley's Dallas

 

Ogle School Face Off parlays more than just the cat walk delivery and knockout fashion buzz of beauty.  Their fussy purpose is a jungle of competitive matchups for a game to win as a top beauty professional…

And a nice big check!

 

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The tug-of-war is where Ogle showcases their talented students who are committed to rewarding beauty industry careers in an annual Face Off competition; showing off their annex of talents.  Eight Ogle Schools across Texas come together at the Palladium Ballroom (Gilley’s Dallas) for this effervescent rainbow of hair fashion and trends.

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While invited to photograph the backstage flurry, I felt juiced up while watching the participants dash around in an array of fashion voodoo and gowns, sparkles of fantasy eyes-shadows blinking at the mirrors and epic moments of hairsprays spritzing !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Beauty Bash” drew over 3,000 attendees and the gala spirit at the Palladium Ballroom exploded into a catchy fever of motivational sparkle.

 

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2017 Ogle School FACE OFF Palladium Ballroom Gilley’s Dallas

 

What better place to whoop it up at than Gilley’s Palladium Ballroom where we caroused the backstage rooms, pranced around the stage area, hit the bar a couple of times (I drank Sprite!) and relished in visits with everyone.  Before the show and behind the scenes is as wild as eccentric can get!

 

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Just picture the eight school’s collage of students, models, instructors, photographers, parents & family, friends, fashion show coordinators, salon owners, sponsor personnel, filming crew, lighting crew and me….Gilley’s was hopping!

 

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Ogle School Denton Texas & 2017 Ogle School FACE OFF Palladium Ballroom Gilley's Dallas

 

If there’s one thing a runway show demands, it’s the high-grazing hair fluffed with fringe, locks, strands, tints, glitz, manes and whisks!  No the wind didn’t blow it, the stylist did!  The glam-worthy ideas were in full throttle with high hopes of winning this competition!

 

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Here is a simple “Before”…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And now a dashing “Thereafter”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Careful…Spoiler Alert}….And a WINNER!

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Ogle School Denton Texas & 2017 Ogle School FACE OFF Palladium Ballroom Gilley's Dallas

 

The students followed this year’s themes:

Journey of Enlightenment ~ a Spring/Summer motif!

New Frontier Uncharted Territories ~ an Autumn/Winter aria!

 

No matter the theme that hit the stage, they were all winners to me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the cat walk!

I couldn’t resist, just had to do some art works for the stage models and their amazing struts!

 

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Purple Haze & Port Drama

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Magic Doo & Leave A Legacy

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Behance & Sheer Power

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Clap Off & Sparkle Motion

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And finally the end of the show presented many well rewarded and joyful winners.  The finale was awe-inspiring and I plan to be there again next year!

 

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I mentioned above the Sponsors were alive and kicking for the event.  I, myself, am an avid believer and loyal customer for these awesome products!

 

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2017 Ogle School Face Off SPONSORS

 

I have a few people I would like to thank for allowing me to attend and photograph this majestic event….

My little sister, Dana, is a student at Ogle with aspirations of owning her own Medi-Spa once she graduates (and for my Gallery to be attached with it).  I have already had years of make-up artistry through Barbizon Modeling School, Theatrical & Stage Make-Up in college and as a Beauty Consultant.  I always did my own make-up for my modeling sessions and applied fantasy, theatrical, modeling and wedding applications on many ladies in the past.  With all this excitement, I’m checking into getting my Make-Up Artist Certification soon and plan to work alongside my sis!

 

Ogle School Denton Texas & 2017 Ogle School FACE OFF Palladium Ballroom Gilley's Dallas

 

And…Ms. Boyd, from the Denton Ogle School, has treated me like family every time I visit the Spa for my facials and hair colors & styles….

Here she is busy as a bee teaching a “have to have” technique for airbrushing make-up!

 

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Ms Boyd teaching airbrushing!

 

Lastly, while we drooled, awed, cheered and photographed til our little hearts pounced away with the shimmering of memories to savor forever, we found little Kermit sitting quietly and patiently awaiting our return…. 

Thanks for your patience, Kermit!

 

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Are you fatigued with the ordinary job and lifestyle?

Take a leap and join the thousands who enjoy the cosmetology beauty lifestyle and become a Professional Beauty Consultant or Hair Dresser yourself!

Denton, Texas ~ Ogle School

2324 San Jacinto Boulevard, Suite 207
Denton, TX 76205

Salon/Client Services: 940-535-5642

Admissions: 888-820-4224

 

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If you are interested my photography above:

I created some paintings, art works and fine arts from the show!

Visit Tanya Howard on SmugMug!

Quote Of The Day:

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” – Frank Herbert

Did you attend 2017 Ogle School Face Off?  I would love to hear your comments!

 

 

Ogle School ~ The Beauty Highway

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A Day At The Spa!

 

Summer is here! As you begin planning for your special getaway to a faraway island of paradise, stocking up on polka dot bikinis and colorful decorative sandals, don’t just get a simple pedicure or manicure.  Treat yourself to a full body, facial and hair transformation!

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Ogle School ~ Denton, Texas

It’s one thing to make an appointment at the same ol’ same ol’ shop you normally spend your paycheck at versus indulging yourself amid a dedicated circle of persons who exhibit oomph and zing while treating you like a King or Queen for the day!

Ogle School won’t zap your bank account.

In fact they offer specials and rewards for your patronage.  I walked away spending way less than 100 buckaroos for my Hair Color, Hair Cut & Style, Signature Facial, Hand Paraffin Wax, Upper Lip Wax along and with fresh bottles of  Wella Brilliance Shampoo & Conditioner and Sebastian Thickery Foam!

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That’s me!

Prior to my Signature Facial I completed an in-depth personalized questionnaire and discussed my health and skin sensitivities with my Esthetician.

 

 

Did I make another appointment? You bet I did.

Treat yourself for that special trip or a new you

and save a bundle!

Check out Ogle School’s Service Guide and book your appointment or simply walk in for a memorable and rewarding day at the spa!

Ogle School Denton Texas & 2017 Ogle School FACE OFF Palladium Ballroom

MakeUp Artistry

Now let’s talk about the school.

My sister has decided to leave the medical and oncology field to pursue a more stimulating and thrilling cup of tea and career.  She helped me get an appointment with a 50%-OFF Coupon for my first visit!

While I spent the day having my rejuvenation, I purposely brought my Nikon to capture a more in depth scope of what Ogle School is all about!  I believe little sis made a wise decision!

If you have that soothing itch for a game changing livelihood, check this out!

Ogle School Denton Texas & 2017 Ogle School FACE OFF Palladium Ballroom

Practice!

 

 

 

Practice Makes Perfect!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hair!

Professional Licensed Instructors are present to teach you all about the hair!  Styles, cuts, trends and colors!  The Students move into phases as they progress where there will always be a Tudor at their side while they are turning your usual style into an amazing hair day!  They study your face shape and hair texture while discussing your preferences!

I finally went for a new style with my long, long hair and tickled pink with how easy I can manage it now.  Sometimes you just gotta step out of the box!

 

Student Fun!

 

The Ogle School prepares and presents themed Fashion Shows throughout the year where as an Artist you can be as creative and original as you wish.  As a Client you might strut your stuff as one of their Models!

Rewarding careers are a polish and snip away as a full time or part time Student.  Fill your skill basket with all the Programs they have to offer!

 

Esthetics & Skin Care

Cosmetology & Make-Up Artistry

Hairstylist & Nail Care

Become a Salon or Spa Manager

 

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Graduation!

Join the Graduates!

 

Explore the quality education with a sparkling beauty career at 8 Texas Locations!

Ogle School Denton Texas & 2017 Ogle School FACE OFF Palladium Ballroom

8 Ogle Schools Across Texas

Schedule your appointment and pamper yourself or make a career decision!

Who knows, you might run into me at the Denton Campus!  My day at the spa was an exceptional experience for me since I am planning a full summer of travel.  I want to look my best…..

…..no more hairy legs or boring ponytails for me!

 

Ogle School

Hair ~ Skin ~ Nails

(940) 535-5642

 2324 San Jacinto Blvd #207, Denton, TX 76205

NEXT?

Check out my blog review for “Ogle School 8th Annual Face Off 2017”

If you are interested my photography above:

♦  Ogle Beauty School on SmugMug

♦ You may also use my Contact Me Form for any other requests!

 

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Quote Of The Day:

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao Tzu

How did you like this?  Click “Read More” to Leave A comment!

Valorous Days At The Renaissance Festival!

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Got your tights on?

Enter the realm of a vast Elizabethan 16th Century where real noblemen wear tights and the dames become fair maidens or Queens.   Rebirth thyself and filleth your goblet!  Prepare to danceth with the wenches, tighten up thy  c’rset and consume liketh a king wh’re food is bett’r on sticks!

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“Dancing Doll” Photo of Dancer by Chris Reed, Photo of Entrance & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

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“Sprezzatura ” Photo by Chris Reed, Photo Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

The Ren Fair takes you back to the Olde Worlde wh’re thee may cometh as thou art ‘r or dresseth the parteth!

Yes, it’s true!

This is the venue where you will frolic with the local villagers, shop the shoppes, gaze at the shows, cheer on a knight amid the joust and engage with the wondering actors in character.

 

 

 

 

 

You will find well crafted ensembles of the Sirs, Madames, Mistress’, Dames, Lords, Majesties and Graces exhibiting an array of Renaissance garments, hats and robes!

Take your camera!

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“Elan Pottery” Photo by Chris Reed Photo Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

 

Bring plenty of cash to shop, eat, drink and be merry!  And don’t worry, the bathrooms are ample and appropriately marked as ‘Privies’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Renaissance period may have settled it’s end in the 16th century, but in Waxahachie, the medieval time grows forever every year!

The second Saturday brought over 240,000 patrons on a beautiful sunny Texas day!

That’s a lot of costumes!
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“Willful Whim” Photo by Chris Reed Photo Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

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Keeping with tradition, there seems to be a wonderment in wit among the Medieval working class and courtesans where the recreations at the celebration are reinvented in a poetic way.

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“To Troll or Not To Troll” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

I thought this leprechaun was adorable!

He sits quietly in the woods hidden amid his mischievousness and rainbow of treasures!  Hide your golden coins for he will surely snatch’em from your pockets when you aren’t looking!

 

 

Please tread lightly if you want to see his wee bit of trickery!

The fair makes for a wonderful family day where the children have more than enough to caper through.   Since kids love dressing up, it’s a perfect time for them to ham it up and be a part of an amazing adventure!

Gather them up for pleasures at the Mermaid Lagoon, Birds of Prey Show, the Children’s Knighting Ceremony, the Cirque Du Sewer Animal Show, the Dragon Swing, Pony & Elephant Rides and heaps more!

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“Princess To Be” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

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During the Middle Ages and Renaissance period, the proud Knights jousted their way through tournaments showing off their horsemanship and prowess.  The richest of Nobles concocted elaborate melees of combat for the Kings of their time.

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“Knight’s Prowess” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

One of the most applauded shows at the Renaissance Festival is “Knights of the Realm” , the Joust, where you can see firsthand their full armors, gallantly dressed horses and brave heroic Lords fighting for their Knighthood.

This photo was quite dusty, so I decided to hatch through the soot and sand to create a more aged fine arts portrayal.  For my photography website, I did a painting…How would you like a Knight hanging on your wall?

 

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“Dragon’s Troll” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

 

You can shop for corsets, weaponry, leather work, glassworks, jewelry, toys, candles, metal and woodworks!

These are no dinky souvenirs, either.  The people who run these shops are seriously skilled craftsmen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you think about Medieval times, one wonders off into fairytale land where Dragons glimmer the landscape with their breath of fire.  At the Ren Fair you’ll indulge your merry clan with oodles of dragons in all sizes and up to large statues spitting water.  The shops at the festival always capture my heart and pocketbook!  I can’t leave without a souvenir to relic my walls, neck or head!

This photo was tough for me to work with.  It would turn out all green or all gold; sadly without a focal trophy in the scene.  So, once again, I decided to create a painting with it….no more greeeeeen!

Speaking of dragons…

Have you ever had a Dragon Snort?

There’s plenty of merriment advancing through the pub houses and taverns.  New for 2017, graze on over to the Dragon’s Lair for your very own Dragon Snort….

Warning: Do not pack your lunch!

Why?  The “Kitchens” are abundant and overflowing with traditional savory cart du joir menus.  Hunt down those turkey legs, munch on a Sausage-On-A-Stick, lick through the funnel cakes and catch all the Blackboard Specials.  This is a day to eat the “Ren-Way”!

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“Harp Monet” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

 

The manifest of performers is endless and once you are there, you can’t help but seek them out!

I found Sarah Mullen mesmerizing the crowd amid her harp music with a celtic flair!

 

 

 

 

 

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“Scarborough Entrance” Photo & Enhancement by Tanya Elise’ Howard

 

Commence yourself into the affluent and vibrant society of the Old Worlde; the Scarborough Renaissance Fair only comes but once a year in Waxahachie.

Maketh thy plans this present day…

April 8 through May 29th

10:00am – 7:00pm

Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day Monday

Visit Scarborough Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, Texas!

With a packed-full list of 27 Stages and Live Entertainment,

be sure to check out the Daily Schedule!

Get thee hence!

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If you are interested my photography above, I spawned more of painterly art works from my original photos:

Owl Chemist

Ren Gateway

Scarborough Entrance

To Troll Or Not To Troll

Knight’s Prowess

Dragon’s Trove

Please visit my “Contact Me” page if you are inspired with anything further!

To see more of Chris Reed’s photos, visit his “My Travels” Facebook page!

(Chris is my loving and awe-inspiring nephew!  Thank you, Christopher, for all you do with me and for me!)

 

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Quote Of The Day:

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G. K. Chesterton

What costume will you wear to the Ren Fair?

Would love to hear your comments!

 

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Bluebonnet Ballyhoo ~ Trails You Won’t Want to Miss

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You won’t want to miss the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails when you visit Texas in late March through April!

 

 

 

 

Your first stop “should be” an educational visit at the Ennis Convention & Visitors Bureau so you can pick up a map!  If you scour the internet for the Bluebonnet Trails referenced street guide of the blooms, chances are you won’t find the map.  So, I made one!

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Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Map

While I parked myself before the desk at the visitor’s center asking questions and looking for a trail map, the friendly assistant shared with me they prefer guests stop in to pick up the actual Bluebonnet Trails Map from them!

The reason made sense.

While daily changes occur from pastures to meadows the coverage can be sprinkled, widespread or utterly populated so far as your eyes can see.   And since they change day-to-day the Park’s employees report back as to which trails are in best bloom for people anxious to see the very best.

She highlighted the North Trail and away we went!

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Ennis Convention & Visitors Bureau

 

 

 

Before I left I took a quick picture of Fred & Ethel…

But first…

Anticipation glides through your thoughts with hopes of spotting as many bluebonnets as possible when you hit the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails.  Along your journey to explore their beauty a sudden espy crowds into your range of what Texas lifestyle is all about.

For my visit this year Chris (my nephew) and I had not even landed at the downtown Ennis Visitor’s Center yet when we pulled over on Highway 287 to enjoy these Texas Longhorns grazing and gazing back at us.

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Longhorns ~ Ennis Texas ~ Bluebonnet Trail

With every mile and every moo, bluebonnets were everywhere!  Woohoo!

Still in search of the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails ~ “before the map” ~ and along Highway 287 from Waxahachie, eye-popping blue florals and Indian Paint Brushes glazed chromatically just as we entered the boundaries of this quaint Texas town.  Pulling off toward the right and up a hill we entered Bluebonnet Park which is part of the West Trails.

The park rests peacefully next to Bardwell Lake (great for fishing) with picnic gazebos, park benches, play areas, walking trails, softball fields and good ole’ restroom facilities.  This is an excellent afternoon hangout for families or anyone wanting to take photos!

I wanted to create a painting from one of the picnic gazebos since it was such a serene and secluded section of the park.  The bluebonnets bounced around the grass and covered fields beyond.

Here is the original photo:

4270-THB-7413 Sunday Afternoon

Bluebonnet Park ~ Ennis Texas

At last we entered Ennis, enjoyed the downtown area and merrily snagged our map for the day.  Finally!!

Following along the North Trail we made our way to Sugar Ridge Road.

If you look beyond the blues of the blossoms….

Expect more and savor the 3-hour drive!

4269-THB-7572 Frente al día

Belgian Horse ~ Ennis Bluebonnet Trail

As we spun up a hill and from a distance we thought a small herd of Clydesdale Horses were cheering their way toward the fence line as we came to a gentle halt in my Mountaineer;  hopping out slowly not to scare them away.  Apparently people trekking their way up to pet them was no strange experience for them; they loved it!

A couple of ladies stood next to us in awe and explained these were instead Belgian Draft Horses! Once home I did a little research and learned these massive animals are among the strongest of draft horses where their heritage in life had them pulling heavy plows or carts with their powerful natural abilities.

Enjoying our petting spree and photo opp, I really wished I could have taken a ride on one where the bluebonnets blossomed and the sun was perfectly splashing across the hills and ponds.

These amazing horses put on quite the show for us!

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Sugar Ridge Road Pond ~ Ennis Texas Bluebonnet Trail

Now this was a prime and popular spot along the trails!  Yep, there were loads of vehicles and yet everyone had patience and manners allowing individuals to roam the roadside and shoot family photos or scenic pleasures!

We spent quite a bit of time here where everywhere you turned was an amazing country scene to include in our memoirs!

And the drive drove on….

4274-TH-7493 Elsewhere

Union Hill Harley Davidson Barn

Passing by this Harley Barn and farm while photographing like crazy on Sugar Ridge Road made me add a….

“Note To Self”:  Next year do this on a Harley!

Just another example of what your eyes will smoke out along the route!

Snapping around 356 pictures on this gorgeous April 4th, 2017 sunny clear day, it was hard to resist moments stomping around within the pastures filled with the famous Bluebonnets of Texas!  The fields are alive with blue and purple hues during late March and most of April each year.

It’s a photographer’s and painters haven!

While the sun was getting close to setting we made our way back to the popular Texas town!

While you might want to visit Ennis for their Bluebonnet Trails, nearby Texas Motorplex, Ennis Farmers Market, the Bluebonnet Fest, Red White & Bike Parade or their National Polka Festival you are most likely to spend a night or two, right?

4273-TH-7473 Moore Ventura

Moore Ventura Bed & Breakfast ~ Ennis, Texas

Texas Historical Landmark

Member of the Texas Bed & Breakfast Association

My choice is to unpack my duffels and secure a cozy stay at Moore Ventura Bed & Breakfast.   Just stepping your first foot on the porch persuades you to stick around for more of all they offer beyond that cushy bed!  1905 was the building year for this outstanding Neoclassical Revival home.

Start the morning with an elegant experience including a 2-course gourmet breakfast selection along with sipping the local based “Buna Bean” coffee.  You may never leave the house once you discover its country charm throughout the garden, patios, kitchen, reading room and opulent Victorian clawfoot bathtub!

4279a-TH-7470 Afternoonscape

Moore Ventura Bed & Breakfast ~ Ennis, Texas

Here’s a nice view of a befitting casual patio and garden area just off the main entrance deck of Moore Ventura Bed & Breakfast.  I truly believe if you stay here a couple of nights you’ll feel the rewards of a well deserved escape from a normal day’s journey in life!

The garden is perfectly maintained and calls your name to come sit quietly and enjoy the silence!

This sums up a long beautiful day where memoirs will sway and waltz forever as a Texas milepost calls our names to return and do this again!

Proof why we love bluebonnets:

There are songs and poems written about these appetizing wildflowers, Indian lore called the flower a gift from the Great Spirit, there are popular festivals and fair events celebrating the blossom, families and couples spend hours finding the right roadside spot to create memoirs through their cameras, pet lovers sprawl inches away from their furry critters to take their photos, gift shops and boutiques adorn their outlet with garments and souvenirs for us to lavish and show off and finally, of course, it just makes for a beautiful scenic drive no matter where you are in Texas!

And thanks to Lady Bird Johnson, lush and ornate blossoms are abundant along the highways and byways of The Lone Star State!

Oh and one more thing…

Did you know bluebonnets are part of the pea family? 

But beware, they can be quite toxic to humans.

If you are interested my photography above as paintings and to see others I created:

Moore Ventura

Sugar Ridge Byway

Afternoonscape

Apricari Afternoon

Frente al día

Only In Texas

Elsewhere

Along The Fence

Vista Mere

Donkey Daze

You may also use my CONTACT ME FORM for any other requests!

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Quote Of The Day:

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” — Lawrence Block

 

 

Have you been to the Ennis Bluebonnet Trails?  

Please leave your comment!

Destination Alaska ~ Airport Never Closed For Snow

Alaska Bear Logo TravelWITWIT

Why does it take so long to get out of Alaska’s Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage?

 

 

Why else?

But to swing by the kaleidoscopic segments of museum-style attractions where over 5 million passengers skip through yearly.  And since the lively hub is never closed for snow, you’ll want to have your journal and camera ready even before you step outside!

 

5134-0310H2 Just On Time

Ted Stevens International Airport Anchorage Alaska

 

If your journey to “The Last Frontier” places you at this airport, and it’s most likely it will, then be sure to secure some time for an introduction to Alaska’s cuisine, arts, wildlife, culture and their Native Eskimo and Russian heritage!

 

This is not your average-joe airport!

Alaska Muskoxen at Airport META cr 800x.

Muskoxen at Anchorage Airport

 

Here’s a pic I took of a young stocky Arctic mammal, the Muskox!  These Ice Age long-haired and curled horn animals were first brought to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1930 from Greenland.  More herds were brought over throughout time.  They are well adapted to Alaska’s rasping climate and diverse terrain; found grazing in dozens of boroughs as well as protected wildlife sanctuaries.

 

What’s on display??

 

♥ The 1964 Earthquake Robe

♥ The World Record Kodiak Brown Bear mount (near the Alaska Airlines Ticket Counter)

♥ The World Record Halibut mount (near B Gates)

♥ The Walrus Spirit driftwood, ivory and metal  hanging art

♥ The N3212 Fairchild 24G S/N 933 (Civil Aeronautic Authority Military Aircraft; up until 1948) hanging from the ceiling in the South Terminal near Gate C7

♥ The “From Here to There & There to Here” spruce wood flying Canadian Geese (by Rachelle Dowdy) gliding above you at Gate B4

♥ An array of “Untitled Tapestries” with 14 painted animals on carpets sprucing up the North Terminal walls

♥ An 180-Foot Long art pieced collage of Alaska landscapes hovering above windows.

♥ The Catch large red cedar Native painted panel of an Eagle by Nathan Jackson (above escalators between te B & C Concourses)

♥ The “Departure” collage of memories through a plastic and metal fragments display; representing stories and timelines as an Alaskan myth where you will use your imagination, scratch your head and return home with your own epic adventurous tales of Alaska. (Located in the South Terminal, Level 2 Concourse area)

Alaska Sports Hall Of Fame with exhibits from the legendary musher “Huslia Hustler” (across the parking garage entrance/South Terminal)

…and much more!!!

Alaska Native Wolf Mask

Alaska Native Wolf Mask

 

What else will you stumble upon?

Traditional dolls made of sealskin and glass beads, Native decorative carved canoes and paddles, sculptures, masks, more and more Alaskan wildlife mounts, doll and figure carvings, embellished drums and instruments, Eskimo baskets and pottery, bronzed statues of notables, paintings, murals, enticing restaurants and bars, more gift shops and plenty of on-the-go lower 48 passengers who are totally missing out on what’s there to discover before they hail that cab!

 

 

And an hour later….

David Alaska Terminal

David Alaska Terminal

While I snapped my first collage of photos to commence my Alaska holiday my brother-in-law, David, patiently stood by.  I instantly knew my moose-land adventure diary had begun!

It only took my first 2 weeks there to make that keen decision to return to Texas, pack up and move back!

Now let’s get into a smatter of why I took my first trip to Alaska!  The ventures through unspoiled wilderness, the captivating endless wildlife chances and opportunities to eyeball first hand it’s thunderous glaciers was first on my list!

 

 

 

As adventurous as I am, after living in this winter wonderland for over a year, my ultimate goal was to create a tantalizing photographic  journal.

I did just that!

This is what you expect to see while whisping in the snow in Alaska!

Mount Redoubt, Kenai, Alaska

Mount Redoubt Volcano, Kenai, Alaska

Between the pages of my memoirs and never-ending folders of photos, I hope you will please visit my TravelWITWIT “Alaska segment” often and tag along with my personal journey.  My wish is to inspire you to follow in my foot-steps for your Alaska Dream Vacation, too!

 

Just one more…..

Tanya With Silver Medal 2010

Tanya borrowing Julia Mancuso’s 2 Silver Medals Downhill in 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

Nice picture of me with gum in my mouth while excited to meet Julia Mancuso onboard my flight to Anchorage!

Couldn’t believe she actually let me drape it over my neck!

And…it was heavy!!

You never know who you will meet while your’e out there in the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My synopsis!

Alaska is unequal to visiting other USA States or Countries around the globe.  Each moment arranges a colorful experience!  The “Last Frontier” offers an array of Russian traditions and diverse Native cultures. For the nature lovers you will find yourself in a Winter Wonderland full of boundless depths of mountains, forests, glaciers and flowing rivers.  A day never passed where I didn’t see a bald eagle or moose nipping for a brunch; the wildlife is abundant!  Stay in a cabin by the inlets or book your room at a 4-Star Resort, no matter where you stay you’ll find yourself wanting to anchor here forever!

Valuable Info:

Ted Stevens International Airport ~ Anchorage, Alaska

♦ List of Domestic Arline Information

♦ Julia Mancuso ~ Olympic Champion Skier

Alaska Sports Hall Of Fame

If you are interested my photography above:

Calm Splendor

Just On Time (Blue photo: #5134-0310H2)

Just On Time (Digitally Painted photo #5134W-0310)

♦ You may also use my Contact Me Form for any other requests!

 

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Quote Of The Day:

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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