Not everyone can be content going back in time, but I am thrilled to have this experience. I first stepped foot on the porch of a boarded up 19th century hotel in the mid 1960s and have been fascinated with the development of the American “vacation” and travel ever since. With my reading on various 19th century summer resorts including Saratoga Springs, Cape May, the White Mountains, the Catskills and Adirondacks I know what the grand hotels and boardinghouses were, how they were designed and functioned and what the “vacationers” did. Not many of these structures have survived because they were made of wood, and usually remotely located with inadequate fire protection. Lightening was an enemy, but even the most careless open flame could spell disaster. In my vast postcard collection I have a wonderful series of real photo postcards of a resort hotel burning, and everyone saving the furniture.
I am sitting in the grand open lobby of the Oceanic Hotel on Star Island and at this evening’s lecture saw a photo of the lobby when it opened in the 1870s, and nothing has changed. Dining is a combination buffet and family style at the same tables and chairs as always – the meals are wonderful. Rockers line the porches, groups are scattered about visiting, and in the day people attend classes on the various retreats here much as was done with the early summer religious conferences which were the beginning of the “vacation” at the summer resorts. Amusements followed, and good health was promised from the pure ocean, lake or mountain air. I just love sitting and working (or doing nothing) in the lobby or porch.
My digital photography class is wonderful, and I have had time (unlike home) to devote to learning the various functions of my cameras reading my various books. But these new devices are not easy to learn, and I am focusing on the effects I want to achieve. Yesterday, Tuesday, was overcast and not a day for outside photography, and today with the remnants of the hurricane due our trip to Appledore Island was postponed until tomorrow, Thursday. But today the storm was blown away, the sun came out, and there was outside time for picture taking. I have not taken any shots that I am thrilled about, but have been able to experiment trying the same image in 6 to 10 settings to learn the consequences. So, some images are posted here, and I am even learning panoramas with my cameras, but thought I would also try Photoynth again with a 360 degree panorama which hopefully I will remember how to share with you (I did, see above).
So, please read about the island and its history, and plan your own peaceful retreat – the meals are wonderful.