Archive for the ‘Field Trips’ Category

So, back to our Dallas vacation recaps! After our visit to the State Fair, we let our cameras cool off with a couple of lower-key photography days. We headed out to McKinney to do some hard-core quilt shopping one day (Patty is the world’s most patient hostess. We spent FOREVER in the AWESOME quilt shops there), then spent the next day sampling biscuits and gravy at Bubba’s, doing some furniture shopping, visiting the Mustang fountain in Irving, then partaking of the stunning cocktails and desserts at La Duni restaurant back in Dallas. Of course, “cooling off” doesn’t mean our cameras were getting the days off entirely

October 18 2010

If you are ever in McKinney, go to Spoons cafe and get the chocolate cake. Seriously. It looks like a regular old cake, sure, but seriously — this is the best. cake. ever.

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and gravy, by Pookie

B/W Mustangs

Black-and-white lensbaby Mustangs, by Pookie


Curious Mustang, by Pookie


Galloping, by Schnookie

October 19 2010

Schnookie, by Pookie


Hooves, by Schnookie

Iron Hooves

Iron hooves, by Pookie

Horse Face

This is your leader’s nose, by Schnookie

La Duni Chupito

La Duni Chupito, by Schnookie

Extravagant Drink

La Duni Shaken Mariana, by Pookie

Lemon 43

La Duni Lemon 43, by Schnookie


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Our second day of Dallas vacation was all about the nutmeats of our trip there — the State Fair of Texas. When we visited two years ago Patty was all, “Oh, and while you’re here we can go to the state fair!” and we were all, “Whatevs. We’re not fair people,” and then we got there and we were all, “WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL US ABOUT THIS SOONER???” The State Fair of Texas is the awesomest place on earth, and is a photo hobbyist’s greatest dream come true. Last time around we had but one camera and had only been using it for about six weeks. This time? We came armed with two cameras (upgraded ones!), many lenses, and at least a vague notion of how to use them. (Emphasis there on “vague”. Seriously, we don’t have a clue.) And we timed our trip to get a sunset ride on the Texas Star (except Schnookie’s tendency to worry about missing shit and getting places way early meant we… didn’t see the sunset on the Texas Star), and an evening spent taking pictures of bright lights on the midway. Oh, and somewhere in there, we ate fried food. Oh, and before we went to the fair? We went to Stars practice. Yeah, we know how to live. Here’s a sampling of our pictures.

At Stars Practice

Practice through the fisheye, by Schnookie

Deep Fried Beer With Big Tex

Deep fried beer, with Big Tex bokeh. It’s a preztel-dough ravioli, essentially, filled with warm beer. It was worth being able to say we tried it, but probably not worth ever eating again.

Fried Goods

Deep fried latte and deep fried frozen margarita. Both are truly excellent foodstuffs. Seriously. Try them as soon as you can.


The swing ride thing lit up, by Schnookie

Bokeh Spinner

The swing ride thing, bokeh-style, by Pookie

The Swing Ride

The swing ride thing, in the gloaming, by Schnookie

October 17 2010

Ride lights and the Texas Star, by Schnookie

You re A Star

You’re a star, by Pookie

Love Bugs

Love Bugs, by Schnookie

Lensbaby Spinner

The swing ride thing, with Lensbaby bokeh, by Pookie

Pookie On The Texas Star

Pookie, by Schnookie

Texas Star Is Made Of Bokeh

The Texas Star is made of bokeh, by Pookie


The swing ride thing lights in motion again, by Schnookie

Love On The Texas Star

Love on the Texas Star, by Pookie

FIsheye Big Tex

Fisheye Big Tex, by Pookie

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You may have heard that we recently spent a marvelous week (In Dallas) with the intelligent and sexy Patty. Since returning home we’ve slowly been building up to being able to share the stories and pictures from this wonderful vacation; we don’t like to rush into things, though. We’ve been busy! We can’t be helped that travelogues don’t write themselves! But excuses aside, it’s time for you to gird yourself for our blog-style vacation slide show. It’s like being trapped at our house for a cocktail party, but in text.

Our first big adventure in Dallas was to meet up with Myra, Dave, Grace, and Caitlin for a scrumptious dinner at our favorite restaurant Matito’s, and then to watch from kick-ass seats while the Stars played the Blues. Before you scoff at that less-than-sexy matchup, it should be noted that this was a couple of weeks ago — Patty was still gloating that her team was unbeaten. ::Eyeroll:: Whatever, Patty. Good for you. (Not that we’re bitter about the stupid Devils.) The game was a pretty exciting affair, not that you could tell from our photos, and then we capped off the evening with a visit to Patty’s friend Jim’s skyrise apartment to see his boffo views of the Dallas cityscape. All in all, it was a day extremely well spent.


Stars over Matito’s, by Pookie

October 16 2010

Smoke-spewing star, by Pookie

Speed Lines

A study in motion and long shutter speed, poorly, by Schnookie

Disco Ball

Disco ball with rink reflected, by Schnookie

Stars Opening Video

Escher jumbotron, by Pookie

Disco Bokeh

Disco ball bokeh, by Schnookie

We're Number One

Number one, number one, number one, by Pookie

Disco Stars

Dude, was Schnookie even watching the game, or was it just the disco ball?, by Schnookie

Fisheye Dallas Skyline

Dallas through the fisheye, by Pookie

Bokeh Dallas Skyline

Dallas bokeh, by Pookie

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So it turns out we weren’t the only people vacationing in the Netherlands recently — it’s the offseason, so many of the Devils were there, too.

Colin White

Colin White

Marty in Zuiderzee

Martin Brodeur

Jamie Langenbrunner

Jamie Langenbrunner

Not Andrew Peters

Not Andrew Peters anymore. WOO HOO!

Arts and Crafts Paulie

Paulie Martin. ::sniffle::

Chalk Zach

Zach Parise

Pando, Archly

Pando. ::sniffle::

Zach Parise

Zach Parise


Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond

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Well, we made it one piece across the Atlantic, and have remained in one piece since disembarking in Amsterdam. And look who also got a stamp in his passport:

Mats and Beesie

Mats loves it here, cheering for the Netherlands with his new best friend Beesie. But don’t worry — if the Devils were playing in the World Cup, he’d be cheering for them. He’s a one-team man, Mats.

Our impressions of this country so far are that it’s charming, the cheese market in Alkmaar is the most ridiculous thing ever, and this place has a totally baseless reputation for having mild summer weather. Also, Pookie’s eyes are horribly allergic to the air here. But it’s awesome!

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Gentle Reader, we have had an exhausting day. We were such go-getters! We started at the crack of 10 a.m. and headed out to the Franklin Park Conservatory for a photo excursion. It’s a beautiful place, all gorgeously sunlit and plant-filled, and the grounds beyond the conservatory are lovely (although they were covered with snow this morning! [!!]), but our advice to anyone over the age of 8 is to skip it on a school day. Yeesh. There were raucous school groups everywhere.

But we still managed to take a few pictures:

Ship Of Chihuly

Pink Cyclemen

Palm Frond


After two hours of hothouse humidity and screaming kids, we were well past ready to leave. We staggered onward in our busy plans to have a scrumptious lunch at the North Market in the Arena District (the districts in Columbus remind us of the Hank Scorpio episode of the Simpsons. We keep expecting to stumble across the Hammock District).

North Market Sign

North Market is way, way, way cool, and we managed to find among all the different booths some scrumptious Mexican food for lunch, and chased it with some famous Jeni’s ice cream. We’d walked past Jeni’s downtown yesterday after our lunch at Betty’s, and passed it up, so we were super-psyched to be able to try some at a booth at North Market. The flavors (salted caramel and queen city cayenne) were outrageously good, but you know what? The ice cream from our neck of the woods is better overall. It’s good to know we can still stand by our statement that we have the best ice cream in the world.

After lunch, we headed out on foot to the Central Ohio Fire Museum, because we are seriously, seriously cool.

Fire Museum Facade

Okay, the real reason we were there was to get a picture of a fire engine, one of the items on the flickr scavenger hunt we’re doing. They wouldn’t let us just go in, get a picture, and leave, though, so we got stuck taking a tour. With just us and the tour guide. It ended up being shockingly informative and interesting (although we could have lived without the fire safety demos at the end), and we even gained a tour member midway through, when a Blackhawks fan/history buff/Chicago fireman who was in town for last night’s game dropped in. If you’re ever looking to kill half an hour in Columbus, we highly recommend the Central Ohio Fire Museum (assuming you’ve already had ice cream).

Brylin the Fire Man

After the fire museum, we were pooped. We staggered back around the block to our hotel (did we mention the fire museum was, like, next door to our hotel? Because if it wasn’t, we totally wouldn’t have gone there. We’re not that lame), then sat around feeling sorry for ourselves for being so tired. And for having spent all morning amongst hellions at the conservatory.

What could make us feel better? Why, the best beer in Columbus, that’s what! The promise of beer was the only thing that could get us back on our feet, and it ended up being so worth the short walk. Of all the places we’ve recommended from our trip this week, Barley’s is at the absolute top of the list.

So now the sun has set over beautiful Columbus (no, really, we watched it set over Nationwide Arena from our hotel room), and we’re planning to hit the road early tomorrow morning. We might have laughed that this vacation was a goofy sort of mistake of poor planning, but the fact is, Columbus is a wonderful place to visit. We’ve had a great time, and look forward to coming back soon.

Oh, and we had a very successful time photography-wise, too. If you want to see zillions more exciting, behind-the-scenes pictures from our time here, check out the set on Flickr.

It's Where We're At

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Today was the centerpiece day of our trip to Columbus — game day! We greeted the day at the crack of mid- to late-morning, and were thrilled to find it cold and gloomy outside.

Miserable Day Outside

Perfect weather for traipsing around town and then walking to the arena!

The first stop on our busy itinerary was the utterly charming Pistacia Vera in the German Village. There we were able to start our day off right, with pain au chocolat and cafe au lait. When this is your breakfast, you can be pretty sure that the day is going to be a good one.

Pistacia Vera

After our leisurely repast we took a quick driving tour of the German Village (if anyone reading this wants to give us a cute brick house in the German Village, we won’t say no), then headed out to the real reason we drove to Columbus. No, not the hockey game — the quilt stores!

Loot From Sew To Speak

We got gobs of adorable fabrics and great patterns and notions — you know, the kind of stuff most hockey blogs talk about — and we even drove past the single coolest store on the face of the earth:

Fountain Pen Store

If you are looking for a one-stop source for turntables, typewriters and fountain pens, we know just the place.

Speaking of just the place, if you’re in Columbus and looking for a pin-up themed bar/diner with a delicious menu, and a creative array of cocktail options stop in at Betty’s. They did very well by us.

Country Thyme Lemonade

So, shopping and lunch done, we returned to the hotel to rest up while the temperature dropped outside, so it would be especially miserable walking the two blocks to the arena at 6:00. One of the things we really wanted to be able to photograph when we got here was the lights outside Nationwide Arena, using our star filters, the way FSN Ohio does on the Blue Jackets broadcasts. It was pouring rain when we arrived for the game, though, so we were stymied. Stupid rain.

It should surprise no one that Victory Euro Mats made the trip here with us, and he enjoyed his time at this game immensely.

Mats at Nationwide Arena

The Blue Jackets have marked various parts of the concourse with their distance from center ice. It would take a gajillion Matses, lined end to end, to reach from here to there.

Mats At Stinger's Place

Mats accepted an invitation to drop by Stinger’s house, but Stinger wasn’t there when he arrived. That jerk.

Grandma Stinger

Stinger might not have been anywhere to be seen, but there was a fabulous snapshot of his grandmother.

Boom Warning

There isn’t warning in the world enough to prepare you for the goal cannon. It’s fabulously loud and totally awesome. The Devils really need to adopt this tradition. (Also, the Devils could adopt a tradition of scoring eight goals whenever we’re in the building, as the Blue Jackets do.)


Seriously, Devils, get a goal cannon. You won’t be sorry.

Mats Is Nuts For The Blue Jackets!

Mats is nuts for the Blue Jackets!

Stinger Carries The Flag

There are not words to describe how much Schnookie loves this mascot.

Mats The Boozehound

Mats is an incorrigible drunk…

Sobriety Is No Accident, Mats

…But sobriety is no accident. We cut him off after he drank his height’s worth, and took his car keys away from him.

Mats Watching The Action

There wasn’t anyone in front of him, so Mats had a great view of what ended up being a wild game. We appreciated that the Blue Jackets scored one goal for every hour we spent in the car on the way here, but we also felt deeply sympathetic toward the BJs fans. The people behind us remarked, when the game was 5-1, that they didn’t feel the lead was safe with Mason in goal. An 8-3 win is nice, but it doesn’t make up for an entire shitty season.

Asparagus Green

The color we need to get a picture of this week for our sixty-four colors flickr challenge is asparagus green. It had been quite elusive, right up until we glanced across the arena and spotted that guy in the green jacket. Thanks, dude! Heh.

The game was, as the 8-3 score would suggest, a marvelous affair. The real capper, though, was when they had a “lucky section” giveaway… and our section won! We’ve been to literally hundreds of NHL games in our lives, and we have never once been in a lucky section before. Our loot? Free, empty Rrroll Up The Rim Tim Hortons cups! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!! We won a free coffee and a free donut! And we think we may also have won free chili and another free donut thanks to the Blue Jackets scoring three goals and winning, respectively. We’ll be dining out on this game for days! Literally!

Stinger, Mats And Our Prizes

Here Mats poses with Stinger and our lucky winner cups.

When we got back to our hotel room, after what seemed like a miles-long trudge through freezing rain (that’s supposed to turn to snow tonight!), we decided to try the star filter on the Nationwide Arena lights from afar.

Star Filter Nationwide

It’s not quite perfect, but it’ll do.

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