Independence.

A few days ago there was a spectacular storm that swept through New York City.  Naturally, social media of every shape and form was quickly filled with stunning pictures, like the one below.  If you’d like to see more of this storm, click on the photo and you’ll get to see a lot of amazing photos.  But this one–this is my favorite.

20140704-155700-57420246.jpg

Photo credit: @albapro/Instagram

It is no big secret that seeing Lady Liberty is my favorite thing about living in New York City.  Some days, it is the only thing I like about it.  She serves as a reminder of the freedom, the liberty and the hope of all who call America home.  I am lucky in that I am reminded twice a day of the struggles that we as a country had to overcome; it is not something I take for granted.  Sure we have a lot of issues and an entirely new set of struggles that we face, but we face them together.

The poignancy of this photo is especially symbolic today.  On July 2, 1776 our Congress approved a resolution that would grant us independence from British rule.  Two days later, our Declaration of Independence was signed, proclaiming our sovereignty to the world.

Engraved onto a plaque in The Statue’s pedestal is the sonnet The New Colossus, written by Emma Lazarus (as you will remember from an earlier post, the original Colossus was in Rhodes).  So before I go enjoy my beer, brats, and watermelon while waiting for the fireworks to start, I thought I’d leave you with this powerful sonnet:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

The Big Island

Remember when I said that I did NOT want to leave Simi?  Well, multiple that by 100 and that’s how I felt about Rodos (aka Rhodes).  It is the largest island in the Dodecanese.  It is home of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and its Old Town is listed on the World Heritage Site.

Now, before I begin the barrage of pictures, please note: a lot of these don’t have captions.  It is because either the pic speaks for itself OR I have no clue/can’t remember what it is…[it was a lot to take in!]

We sailed into the harbor, where Colossus once stood, and once we docked, we walked to the nearby market area.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We weren’t quite sure what we were going to do, however, we came across a trolley tour and decided it was a good way to get our bearings and see a large chunk of the island.

All Aboard!

All Aboard!

No one could explain why there was a big ball of rocks...

No one could explain why there was a big ball of rocks…

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

Local school kids stopped playing to wave hello!

Local school kids stopped playing to wave hello!

A look at the coastline from the trolley

A look at the coastline from the trolley

After the trolley tour had ended, we then wandered through the huge city walls and into Old Town.  Old Town was quite expansive and we literally spent the majority of the day strolling down the cobblestone streets, peeking in shops, and admiring the old architecture.

DSC_0003_2   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   DSC_0047_2 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   DSC_1047 DSC_0002_2    DSC_0005_2OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA DSC_1041

We found a spot for lunch and thought it best to have an authentic Greek Gyro.  It was an experience because, well, it was filled with fries!  A bit odd, at first, but eh…you just learn to roll with the punches!  Oh and sorry, no pic of the gyros!

Again more wandering–this time through a more residential area.  We both admired the plethora of decorations we found on the doors.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    DSC_0041_2

DSC_0040_2    DSC_0048_2    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We even found a quiet park–an oasis within an oasis, if you will.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    DSC_0011

After we were sure that we had seen all of Old Town, we then went outside the Old City walls into the newer parts of the island.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADSC_0062_2   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of course, it didn’t matter where we went–my favorite things were the patterns in the cobblestones!

DSC_1046   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA DSC_0059_2    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All too soon, our time in Rhodes had ended. And you should know that if I had found a place that was for sale/rent, I just might be sending you this from Rhodes.