The Lexington Model Room

 One of my favorite hobbies as a young boy was making models of cars and airplanes. My brother and I would spend hours gluing and painting models to look just right. I always wanted mine to look exactly like the one on the box cover, while my brother would pull pieces from other models to make his own creations. Both were great and we were equally proud.

It’s amazing how much work it takes on such a small item, especially to make it look realistic. One of the best collections of models I’ve every seen is on the USS Lexington aircraft carrier. There is a large room (the photo below is just one corner) with shelves and cases of airplanes, ships and submarines of all sizes, depicting all eras of history. This is a room you want to take your time in and enjoy the labors of those people who created all these miniatures of history. 
 

One of the best collections of models I've every seen is on the USS Lexington aircraft carrier. There is a large room with shelves and cases of airplanes, ships and submarines of all sizes, depicting all eras of history. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

View from the Outfield

Summer is in full swing and folks are heading outside to watch their favorite sports. And of those, baseball is still the game of choice.

Some people like to sit behind home plate at the ballpark. But since we all can’t sit there, or afford to sit in those seats, they make seats all around the diamond that you can choose from instead. At Constellation Field, they have a grassy area in the outfield where you can bring a blanket and watch the game. It’s a bit cheaper too, since, of course, there isn’t a seat.But it can be a great place to stretch out and relax on a nice summer evening, especially if the Sugar Land Skeeters are winning.

 

At Constellation Field in Sugar Land, TX, they have a grassy area in the outfield where you can bring a blanket and watch the game. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

Bridge in the Woods

When I do get the chance to travel, it’s usually for business or family vacations. However, neither afford me a chance to venture far off the beaten path. My family’s idea of camping is a cheap hotel. This means we are destined for locations with air-condition and clean bathrooms. Prior to the kids, there were days of traveling by motorcycle and camping out every night, but that’s another story.

This little bridge sits over a swampy area back in the trees at a summer camp our church group attends. Don’t worry though, the rooms have air-condition and the accommodations are pretty good too, for a summer camp anyway.
 

This little bridge sits over a swampy area back in the trees at Camp Tejas, a summer camp our church group attends. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Tanker in the Harbor

I have spent very little time “on” the water. Except for a few small fishing boats, jet skis, kayaks and one sailboat, I’ve never traveled on a large “ship”. One day I hope to take my lovely wife on a cruise and see what it’s like. Until then, I’ll have to watch the big ships pass by from shore. 

This big tanker was entering the Corpus Christi Harbor, as I watched from the Texas State Aquarium. That’s the dolphin pool on the right. It had rained earlier that morning and the slightly cooler weather brought in some nice clouds that lasted only a few hours. The observation deck I shot from was the only vantage point where you could see the harbor bridge and still get the entire ship in the photo, but only still with a very wide-angle lens.
 

This big tanker was entering the Corpus Christi Harbor, as I watched from the Texas State Aquarium. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography

The Spirit of American Youth Rising

In the center of a semicircular colonnade stands The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves (1953–56). This 22-foot bronze statue overlooks a reflecting pool at the front of the American Cemetery in Normandie.

After I had roamed part of the cemetery, the weather was turning sour quickly, so in an attempt to make my way closer to the bus, I finally saw this statue. I would have liked to had more time for more creative compositions, but the rain came down hard just moments later, and I still had family members to track down before returning to the safety of the bus.

 

In the center of a cemicircular colonnade at the American Cemetery in Normandie, stands The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

Tomcat on Deck

After several visits to the National Naval Aviation Museum at the Naval Air Station (NAS) in Pensacola, Florida, it was a real pleasure to finally visit the USS Lexington aircraft carrier earlier this month in Corpus Christi, Texas. Feeling the wind rushing across the flight deck gives you a small taste of how it might feel at sea. It is quite a marvel to think of the skill it must take to land an aircraft on a flight deck during a mission. Controlling the plane to the flight path of the deck and hitting the trap to stop the plane must take control and skill that few people have.

This F14A Tomcat is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum, as were several others on board the Lexington.
This F14A Tomcat is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum, as were several others on board the USS Lexington. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

King of the Pool

One thing that surprised me on my first visit to a Disney resort was the attention to detail. Everywhere you looked, there was something that you didn’t expect to see. When I stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort, every building had its own centerpiece or architectural attraction. It might be a multi-tiered fountain, a rose garden or in this case, a long reflecting pool with lion fountains around the perimeter. 

On this evening out, I only had my iPhone and had to hold it out over the water to get this shot. I had this fear I would drop my phone and my trip would take a turn for the worse. But, I relaxed and tried to hold it still enough for a sharp image. Due to their small sensor, iPhone photos at night are typically noisy, and I certainly didn’t have a tripod for this low light image. After several attempts though, I managed one that I was pleased with. 
 

Every building at the Coronado Springs Resort had its own centerpiece or architectural attraction, like this long reflecting pool with lion fountains around the perimeter. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.