Friday, on the Santa Monica Pier at Sunset

Yeah, it’s basically a cliche, isn’t it?  Who hasn’t seen pictures of a sunset off the famous Santa Monica Pier?  I first saw the attraction way back in 1999, on my first adult trip to the area.  I remembered how beautiful it was, and jumped at the chance to repeat the experience.  February can get cold, and it was about 54 degrees with a brisk wind.    Here’s what we saw.

PierOverview

The view from the little park on the street above.

PlayingErhu

This gentleman was playing an amplified Erhu, a Chinese stringed instrument.  Very nice!

PierPeople

SunsetPalms

SunsetSurf

SouthSurf

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The pier has an amusement park, with some nicely-lit rides.  I was taken with the Ferris wheel, which looked like it was wrapped up in the roller-coaster.

Rides

And later, after the sun sank below the horizon, the lights came into their own.

Pinwheel

Just good fun.

Vacation Travelogue-Hillsdale Cruise to Hawaii-Days Two and Three

Vacation Travelogue-Hillsdale Cruise to Hawaii-Days Two and Three

Sea days were lecture days on the Hillsdale Cruise, and the first two helped get us into the standard daily routine of morning lectures, lunch, afternoon lecture, and free time.  Monday the 16th of July introduced us to the lecture hall, known aboard ship as the Galaxy Lounge.  Here we all are that first morning of lectures.

LectureinGalaxy

The first talk of the morning was by Victor Davis Hanson, Distinguished Fellow, Hillsdale College (and distinguished classical historian).  His subject was “The Current State of the US Military”, and as usual he held us all spellbound.  Today’s military has been subjected to differing rules, regulations, and budgets depending upon who is president, and the discussion was spirited.

VDH

Next, we were treated to a talk by the President of Hillsdale College, Dr. Larry Arnn.  Everyone on the cruise was very familiar with Dr. Arnn, and we enjoyed his speech.  Dr. Arnn has always been one of my role models as a Good Person.

Dr.Arnn

His was the last lecture of the day, so after listening to Dr. Arnn, we adjourned for lunch, and a free afternoon exploring the many wonders of the Crystal Symphony.  Not far from the Galaxy Lounge is the ship’s Casino.  On sea days, you could hear the merry jingling of machines and the hum of conversation from the casino whenever you passed near.

Casino

Sometimes we would have lunch in the Silk Restaurant, an Asian-flavored venue.  I loved the decor there, including a wall of art most unusual, and pretty furniture.  They also had some vertical gardens that lent a natural touch to the space.

SilkRest-0717

Living Wall

After lunch, it was time for a tour around the Promenade Deck.  At the bow of this ship is a “fitness garden” of outdoor equipment for people to take a turn on as they stroll the deck, as well as lifeboats and other safety paraphernalia.  The sea and sky were beautiful this day, too.

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Tuesday’s morning lectures were by George Neumayr, Contributing Editor of the American Spectator, and Nick Lloyd, Professor of Military History at King’s College, London.

Neumayr

This is Mr. Neumayr.  We met him at dinner on Sunday and we enjoyed his talk.

NickLloyd

Mr. Lloyd gave three lectures on his specialty, World War I, which were very informative.

Tuesday’s afternoon lecturer was Roger Kimball, Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion.  His new book is very colorfully-titled, and available for purchase later, signed by the author.  Many of the tour’s lecturers had books for us to buy, which we did!

Kimball

Tuesday afternoon I did my tour around the Promenade Deck and took pictures, as usual.  It looked like the weather was going to get stormier, so I took every opportunity to get outside.  My readers will know that I have a fascination for the water and the sky from the ship, and I took many photos of the ever-changing sea.

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This is the end of Day 3, Sunset on Tuesday.

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Sunset…An End, and a Beginning

The evening of the first day of our cruise to Alaska aboard the Crystal Serenity was beautiful, and clear.  The ship left Vancouver BC just as the sun was setting.  We stood at the rail of the Promenade Deck and watched for long minutes, as the sun set over the channel.  We knew when we awoke the next morning, we’d be close to the waters off Alaska.  End of the day, beginning of an adventure.

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Photo Challenge A Significant Glow

This is the view from the deck of our vacation house in Bigfork, Montana, on September 7, the day after we got there from Washington.  You can’t see much, due to the smoke from the terrible wildfires, that closed Glacier National Park, and prevented our group from doing most outdoor activities.

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And on September 10, finally, the Glorious Sunset Glow!  We could see the sun, and a bit of sky, as the smoke cleared a bit.  Everyone’s mood was much improved.

Sun glow over lake

I have never been happier to see the sun that I was that day.

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