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USA Wanderings: Home and Back to Reality

It really is over now. I’m sitting here writing this blog where so many others have been written. It is a little sad, but it is also good to be home. Now I have to get back to work, so many things to do, but I thought I would tell you about my trip home, and let you know I had arrived safely.

My trip was fairly uneventful, that was until I got almost home, nothing bad, but it took longer than expected. I left New York on Friday and caught a plane to Indianapolis, though I really only got to see the airport. I hung around there for two hours before boarding my flight to LA or LAX for the final part of my journey.

While flying to LA I saw a beautiful sunrise and because we were travelling back in time, I don’t know how else to explain it as we were going through a different time zone, I saw the longest sunset I’ve ever seen in my life. It lasted for almost three hours. I took some photos of it with my phone. I have a couple of photos of it for you.

They are the only photos for today, sorry.

At LAX I was met by Pam, and we had a brief meeting and catch up. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to get through security, and so we didn’t spend much time together. I am so sad that we didn’t, as it turned out I got through rather quickly and got to the gate wishing I had spent more time with her instead. Sorry Pam.

My QANTAS flight took off a little late, but without incident. I ate and then tried to sleep for the next 8 or so hours. I got more sleep than I did when I went there, which was good, but not enough. I hoped it was enough to get me through the first day back. The food was good, and I did enjoy that, but I seemed to be asleep for the snacks when they came around so around 3 or 4 in in the morning I was starving and it seemed to take them forever to serve breakfast.

Just before hitting Australia we were told that there was fog at the Melbourne Airport and we were going to have to stop in Sydney to refuel, great, add 45 to 60 minutes to the trip. Once up in the air we flew to Melbourne, landed on the tarmac and stayed there, for another 45 or so minutes. Apparently the fog had thrown everything into chaos and we couldn’t get to a gate. Being a Airbus 380, there are only so many gates to park at. There was one plane leaving and we were waiting for them to depart so we could get to the gate, but of course they found some problems with the gate, so we had to wait longer.  We finally left the plane just over 2 hours longer than we were meant to.

Once off the plane going through border security was a nightmare. There were so many people and no one seemed to know what was going on. It was confusing and so annoying. Fair dinkum Melbourne Airport, you really need to employ more people and get a better system in place, compared to the US it was a nightmare. Customs was fine and had no trouble there, finally got out of the airport just after 11 am. My friend met me and we went out for breakfast. It was so nice.

I got home just after lunch and my daughters were waiting for their presents. They loved everything I gave them, which was a relief. My husband liked all the lollies I got him, but I think he rather liked the Batman tshirt, cape and all, a lot too.

Tiddles was a bit funny, but he keeps coming to me for cuddles, which is really nice.

Last night I slept for 12 hours and feel okay today. Now I’m trying to make room on my computer for all the photos. I have two One on One’s this week, I have an article to write for dPS, and have to get moving on the magazine, so everything is happening here. I am going to be very busy.

I will continue writing about the US in the next few days, so final thoughts and such, and then I will start getting everything, well nearly everything, back to normal.


USA Wanderings: The Last Sunrise

This post has been scheduled so you will see it while I am high in the sky. I don’t want to say much, but I did get up very early this morning, well the same time as I usually do really, to get the sunrise. I have taken photos nearly every morning that I’ve been here, I only one or two mornings.

This morning was no different and New York turned on a great one for me. So I will leave you with a couple of the last sunrise photos. They were taken with the Nikon D750 and transferred to my phone with the WiFi. I have only processed them with Snapseed on the phone, so don’t know if they will be any good.


USA Wanderings: Saying Goodbye to New York

It is hard to believe that this trip was in the planning for over a year, but here we are at the end of the end of it. This will be my last blog post from New York, or from the USA. I have met some amazing people and had such a great time. I have seen so many wonderful things, and well, I’m looking forward to getting home and looking at the over 8000 photos that I have taken on my large computer screen.

My last day started early as we were going to go somewhere, but I had to take the sunrise from the balcony, as I have done nearly every morning I’ve been here.

We were up early with plans for a trip to Riverside Park to do some long exposures that I found when out with Robert last Saturday. The plan was to do some long exposusres, and it was nice to try the filters while here.

Back home for breakfast before heading to the subway.

My last trip on the subway. I am not sure I will miss this aspect of the trip.

We then headed to Central Park one last time to just look around and relax. We met up with another WordPress blogger, Sherry.

It was a lovely way to spend time on my last full day here.

I have enjoyed the experience of travelling here, and I do really need to thank so many people. First of all my sponsor who made the whole trip possible, then the friends that allowed me to stay with them while I was here. It has been so good to get to know them so much more.

I also have to thank Merrell for my walking shoes, they really helped me out and they were so good to wear here.

Tamron Australia for lending me the two lens. I found the 28-300mm a great all round lens and really was the first choice of lens in nearly every situation. The 15-30mm was great for architecture and some big city landscapes.

Lowepro bags, that bag, the Pro Runner AW II, was comfortable to use and seemed to carry so much gear, it was a great asset on this trip.

Joby Gorillapod and Camera strap, well I didn’t use the gorillapod as much as I thought, but it was great in some situations. I might have to get one I think. The camera strap was on the camera the whole time, and was comfortable to use and never pulled out my hair, bit bonus. It will be something I will continue using.

Lastly I have to thank Nikon Australia for lending me the D750 and the 35mm lens. I haven’t used the lens as much as I thought I might, but nearly every photo I have taken here, around 7000, probably more, were taken with the D750. I finally got the wifi working and being able to download photos from the camera to my phone meant I could use great photos for social media like Instagram. I am really going to miss that when the camera is returned to Nikon next week.

My bags are packed, well almost, just a couple of last minute things to get in the bags. I’m checked in and all set to head home tomorrow. It is going to be a long trip, but I hope it will be much better than the trip getting here, I really want to sleep this time.

I would also like to thank you for following me along on my trip. I have loved hearing from you and I hope when I get back to Australia you will enjoy following me on my trip there.  I will talk to you when I get back home.


USA Wanderings: Roosevelt Island

Today we had a fairly easy day. We got ready at a leisurely pace and then headed to the subway and caught a couple of trains to Roosevelt Island.

This is a lovely place in the middle of the river between Manhattan and Queens. The first thing I saw was the Ed Koch bridge and I spent a lot of time taking photos of it. We also walked to the end to the new Freedom Garden, I think it was called. It was a great place to get some photos of Manhattan. It was a lovely way to spend some time. When we were done we caught the tram back to Manhattan.

Once we were back we went and had Pizza at Patsy’s, I think it was called, it was really nice. Then we went to Bloomingdale’s so I could get some more presents. Not a great place to shop, the staff were very snooty and I certainly wouldn’t go back, even if I lived here.

It was a very relaxing day and we enjoyed it a lot. I have some photos for you now, I hope you enjoy them.


USA Wanderings: Being a Tourist in New York City

Yesterday I spent the day in New York being a tourist. It was a long day and as many of the things that I wanted to see were still on the list it became a day for ticking them off. Slowly we worked our way around the city.

Of course, you know that I went to take photos of the Flat Iron Building first thing in the morning.

Flat Iron Building  – Tick


We went to Chinatown for Dim Sum, or Yum Cha as we call it in Australia. It was down a little side street and apparently a place that has been there for a very long time. It was an interesting yum cha, and the dumplings and such were similar and yet some were very different.

We saw the arch above on the way, and when we were coming back we went a bit closer. It is the entrance or start of the Manhattan Bridge. You can walk over it as well, but we had a lot to see so we moved on.


We made our way to the Staten Island Ferry so I could see the Statue of Liberty. Many people have said it is the best way, and I think they might be right, plus the ferry is free. You can see some great things on the ferry, not just the statue, but also views of the city and some great bridges.

Staten Island Ferry – Tick

Statue of Liberty – Tick


We stopped at Battery Park to look around and while there I saw this statue of an eagle. It was part of a memorial for the men, and I guess women, who have lost their lives in the US Navy.


As we left there and made out way to the 9/11 Memorial, I was fascinated by the building above and how everything was reflected into it. When the clouds were reflecting in it the building almost disappeared. As we got closer to the memorial you could see the Freedom Tower being reflected as well. It seemed to be a time for reflections.


I noticed this at the 9/11 Memorial, the Reflections pools, this is the North one, and the Freedom Tower reflected into it. It was a almost a quiet place, though one has to wonder about the number of people laughing and taking selfies there. I found that quite odd. It is a memorial and the people having their portraits taken there, or getting the selfie sticks out seemed a little insensitive.  Would they do that a cemetery?

9/11 Memorial – Tick

new-york-city-tourist-After enjoying some Greek food we headed to the Empire State Building. We bought tickets from a person outside, not sure I would ever do that again, as we really didn’t get what we thought we were going to get. We were told we would get access to two floors, and that wasn’t the case. We were ripped off. Be careful with the people outside, you might not get what you think you are getting. If you come across Kevin make sure he doesn’t fast talk you.

The views were great and we still had a great time, but even after 9pm the place was still packed with people. We were able to get to the edge to take some photos. It is like a rabbit warren up there, barriers everywhere so you we could be herded like cattle. Oh well, you only have to do it once in your life I guess.

Empire State Building – Tick

My feet were killing me again by the end of the day, but it was worth it in the end. I got the remainder of the things that I wanted to see off the list, but I have to say, I don’t think I like being a tourist. I really don’t like the crowds of people, and in the end you are just seeing the same things that everyone sees. I think I like the idea of experiencing a place and not doing those other things. I have done them now, and I am happy with what I have done here in New York.

I have more photos to show you from throughout the day. My time here is coming to an end and I only have a couple of days left before I have to head home. It has all happened so quickly.


USA Wanderings: From This to That

Today is very busy and not a lot of time for a post, but I really wanted to show you a couple of photos that I’ve taken recently, so here is a quick post.

The first was a night shot taken from the balcony. I noticed the clouds were moving really fast so decided to do a long exposure. I think it was about 3 minutes. I love how the clouds came out, they are going in all different directions. I used the Tamron 15-30mm on this image with my D800. I needed to use the intervalometer so I had to use the D800 for this.

The other photo is from this morning. We got up early and jumped on the train to go downtown to see if we could get some morning shots of the Flat Iron Building. There was a little colour in the sky and it really helped make the building stand out I think. I used the Nikon D750 for the image with the 35mm lens. I got the wifi working and transferred one image to my phone in Starbucks, which was great to finally get it to work.

I will put them both into a gallery for you now, two images taken at different ends of the day. They are among my favourites so far.


USA WAnderings: Walking and Viewing the Brooklyn Bridge

There are things in life that you know you will get to do and then others that you often feel are just out of the realms of possibilites. This whole trip to the USA has been the latter and I’ve been very fortunate. I do love bridges and it has been great to explore bridges here and one bridge that you can’t miss out in New York is the Brooklyn Bridge.


My first glimpse of the Brooklyn Bridge as we were approaching it so we could walk over it.

This is from the same day that I spent with Stacy, Robert and Robyn, though by this stage Robyn had had to leave. So over the bridge Stacy, Robert and I went. It was as we started walking over it that I realized how sore my feet were.


It would have to be one of the most photographed bridges in the world I think and trying to come up with an original way to photograph itis a hard task. In the end I decided to just take photos for myself and not worry about that. It was also hard to get photos without people.


I got my first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty as well. She was a long way away, but it still counts.


Once we got to Brooklyn we went and took some photos of the Manhattan bridge, the iconic ones down this road. It was here that we were joined by another blogger, Robin Kent.

We wandered a little more around the water before heading to the Brooklyn Park with the intention of photographing the sunset and Manhattan. Unfortunately there were no clouds for the sunset, so while there was a little colour, there wasn’t much else.


I could see the State of Liberty there as well. Though it was still too far away. It will be good to get up close to it, which could happen tomorrow, I hope.


We stuck around until it was dark to do some night shots as well. A few more clouds in the sky might have helped, but you get what you get. I wasn’t really disappointed. I enjoyed taking photos here. I guess there will always be a certain amount of regret that I didn’t get what I had in my mind and I may never get another chance to get that. I have to keep reminding myself that I have been so very lucky to have been given this opportunity and there can be no regrets.

It is sad that I only have four more days here and then I will be on my way home. Though I have to admit I’m looking forward to getting home to my computer, the large monitor and my Wacom tablet so I can really start working on some photos. I also miss my family and Tiddles, the cat. I’ve never been away from them all for this long before and it is a little strange.

I shall leave you now with a gallery of some of my favourite images from our walk over the bridge and then the night shots.