May 1

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May 1st Already

Can you believe it is May 1st already?

It is May Day.  I always think of attending my younger cousin’s May Pole dance when May 1 rolls around.  She was in 1st grade .  I was a little jealous that we didn’t have this celebration at my school.  I’m also reminded of one of my other cousin’s son birthday on that day.

May 1st means that the year is already 1/3 over.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  I ‘ve had a great first 4 months of the year.   Here’s why my year is going by so fast.

First of all, in January we went on a cruise to the Panama Canal with friends and family.  This was a magnificent experience as we toured areas of Central America and South America.

February seemed to fly by as we spent time in Florida enjoying the beautiful weather, working on our place, and viewing the ocean and its wildlife.  We had great times with some good friends.  I mustn’t forget to tell you that I shopped till I dropped.   Yes, Florida is a great place to shop consignment shops and retail stores.

March was split between Florida and Our Old Kentucky Home.  I sure do adore the green, green grass of home.  Florida weather and the ocean are beautiful, but their grass is nothing compared to the grass in Kentucky.

April was a fun time with visiting family at Easter and planning our garden.  Flowers were planted and the weather was warmer than usual in Kentucky.  No frost yet on our plants.  Daddy always said not to plant flowers, tomatoes, or corn before Derby Day.  But this year has been different.

Amazingly here it is May 1st.  Surprisingly the year is 1/3 gone.  It sure is true that time flies when you’re having fun!   Now onto more fun throughout the rest of the spring and summer.  I’m anticipating the Kentucky Derby party at my cousin’s place in Louisville.  Also Mother’s Day with family and going to Lake Cumberland.  Hopefully we will be selling my late Mom’s house.

Wow!  What a year so far!  Thankful for every blessing the Lord has sent down.  Good health, great family, and fun times.  What else could a person ask for?  Of course, there have been a few struggles, but many more good things than bad.

Be thankful for what you have!  Anticipate a good future.  As my yard flag says,  “MAKE TODAY AMAZING” .

So long until next time.

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The Old Kapok Tree Inn Restaurant

Back around 1970 my grandparents took my husband and me to the Kapok Tree Inn Restaurant in Clearwater, Florida.   Since that has been 47 years ago I’m not sure we ate dinner there, but I do remember the humongous kapok tree and the fountains.  I remember it being the most beautiful place this young Kentucky lady had ever seen.

My parents took yearly trips to the Tampa Bay area, but they never took my brother or me.  I often heard them speak of eating at the Kapok Tree Inn.  I even remember seeing pictures of the tree that they and my grandparents had taken.  Finally in 1970 I took my first trip that I could remember to the Sunshine State.  We stayed at my grandparents house in St. Petersburg while we visited.  And that is when I visited this sensational place called the Kapok Tree Inn.

Here it is 2017, and my husband and I have retired.  We have spent the winter months near Clearwater for the last three years.  I have often thought of the Kapok Tree Inn Restaurant but I had not seen it.  Finally I looked it up on the internet and found out that it had shut its doors in 1991.  I found an address and decided I would look for the now defunct business not really expecting to find much left.

Wow! Was I surprised with what I found!  This place is still magnificient.  Although not as well kept as it once was, one can still enjoy the beauty and massiveness of this place.  The Kapok Tree Inn once was busy with the hustle and bustle from customers from all over the U.S and world.  Now it is the location of a music business and is rented out for special occasions.

Take a look at my pictures to see what you think!

The Kapok Tree

The Fountains

The statues

The Gardens and Wall

Today it is home to the Sam Ash Music Store

Now that you’ve seen the pictures do you see why I was so excited to reconnect with this place?  I could just imagine ladies dressed in expensive dresses and men in their suits and ties dancing to romantic music.  In my mind I visioned couples eating fine dinners with candles lit on tables covered with white table clothes.

I am so appreciative of the artistic work of the creators of this special, magical place.  And I sure am happy that the beautiful place hasn’t been torn down .  The Kapok Tree Inn property has been this way since the 1950’s. I’m hoping that the owners continue to have it open to the public.  It is free to walk around in the gardens.  The place is also available to rent out for special events.  For more information click here.

I hope you felt some of the magic of the Kapok Tree Inn as you viewed my pictures I took with my iPhone.  And don’t forget to check this place out next time you are in the Clearwater, Florida area.

Feel free to share any of my blog posts if you want.

Until next time,  Have a Great Day!

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Jamaica via Coral Princess

The last stop on our 10 day cruise was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Most of our group traveled to Dunn’s River Falls, but a few of us toured Konoko Falls.   Our group also went to a beach near the port.  Join me on my picture tour of lovely Jamaica.

Near the Port

Konoko Falls

Dunn's River Falls

The people of Jamaica were very friendly and knowledgeable about their country.  What I saw was beautiful and clean.  We saw Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, and Seventh Day Adventist churches.  We learned that Jamaica has more churches per person than any other country in the world.  I saw the most beautiful turquoise water I’ve ever seen. The vegetation was green and abundant.   I would love to go back someday to spend some time on the lovely beaches.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my Panama Canal Cruise and all of the ports we visited.  If you ever get a chance to cruise to Panama on the Coral Princess I suggest you take it.  A great itinerary and ship.  Traveling with 20 people made the trip special too.

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Panama Canal via Coral Princess

On our 10 day cruise in January, 2017 one of our days was spent traveling through the Panama Canal. What an accomplishment this was for the world! The canal saves so much time and money for the trade industry to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.  I have lots of pictures so sit back and enjoy.

The ship took us through three locks, then on to Gatun Lake.  This first set of pictures show our trip to Gatun Lake.

Traveling to Gatun Lake on the Coral Princess

Onward toward the Pacific Ocean

We did a partial transit through the canal on the cruise ship.  Then we boarded the lifeboats that tendered us to shore where we got on an air conditioned bus.  The bus took us to a ferry which transferred us through the remainder of the canal.  Then we got back on the bus and went to Colon where we boarded our ship the Coral Princess.

Taken while riding on the air conditioned bus

Our tour of the Panama Canal was long and hot.  It was also educational.  I learned that the canal was finished in 1914, and turned over to Panama in 1999.  More than 1,000,000 ships have crossed through the canal saving both producers and consumers money.  The Gatun Lake is 26 meters above sea level therefore the necessity to use the 6 locks.  These locks act as elevators to raise and lower the water level so the ships can pass through the canal.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my picture tour through the canal.  Now I can check this one off my bucket list.

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Limon, Costa Rico via Coral Princess

In January of 2017 the Coral Princess cruise ship took us to Limon, Costa Rico.

Here we took an air conditioned bus through the town.  My pictures of the town are not very good because it was overcast and the bus windows were not clean.

The bus took us to the Tortuguero canal and throughout the countryside.  We got a glimpse of the ocean, banana plantations, and cattle.  While riding a large pontoon boat on the canal we saw lots of jungle vegetation like coconut trees and cashew trees.  If you had good, quick eyes you could see a few birds, monkeys, and a sloth.

After the canal trip we had samplings of the bananas and pineapples of the area.  The pineapple was the best I have every tasted.  The small gift shop had some nice items that were not expensive.  I bought this beautiful fringed sarong for only $10.

It was a rainy, dreary day when we were in Costa Rico.  Because of this the guide said we saw fewer animals than if it had been sunny.  The guide was intelligent and so proud of his country.  He shared a lot of interesting information about Costa Rico.   The excursion gave me an insight into living in Costa Rico.  I was disappointed my pictures didn’t come out any better.  If I ever go here again I will take an excursion to a nice beach.  I’m sure there are beautiful ones that we didn’t get to see.

I hope you enjoyed this picture  tour of Costa Rico.  My  next post will be about our trip through the Panama Canal.

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Cartegena, Columbia via Coral Princess

We traveled to Cartegena, Columbia via the Princess Coral cruise ship.   Through my photographs you will see a variety of architectural styles and lifestyles in this South American city.  While here we rode the Hop and Go Bus and saw expensive high rises, historic monuments, and beaches.

Hilton area

The area around the Hilton was the prettiest part of Cartegena.

The Beach

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a fortress in the city of Cartagena, Colombia.

Around Town

In parts of Cartegena you could see poverty.  For instance the trash was piled up near the light poles.   There was a variety of historic and modern  architecture.  My favorite was the balconies on the buildings in town.  Lots of statues and small parks were throughout the city.  The electrical wiring looked like a disaster waiting to happen.  The narrow streets with the small cars lined up in traffic jams were seen all over the town.  Lots of mopeds and bicycles were seen.  In a few places the ocean washed right up into the streets.

I hope you enjoyed my blog tour of Cartegena, Columbia.  Next  blog post will be Limon, Costa Rica.

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Aruba via Princess Cruise Line

 

In January 2017 there were 20 of us Kentucky friends who cruised to 5 destinations in the Carribean, Central and South America.  Princess Cruise Line was our means of transportation.

We traveled on the Coral Princess for a 10 day vacation.

The ship was built in 2004 but has since been remodeled.  Often I saw the crew cleaning or painting.  They even changed our hallway carpet while we were onboard.  It isn’t the biggest ship I’ve cruised on, but I liked it and found it pretty.  Of course, the showers and bath are tiny.  The beds are soft, but I thought they felt great.   A few in our group thought they were too soft.

The shows featured the usual dancers and singers.  Some of them were so so.  When they sing opera or 20′ s through 40’s music I get bored.  I like country music and 60’s through 90’s rock.  They finally came through with some of that in the later shows.  The comedian and magician were great.  Loved the cruise director as he was a hoot.

The food in the formal dining room was great, especially the desserts.  We had prime rib, lobster and shrimp, lots of other choices for our meals.  Hamburgers and pizza were delicious in the casual areas.  The Lido deck had the buffet area where we ate lunch and breakfast.  Needless to say I pigged out on the bacon and abundance of fruit.

We took a trip of the kitchen.  The amount of organization it takes to prepare these meals for over 2000 people is amazing.  Here are some pictures I took of the carvings and creations the workers had created with fruits, vegetables and chocolate.

The boat is a good place to shop with sales on t-shirts, watches, and costume jewelry.  Liquor to take home is cheaper as it is  tax and duty free.

If you have never cruised try it out.  We love it.

Aruba

We were only in Aruba for 5 hours, so I didn’t get many pictures from there.  We took a round trip by taxi to Eagle Beach which only cost us about $30 for 4 people.  The sand was a beautiful white with no seaweed or shells at all.  Absolutely beautiful.  The weather was perfect.  The local market place is a good place to buy t-shirts or souveniers.  I would love to go back and spend more time there.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my post about the Princess Coral and Aruba.   Next post on my blog will be about Cartagena, Columbia.

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A Winter Wonderland

We chose to spend our last evenings of 2016 walking in a winter wonderland in Largo, Florida.  There was no snow, but it was cool enough to need  to wear jackets.  The light shows were amazing while walking through Largo Central Park and Florida Botanical Garden.  I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures I took of the many bright displays of lights.  Click on the blue words to check out this video of Largo Central Park that I found on You Tube.  I’m sure it will help you understand why we enjoyed this place so much.  Then take a look at the following pictures I took from the Florida Botanical Garden.  I used my iPhone so they are not great pictures, but I think you will be able to see the beauty in this park during the holiday season.

If you are ever in Largo, Florida try to check out these nice parks, especially during the winter holiday season.  I hope you enjoyed my winter wonderland post.  Happy New Year to all.

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Travel More, Share More, and Love More

It is hard to believe a new year has rolled around.  2016 went by faster than all the others for me.  Yes, my life seems like a snowball rolling down hill getting faster and faster.  As time rolls by more and more experiences and memories are picked up making this snowball bigger and bigger.

Let’s make 2017 a year that is even better than last year.  Travel more, share more, and love more is going to be my motto.  My plans are to travel to Florida, Panama Canal, Lake Cumberland, South America, and New England.  Who knows where else???

 

 

Lake Cumberland

 

 

 

Cartagena, Columbia

 

 

Panama Canal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key West February 2016

 

 

I’m going to share more with my church, family,  and favorite charities.

Parksville Baptist Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure if I can love my family more, but I choose to love my neighbors, friends, and even strangers more.  I want to be more caring and compassionate to all the people I come into contact with.

Life is short and fast.  So I plan on making every minute count.  How about you?

Happy New Year to all my readers!

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Aussie Words and Their Meanings

Through a Corvette and a love of automobiles we met our Australian friends.  They visit America once a year while we have visited them once.  We love their accent and they love our Kentucky brogue.   “You all” and “ain’t” are words not used often in their country.  Sometimes they use words that I don’t quite understand. This post is about some of their words they use and the meaning of them.  I thought you may think they are amusing.

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Which one is American? Which one is Australian

Friends or Mates all because of a Corvette

Most of you are familiar with this term meaning friend.  For example:  Hello, mate means hello, friend.

Dummy or Pacifier

A Dummy or Baby Pacifier

To us a dummy means  a representation or copy of something or a stupid person.  But in Australia it means a baby pacifier.

To Aussies this would be a mull plant

A mull plant in Australia would be called a marijuana plant in the states.

MULL

In the U.S. mull means to think it over.   But in AU mull means grass…the kind you smoke.

For us a shed is a small outbuilding.  For them a shed is a garage that is a separate building from your house.

This picture is Joey from Friends.  The other picture to Americans is a kangaroo.  In Australia it is often called a joey.

The Australians call French fries “chips”.  Very confusing when ordering in a restaurant in America.

 

Is this a torch or a flashlight?

In Australia it is called flashlighta torch.

 

Slippery Dip????

Slippery Dip????

For us it is sliding board, but they call it a slippery dip.

 

 

 

We call it a  mosquito.  They call it a mozzy.

Mosquito or Mossy?

Mosquito or Mozzy?

 

 

 

An esky is another name for a cooler.  I bet they got that from the word Eskimo.  What do you think?

Cooler or Esky

Cooler or Esky

 

 

 

Here you see an old Kentucky license plate and an Australian number plate from New South Wales.

Interestingly a dump is called a tip  down under.

Dump or Tip

Dump or Tip

 

 

 

Our friends call smoke from a jet sckyscrapera Skyscraper.

 

 

Bottle-O

Try to guess what a bottle-o is.  Have you figured it out yet?

 

Liquor Store or Bottle-O

Liquor Store or Bottle-O

 

 

A bottle-o is the Australia term for a liquor store.

 

 

 

Bubbler??

What in the world could a bubbler be?  My guess was a Jacuzzi or a soda.  But no.  That’s not it.

A bubbler is what the Australians call a water fountain.

 

Water fountain or Bubbler

Water fountain or Bubbler

 

 

 

Dunny

 

Interestingly a dunny is a toilet.

A Dunny in Australia

A Dunny in Australia

 

 

Can you guess what they call swimming trunks in Australia?

 

Men's Swimming Trunks

Men’s Swimming Trunks are Boardies

 

 

 

Now here is the best of all.  There are two terms for Speedos.  You’ll never guess this one.

 

speedos_editedBudgee

Smugglers

  or

Dicker Stickers   

 

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed my post about how language is different in Australia and America.  We both speak English but with different accents and different terms for some things.  Check back later as I will add more as I hear them being spoken.  Have a good day.  Mrs. B.

 

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