Castle built for love By Jen Beatty...

MY BEST SHOT A

March 05, 2000|By Special to the Sun

MY BEST SHOT

A castle built for love

By Jen Beatty, Catonsville

This photo was taken in Alexandria Bay, N.Y., from a ferry that tours the Thousand Islands. Boldt Castle was designed by George Boldt, proprietor of the Waldorf Astoria hotel, as a gift for his wife, Louise. Construction began in 1900 on Heart Island, but stopped in 1904 when Louise died. Work was never completed on the six-story, 120-room castle, but the Thousand Island Bridge Authority acquired it and began restoration. Tours are offered April through October.

A MEMORABLE PLACE

Escape to the Everglades

By Jessica Beth Hadley

I was an inexperienced adventurer-dreamer who desperately needed a break from the daily routine. After a call to a close friend and a quick discussion regarding the most affordable route out of banality, our destination was set: the Everglades. The Everglades is a place of 10,000 islands and a half-million-acre park. It's home to 350 bird species and animals such as panthers, alligators and otters.

My friend reserved a canoe ($250 for six nights and seven days), and I packed watertight plastic containers with camping equipment, clothes, food staples and fresh vegetables and fruit. We also had plenty of water -- one gallon per person per day. Along with our supplies, we left Maryland armed with my friend's camera equipment and my expectations.

Seventeen hours and two new tires later (always check your car before a road trip), we arrived in Flamingo, Fla., at Everglades National Park. Our trip was a 15-mile journey into the Everglades with nightly stops every three to five miles. We saw egrets, 'gators, herons, ibises, hawks, dolphins and otters. We saw nature at its best.

Every morning I would awaken to the sunrise reflecting off the water. The sun would rise, the moon would fade and the noisy herons would wake up the world. Paddling through the mangroves was hypnotic. There is a primal energy in the Everglades that is humbling and cleansing. Having reached our day's destination, we enjoyed the stillness that settled in around us. The birds glided to their nests as the sky turned from blue to pink to orange to night.

By the end of the trip, I felt bright and clear, and I had renewed confidence and faith.

Jessica Beth Hadley lives in Annapolis.

READERS RECOMMEND...

Tasmania, Australia

Sharon Dick,

Lutherville

"Our hike in the highlands of Tasmania was like a treasure hunt, and each natural treasure was more awe-inspiring than the last: waterfalls roaring into a beautiful glade, a hidden glacial lake surrounded by tree-covered cliffs, small pools reflecting the brilliant blue sky and resonating with frog song. Wildlife was everywhere -- lizards, wallabies, wombats, even a Tasmanian devil. This was nature at its best, pristine, unspoiled and free."

Milan, Italy

Todd Jackson,

Baltimore

"As you emerge from certain Metro exits at the duomo station in Milan, the magnificent cathedral dominates the view. One reason I enjoy spending time in Italy is the juxtaposition of the city's rich history of art and architecture with its modern sensibility. I attended part of a Mass at the duomo last Easter. After the ceremony, I battled through the crowds, stuck my hand out among many others and had it shaken by the cardinal of Milan."

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