Randy Foster

Old Mellifont Abbey

Stop #13:
Mellifont Abbey was a Cistercian abbey in County Louth, Ireland. Founded in 1142 had one hundred monks and three hundred lay brothers by 1170. The abbey became the model for other Cistercian abbeys built in Ireland, with its formal style of architecture imported from the abbeys of the same order in France; it was the main abbey in Ireland until its dissolution.

I found a 3-D sketch of the abbey online that I thought was pretty neat:

Budapest, Hungary

Stop #25

This was my second visit to Budapest, with my first visit about 15 or so years ago.  The city is as beautiful as I remember it, but this time it felt like there were a lot more tourists.  I was probably too ambitious about seeing as much as possible in the day and a half that we spent there, clocking just about 22 miles on my iWatch in one day!  But I’ll have great photos to remember this city for the rest of my life, so it was a small price to pay!

There are three additional portfolios for Budapest and the links are below.  I wanted to capture more details of each because I remembered them being some of the most incredibly beautiful places from the last time I visited this city.

Highlights:

  • Hungarian Parliament – this was one of our first stops.  I got pictures just after sunset and during twilight and then returned the next morning for dawn pictures.
  • Buda Castle – now a museum, it is the building you see on the hill with the green dome in all the pictures of the Buda side of Budapest.
  • Fisherman’s Bastion – I visited early morning to beat tourists and then returned with Randy later in the afternoon.
  • Liberty Statue on Gellért Hill – we climbed this hill after I had already been walking around for miles that day, so I was a little pooped at the top.
  • Heroes’ Square in City Park – we caught this during the golden hour!
  • National Theatre
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica – we visited before leaving so I just realized that the photos are still on the memory card in my camera…oops.
  • Széchenyi Chain Bridge – the pretty bridge with the lions on each end.

Shenandoah NP – Hike

Acadia National Park Cadillac Mountain Randy Foster Lucy Dixie Sunset

Acadia NP Celebration

Randy chose to spend his 50th birthday in Acadia National Park, not far from where we own land in Maine.

Acadia is one of the most beautiful places on the East coast, and one of only a handful of American National Parks not on the Western half of the country.  With my Acadian ancestry, and a family that comes from the state of Maine, this is a really special place to me.

American Samoa NP – Ofu

American Samoa is a group of islands in the South Pacific comprised primarily of Tutuila and the Manu’a Islands (Ofu, Olosega and Ta’u).  It is located about 2600 miles Southwest of Hawaii and about 4800 miles southwest of the mainland United States.  Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)  is its closes neighbor, but on the other side of the International Date Line, making American Samoa one day behind Samoa.

The Samoa Islands are part of Polynesia, and have been populated for over 3000 years.  Samoa is believed to be the birthplace of the Polynesian culture.

The lagoon along the south coast of Ofu offers the best snorkeling waters in the park.

For more information about this park, visit the National Park Service website at:

http://www.nps.gov/state/as/index.htm

Yellowstone NP

The Yellowstone Act of 1872 created the world’s first national park. It withdrew more than 2 million acres from sale, settlement, or occupation to be “dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Unlike Yosemite, the bill put Yellowstone under federal control because ceding it to either Montana or Wyoming as newly minted states would have likely prompted a high-noon-style duel. The legislation placed the park under the control of the Secretary of the Interior to “provide for the preservation, from injury or spoliation, of all timber, mineral deposits, natural curiosities, or wonders within said park, and their retention in their natural condition.”
Hansen, Heather (2015-10-20). Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service (Kindle Locations 389-392). Mountaineers Books. Kindle Edition.

From trapper Daniel Potts’s letters to his brother, the Gazette of the United States & Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia) printed, “The Yellow Stone has a large fresh water lake near its head on the very top of the mountain, which is . . . as clear as crystal. On the south border of this lake is a number of hot and boiling springs. One of our men visited one of these whilst taking his recreation— there at an instant the earth began a tremendous trembling, and he with difficulty made his escape, when an explosion took place resembling that of thunder.”

It didn’t take long for official talk of preserving Yellowstone to echo in the halls of Congress. Senator Samuel Pomeroy, a Republican from Kansas, got the ball rolling on an otherwise ordinary Monday in December 1871 when he addressed his colleagues, saying, “I ask leave to introduce a bill to set apart a certain tract of land lying near the headwaters of the Yellowstone as a public park. It has been ascertained within the last year or two that there are very valuable reservations at the headwaters of the Yellowstone, and it is thought they ought to be set apart for public purposes rather than to have private preemption or homestead claims attached to them.” The big idea was known simply as Senate Bill 392.
–Hansen, Heather (2015-10-20). Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of the National Park Service (Kindle Locations 377-381). Mountaineers Books. Kindle Edition.

http://www.yellowstone.co/images/congress/yellowstone4w.gif