Friday, October 21, 2011

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

Remember the lyrics from that song by 5 Man Electrical Band? You know...the one that goes "Signs, signs, every where a sign..." When I recently went through my summer vacation photos that song kept running through my head. I hadn't realized how many pictures of  signs I had taken. I usually snapped a pic of the entrance sign to any site or attraction we visited. These photos serve as an reference point and organizational helper when making a photo book. Other signs pictures list facts and information I might not be able to  remember after the trip is over; they serve as my reminder. Some are taken just for fun. Today I'd like to share a few sign withs you from my four weeks in the United States in August.

After spending time with family in Pennsylvania, we flew to Texas to visit my cousin. We mostly spent time in Austin and San Antonio (more about those days in another post). One of the places we visited was The Alamo. Katarina found it very boring.

I guess at age thirteen, historical landmarks don't rank high on the list of interests. I think she was more impressed by this big metal sign that simply stated the historical fact and didn't require tours or the reading of  a hundred other information plaques.

From Texas we drove to New Mexico. Of course, we needed to stop to take a picture of the state sign. Except this welcome sign wasn't as welcoming as the Texas sign. Can you guess why?

It has to do with all the bullet holes in it. It made my daughter nervous. At night she made always double-checked to make certain the hotel room was locked, and she didn't leave any of her belongings in the car trunk. I guess that goes to show that a sign can relay more than what is on the sign, whether that feeling be accurate or inaccurate.

Then, to make things a bit more interesting, we saw this sign in Roswell.

Of course, it wasn't the only alien-related sign. The whole town is full of them. Even the streetlights are shaped like alien heads. Katarina thought it was rather strange, so we explained the history of Roswell. Afterwards, she said "Oh, I understand now. But really...that was like how long ago? Time to move on, people." I just laughed.

This time the alien signs had provided a conversation piece for us. So did this one. Katarina thought it was cool that we were travelling on the former Route 66.

And then we finally got to our next destination.

We had beautiful weather in Durango. Before heading back, we met a member of my online writer's group, Connie, at Mesa Verde National Park (where I took a photo of the entrance sign and a kazillion photos of the kivas and scenery.) I will be blogging about that at a later date. In the meantime, here is one of my photos from that day.

Okay, so it's not the scenic picture you were expecting. Don't worry I have tons of those. You'll get to see them eventually. This shot shows my daughter crawling through a wooden box. What you can't see is the note printed on the side. It says in order to go to Balcony House, you must be able to easily crawl through this space. I told her "Now you know how your hamster feels when she goes through her tunnel".

On the way back to Texas we stopped at Petroglyph National Monument. Here you find more than just the wooden entrance sign. There are over 24,000 carved images (or some might say signs) to find.

We all started to climb the trail when we came upon this sign.

Signs can be scary, I suppose, because my daughter promptly asserted her right to head back to the car. I set off alone up the steep path to take some photos. 

But signs can also comfort you after a long day of travelling. As we crossed over the border into Texas again and got closer to the San Antonio and Austin areas, we were reminded of home. We had learned at the Bob Bullock State History Museum in Austin that at one time, San Antonio has a very high population of German immigrants. One third? Unfortunately, one is not permitted to take pictures in the museum; otherwise, I would still know that bit of information. Anyway, we started to see street signs, exits signs, and billboard with German names on them. That made my daughter feel right at home.

Here is a church we passed in San Antonio.

And here is what was written on it.

Also in San Antonio is a huge hotel. As you will learn from the sign, the owners were German.

Here are the road signs. Oma is the German word from grandma and Haus means house, of course.

Schlitterbahn is a slide. We wished we'd had time to stop and enjoy the big water slides here. That day the temperature was 102 degrees (almost 40 Celsius for my German friends).

And this one is pretty close to being the German "Scherz". It is pronounced the same.

A Scherz is a joke. I like jokes because I like laughing. Which reminds me of another sign.

My favorite sign wasn't in German. It is this sign, in English, that I found funny. Of course, if you don't understand what the word means, then you wouldn't find it funny at all. That is what happened with Katarina. After we explained the meaning of the word, she finally saw the humor in it.

What do you think? Do you find it at all funny? Also, do you take pictures of signs? Have you passed any interesting signs lately? Or do you have those song lyrics running through your head now...signs, signs, everywhere a sign...? Tell me about it. As for me, I am signing off now.


Susan Gourley said...

I enjoyed your sign tour. Now I'm going to have that song stuck in my head the rest of the evening.

Linda H. said...

Sorry, Susan :-)

becca said...

really awesome signs thanks for sharing

Laurie Kolp said...

Linda- What a lovely tour you shared with us... I really enjoyed it. I'm so glad we had the chance to meet in San Antonio!

Linda H. said...

Me, too, Laurie. Wish we could have had a few more days together.

Jodi said...

Awesome blog post, Linda! Love it!!

Linda H. said...

Thanks, Jodi. Glad you could stop by. And don't worry. It may be late, but I will read your manuscript over Christmas vacation. That way when it is on the bookshelves, I can be one of the first to write a review (here) and can brag that my friend wrote it ;-)

Catch ya' at PAD, maybe?

Anonymous said...

All the places I want to go! (Been to Austin only, really). Thanks for the trip!

Heidi said...

Love your "sign" pics!

Linda H. said...

Thanks, Heidi.

Rose, I hope you got to see the bats while in Austin.