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My Trip to America July 2012 Part II


By dwyllis


Here are some more photos from of our recent visit to my elder son & his family in America. They are posted up in no particular order. Hope you enjoy them.

Crossing over Lake Huron from the little city of Mackinac up by the Eastern Peninsula of Michigan, to the charming little Mackinac Island, we arrived & were greeted by these lovely hanging flower arrangements. The trip on the ferry takes over half an hour & passes by the famous Mackinac Bridge.

The back garden area of a charming B&B cottage called Lilac House on Mackinac Island.

These amazing statues of ballerinas were at the front of the Sheraton Hotel in Denver, Colorado. They are made in bronze, I think. Very beautiful.

Our last three days were spent in San Francisco, but our flight back to NZ was delayed by 18 hours …a nightmare eight hours at the airport waiting to be taken over to a hotel in San Jose …an hour drive from SF. We arrived at the hotel, which was a Marriot, just before 1am. Up at 7am to shower & have breakfast, & we then took a quick walk around the neighbourhood. This photo shows a dome fountain in the shape of a spaceship (I thought). Such a clean & tidy place.

Here is a very pretty mixed flower border outside a shop called the Indian Drum near where our ferry docked at Mackinac Island.

My grandchildren Cicicei-Jayd & Omar …..the pretty dahlias growing outside an information place on the Eastern Peninsula across the bridge from Mackinaw city, were just too hard for them to resist.

The row of famous Victorian houses called The Painted Ladies in San Francisco. We have a row of houses like this along the marine parade in my hometown of Napier NZ, & they are painted in bright colours, but do not have all the fancy trimmings.

Photographed in a lovely little place called Sausilito, across the bay from San Francisco & within view of the forbidding Alcatraz prison on a tiny island in the bay.

We spent two nights in a tiny place called Milan, more than an hour from Detroit, as we could not find a hotel/motel in Ann Arbor when visiting the big Art Fair there. Spotted this lovely garden bed quite near the Milan hotel.

Denver was full of flowers ….lots of garden beds & enormous quantity of flowers & plants growing in lovely containters. This one was in 16th Street Mall, not far from our hotel, where we spent at least part of every day of our seven day visit.

The famous Haight-Ashbury Street in San Francisco … America’s equivalent to England’s Carnaby Street. This was the In place to be seen during the Flower Power years … I was a teenager then, but dull old NZ never had anything like this. It is still very well preserved & on the tourist route.

As well as flowers in containers everywhere in Denver, there were statues & parks all over the place too. Here, my OH is posing with two enormous bronze bulls … not in a park, just on a piece of grass next to a high rise building. I can’t even begin to imagine what they cost to make!

This amazingly huge blue bear, stands three floors high & is peering in through the window of the Hyatt Regency Convention Centre, attached to the Hyatt Regency hotel we were staying at. It appeared to be made out of something like fibreglass, as was hollow. The Blue Bear is a symbol of Colorado. I would hate to meet this guy in the forest!

Lovely container planting just outside the Cherry Creek Crossing Shopping Mall ….a wonderful mall with 130 shops & children’s play areas. Again ….eveything was spotless. Temps soared to 104 F that day, but the flowers didn’t seem to mind in the least.

The front garden of one of the many amazing private homes on Mackinaw Island in Michigan. Only millionares can afford a home here, unless you live in one of the quaint small cottages which generations of the same family have lived in.

So neat! The front lawn of a little house on Mackinaw Island.

Alcatraz. Sits in the bay of San Francisco & looks very sinister. They do daily tours through it, but no way would I enter that place. It definitely could do with some colourful hanging baskets to brighten it up!!!

More blog posts by dwyllis

Previous post: My Trip to America July 2012 Part 1

Next post: Art in NZ Gardens



Hi Dwyllis@evidently your spine is getting back in order :)) I remember your comment some weeks ago :))
Thank you very much for another educational blog. The Painted Ladies houses are beautiful, it must be pleasure (and expensive) to live in. Reminds me houses and porcelain in Delft, the Netherlands. Place of painters.

22 Nov, 2012


Hi Dwyllis .. Entertaining blog...
Great selection of photos.
Beautiful gardens and flowers ..
and lovely grandchildren !

22 Nov, 2012


Dwylis@I see one way how to enter Alcatraz :)))

22 Nov, 2012


What lovely children...they look as if they really love each other :))) I bet it was quite a wrench to leave them. Hope it's not too long before you see them again.

The Painted Ladies are beautiful, so unusual.It's so nice to see things like this preserved for the future. As for that giant's fantastic! Thank you for sharing your trip with us :)

22 Nov, 2012


Katarina .....are you thinking you could parachute in? Lol. It is probably more a case of needing to find a way out. I think the story is that no-one ever managed to escape from Alcatraz? With regard to my spine, I have better days & I have bad days. No good days yet, but I am hopeful that hinges will settle down without he need to resort to surgical intervention. However, the specialist gave me two additional weeks to see if the disc is going to stabilise & nerve compression improves. I will see him again in five days. On some days I think things are really doing well, but then on other days I have a lot of pain in my foot, & top of my thigh at the back, from the sciatic nerve compression. That makes walking painful, & I have now been off work for a number of weeks. The specialist told me it could take up to six months for this to settle down on its own, or it might never do that. I think he will insist on me seeing the orthopaedic surgeon, to see whether he thinks removing that part of the disc will work. I cannot stay off work indefinitely, nor do I want to. And although I have been told that my job on the ward is safe, as this is a work-related injury & I am on full pay, I do worry about what will happen with my job if I keep putting a visit to the surgeon of. The hospital insurers, who are covering my salary, won't be very happy with me. I will have to see how it goes on Tuesday. They say if things have not settled down within six weeks of injury, it is unlikely to do so on its own.

22 Nov, 2012


Thank you Waddy. Yes, they are good with one another, though the little one has begun to bite his sister when she teases or annoys him, which is a problem. On our visit to Mackinac Island, my OH & I went off to look in a shop & when we came out, we could hear this child crying really loudly. I looked at my OH & said that it sounded like Cicilei, so we hurriedly rushed in the direction of the commotion, & there was Cicilei being carried in her mum's arms, crying like crazy, with Omar sitting in his pushchair all big-eyed. He had bitten her so hard on the upper arm that his teeth had broken the skin. But generally speaking they do get on relatively well. I can remember having some big 'arguments' with my brother of two years older, & we almost drove our poor mother mad. It was a wrench to leave them, & we know it will be years before we can afford to go again, as we visited with them two years in a row. However, it was also lovely to be back home again in our own little space, enjoying the quiet of it all.

22 Nov, 2012


Dwyllis@I think David Copperfield once dissappered from Alcatraz and then re-appeared in Bratislava. Since that time he has never repeated that number, LOL.
The way how to get there is very easy - you must commit some original crime :)

22 Nov, 2012


Katarina ...when I first read your comment, I was thinking David Copperfield = Charles Dickens ....& could not quite make the connection between CD & Alcatraz. Lol. Then I clicked .....DC the magician! Oh yes, only he could be the great escapee! And yes, it did not take much to get into that foreboding place, as you say. Easier if you were part of The Mob. :)

22 Nov, 2012


Lol. Evidently you didn´t see this dramatic number of DC :))
And that re-appearance in Bratislava (Slovak capital) is true. In nineties I walked in one street in the evening and noticed a man who evidently was liitle bit out of usual Slavic physiognomy. Then click - I realised it is D. Copperfield. I said to friend, look, DC! He said, nooo, he just looked similar. But the guy had car with Austrian mark. Some weeks later we got information from newpapers, that his actual girl friend is one Austrian model, whose name I forgot now :))
So, all what I said, was true.

23 Nov, 2012


Oh my! There are wonderful places in the world! Thanks for sharing!

23 Nov, 2012


Dwyllis@when I studied medicine, my research work was dedicated to analysis of physical outcomes of patients with herniation/proptrusion of intervertebral discs. To clearly define outcomes of those who underwent immediate operation after herniaton/protrusion of the disc and those, who delayed operations. Total number of operated and analysed patients was around 1000. The result was quite clear. The most beneficial for patients was immediate operation (within 7 days if there was neurologic symptomatology indicative for OP). Those, who were operated later, let say, after months of chronic symptoms, they usually stayed more or less symptomatic even after operation. Explanation is easy - the longer is the afflicted nerve root irritated, the higher is the risk of adverse consequences, like inflammation, adhesions, destruction of the peripheral nerve etc.

23 Nov, 2012


Oh dear Katarina. That does not sound very promising for a full recovery if I have surgery. My specialist told me two weeks ago that I score 2.5 out of 3 for neurological symptoms, & he said the higher the score, the better outcome the surgery would have. Apparently, if a patient scores just 1 or 1.5 out of 3, the specialist does not refer to the orthopaedic surgeon for surgery, as there is not so much neurological damage, so surgery will not make a lot of difference. As I score 2.5 out of 3, the specialist said that I should benefit from surgery. He said back pain level would remain about the same, but relieving the compression on the sciatic nerve, would greatly improve the awful pain & weakness down my left leg. I was really not at all keen on having the surgery, as I thought it would settle down on its own with rest & careful exercises ( walks mainly). And some days the pain is not so bad, but those are the days that I have not walked the dog around the block, so have just been walking inside my house & out into the back garden. When I walk the dog around the block, the pain flares up a bit, but really kicks in within a couple of hours & then is bad for several more hours. Yesterday, I had had enough of watching my lawns growing longer & longer, & as my husband works full time & is tired when he gets home in the evening, & we have had rain every weekend when he could mow them .....I decided to mow the back lawns. It took me over an hour, & the pain kicked in about an hour later. By yesterday evening I was in more pain than I have had for some time time. I could have cheerfully cut my foot off, the pain was so bad ...& right from top of my thigh through the entire leg. Even prescription pain relief didn't touch this nerve pain & burning. When I got up this morning, my foot was still painful, but not so bad in the rest of my leg, so I went with my husband when he walked the puppy, & now resting. I really hope now that the surgeon does think surgery will benefit me, otherwise I am going to be off work for weeks more ....or maybe not able to return to work at all. Thank you for that information.

23 Nov, 2012


Good evening, I think - regarding what you say - there is no reason to wait until your score for operation reaches the top. And do not worry, that operation is nt complicated and you will be able to return to work. In these days there are instruments which in some cases enable so called microdiscectomy, with minimal invasive procedure. Patient is enabled to walk on the other day after operation and after a week has to start with spinal excercises. Usually the pooperative rehabilitation takes 6 weeks.

23 Nov, 2012


Katarina, I asked the specialist if they would do the micro surgery & he said no, they would make a three inch incision over the lumbar vertebrae along the spine. So more invasive than the micro surgery. I'll let you know what happens after I see him on Tuesday. :)

24 Nov, 2012


That´s what they said to you is a classic access/ operation then. But as I said, it depends on the size and location of the protrusion.

24 Nov, 2012


Enjoyed both blogs Dwyllis, smashing photographs, I guess the way to stay select in some of these places is to make living and also visiting too expensive for us working class mere mortals, oh well one can dream, lol.....
Sorry you are still having problems with your injury, it sounds really painful at times, you take care.......

27 Nov, 2012

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