Showing posts from October, 2009

Chasing the Colors, Chasing the Sun

Getting great fall foliage pictures can be easy, challenging, or impossible. There are two important elements you must have to get those knock-your-socks-off pictures... timing + sunshine. The timing has to be just right. If you're too early in the season, you won't get vibrant colors, too late and you won't get any color. And sunshine is a must. If you try to capture bold bright colors on an overcast day, well, give it up. It just ain't gonna happen. There's just nothing like Mother Nature's spotlight to give vibrancy to fall foliage.

If you have the right timing + lots of sunshine you almost can't take a bad picture of autumn's canvas. Just find yourself some pretty trees and click the shutter button. If you have the right timing but the sun is playing hide and seek with the clouds you'll have yourself a bit of a challenge. Have patience, stick with it, and you'll be glad you did. If you have the right timing but it's overcast, or worse yet…

Chocolate and Wine at Exit 39, Sweetest Day

Saturday was Sweetest Day. D and I started the day off with breakfast at Sophia's and returned home in time to watch the pregame show before the U of M vs Delaware State football game. The game was fun to watch just for the shear joy of seeing so many touchdowns. Wow! Go Blue!

When the game was over, we headed out in search of fall colors and Sweetest Day treats. Our first stop was the Karma Vista Vineyards in Coloma.

We'd been there before and remembered the beautiful vistas.

I also wanted to get some pictures of the mature grape vines and pick up some wine for gifts. :-) The sun was playing peek-a-boo behind the clouds so we had to be patient to get the pics. But it was worth it!

Then we ducked inside and grabbed a few bottles of wine before moving on. The place was really crowded!

Next stop was the Chocolate Garden, also in Coloma. We hadn't been to the Chocolate Garden before but we'd seen plenty of signs for it and heard good things from friends too.

It's an itty b…

Friday Night Lights in St. Joseph

One of the things I find most enchanting about life in St. Joseph is the small town atmosphere. Having spent all my life in a "big city", I'm learning a lot about how things are viewed and treated differently in small towns. Take high school football for example. The cities I've lived in have all had no less than 3 public high schools along with at least a couple of parochial schools. You can be a star player on your high school football team and not even make the city's "top 25 players" roster. Virtually all of the people in the stands are current students (and not too many of those unless they're playing the cross town rival or it's Homecoming), parents of players, or parents of band members. The general public? No, you won't find them in the stands. Too many other choices of entertaining things to do on a Friday night.

Contrast that with a city like St. Joseph and you'll find that high school football is a much bigger deal here. D and …

Sweetest Day Weekend in St. Joseph

There is no better place to celebrate Sweetest Day than in southwest Michigan. Take it from me, I'm there and I've got the sweets to prove it!

D and I came up Friday to meet with the furnace repairman. Bad news. The condo's furnace is not repairable. That means a new furnace for us. But not this weekend. The installation will have to be scheduled in another week or two. In order to spend time at the condo this weekend we had to make a trip to Lowes to buy a couple of space heaters. Hey, it beats being cold!

By the time the repairman left it was lunchtime. So we headed into town to have lunch at Chan's Garden. What? I haven't told you about Chan's before? OK, here's the scoop. My friend CH (who lives here in St. Joe) introduced me to Chan's a few months back. It's a Chinese restaurant in downtown St. Joseph, on State St.

They have really good food and their lunch combo prices can't be beat.

D had chicken with broccoli.

My favorite is sweet and sour ch…

Orange You Glad it's Autumn in St. Joseph?

Orange was the color of the day, Sunday, in St. Joseph. I made a quick trip to St. Joe to turn on the furnace in the condo. We've had a couple nights of below freezing temps and I didn't want to risk having my pipes burst. Bad news. The furnace isn't working! :-( Going to have to call the heating and cooling guys, again.

In the few hours I was in town, I managed to snap some autumnal photos. Orange, orange, orange, in all it's glory appears in each picture...
Here's the sign on Lakeshore Drive welcoming all to our "Special Place on the Lake". The lush fall mums were looking lovely!

The shoreline foliage was looking very autumnal. Lake Michigan was looking paler and greener than it did in the summer.

The snow fences are in place along Silver Beach, the lifeguard chair long abandoned.

From atop the bluff looking out at the lake you can see the various reds, oranges, and golds in the foliage. The structure on the right is the new Silver Lake Carousel under constr…