The Sunday Traveler Snapshots ~ Sunday Mornings Outside the Church











San Juan de Dios Church in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Many of the poor and lower income working class of Mexico have simple Sundays going to church, and coming out to buy balloons or bubbles for their kids, and food from the street vendors lined up outside. Simple Sundays, not sitting in a sidewalk cafe, or lazing inside playing video games or watching television, but sharing and living life together.

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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Seeing Things


An old stable in the mountains of Colorado, deep in the grasses amidst the boulders. Gone unused in an unknown length of time. There’s a door in the background that can barely be seen in this photo; I was told it hasn’t been opened in years. But, I digress. Is it just my eyes that see in the gate’s first board on the left, a face? And in the second slender board, a half face of a horse?

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus, Camera+ and edited in camera’s filters, followed by Picmonkey’s lomographic filter.

Join in the gathering over on Sally D’s blog today for other’s photos, including Sally’s use of photomontage.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ Sanctuary of Atotonilco, Mexico


Atotonilco is a little town seven miles east of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The church, or sanctuary (El Santuario de Atotonilco) has been designated a World Heritage Site. For a modest looking little church, it holds rich treasures inside.


The architecture is beautiful, but what sets this church apart are the frescoes that cover the ceilings and walls. The sanctuary is likened to the Sistine Chapel.


The artist is Miguel Antonio Martinez de Pocasangre, who worked on the frescoes for some thirty years.




The church was built in the 18th century, commissioned by Father Luis Felipe Neri, who is said to have had a vision of Christ with a crown of thorns, carrying a cross.


A tradition began in 1812 when there is a procession from Atotonilco with this statue of the Lord of the Column each year, on the Thursday prior to Holy Week, that travels the seven miles to San Miguel de Allende. The procession begins at midnight and arrives in San Miguel in the early morning hours. The procession is marked by fireworks that are set off along the route to notify San Miguel that they are coming, and their approximate location; as they get nearer to San Miguel the fireworks get louder. The Sunday Traveler can attest to this system working very well, as she was there during this time, and awoke thinking  that San Miguel was under siege, until remembering about the pilgrimage.

The Sunday Traveler made the visit to Atotonilco during Holy Week, and luckily very few people were at the church that early morning; upon entering the church, chanting in latin could be heard from priests or monks that were somewhere behind the main altar, and could not be seen; this made looking through the church unusually beautiful.






There are other naves within the church, each full of frescoes and sculptures. Time here was limited, and rather than continue taking one photo after another, time was spent in just absorbing this wonderful church. Photographing everything in detail could be a full day’s endeavor.


The Sunday Traveler will continue in the next couple of Sundays with a scaled down version of the Traveler in my Sunday Snapshots. I’m starting to prepare for my next trip towards the end of next month; I’ll be spending two weeks on the island of Moloka’i, Hawaii. And remember, you are always invited to join me on Instagram where I usually post a photo at least a couple of times a day at






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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Morning Shadows


Morning reflection, looking up to see the sun streaming through the door creating the shadow of the stool at the kitchen counter. I see it most mornings if I’m up early enough, but I’ve ignored it until now; it called out to be brought to life.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus in Camera+, and edited in Mextures and a tweak in PicMonkey for good measure.

Today is Challenger’s Choice at Sally’s Mobile Photography Challenge, stop over for a visit by clicking here.

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The Sunday Traveler ~ Wrapping Up Colorado in Conifer


The Icing on the cake. A traveler’s dream. Friends who live in beautiful places. It all presented itself to this traveler on the recent Colorado trip. I was whisked from the relatively lowlands of the Denver area at 5,280 feet, to Conifer sitting up at 8,277 feet; a small community in the foothills west of Denver.


Hiking around the mountain and meadows with my friend took me a minute or two to keep up with her; I was feeling the altitude up here like I hadn’t in Denver. The breaks I took to breathe also gave me time to get photos of the beauty. At least I used that as the excuse to not seem like a wimp.



The rock formations up here are something to behold, and also raise questions of how they came to be.



An especially sacred place

There are places here that seem almost sacred


Feelings of true connection with Mother Earth are easy to feel here, and the importance of preserving this earth in all its glory.

I’ll just turn it over to the camera from here









And the Colorado state flower, the columbine


The trip home, again on Amtrak, was just as beautiful in the reverse order, leaving Denver’s Union station. All aboard!  As we pull out, seeing construction workers waving at the train, fly fishermen, ducks and geese in the early morning sun on that sparkling river, horses and deer in the grassy hillsides. And then we’re off into the canyons.



See you next week with a shift in location, and return to Atotonilco, Mexico, that I hadn’t included in previous posts about San Miguel de Allende.


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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Black and White. Inside and Out




The underpinnings of the train, the back and forth and up and down workings that make the train go; this description should send any mechanical engineers into outer orbit! These are things I need not fill my head with…all I know is that my seat was right above this one thingy, and I wanted in the worst way to squirt some WD-40 on it.

Moving right along (pun intended):


I took this photo through the train’s window in full-on sun; I hadn’t realized the reflection I had gotten, until I put the photo up on my laptop screen, showing me a photo of both the inside and outside of the train in one photo. I love photographic accidents serendipity.

And today I’m enjoying a little levity.

Photo taken with an iPhone 6Plus, using Camera+, edited with mobile PicMonkey, and Snapseed.

Join in, or just visit Sally for her lovely post, and that of others here



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The Sunday Traveler ~ Are We There Yet?


When the canyon and cliffs begin to show signs of more and more greenery I can sense that we’re nearing a new place. I’ve never taken this train trip before, so have no indication of what is coming next, or where any true demarcation lines are, if there are any, from one state to another. Isn’t this strange in today’s world of technology and GPS where we know exactly where we are at all times? The internet service was mostly non-existent as the train wound through canyons; and unlike highways, there are no signs to tell us it is x number of miles to x place. I realize I love this just being open to what comes next (what else is there?). Since I trust that the train will follow the tracks, and will take me where I’m supposed to be going, I can just sit back and truly enjoy the surprises as they come


I think I’m going to like Colorado if this keeps up


The land I come from, Northern California, has greenery like this for a brief period in spring, but is now a toasty brown from the summer heat and drought conditions. These incredible verdant scenes are something I can’t take my eyes off of.

Ah, civilization continues to exist after almost 31 hours of desert, canyons, and rivers. The train picks up speed, seemingly sensing my eagerness, and I finally have to ask “are we there yet?”



The conductor smiles and points out the window….almost


The Sunday Traveler will return next Sunday with a few scenes from a little place high up in the Colorado mountains where I had the pleasure of spending a few days with friends.

Until then



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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Macro Corn Tassel


Walking through a community garden a couple of weeks ago, the tassel on a corn plant caught my eye in it’s seemingly elegant drape. Not wanting to get into the predicament I was in, in a recent post, I’ve done my homework this week to be extra sure of my subject matter.  Did you know the corn tassel is the male flower of the corn plant? When the bulk of the plant growth is complete, tassels appear on top of the plant. The tassel’s job is to produce pollen that encourages the growth and ripening of the corn ear. Wind carries the pollen to the female flower, or the silk on the corn plant. This information was gleaned from; and given all of the corn fields around me, I’m glad I now know what’s going on out there.

The photo was taken with my iPhone 6Plus, Camera+, and edited with that application for exposure, contrast, and light adjustments.

You can click here to see the other entries in Sally’s challenge.

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The Sunday Traveler~Views And Thoughts Along The Way


The Sunday Traveler was awake early on the morning of the second day (It’s a 31 hour trip from California to Denver) in spite of having slept fitfully after the 3:00 A.M. stroll along the train platform at the Salt Lake City stop. Anxious to not miss one moment of the beautiful countryside rolling by, I grabbed a coffee and bagel from the Cafe Car and sat in the Lounge to take in the view through the panoramic windows of that train car. We were heading out of Utah and nearing the Colorado border.


We passed by towns that look long abandoned, followed by the first view of the Colorado River


Beautiful, winding along greenery, and low hills that are a prelude of bigger things to come.


The river widens and narrows, and the rails lead us through paths away from the river for short distances, as we head into canyons created eons ago





It’s breathtaking vistas that don’t stop. I wanted to nap, but was afraid to close my eyes and miss any of this. And then we got to the town of Glenwood Springs, where rafting begins in earnest down this stretch of the river. The tradition, for whatever reason, is for rafters to “moon” the train as it passes along the river. I had read about this custom, but didn’t know if I should quite believe it. Believe it. I was never ready with the camera to capture said custom. There were rafters galore, it being the 4th of July weekend, and it was hysterical. Everyone on the train was laughing; the conductor gave us a total count at the end of the stretch of river where the rafters are (63 was the number of times he counted the train being mooned). But people on the river also waved at the train…and pretty near everyone on the train waved back. The thought passed my mind that this was a wonderful, happy human connection; we acknowledge each other, one human to another.




And we move on down the river that changes again and again










Next week I”ll take you on the final leg of the journey, getting into the Denver area.

Until then.


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Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Nature’s Queen


Queen Anne’s Lace, in all of her majesty, found in a Colorado meadow high up in the mountains.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts…There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature, the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ~ Rachel Carson

iPhone 6Plus used in Camera+. For other entries in the challenge, click here.

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