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Calm Reflections Photography shares beautiful photographs that can be placed on mugs, mouse pads, canvas, puzzles, T-shirts, coasters and prints. Joanna Macaulay makes souvenirs of St. Mary’s County for tourists and local residents. Information about St. Mary’s County attractions, travel, events and photography can be found at her site. She now does pet photography as well.

To buy my photos, photo cards, and photo crafts of wildlife, pets, holidays and more, visit my Zazzle Photo store at

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Cormorants from St Michael’s Manor in St. Mary’s County.  They were very far away, and my focus was off a little, but I liked the reflection...

Monday, February 26, 2018

Yucatan Mexico Trip Jan 30-Feb 1, 2018

We had a slightly difficult trip to Merida on Aeromexico.  We had to change planes twice.  I ordered a wheelchair to make it easy for Jim, and I laughed when the distance was across the hallway in Detroit.  I almost lost my back support in Detroit. I left it on the plane, but suddenly remembered about it after the plane left. When I asked about it, they had held it behind the desk before the plane took off (so I retrieved it)!  It made all our driving less painful. In Mexico City, Jim was raced through the airport after a long delay in Detroit waiting for about 50 delayed passengers. I certainly got some exercise.

We arrived around midnight in Merida and took a short cab ride to the Hotel Hacienda Inn Aeropuerto.  It was a lovely little hotel with a very pretty pool.  We enjoyed talking to front desk man about Merida.  We tried to photograph the pool at night, but needed a tripod, so most of those photos were blurry at 2 AM.  We had breakfast by the pool and walked around in the morning.  The hotel was very photogenic with colonial touches and a Chacmool statue.

The beautiful pools at the Hotel Hacienda Inn Aeropuerto. 

 Chacmool statue

At Alamo car rental the next day, Theresa our clerk had recently read about Sylvanus Morley, Jim's Great Uncle, the famous Archaeologist.  We added Jim's left foot accelerator to the silver Nissan Sentra and off we drove to find a Walmart to purchase some items we needed for the trip.  It only took us about 5 hours, since it took us 4 tries and a lot of detours to find the underground entrance parking lot to the Walmart. 
Then we headed south to the Hacienda Uxmal to see some interesting ruins for a few days.  We really liked the hotel too.  Many famous people have visited including Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, Presidents and Kings.
The pool was beautiful at night.

The main entrance hall was lovely, but we were happier with a ground floor room.

We even found a gallery sign about Jim's ancestor on the wall of the hotel, his Great Uncle, the famous Archeaologist.  Sylvanus Morley died when Jim was very young and was revered by the locals.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Skyline Drive October 30, 2017

We arrived at Big Meadows in the rain in time for dinner. I called ahead to be sure our room was near the lodge.  When we checked in, our room had been moved to Hawksbill, the same unit as last time, and I cringed. Isnt that the unit with the long walk down the hill?  Yep.  After dinner, Jim felt bad and had to race to the unit after walking in the rain. Sarita was still sick too. I made about 6 trips to our room using an umbrella and flashlight. Ick!! Then it started to snow!  We have rarely seen snow there and only flurries in May once. Deciding to prepare for more snow, I showered that night while the lights blinked a few times. In the morning, the power had gone out, so I wore pink leggings like long underwear and the waterproof boots. There was an inch of snow outside and Jim had to uncover the car using his cane, since he couldnt find the window scraper (two of the doors were frozen shut, denying access). 

     Big Meadows 

     Gift shop vase

We missed breakfast time, but I asked for breakfast anyway and the restaurant staff obliged us. The whole Lodge was running on emergency power.  Another couple sat by the fire at breakfast.  

We checked on the roads and learned that the northern exits and drive were closed due to icy roads and a downed tree. They suggested using the southern exit on route 33 since it was lower elevation, even though the road to the north would be cleared soon. The snow was melting quickly. 

     I saw my first eagles ever near the Big Meadow.  There were 3-5 of them, but I only got one bad photo before they flew away.
We stopped at South River overlook to see the tree I used in my autumn fog photo years ago (not pictured) and a few other overlooks. 


     Going down from the mountain

We also stopped at Blue Ridge Pottery on route 33 and bought a small pot. We had lunch at the Exchange Café at the David Rubenstein visitor center at Montpelier, after the weather turned warmer and sunnier.

     Montpelier, once owned by President James Madison

The race track.  The property is also known as a site for horse races.

The End of our October trip.
Onward to Mexico photos...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Blue Ridge Parkway Oct 29, 2017 Lynchburg, VA

We made a detour into Lynchburg to visit a relative, and had a good breakfast at Market at Main Restaurant downtown.  The weather was rainy and gray in the morning and late in the day, as we headed to Big Meadows Lodge in Shenandoah National Park.

Sweet Potato Waffles for breakfast, a new treat.

 Just sweet!

A piano on the streets of Lynchburg in the art district that invited visitors to have their own outdoor concert.

It looks like a school bus, but it is art!

 A wall mural nearby.

A fountain on the edge of town.

" Country roads, take me home..."

The James River Bridge.  It was quite windy up there.

And you guessed it, the James River

A lock demo on the other side of the river.

The return walk across the bridge

 A cutie pie we met in the James River visitor center parking lot.

Aren't they cute?


Otter creek falls

 Otter creek

Lovely day, not.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Blue Ridge Parkway October 28, 2017 Past Mabry Mill to Peaks of Otter

We continued on our way along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Mabry Mill after stopping for a meal in Meadows of Dan, VA.

Rock Castle Gorge

 Rakes Mill Pond Falls

Rake's Mill Pond

Lost Mountain

 We arrived at Sharp Top and Abbey Lake near dusk on our way to Lynchburg, VA.

Peaks of Otter Lodge