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Mississippi, Alabama and Florida

P1110078 Closer

  To get from New Orléans, Louisiana, to Destin, Florida, you need to go through the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, over the Gulf of Mexico, and known as the Florida Panhandle. All the clichés about the South and blacks and prejudice were undeniable, but there was some surprisingly unique countryside.   Louisiana   Because we were driving from New Orléans on the Coastal Highway along the water on the Gulf of Mexico, many of the houses at the water’s edge were on stilts.   The longest bridge we’ve ever seen was over Lake Pontchartrain, a huge lake just North of … More…

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Flores: The End Of The World

  I became quite ill after the rough flight to to the tiny island of Flores (The Azores). In a wild storm, and after several aborted landing attempts and a rugged one-wheel landing, I could barely stand up when getting off the plane. There was dark magic in the roaring winds that sent wild waves crashing onto jagged rocks and a fearful wind that tore the leaves and branches of every tree on Flores. It sent waterfalls flying backwards into the air and onto the highway. Yes, backwards! Photo Credit http://www.thisiscolossal.com   Flights were cancelled indefinitely. It seemed that the earlier … More…

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History Is Boring

History Repeats Itself. Which May Explain Why It's So Boring.

  Some people find history fascinating; others find it completely boring. I used to be the latter, finding all those dates absolutely meaningless (stop scowling). Random dates and events seemed like completely useless knowledge. I wanted to know what was happening today! Not 500 years ago.     In high school, I hated history. Memorizing lists of pointless dates was excruciatingly dull, and I barely scraped through Grade 9, 10, and 11 History courses with marks like 51% and 53%. Then in Grade 12, the principal, Mr. Warick taught Grade 12 History. All he did was wander around the front … More…

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Mexico To Belize

P1070161Closer

  As I was saying in the last post, Belize is located directly South of Mexico, below the Mayan Riviera on the Yucatan Peninsula. It was cheaper to fly into Cancun and then drive down the Mayan Riviera coast, scattered with luscious turquoise beaches, and then drive on into Belize.   We started in Cancun, and after sorting out problems with accommodation and the rental car, we headed south towards Tulum (see last post: An Inflatable Car? ).   When we were in Tulum 7 years ago, it was a tiny village. Now it was more like a town. Development is happening … More…

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Ring 3: The Dingle Peninsula

2716~

  The Dingle Peninsula was the most fascinating and memorable of the three “Rings” on Ireland`s South coast. Wild and rocky, wind-blown and untouched by tourism, it’s the REAL IRELAND.   The poor little sheep were clinging to the sides of the rocky crags. With vast valleys or ocean below, did they ever slip and fall? They certainly ended up on the road often enough.   We sort of went backwards around the peninsula, counter-clockwise, starting at Castlegregory, a quaint little town with a 50’s-style gas station, and 14 miles of wind-swept rocky beach.   One-way mountain roads zig-zagging into … More…

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Balleylickey, Skibbereen, Hag’s Head & Klonikilty

  With Irish place names like Balleylickey, the Burren, Hag’s Head, Klonikilty, Skibbereen, Salthill, Graiguenamanagh, Sheep’s Head, Beara and Dingle, driving around Ireland was filled with curiosity. What would a place with such an odd name be like? There was a wild variety of landscapes, but like most countries, it was the little-known, off-the-beaten path places that were the most beautiful. We drove in a circle that started in Limerick, went North to Sligo, then East to Dublin, then south  along the coast, then inland to Cork, then South along the coast, then around the three peninsulas: Beara, Kerry and Dingle, … More…

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Getting Your Hand Slapped in Ireland

  While touring Ireland in our rental car, we, of course, had to try Guinness, the beer that is the pride and joy of Ireland.   T is a beer connoisseur, but I was surprised that I liked it too.   One day, we stopped at a local pub for a Guinness. The stern bartender came over to take T’s order of a Guinness.    “What’ll yer ‘av?”    By the way, when in Ireland, just say “pint, please”. If he asks “a pint of what?” then scowl at him and snarl “Guinness, of course”. Most barmen won’t ask anyway, … More…

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The Yellow City

  What a shock when we drove into the yellow city! Who knew such a thing existed? We were just driving along, taking the less-travelled and non-toll road from Telchac to Cancun for our flight home, when we came upon the yellow city.    At first, we thought it was only a few streets.   But then everywhere we drove in the city… it was yellow, yellow, yellow. It reminded us of the song, Mellow Yellow.   “Oh”, I exclaimed, “This must be the yellow city we read about!” We had crossed it off the list of ‘Must See’s’ when we … More…

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In The Pink

  Birds are not a big attraction for us, but we were a little curious about the Yucatan flamingos. We thought $100 was a little steep for the Flamingo Boat Tour out of Celestun, so we declined several offers from local tour operators.     Since there was a large lagoon stretching for miles along the highway near Telchac, where we were staying, we started looking for the flamingos there. Some parts of the lagoon were quite pretty, but there were no flamingos to be seen.   We spotted the flamingos a little farther down, but they were little pink … More…

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The Secret, Cheap, Hauntingly Beautiful Mangrove Tour

  It was only by accident that we heard about the Mangrove Tour. We were swimming in a cenote at some Mayan Ruins in the Yucatan, Mexico, when a woman was telling other people about this amazing tour that no one knows about because it originates in a little village far from the madding crowds. We were immediately intrigued and joined the conversation. Where, how much, and when we asked.   A few weeks later, along with my visiting cousin, H, we set out to find this tour. We found the little village of San Crisanto just fifteen minutes up … More…

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4-Legged Beach Bums in the Yucatan

  When we moved from Merida to the beach near Telchac Puerto, we had no idea we would have so many visitors, especially these kind.   First challenge though, was finding the tiny sand road turnoff to our beach house. It was a bit of a challenge, even in daylight, because so many roads looked exactly the same, and even though it looks big in the photo, the sign was tiny from the highway.   Our beach house was lovely, right on an empty beach with houses scattered far apart along the beach. Inside, the rooms were large, and there … More…

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My Book is Finally Done

  I cannot believe it! My book is finally done.   This baby has been as much work as a real baby!   I have been constantly changing it, removing yucky stuff, redressing, changing again..   …removing godawful stuff I missed, sweet baby, feeding and feeding and feeding the flow of words, adding photos, complications with technical issues, removing photos, changing again…   …pampering it, holding it, talking to myself, screaming, asking myself why I ever decided to take on this nightmare, changing photos, changing words, getting hopeful, sweet baby, maybe not, changing again..   Well, you get the picture. Who … More…

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