Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Serendipitous San Diego

San Diego has to be one of my favorites! I enjoyed the beauty, people, history, ocean, weather and ease of getting around.p10002831 Mary ended up with a ticket that she wasn’t going to use because she had no one to go with so I hastily volunteered. Balboa Park was beautiful with exquisite landscaping and well maintained buildings dating back to 1915. We rode an open air trolley around the park. The Timkem Museum was an interesting collection of art donated from the Putnam sisters. We could have spent an entire day in the park, but opted to venture on across the “blue bridge” to Coronado Island. There we walked the shore watching the sail boats, ferry, people and pelicans fishing. We ate at a BBQ restaurant in the shopping village. Yummy! My favorite shop was the art studio and my favorite artist was Grant Pecoff for his whimsical and colorful scenes. Next we head off to find Hotel Del Coronado.Hotel Del Coronado It is as grand as ever. Did you know, ” Some Like It Hot” with Marilyn Monroe was filmed there? The hotel was built in 1888. We rode the steel cage elevator. The lobby was magnificent with it’s pure elegance. In the garden was a tour of Dr Seuss statues. People of all ages and nationalities were enjoying them. The Gaslight Quarter was a must see we didn’t need to see. I guess it is for a younger crowd then we are. It was a huge restored section of San Diego alive with the bar scene. We had a hot dog. We would have enjoyed it more in the daylight. The old buildings were beautiful. Of course the streets were lined with fancy street lights with big white bulbs. We met Mary’s son in law, Patrick who is visiting the city for a doctors convention. We strolled the Seaport Village. Seaport VillageWe ate lunch at a restaurant that was extended over the water on pilings. We had the skyline of San Diego on one side and the harbor on the other. The sidewalk was lined with shops and people enjoying the park. There is a fun, gigantic sailor statue on the shoreline. We walked around the USS Midway. The USS Midway was the longest serving aircraft carrier that operated from 1945 to 1991. It looked longer than a city block. Carlsbad has “to die for” strawberries! We ate breakfast at an Armenian Restaurant on the Pacific Coast Highway in Carlsbad. We wanted to find the 50 acres of flower fields which we did, but we were a few weeks late. We shopped in the flower shop there and bought some strawberries. They were a real treat!Strawberries On to the Sicilian Fest 2009. It was in Little Italy, San Diego. Very fun. It was several blocks long, blocked off with four stages and vendors lining the street. We enjoyed the various entertainers, flowers, happy people and the music that filled the air. Then we walked a few blocks past the fest into Little Italy and had pasta dinner in an Italian restaurant. We found an art show that was the shop of Grant Pecoff, whose work we had admired in the shop at Coronado Island.Sicilian Fest We wanted to at least see the beach near where we were staying in Del Mar. It was very beautiful. There were surfers, dog walkers, joggers and the thing I enjoyed the most, purple flowers everywhere and of course, the azure surf. While I was waiting for Mary to arrive in San Diego I walked a few blocks of Broadway on the brick sidewalk imagining what it would have been like in 1888 when my Grandma Edyth was born there. I explored the Horton Plaza that is built in the same place Horton began his dreams of a city of splendor and read other history accounts of the area. I also enjoyed the transit system with buses and trolleys. To see more photos go to my Photo album.


A Perfect Day

Waking in a bungalow 8 feet off the ground excited to explore Vang Vieng, Laos with Michael is the beginning of a perfect day. Farm animals were on the property behind us. bungalow12We heard pigs, birds, roosters and a myriad of other animal sounds. Our bungalow was situated on the bank of a beautiful river, Nam Xong. Vang Vieng is only a few blocks in each direction so we walked, passing happy children, chickens, very simple houses and experiencing a new culture. We floated down the river on intertubes. We asked the tuk tuk driver to take us further up the river and were thankful later he hadn’t. la-river-at-vang-vieng2The river was slow moving, clear so you could see the bottom and gorgeous. The float took about 4 hours. We saw women and a few men harvesting algae from the river, putting it in a basket on their back. I harvested some and one of the men smiled. I used a long bamboo pole to harvest with, which I was also using to push me along. We stopped to explore a cave. From the river bank we walked through a field, wondering if we were on a “wild goose chase”, then climbed the steep craggy lime mountain. cave2When we finally reached the opening we looked in and I thought, “OK we see it let’s go.” It looked like a very huge opening in the mountain. Michael wanted me to climb down in. I did so grumbling. The surprise was that when we got down into the cave we could see much more cave in front of us. It also was a nice break from the heat being that it was cool. We walked and walked. It was if the whole mountain was hollow. The cave was flat bottomed, about 50 feet wide and 30 feet high. Many times it is good to listen to your kids. Along the river were a few entrepreneurs with cold drinks and a rope you could swing over the river and jump in. The vistas were breathtaking with tall limestone mountains and green fields. By the end of the float I had thoroughly enjoyed the river and warm sun, but my arms were tired from treading water. I remember seeing massage establishments near the take out and think it would be a great idea to have one. After having a refreshment Michael and I talked to the lady about getting a massage. I was first and Michael would come back in an hour for his…well at the beginning of my massage in broken, very broken English I heard, “you like 2 hours, it would be very nice?” Well, I thought Michael won’t be back for an hour, then he will be another hour and it was only $4. an hour so why not. I want to go back for some more. Lao masseuse have a unique, indescribable technique! field2We rented a motorcycle to explore and turned down a small dirt lane, all “roads” are dirt, to see people tending to their daily living, with cows, chickens and kids on the lane. They stared at us because we are such an oddity, but with smiles and greeting of SABADEE. (Good Day) I loved those happy, simple, beautiful people and there simple life and gorgeous country. We ate dinner in an open air stall. The young girl waiting on us showed interest in new words, so Michael taught her how to greet someone and ask their name. She was precious and thankful. He checked with her the next day to see if she remembered. sunset3Michael is a great travel companion. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to travel and experience with him.