Reflections From 2018

2018 was an especially good year for travel. I was fortunate to be able to travel somewhere fun almost every month, both in the US and overseas.

Abu Dabi's Sheikh Zayed Mosques glows in the evening light

Many of the locations that I visited were new to me, including a new continent-Africa. I also revisited some of my favorite cities-London, Istanbul and Washington D.C. I have written about my experiences for many of these destinations-but some are still sitting in my draft que, waiting to be finished (one of the resolutions for 2019 before I start traveling again).

I have mentioned before that I love and am constantly drawn to reflection photos. I shot tens of thousands of images over the course of the year, and quite a few were reflections of one form or another. So, here are my favorite reflections from my 2018 travels.

New York, NY – Jan.

The Oculus and the World Trade Center Memorial. This was my first visit to the 9/11 memorial in New York, and despite it being the middle of winter, it was still beautiful.

The Oculus and the 9/11 memorial
The Oculus and the 9/11 memorial
World Trade Center Memorial
World Trade Center Memorial

Washington D.C. – Feb.

Winter is a great time to visit Washington D.C. The monuments and sights are not very busy and the sunsets were spectacular.

Flag room in the Women in Military Service Memorial
Flag room in the Women in Military Service Memorial
Wonder if this perspective was planned
Lincoln Memorial in winter
Lincoln Memorial in winter
the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
Ice breaks up the refection in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
Swimming with the George Washington Monument
Winter sunset over the Washington Monument
Winter sunset over the Washington Monument
Sunset over the Jefferson Monument.
Sunset over the Jefferson Monument.
Library of congress Great Hall
Library of Congress Great Hall

Pennsylvania – Feb.

I am fortunate that I live only a few minutes away from Longwood Gardens, one of the premier public gardens in the US. I especially love visiting in winter during the orchid festival when the bright colors and scents offer a brief remedy to the dreary winter weather.

Longwood Gardens orchid festival
Longwood Gardens orchid festival

Dubai, UAE – March

I went to Dubai for the biannual Dubai International Quilt Show. While there, I had the chance to also sight see in this one of a kind city.

Dubai's iconic Burj AlArab
Dubai’s iconic Burj AlArab
The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa
Looking out over the pool at The Atlantis-The Palm toward the Dubai Marina skyline at sunrise
Breakfast at the Atlantis’ Illy cafe with a view of the aquarium
Chihuly sculpture refection at the Atlantis, The Palm
Chihuly sculpture refection at the Atlantis, The Palm
A Dale Chihuly art glass sculpture dominates the entry lobby at the Atlantis Resort.
Dubai City Walk Street Art
City Walk Street Art
The Dubai marina area at sunset

Abu Dabi, UAE – March

Since I was in the UAE, I also made it a point to go to Abu Dabi and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.  With its marble floors and fountains it was a reflection paradise. I was able to photograph it during a variety of light conditions.

Istanbul, Turkey – March

From the UAE,  I had the chance to go to Istanbul, Turkey for a week – one of my favorite cities.

Hagia Sofia reflection in a tea glass
Here, the beautiful Hagia Sofia is perfectly reflected in a  morning cup of Turkish tea.
Inside the ancient Hagia Sofia
The lights of Istanbul reflect on the waters of the Golden Horn.


Missouri – April

April was a great time of year to explore parts of Missouri – specifically, the areas around the Lake of the Ozarks, Branson and  historic Rt. 66 in Springfield.

Early morning on the Lake of the Ozarks
Sunset over the Lake of the Ozarks
A glorious sunset over the Lake of the Ozarks
A beautiful sunset is reflected off the windows of the Showboat Branson Bell

Tualatin Valley, Oregon – May

Tualatin valley is about 30 minutes west of Portland, Oregon.  I had a great time exploring the area’s Quilt Barn Trail and great eateries.

Reflection in the Tualatin Valley, Oregon
Reflection in the Tualatin Valley, Oregon
Jackson Bottom Wetlands
Jackson Bottom Wetlands

Portland, OR – May

As part of my trip to Oregon, I was also fortunate to be able to spend a few days in Portland. I especially enjoyed exploring the city’s many gardens.

The Rhododendron Garden in Portland was in full bloom in May
The beautiful La Su Chinese garden in Portland

Kenya and Tanzania – July

My husband and I both agree that our trip to Kenya and Tanzania was the best vacation we have ever had.  However, since we were driving around on safari in a Land Rover for most of the time, there were not that many opportunities for great reflection photos.

Ballooning over the Masai Mara
spoonbill and yellow-billed stork
spoonbill and yellow-billed stork
An elephant going to get a drink in Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve
Rising water levels in this fresh water lake have turned a forest of trees into skeletons
Sunrise over the pool at our lodge on Lake Manyara

Zanzibar – July

From our Kenya and Tanzania safari, we flew for a few days of beach relaxation on the island of Zanzibar. Though still part of Africa, the island had more of a Caribbean vibe with Arabic overtones. The sunrise over the Indian Ocean was particularly spectacular.

Czech Republic – July

I had been to Prague twice before, but attending a travel blogger’s conference in the Czech Republic gave me the opportunity to see other, less touristy parts of the country.

The Charles Bridge in Prague
Ostrava's Masaryk Square
Ostrava’s Masaryk Square
The sunset is reflected off the Cafe on top of the Bolt tower in Ostrava.
Sobotin Castle
Sobotin Castle is now a luxury hotel.
A colorful market window display in the town of Olomouc

San Antonio, TX – Sept.

I hadn’t been to San Antonio in almost 30 years. It was fun to rediscover this fun city.

Mission San uan Capistrano is reflected in one of the windows on the grounds of this National Historic Park.

Big Bend National Park, TX– Sept.

The first time I visited Big Bend National Park was in 1990. I had a chance to visit it again and loved it even more. Early September was a great time to visit as it was not that hot anymore and the park had hardly any visitors.

Rio Grande reflection
Rio Grande reflection in the Santa Elena Canyon area
Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park
Playing with the reflection in a reducing lens


I grew up and went to school in the Midwest, but really have not spent much time there in the last 30 years. I had a chance to do a road trip to some of the best parts of the Midwest in September.

Shawnee Forest, IL – Sept.

I grew up in Illinois but had never visited the southernmost part on the Ohio River. I was pleasantly surprised at how wooded and scenic the area was.

On the Ohio River at sunset
On the Ohio River at sunset

Indianapolis, IN – Sept.

I found Indianapolis to be quite hip and artsy. My art experience started with the large Chihuly glass installation at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

The Chihuly play area at the Indianapolis Children's Museum
The Chihuly play area at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum
Playing with a Chihuly sculpture reflection underfoot

Cleveland, OH – Sept.

I only had a little time in Cleveland, but was amazed at the beautiful lakefront development.

Strolling along Cleveland's lakefront
Strolling along Cleveland’s lakefront

London, England – Nov.

I never tire of visiting London. It’s such a photogenic city. And so very easy to get around.

Tower Bridge at night
Tower Bridge at night
St/ Paul's
Old St. Paul’s Cathedral is reflected in a modern glass mall’s windows.

Marrakesh, Morocco – Nov.

I have wanted to visit Morocco for a long time and finally had the opportunity to visit Marrakesh when I attended an Influencer conference.

Badi Palace, Marrakesh
Badi Palace, Marrakesh
Menara Gardens, Marrakesh
Menara Gardens, Marrakesh with Morocco’s Atlas mountains in the distance
Sunset over the Menara Gardens reflecting pool
Sunset over the Menara Gardens reflecting pool

Essaouira, Morocco

I had the opportunity to do a day trip to this Atlantic coast town in Morocco.  I loved its laid back artsy vibe. Would have loved to spend more time there.

Essouira, Morocco
Essouira, Morocco


It really was an excellent travel year. I can only wish that 2019 will be just as fun and exciting.

Thanks for visiting and Happy New Year.



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2018 Refelctions #reflectionphotos
2018 Refelctions