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2nd Day of My Trip to Washington, D.C.

by Jon Pinney on September 20, 2010

So I realize I’m not a good blogger lol :)

Life just moves so fast and I don’t always find the time to catch up here.  I will try to do better…

Anyway, I did have an awesome time in D.C., and in my last post I mentioned that on my second day we saw one of my favorite monuments of all.  It was way bigger than I expected, and was just beautiful.  It’s always been one of my favorites, and having my brother there to explain it’s significance and the story behind what it depicts made it even more special.  The monument I’m talking about was the Iwo Jima Memorial – the memorial of the Marine Corp.  If you ever go to D.C. and have an opportunity to see this monument up close, I think you should.

Washington DC Iwo Jima Memorial Front

Washington DC Iwo Jima Memorial with family

Here's me and my brother and sister at the memorial

Washington DC Iwo Jima Memorial Back

My favorite picture of the memorial... beautiful

I loved the following view.  You can see the Memorial in the foreground of the picture, and the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building in the distance.

Washington DC Iwo Jima Memorial, Washington Monument, Capitol Building

And I loved the quote on the back of the monument by Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, when describing the soldiers on Iwo Jima island:  “Uncommon valor was a common virtue”.

Uncommon valor was a common virtue

Anyway, I loved the trip.  Can’t wait to go back and visit again :)


My Photographic Trip to Washington, D.C. – 1st Day

by Jon Pinney on August 25, 2010

So a couple weeks ago I went to Baltimore for a conference.  My sister lives in Washington, D.C., a mere 45 minutes from Baltimore, so of course I went a few days early to go sightseeing.  I went to D.C. once when I was thirteen, so I was excited for another opportunity.

My older brother also went, and together the three of us had two days of sightseeing.

Washington, D.C. Temple

So, first on our stop was the Washington, D.C. temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I have never seen a more majestic building.  I’d seen it in photos, but nothing compares to seeing it firsthand.

Washington, D.C. Temple with Jon, Ashley, and Ryan


Breathtaking Washington, D.C. Temple

Beautiful and powerful…

View of Washington, D.C. Temple

I was trying to think of the word that best describes this edifice, and I decided that MAJESTIC was the best word.  If you ever get a chance to see this building in person, take it.  It is well worth it.

Washington, D.C. Marine Corp Museum Photo

After our trip to the Washinton, D.C. temple, we headed over to the Marine Corp Museum.  As you can see from the image below, my older brother was in the Marines (as well as the Army and Air Force).

Washington, D.C. Marine Core Museum

Inside I got to wear a sample 120 pound backpack (what our soldiers wear, without a weapon or body armor… it was heavy).  Sorry the image is blurry – my sister doesn’t know how to take pictures with my camera lol :)

Washington, D.C. Marine Backpack

At the end of the tour, I found the part that hit me the most… I was in the Dominican Republic when it happened, but I still felt the shock of it.

New York Times 9 11 Newspaper Clipping

I almost cried as I stood there looking at the memorabilia from that day: photographs, items found in the debris, and newspaper clippings telling the story of my nation’s dark day.

The Washington Post 9 11 Newspaper Clippings

Part of me is sad I was not here in America to feel what everyone else felt; to see the patriotism; to feel the unity of the nation I love.  I hope a day like this never happens again.

After the Marine Corp Museum we went to the Capitol Mall (where all of the monuments are).  We saw the Washington Monument and then the Capitol building (I couldn’t help it… I had to take the next photo.  It’s me holding up the Capitol Building!).

Jon Holding Up the Washington Capitol Building

Then we drove by the Supreme Court and visited the Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial In Washington, D.C.Jon In Front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

After that we went to the Vietnam Memorial (it was cool seeing it at night, but unfortunately none of my photos turned out).  And our final stop on our 1st Day was the Jefferson Memorial.  We were dead tired by the time we got there, but it was my favorite site of the day, with the exception of the Washington, D.C. temple.  It stood all alone away from the other monuments, yet the structure itself was beautiful.  I didn’t get a good picture of Jefferson or the outside of the building, but I did manage to sneak in the following picture of myself…

Jon in the Jefferson Memorial Washington, D.C.

My next post will conclude my photographic trip through Washington D.C.  We got to see one of my favorite monuments, and I had no idea it was so huge.  Tune in tomorrow (or possibly the next day…) for Day 2 of my trip :)

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My Historic Photographic Trip Through New York City

by Jon Pinney on October 15, 2009

I recently went to New York City to help my sister move apartments.  While not my first time there, it definitely had some of my most memorable New York City moments.  Carrying mattresses, desks, and other random household items through the financial district (by Wall Street and Broadway) was definitely one of them.  The others however all had to do with the historic sites I was able to visit.

First things first, I visited my sister at work.  She’s an Associate Producer with National Geographic.  Here we are in her office:

Me and My Sis at her Work (National Geographic TV)

Me and My Sis at her Work (National Geographic TV)

The first historic place I visited was the World Trade Center plaza.  The big empty space behind me is where the twin towers used to stand.  It’s crazy to think that only two buildings took up that entire space, and that they fell…

Where the Twin Towers used to stand

Where the Twin Towers used to stand

The following morning my sister and I went to Liberty Island.  While on the way, I came across this monument titled “The Sphere.”  I cried.

The Sphere Monument in New York City Battery Park

The Sphere Monument in NYC Battery Park

It was originally a monument to World Peace at the World Trade Center plaza.  The remains of this monument were salvaged and placed in Battery Park.  Below is the plaque that describes the monument.  There was also a flame in front of the monument that isn’t pictured.

The Sphere Monument Description in New York City Battery Park

The Sphere Monument Description in New York City Battery Park

When we arrived to buy tickets to Liberty Island, there was no one in line.  It was 8 am on a Friday morning–the perfect time to buy tickets to and visit the Statue of Liberty.  We were early enough to avoid the huge line, but not too early to stand in line with the early birds (who were all already waiting inside to get on the ferry).  We got on the first ferry out to the island.  I took a lot of pictures.

My Sister Ashley and I in front of the Statue of Liberty

My Sister and me in front of the Statue of Liberty

As we got closer to the Statue of Liberty, my sis took a picture of me and Lady Liberty.

Me and the Statue of Liberty

Me and the Statue of Liberty

She is such a beautiful statue.  I seriously took about 100 pictures of her.  Here are some of my favorites…

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty

My Favorite Picture of The Statue of Liberty

After climbing up into the Statue of Liberty and all around the base and taking a bazillion photos, we hopped back onto the ferry and headed back to NYC.  I can see why the idea of The Statue of Liberty had such an amazing effect on the people coming to America.  Below is one of the quotes I saw in the museum of someone who had recently arrived in New York early last century.

Quote Inside the Statue Of Liberty Museum

Quote Inside the Statue Of Liberty Museum

Overall this trip was a lot of fun.  I was really glad to be able to see my sister and also many of the historic sites in New York City.  As a final picture, this was one I took somewhere on 6th Avenue (I think).  I put the camera on a mailbox and had it take the picture of us.  My sister kept telling me the camera would get stolen, but I had faith in the good people of New York City that they wouldn’t take it.  Plus I figured I could run as fast as any of them.

My Sis, Me, and Lyle somewhere in NYC

My Sis, Me, and Lyle somewhere in NYC


My Photographic Walk Through Chicago

by Jon Pinney on September 22, 2009

This evening I decided to take a walk through the city.  I think it’s supposed to rain again tomorrow so I figured this would be my best opportunity.  I brought my camera with me and decided it would be fun to document my walk.

Here I am at the beginning of my walk, still in the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown.  I’m about to get on the elevator.

Here I am about to enter the elevator

Here I am about to enter the elevator

From right outside the hotel I had a beautiful view of the Chicago River, Michigan Avenue Bridge, and these two historic buildings.  The one on the left is the Wrigley Building.  The one on the right is the Tribune Tower.

The Wrigley Building (on the left) and the Chicago Tribune Tower (on the right)

The Wrigley Building (on the left) and the Chicago Tribune Tower (on the right)

When I reached the side of the bridge, I noticed some stairs that went down.  As I descended I found my first spot for a self-portrait.  You’ll notice I found lots of these spots…

My First Chicago Self Portrait

My First Chicago Self Portrait

Right around the corner from here (directly under the bridge) I found my second spot for a self-portrait.  Keep in mind that I’m here in this city by myself.  I wanted to be in pictures to remind me of where I was (plus pictures are much more exciting with people in them).

Under the Michigan Avenue Bridge

Under the Michigan Avenue Bridge

After I crossed under the bridge and tried a few more self-portraits, I went back up top and crossed over the bridge.  On my way I took a blurry picture of the Chicago River and the buildings on each side of it (it was really pretty but the picture didn’t turn out).  Then there was a guy playing a drum and singing.  Another guy was taking a picture, so I took a picture of him taking a picture (not shown here).  Then I walked down Michigan Avenue, also known as “The Magnificent Mile” at this point because of all the shopping etc.  Here is a picture of me and the Magnificent Mile :)

Me on the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue)

Me on the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue)

You may have noticed by now that I haven’t been smiling.  It’s funny how you don’t often think of smiling when you’re taking a picture of yourself.  I didn’t really notice till after that all of the pictures were so serious.  I actually had a great time and lots of fun.

While looking for more cool spots for self-portraits, I ran into Mike.  He was from somewhere near the slums and wanted to share some Positive Poetry with me.  It was pretty cool.  After I asked if I could take a picture with him.  I liked his glasses.

Me and Mike after he shared his Positive Poetry

Me and Mike after he shared his Positive Poetry

After wandering for another 15 minutes or so, I eventually found myself at a bus stop.  Here I am waiting…

Here I am waiting for the bus

Here I am waiting for the bus

While there I noticed the advertisement at the bus stop echoed the sentiments I was feeling for my friends and family.

Meet me out here

Join me out here

After waiting for the bus (which never showed up), I decided to continue my walk.  I found myself in a beautiful garden with a bunch of yellow lights.  It was really cool.  The lights were very dim and created a surreal ambience.  It was very calming, so of course I decided to take a picture…

Me in the Garden of Light

Me in the Garden of Light

When in such as a place as the Garden of Light, you can’t help but begin to think of the mysteries of the universe…  I got so caught up in one those mysteries that I had to take a moment to contemplate.  So I parked myself on this bench and began to consider:  why are these the only lights that are out?

Me contemplating the mysteries of universe

Me contemplating the lights

At this point, I’m getting tired of my walk through town.  I’ve taken a bunch of pictures, and am satisfied with what I’ve seen. Chicago is a beautiful city, and I have enjoyed visiting her each time I’ve had the opportunity.  Luckily, my path took me in a big circle and I was nearing my hotel.  As I was about to arrive, I found a final self-portrait location.  It was another Garden of Lights, though this time it was hanging :)  After waiting for tons of people to clear out (so I could get a good shot), I finally took my favorite photo of the evening.

My final Chicago self-portrait under the Hanging Garden of Lights

My final Chicago self-portrait under the Hanging Garden of Lights

After this I was home free and only about 100 feet from my final destination… my hotel.  I hope you have enjoyed My Photographic Walk Through Chicago.  I know I did :)  As a final goodbye, I leave you with a bonus photo.  Enjoy!

Photographic Art by Jon Pinney

Photographic Art by Jon Pinney


Volleyball and Future Travels

by Jon Pinney on September 18, 2009

It is late and I need to go to bed.  I am already past midnight on a Thursday night, but just barely.  I’m going to post this and then be asleep.

Tonight I had so much fun–but it also left me exhausted.  I played volleyball for 3-4 hours straight.  It was a great workout, and I met a lot of new people and played with some friends.  I have always enjoyed playing volleyball, and I was recently introduced to two open adult volleyball nights.  One is in Roseville and the other in Antelope.  Then after that I went and played at the Church volleyball night for single adults.  The combination of the two left me starving and wanting to pass out. :)

Hopefully these volleyball nights will enter my weekly plans and give me some good help towards the six pack abs…

Here is a video that we took tonight… If you look close you can see me and Ty setting and spiking the ball into some other people’s faces… It was quite enjoyable.

On another note, I will be traveling in the not-to0-distant future.  I will be heading to Lake Tahoe for a day.  Then I’ll be heading to Chicago for a work conference.  Then I’ll be heading to New York City to help my sister move apartments.

While traveling is fun, I wish I could spread out some of these trips a little more.  Once I am back from New York City, I will be very glad. :)

Anyway, just wanted to give you an update on my life.  I am now going to bed.


Schindler’s List Theme Through Nevada

by Jon Pinney on April 28, 2009

While I was driving through Nevada I put in my soundtrack from Schindler’s List.  The main theme from that movie is one of the most moving pieces of music I have ever heard.  And the violin solo was played by Itzhak Pearlman, one of the most brilliant violinists of our day.

I’m not sure if it was the music itself, or the fact that Pearlman is Jewish, or that the music is from a movie on the Holocaust, or the fact that I was driving through the barren Nevada desert (which looked absolutely beautiful)…

Whatever it was, or the combination of all of those things together, almost brought me to tears.  I’ve never heard a violin cry the way it does in that song–with longing, beauty, desperation, elegance, and graceful dignity.  I wish I could find better words to describe it.  I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a song with such raw emotion…


Inspirational Provo, Utah Sunday Morning

by Jon Pinney on April 28, 2009

This past Sunday I drove back from Utah.  I was on vacation visiting friends and attending my friend Michele’s wedding.

As I left Shane’s apartment on Sunday, I stepped into the most beautiful and peaceful Utah morning I have ever experienced.  It was clean and crisp, and the clouds hung low over the eastern mountains.  It felt like the Earth had renewed itself through the previous night and was just beginning to wake.  I stood there for a few minutes and just soaked in the feeling of renewal.

Luckily, I had the impression to take a picture.  Understandably, the picture doesn’t capture the full beauty of the moment…