Category Archives: travel photography

Por Favor…?

Divisadero, Mexico | Canon G5X | Topaz Edit

Best salesman ever. Who can resist those sad eyes and timid voice pleading, Compraras, por favor? He nailed it.

Gate City to the West

People in small towns, much more than in cities, share a destiny. ~Richard Russo

Gary, South Dakota

Gary, SD is a small community (population 224) nicknamed “Gate City to the West” located along the SD/MN border.

Background image photography and edit by Joyce Meyer. Canon 5D Mark 3 with a 70-200, 2.8 Canon IS L lens, cropped and sized in Photoshop to fit the 11 x 17 inch poster format with Impressionistic painting effect added using Topaz Studio.

Kudos to graphic designer, Diane Swenson, Canby Print Shop, Canby, MN, for her stellar design work on the 2019 Gary Rodeo poster (which features my image as the background). Canby, MN is a small, southwestern Minnesota town of just 1700 people located 14 miles east of Gary, South Dakota. Our communities may be lacking in size, but we know how to get things done.

You’ll find the Gary Rodeo grounds located on the northwest edge of Gary, SD, in a natural setting with the quaint prairie community of Gary, SD, as its backdrop.

Maybe it’s time for you to take a little trip and experience the life in Gary, South Dakota!

Oh, Paris… What a loss.

My daughter calls with urgency in her voice,“Notre Dame Cathedral is on fire!” I quickly turn the TV on to see the tragic flames as the spire goes down. Immediately, I feel grateful that our trip to hike the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain involved a flight to and from Paris, France. Having a couple of days extra before flying home we decided to hit some of the sights of Paris which included one of the most famous buildings in the world, Notre Dame Cathedral.

The building of the cathedral was completed over the course of 200 years; it was started in 1163 during the reign of King Louis VII and was completed in 1345.

In its history, Notre Dame has endured destruction and subsequent restoration in many periods. However, much of the facade and interior still are true to the original designs. In the 16th century, both the Huguenots and the French king vandalized and changed a lot of the cathedral’s contents. A lot of the features on the cathedral’s exterior were removed because they were considered to be idolatrous, and tombs and stained glass windows were destroyed in the name of modernization. The cathedral was converted into a storage warehouse for food, during the French Revolution, and the heads of many of Notre Dame’s statues were removed.

The Cathedral was at one time in a stage of total disrepair and close to the point of being demolished, but was later saved by Napoleon who himself was crowned Emperor in 1804 inside the Cathedral.

Between 1845 and 1870, a first attempt at restoration took place. A good portion of the previous century’s damage done to the cathedral was repaired, and new additions were built. Most recently, a new restoration program was started in 1991 and has gone on for 20 years with a focus on cleaning up facade’s and sculptures. ~notredamecathedralparis.com

Today’s event has caused quite a step backwards, I’d say…

Below are some of the images I was able to capture during our visit in 2014:

This Notre Dame beggar (Gypsy?) working the line will need to find a new location. Maybe, she’ll try her luck at Sacre Coeur.

One last look…


  • Hike Caminho Portuguese ~ check
  • Stay at Casa Fernanda ~ check
  • Douro Valley ~ check
  • Porto, Portugal ~ check
  • Port wine tasting ~ check
  • Eat sardines and bacalao ~ check
  • Experience albergue life ~ check
  • Meet wonderful people ~ check
  • Eat a Francesinha sandwich ~ check
  • Not get fined on the metro line ~ check
  • Arrive home safely ~ check

Another notch in our belts.

Portugal: Bonus Round #4

Artists and poets still find life’s meaning in a glass of wine. ~Joy Sterling

It is known that grapes were already cultivated in the Douro region around four thousand years B.C. and with the arrival of the Romans in the first century A.D., agriculture became a major activity of the region. While the politics of the region may change throughout history, grapes and wine production remain to be a pretty big deal. I’ll drink to that!

-Douro Valley

Douro Valley view from Casa da BelaVista

Got a Minute?

“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time Stephen Wright

Joan, Randy & Joyce ~ Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain

Caminho Portuguese: Bonus Round #3

Any Portuguese town looks like a bride’s finery – something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.  – Mary McCarthy

August 23-24, 2019

Using old school maps we walk along the metro line in Matosinhos until we need to go away from it to find our hostel for the next two nights. (Actually, Randy and Joan read maps and I just follow.) We manage to wind around neighborhoods, a large hospital, and cross crazy traffic until Randy spies a tiny sign in front of the building – Oportocean Hostel.

A metro line stop is practically in our back yard, so off we go to the old section of Porto, to take advantage of a free Porto Walking Tour advertised. Look for the orange umbrella for a tour in English. The tour guide is fabulous, taking us all around the old city centre, along the Douro River, while pointing out interesting landmarks and sharing a tremendous amount of history for two full hours. This young lady will do very well in life and we make sure to tip her accordingly.

Shame on people that ditch a tour when it is almost over to avoid tipping. Rant over.