The Logan House Inn – an AIR BNB

Another endeavor, another project, another FUN way to grow the business !

.

.

You must remember the post about my son and Big Bill’s Sandwich Shop.  BB’s opened in October of 2015 and it has been growing stronger every day. I cannot remember a day when someone did not tell me how delicious their meal was, the best sandwich ever! … and I never grow tired of hearing it.

So here we are today in May of 2017. To add to our (yes, me too..) stress we have opened 2 AIR BNB’s. The rooms are located in the Logan House, hence The Logan House Inn, directly above the sandwich shop.  Below are the links to snoop or book. We have never been in the hotel business or the restaurant business but we are giving it a go with our best foot forward!  Please critique and suggest, we only want to get better.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18665299?location=Galena%2C%20IL&s=nNSxflgI

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18626258?location=Galena%2C%20IL&s=nNSxflgI

Oh What Fun it is to Ride …

.

the-tug-boat

.

When My son was two years old I thought I’d take him to the Navy Pier in Chicago and ride the Ferris Wheel.  A mother and her son’s day out, memories!  The Wheel was 150 feet high at the time, but no worries this will be fun.  Well, on our way up I felt something strange happening to my body, I couldn’t move, I became paralyzed.  Jack, being a young and fearless lad, was moving around and really scaring the sh#% out of me so I pulled him towards me, tucked his head under my arm and just squeezed.

” MOMMY I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING” …

… too bad, I couldn’t move and I thought we were gonna die!!

Well, I gave it a go again today on the new 200 foot high Wheel.  You get two rotations,  first round my eyes were closed for the top half, second round I was bending backwards to get the shot, third round… yep the guy gave me one more, I was leaning over the edge!  (no not really)

.

center-of-the-wheel

.

COURAGE !

Heigh Ho the Dairy-O ……

…. a hunting we will go !

.

untitled-30-edit

  Best photo … downhill from here

Lucky me, I had the opportunity to hitch a ride on a Quail Hunt. It all started when I got the call, ‘Hey Mitch, wanna photograph a hunt?’  Heck yea!   I was ready and able to give it a go, so I did.  Georgia here I come!

.
untitled-128-edit

.

untitled-119-edit

.

Let me start with these beautiful dogs. Gun dogs, or bird dogs, are types of hunting dogs developed to assist hunters in finding and retrieving game, usually winged. Gun dogs are divided into three primary types: Pointing breeds,  flushing dogs,  and retrievers.

The Pointer is instantly recognizable. From long head to finely pointed tail, his entire body suggests his purpose: to point game for the hunter. When a Pointer scents game birds he stands tall and still, one foot raised off the ground, pointing the hunter in the right direction. Before the development of guns, this was an essential skill, as birds were netted rather than shot. When shooting birds became popular, the Pointer was still needed to point and then retrieve them. Today, the Pointer is known as the Cadillac of bird dogs, prized for his speed, ability to go all day in the field, and to “stand steady to wing and shot”  wiki

.

untitled-282

.

untitled-348

.

A flushing dog is trained to flush game, especially birds, by first finding the game then driving it from its hiding place for a hunter to shoot or capture.

Flushing dogs are different from other gun dogs such as pointers and setters, the dogs which remain still after locating the game, or retrievers, the dogs that fetch the game after it has been shot. Their are several types of dogs that have been specially bred for their flushing ability, such as  Springers,  Cockers, and other spaniels. Other breeds of gun dogs are also often trained as flushing dogs, especially retrievers. Most flushing dogs are very people-friendly and make excellent companions and pets.  These dogs won’t perform at their very best unless they’re treated like part of the family… AND THEY ARE !!     wiki

Meet Chief, Flusher extraordinaire !

.

untitled-152

…. and Boy, Chiefs second in command!

or is Boy the Pointer? …. ( I like the photo)

.

untitled-314

.

On the hunt itself you have 1 guide, and two shooters, one on the right, and one on the left. Depending on which way the bird veer’s depends on who gets a shot. If the bird, or birds, veer’s to the right, the hunter on the right can shoot from 12 – 3, if the left is in play the shooter has the shooting range from 12-9. Most of my photos show only the hunters backside ….

.untitled-101-edit

Will the real Elmer Fudd please …

.untitled-332

.

The picture above captures the hunter, the shot, the flusher – retriever, and the bird! Can you see the Quail?  dead bird.

.untitled-256

.untitled-243

.untitled-238

. untitled-186

.

We also ventured on a Duck Hunt …. only problem, no ducks!   Not to worry, half the fun was getting dressed from head to toe and waiting … and waiting.  No earrings allowed, the ducks can spot anything out of the ordinary, anything that glistens,  and will be deterred from the pond.

.untitled-6-2-edit

.untitled-11-2-edit

.untitled-58-2-edit

.untitled-72-2-edit

.untitled-14-2-edit

.

There was more to this weekend in the fields than meets the eye. We ate like kings, mostly what had been hunted on the property, we partied like it was our birthday, and made memories to last a life time.  Although I did not shoot a gun, I did manage to shoot a couple of lovely and adorable birds, and these birds are nothing short of amazing!!

.

untitled-8-2-edit

.

This was my first hunt, enjoyed it immensely,  Thank you Mark and Debby!

A Fairy Tale …

 

To Behold . . .

.

to-behold

.

.

.

To Embrace . . .

.

to-embrace

.

.

.

To Bestow . . .

.

to-bestow

.

.

.

Cuban Portraits

.

untitled-407-2

.

This time around I had a photographic purpose, portraits.

  There are several ways of photographing a ‘portrait’ but my focus was, and is, on the traditional portrait and the environmental portrait…

.

untitled-189

.

Just 24 hours ago I realized my niche, I discovered what gives me the most joy …

… and when the bells started to ring I felt the warmth return to my face and I typed a little bit faster …

it’s been a long time coming.

This was all sublime when I was actively shooting, but now reviewing these photo’s I get the most rewarding sense. I remember the exchanges that took place and how I wanted to capture my subjects.

.

untitled-514-edit

.

The Traditional Portrait

In this type of portrait the object is supposed to look directly at the camera and the focus is on the face.

.

I love the image of the woman above, I love the lighting, the colors, her expression, and her sense of strength. This was taken  during a Santeria ceremony. The Santeria Religion is a syncretism that combines different beliefs while blending practices of various schools of thought. It’s a fascinating ritual that deserves a post of it’s own ….  soon.

.

untitled-402-edit-edit

.

The cowboy, el vaquero, never said a word.  He’s a hired hand and a neighbor to the ranch that we visited, he’s just as mysterious as he looks …

.

untitled-110-copy-copy

.

What a face …  This man was just sitting around, typical of the Cuban way of life.

  I find myself wondering about him? I imagine he has a robust laugh and kind soul, I can see it in his eyes.

.

untitled-244-edit-copy-copy

.

I was being serenaded …….

 .

The Environmental Portrait

The environmental portrait means that you are photographing the object in its own environment, where it is most comfortable

.

untitled-456-2-edit

.

untitled-399-edit-edit-copy

.

The Caballero on horseback is also a hired hand.  He is in his 80’s and has worked on this ranch most of his life, he is the next best thing to family.

.

untitled-497-edit-edit

.

I am haunted by this image … Did I buy what this man was selling?

  No, I don’t think I did, and I cannot comprehend why !

.

untitled-470-2-edit

.

untitled-366-edit-2

.

untitled-301-edit-copy

.

untitled-205-edit

.

untitled-272-edit-copy-copy

.

Louie and I connected ! I took several photo’s of him. Even though this one is a bit soft in the focus I think it shows his spirit. He waved me into his circle and behind the ropes that separated us, we both had grins from ear to ear ….

These subjects are the ‘official’ beginning of my quest to become an accomplished portrait photographer.  I love to photograph everything, but portraits are where I feel the excitement and the reward …. the beauty is:

I can only get better!

.

This concludes my epiphany, I have more to show but let’s take a break …..

… and again I want to thank all of you who take the time to read my posts, and to those of you who comment on my blog, facebook, or the emails that you have sent me. I don’t respond to your comments but I cherish each and every one.

Thank you !

.

untitled-207-copy-copy

 

.

Cuba: in Black & White

.

untitled-358-Edit-2-Edit

.

 A Double Entendre

… ambiguity of meaning arising from language that lends itself to more than one interpretation…

 

This time around I left my rose colored glasses at home and I was standing on firm ground.  This trip took me to rural areas low and high, and city sights that blew me away. It’s true, the Cubans have nothing tangible.  But before I continue on with this B&W post, I need to mention again that the people of Cuba are beautiful in body and soul.

.

While in Holguin I needed to buy a pair of sandals, my gym shoes were too warm for the Cuban heat.  On my way to the store I met up with two young men, we talked of the USA and that their father lived in Miami.  Knowing that I needed sandals they took me to the ‘shoe’ store.  Thank God they were with me… I wouldn’t have known where to begin.

.

untitled-306

.

untitled-304

.

They spoke to their friend behind the counter and the next thing I knew a great pair of size 7 sandals were mine.  I may have payed more than the average Cuban …. but that’s OK.

.

Later that same day while we were exploring the City of Holguin we came upon a home for pregnant girls. Manuello, who rolls as if he were sitting on the ball head of a tripod, decided that we should stop and introduce ourselves … so we did.

untitled-447-Edit-Edit

.

After a small discussion between Manu and the Doctors we were invited into the home to photograph the girls and their surroundings.  This is a home / hospital  for young pregnant woman that live too far from the ‘hospital’, or just need a place to relax and deliver… many situations are in play.

.

untitled-452-Edit

.

I was a bit intimidated photographing under these circumstances, but then again I couldn’t resist. Everyone was very gracious and welcoming, and I was very considerate and thankful.

Education is big in Cuba, and I have no doubt that the doctors are excellent …

.

untitled-455-Edit

.

untitled-457-Edit-Edit

.

On the road again Manu spotted a home just up the hill from our route.

  Guyz Guyz !  Meetchel come here!

.

untitled-40-Edit-2

.

… so we did !  Our group consisted of 5 student photographers, Manuello – the top dog, and Miyal – his nephew and right hand man.  This lovely family that we surprised out of the blue clear skies welcomed us with open arms and Rum !
The Cubans love their Rum …

.

untitled-22-Edit-Edit-Edit

.

untitled-33-Edit-Edit

.

untitled-26-Edit

.

untitled-34-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit .

Nothing ….

 … but this family could not have been more gracious and welcoming. They may not own much, but you can see the pride that they share from the twinkle in their eyes. I know at least 5 people live here. The older men, the  patriarch and his brother, must live close by.

  We stayed for an hour or so, shared some rum, photographed anywhere we liked,  and bid adieu.

What an experience !

.

untitled-44-Edit-Edit

.

In my last post I showed you some images of the children from San Luis.

Here are some more scenes from this untouched Cuban Village:

just another day in the life of …

.

untitled-249-Edit

.

untitled-274-Edit

.

untitled-212-Edit

.

untitled-198-Edit

.

The village of San Luis was a highlight.

.

untitled-380-Edit

.

Santiago de Cuba during the Blue Hour

.

untitled-403-Edit

.

I have much more to show and tell.

How fortunate am I to have had two beautiful trips to Cuba with two incredible photography groups.  I loved my trip to Havana with Muench Photographers, I couldn’t have painted the picture any better.   And Manuello Paganelli, what can I say?  I loved this trip just as much  but with a different lens and a different focal point.

God Bless America

 

Please stay tuned for more of Cuba from this trip:

  • The Cuban Way of Life  : how the Cubans make a living

  •  Landscapes of Cuba

  • The Sounds of Cuba !

  • and The Carnival of Santiago de Cuba

The Children of Cuba

untitled-305-Edit

.

Yes!  I went back to Cuba. This trip took me to the South Eastern corner of the Island, the City of Santiago de Cuba. Santiago is the 2nd largest city in Cuba and known to be the birthplace of the Cuban sound. Desi Arnaz, Emilo Estefan, and many members of the Buena Vista Social Club were born in this area.

When I returned from my first visit to Cuba someone suggested that I look up a Cuban-Italian photographer by the name of Manuello Paganelli … so I did.

.

untitled-285-Edit

.

Manu, or Pag, has been photographing the Island for over 20 years.  Manu travels with the heart and soul of his heritage, every one is familia.  His warmth and charming Ricky Riccardo personality lead the way, the printed syllabus was just a suggestion…

.

untitled-310-Edit

.

 One day, en route from A-B, we stopped in the small town of San Luis for lunch. We had caused quite a stir in this town and the villagers ventured out of every nook and cranny. Tourists are far and few between.

The people of Cuba were as lovely as I had remembered, and another reason for my return.

  Once again a simple ‘hola’ was exchanged with a warm and genuine smile in return. 

.

untitled-332-Edit

.

This trip was varied and diverse. We went to a Cock Fight, to a home / hospital for pregnant girls, we visited a home in the mountains and dropped in on a family who lived just off the side of the road.  We sat in on a Santeria Ritual … rum was offered in return for health… , we swam in the Caribbean and sipped Caipirinha’s at night.  But the main reason I choose to go to Santiago de Cuba was for the Music and the Carnival.

.

untitled-337-Edit

.

untitled-541-2.

untitled-519-2-Edit.

untitled-48-2

.

untitled-311-Edit-2

 

Our first night in Santiago de Cuba was the Children’s Parade… worth every click of my shutter!  Manu knew somebody somewhere so we were able to walk within the confines of the parade itself and snap away, we had the run of the mill.

.

untitled-291-Edit

.

That was a photobomb !

.

untitled-202-Edit-Edit

.

untitled-329-Edit

.

untitled-469-2-Edit

.

“The carnival of Santiago de Cuba is the largest, most famous, and most traditional carnival in all of Cuba. It’s an explosion of color, contagious drum rhythms, and dance. It is also a time for Cubans to re-gather themselves and remember their history, community, and culture. The event is often punctuated by the Cuban National Holiday of July 26th.” wiki

This year they were also celebrating Fidel Castro’s 90th birthday.

.

untitled-528-2-Edit

.untitled-455-2-Edit

.

untitled-30-2-Edit

.

This little fellow was crying pretty hard!  I tried to take his picture but I wasn’t quick enough. By the time I reached him he was just scowling  …. I talked to him in my own special way, took a photo, showed him his picture and then smiles galore !  He was OK after that…

 My first post, this one, is an introduction to my recent visit. I will share this trip in more detail as time goes on but I wanted  somehow to incorporate the children of Cuba. Aren’t they beautiful !

.untitled-513-2-Edit

.

untitled-466-2-Edit

.

untitled-395-Edit

.

I smile at each shot, and  remember the moment. Some of these children lured me take their picture and I was delighted.  I think I had more fun than they did ….!!

.

This image was taken in the town of El Cobre.

  Every picture tells a story ….

.

untitled-438-Edit-Edit