Sunday, September 11, 2011

(6) PA: Explore, explore some more with me

So... we had finally arrived in Pennsylvania. Now what? It was time to start expl-o-ring. Join me for a bit of sightseeing, why don't you (*smile*)

What's that strange looking "thingy magic"? If you haven't guessed it... It's a jukebox in a diner booth. Cool! right? What makes this different is that it's not a jukebox for the whole diner. This is only for the occupants of this particular booth. The question that rose in my mind was, "How does each booth listen to their own selection? A bit of a mad house, don't you think?" Apparently not so. This is listened to at a volume only loud enough for your own booth. Hmm... Stereo speakers...? Maybe that is to make the soft music more clear? It certainly can't be to make it loud, right?

From what I gather it works similar to a vending machine. It uses quarters (25c) and your selection is made using the letters and number, e.g. D7 - almost like selecting your favorite chocolate or drink. I only saw these in the one diner where we ate.

This is the rest of the diner from where we sat. There is a counter across the front where the gentleman with the blue shirt is seated, surrounded by an L-shape of booths and those tables with one side on a padded bunk and chairs on the opposite side.
The food here was pretty good and they had a rather wide variety available for breakfast. I like choice :)
After breakfast and a quick trip to the mall we headed home so the girls could ride the horses. This is Garett's niece, Angelica, and her horse, (Snickers, I believe). Don't ask me how to spell it... Anyway, back to the reason for showing you this one: this is how you don't photograph a jumping horse. With all four up in the air he looks like he's been hung out to dry. Never seen one like this in a magazine, huh? (*giggle*). It took me a while to try and get the timing right. The idea was to get the front feet up in the air as he starts jumping...
A little better, yes? Took a bit of practice...
I've heard that when horses lie down they are not feeling good. Turns out this one (Pippen) like to roll and wiggle in the dirt like a dog, and - you've guessed when - straight after he's been cleaned up nice :)
We visited the airport where Garett's passion for planes and flying was birthed. This is one of my favorite shots and very clearly not a "drive by shooting" haha
My 2nd favorite pic.
Pennsylvania is known for beautiful colours in fall. We were a little early but from the few coloured leaves that I have seen I could get a good idea of just how beautiful the colours are going to be this year. This was in the Lackawanna State Park.
This is Garett's high school. Wow! What a trip down memory lane for him!
You can imagine what went through my head half of the time while walking these hallways: Just like in the movies! haha The rest of the time I stand in awe of greatness whenever I walk the grounds and hallways of educational institutions. At that age you still have your whole life ahead of you. Education is such a privilege! Do these young minds know it? Are they using their time wisely? Are they dreaming up a beautiful future? Do they believe in themselves? Do they realize that they're the master of their own destiny and the wonderful doors of opportunity that having studied opens up for you? My heart is slowly starting to yearn to study something again...
Anyway... where was I? One of the biggest visible differences between this school and the schools in SA is that the whole structure is indoors: classrooms and hallways. In SA the classrooms are closed and the walkways are outside, simply covered with a roof and with a railing on the side (sometimes yes, sometimes not). So in winter or rain you want to be sure to get to your next class quickly. I suppose with the snowy winter conditions it only makes sense to have everything indoors - a lot of sense.
Secondly we carry a suitcase or shoulder- or backpack for our books and stationary whereas American schools have the student lockers. Thirdly, of course, is that we wear school uniforms in SA instead of casual clothing, and we have rules about hair, nails and the length of your skirt vs "freedom of expression". Yet, I think these elements are associated with unity, pride, team spirit and respect more than an infringement of freedom/rights. I also think that it saves a lot of parents a lot of money on clothes.
Cafeteria... If you are eating alone it is rather difficult to hide away in this room... :(
...and yes!! Check out these lockers!! Now imagine all the kids in the hallways between classes... just like in the movies, right?
Note to self board - I LOVED this! What an original idea! This board hangs in the hallway. Some of the messages (by the children for the children):
* We see obstacles, we face obstacles, we overcome obstacles.
* Never let your past control your future.
* Being popular means being nice to everyone!
* Don't rush life. It's short enough as it is.
* Live the life you love. Love the life you live.
* Don't lose yourself. Always be true.
* Be extraordinary.
* Don't let your dreams be dreams.
* Think ahead.
* A good day is when my dad makes steak.
Gymnasium (in case you haven't figured it out)... (*wink-wink*)
The football team started practice before the new school year even started. In the movies these are the guys whom the girls wants to be seen with. Maybe I expected them to be taller, bigger boys, you know, but don't let the padding fool you; these boys seem to be melting away in the sun. I was taller than all the boys on this field. (*wink*)

On a slightly different note, walking through these hallways part of me couldn't help but wonder: if I could do my high school over but as an 18 year old with the mentalities and maturity of a 30 year old how would my experience have been different? Personally I think I would have had a lot more fun and an even deeper appreciation than I had! How about you?


  1. September 11, 2011 at 5:56 am
    I agree with you about being better as a mature student, Lee. I also think that horsey just wanted a good old back scratch

    1. September 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm
      Life is odd that way, Cin: when you're young you have a lot in your favour but maybe not the maturity to know how to appreciate it or be responsible with it. Then, when you've gained many good things with age you've lost your youth… First time I saw a horse do that. It was interesting to watch. Straight after him the brown one wanted to do the same but then my memory card was full and I was unable to take more pictures… darn it!

  2. September 11, 2011 at 7:16 am
    Hi Yada…you just took me for a walk down memory lane.I remember,as a young child in Port Elizabeth, there was an icecream parlour with juke boxes at each table.Lovely pics.

    1. September 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm
      Sounds like it was a good walk, granny Then you'll know exactly how those machines worked and sounded. Could you hear the ones in the other booths at all? I still wonder just how low you turn the volume before you can barely hear anything just so you don't disturb anyone else. Maybe you can enlighten me some?

  3. September 12, 2011 at 4:54 am
    I'd love to have that jukebox… nice looking piece of nostalgia. As granny mentioned,I have seen more modern,smaller units at individual tables, say in truck stops etc… but never one as nice, or old as that one. At least not mounted over a booth.God Bless Youpaul

  4. September 12, 2011 at 4:56 am
    Oh, yeah. horses scratch there backs that way all the time… and some just get playful feeling and roll around. Just thought I'd mention that. God Bless Youpaul

    1. September 12, 2011 at 3:10 pm
      I would have loved to hear it play something, Paul, but unfortunately that was not our booth. The horses… I guess I imagined them too big of an animal to lie down and play like that. However, I did get to see more of just how emotional they are. I associate it a lot with other animals like parrots and dolphins. They are also known as being emotionally intelligent enough to be compared to a human in some of their behaviour. It was interesting to watch them. (Thanks for visiting, Paul. Always welcome