ABOARD THE CARNIVAL PRIDE

 

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Ever since I started seeing commercials, adds, and brochures on taking one of these Cruise’s to a place that has sandy white beaches, warm tropical weather, and just being aboard one of these Cruise ships, I started wanting to do this for a long time.  When vacation time came around during the year, we seem’d to always have some other place in mind to go and see.  Disney World was just one of them.  We never seem’d to get to get aboard one of these Cruise ships. 

Finally, in January of 2012, we started getting information on how to take one of these great Cruise’s to the Bahamas.  I’ve never been here before.  The pictures of what you can do aboard ship, where you are going, and all what the trip has to offer, we decided to pay the fee to go aboard and travel to the place I’ve always wanted to see.  The Cruise Line was Carnival and the ship of passage was the Pride.  We had to book very early, cause these types of Cruises fill up fast.  Then we had to wait until Sept. of 2012 to board the ship out of Bayonne, NJ.  I was so fired up about going, I could hardly stand it!

After going thru all the Custom checks and security, we got aboard the Pride.  I was so excited about going and being there, all I wanted to do is walk around the ship and see what’s there.  It’s a big ship!  Has 12 levels with staterooms, swimming pools, bars, a casino, places to just sit and enjoy, and so much much more.

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Here’s a shot of the ship before leaving the Port of Bayonne, NJ.  I can not begin to describe how wonderful it was to be aboard what I wanted to do for so long.  We chose a inside stateroom that had no windows.  Just 2 beds and room enough to do your normal stuff.  Nothing fancy.  It was much cheaper that way.  When you are aboard, you don’t need any money for much of anything, except if you want to tip anyone.  Everything you buy or drink is recorded on your card that is issued to you before boarding.  Your food, as much as you want, is included in the price you pay.  Alcoholic drinks like beer and anything else from the bar, you have to pay for with your card.  Since I don’t drink that much, I didn’t run up and expensive tab.  Soda, coffee, water, juice is available at all times.  Just go get it!  In the evening for supper or dinner, your meal is included with the price.  The food is great and well prepared.  You can get all you want for no extra charge!  We ate good.  Seafood one day, steak another, and a different entrée every night.

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We left Port and headed for the Bahamas Islands.  The sea was so nice and calm with hardly any swells or wind.  Being in the US Navy for 11 yrs. the gentle pitching of the ship didn’t bother me at all.  It was so nice to stand on the 12th Level with a drink in my hand, and just enjoy what I saw in front of me.  I caught 2 or 3 different shots of the sunset’s at sea with the Pentax.  They came out great!  The above image shows our first Port of Call which was named Half Moon Cay.  The beach was so white and the sand so soft.  The water was a beautiful blue and very warm.  Everything that you wanted was here.  Shops, bars, people to wait on you hand and foot.  All we did was enjoy!

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Another shot of the ship from the island of Half Moon Cay.

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This was taken just after we departed the ship on Half Moon Cay from the pier.

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This is just how blue the water is.  Taken exactly as it was.  No editing here at all!

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More of the beaches of Half Moon Cay.  Water was so clear!

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Of course, you are being watched!  I shot these looking at the remote camera’s that are stationed around the upper decks of the ship.  I am also assuming that these camera’s are not only for keeping an eye on what’s going on, but for navigation purpose’s also.  It’s such a huge ship that the Skipper has to see what’s astern of him and also what’s to Port and Starboard.  After shooting these, I waved at the camera just for the fun of it all!

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Taken from the upper decks this is what Half Moon Cay Island looked like.  Found out later on that this Island is owned by the Carnival Cruise Line.  Why doesn’t that surprise me.

Like I stated before, I have never had such a great time as I did on this Cruise.  This was the first time I could take a Cruise without getting shot at!!  We will probably take another Cruise next year, but aboard a different ship. 

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Les

  

ASA PACKER MANSION

 

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The Asa Packer Mansion is located in the town of Jim Thorpe, PA and sits on a hill over-looking the town.  It is one of the best preserved Italian Villa’s around the area.  From the outside the home does not look all that big, but once you get inside you can see just how large it really is.

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Here is a picture of Asa Packer as he was  back in the 1800’s.  Asa was a coal & railroad magnate.  He had the mansion built by a architect named Samuel L. Slope that was from Philadelphia, PA.  He designed and built the home for Asa and his Wife.  Asa had made a whole lot of money from the coal and railroad industry.  He could afford such a fancy home as he had.  He also donated large sums of money to the church and town of Jim Thorpe.

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Looking at the house from the outside where you enter the home.  The Home was donated to the town of Jim Thorpe after he passed away.  After his passing, the house sat idle for more than 44 yrs. until the Jim Thorpe Lions Club started finically controlling house. The house was all boarded up and the past was locked up inside as it was so many yrs. ago.

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  Looking at the home from the other side.

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Here I stood in front of the home looking up.  There are Tours that you can take thru the house and see just what kind of furnishings they had back in their day.  No camera’s were allowed in the house, so I could not show what it looked like.  Stepping inside the house was like going back in time.  Everything in the house was preserved as it was long ago.  From the expensive furniture and carpet of its day, to the hand carved wood through out every entrance and hallway, the home remains as it was.  The wallpaper on the walls was imported from Italy and was hand carved with a special tool.  Gold dust was thrown on the pasted paper and then installed on the walls.  Everyday eating china was gold lined around the edges!  He had almost everything that money could buy for a home like this.  Asa did have children, but I don’t remember their names.  Asa also started the Lehigh University for education and it still remains.

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Here is a shot looking down the hill to the town of Jim Thorpe.

Thanks for reading & commenting

Les

CARBON COUNTY PRISON

 

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The Carbon County Prison is located just outside the City of Jim Thorpe, PA and is a major tourist attraction, besides having a lot of History behind it. 

The old Prison was built back in the early 1800’s and held more than 72 inmates.  It was in operation until around 1962 when it was closed for good and later turned into a Museum for Tourists to walk thru and see what it was like to be in a Jail at that time.

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Looking at the side view of the Prison shows the small exercise area that is fenced in so inmates don’t escape.  The exercise area is not very big at all.  No room to play baseball or any other activity that required some room.  Enough room just to walk or run around and maybe play some basketball, but not much else.  Back then inmates were not granted much, except 1 hr. of exercise per 24 hrs.  The rest of the time they were locked up in their cells!

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Here’s another view of the ole’ Prison with my Brother standing along the side checking the place out.  The Prison is open for tours most everyday, but it was closed for the Winter when I was here.  I did take a Tour of it a while back, and it’s a whole lot different than what is today.  Cells are very small.  Maybe 6 ft. wide and 9 ft. long with a small window.  No air conditioning back then!   It also has the original hanging platform from which the Molly Maguries were hung from.

The story of the Molly Maguries is a whole long story in itself.  In short the “Mollies” as they were called were a bunch of Miners that wanted to change the working conditions in the Mines back in the 1800’s.  There were a number of murders and shootings from Pinkerton Detectives that were hired to find out what’s going on.  Until all was said and done over the years, 4 of the Mollies were jailed here.  I can’t remember dates, but it was back in the middle 1800’s.   The 4 Mollies were sentenced to hang for the crimes they committed. 

The one Molly, named Jack Keho, sentenced to hang with the other 3 made a statement before being led to the hanging platform.  He said that if he is innocent of all the crimes he has been charged with “my handprint will remain on this wall forever!”  With that he placed his hand on the wall, and it has remained there to this day!!  Can you believe that?  Well, it’s true as Im sitting here typing this.  I have seen this handprint for myself and it really does exist there!  The people who take care of the Prison have tried to wash off the print, sand it off, paint over it, and do what-ever it took to see if it comes off.  It doesn’t and never will!  To this day it remains.  Since there are no pictures allowed in the Prison, I could not capture the print as it is.  It is also said that the old Prison is haunted by inmates that died here.  This I don’t know about for myself, since I’ve never seen anything while there.  There are strange sounds from no-where, footsteps when no one is there, and ghostly images that appear from nothing!

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Les

WELCOME TO JIM THORPE, PA

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I’m going to try and do a Post from my Samsung tablet and see how it comes out.  Never did this before,  so I don’t know what’s going to happen.  The reason for this is that I have more images on my tablet than on my laptop system.  Here I can access more photos that I have taken of where I’ve been.

The Historic town of Jim Thorpe is located a good hour drive away.  It is known for the many historical buildings and small shops where tourists can snoop around and learn the History behind it.  The original name of this town was Mauch Chunk,  but was changed because of the famous athlete,  Jim Thorpe,  that was from this town back in 1932.

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Jim Thorpe got most of its start from the time when Coal was King in the area.  Coal was shipped by rail thru this town on its way to places that it was needed to power our growing Industrial power.  Many of the buildings here are the original ones that have been here for over 200 yrs.  The building above with the still working clock tower was once the office for the Lehigh Coal Company.  Now,  it has different offices,  for businesses around the county.

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Here is another original building.  The Hoover Mercantile Co. was a business that sold all kinds of different goods for the Miners and people around the area.  It is still a working business,  but sells different types of merchandise than before.  Mostly it’s tourist things.  This still has the original floor and walls from so long ago.

I have been here 3 times so far.  Each time I notice something different.  During the Fall Season when all the leaves in the surrounding mountains start changing color the town gets so full of Tourists that it’s hard to move around.  The streets are very narrow and finding a parking spot is a real problem!  There is some spaces set aside for tourists,  but you’ve gotta get here early in the day to get one.  In the times I’ve been here I had to park a distance away and walk!  There are other things about this town,  which I will post about later on.
Thanks for reading!
Les

XHP ENVY LAPTOP COMPUTER

 

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For more than 10 yrs. I’ve had a Dell Deminsion 3000 Desktop System that ran on Windows XP.  It was a good system and provided me with many hours of usage.  On occasion, it would give me some minor problems that I had to figure out for myself.  There was 2 times, that I got a bad virus from the Internet that my Anti-virus program didn’t pick up, so I had to have it repaired back to normal by a professional who knows much, much more than I do.

The Dell System ran pretty good for many years, until I started having more and more trouble with it.  It would work, but was having problems connecting to my Server and using the system in general.  Finally, it just died and I could use it no longer.  The screen Monitor worked just fine and still does, but the tower was pretty much dead.  Had to start thinking about getting a new system or go without and that was not going to happen.

Since it has been so many years since I’ve bought a new computer I found in shopping around that systems have changed so very much.  I was caught in a computer decision.  Which one is best?  Which one is best for the money you can spend?  I decided after shopping around for more than a week on getting this HP Envy Laptop.  It has a 750gb. drive and lot’s more of stuff that I was pleased with.  I don’t know a whole lot of computer jargon, but it’s a lot faster than my other one.  The 15.5 in. screen is real nice and can be adjusted to my liking.  I can also pick this thing up and take it most anywhere that has a Wi-Fi connection.  However, it does have some things that it does that I don’t care for.

The flat keyboard is very sensitive to the touch.  I have to get used to it, which I’m doing all the time.  When I went to school for typing there was no such thing as this.  Also, the Touch Pad is just what it say’s. Very much sensitive and makes this laptop do things that I don’t want it to.  I’m told and read that this all can be adjusted, but I have had not much luck so far.  I’ll keep trying.

Kinda wondering just how long this system will last?  Will it be as good as my last one?  I’m hoping that it will.  Thanks for reading.

BERTOLET MILL

 

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Again, not too far away from our home here in Reading, Pa. is this very old Mill that has been around for a little more than 300 yrs.  Originally the first Mill was built in 1725 by Johann Heinrich Kersten.  The 2nd Mill was built in 1841.  There is really not a whole lot of information about this Mill other than what I’ve stated.  Since there are a number of old Mills around this area, I would assume that they were used for the grinding of corn into flour or storage of food grown on the many farms that were around the area.

Since I do enjoy snooping around in Historic places, I’m always on the lookout for something new to see and photograph.  Up till now, I never really knew about this place, until hearing about it from a mutual friend that I’ve known for awhile.  Once I found out about it, I took a drive around to see if I could find it.  I was told where it was, but still had a bit of trouble seeing it from the road.  I drove right past it once.  Had to turn around and take a look for the second time.  Reason why I missed it the first time, is that there are some trees off to the right of the picture that block the old Mill from sight.

I shot a few images of the place from different angles.  The large pond that you see is the Mill pond that was once used to power the tools in the Mill.  There is also a culvert at the other end of the pond where the water entered to power the wheel that would drive the equipment.

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Using my 28-210 Phoenix Telephoto Lens I took this shot getting a bit closer.  There is a reason that I didn’t walk around the property.  I noticed that there appeared to be no one around the area, except for a dog barking in the near distance.  I didn’t want to take a chance on getting yelled at, a shotgun pointed at me, or getting bit by that dog.  I learned awhile back about being on property where you are not wanted.  You learn real fast!

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Located right next to the Mill, is this old cement bridge that was once used to carry railroad tracks over the water exit from the Mill pond.  I found out about this from another friend who knows the area quite well.  Back in the early 1900’s the City of Reading had a Trolley Line that ran right thru here.  Look close and you can still see where the tracks were and then lead into the distance to a point I don’t know about.

Berks County and the surrounding area is just loaded with Historic places that I’ve visited and photographed.  Hope you enjoy reading.