Hot Tombstones in Tucson, Arizona

This was what I imagined I’d find when I planned my visit to a cemetery in Tucson, Arizona.

I didn’t expect the many Asian memorials. Made me wonder about the history of the Asian culture in Tucson. Anybody know?

This section of Evergreen Cemetery brought back memories of my trips to Virgina City,  and Genoa, Nevada.  Picturesquely old west.

What a view! This was the Congregation Ashei Israel section of Evergreen.  Beautiful!

My tombstone tourist tips for Tucson: Slather on the sunscreen and, don’t miss breakfast or brunch at Prep & Pastry. Thier slogan is, “Brunch without booze is just a sad late breakfast.” Sooooo yummy!

Advertisements

Virginia City, Nevada – A most magical afternoon

This is the wild west, cowboy country.

Several years ago, sheer luck led me to the mountains of Nevada on a gorgeous, clear afternoon. Serendipity and a rental car brought me to Virginia City, its fabulous cowboy cemetery, and the most magical hour I’ve ever spent wandering among tombstones. There was a full solar eclipse.

Solar eclipse projected on tomstone

Have you ever seen a solar eclipse? You can only look at them through special lenses or watch their shadows through a pinhole projector. In the cemetery that day, nature’s pinhole projectors, the leaves on the trees above the graves, cast these eclipse shadows.

Eclipse shadows

Even before I realized that this rare cosmic event was happening, the Virginia City cemetery took my breath away. Spring in the mountains was just so gorgeous!

Flowering bush

Best tombstone tourist experience ever!

Virginia City, Nevada

 

Twilight in Forks, Washington

Forks, Washington

Forks, Washington

Yes, that Forks, Washington. The town that inspired Stephenie Meyer’s brooding location for her Twilight series.  I was in the neighborhood, touring along the wild coastline and couldn’t resist stopping. There were plenty of Twilight fans in town, but I had the cemetery all to myself. 

Rainy weather in Forks

It’s small and plain, kind of like the town, but it had its charm. Thankfully, there wasn’t a werewolf or vampire reference in sight.

Handmade memorial in Forks, Washing ton

I loved the quirky, homemade memorials.

This rose was about 4 feet tall.

Lovely, handmade marker.

Lovely, handmade marker.

La Push, Washington is just down the road from Forks. I wanted to visit the tribal cemetery there, but it was closed to outsiders. I got to go to the beach though, one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been! 

The beach on the reservation in La Push, Washington.

The locals told us that the author had never visited. She really missed out. The landscape was truly inspiring.

Christmas Eve, Nashville, TN

Twilight at the City Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee

Is it weird to seek out a quiet hour on Christmas Eve and find myself in a cemetery? I can see some of you nodding. “Yes, Laura, it is kind of odd.”  I’ve got to admit that when I got in the car and left my family – not in a huff, my family’s great – with Google map in hand, to drive to a part of Nashville I’d never seen,(after twenty years of visiting for the holidays), I wondered a little myself.

But when I found the City Cemetery and got out to walk around, that familiar sense of peace settled over me and I knew that at least for an hour, I was in exactly the right place.

It’s a beautiful, old cemetery with some really interesting stones. Like this one. Does anybody know the story here? The plaque reads, Ann Rawlin Sanders. She was 21 when she died. No, wife-of or beloved daughter.  It was 1836. It would have been quite a feat to move a boulder this huge. It crossed my mind that the rock is a natural feature of the spot, the tip of the iceberg so to speak. But then how could they bury someone under it?

There were three great angels.

Erosion had washed away details on this last one, leaving rather more to the imagination than the sculptor probably intended.

The second shot shows the outline of a wing better, giving the sense of the angel carrying off the dearly departed much better than the first shot – in which I got the wrong idea all together.

This was an interesting marker. It reads, Thomas B. Coleman, Mayer of Nashville, 1842. Really? The mayor with a misspelled,  plain, wooden plank? There’s got to be a story here too.

It’s a lovely place. I would have stayed longer if it hadn’t been getting so late. Stop by next time you’re driving through Music City.

A Tombstone Tourist Does Seattle

Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, Washington.

My vacation itinerary always includes a cemetery or two…or three. Sure, I love checking out the art scene in a new city, historical sites, shopping and eating. I’m a foodie too, definitely. But you see an entirely different side of a place when you visit its graves, don’t you think?

Lake View Cemetery, Seattle, Washington

On my recent trip to Seattle, I did my usual vacation prep and Mapquested cemeteries in the area. There are about six, but with the coffee and the chocolate and the glass museums and the history and… did I mention the chocolate? I only had time for Lake View. What a jewel!

I wondered who left the flower, descendant or art lover.

These gnarly, twisted trees were everywhere.

Lake View was established back in 1872 and sits up on Capital Hill northeast of downtown Seattle. One of those cool, old neighborhoods that just oozes character has grown up around it so it’s a bit of a twisty trek to get there. But worth it! The monuments are a great mix of styles, old and new, East and West.

This one says, “The more people I meet, the more I love my cat.”

I love the name and the calligraphy.

A murder of crows  claims the cemetery grounds and every monument in them. The birds are smart and wary and hard to get a decent picture of, but their raucous chatter never stopped.

Keeping watch over her domain.

He knew his grave would end up being a perch for crows anyway.

So, for a short visit to Seattle, I’d put Lake View, the EMP Museum (AWESOME), the Chihuly glass museum and all the European sipping chocolate you can sample on my list of must-do’s. Anybody have any other suggestions for a Seattle trip? I definitely want to go back.  I know that Jimi Hendrix is buried in Greenwood Memorial nearby. Anybody been there?