Continuing with the photos associated with my 2008 trip through the Baltics, today’s album features Riga.  Mostly all I did there was take the two long walking tours laid out in my tourist pamphlet—and, thanks to Riga’s incredible architecture, this might just be the best thing that a person *can* do there! Every building there cried to be admired.


Mission Inn, Riverside CA

Happy Sunday! This album contains photos of the Mission Inn [ official | TripAdvisor | wikipedia ] in Riverside, California (April 2014). It’s a historical landmark and, according to wikipedia, “generally considered the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States”. I would have liked to have taken more, and better, photos, but an obnoxious security guard was chasing us from floor to floor, making things difficult. (We didn’t actually sleep there, but we had reservations for Easter Brunch and *thought* it would be okay to check out the grounds… Yeesh, what a snooty place!) Brunch was courtesy of The BF’s folks, and was delicious.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary (in Pennsylvania) has it all: Creepy crusty ruins, a flexible audio tour narrated by Steve Buscemi, lots of history, free ongoing mini-tours to closed-off rooms… Perfect! Aside from how cold it was, I loved every minute spent and pretty much every photo taken at this place. I hope you can check out the resulting >photo album< or at least the (many!) highlights below. (more…)

Bradbury Building

I did jury duty in 2012 (Aside: It was a truly painful experience, and not because performing my civic duty was bad in itself but because I was appalled and, frankly, frightened by the lack of basic reasoning skills displayed by not just the THIRTY-some people who were rejected in front of me, but by the people who made the cut with me, as well. But this is not the blog for such things.) and I wanted to make the most of being required to drive to downtown LA more than once. On a stranger’s advice, I checked out the Bradbury Building [Los Angeles Conservancy | Wikipedia | Yelp | googlemaps], and it was quite beautiful inside there! Especially the skylights. (more…)

Pyrohiv Village Museum

Welcome to the Pyrohiv/Пирогі́в (Ukrainian; the Russian name is Pirogov/Пирого́в) Village Museum [wikipedia], which is not too far outside of Kiev, Ukraine. Village museums are very popular in Eastern Europe… I saw houses, napped, and drank fine, almost-Hungarian wine. Check out the rest of the photos (23 total) here, or just the highlights below. (more…)

Tongva Park (Santa Monica)

We were VERY impressed with this brand new, colorful park (Tongva Park) in Santa Monica, California, which we stumbled across without having heard anything about its construction. Check out the rest of my photos of it, or read it about it on wikipedia or yelp. Extra kudos to the city for making the entire park smoke-free! Photos taken in April 2014.

UCLA Campus, Botanical Garden

Today’s photos [check them out here!] are of UCLA‘s campus and Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden [official site, wikipedia, yelp, tripadvisor]. The crazy thing about the botanical garden (“one of the most important living botanical collections in the United States”) is that most students seem never to have visited it. Who wouldn’t want to go peek at some turtles between classes?

The album contains photos taken on five different days: The campus photos were taken in Sep. & Oct. 2008 and the three visits to the botanical garden were in Oct. & Nov. 2008, and Apr. 2009).