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Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

This week, I’m taking a quick break from blogging. I hope you all have a delightful Independence Day and a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has or still serves in our armed forces.

I’ll be back next Monday with my usual wit or whine session. Until then:

happy 4th July

Word of the day: Thalassic

Fun fact about me: I need to schedule more fun days off.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, June 2017. Image courtesy Google Images.

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Being an innkeeper has opened my eyes to a lot of things that I never really noticed before. For instance, quite a few people travel in groups, be they family situations or just long-time friends who like to vacation together. I think that’s neat. I don’t remember my family ever traveling with any other family or friends, other than mom, dad, me and my older brother. I guess on occasion we’d include an aunt or uncle and cousins, but usually it was just the four of us.

family trip

But, it’s fairly often that we get couples traveling together through Vicksburg.

(more…)

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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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So my goal was to post a new blog on the first of every month. I missed the April deadline. I’m blaming it on April Fools, but the only fool is me. Where did March go? Just yesterday it was my birthday and now it’s April 2nd. What happened to those 7 days in between?

Of course it would help if Mother Nature cooperated, but she is a fickle female if ever there was on. Yesterday, April 1, it snowed. With all the rain and snow so late in the season, it’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that’s it’s spring. But – now that I’ve come to terms with the reality of the season, I really want it to be spring-like outside. Now that I’m fully aware that it’s April, I’ve suddenly developed cabin fever and I want out of here! I need to ditch these winter duldrums and welcome warmer weather with open arms.

So, in my mind I’ve officially accepted spring. It’s time to work on the tan, dig out the tank tops and shorts, dust off the flip flops and whip up an icy margarita! In fact, I’ve gone from cabin fever to spring fever in a mere 24 hours. I need to get out of here, see the world, soak up some sun!

But, I can’t go AWOL just yet. Vacation’s not for another couple of months. Dang it!

In the meantime I’m vacationing in my mind. Today I took a little cyber stroll down memory lane and compiled a photo album of fun vacation’s past to share with you. I hope you’ll enjoy the next couple of minutes mentally vacationing with me. I will be your narrator and tour guide as we go along.

Enjoy!

This was an awesome find on my trip to Walt Disney World in 2009!

The Writer's Stop at Disney's Hollywood Studios!

This little hidey hole was a great find because later that same day we rode out a thunder storm in this shop while sipping hot chocolate and thumbing through a wide variety of books!

Here is my hubby having a little pre-show fun with his 3-D glasses at Mickey’s Philharmonic in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World.

Here I am developing my musical talent at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at the Wilderness Lodge campgrounds at Walt Disney Word. My skills improved considerably as I consumed more wine.

And no trip to Disney World would be complete without some pictures of Cinderella’s beautiful color-changing castle and fireworks!

In 2010 my husband and I took a mini vacation to Disneyland (we’re Disney geeks in case you didn’t notice by now) where we saw the most recent entertainment addition to Disney’s California Adventure Park, The World of Color light, laser and water extravaganza! I got this awesome photo just as the show was ending.

And who can resist a spin in a pink teacup?

In 2011 my husband and dad and I took a day trip to Yosemite and got some beautiful shots of the valley floor, Half Dome and numerous water falls.

Here are some pictures of sunny places from our Caribbean cruise starting with an awesome shot of Miami Beach, followed by three shots of St. John and then sunset over the bay at St. Thomas.

This is me wondering why in the heck I didn’t wear my bathing suit! Most likely it was my husband’s fault. Yeah, that’s it.

And a fun get-away to Mexico in December of 2008 with my husband and our nieces and nephew.  The first photo is a nice lunch buffet on the beach in Matazlan. I’m the one with the cool shades. Next to me is my niece Jennifer. Across from Jennifer is her twin Zach and behind Zach is their big sister, Stephanie. Good times! Good food! Pay no attention to the date in these photos. I forgot to remove the date stamper thingey mabob from the camera settings. (I’m a dork that way.)

Next stop is Cabo San Lucas for a little lunch, tequila tasting and bug munching for dessert. That’s right, I said bugs. I ate a bug. On purpose. Again with my really cool shades, I explain the correct way to enjoy tequila – shake, shoot, squeeze, repeat. My nephew is just under the legal drinking age in Mexico, but he played it cool and sat at the big kids’ table with me and his older sister. It’s obvious from the looks on their faces that they do not play drinking games on a regular basis. (That’s a good thing!) Me on the other hand . . . .

After sampling the different tequilas, we are ready for our dessert. I had an unusual reaction after crunching up my locust (or maybe it was a cricket). It wasn’t bad.  Zach seemed to enjoy his; Stephanie, not so much. A little tequila and insects never hurt anyone.

Lesson to nieces and nephew – what happens in Mexico does not necessarily stay in Mexico. (First I corrupt them, then I exploit them. What are aunts for?)

So now, does seeing this make you want to go on vacation as much as I do? Where’s your favorite vacation spot? I’d love to hear about a fun trip you took.

Word of the day: Evaginate

Fun fact about me: I love to color in coloring books!

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