California Automobile Museum – Micro Cars

The California Auto Museum, in downtown Sacramento, is boasting its Micro Car exhibit for the first time in seven years with what looks like double the micro cars on display!  They were even hosting a clever Micro Cars and Micro Brews event the evening we visited.  The museum underwent a refresh a few years back and I am happy to see it is alive and well.

The museum typically has a roaming exhibit (Micro Cars in this case), a race car exhibit, muscle car area, historical vehicles, and an area with cars on consignment (to help fund the museum itself and to hopefully fund some heat/air conditioning.)

It is also fun to see the addition of an area for children with several auto related activities which was a bonus for my little boy. Zoom. Zoom.

Barn Find Cars

Here is the third and final installment of my Barn Find Car posts.  There were just too many strange/odd ball and interesting photos to keep to just one post.  I have spent a lot of time over the years photographing beautiful and pristine cars without a scratch, issue, dent, or fingerprint.  Throw all of those photos away friends.  Barn finds are where it’s at!  Tell me these photos are not more interesting than a perfectly restored and excessively expensive classic car?!  These cars were part of the landscape some already halfway down in the ground.  Some had trees growing through them. Others had impressive levels of alien lichen growing on them as if we were actually living somewhere wet and cool. The amount of dust and dirt on each of these cars is palpable.  (The smell was extreme. I took one for the team to get some of these photos for you friends.)  Hipsters today spend crazy amounts of money and time trying to mimic the patina on some of these cars.  There might not be much value to most of these cars but they were amazing “models” for my camera.  This was an experience I will never be able to duplicate and I hope you enjoy seeing the results.

Black and White Barn Finds

I’ve mentioned on the blog before that my husband is a huge “car guy.”  I get dragged all over the place to go to car shows and museums.  Alas, I really don’t mind because it typically gives me some good photo opportunities.  This time was a little different…  We attended a local car auction related to an estate that had multiple “barn finds” still on the original property.  Most of these cars were part of the landscape at this point.  Some were very likely parked when I was a kid riding my bike in the 70’s! They were far more interesting to me as pieces of art at this point than useable cars or even parts cars.  As part of Cee’s Black and White Challenge I thought I would take a shot at seeing what some of them looked like in B & W.  I hope you enjoy.  (For those interested in the results of the auction some of these cars went for $50 and some went for thousands…)  For me they are priceless as relics used for my art.

Blackhawk Auto Museum

My husband and I have been working opposite shifts now for a while.  So, on the weekends we have been trying to take some day trips to spend good quality time together.  Last weekend we went leaf peeping through the El Dorado, Alpine, and Calavaras National Forests.  (Photos came out lame on the iPhone hence the lack of posting, sorry.)  The weekend before we spent more time in the Quincy area west of the Lake Tahoe region.  This weekend was his turn to pick the location.  So we set off for the Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville, California in the “East Bay.”

The East Bay holds a special place in my heart because I got my Master’s Degree at quaint Saint Mary’s College in beautiful Moraga, California.  It also just happens to be a spectacularly pretty area of the world especially with the leaves turning.  (For those of you on the east coast our leaves are just now turning.)

I digress on multiple levels.

My husband is an obsessive “car guy.”  Most girls turn up their noses at the thought of going to car museums.  I however, really enjoy them.  My first car as a kid was a 1965 Mustang and my family growing up has owned an embarrassingly large number of old and interesting cars.  (My husband and I bought our current house based on the number of garage spaces…or at least that’s what my husband will tell you.)  This love of cars coupled with the opportunity to snap some photos of something interesting situated in museum lighting always makes me happy.

The Blackhawk had a reasonably small collection many being concept cars or highly unusual.  If you haven’t already noticed I can’t just take a photo of a car.  I have to try and shoot for interesting angles or details.  I hope you enjoy them.

* I have had the pleasure of visiting a few awesome car museums and have taken some pretty interesting photos.  Click here for posts on LeMans in France, Nascar museum in Charlotte, Hot August Nights in Reno, National Auto Museum in Reno, and the LeMay Car Museum in Seattle.





Pretty round lines on this car


Car built for royalty or so it would seem


Futuristic bubble roof anyone?


Not even sure what is happening with these lines but kudos to the designer to convinced someone to go with it…


An exercise in aerodynamics


The batmobile seems somewhat less interesting all of a sudden


Tell me this car isn’t winking at me? Flirty little thing.


I am often too lazy to remove my closeup lens so this is what I get…


For those Americans reading this…that is a DODGE!


Look at the curves on this beautiful thing


Love the angles


Whoever thought it would be a good idea to start making ornate hood ornaments I thank you. I never grow tired of photographing them even though I must have hundreds of them already…






It’s hard to see this paint scheme and not think of Herbie the love big. Blasphemous, I know.


Ford’s answer to European dominance.


I often think at night these cars come alive and start talking to each other like they are on the Disney cartoon Cars. Tell me this one doesn’t have a face and personality?

Making the most out of a layover – NASCAR style – Charlotte, North Carolina

I am so not in to NASCAR.  But, there is NO denying that the Nascar Hall of Fame isn’t pretty great.  It is a top rate interactive museum that peaks the interest of even non-Nascar fans like me.  And it makes a great place to kill half a day on a layover.  Not to mention my parents were out of their minds visiting the Nascar mecca that is the Hall of Fame.

The building is beautiful and the interior is interesting.  The main hall is banked like a race track which gets more and more angled to simulate the true angles at some of America’s greatest race tracks. (36 degree angle! Woah!)

The museum houses historic vehicles and memorabilia.  Museum goers can interest themselves by challenging each other to various forms of trivia, memory games, and knowledge tests.  One can even test their skill at the pit stop by fueling up a car, jacking it up, and changing a tire.  If that isn’t fun enough you can race your friends in a Nascar simulator.  You get to sit in a real Nascar that moves around and revs up making you feel like you are driving the real thing.

While Charlotte, frankly didn’t have much to offer but good BBQ, the Nascar Hall of Fame was a treat which was probably one of the highlights of my parent’s trip on the way home from Ireland.2971














Hot August Nights – Reno

If any of you have been reading my blog for a while you will notice from time to time I post photos of old cars.  My husband is a unapologetic car guy and takes me to auto shows all the time.  I keep myself occupied by photographing the beauty that is easily found in these old vintage vehicles.

Hot August Nights has been a car lover’s institution in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area for some time now.  We took the opportunity to check it out since the weather was cool for a change.  The show lasts about a week and culminates in to the final car show, drag races, auctions, and parades last weekend.

 We also took in the National Auto Museum founded with cars from Harrah’s private collection.  It’s a great museum for anyone who enjoyed vintage cars and cars with history behind them or famous owners.






And lastly we enjoyed the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction.  It was a ton of fun to see the cars ready for auction and even more fun to see what prices they sold for.  (Some HIGH and some low.)  See if you can spot me on TV!


Black and White Challenge – Day Four – Cars

I accept the challenge to post five black and white photos for five consecutive days this week. They ask that we include our black and white and its original match and I threw in some extras for fun.

I was challenged by Indah Susanti.  Indah has a gorgeous travel blog specializing in underwater photography.  I encourage you to check it out.

As part of the challenge I am encouraged to challenge another blogger I am connected to each day.  Today I challenge

Andrew Petcher @ Have Bag Will Travel. Andrew is a prolific blogger writing great posts after great post about all of his experiences.  I hope you will check out his blog.

The photos included in this challenge are from the LeMans Auto Museum in LeMans, France.  It was a lot of fun to take photos of these old beautiful vehicles.  And once I got them home they were begging to become black and white.  I hope you enjoy some of my favorites.








I throw this last one in as good measure seeing it on the streets of Paris on the same trip…


Lemay Car Museum – Seattle Washington

It’s really no secret that I am willing to travel anywhere. I seem to find enjoyment and interesting things and people anywhere I go. (Not to say anyone has to twist my arm to get me to Seattle.) But, it was my husbands birthday and I wanted to take him somewhere to celebrate. He is a Car Guy so I thought it would be fun to take him to a big car museum. We very much enjoyed visiting the LeMans Car museum in France and so I thought I would search something out a little closer to home. The car museums make my husband happy and I get to have something to photograph with consistent lighting that doesn’t move, cry, or complain! The two big museums that came to mind were Lemay in Seattle and the Ford museum in Michigan. So, I made the logical decision and went with the cheapest airfare which was of course was Seattle. The weather was amazing and the city was welcoming.

The museum did not disappoint. It had gorgeous architecture and was full of interesting and top rate cars. It turns out looking at my photos again that I must enjoy photographing the details more than the entire car. So, the results are lots of bits and pieces of cars and very few shots of the entire thing! I hope you enjoy them.















Le Mans Car Museum

Eric and I were traveling through France when he spied “Le Mans” on the map. Being a type A traveler there wasn’t much time planned for a diversion. But, seeing the look on his face there was not a chance of our missing it. We drove to the track and visited the museum located on the hallowed grounds of Le Mans! As it turns out there is a glorious car museum there that Eric and I enjoyed immensely. Old cars are a hoot to photograph.

Enjoy some of my subjects during our visit. (Cars sit still a lot better than brides and children do as it turns out.)