"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Giglio Island: Costa Concordia Update

Costa Concordia January 2012
It is hard to believe it has already been one year and eight months since the horrific accident, where the Costa Concordia cruise ship went down on the Giglio Island reef. Finally this past Tuesday, the company in charge of moving the ship was able to get it upright, in preparation of moving it.

The technique used to turn the ship upright was accomplished by an operation called parbuckling. It was the largest ship to ever have this technique done, and the company who did it must be applauded, as they did a super job. More information on this operation can be found here.

Photo of Giglio Island  before the Costa Concordia accident

I just wonder how and when Giglio Island can return to normal. Maybe normal will be completely different than it was before. Having lived on Cozumel Island for the last thirteen years, I understand that small changes really effect the dynamics of an island, and having a monster cruise ship shipwrecked right off shore is a significant change, not a small one. 

This youtube video starts out showing how really beautiful the ship was. It is kind of frightening that they tell the cruisers that the ship is experiencing electrical problems and all will be well soon. Then the tragedy follows.

God bless those who lost their lives. I only hope for Giglio Island's sake, they can get the ship out of there soon.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Viva Mexico: Independence Day 2013

Happy Independence Day, Mexico! The theme this year is rain, rain, rain. We never made it down to the main street to see the fireworks last night. But one of our clients and a friend, Bill Bryan, took some amazing photos.


Photo by Bill Bryan

Bill Bryan captured this photo on Sept. 15, 2013

My favorite from Bill Bryan from Independence Day 2013
Which is your favorite?

Monday, September 2, 2013

You Can Go Home Again

Me on Cozumel Island right before my trip
I have spent the better part of the last seven years dreading returning to my home town. It is the place of much happiness, but also unbelievable sadness. My mom is gone, dad too. Grandma died in 1995. Both my uncles and now my aunt have passed too. So much is due to the dreaded family disease, of which I was spared. It is a mixed blessing. Just the thought of Cincinnati brings back such bittersweet memories.

Mariemont Inn lobby

When I realized there was a good chance I wasn't going to see my niece Sarah unless I went to Cincinnati, I decided to take the plunge and go back to the place of my birth. I found an incredible place to stay, the Mariemont Inn, which made the visit very pleasant. 

Mariemont Inn lobby

I also realized what a beautiful city Cincinnati is, so steeped in hundreds of years in history. I enjoyed seeing my family again. Sometimes I stay away because the pain of leaving them again is not worth it. It is easier to stay here on Cozumel Island and pretend that I don't miss them. Seeing them almost made me realize how much I do miss everybody and wish we could see each other more often.

Mariemont Inn restored to 1923 standards

Amanda at Front Desk of the Mariemont Inn

I visited my parents' graves and tried to find Little Grandma's (that is the name my nieces gave my grandmother on my mom's side) grave. I was unsuccessful in finding it, but I will find it next time. I finally stopped to say a little prayer at my brother's grave. He died when he was 15. I still love you, Mike. I wrote a poem about you, remember?

My mom's grave stone

My dad's grave stone

Michael McDevitt 1960 to 1975

Believe it or not, I think there will be a next time in my very near future. I want my husband to return with me. I actually miss the place I was born and feel somewhat as if I have finally come full circle.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mariemont Inn: Best of Both Worlds

Hallway of rooms at Mariemont Inn
Never in a million years did I think I would find the most awesome inn I have ever stayed at right in my home town. For our reunion this summer, my niece and I decided to meet in Cincinnati, where we were born. I searched on Google for a hotel that was close by where Sarah and my brother would be staying. 

Hall bench at Mariemont Inn

 I remembered the Mariemont Inn from years back when my mom and I would go for lunch. But they have done an incredible restoration to the way it was in 1923. The place is gorgeous and the rooms are so comfortable with Tempurpedic mattresses. They didn't have those in 1923, but I am glad they put them in any way. The one thing they needed to do is hide the TV as TVs were not present in 1923. I guess the mattresses they could get away with, as that is not seen when you view the room.

Television behind the painting at Mariemont Inn

The television is cleverly hidden behind a painting. You press a button and the screen moves to expose the TV. The Mariemont Inn is truly the best of both worlds, old-time charm and incredible woodwork of 1923 and the comforts of 2013. Definitely worth a stay. Even if you live in town, come for the weekend. You won't be sorry you did!

More information on this great property can be found here.