The little things…


We are very quickly approaching the end of the year. OMG, Where does time go?

I have been busy learning new things, expanding my skills set, even learning how to become more technically oriented (loving it) my “smartphone” has made me more efficient than I ever suspected I could ever be. Still, I still prefer the old-fashioned desktop computer when it comes to writing, studying or researching for long periods of time.

I recently became a licensed Life & Health and Annuities agent, and have spent many hours online preparing for this new “venture/career”, the process has been interesting and enjoyable, for the most part (time-consuming) and I am now in the process of writing a business blog; that is a story for another day but one of reasons I have not been posting here more frequently. LOL

In addition, I have been spending quality time with my family, especially the little granddaughters, and those times have been precious! Here are some of those moments and some of the places from the last two months, we have been all over just having fun together!

These were all snapped while we visited Savannah, GA and Hilton Head, SC

Beautiful cities, my first time there but not the last!

Hilton Head 092 Hilton Head 097 Hilton Head 120 Hilton Head 124 Hilton Head 127 Hilton Head 146 Hilton Head 156 Hilton Head 161

Hola Abuela!
Hola Abuela!

Happy New Year!


Christmas time in New Orleans
Christmas time in New Orleans

I missed the Christmas greetings last week but I have a great excuse, I was traveling around celebrating the holidays with family; especially the little ones, yes all three granddaughters together in one place, Orlando. Grandma’s heaven for sure!

Making a list and checking it twice with NOLA’s Santa! Lauryn and dad (Michael)

I will come back next week to update you on all the excitement of the season and the New Orleans trip. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos I took during my travels.

Image
The Creole Queen Paddle wheeler sailing around the Mississippi River

Happy New Year, stay safe and enjoy the festivities, I’ll be doing the same!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects


A view of London from the Thames

This is one of my favorite pictures, taken a few years ago during a trip to London; I took this picture during a cruise through the River Thames on one of those days when the London weather decided to cooperate. That day we discovered that one of the best ways to see London’s famous landmarks, is from the river. As we went past London County Hall, I was duly impressed with the architecture of its building and had to snap this picture. You can see a corner of the London Eye peeking through on the left side as well a ship passing by. This week’s photo challenge: Two subjects.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Distorted


Louvre Museum, Paris-from the inside looking out...

Taken a few years ago, during my first (and hopefully, not last) trip to Paris this picture is one of my favorites, and was the first thing I thought of to fit the “distorted” theme of this week’s photo challenge. Taken from inside the museum, it shows a beautifully “distorted” view.

Louvre at night

The pyramid, at the entrance of The Louvre Museum, was designed by I.M. Pei, and completed in 1989. It is a magnificent structure that takes your breath away when viewed from any angle, especially at night in its lighted splendor, spectacular!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge


A few years ago, fresh on the heels of Dan Brown‘s published novel The Da Vinci Code, I embarked on a three-week Global Perspective course in London, sponsored by the college I was attending at the time. I saw enrollment as a unique opportunity to study abroad while enjoying a bit of adventure and relaxation.

Sign post in London points to the Temple church

A few of my classmates (whom I met a week before the trip) had been reading The Da Vinci Code as well, so we decided to set out on a “decoding mission” while in London. Of course, we would do this on our own time. Needless to say,

Entrance to the Temple Church

it was a fun-filled adventure; of course it was a work of fiction–but what was the harm? Because many of the sites included in our course outline already included some of the places we planned to visit–The Temple Church for instance, the visit here became one of discovery. Would we be able to follow the clues to uncover the Holy Grail? I think not, but we had a lot of fun trying to. LOL

Yes, this venture was sheer indulgence, one with long-lasting cherished memories!

Knight Templars' effigies

From here to there…a change of plans


View from Gilchrist Park, Punta Gorda

Travel:

Verb, -eled, -el·ing or (especially British) -elled, -el·ling

Noun, adjective verb (used without object)

  1. To go from one place to another, as by car, train, plane, or ship; take a trip, journey–to travel for pleasure.
  2. To move or go from one place or point to another
  3. To proceed or advance in any way
  4. To go from place to place as a representative of a business firm
  5. To associate or consort: He travels in a wealthy crowd

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about traveling. Not sure why, but suspect it has something to do with the impending holiday season. I cannot believe it; we are five weeks away from Christmas. The days are barreling through, toward the end of the year, at the speed of lightning, scary.

Anyway, I have been talking about traveling in “my mind” and that has set my brain in motion—I am now looking at every place I go to as a “travel” destination; convenient, actually. There is a good chance you will be reading more of these stories, as the year-ends; because I will be moving from one point to another very often.

Let the work begin!

Yesterday morning I got up early, thought I would head out of the house–with the intent of going to the park or the beach; take some pictures of birds, the water, boats—or whatever got my eye’s attention; then come back home to write a blog post or two. Well, that was the plan. Before I could get going, I heard some noise outside the door, peeked through the window to see what the racket was and suddenly—there it was, a change of plans. The County, in its infinite wisdom had decided to replace the aluminum culvert pipes around our neighborhood, with concrete ones, and today was our turn. That is fine, but could they have let me know ahead of time?

We need to move...

Not being one to miss an opportunity, I quickly got my Canon out; took some pictures, and went out to talk to the work crew, let them know I might be talking about them in my blog. The men were a good-natured bunch—all they said was “as long as what I had to say about them was good, it would be okay with them”. My response—“it would be all good—as long as I could get out of my driveway”. No problem there, they graciously moved all the heavy trucks and equipment, and I was on my way—to the spot I originally had in mind.

It is beautiful out here,,, the birds agree!

It was a beautiful day, at Gilchrist Park, sunny and bright. There were people out having lunch and reading books under the pavilion. Others were just sitting around enjoying the weather. I got into easy conversation with a woman who reminded me that there will be music on the park Thursday night. I made a mental note of that and went back home.

In addition, I now have added respect for the job those men do every day. It was nearly 90 degrees outside, while they plugged away at their duties. Tough job, but somebody has to do it, right? Glad it is not me.

Life is good!

On any given day, life throws surprises your way, especially in our neighborhood. One day you step outside to find turtles sunning in your backyard, and yet another day you see a bobcat chasing some other animal. Nevertheless, you take it all in stride; life is what you make it, so you learn to enjoy it!

Traveling to far away places…


Article first published as Traveling to Far Away Places… on Technorati
Last week I had the distinct pleasure of traveling fifty thousand miles around the world; to places such as Namibia-Africa, Madrid-Spain, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, The Alps in Switzerland, and finally–the island of Barbados. As you can imagine, I am still jet lagged—but so happy to have taken this trip. Were you following along this adventure? I was traveling in my mind, again. This time tagging along with NBC’s Matt Lauer of the Today Show, as my guide.

 Me, being one of those people with a champagne taste and a decidedly beer budget, take my pleasures whenever I can get them. Traveling to far away places is something I dream of; a big part of my bucket list. So when NBC announced the popular “Where in the World is Matt Lauer” series was back this year, I waited with giddy anticipation to see just “Where in the World” Matt would show up. I was not disappointed, this year’s offerings were spectacular, fun-filled and very much a lesson in history and geography. The countries visited were breathtaking. The culture angles (my favorite) taught us all about the people, languages and dialects spoken, the music, customs and traditions, traditional dress and of course–the food, there must always be food.

I’ve followed this series over the years and always take something away from it; each place visited offers an opportunity to see how the rest of the world lives. Fascinating. For example the Swiss Alps, looked beautiful and inviting, but all I could think of was “it must be cold out there”. I lived through twenty years of winter weather in New York City, and even though I love this city, winter is not the time I would chose to visit.

I come from a warm, tropical weather country, Panama, but still prefer temperatures that fluctuate somewhere between 50 and 85 degrees. Not always attainable, but preferred nonetheless. Case in point? We currently live in SW Florida, enough said.

 With that in mind, my two favorite of the featured countries this year were Madrid and Barbados; with Kuala Lumpur following right behind; they have all now been added to my bucket list. I constantly barrage the hubby with travel ideas “torture” as he calls it, but my travel dreams include visits to Greece and Rome too. A few years ago I managed to land a 3-week trip that took me to London and Paris; it was part of a global perspective class I took at Eckerd College, where I completed an undergraduate degree. It was a glorious experience, one I will never forget, and the best part of it? It was a “real” credit class with lots of writing required to document the experience.

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris

 We spent two weeks in London, where we visited the essential sights: Westminster Abbey, the Globe Theater, Buckingham Palace, the National Portrait Museum, and many more. In Paris, where we only stayed five days, the most memorable sites include The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Musee’ D’ Orsay and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Of course; in both places we experienced fabulous and delicious cuisine as well as enjoyed daily tours that informed the mind. Charles Dickens‘ home comes to mind.

This trip took place five years ago but I will forever relish the memories. The mind is a powerful tool, it serves to keep snapshots of points and places in time. Taking lots of photos, helps too.

 If you missed “Where in the World is Matt Lauer” last week, here is a link: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/45285715#45254966

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