Something new- Our Trip Page

We made 08_19 nice i love nice DSC04181a 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.

I posted the first two days here. You can read down to see them

OR

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. As always, It takes a while for me to get images done so the Story Page will grow over the next month until all ten days are posted.

Click here for the Mediterranean Trip


The Mediterranean- First Day: Nice, France. A Winery and more

The first full day in Nice, recovering nicely (snicker) from 13 hours on airplanes the day before. A full day of activities: tour of and a tasting at a local winery, lunch at an outstanding small restaurant, an afternoon Rose tasting, a walk through the old town, and dinner at the hotel restaurant. The day was a Bank Holiday in France; everything shuts down and everyone goes partying. For us, the evening ended with a beautiful fireworks display over the water that we watched from the roof of the hotel.

Obligatory scenic's of Nice:

08_19 nice harbor DSC03992
View from our hotel room balcony

 

08_19 nice harbor DSC03992
A busy day at the beach.

Sidenote: there is no sand on the beaches. They are comprised entirely of small smooth rocks. It doesn't look very comfortable, but obviously that didn't bother anyone. 

 

08_19 nice harbor DSC03992
Yes, the water was almost that blue. I shoot through a polarizer but did not push contrast or saturation.

 

08_19 nice harbor DSC03992
Up the street past our hotel


          The Winery

08_19 nice winery hotel la perouse DSC04016
Waiting for the mini buses

 

08_19 nice winery hotel la perouse DSC04016
On the road through Nice

 

08_19 nice winery hotel la perouse DSC04016
Path to the vines. The vineyard was at the top of a very narrow, winding road.

 

08_19 nice winery hotel la perouse DSC04016
Kelly and the winemaker, Gio, explaining the vines on the hill behind them. Wilson, for once, paying attention.

 

08_19 nice winery hotel la perouse DSC04016
Looking out over vines. Brangelina's winery is out there someplace.


08_19 nice winery hotel la perouse DSC04016

08_19 nice winery  vino di gio DSC04070
The Wines

 

08_19 nice winery  vino di gio DSC04070
The Wines, the Winemaker and our Leader
08_19 nice winery le clos dos saint-vincent DSC04087
Remnants

 


08_19 nice winery  vino di gio DSC04070
Tools of the trade

 

08_19 nice winery  vino di gio DSC04070
Waiting for wine
08_19 nice winery wine baskets DSC04080
Wine Baskets
08_19 nice winery  vino di gio DSC04070
Hot sunny morning. The sun zeroed in on my Lensball and started lighting a barrel on fire. Moved everything before the winery burned down.


Touring old town Nice

08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177
08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177

08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177
A very orange building


08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177

08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177
Pastries and...

 

08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177
... Pizza

 

08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177
I liked this image but couldn't decide how to finish it. So, two visions.


08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177
08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177

08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177
Umbrella overhead shade

 

08_19 nice curved ceiling DSC04177
Wilson, of course, required police protection.

 

50 Shades of Rose,
A Tasting

08_19 nice rose tasting DXO_0722

08_19 nice rose tasting DXO_0722
! !

 

And, lastly, an homage to my ongoing addiction to images of doors.

08_19 nice door alcove DSC04176
Very small shrine. There is a little statue of the Virgin Mary in the alcove.


08_19 nice door alcove DSC04176
08_19 nice door alcove DSC04176
08_19 nice door alcove DSC04176
08_19 nice door alcove DSC04176

08_19 nice door alcove DSC04176
Door Humor

 

August 15, 2019

Next: A morning in Nice and on to Monaco.


The Mediterranean- Beginning, 8/13-14

Ruth and I embarked on an amazing trip to the Mediterranean August 13- 23. 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. Over the next 2-3 weeks I'll be posting images taken along the way and will open a gallery dedicated to the trip.

So, as they say, it starts at the beginning. Tuesday evening flight, Tampa to Nice, France by way of Frankfurt, Germany.    

August 13-14

08_19 ruth and friend Tampa DXO_0707 -1
Unsurprisingly, Ruth met a friend at the Tampa airport. Her new friend tried to stay with Ruth in the Frankfurt airport, much to the consternation of her parents.

 

08_19 nice night DSC03978
First destination: Nice, France. We arrived late afternoon, severely jet-lagged. A dinner with our group and this image were about all I could manage.

 

08_19 honig dinner DXO_0709 -1
The Floating Egg was amazing!



Next: Wine and wandering in Nice. Coming soon.


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

05_19 gaylord DSC03479
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)

 

05_19 cruise beached 2 DSC03757
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.


10_18 cruise tulum 2 pillars DSC02552

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