Monday, November 4, 2013
One Thanksgiving was made unforgetable by a cruise we to the Mexican Riviera.
It was a wonderful week of sunshine, and gentle breezes. Of course there was an occasional rough sea.
The ship was full to capacity with families and couples celebrating the holiday week in an untraditional way. The evenings were full of activities for singles, couples and families.
We had a choice of a traditional sit down Thanksgiving dinner or a full buffet. We chose the buffet. However, seating arrangements were with other people: large families were with large families and small families were with small families. Singles and couples chose where they sat. We chose young families.
Not only did we experience foods we never would have thought of for Thanksgiving, deliciously prepared, we also had a wonderful time with young couples with the most adorable children! And couples from all over the US and the world. Lasting memories and friendships were forged that day.
Though over the years we have had many, many wonderful thanksgiving experiences, this was added to the top.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
One of our most memorable trips was a 10 day drive through New English during peak fall season in late October. The colors of autumn extended any palate of colors you could imagine. It was impossible to take a bad photograph no matter where you pointed your camera.
We happened to be in Salem, Mass. on Halloween weekend. Believe me it was not planned, it just happened. A lovely city with beautiful autumn colors, they take great pride in their sordid history of witches and warlocks.
A most fascinating part of the city is the House of Seven Gables. We took a tour of the house with a wonderful docent that took us on a journey of the house’s history.
Should you be in the New England area in October, be sure you stop in Salem and visit the house. You will be captivated.
Monday, September 9, 2013
I got the idea for South of the Pier after a visit to Guatemala. The history of this beautiful country of warm, loving people is riddled with illegal activities that preyed on their own indigenous people. What fueled the story was a chance encounter with an Interpol agent, and a charming man from Brussels who accompanied me on my trip home from an earlier trip to Russia.
Without these trips and the wonderful people I have met on my many travels, none of my stories could be told. Below is quote I hold dear and have thought about often.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
Friday, August 2, 2013
One of our many trips to Hawaii was several years ago in August one year. We spent 10 days on Maui and stayed at a small local hotel. The lobby was full of people all hours of the day and night from local writers to foreign visitors. We ate, played and shopped with the locals, even ended up at an urgent care center waiting room. I have to say we spent much of our free time just hanging around the lobby learning much of the Hawaiian culture and native language.
On a suggestion from a young local boy, we tried the beach at Big Beach, just south of Makena State Park. He warned us it would have big waves. That was an understatement! Since we are good swimmer we went anyway. My husband and I got caught in deep swells and undertows. We made it back but collapsed at the shore, exhausted. After catching our breath, we high fived each other, flat on our backs, “We did it.”
Here is a picture of us just after the wipe out.
Monday, July 1, 2013
On a trip to the east coast, I took a side trip to Philadelphia to view the old town. As usual, side trips are never long enough! But I stopped by Valley Forge, 25 miles northwest of Philly, to see the place depicted in my favorite painting, Prayer at Valley Forge by Arnold Fribere.
It’s a historical site, with beautifully grassy knolls dotted with cannons and plaques. But in December 1777 it was a military camp for the American Continental Army a poorly fed, ill-equipped army in the middle of a difficulty winter. Things looked bleak by all accounts of the war. Though no documents prove Washington got on his knees to pray, one can imagine him seeking guidance with a heavy heart.
At this time of celebration and picnics, we need to remember the struggle this young country went through so we can celebrate July 4th today.
Monday, June 3, 2013
On my trip to Russia in May/June, 2001, I was in St. Petersburg during what’s called the White Nights. Because of the high latitude of St. Petersburg, night never becomes completely dark. This time of year the sun begins to set about 11:30pm and breaks the horizon about 3:00am. Around 10:00pm the sky is painted with cool hues of pinks and blues.
My hotel overlooked the Neva River. The riverbanks, which add to the charm of the city, would be full of people spending quality family time walking, talking, and bonding late into the evening. That is, baby carriages, strollers, young couples, old couples arm in arm, enjoying the stroll. My walks along the river included marvelous picture taking opportunities.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
My first trip to San Francisco was when I was twelve, fresh from New York I marveled at the sights, tastes and smells of this amazing city. It was not a stretch to pick this romantic place to be our honeymoon destination. Since it was May 20, 1972, just about everywhere we went, spring flowers dotted the city and its buildings. Someone once told me that San Francisco is one of the top destinations for people visiting the US. It’s hard to imagine anyone not taking the city’s hills, vintage buildings, flowers and overall charm to heart.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
April 2006 I made an unexpected trip to Guatemala with my sister, and my husband. It was special because we went to bring my new niece home. My sister adopted the most beautiful girl in the World! She was 11 months when we were finally allowed to take her home.
Guatemala is a beautiful country, the food amazingly flavorful and the people very nice and accommodating. We were privileged to be in Guatemala City Easter Week during the Semana Santa Procession. It was amazing to experience the pageant, parade, carpets of color made with fruits and vegetables of many colors, and designs on the ground and hotel lobby floor in colored sand.
After five special days in the country we came home with a special bundle that has been the light of all our lives.