James Buchanan's Wheatland

Visiting the Monticello of America's Least Well-Remembered President

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Attractions of Pennsylvania • Places: President James Buchanan's Wheatland

Last October, I visited Pennsylvania for a wedding. Afterwards, I spent a few extra days staying with my parents.

And, I was absolutely, positively, chomping at the bit to visit Wheatland, the former estate of U.S. President James Buchanan. My parents seemed markedly less enthusiastic. But, they were still happy to drive me there.

An exterior view of the home
An exterior view of the home

The historic home is located in Western Lancaster. It’s run and maintained by LancasterHistory, and tickets can be found here. Visitors typically embark upon a guided tour.

Eurovision 2024: First Impressions (feat. Chelsea)

• Series: Eurovision First Impressions • Tags: EurovisionEurovision 2024music

Spring has arrived, and with it, the 2024 edition of the Eurovision song competition. This year’s competition brings back Luxembourg after a thirty year absence, whilst losing Romania’s participation. Each participating country sends one song, with required live singing. Eventually, after much asinine number crunching, a winner is chosen, and hosts the next year’s competition. This year, Sweden is the host.

This post is our annual entry in a series of posts covering Eurovision First Impressions. The rules are that I write my impressions/feelings down about each song, listening to them all together for the first time.

I’d love to pretend that 2024’s Eurovision snuck up on me, that I wasn’t waiting with bated breath for the final stragglers to finally release their songs, but alas, I am exactly as desparate for new Europop bops in my life as regular readers know me to be.

Once again, Chelsea joins me in this endeavor.

A New Year in Türkiye

✍️ 🕑 December 29, 2023-January 8, 2024 • Tags: film photographyoverviewTurkeyreturn visitswistfulnessstreet photographyNew Years • Places: Tokat Suluova Amasya Ankara Istanbul

A display window showcasing light fixtures available from one of many such shops in Galata, Istanbul
A display window showcasing light fixtures available from one of many such shops in Galata, Istanbul open_in_full 

I’d like to open this post with a quote that resonates with me tremendously:

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
- Heraclitus

İnşaat (construction) at its finest, near Tokat's Ulu Cami
İnşaat (construction) at its finest, near Tokat's Ulu Cami open_in_full 

I’m sure, dear reader, that you’ve had experiences like I have, where you return to a place you loved, or see an old friend, and find that it’s changed, they’ve changed, and/or you’ve changed.

To try to recapture the past, to try to relive the glory days is an exercise in futility. There was a time for those golden memories, and it’s passed, and now the meydan is full of inşaat, and everything’s different…

Looking across the Golden Horn at Galata Tower and such
Looking across the Golden Horn at Galata Tower and such open_in_full 

My heart leapt at the opportunity to return to Turkey.

Every time I’ve been back there since ~2016, it’s been as part of a flight itinerary to somewhere else. By flying with Turkish Airlines, an extra stop in Turkey adds nearly no cost at all to the ticket.

My main journey was to Southeast Asia, but my heart leapt at the opportunity to return to Turkey. I was tempted to spend almost all of my time exploring old haunts instead of new places, but I restrained myself. My visit lasted 10 days.

I wish it lasted much, much longer.

For My Readers

✍️ 🕑 site updatessunsetsvintage DSLR

Image On Where-Is-Steve
open_in_full   info

Hello, readers, and happy February 2024!

We are now three months into this blog’s fourth year, and as ever, I have been taking photographs, traveling, and enjoying experiences faster than I can write and publish posts about them. 😊

I’m torn between two desires: to spend less time writing, and to spend more time finishing up the 80 some drafts I have lying around. I do, however, know that a few parts of my workflow have really not been working out for me.

Here’s how things are going to look going forwards…

Batu Caves

✍️ 🕑 • Tags: Malaysiasacred placesHindu Templesmonkeyscaves • Places: Batu Caves

A visit to Kuala Lumpur, perhaps, is not complete without a visit to the Batu Caves.

These limestone caves, on the city’s northern outskirts, are home to a host of Hindu temples.

The first inkling of an idea came in 1890 when Tamil trader K. Thamboosamy Pillai noted that the cave’s entrance resembled the vel, the sacred spear of the god Murugan.

Today, that very same cave entrance is home to a 272 step concrete staircase, and a towering 140 ft tall statue of Murugan.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

A 2023 Autumnal Odyssey

✍️ 🕑 October 13-15, 2023 • Tags: fall foliageState/Provincial Parkshaunted housescorn mazesantiques • Places: Buckley, WA Flaming Geyser State Park Centralia, WA The Huntting's Pumpkin Patch and Haunted Forest

My desire to go out of town, to explore, and to get up to something fun is, perhaps, rivalled only by Chelsea’s.

After I finally finalized plans to be away for the first week of October visiting Northern California and Southern Oregon (mostly solo), and to be away later in the month for a wedding and an eye exam, Chelsea had some travel plans of her own (with me).

The goal: haunted houses and corn mazes.

Looping Lake Quinault

✍️ 🕑 • Tags: Olympic National Parkrainforestswaterfallslakesloggingdreary daysWashington State • Places: Kestner Homestead

Image On Where-Is-Steve
open_in_full   info

During my 2019 visit to the Olympic Peninsula, I passed by the Quinault Rainforest, in the dark, without stopping.

2023 would be different.

I would not pass up the opportunity to be transfixed by the beauty of Lake Quinault, the luscious rainforest, and everything I could easily see along the Lake Quinault loop, a scenic 30 mile drive just off Highway 101.