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Archive for the ‘Carnival cruise’ Category

So by now you’re all sick of me talking about Texas so we’re going to give that little outing a rest. It’s time to start focusing on my upcoming cruise. That’s right, in September I’ll be sailing on the deep blue sea, headed north to Alaska.

Carnival Liberty docked at Cozemel, Mexico. Original photo by P. Rickrode

Carnival Liberty docked at Cozemel, Mexico.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

I don’t know about you, but I love cruising. Only on a cruise can you be in a different port every morning, miles away from where you were yesterday and not have to pack your things and move to a new hotel. On a cruise, your hotel goes with you. Stellar!

Now, I’ve been on several cruises, to several glorious destinations: Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, but this will be my first journey to Alaska. And the bonus? I can check another thing off my bucket list. You see, it’s a goal of mine to visit every state in our great nation before I meet my maker. So far, with the exception of Alaska, I’ve been in every state west of the Mississippi River and all but the far north eastern corner on the east side. I’ve been as far up as Virginia but that’s it. Some day I’ll visit that last corner of the US.

But, I digress. I’m gearing up for my journey north and in so doing, I’ve been doing some on line research. I don’t want to miss any of the important stuff when I’m in port. Whilst surfing the web, I came across this silly video about cruising that made me giggle. I wanted to share it with you. It’s short and hopefully will bring a smile.

And so I leave you with this question: Have you ever danced behind someone without their knowledge? Would you ever? I think I just might have to give this a go when I get on the ship in a few weeks. Stay tuned for my report (and with any luck a video).

Word of the Day: Zaffer (zaffre)

Fun fact about me: I have owned 9 cars in my life; all but the very first one were brand new when I bought them.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2014. Original photos by P. Rickrode. Video courtesy You Tube.

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So it seems as though the end of the world year is upon us. There being only a very short amount of time left upon this earth calendar year, I feel as though I should openly express my gratitude for the wonderful things I have enjoyed since January 1st of this year.

But, before I get started, I must congratulate Pat O’Dea. She is the lucky winner of my sweet surprise from last month’s blog! Congratulations, Pat!

Now, let the gratitude begin:

First, I am grateful for my family and friends who have circled the wagons when I needed protection, smiled when I needed encouragement, scolded when I’d strayed off course, and just plain been available when necessary.

Second, I’d like to thank my cyber friends, new and not-so-new. I’ve managed to get through an entire year of blogging, albeit only once a month, but, since that was my goal, I can proudly say that I accomplished it. Next year, should there be one, my goal is to increase my blogging presence with twice-montly posts! I know you’re all dancing with glee!

2012 was a year of great expeditions, great acquisitions and great accomplishments! In March I was able to visit with treasured friends at our annual Nascar weekend in Vegas.

Nascar & Yosemite 038

In June my wonderful husband and I were able to enjoy seven amazing days in the Western Caribbean!

Western Caribbean cruise 2012 091

We climbed ancient Mayan ruins, went cave-tubing in Belize, boarded a pirate ship and swam in the warm clear waters of Grand Cayman and zipped through the jungle in Roartan on 4-wheel quads!

Western Caribbean cruise 2012 163

In July we moved into our new home, in September I traded in my old Subaru with 214,000+ miles on it for a brand new 2012 Nissan AWD Rogue and in October we visited one of our favorite places, Disney World!

WDW 2012 036

While there, I thoroughly enjoyed my very first trick-or-treating experience! Having been denied such “normal” childhood activities, I was overjoyed when I learned that Disney encouraged kids of ALL ages to trick-or-treat. Here’s my husband and I getting ready to embark on our redneck tourist trick-or-treating journey:

WDW 2012 071

WDW 2012 072

Aren’t we OMG hideous! We looked ridiculous, but we had a lot of fun.

All in all it’s been a pretty awesome year. When it’s all said and done, I have no regrets, lasting memories, more friends than I started the year with, and positive goals for the new life year ahead.

Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for your support throughout this year. I hope to see you all again in the upcoming months should we all survive the prophesied apocolypse! Have happy and safe holidays and feel free to share your accomplishments and gratitude in the comments below! I’d love to celebrate with you!

Word of the day:  Moppet

Fun fact about me: I totaled my very first brand new car before I even got my license plates! (That’s not really such a FUN fact is it?)

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It’s May first and spring is in full bloom in my neck of the woods! There was much complaining from the natives about all of the rain in March and April. But, let me say, there are no complaints now! May is shaping up to be one of the most beautiful months ever. So, in honor of Earth Day, I’m blogging this month about all of the beautiful things surrounding us in nature. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look around you. You might be surprised.

Everywhere I’ve gone these past couple of weeks there are wild flowers and luscious green grass and shiny new leaves on the trees. I notice these gifts. I notice because – like sparkly things – I love flowers. I love to look at them, smell them, touch them and . . .  apparently, from pursuing my travel photos for last month’s blog, photographing them. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve taken pictures of flowers.

I didn’t really notice that I do this until last month when I was drafting my April blog. But it makes sense because I am always drawn to a vibrant display of color. And a perfect bud or bloom has on occasion actually taken my breath away.

Susie Lindau (http://susielindau.com/2012/04/25/a-heatwave-cometh-early-a-photo-essay/) and Serena Dracis (http://serenadracis.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/welcome-to-wild-wednesday/) both recently posted pictures on their blogs of their back yards and gardening attempts, among other things. Karen McFarland has also posted awesome flower pictures on her blog recently. (http://www.karenmcfarland.com/perform-in-a-springtime-melody) All three of these blogs have amped up my spring fever. If you want some instant spring time, I highly recommend checking out these fabulous blogs.

Those were memorable blogs for me because I’m a flower-holic. I love them, plain and simple. I can’t resist snapping a photo every time I am awestruck by a beautiful bloom.

You’ll have to bear with me again this month as we take a little walk down memory lane and enjoy some of my flower-taking exerpiences.

Rain forest - Hilo, Hawaii

And it’s not just flowers that call me like a siren from the sea. Oh no, it’s unique plants and trees as well. A serene meadow or fern-blanketed forest have also been worthy of my photo snapping skills. I especially like finding a growing green plant in an most unexpected place.

Like this hearty little plant pushing up through a bed of hardened lava.

Lava beds - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Or these interesting specimens.

Annaberg Sugar Mill - Virgin Islands National Park - St. John, US Virgin Islands

Interesting beauty in the desert - Cabo San Lucas

Or this Banyan Tree. If you don’t know about Banyan Trees, I suggest you do some research, they’re fascinating things. They remind of of things you’d read about in Gene Lempp’s blogs. (www.genelempp.wordpress.com)

Banyon Tree - Oahu Hawaii

And here’s a very unique and beautiful tree.

Paradise Point - St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

But mostly, it’s the flowers that captivate me. Here are some of my flower photos with a brief description of where I took them. Enjoy!

The Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Cinnamon Bay - St. John, US Virgin Islands

Annaberg Sugar Mill - St. John, US Virgin Islands

Playa Mazatlan - Mazatlan, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

St. Thomas - US Virgin Islands

Lahaina, Maui

Maui, Hawaii

Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii

Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii

And what blog post about my travels would be complete without some photos of my favorite places – Disneyland and Disney World!

Epcot - Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World

I don’t have to be stationary to photograph these colorful living organisms either. Nope, I can shoot right through the glass window of my transport vehicle. Like these three I couldn’t resist while on my bus ride through Honolulu.

The hillsides along the freeways were bursting with color. I know now what Rachel Funk Heller experiences every day where she lives in paradise! You’re a lucky girl, Rachel! I hope you appreciate this living landscape beauty.

Here’s one I took from a moving boat.

St. John - US Virgin Islands

I captured some shoreline treasures . . .

Asilomar - Pacific Grove, California

And these mountain beauties.

Yosemite - May 2011

And as much as I love finding the natural beauty in plants and flowers, don’t even get me started on the the man-made topiaries. I can photograph these things all day. And apparently I have, judging by my vacation albums. Who came up this this idea anyway? It’s genius!

Sorcerer Mickey - Back Stage Tour - Walt Disney World 2009

It's A Small World - Disneyland

It's A Small World - Disneyland

 And I don’t just capture these amazing gems during the day time. No sirree, I photograph at night too.

It's A Small World - Disneyland - Christmas 2010

 Here’s a unique palm tree that captured my attention in Honolulu, whist on my ghost hunting expedition one night last year. That’s right, I went in search of ghosts.

Date palms - Honolulu, Hawaii

I not only shoot day or night, I shoot outside or in. Makes no difference to me and my snap happy finger.

St. Andrew's Cathedral

And a little rain won’t impede my desire to capture that perfect work of beauty.

My affinity for photographing flowers evidently also extends beyond the realm of the living. Here are some floral arrangements that, while natural, would not appear in this form in the wild.

Grand food creations buffet - Carnival Victory - 2006

Grand food creations buffet - Carnival Victory - 2006

Not only are flowers lovely to look at and delightful to smell, flowers can be functional as well. For instance did you know that rose bushes are often planted on the perimeters of vineyards?

They not only attract bees and other pollinators, but they help predict sudden changes in the weather. Roses are very susceptible to mold and are hyper-sensitive to temperature changes. Vintners can watch their roses to know whether or not they need to take action to protect their grape crop. You see, it’s an educational blog too.

So there you have it. My crazy flower obsession.

What’s your passion, or perhaps what thing do you find yourself photographing over and over again, besides your kids and pets?

Word of the day: Fuliginous

Fun fact about me: I once used cocoa powder as stage make-up.

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