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Moody Gardens – Festival of Lights

February 15, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

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On November 16th (Saturday night), Moody Gardens was opening their annual Festival of Lights. Oddly, after this opening night, it would not actually be open again until the 22nd. I hadn’t really planned on going, especially after a full day of birding, but this would be my one chance. So I made the drive up to Galveston and arrived shortly after the lights were turned on at 6pm. Traffic was not an issue. Parking took a bit longer, but nothing annoying. Figuring out where to go after that was a different story, with the absence of any signs. I more or less followed everyone else to the main ticket booth and proceeded to stand in line for half an hour. I am still not sure if there was a better way to do this. I know the Zilker Trail of Lights in Austin is overcrowded as well, so maybe that’s just how these things are.

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For the next hour, I simply followed the path and took photos. The first half is lights themed after the gardens: fish, plants, aquatic characters, ships, etc. The second half is actual Christmas displays. Most of my photos are from the latter. I used my 6D with the 24-70mm lens left at f2.8 most of the time. This worked well, although with no image stabilization, I seemed to need a shutter speed of at least 1/90 sec.

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There is a temporary ice skating rink which I would recommend skipping unless you are desperate. Food-wise, eat before or after. The food stands were basic junk food. There is a real (but small) buffet at the Visitor’s Center. This was my selection since it was easy.

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There was little traffic on the way out for people like me staying on the island. For the unlucky headed back to Houston, it was a much longer wait. I doubt I would go back again. Once was enough, unless the other nights are much less crowded.

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There are many more photos in the gallery. Of all the displays, my favorites were the lighted trees with lanterns.

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