Sunday, January 1, 2023

The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL (Dec 11, 2022)

A lot happens in 5 years. Kero and I enjoyed the snows of more Iowa winters. More miles have been accrued to my frequent flier account, and more destinations that have been ticked off my list. Chile, the Caribbean, various cities in Europe, the Canary Islands, places all around the US, including Hawaii. Then the long hiatus of no travel at all due to a certain nasty bug that stopped the entire world in its tracks and caused untold suffering. But, most important of all, my daughter was born just a little over 5 years ago, and life has never been the same since.

During all these time more and more photos have been accumulating on my hard drive, itching to find their way on this dormant photoblog. So be it, at the beginning of a new year, and almost 6 years after the last post, it is time to start again updating this digital scrapbook with old and new images.

I will begin with the big news: we have moved. After 12 years at Iowa State University we have accepted new positions at the Department of Physics of Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. We have traded the snowy midwest landscapes of Iowa, with the subtropical urban forests of the Florida Panhandle. About one hour drive from the gulf coast, Tallahassee sits in the only hilly region of Florida. Even though it is the state capital, it has the feel of a campus town, and is large enough to have plenty of things to do (and excellent dining) while avoiding the stress and traffic of a big city. Expect to see more photos and posts about Tallahassee and its environments soon.

The move to Florida happened quite suddenly and unexpectedly, and in just a month we had to sell our old house in Iowa, buy a new one in Tallahassee, and organize the move. But on July 30 we hit the road, for a ~2,000 km road trip through 7 US states. We originally planned to take it easy and split the drive in three days, but of course we ended up being late and left Ames in the afternoon of our first trip day. All in all we ended up doing the whole trip in less than 48 hours, with only two stops.

The first stop was in St. Louis. There, we made a point of seeing the Gateway Arch, but rather than navigating the city traffic we found an excellent viewing point from the Malcom W. Martin Memorial Park. As you can see from the photo below, the park offers one of the best views of the arch, from across the Mississippi. A raised platform allows a clear view of the arch and the uninterrupted St. Louis skyline, while large barges lazily float along the river.

The second stop was in Atlanta, close enough to our destination that we could make some appointments we had for the next day. In between, a lot of driving across the midwest cornfields, then the southern end of the Appalachians in western Tennessee and north Georgia, and finally the very rural plains of South Georgia. The mist-veiled mountains, seen in the distance when we were driving down towards Chattanooga, were beautiful. Pity it was raining and getting dark, it would have been great to make a detour and take some pictures. That will deserve a future trip of its own.

View of Gateway arch in St. Louis from the Malcom W. Martin Memorial Park (July 31, 2022)
St. Louis Gateway Arch from the Malcom W. Martin Memorial Park (July 31, 2022)