Monday, November 28, 2011

Meet the Rayfields

On Friday, I took photos of one of my co-workers, her husband and the newest addition to their family.
  They were hoping for a Christmas card picture.  I hope one of these will work!

Don't they make a cute family?

Sitting on a colorful stage.


We thought it'd be cool to take a photo by the caterpillar-like balls.  I toned it this way for a special effect, but don't ask me how I did it, because I don't remember!  I vignetted the edges, that's all I remember.

This was the last picture I took.  I had to delete a few photos from my CF card to make room, but I think it was worth it, don't you?  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Navigating Nashville

     As many of you may know, last weekend I traveled to Nashville to visit with some of my best buds, Emily and Matt.  Emily is a nurse at Vanderbilt Hospital and Matt is a graduate student at Vanderbilt.  He was pretty busy with papers and reading and grad school stuff, but Emily and I had a fun time exploring Nashville together.  I was amazed by the amount of history she knows about the place.  Nashville impressed me.  The people were friendly and the scenery was great, I'm really glad I decided to go in the fall, the autumn colors were simply gorgeous. 

I feel like I should warn you that this particular post is very long.  74 photos to be exact.  I tried to make some of the photos smaller and bunch them together, but it's still long.  If you don't have time to read through it now, I suggest you look at the collage I made (below).  It sums up my trip pretty well.  If you just want to see the pictures, click on one and a slideshow will appear - thank you blogger!  If you do have the time though, I suggest you read the whole post as not all of my photos are in the collage and let's face it, my captions and narrative are pretty amazing.  You'd definitely miss out if you only look at the collage or quickly scroll through the photos.  

Here is the aforementioned collage.  I promised Emily and Matt I'd make them one for Christmas.  I feel like there should be a drumroll here...

So on Thursday, I drove down to Nashville and Emily and I went window shopping and then had frozen yogurt at a place called CeCe's.  I talked about this in the previous post, so let's get to Friday's fun.  We went to the zoo in the morning.  Emily hadn't been to this zoo yet because it cost money to get in and she didn't think it could be as good as the zoo in St. Louis.  It wasn't, but it was a pretty nice zoo.  To be honest, I think we're a little spoiled by the St. Louis Zoo.  I enjoy going to zoos whenever I travel.  Some people may think this is lame or that zoos are just for kids, but isn't there a kid in all of us?  I find pleasure in the small, simple things in life, and I love going to the zoo and learning about the different animals.  

First up were these fun monkeys.  Well, the small black one was fun.  The other one was pretty boring.  When he finally decided to be active and swing on the ropes, he only made it halfway through before he needed a break.  After all that activity, they needed a snack.

Next up? Meerkats.

This meerkat was standing off by himself...the poor thing was shivering (it was a cold, overcast day).  I guess he was the "lookout" meerkat.  They must not realize they're in the zoo...

 Time for the aquarium.

Emily is pretending to be afraid of the dinosaur.  Which picture does she look more scared in?

This albino wallaby was just chillin'.  Until some kids came up and tried to pet him.


Why aren't humans this cool?

I love fall.

Hey there, giraffe.

I see you trying to hide behind that tree!  Good try, though.

Posing with Emily. 
Fun fact: giraffes are Emily's favorite animal.

I really liked this tree.  I'm kind of standing awkwardly on it for this picture...

Lunch time!  Let's have some pancakes.  I'm sorry, I don't typically think to take pictures of my food, but here is a photo of the outside of the restaurant...

Onward to Vanderbilt's campus.  Emily informed me that Vanderbilt is an arboretum.  

This is a statue.  I know it looks like a tree, but it's not really.  Take a closer look.

Here is Vanderbilt's library.  We went in to say hi to Matt.  (He works in the video section.)

Every time I passed this awesome dragon, there were a ton of cars parked in front it it.  This was the closest to an empty street I saw... stupid car.  I didn't feel like photoshopping it out.  In my collage I stuck a trolley in front of it and photoshopped out the bottom...

Well, we did everything we had planned for the day and it was still early.  What to do?  I know, let's go downtown!

They're very proud of their history in Nashville.

Um, that's a lot of stairs...

More stairs...

Reflection fun.

I just really liked the name of this business.

The picture on the left is the actual picture.  We were in some building thing walking upstairs to get a better view and this was in the stairwell.  Or wait, this was on top of the observatory thing...anyway, I flipped it in Photoshop so the N would face the right way.  (I just felt like I needed to disclose this in case anyone wants to go to Nashville to see that view.)


I couldn't pass up this photo opportunity.

Yes, this is the bar Coyote Ugly.  No, we did not go in.  My friends, Stacy and Chris went to Nashville over the summer and they went in and took pictures, so I feel like I've already been there.

 Here is Emily kissing Elvis.  Shh don't tell Matt!

Stacy told me about this Boot Country store.  She and Chris bought some boots when they went to Nashville.  I'm not really a cowboy boot person though and it was on the other side of the street, so we didn't go in the store.  I did get a really cool shot glass from one of the souvenir stores down there though.

Is it sad that I didn't even notice the pigs when I took this picture?
You don't have to answer....I know it's sad..

Emily sang along with the statue.

I was happy to just sit and listen.

On Saturday, we slept in.  You might think that's lazy, but hey, we had a long, fun-filled day on Friday, we needed a rest.  Anyway, we slept in, looked at an apartment Emily and Matt were thinking about renting, worked out, showered and such, went to the library and then headed for Bicentennial Park.  I was very excited to see the Parthenon.  I really wanted to compare it to the one in Rome.  However, there was this hideous white tent set up in front of it and it was closed to the public for an event.  I was pretty irritated.  I know Emily thought I was overreacting a bit, and I probably was, but geez...stupid ugly tent in front of the building I was super excited to see.  Look at it! Blah...I guess I'll have to go back another day.  I had to be a bit creative to get some shots for my collage.

I think Emily thinks I'm obsessed with squirrels.  I don't know where she got that idea.  Maybe because every time I saw a squirrel I'd shout, "squirrel!"  And then try to take a picture of it.  But that's normal, right?

It's been a while since I've been on a college campus, I forgot how close college squirrels let you get to them before scurrying away.  This one posed for me in the tree.  (And yes, I know this wasn't on the college campus, but it's my best squirrel pic of the weekend.)

A train to nowhere.

This tree was pretty darn awesome. 

Well, I think that's it.  Saturday night we went shopping and then had Jet's pizza.  Two thumbs up on the deep dish pizza.  Well, one and a half thumbs up...there was a little too much garlic for my taste.  And then I went home on Sunday.  Oh wait, I did get Emily addicted to Pinterest.  Mission Accomplished!