We originally planned to ride up to Mt. Charleston Lodge for lunch today, but Mother Nature decided they needed more snow! Rain was expected in Las Vegas and the sky looked a little threatening but we decided to beat the rain and visit the Neon Museum. If you ever get to Vegas it is a must see. When signs are no longer needed they are donated to the museum. We learned that most of the neons are leased by the hotels usually for ten years. When the lease expires if the hotel doesn’t want it, it goes back to the sign company.
So many signs lay in this historic boneyard and I’ve only shared a few!
Red Rock Canyon is about 20 miles from downtown. The clouds continued to roll in and the wind got quite gusty, but we drove out anyway. Lucky for me the low hanging clouds made the already dramatic landscape ever more ominous. There is a 13 mile scenic loop, well worth the drive. Do not miss this if you are in Vegas. Sadly tomorrow we leave for Nashville, but I can say for sure that it won’t be 30 years before I’m back again!
VIVA LAS VEGAS
And flies fly,
Why can’t I?
Alcohol ink and mixed media on yupo paper
copyright Toni Hooper 2018
We left Sunday morning for Kiawah Island, home to the Kiawah Golf Club and the 2021 US Open.We had two destinations in mind. First we were going to see the Angel Oak on Johns Island. We got to the site and it didn’t open until 1 pm. So we drove over to Kiawah Island to a place called Beachwalkers Beach. You are supposed to be able to walk about a mile down the beach and watch dolphins feed almost any time of day. There is one problem. There are limited parking spaces and if the lot is full the city will turn you away. No parking anywhere else! We missed it. So back to Angel Oak. It is an oak believed to be 400-500 years old. It is unreal. Because developers began to encroach on the surrounding land, protests brought the city in and now it is protected. The pictures just don’t do it justice. As they say you had to be there.
After that we came back to Charleston and strolled down Meeting Street to the park passing old colonial mansions along the way. They are so majestic and well preserved. I love the secret gardens and fountains that were visible through the iron gates. One can imagine the grand parties and the beautiful ladies and gentlemen who attended them.
We finished the night at Tommy Condon’s Irish Pub. What’s a pub without a Smithwicks beer, right? Another fun day.
Charleston is a fascinating city. We drove from Myrtle Beach down highway 17. We stopped at Huntington Beach State Park and visited Atalaya, the home of Anna and Archie Huntington. Archie was a philanthropist and writer. Anna was a twentieth century sculptor known for her realistic animal sculptures. They built the modern castle on land that had been a rice plantation. It’s a fascinating work of art. Anna loved all animals and she was a breeder of Scottish Deerhounds. There were also stalls for the horses, and even pens for the occasional bear. Anna would only use live models for her sculptures. It’s difficult to get a proper perspective of the house without being there. It’s like a giant labyrinth.
We entered Charleston over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. It’s a suspension bridge that crosses the Cooper River. It’s quite impressive. It is a cable-stayed bridge that’s 575 feet high. The total length is 13,200 feet!
After settling in at the hotel we went for a walk to see what was nearby. Old Charleston reminds me of New Orleans. It’s a beautiful city with lots of old churches and historic buildings. The harbor park is beautiful and you can see Ft. Sumter in the distance and the USS Yorktown across the bay. We had dinner at Old Towne Grill & Seafood. It’s a Greek restaurant so of course we ate there. The owner was actually visiting Greece so I didn’t get to practice my Greek. The food was incredible! The avgolemeno soup was the best I’ve ever eaten. (No offense to my Annoula). I bought a large jar of their spices to bring home. Dan had moussaka and I had the gyro plate. We got Greek potatoes as our side. We did not leave hungry! I almost forgot the mention the dolmathes for an appetizer, along with a delicious Greek white wine.
We ended the night at the market. On Fridays and Saturdays they have local artisans and there were three buildings full of paintings, jewelry, stained glass and many unique items. Oh and the pralines…..well I bought a pound of them. They told me they would be good for 14 days! We’ll see if they make it home. I bought this lamp, can’t really explain how they put it together. The lighthouse painting is done on reclaimed tin from the area by an artist named James Trimm. He paints only with his fingers and fingernail.
What a great first day!
It’s early here in Myrtle Beach. I got up for sunrise but it seems that the 18,000 plus steps my Fitbit logged yesterday put a little kink in my knee! I do love walking on the beach. I must leave my high perch on “Mt. Olympus” and join the world of the mortals once again!
It won’t be so bad. Charleston awaits with its historic charm. We will be tourists there and I think there will be ample subjects to keep this photographer busy. I look forward to a new place with new adventures. So I leave you with a quiet moment. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment.
I was walking the beach this morning and a larger shell caught my eye. I walked over to it and you can imagine my surprise when I got close. I have heard of message in a bottle but never seen message in a shell. I made a photo and left it there for the next person to read. I always wonder where things come from, where they have been, and why I happen upon them when I do. Interesting!
I haven’t been working in my art journal as much as I thought I would. The artist happy cards are a quick art fix. Thursday I glued some shells in my journal and added some doodles. It’s a happy beach page.