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.


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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While most people hate winter, a few people love it.   Believe me, I’m not one that loves it.  But, there are some things I like about winter.  I thought you may enjoy reading  my lists of things I like and dislike about the season.



  • The Christmas season and all the shopping, gifting, cooking, and celebrating with friends and family
  • Christmas lights all over town
  • New Years Eve
  • Coming in from the cold to a warm fire in the fireplace.
  • The beauty of the new fallen snow with the sunshine glistening off the ice
  • Being snowed in for ONE day
  • Melting snow after the first snowed in day
  • Hot chocolate while sitting near the fireplace
  • A soft snuggling blanket or throw
  • Buying new boots or new winter clothing
  • Wearing coats and sweaters to cover up some figure flaws or make them less obvious.
  • Snow days from school.  Yes, after all these years I still get excited when I see or hear “No school in Boyle County”.
  • Basketball
  • Eating chili or soup
  • Receiving gardening magazines in the mail and dreaming about the flowers you’re going to plant or the seeds you will sow in your garden
  • Super Bowl and the Daytona 500
  • Valentine’s Day



  • Paying off credit cards after all that extravagant Christmas giving
  • Taking down the Christmas decorations
  • Being dark around 5:30-6:30
  • Being snowed in for several days
  • Slipping or falling on ice
  • Driving in snow or on ice.
  • Short days and long nights
  • Freezing temperatures
  • Paying high electric or gas bills
  • Car doors frozen shut
  • Flus, colds, and sinus infections
  • Getting the dreaded Federal tax papers in the mail to remind us to start working on our taxes

As I made my lists of likes and dislikes I was surprised that my Likes outnumbered my Dislikes.  Interestingly I found out that I don’t dislike winter as much as I thought I did.   What about you?  Do you Like or Dislike winter?

The moral to the story is that sometimes you think you dislike something, but in reality it isn’t as bad as you thought.  Maybe next time you think you dislike something, look for the positive things about it.  Try to see the good in everything and everybody.

Until next time,  Have a fantastic winter.

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Christmas Lights


Viewing Christmas lights is one of our family’s favorite Christmas customs. Ever since I can remember one night before Christmas we rode through the town looking for the prettiest display of lights and Christmas scenes.

Things sure have gotten a lot more high tech since I was a kid.  Back then you would  see shiny tinsel and the big multi colored bulbs on trees.

The silver tinsel was a must on the 50’s Christmas tree. Whether to carefully place it on the tree or just throw it on was just a matter of preference.

It was a big deal to see the multi colored bulbs lining the roof line of a house.

As a child I was also fascinated by the bubble lights. 


Occasionally you would see a manger scene in a yard or a live one at a church.  I still remember where the house was that always had a Santa and a sleigh out front. I’ll never forget Daddy pretending he saw Santa in the sky on his sled.  But for some reason I was always too late to see him and his reindeer.  What precious memories he made for my brother and me!

Later all blue lights and candles in the windows became popular.  After that the popularity of all white lights increased.  Then the small lights were invented. Next came the blow up Christmas decorations ranging from snowmen to elves to Snoopy to Mr. Grinch.  Icicle lights were invented next. Then LED lights made the Christmas decorations brighter.  Now we are seeing the projection lights that may show up as  snowflakes, stars, etc. on the house or trees.  Yes, today we have so many choices when decorating our homes it can make your head spin.  Warm or cool white lights, green or brown cords,  multi colors or one color, and the list goes on and on.

Back in the 50’s and 60’s we would just drive around town to view the Christmas lights.  With my kids and grandkids we would travel to Lexington to see the “rich” people’s decorations, or to Burnside Island, or the lights at the Horse Park.

On Chinoe in Lexington

Even though the grandkids are grown up we still make the yearly trek to see beautiful displays of Christmas lights.  Lately we have driven to Raywick to view Ruley’s Farm decorations where there are over 4 acres of beautiful displays .

Inside there are Christmas houses, trains, and Santas to view.


Mr. Ruley passed away recently, but I’ve heard his children are continuing the spectacular light displays and collections for viewing.  Soon my kids, grandkids, and I will make that trip to Raywick in honor of his memory.  It will also be a time for our Christmas tradition of viewing the Christmas lights. Watch this video of him and his displays.  I’m sure it will make you want to take the backroads to see the Ruley’s farm.  Hopefully it will be decorated as much as when Mr. Ruley was alive. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=ruley%27s+christmas+lights+loretto+ky&&view=detail&mid=363CFC75A6393A8CED50363CFC75A6393A8CED50&rvsmid=549DE827382E4E930694549DE827382E4E930694&fsscr=0&FORM=VDQVAP


What fun memories these nighttime drives have made.   Thank you, Mr. Ruley, Daddy, and all those who helped to make these wonderful Christmas memories.  Hopefully these memories and traditions will carry on to future generations.



I encourage you to go for a drive to see Christmas lights with your family.  Christmas traditions are fun and important to both children and adults.  Merry Christmas ,  from Mrs. B.

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Believe in Yourself

I’m sure you have noticed  the popularity of signs in home décor.  You can’t go into Hobby Lobby or any locally owned home décor shop without seeing lots of signs.  Some are humorous while some are serious.  Some use many words and some are only one word.  One of my favorites is a simple one…BELIEVE.  In fact, I have two “believe” signs in my home and Christmas ornaments that say believe.





When I first saw the word “believe” as a sign I thought of my belief in God and Jesus.  Then more ideas come to my mind.  Here are some of them:

  • Believe in the magic of  Christmas.
  • Believe in the love and comfort of family.
  • Believe you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to doing.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Believe you can overcome the obstacles in your life.
  • Believe in angels.

As I was thinking about that special word, “BELIEVE”,  I looked for scriptures in the Bible.  I found there are many that pertain to believers.

One that I liked is found in Matthew 21:22 .  “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  Another one I think is important is found in Mark 9:23.   “Everything is possible for him who believes”.

I’m sure many ideas come to mind when you see the word “believe” too.   Feel free to share those ideas if you would like in the comments section below. Have a good day, and believe in something.

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