A word on photo safety…

I have been known to turn around and double back in order to get that once in a lifetime shot of a road sign, flower, butterfly, etc. , so I know the temptation is there, especially when we are in a new place, excited to be there and see and experience all we can. Eager to take as many photographs as possible of new and unusual things, not knowing when, if ever, we may have a chance to return to this place…

Hence my word of caution from personal experience: Be Careful ! Do not get so caught up in the moment that you forget your personal safety. Please 🙂 , if you have to pull over, do so when it is safe, making sure to tuck your vehicle as far to the side and out of the flow of traffic as possible and necessary. If this means you’ll have to walk a little farther back, then so be it. Better to park in an official pull-off or a wide spot in the road, than to get dinged or worse. Those locals, familiar with the road in question, will go much faster than you expect. So keep this in mind, make sure you signal before you slow down and pull over, be prepared to get honked at occasionally, and find that safe spot. Lock your vehicle, just in case, make sure you have your key in hand when you do (nothing like being locked out of your vehicle outside of  OnStar’s reach, again speaking from experience, and from a mountaintop, LOL) , and look and listen both ways (!) before crossing the road.

Sometimes you may have to pass the location and go a couple of miles up the  road to hang a U-turn and double back. Again make sure it is safe to do so, leaving enough space to turn without having to block the road for any length of time, i. e.: a 3 point turn is wayyyy better than a 13 point turn, n’est-ce pas ?

If your desired photograph involves stepping off the beaten path and into nature, make sure it is safe to do so. Look around and be aware of loose rocks, slippery leaves or moss, snakes and other critters, keeping in mind also, that in certain areas (such as State Parks or Federal Lands) it may be against the law to leave the dedicated trail. Try to get your pic without killing yourself or getting a citation, will ‘ya please?

There may be a location that strikes your fancy in such a way that you risk life and limb to take that wonderful selfie or family portrait… I once watched a young couple tote their two small children up a narrow rocky trail ( and when I say rocky, I mean huge boulders) and across a mossy and moist rock shelf above a 20 foot drop and below an 80 foot drop of a most gorgeous waterfall. Meanwhile, as their family member got into position on dry land below, gearing up to take that perfect picture, I sat cringing and praying, that nothing terrible would happen to them. Quietly looking on and being pained by the danger and the nonchalant attitude. I’m not judging. I get it, it’s a free country and to each their own, but I would not have taken that risk. One misstep, a tiny slip, could have been fatal. Those rocks are very unforgiving, after all. Use your own best judgment.

Last but not least, on your quest for photographic success, kindly make sure you don’t block or inhibit other folks from enjoying the scenery. Look around, be situationally aware (as you should always be) and show courtesy to others. Communicate and take turns, if you have to.

That being said, if you see a woman of a certain age with long blonde hair and a smart phone by the side of the road or trail, taking pictures of God knows what, be sure to beep your horn, because that could be me! 🙂 . I would appreciate the shout-out.

xxoo cw

Following my father’s footsteps : Why ???

The easy answer would be: Because he was a great guy !

The more involved answer goes as follows:

My Dad was a Captain at Sea for the German Merchant Marine. He started as a “deck scrubber” and gradually worked his way up, saving money, taking a semester or two here and there, steadily advancing in rank. He was one of the most determined people I ever knew.

My Dad travelled extensively, spoke 13 languages, had a love for life, people and good food, as well as nature and everything within it. He brought back many exotic species of plants from his trips, and if you were ever fortunate enough to experience one of his guided garden tours, he would tell you not only where he found each plant, but also the proper Latin name thereof.

My Dad was very open minded toward other cultures and people. His motto was:

“You should know enough of each language to make every person feel comfortable and appreciated”.

I have tried to live by this credo, granted it’s easy, because I just enjoy seeing folks smile. When I meet someone from another culture or language, I generally will try to pick up a word or a phrase to commit to my memory banks, and people are usually very happy and helpful (and some are tickled pink, because someone showed an interest).

Ergo, I could wish you a Good Morning in Cherokee (“Osht-sunalay”) or tell you to have patience in Ethiopian (“Tigist”), or I could simply thank you for reading this far (insert smiley 🙂 ), so let’s stick with that.

Thank you,

Yours truly,

cw xxoo

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Quick Intro :

My name is Christine, I am a mother of 2 delightfully talented children ( Yes, they will be reading this ) , born and raised in Germany, have lived in the US for more than half my life (you may guess at numbers, if you so desire) , have enjoyed a job I absolutely love and adore (which has nothing at all to do with travelling) for nearly 22 years, love gardening, reading, catching a show, and meeting amazing people, wherever they may be, have so far travelled on 2 continents, but fully intend to expand my horizon, have a long “bucket list”, steadily checking off items (and then adding more when no one’s looking), and here’s the inevitable “fair warning” for all of my Facebook friends, there may come a day that I shall visit you (upon proper invitation, of course) regardless of the continent you reside on.

Geesh,,, we may just have broken a record for longest sentence ever…

Well, suffice it to say, if you enjoy flowers, nature trails, mountains, beach, travel with kids or without, with dog or without, budget or the occasional splurge (Thank Goodness for hotel loyalty programs 🙂 ) , you may find something of interest to you which may peak your appetite for travel. If so, I welcome you to return as many times as you like. … And bring a friend or two…

Yours truly,

Christine Williams

Welcome to my blog…

…Hi there,

Hope these words find you well and in good spirits.

Come with me, if you like, and explore some more or less known locals. Travel is my passion, people are my love, and the world is my oyster (…and yours as well…) ***