Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Retirement Sis: Congratuations!

Today is a very special day for my sis!  After 34 years of helping others to heal (she was a Registered Nurse for Kaiser Permanente), she is retiring!  I am so happy for her and I wanted to congratulate her in all that she has accomplished in her profession. 

I remember once when both my parents were so sick, we spent so many nights sleeping on chairs in their hospital rooms. The nurses were always so comforting to them and to us.  When my mom was sick, I remember this one young nurse, probably right out of nursing school. One night, as she checked in with my mom at the end of her shift, she had tears in her eyes. I never forgot her smile as she comforted my mom for what turned out to be the last time that she could.  My eyes well up to this day every time I remember that very touching moment.  

Nursing is a great profession and I know that my sis helped so many people in her career as I'm sure that young nurse went on to do over the years.  I am so proud of my sis and I am so happy for all of her accomplishments!

Congratulations sis on your awesome and long successful career in Nursing. Now go out and relax, go golfing and just have fun and enjoy your retirement years! And btw, I look forward to seeing you in Vegas soon! :)

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Saturday's PhotoHunting: Work Tools

While visiting Amsterdam I took a day tour to visit Zaanse Schans to see the windmills.  Included in the tour was this cool demonstration on how those famous wooden Dutch clogs are made.  Here is a photo of the work tools they use to make the shoes.

This cutie did a quick demonstration which was very interesting and fun to watch. :-)

And here are a few examples of the final product. 

Sadly, Gattina has announced that this will be the final week for her Saturday's PhotoHunting meme.  I want to take this time to express my gratitude to Gattina for hosting this wonderful meme and for allowing us to have a forum to share such beautiful photos and creative takes on her weekly themes.  

I have really enjoyed playing and have met so many wonderful bloggers near and far from my participation on Gattina's meme. I'm very sad to see it end, but I will definitely continue to visit Gattina's blog and my other fellow photohunters who I have met here.  

Many thanks to Gattina from Keyhole Pictures.   

Friday, October 17, 2014

Saturday's PhotoHunting: Fun Picture

California's amusement parks are well known for their fun roller coaster rides. Here is an example of one of those rides.  First, it pulls you up, then drops you on this nearly 90 degree angle. My niece and her husband went on this Knott's Berry Farm ride.  It is a fast, twisting and loopy ride and in their opinion, it was fun!   

Now, here is my sister and brother-and-law in their preferred choice of a fun thrill ride! 

Personally, I'm with them! :)

To see more PhotoHunters, you can visit Gattina's Keyhole Pictures website HERE!  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Saturday's PhotoHunting: Industry

Hollywood is considered to be the heart of the entertainment industry. 

But for those of us who remember and/or who have watched old movie premieres from those good old days of glitz and glamour, Hollywood has definitely changed over the years.  

But despite these changes, people from all over the world still flock to Hollywood's Walk of Fame to seek out their favorite stars and to experience maybe a little piece of Hollywood's past glory days.   

And like this visitor some of us can't help but place our hands in those of our favorite stars. I did exactly this the first time a visited Hollywood as a teenager many years ago. 

What can I say, there are some things that have changed and there are some things that will never change. And for those of us who love to dream and to be entertained, thank goodness for that. 

To see more PhotoHunters, you can visit Gattina's Keyhole Pictures website HERE!  

Friday, October 3, 2014

Saturday's PhotoHunting: Hot

At the Benihana restaurant in Las Vegas the chef creates an onion volcano eruption with some pretty hot flames  .  . .

Dinner was both delicious and entertaining! :)

To see more PhotoHunters, you can visit Gattina's Keyhole Pictures website HERE!  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Saturday's PhotoHunting: Fairs

When does something ordinary seem special?  
Answer:  When you're traveling!

I took these photos in Edinburgh during their winter celebration event. I've been to many fairs in my lifetime, but  somehow when traveling seeing the usual rides seem extra special. And what a bonus to have some amazing architecture in the background. :)  

To see more PhotoHunters, you can visit Gattina's Keyhole Pictures website HERE!  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Saturday's PhotoHunting: Contrasts

I took this photo at the Hermosa Beach Fiesta which is a huge arts & crafts fair. This particular vendor had this amazing selection of spices. The contrast in color, texture, smell and of course taste was wonderfully displayed and I could not resist stopping to take a photo.   

To see more PhotoHunters, you can visit Gattina's Keyhole Pictures website HERE!  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Trekcapri's 2014 Portugal Travel Adventures

After exploring South America (specifically, Argentina & Peru) for the past two years (which I loved), I'm heading back to Europe and I can't wait. I hope you like my traditional 2014 Portugal Travel Adventures trip announcement video. :)

Originally before setting my sights on South America, I had thought about going to somewhere new in Europe. I once read a fellow Slow Traveler (Deborah) describe her experiences in Lisbon, Portugal and I never forgot that sense of "gosh I want to go there too".  I knew then, that I wanted to see and experience Portugal too!

I've decided to stay in one base city (Lisbon) and then take day trips (maybe one possible overnight day trip to nearby towns). I've rented a nice 1 bedroom apartment (through located in the Chiado Neighborhood. My apartment is on the 3rd Floor. It has an elevator, washer/dryer, WiFi, air-conditioning, TV/DVD and a well equipped kitchen.  It is a corner apartment and on one side it faces a quiet side street. The location looks convenient with nearby cafes, restaurants and public transit.

Lisbon is the second oldest capitol city in Europe (next to Athens) and it is nestled along the Tagus River with the Atlantic Ocean only 3km away. The Cidade das Sete Colinas (City of the seven hills) exudes old world charm. There are lots to see here and to help whisk us around this compact city there are these clamoring trams much like the cable cars in San Francisco. But these tram rides are more than just a way of transportation, it is a unique Lisbon experience that should not be missed. I read that one particular line (Tram 28) is an ideal way to get an overall view of the city.

Lisbon has a wonderful cafe culture, with a maze of narrow and winding streets filled with hanging laundry, colorful homes and inviting locals. There are famous landmarks like the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, St. George Castle and the Torre de Belem, a UNESCO world heritage site.  There are old but charming neighborhoods like the Alfama District (the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon) and Barrio Alto where the food and music scene (like Fado) will keep me entertained as well as provide me with great photo opportunities.

Other notable off the beaten path attractions:
- National Coach Museum
- Tile Museum
- Lisbon Cathedral (Camino de Santiago Portugese Route Start)
- Santa Justa Lift 

There are a number of towns to visit from Lisbon for quick day trips:
- Sintra
- Cascias
- Estoril
- Cabo da Boca
- Obidos
- Evora
- Porto (Requires an Overnight Stay)

I may have to reduce the number of day trips if I run out of time but I think for now this seems to be quite manageable.  I can do Cascias and Cabo da Boca (maybe Estoril) together on one trip, but Sintra, Obidos, Evora and Porto will require a dedicated day and maybe an overnight stay (Evora and/or Porto). I have created a Google Map for my trip to keep track of my itinerary thoughts and ideas.

I like the idea of staying in one place for 3 weeks and Lisbon is the perfect place to do it. Last year I spent 12 days based in a small town (Ollantaytambo) in Peru and Lisbon will be a complete change from that experience. While I enjoyed my time in Peru, travel for me is all about the adventure.  And the more varied, unpredictable and new these adventures are, the more excited I get.

I just started my research a couple of weeks ago so I feel a bit rushed even though I don't leave until November. I have downloaded a couple of e-books and will research any good apps to help me prepare.  A nice Portuguese Language book/app will be a must purchase. :) I've also posted on my favorite Travel Forum, Slow Europe. I feel pretty good about my choices so far, but it would be nice to hear what other Slow Travelers think.

I've created a Pinterest Board for my trip where I have started to pin interesting articles, blog posts, websites and youtube videos. I got the idea from a fellow Slow Traveler who created a board for her London trip.  I've had Pinterest for a while now, but this is the first time I'm using it for planning a trip. While browsing the Internet if I find something interesting that I might want to see and/or do on my trip I can Pin it directly to my trip planning board. You just simply hover over the item you want to Pin and click on the red Pin It icon, select the board you want to pin it to and voila.

It's very cool, easy and so helpful.  If you have not discovered Pinterest Boards for trip planning yet, I would highly recommend it. Here's a screen shot of my Portugal Trip Planning Board.

The apartment I have rented does have Wi-Fi, so I hope to blog & tweet about my experiences as much as possible.  I'm looking forward to my return to Europe and to this new and soon to be explored country.

Thanks so much for reading. And the Dream lives on .  .  .

Friday, September 12, 2014

Saturday's PhotoHunting: Jug

Honestly, I wasn't sure I'd have a photo this week, but thankfully I found one in my photo library that I could use.   

While briefly visiting Munich, Germany in 2006 I found these friendly and very colorful lions dressed up around the city which were really cute.  And who would've thought that one of them would be holding up a "jug" that would be perfect for this week's PH theme. Whew! :)

To see more PhotoHunters, you can visit Gattina's Keyhole Pictures website HERE!  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Saturday's PhotoHunting: Landscape

One of my favorite things to photograph are landscapes and here are a few of my favorites.  

Cuzco, Peru

Along the Road to the Isles in Scotland (this is just past Glenfinnan heading toward Arisaig).

And I think glaciers make wonderful landscapes too. Here's a photo of the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina. 

To see more PhotoHunters, you can visit Gattina's Keyhole Pictures website HERE!