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Our visit to Busch Gardens in Tampa FL   3 comments

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We vacationed in Tampa and Orlando FL  at the end of November and the first week in December.  If my daughter had her way, we would spend all of our time at Disney.  Me?  Not so much.  Of course, most of my friends know I am passionate about the plight of captive elephants in the USA, so of course, we visited as many elephants as I could fit into our schedule.   Our first stop was Busch Gardens in Tampa FL.  I have know about this place most of my life, but this was my first visit.   It is a pretty park.  Lots of flora.  Unfortunately, the area around it is all developed and built up.  Much like Disney in Anaheim, CA.  Very touristy.  We had reservations for the Elephant Insiders Tour and made our way to the place to meet our guide.  I have posted about our experience with a few photos on The Elephant Commentator: http://elephantcommentator.fezboards.com/index.php&showtopic=432

When we entered the park we were greeted by Pink Flamingos.  There were 4 park employees with them.  It was a sight, but one I certainly did not agree with.

Posted December 24, 2010 by clm30030 in Uncategorized

Lunch in the Garden   1 comment

Last Friday was another glorious autumn day.  I decided to get out of the office for lunch and drove over to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  I walked over to the Rose Garden and sat just drinking in all the beauty around me.

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Posted October 24, 2010 by clm30030 in Travel

Beautiful Autumn Weekend   1 comment

I drove up to Hohenwald TN last weekend to volunteer at The Elephant Sanctuary.  It was a gorgeous Autumn weekend.  I think I like Autumn better than Spring, but Spring does run a close second.  The leaves are just starting to turn.  By the first weekend in November it will be a riot of fall color.  Just lovely.  I parked at a rest stop on Nickajack Lake near Chattanooga TN on the drive back home.  Here are a few photos.

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Posted October 17, 2010 by clm30030 in Travel

This is a test   1 comment

This is a test.

Posted October 17, 2010 by clm30030 in Travel

Hello world!   1 comment

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Posted September 28, 2010 by clm30030 in Uncategorized

Preview of Expanded Botanical Gardens Apr. 30, 2010   Leave a comment

We visited one of our favorite places last Friday evening – The Atlanta Botanical Gardens.  It was a members only preview, but lots of people.  We will definitely go back when the crowds are down.  A 40 feet high Canopy Walk was constructed in a adjoining forest and an edible garden was put in.  All very beautiful and interesting, especially for those of us who have no room for a garden. 
 
We didn’t take any still photos of the canopy walk.  Elissa did take video and I will try to post some later. 
 
Enjoy!

Posted May 3, 2010 by clm30030 in Uncategorized

Visiting Biltmore Estates   Leave a comment

I have never been very interested in the rich and famous unless they did something to better the world in which we live.   I have visited a few historical homes in the past, mostly because my daughter wanted to see them.  Some of them I enjoyed and some were just boring.
 
Biltmore Estates is in a class all by itself.  A 223 room getaway for George Vanderbuilt and his family and friends. You will only see less than 50 rooms on the tour, but you will get a sense of how vast the estate was in it’s day – 125,000 acres to the present day of 8000 acres.  It is lovely – beautiful forest abundant with wildlife.  The gardens near the house are smaller than I imagined, but very beautiful.  The exterior design of the house is French Chateau and every room that we viewed on the tour is very individul and beautifully restored and decorated.  The house was ahead of it’s time in technology and there is a behind the scenes tour that we look forward to doing on our next visit.  Built in 1895, it had 43 bathrooms at a time when there was no running water and indoor toilets in most homes.
 
The Vanderbuilts were the rock stars of their time.  George wanted to get away from the paparazzi of the 19th century and built this house and decorated it himself.  He met his wife Edith on a trans-atlantic voyage.  She was 25 when they married.  They had one daughter, Cornelia, whose Two sons and their children currently own and run the Biltmore Company.
 
The house was run much like a hotel during its time.  George always had friends and family visiting.  He employed hundreds of people, mostly from the Appalachian area to run the house and the stables.  He also farmed the land and operated a dairy.  After his death in 1914, his wife Edith took over the responsibility of running the estate.  She was very conscious of all the familys dependent on the estate for their livlihood.  I would definitely like to read more about her.
 
We will be visiting again.  We had a very enjoyable weekend and will be sharing some photos as soon as we get them all organized.
 

Posted April 12, 2010 by clm30030 in Uncategorized