masqthephlsphr: (glob)
So D and I had a good time in Northern Arizona last weekend. Drove up Sunday afternoon and spent Sunday evening and most of Monday lazing around our hotel. Monday afternoon, we went over to Lowell Observatory. They actually have a lot of things to do during daylight hours. Solar observation (which we didn't do), hiking trails that show you the relative distances of the planets, solar systems, and galaxies, and the busts of famous astronomers and mathematicians.

They also have a display of the history of humankind's interactions with Pluto. Lowell Observatory is where Pluto was discovered, and they let you fondle the no-longer used Pluto telescope, still berthed in the tiny stone observatory where Lowell did his observations.

Tuesday, we drove up to the Grand Canyon. We had three hours to kill until they'd let us into our hotel room, so we had lunch, then went to see the IMAX show that I missed five years ago. Not sure that was worth whacking my back out on those uncomfortable theater seats.

After we checked into our hotel room and dragged all our stuff indoors, we headed up to the canyon rim. We had about four hours until sunset, so we tooled around the rim and made friends with a hungry mamma squirrel.

The Grand Canyon star party is awesome: several dozen amateur astronomers who love nothing better than telling you the brand, size, and capabilities of their telescopes. D and I want to pool our $$ and buy our own telescope for Christmas, so this was a good place to do research. Among the things we saw through the telescopes: the stripes on Jupiter and three of its moons, Saturn's rings and three of its moons, a crescent Venus, half a dozen galaxies, such as Needle Galaxy and the Sombrero galaxy, the International Space Station (OMG geek out!), the Cigar Nebula, Butterfly Nebula, and Ring Nebula, M15, M4, and M5.

Sitting in a car for all that travel was not fun for my back, but I survived it with lots of memory foam.
masqthephlsphr: (OUAT3)
Last of the pics. The Sculptor and I had the opportunity to head up to [personal profile] midnightsjane's farm and see her horses and the new house. Bonus trip to Fort Langley afterwards.





Fraser Valley

Thanks to [personal profile] midnightsjane for letting us visit!





North Vancouver, including Capilano Suspension Bridge

Still pretty sure the forest area around Capilano Suspension Bridge is where they film forest scenes for OUAT and Highlander.

Vancouver

Jul. 17th, 2014 04:05 pm
masqthephlsphr: (borg)
More of Vancouver.







Vancouver






Stanley Park




Steveston and Gastown sans fannish comparisons

masqthephlsphr: (EmmaFire)
With bonus Highlander.


Anyone who's watched OUAT, Highlander, X-Files, Continuum, or a dozen other made-in-Canada TV shows will recognize Gastown. It is the semi-gentrified "hip" neighborhood along the waterfront in downtown Vancouver. Like such neighborhoods in many cities, you can turn a corner and go from a trendy shopping area to a dodgy skid row. Most of the OUAT "Manhattan" scenes were filmed in the Alexander/Powell/Carrall street triangle.

On-screen and off-screen photos follow. Warning: Image heavy. All screencaps courtesy of screencapped.net.

OUAT takes Manhattan )
masqthephlsphr: (Emma4)
During my vacation, I visited Storybrooke. Er, Steveston and Ft Langley, BC. Most of "Storybrooke" is located along Moncton and Bayview streets between Third Avenue and No 1 Road in Steveston. This quaint little Richmond area burg appears to have embraced its alternate identity (hey, tourist money!). Although filming had not yet started, some of the buildings retained their "Storybrooke" signage. Others were disconcertingly Steveston/Canadian.

Actually walking the street and seeing where everything is relative to everything else gives you a three-dimensional context when you go back to watch the show. In each new scene, you can orient yourself and say, "The characters are near X. Yep, there it is." It also makes you notice how often the show uses shipping pallets stacked against walls to hide the Steveston signs. ;)

Another thing you start to notice upon rewatch is when the same business is sometimes named one thing, sometimes named something else in different episodes. Perhaps the name changed in real life, or maybe they just didn't bother covering up the real name in early episodes.

On-screen and off-screen photos follow. Because I really am that geeky. Warning: Image heavy. All screencaps courtesy of screencapped.net.


A visit to Storybrooke )
masqthephlsphr: (trees)
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful place to visit. Also? Tasty.







Victoria





Nanaimo





Vancouver Island
Warning: Farmer's market porn!

Seattle

Jul. 10th, 2014 03:58 pm
masqthephlsphr: (art)
Finally getting my vaca pics sorted. It feels like, between the Sculptor and I, I had thousands of photos to go through. Yet somehow, after I cherry-pick through them, I have so few to post. Erm. Anyway, the first two days were spent in Seattle:








Seattle





Chihuly Gardens





Underground Seattle

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