Our Mediterranean Trip Page

08_19 stefano beach ruth DSC04940
Bucket List Goal: Ruth wanted to dip her toes in the Mediterranean!

Ruth and I made a fantastic trip to the Mediterranean in August. We went to some amazing places, met some great people, made some good friends, ate some excellent food, and drank (a lot of) really good wine.

Go to our Trip Story Page to see the trip, the story, and the images. The page is a section of my Galleries, so the image copies are much better quality then I can post on this website. 

Update: The trip is complete; our last port of call, Porto Santo Stefano is posted! Ruth has a pile o' people pictures I'll be posting soon.

 

Click here for the Mediterranean Trip

Page Edit Dates:

09/11/19- Arrival and Day One: Nice, France
09/15/19: Day Two: Nice France
09/22/19: Day Three: Antibes, France
09/30/19: Day Four: Toulon, France
10/06/19: Day Five: Minorca, Spain
10/13/19: Day Six: Corsica, France
10/20/19: Day Seven: Portofino, Italy
10/26/19: Interlude: Honig Dinner
11/04/19: Day Eight: Last port of call, Porto Santa Stefano


Hither & Yon: Places South of Us

The Florida Keys

04_19 key west at beach DSC03172_3_4_Enhanced 2
04_19 key west at beach DSC03172_3_4_Enhanced 2
04_19 key west at beach DSC03172_3_4_Enhanced 2
04_19 key west at beach DSC03172_3_4_Enhanced 2
04_19 key west at beach DSC03172_3_4_Enhanced 2
04_19 key west at beach DSC03172_3_4_Enhanced 2
04_19 key west at beach DSC03172_3_4_Enhanced 2
04_19 key west at beach DSC03172_3_4_Enhanced 2
04_19 key west at beach DSC03172_3_4_Enhanced 2

Orlando

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Gaylord et al at night

 

05_19 gaylord DSC03479
Yellow Love

The Caribbean... the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Grand Turks, and at sea

05_19 cruise bahama lighthouse DSC03516
05_19 cruise bahama lighthouse DSC03516
05_19 cruise bahama lighthouse DSC03516
05_19 cruise bahama lighthouse DSC03516

05_19 cruise bahama lighthouse DSC03516
Sea Flight 1

 

05_19 cruise bahama lighthouse DSC03516
Sea Flight 2


05_19 cruise nassau bahamas sign DSC03564
05_19 cruise nassau bahamas sign DSC03564
05_19 cruise nassau bahamas sign DSC03564
05_19 cruise nassau bahamas sign DSC03564
05_19 cruise nassau bahamas sign DSC03564

05_19 cruise nassau bahamas sign DSC03564
A Pair of Island Lifeguards
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Beached 1 (in front of a major resort)

 

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Beached 2- no more tours


05_19 cruise beached 2 DSC03757

05_19 cruise beached 2 DSC03757
Front Yard


05_19 cruise beached 2 DSC03757
05_19 cruise beached 2 DSC03757
05_19 cruise her majestys prison DSC03715

05_19 cruise her majestys prison DSC03715
Historic library after a hurricane


05_19 cruise her majestys prison DSC03715
05_19 cruise her majestys prison DSC03715
05_19 cruise her majestys prison DSC03715
05_19 cruise ship horizon DSC03775_6_7_Enhanced 2
05_19 blue rain DXO_0538 -1

05_19 blue rain DXO_0538 -1
On the elevator

 

05_19 blue rain DXO_0538 -1
Harbor escorts- note the machine guns at the bows


April- May, 2019


Out of Business- a continuing series

1 04_19 Big Pine Key DSC03346
1 04_19 Big Pine Key DSC03346
1 04_19 Big Pine Key DSC03346
1 04_19 Big Pine Key DSC03346
1 04_19 Big Pine Key DSC03346
1 04_19 Big Pine Key DSC03346
7 04_19 big pine key DSC03313_4_5_Deep
7 04_19 big pine key DSC03313_4_5_Deep
7 04_19 big pine key DSC03313_4_5_Deep

 

A bit of explanation:

The images above are from the FL DOC Road Prison on Big Pine Key. There used to be approximately 60 inmates housed who did basic road maintenance all up and down the Key's roads. The state decided several years ago that infrastructure repairs were too much to spend and closed the prison, contracting the roadwork out instead. The prison sits empty now.

 
The following are from the Big Blue Hole on Big Pine Key.
This now scenic stop is actually an abandoned rock quarry that was used for local roads and dug in the 30s and 40s.

If you search back through my posts, you can find images of the
One-eyed Alligator that lives in the Big Hole.

7 04_19 big pine key DSC03313_4_5_Deep
7 04_19 big pine key DSC03313_4_5_Deep
7 04_19 big pine key DSC03313_4_5_Deep
Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys
April 3, 2019


Birds at home

The pond in front out our home is visited by beautiful and graceful birds. They walk elegantly on long legs, brilliant white feathers glowing in the sun, occasionally dipping long beaks into the water for a snack. When done they spread beautiful wings and soar off to another spot.  

 

And then there is this guy...

12_18 ugly bird DSC02916 -1


December, 2018


Out of Business- Santa Maria Restaurant

The Santa Maria Restaurant opened in the '40's on St. Augustine's waterfront, next to the popular downtown. In 2015 it was sold and closed down. An ongoing battle between the new owners and the city left the once popular landmark desolate and abandoned. The hurricanes and storms have not been kind, causing more damage with each passing year. The big sign on the roof is gone and the walkway to the building is collapsing.

This is an ongoing series, now going back over four years. Visit my Out of Business gallery to see all the images.    

11_18 st augustine santa maria restaurant DSC02744_5_6_Vibrant
11_18 st augustine santa maria restaurant DSC02744_5_6_Vibrant
11_18 st augustine santa maria restaurant DSC02742

      November 27, 2018


Tulum: ancient Mayan ruins

From Wikopedia:

Tulum (Spanish pronunciation: [tuˈlum], Yucatec: Tulu'um) is the site of a pre-Columbian Mayan walled city which served as a major port for Coba, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo.The ruins are situated on 12-meter (39 ft) tall cliffs along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya; it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. Old World diseases brought by the Spanish settlers appear to have resulted in very high fatalities, disrupting the society and eventually causing the city to be abandoned. One of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites.

From our visit:

  10_18 cruise tulum sign DSC02542
10_18 cruise tulum sign DSC02542

10_18 cruise tulum sign DSC02542
Lily, our guide.

 

10_18 cruise tulum sign DSC02542
The Castle

 

10_18 cruise tulum sign DSC02542
The building was deliberately built crooked. Something to do with the alignment with the sun.


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10_18 cruise tulum 2 pillars DSC02552
Tulum was a great Mayan seaport, built on a cliff beside the ocean.

 

10_18 cruise tulum 2 pillars DSC02552
It looks all nice and manicured. The ruins are surrounded by jungle on three side and ocean on the fourth. It is only accessible by walking down a road through the jungle.

 

10_18 cruise tulum 2 pillars DSC02552
I pushed the contrast and saturation to bring out the carvings. See the face at the bottom?


10_18 cruise tulum 2 pillars DSC02552

10_18 cruise tulum ocean view DSC02581
Seaport


10_18 cruise tulum ocean view DSC02581
10_18 cruise tulum ocean view DSC02581
10_18 cruise tulum ocean view DSC02581
10_18 cruise tulum ocean view DSC02581
10_18 cruise turum archway DSC02599

 

The Mayans are gone, but there are still local residents...

10_18 cruise turum archway DSC02599

10_18 cruise turum archway DSC02599
Coati


10_18 cruise tulum gecko DSC02546


October 30, 2018

 


Interlude: The Storm

Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle of Florida on October 10 as a Category 4 storm, winds two miles an hour less than a Category 5. The storm caused huge amounts of damage; everyone saw pictures of the devastation. A month later, on November 8, I drove from I10 down to just north of Wewahitchka in Gulf County, one of the hardest hit areas of the storm. The drive took me through Calhoun County including through the towns of Greensboro and Blountstown.

The talking heads did not do justice to the damage the storm caused. What the news reports do not give you is a sense of the size of the area that the storm hit and the breadth of the damage it caused. Mile after mile, as far as you can see, trees are snapped off like twigs and man-made structures damaged or destroyed.  I have been around for a day or two (no jokes), have seen a lot of storm damage of one kind or another, but nothing prepared me for what I saw on that drive.

There was a lot of work going on, clearing and cleaning up. But even a month after the storm, the damage is astounding.

Here's the thing: everyone donates right after a catastrophic storm, but there is still a huge need in the area for money to rebuild, for food for those who lost homes and jobs, for the basic necessities we take for granted like soap and toilet paper. If you want to help folks, there are lots of agencies still taking donations: reach out to them. We are.   

A few pictures from the drive. We didn't stop to take pictures and do closeups, folks there have enough on their plates without people stopping to take pictures. These were all taken from inside a moving vehicle with my little DX0. 'Most are not the quality I like but they give a sense of what hit the area.   

11_18 hurricane damage 01 DXO_0385 -1
11_18 hurricane damage 01 DXO_0385 -1
11_18 hurricane damage 01 DXO_0385 -1
11_18 hurricane damage 01 DXO_0385 -1
11_18 storm damage 05 DXO_0404 -1
11_18 storm damage 05 DXO_0404 -1
11_18 storm damage 05 DXO_0404 -1
11_18 storm damage 05 DXO_0404 -1
11_18 storm damage 05 DXO_0404 -1
11_18 storm damage 09 DXO_0413 -1
11_18 storm damage 10 DXO_0414 -1
11_18 storm damage 10 DXO_0414 -1
11_18 storm damage 10 DXO_0414 -1
November 8, 2018