Tuesday, July 20, 2010
If you take time to explore beyond the most recent postings, you'll find many postcard treasures, including a few of my favorites:
1. Finnish handcrafted dishware
2. A funny-faced fountain in Italy
3. Busy street scene in Hong Kong
4. Women dancing in Iran
5. Official card from the People's Republic of China for the 2008 Olympics
Monday, July 19, 2010
Since I've stuck out my postcard hobby for many years now, and since I'm so tired of the L-O-N-G, complicated process of putting each card into a flatbed scanner, scanning it, cropping it, and then navigating over and over again to the right folder to save it, I finally gave in and purchased this Epson Workforce Pro Scanner.
It's awesome! I scanned 45 postcards in about five minutes--a HUGE improvement! Now, we can scan in those albums of old photos we've been holding onto, plus our own photos as well. And I can easily scan in all of my postcards -- I usually just pick the best because it's such a long, tiresome process!
If you're looking for a good scanner, this one is so far proving to be an awesome investment. If you're reading this many months after the fact and are curious about its performance since, send me a note. I'll let you know how it's measured and held up over time!
"A volcanic island about 60km off the Bay of Plenty coast, White Island was once the site of an unsuccessful sulphur and gypsum mining experiment. This island is now an official sanctuary, harbouring many varieties of native birds in its pohutukawa forest." The card does not mention, but this is New Zealand's only active marine volcano! You can actually take a tour out to the volcano, during which you must wear hardhats and masks and ride aboard an inflatable dinghy to get there! We considered it, but only briefly, as my foot problem would likely have made it difficult to make the trek.
This is a public park in Rotorua with lots of bubbling pools and mudholes, showing you that the area is truly alive geothermally! It also has a geothermal footbath for all, as well as a really cool playground for kids big and small! My kids thought it was one of the highlights of their trip!
What? We thought this was the visitor's center so we never stopped in because we had already stopped in a smaller one! The back of the card says, "Built in 1908 in Rotorua's Government Gardens as a spa and health centre, this magnificent tudor building now houses the Rotorua Museum of Art and History." Maybe this wasn't the building we saw after all.... :)
You are seeing the lift that returns luge riders to the top of the hill after exciting luge rides down. We rode the luge, although my daughter did not like it as it was VERY rough riding and hard on the hands. My boys and husband loved it though and rode several times! From the back: "A view from the top with Lake Rotorua in the distance. The Skyline is a hugely popular gondola ride with a restaurant at the top and other amusements, such as the Luge ride. The lift closest is bringing people back from the bottom of the Luge."
1 km long Luge Track -- they actually have three tracks. All riders must first ride the "scenic" track, which is the longest and easiest. After navigating that, then you can move on to the intermediate and advanced tracks, which my sons and husband tell me are much faster, much more treacherous and much shorter! Glad I didn't ride those -- the scenic track was hard enough for me! :)
Alas, although we were within eye's view of Mt. Maunganui, we did not make it over to the Mount itself during our stay in Papamoa. From the back: "With apartment blocks and cafes springing up along the length of Mt. Maunganui's Ocean Beach, this area is becoming one of New Zealand's most sought after recreational/residential localities and a magnet for holidaymakers." You've got that right--it's beautiful! I've actually look at real estate in the area myself! :)
"This charming town on the Waikato River has a distinctly English flavour with its old churches, stately trees and a village green." This is also where we stopped for lunch during our drive to the holiday home in Papamoa -- we actually stopped at that redish building in the upper right cutout! It housed a gift shop on the lower floor and a cafe on the upper floor. We had sausage rolls, mince pies and other New Zealand treats :) We also suspect that Nettie got sick from her meal here! Oops!
I fell in love with one artist's representation of the Pohutukawa flowers, although I did not buy the piece -- maybe next time! From the back: "Growing profusely around the North Island's north-eastern coastline, the pohutukawa presents a blaze of colour during the Christmas period when its rich, red blooms are usually at the showiest. It is sometimes called the New Zealand Christmas tree."
New Zealand's agricultural heartland, which we drove through on our way to and from Papamoa. "The lush, undulating plains of Waikato district have the distinction of being amongst some of the world's richest farmland."
Top left: Dairying near Matamata (the site of the first English settlement in 1865)
Top right: Horticultural blocks, Cambridge
Bottom left: Agricultural field days, Mystery Creek
Bottom right: Stud farm, Cambridge
I saw this bottom view with my own two eyes--although it was during my last visit to New Zealand in 2009. This trip, we visited Muriwai Beach, although I found the Piha card on this trip and not a Muriwai Beach card! I suppose I'll find that one next time :)
Another card from Maria's trip to Qatar -- this represents one of the prizes of my collection since Qatar is not an easy country from which laptop travelers like me can get cards! I love the city view in the background as well, showing how contemporary Doha is, at least architecturally!
This card and the NZ cards that follow come from my sister Maria -- thanks! :) According to Maria, this is where New Zealanders come for holiday! From the back of this card: "Named after hot springs which seep through the beach. Visitors can scoop out their own hot pools in the sand to relax in." Would love to visit here one summer!
I had to do a double-take when I saw this funny card, which shows Australia and Tasmania together as New Zealand's "West Island." From the back: "A little known fact about New Zealanders -- their ability to keep things in their proper perspective."
I still have yet to find the right piece of pounamu, or greenstone, jewelry for me ... although I did pick up an inexpensive non-Jade piece symbolizing "eternity" like the middle piece shown here. From the back: "New Zealand is famous for its greenstone, mainly found on specific rivers in the South Islands. The carvings have become iconic treasures and souvenirs."
"Not only is Devonport the home to many international standard shops, restaurants and beautiful waterfront parks, it also holds the secret of New Zealand's Naval Heritage in the Navy Museum. Only minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, Devonport also offers spectacular views from its extinct volcano Mt. Victoria."
Thanks to Maria for this very cool series of three cards put out by the Graduate School at the University of Auckland! This card, representing the U.S., shows a DONUT, which shows what the designers think of us in the States :) From the back of the cards: "Add the world to your degree. Immerse yourself in another culture. Attend lectures on the other side of the world. Have an adventure of a lifetime! The 360-degree Auckland Abroad student exchange programme gives you the opportunity to complete part of your University of Auckland degree overseas. With over 80 partner universities in 24 countries, there are 360 degrees of exciting possibilities. Where will you go? www.auckland.ac.nz/360"