Cruising: Food and Drink

Are you ready to be done seeing photos from the cruise that I took with friends in April?  I promise, this is the last one!  If you’ve followed along so far, you’ve seen a recap of the whole experience, the birds and flowers, the ship, and the windows and doors.  You’ve read that I had my reservations about cruising, that I’m not sure I’d do it again, AND that I had a great time with friends and with my camera.

I also enjoyed great food and drink! There were 13 bars on that ship, and Kerry, from Love Those Hands at Home, asked if we managed to visit every one.  I’m proud to say that over the course of one week, we did!  In fact, I carried around the “List of 13” and we would check them off one at a time.  Several of the bartenders got into the spirit with us.

And of course, I couldn’t help but turn my drinks into photography.

Beer

Wine

Cocktails

Frozen Drinks

The best part?  No need for a designated driver!

Thanks for hanging with me through all of these posts about the cruise.  Someday, I’ll be able to look back and remember the fun.

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It’s been almost 2 months since I’ve been back from the cruise and I’ve been on the road, working, and taking care of civic duties.  It’s my goal to visit all of you over the next week or so.  I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to!

Cruising: Doors and Windows

* This is the fourth post in the series about the cruise I took 6 weeks ago.  Life has moved on, but the cruise pictures keep coming!  You can see those images, and read my thoughts about cruising here, here, and here.*

Believe it or not, a cruise keeps you busy!  It seemed that my friends and I were always on the go.  We never took an elevator and instead took multiple flights of stairs several times throughout the day.  We joined excursions off the ship and participated in activities on the ship.   Even still, I never felt that I was forced to do any one thing nor eat in any particular place at a specific time, something I had worried about before starting the cruise.

I loved the contrast of in and out,

and photographed several windows along the way.  From inside the bar, of which there were 13,

from inside one of the many restaurants,

and from inside our room, looking out to the balcony where I would enjoy my coffee and book each morning.

The doors of Mexico were intriquing, and so narrow!

Many of the buildings were old and in need of repair,

except in the tourist area, of course.  I definitely enjoyed my cold beer at Woody’s.

In order to avoid the near constant panhandling, cruisers are able to visit ports of call created by the cruise lines.  This was one of the disappointments for me.  I didn’t feel like I learned much about the culture, and it seemed that the cruise lines try to “hide” the reality of the noticeable poverty.   They build what I call the “Disney Land” ports of call, this one in Roatan, Honduras.

Beautiful for sure, but how real?  I consoled myself with knowing that these ports create jobs.

This next shot is from Harvest Caye, Belize,

and this last image, a selfie, was taken in Ybor City, a neighborhood in Tampa Bay, that we visited after docking at the end of the cruise.

Next Cruising Post – Food and Drink

Cruising: The Ship

My last two posts about the cruise have focused on the experience and the flowers and birds.  You’ve read that I had my reservations about cruising, and while I’m not sure that I’d do it again, I found much to enjoy.

The ship itself, the Norwegian Jade, also offered wonderful opportunities for photography and I rarely went anywhere without my camera!

Was it the contrast between the natural and the human made world?

Or the wonderful patterns of repetition.

Perhaps it was how vast the ship was,

especially when standing between the Jade and her sister ship, the Dawn.

I loved the comparison of this classic tall ship and the new cruise style ship.

I adored having a morning cup of coffee on the balcony, one of the absolute best things about the cruise!.

I even slept on that balcony one night after dragging out a blanket and pillow, and laying on the deck.  The sea, the wind, the stars … it was an amazing thing to be in middle of the Caribbean Sea, and to feel so close to nature and to feel her power.

What a gift!

Next Cruising Post – The Doors and Windows and Architecture

Memorial Day 2017

Born out of the Civil War, Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to the United States of America.

Many in America confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day or think of it as a 3 day holiday weekend.  It is not a time to say “Happy Memorial Day”, rather it is a time of solemn remembrance of those who died in service to the country.

The City of Radford hosts a Memorial Day Service each year, and I am proud to serve on the organizing committee.  The program includes short speeches from local dignitaries, music from the High School band and choir, and participation by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the Vietnam Veterans.  Hundreds of people attend the service each year, and this year was our 19th annual service.

I wasn’t able to take many photos but thankfully we had great print and TV media coverage.  The program ends with a 21 gun salute, a bagpiper plays Amazing Grace, and a trumpeter plays Taps. For a small town program run entirely by volunteers, it really is quite powerful.

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Please follow this link to read a bit about this year’s program.  Mike Gangloff describes the day much better than I.  He quotes one of our speakers as saying that Memorial Day isn’t “about sales and cookouts and the opening of swimming pools, but the sacrifice of soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen. They gave us all their tomorrows so we could enjoy ours.”

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I feel so honored to work with these veterans each year, and even convinced them to take a group “selfie” with me.

Cruising: Bird and Flowers

If you had time to read my last post, you’ll know that I recently went on my first cruise.  Despite a few misgivings, I found much to enjoy about the experience: time off from work, a whole week with friends that I only see a few times yearly, and fun with photography.

Clearly I am not a wildlife photographer but it wasn’t hard to photograph these colorful birds.

I attempted to capture a pelican taking off from the water, but I just didn’t have the right lens with me.

One of my favorite images from the trip is this next one, which I am posting again even though I shared it in the previous post.

The flowers and trees were stunning as well.

Such vivid colors!

These shadows made the photographer in me quite happy.

While I would have loved to have done some hiking or to have learned about the local flora and fauna, I sure enjoyed the color of that water.

I was so inspired by it that I waded right in even though I didn’t have my bathing suit on!  Is anyone surprised by that?  Yes, that is a margarita in my hand 🙂

Next Cruising Post – The Ship

My Other Bike


Those of you who have visited before know that I spend what little free time I have on my motorcycle.  Before I bought that bike, though, I used to ride this bike.  Sadly, the bicycle has been neglected these past ten years.  Until last year, I would only get on the bike for the Ride of Silence.  After last year’s ROS, I made a commitment to ride more often, and I kept that commitment until winter, riding at least 20 miles weekly.  That’s not much for serious cyclists, but it was good for me.

Every year, my community hosts the Wilderness Road Ride, and cyclists can choose the 29, 38, 58, or 79 mile route.  I’ve ridden in the WWR a few times since it’s inception 26 yrs ago, but it had been many, many years since I’d participated.

 Three weeks ago, I challenged myself to ride the 38 mile route even though my training has been non existent.  I decided that I would go alone so as not to have to keep up with anyone, to take my time, and to shoot photos for a blog post.  As expected, I saw many people who had better gear and were in much better shape, but I was determined!

After just a couple miles, I stopped at the memorial garden in our local park where there are several monuments, one dedicated to each of the wars where men and women have served and lost their lives.

Then I continued on down The Riverway, our city’s bikeway / walkway.

Soon enough, I was out on main roads, and thankful for a respite from a week of rain and flooding.

This was a long steady climb (at least for me)

which led to roads with this expansive view.

The route took us over Interstate 81, where flags are always placed in preparation for Rolling Thunder, an annual motorcycle ride to DC.  The ride to the nation’s capital is held to honor POW and MIA service members and thousands of  bikers participate.

I hit the 20 mile mark around this time, and these very friendly women glided on by with no effort.

That’s okay though, I kept my spirits up knowing that the rest stop was just a few miles ahead.  The scenary just kept getting prettier, 

and these two probably wondered why I didn’t keep riding on by like everyone else.

FINALLY! At 22 miles, a rest stop! I was able to refill my water bottle, eat my PB on pita, and take a short breather.

I have to confess that while I was having no problem on the flats, the hills were proving to be a bit challenging.  Despite my “I can do it” attitude, my lack of training was showing.

I stopped to take this image, and the two farmers standing near by said “you didn’t really want to take that photo, you just needed a break”.  I laughed and told them not to tell anyone as they were partially right!  They also offered to put my bike in the back of a truck and take me home, but I declined and kept on riding.   It’s a great image, though, right?

I didn’t stop too much after that, deciding that my energy needed to be focused on getting back to the truck.  Then I saw one of my favorite signs, and had to stop for a picture.

At about the 34 mile mark, the clouds started moving in and the breeze picked up.

BUT it NEVER rained, and I finished the 37 mile ride.

Did you notice that I said 37 miles vs 38 miles?  I had to bypass one big, big climb, but all in all, I was really proud of the accomplishment.

#shepersisted took on a whole new meaning today 🙂

Gift from Pauline

An extroidanary gift arrived at my home last week.

Dear friend Pauline had given me a birthday gift, born from her heart and crafted by her talent.   If you look closely, you’ll see many lovely details, and I’m going to take a tip from Alys and Boomdee and highlight various parts of it.

 Unknown to Pauline, the quote at the bottom of the painting is one of my favorites, and one that I’ve had hanging on the wall of my office for years.

Look at the exhaust pipe.

Pauline noted that the bike’s exhaust “exhumes little dots of glimmery stuff that then floats off around the canvas”.

Of course I had noticed the camera (can you see that it says Her Story on it ❤ ) but it was Alys who pointed out the cheering people along the bottom of the canvas.

Aren’t the colors just stunning?

And then there’s the wine glass 🙂

I am so thrilled and honored and touched by this gift, and I cannot wait to put it up on my office wall.  I know that my patients will love seeing it and I look foward to telling them all about my friend Pauline.

Please visit Pauline at The Contented Crafter.  She is a gem in my life, one of the many WordPress gems that I have come to know, and who have enriched my life.