Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

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I went to San Francisco for a meeting in 2006. Some friends took me around for some sightseeing. I had been to San Francisco many time, but went to different tourist areas. This day I was walking on the shore and taking the photos of this famous Alcatraz Island. A bird flew in front of me, and I took this timely shot.

Alcatraz_Island,_helicopter_view

The Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary or United States Penitentiary, Alcatraz Island (often just referred to as Alcatraz) was a maximum high-security federal prison on Alcatraz Island, 1.25 miles (2.01 km) off the coast of San Francisco, California, which operated from 1934 to 1963.

The main prison building was built in 1910–1912 the island became a prison of the Federal Bureau of Prison in August 1934 after the buildings were modernized to meet the requirements of a top-notch security prison. Given this high security and the location of Alcatraz in the cold waters and strong currents of San Francisco Bay, the prison operators believed Alcatraz to be escape-proof and America’s strongest prison.

Today the penitentiary is a public museum and one of San Francisco’s major tourist attractions.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcatraz_Federal_Penitentiary

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Daily Prompt: Timely

Guest Blogger – Mercy Rossi, Zion National Park

Daily Prompt: Climbing

It is a pleasure to introduce my guest blogger Mercy Rossi, my daughter. She will take you on an exciting trip. before they went on this trip, they took rock climbing lessons!

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The fall of 2016, my husband and I traveled to Zion National Park.  We were awed yet again by God’s beautiful creation.

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The sun moves towards the horizon, casting shadows on majestic rock formations, which draw thousands of visitors each year.

We did an overnight camping trip along the West Rim trail.  Sometimes in life, we lose sight of what’s truly important, but being in nature helps us regain our focus.

Alone in the wilderness, I gaze out over the deep canyons, breathing in the sweet air slowly, appreciating being present in the moment.

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The light breaks through the trees in a soft and gentle way.

This was our first canyoneering trip together.  It involved trusting one another, trusting ourselves, trusting the equipment, communicating well, overcoming fear, and I saved the best for last – having fun and memories of being outside of our comfort zone together!

There are many quotes about hard work but this one I find captures what we experienced during this trip: “Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations” – this was true of canyoneering but also true of life in general, whether it’s overcoming a difficult situation with a good friend or a partner or something more personal like being hurt by a loved one.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Broken Highway at Key West

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KeyWest HarborKey West southernmost point

Key West, Florida is the southernmost point in the continent of USA.  It’s one of the best places to watch sunset. Key West is humid. The fog came in at nightfall.

The second day of the trip, we drove up and down the Highway to visit other Keys. Apparently, part of the Highway was broken. Instead of repairing, a new section of the Highway was built, parallel to the broken section. The two ends of the new were connected to the original Highway. The broken section was left alone.

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We went to the Ernest Hemingway House, I took a photo of the picture of his fishing boat named Pilar. Hemingway regularly fished off the boat in the waters of Key West, Florida. Several of Hemingway’s books were influenced by time spent on the boat, most notably, The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream.

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The winter White House of President Harry S. Truman was his white house away from the White House. Today it is a public Key West museum.

Successful fishing trip! Many birds around were waiting for the scraps from cleaning the fish.

Wreck Museum displayed the treasures found from the shipwreck. Marilyn Monroe’s famous Seven Year Itch status was in front of a theater.

One of the highlights for my husband was his diving trip.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Broken

Security in Australia Airport

My previous posts on our Australia trip, I missed posting this photo of atop of Sydney Harbor Bridge. At the Bridge Climb Center, we put on special suit with nothing loose outside of the suit. We were also strapped and hooked on to the steel railing as well as hooked on to the team members. A climbing tour guide led up to the top, took the photo, and then made a U turn to go back down to the Center.

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The Sydney Harbor Bridge is steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbor that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney Central Business District (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbor, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed “The Coathanger” because of its arch-based design.

It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge, 503 m (1,650 ft), in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m (440 ft) from top to water level.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Harbour_Bridge

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When we left for Australia, we had no problem passing the security from the US airport with our passports. We had no problem entering Australia either. On our return trip, we went to the airline counter to get the boarding passes. The airline ground crew questioned our passports, perhaps for security reason.

What happened was that on our passports, our last names are hyphenated. But the names on our US Driver’s Licenses are not hyphenated. Since the names on both documents are not consistent, the crew member couldn’t issue the boarding passes to us. We spent a lot of time to explain, also tried to find other identifications to match with the names on the passports.

What we could find was secondary identifications with no photos. The supervisor stepped in and examined everything. Eventually we were issue the boarding passes to return home.

Ever since having that experience, we had carefully corrected all the major documents to have our last names hyphenated.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Security

Weekly Photo Challenge: Atop

Daily Prompt: Passport

52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 4

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This is the “52 Weeks of Thankfulness” Week 4 at Haddon Musings

I have been traveling by air for forty five years, and haven’t missed a flight yet. When the flights were delayed in a significant amount of time, the airlines usually compensate by overnight accommodation, tokens, or coupons. If we miss the flight, that’s another story.

We almost missed the flight coming back to California from Portland, Oregon last Tuesday, March 28. We eventually made it and got on the plane eight minutes before the plane closed the door! I was so very thankful!

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Here is the story. We were leaving Portland last Tuesday. My daughter and her husband went to work. We checked out from the hotel at 11:00 a.m. Our flight left at 5:55 p.m., so we spent a few hours at their house, then took the MAX trains to the airport.

I already went online and printed the train schedule. We needed to take the yellow line to a Transit Center, and then walked across several crosswalks to the red line that goes to the airport. We took the yellow line on time as recommended. After we got off the yellow line and walked to the red line station, for some reason, we were just a few steps short to catch the red line train.

Alright, the train comes by every fifteen minutes; we just had to wait for the next train! My husband said the next train would arrive in 24 minutes due to a 10 minutes delay. I started to get anxious, and looked at the time on my phone every 15 seconds. I sent a text to my daughter about the delay. My daughter offered to ask her husband to take us to the airport. I looked at the traffic and told her that driving could be worse. The 24 minutes wait was like forever, but finally the red line train came.

While we were still on the train, my phone received the boarding notification. I just kept praying instead of telling my husband. I knew if we had no problem going through the security check, we would have a chance to make it.

Thankfully, we had TSA Pre-check, so we went through the short line for security check. Then my husband ran to the gate, let them know that we were there. He had my phone with the Boarding Passes. We finally got on the plane eight minutes before the door was closed.

I sent a text to my daughter to let her know that we made it. She said she was praying for us all that time! God is good!

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You’re invited to participate to share your thankfulness at Haddon Musings.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Atop Views in Australia

My husband was born in Australia. When we started traveling, our first destination was Australia. I did a post on our travel highlight to Australia. In this post, I show a view atop of Port Douglas and  a few views atop of Blue Mountain in New South Wales and one along the coast line.

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Port Douglas 4

Port Douglas 5

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Atop

Weekly Photo Challenge – Atop of Eiffel Tower

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One of the cities we toured during our Europe trip is Paris. We went to the top deck of the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is 324 meters (1,063 feet) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level’s upper platform is 276 meters (906 feet) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. The observation deck provides 360o view of Paris.

We took the steps from the ground level to the second floor, 300 steps for each level, 600 steps total to the second floor. We then took the lift to the top deck. These are some of the photos taken atop of the Tower.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower

Eiffel Tower 1

Eiffel Tower 2

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Atop