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. 

Click here for the Mediterranean Trip


Some Things I Learned...

Bionic hip clubOn December 17, I did a model upgrade, trading an old worn hip for a brand-new titanium model. It was more than worth it; however, the recovery has been a challenge.

Here are some things I learned:

  1. Never take sitting down and standing up for granted. Part of Post-surgery Physical Therapy is learning how to do both.

  2. Toilet seats are a LONG way down.

  3. Very quickly, learn to never sit down without first looking for something to help get back up. Early on, I got trapped in a chair I couldn’t get out of.

  4. When traveling, the biggest danger is dropping the hotel bar of soap when taking a shower. You finish the shower with no soap.

  5. Speaking of toilet seats, watch out for those retail raised toilet seats. Most are not made for the male anatomy. It can be messy; I’ll just leave it at that.

  6. Pre-surgery Physical Therapy is all about working to the pain and stopping. Post-surgery P.T. is all about working through the pain (scream like a little girl).

  7. The biggest challenge a week after surgery is realizing that after the pain starts to go away your body was seriously weakened by the surgery, and you simply cannot do it.

  8. Hospitals are full of nice people who keep you awake all the time; do everything you can to go home as soon as possible.

  9. The worst times in a hospital are midnight to 4 am. I learned this a long time ago and had it reinforced this time. Someone stayed the first night, so she made it tolerable; the 2nd night I was alone, and it was… no, I don’t have words to describe it. Knowing in advance made the anticipation almost as bad. Pain meds helped; binge-watching TV did not.

  10. Take advantage of the kindness of strangers. Despite all the nonsense in social media, people held doors open, volunteered to carry things, and let me go to the front of the line. To those of you that did: THANK YOU, it means a lot. If you get an opportunity, HELP: it means a lot.

  11. Week 2, Day 1. Captain’s Log: A major step forward today. Put on boxers by myself, and it took less than five minutes. It’s the little things that count.

  12. NEVER go on YouTube and watch the actual surgical procedure. I did after the surgery and had nightmares for two days. If I had watched beforehand, I probably would have chickened out. It just ain’t natural to do that kind of stuff to the human body. Stick with the pretty computer animations.

  13. Medical bureaucracy is the longest part of getting treated. There are so many CYA forms. And you don’t get pain meds to help you through.

  14. Despite the terrible shape our healthcare system is in, most of the people I dealt with were great: professional, sympathetic, friendly and some even chuckled at jokes they had probably heard a billion times before.

  15. Pain Management after surgery is good; extended pain management is bad. Don’t make excuses; get off the pain meds as soon as you can.

  16. A nasty side- effect of surgery: constipation. Initially, you do not want to go; then you must go but can’t; then you go. Another reason to get off pain meds: opioids cause constipation. “Kids, don’t do drugs, you won’t be able to poop.”  

  17. Get out of bed, walk around, breathe fresh air. You don’t want to, but it is better therapy than PT and drugs. The medical people say it, believe it.

  18. Socks. Forget about it. Or buy one of the fancy sock tools. If someone had videoed me putting on socks in the hotel room, all 15 minutes of it would have gone viral.

  19. If you have two floors, have two walkers. Getting up and down steps is a challenge without the extra burden of having to haul something with you or making someone take it up or down. If you leave the walker on the wrong floor, you are trapped and have to sit on the last step forever!

  20. Biggest lesson: never ever under-estimate the value of friends and family. Remember that it is almost as difficult for them as you.

Airplane Clouds

I do not fly as much as I used to, in fact I only did three round-trips this year and one was to Europe. Despite the discomforts of air travel today, there are moments worth remembering. So, from a flight home from St. Louis, with the help of my DX0 and Perfectly Clear V3, an interpretation of Airplane Clouds:

  10_19 airplane clouds DXO_0072 -1
10_19 airplane clouds DXO_0072 -1
10_19 airplane clouds DXO_0072 -1
10_19 airplane clouds DXO_0072 -1
October, 2019


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

 

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Yellow Love

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

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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

 

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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


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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


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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