Some of you may have noticed that I've been doing quite a bit of jaunting about the countryside this year what with trips to Sleepy Hollow, to Massachusetts to meet Hank and Lois, to Quincy and New Hampshire just because, to Baltimore to visit a dead author's grave, and even to parts of California while I was out there this past May to see surfer boys and mountaintops. If a person could earn frequent flyer miles by driving, I'd have racked up quite a few of them this year!
Navigating my way around on most of those trips has been pretty much hit-or-miss unless my friend Amy was with me and we had use of her Garmin GPS system. While out in California I relied upon "Polish" GPS ...
Archaic though it may be, this method got me from Stockton through the Santa Cruz mountains during a nasty rainstorm pretty much without incident and I was able to find Katherine's house (as well as the Inn at Pasatiempo where I was staying) quite easily.
Back home in Connecticut, my favorite method of figuring out how to get to where I was going employed the use of my TNS - Teenage Navigation System ...
Sometimes that method worked and other times, well ... not so much! Apparently map-reading is not something covered under the high school curriculum these days!
Prior to making our trip down to Baltimore last week, I decided that maybe it was about time I joined the 21st Century and got myself a real GPS unit so that I wouldn't have try to remember to print out the directions from Google maps or stick post-it-notes all over the car or rely on Amanda to tell me where I was and if I was going to miss the next turn or not. I didn't spend a whole lot on this little gizmo but it's been a big help already - especially when I can actually hear the directions it's giving me over the blare of the music in the car! Now I'm free to drive around the country and not have to worry about taking that wrong turn in Albuquerque or - if I do - not being able to find my way back to the proper path. So far, it's been an investment well worth it!
Even though I sort of knew where I was going when Amanda and I went over to West Kingston, Rhode Island yesterday to check out the Photo Show it was nice to have reassurance that my destination was ".2 miles on the left" and I could pull into the parking lot without having driven by it!
The Photo Show is being held at the Courthouse Center for the Arts which is located in the historic and very beautiful former Washington County Courthouse. Built in 1892, the Romanesque style building was added to the National Register of Historic Places 100 years later in 1992. I must say that it's a very nice building to have a photo displayed in even if I didn't "get" some of the art that was displayed outside of the building. As Amanda reminded me while we were walking in, "art is subjective" - so very, very true!
All of the winning photographs from the 8th Annual South County Tourism Council's Photo Contest were displayed on the walls of the Center and it was quite easy to find the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners as they were in the main hallway. I apologize for the quality of the pictures of the pictures but at least it gives you some idea of the winning photographs ...
The winners were: Stephen Wood - first place with “Clay Motion” taken in North Kingstown; Judi Wood - second place with “Westerly Library” taken in Westerly; and third place - Sybil Hebb with “Lola At The Beach” also in Westerly. To be honest, I think that the third place photo was my favorite of the three but that would be that whole "art is subjective" thing again!
Now as for my photo that captured one of the five runner-up spots - tada! ...
And yes, that big cheesy smile was just hamming it up a bit for Amanda and the camera! I still do love the colors in that picture, though, and it was an honor to see it there on the wall in the same room as some truly fantastic shots.
Even though it wasn't a blue or red or silver ribbon, I was still really thrilled to see that little gold foil seal next to my picture and my name as I know full well that with 415 other entries, the competition was tough - especially when I looked at the other pictures that were displayed that received honorable mention as some of them were really, really good in my opinion.
After taking pictures of my picture, Amanda and I celebrated with lunch at the local Friendly's even though I would have preferred the further drive over to Iggy's for some clamcakes and doughboys. Amanda, though, didn't really seem to be up for it nor did she seem like she would have been too enthused if I had decided to try to head to the coast and take some pictures. She's kind of nervous about school though I'm sure she'll be fine once she gets that first day behind her. Besides, I thoroughly enjoyed the coffee Fribble I had with my lunch and I was able to get this gorgeous shot ... maybe I'll enter it in next year's contest!