I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself. I posted a photo of this beautiful Boeing 307 Stratoliner or “Clipper Flying Cloud” almost a year ago. But it was one of my favorite airplanes at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, so I thought a closer inspection was needed so everyone could further enjoy this magnificent bird.
This airplane really jumpe-started the commercial airline business, allowing more and longer flights, while the passengers enjoyed greater comfort.
Of course, the fact that its polished finish looks like chrome has absolutely no bearing on why I might like it so much. Honestly.
I love mountains. I always have. But life circumstances planted me in the midst of flatland along the Gulf Coast. Even many of our vacations have steered us away from the high country, missing the higher altitudes and views that accompany it. I’m going to have to do something about that in the future.
My most recent trip to the mountains was to Virginia almost two years ago. This is another one of the great views along Skyline Drive during that same trip.
Cruising around the Houston area, there isn’t much of an opportunity to experience driving through tunnels. About the closest thing we get here is driving under an overpass or bridge. But move up north to the mountains and your odds go up considerably. There is something child-like and mysterious when you dive into the darkness of a tunnel, then see the light at the other end. Though I really do think they are cool, I do breathe a slight sigh of relief when I emerge into the light.
This tunnel was an unexpected surprise as we were driving down Skyline Drive in Virginia. I’ll admit it, I was driving and shooting at the same time. At least I wasn’t texting.
None of my family or relatives, as far as I can remember, have been the type to spend a lot of time in the flowerbed. Oh sure, you’ll find a row of bushes or some flowers here and there, but not a really sculptured garden like you’d see in a magazine. But that’s okay, because sometimes it just takes a little bit of color in just the right place to make everything else that much prettier.
Like the Blue Ridge Mountains need any help to look any prettier, this small flowerbed does make a nice foreground looking out from my aunt’s backyard.
As a child, our family vacations consisted of returning to Virginia every summer to visit relatives. Most of my Dad’s side of the family was from Orange, Virginia. I remember very well the highway we would travel to and from my cousin’s house. Little did I know that we past right by the land owned by President James Madison, fourth President of the United States and his wife, Dolly Madison.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation acquired the property known as Montpelier in 1984 and carried out a major restoration from 2003-2008. Much of the work was to return the mansion to its original size of 22 rooms during the years when it was occupied by James and Dolley Madison. They have done a remarkable job and it is well worth a tour if you find yourself in the area.