Friday, July 10, 2009

Dinner Boat Cruise

Instead of renting a boat this year we decided to just take a dinner cruise.
It was well worth it. We love to drive small boats and cruise around a beautiful lake,
but this year I was glad we chose to just kick back and let someone else do the driving.


We observed lots and I do mean LOTS of very friendly boaters. Being the fourth of July weekend the lake was pretty crowded. Many of the boaters were going a wee bit tooooo fast and I am sure loads of booze were being consumed. One boat full of guys mooned us. We kind of had a feeling it was coming. I didn't have my camera ready for that one.


The homes on the lake were fun to observe.



Most of them were very large and beautiful.


This one was especially interesting. I could not get a very clear photo, but the owners...or whom ever was staying there didn't seem to mind having a photo taken.
They waved at us.
I took several shots of this one,
but I doubt even if you click on it to enlarge it you could make out much.
The 2 dark dots at the top of the stairs are people in a pool or very large hot tub.
This house was a monster large beautifully designed home.

So was this one.

And this one.


And this one.
Our vacation was very relaxing
and I am ready to plan another one asap.

William J Clinton Library


We visited Clinton's Presidential Center on Sunday July 5th. This photo is one that I scanned from out ticket, because I failed to take a photo of the outside. This building was just completed in 2004. While we there I overheard some parts of a tour for children. I heard her say that the aluminum was recycled and the floors were made of bamboo. If you are interested in learning more about it here is a link to the website. Bob and I just had fun wandering around on our own.



Bob took this one. A view into Little Rock.




I really enjoyed reading The Timeline. Each of these sections were highlights of each year President Clinton was in office. It was good to see all of this and have it jog the old memory banks. The blue books were filled with daily logs of everything going on. I only pulled out one of them and read that he ran every morning for 15 minutes and then meetings, meetings, and more meetings.


Picture taking was allowed if you didn't use a flash and didn't sell or profit from them in anyway.
I thought these drawings were interesting. Probably just a few of the many that were sent to them and they chose these to display. So, if you have some art talent.... mail some to the President and maybe yours will be selected to go in the Presidential Library.





I took a few photos of some gifts
they received that I thought was very pretty,
like this mega globe.


And this beautiful blown glass.


I took several photos of the dinner menus because I thought it was interesting to see what they serve at the White House. I have a President Recipe Cookbook from 1968 that has some interesting recipes from President Washington to President Johnson.






The above photos are more gifts. Taking photos behind glass is very difficult, but I had hoped that some of these would help jog my memory about what we saw there.

I stared at this photo for several minutes just reflecting on what it must be like to be President. You will have to click on it to enlarge it, but in one photo, there are several camera men with large cameras taking photos of him. I can not imagine what it is like to constantly have a camera in your face.......every waking day....day after day. Or to always have to sit around a table making decisions. Very important decisions that affect so many people. And the burdens it may leave on your soul if you thought you made a wrong choice. I have always noticed the before and after photos of Presidents during their terms. Lots of ageing on them that photoshop can't always fix, if you know what I mean.


A replica room of the Oval Office.



A crossword puzzle with a little love note to Hilary.


Very pretty plate.


A replica room of the Cabinet Room. A tour group listening the the guide.


Dining table setting. I would be very very nervous
if I were sitting at a table at the Whitehouse.


A glass tree that was used for decor one Christmas.


Beautifully colored glass vase that I am afraid will not post well.


A small section addressed some of the Whitewater scandal. I liked the reflection of my shoes in this photo. It is a reminder to me to not be so judgemental of anyone. You know the old saying.......Judge not even after walking in another persons shoes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Arlington Hotel


Here are a few photos of the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs. It was rebuilt in 1925 after a fire burnt the second one to the ground. (The original one needed renovation because it was built in 1875) It sits on a corner lot on Bathhouse Row. This is the second time we have visited Hot Springs. We went there once many years ago when our children were young teens. We have always had a subscription to National Geographic and for a few years we got their Travelers Magazine. One year they had an article about a scenic fall drive to Hot Springs, Arkansas and we took advantage of it that year. They also recommended this historic hotel, so we stayed there. That trip was just a quick weekend trip and I honestly don't remember all that much about it other than the beautiful scenic fall colors. When we visited it on this trip a few memories came back about the hotel.


The decorating and architecture are what I would call Spanish-Colonial. There are 2 very large murals in the entry. The picture above is the stage area where I performed that night. Ha ha...just kidding. It is where someone performs, I suppose. It was set up for a small band.

This is a close up of the mural on the opposite side of the stage area. It is very colorful. It resembles some of Henri Rousseau's art. We have several Rousseau prints in our home and I think Bob has one in his office.

The entry is very bright and cheery and there are lots of comfortable sitting areas.


We did not stay here on this visit. But what I remember about the rooms were that they felt their age. Nothing much modernized that I remember. I am sure that adds to the charm of the hotel, and does take you back a few years, so in that respect it is a fun adventure.


I love the yellow and green decor here in the entry.


A closer look at the stage.

There were some parts or areas in Hot Springs that were just not all that pleasant looking.
I suppose all towns and cities have them.
I did not remember that President Clinton was born there.
On Sunday we went to Little Rock and visited his Presidential Library.
I will put up those photos tomorrow.

Myths and Realities About Hot Springs, Arkansas


After viewing the Gardens the first night,
we went to Hot Springs
downtown area
the following morning
and took a scenic view from
Lookout Tower.
There were 2 floors that you could get out on.
The 3rd floor had a couple of layers of Plexiglas
and bars, etc. for safety reasons.
This made photos somewhat difficult.





The second floor was more open and the breeze
on this hot hot day was refreshing.
It was also easier to take photos.
The ridged areas on the mountains were very beautiful.


There are a few myths
that they have tried to set straight
here in the tower.
This one is about Al Capone
and the tunnels for escape
under The Arlington.
Ummm.....wonder if there were some
that were just never reported.
I am such a skeptic.
I say money talks,
and sometimes different
versions of "Reality" can be told.


Here is the myth about Mae West
and her supposedly ties to a mobster.
This photo of Mae West looks like a younger version of her to me.
Not that I am a Mae West expert by a long shot.
I know so little about her
I can sum it up in this short sentence.
One hand on the back of her head
and one hand on her voluptuous hip
with a little shake,
"Come up and see me sometime, big boy......"



This is about why the water is so hot in this area.
It is far too scientific for me.
Continuous thermal processing occurring deep with in the earth.
Sounds about right.


Naturally sterile water.
Well, this was disappointing.
I really wanted it to be naturally sterile.
Bummer!


Tony Bennett singing to a bartender.
Lucky bartender,
getting to serve him and hear
"I Left My Heart In San Francisco."
Tony Bennett has always been one of my favorites.
Love that man!

Next post will be a few scenes from The Arlington Hotel.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bonsai Plants From Garvan Woodland Gardens



I wanted to do a few posts about our recent trip,
because my blog is really a good way for me
to keep track of what is happening in my life.
We went to this garden when we first got to Arkansas
because we couldn't check into our room until 4 pm.
It was unlike other gardens I have been to
because of these Bonsai plants.
This first one is a Willow Leafed Fig.




This one is a "Hinoki Cypress"


Flowering Yellow Dogwood



I really need one of these.
This is a Ginkgo Biloba.
It helps with memory........



Crabapple
...not me the tree....


Azalea



Japanese Juniper


Parsley Leafed Hawthorn


Chinese Elm


Chinese Blackberry



Satzuki Azalea



Texas Ebony


Trident Maple


This one I didn't get the name but I like the rock it is sitting on.


Of all of the posts that I have done in the year and a half that I have been blogging I have had more people view my post about my Tulip Tree than any other.
And here I thought my stories about the earrings hanging from my hair or the escalator story may have interested more people. Nope.....it is plants and trees that people want to hear about.

Clifford 1994 to 2009

Clifford   1994 to 2009
The Best Dog Ever