Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

Today, we had a wonderful trip to Lamanai, one of the oldest sites in Belize, and I have so many photos to sort through, so I thought I would take part in this challenge, with a couple of pics from our flight there and back.

We travelled part of the way in a single engine, Cessna Caravan propeller plane.

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I don’t like flying in small planes, as they get so easily blown around by the wind, and the take-offs are a bit ‘hairy’ to say the least. I opted to sit right at the back of the plane on the way there, because I thought it was the safest place to be in the event of a nose-dive. 🙂 I had a pretty boring view, looking straight forward.

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On the way back, it was quite a different story. The pilot said that because of the weight distribution, only one young girl was allowed to sit on the back seat. I sat across the aisle from a local woman, and just couldn’t stop myself from staring at her hands. I’d never seen anything quite so fancy in my life. They seemed to illuminate the whole cabin as the sun shone through the window, making the gold glint and the jewels sparkle. I tried to sneak a couple of photos with my iPhone, but the angle was all wrong, so there was only one thing to do; I struck up a conversation with her, during the course of which, I remarked on her nails and asked if I could take a photo. She was really friendly, and so delighted that I admired them so much, that she happily posed her hands for my camera.

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She told me that the ones on her little fingers were solid  gold, hence the safety chains. She was on the way to San Pedro for a family birthday party for her pretty little seven-year-old daughter, and assured me that it was being fully catered, so she wouldn’t have a thing to do. I wouldn’t imagine that one could actually do anything with nails like these, especially the washing up, would you? 😆

To see more entries for this challenge, just click here.

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Sun, sand, and Mojitos.

So here I am, at San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, sitting in the bar and sipping a Mojito, as suggested by Tom at The Palladium Traveler. There is so much ice in my drink that I would say it’s almost non alcoholic, but it is very refreshing after our couple of hours’ walk around the town this morning.

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San Pedro is not a smart resort by any stretch of the imagination, but it is quite fascinating nevertheless. The roads in the town are sort of paved, but when you start to get past the main shopping area into the local residential area, they become just dirt and sand. Sidewalks are few and far between, and you really have to watch out for flying golf carts and bicycles. I thought you might enjoy a free guided tour, and did this slide show, so that you can wander around without enduring the heat of the sun, or getting your feet dirty, although I’m sure that some of you are now going to comment that you would give your right arm for a bit of sand, heat and sunshine.

Tomorrow we are going on a tour to Lamanai, which means, ‘submerged crocodile’. After our flight to Tower Hill, there will be a boat trip down the river and through the mangroves, and I’m sure we’ll get some great photos. We are promised exotic birds, monkeys, iguanas and bats. We then go to the ancient Mayan ruins at Xunantunich and will be able to climb to the top of the largest pyramid, El Castillo.  Sounds really exciting, and I can hardly wait.

Thursday’s Windows from up in the clouds.

Well , here we are in Belize. The flight from Miami was on time, and I had a window seat, so sneaked a few pics with my iPhone. Here is what I saw through the cabin windows of our two planes.

Tomorrow we will go out exploring. There are so many golf carts racing around the streets. Maybe we’ll also hire one and see where it takes us. It’s awfully windy at the moment, which does nor bode well for my hair, but everyone else also looks like the ‘Wreck of the Hesperus’, so do I care? 😀

Chat again when I have something to report. Thanks for all your ‘Bon Voyage’ wishes. You’re all so very kind. Mwah!

For more ‘Thursday’s Windows’ you can visit Sandra Conner’s blog.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

In 30 minutes we leave for Miami airport on our way to Belize.

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I’m looking forward to sun, sea and relaxation,

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but will have internet, so I can keep in touch. In the brochure, it looks a lot like this photo taken in Punta Cana.

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So I’ll probably be doing a lot of this. 🙂

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Before I fly away, I would like to wish my blog friend The Asian, a very happy birthday today, and here’s your cake that you asked for. 🙂

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Chat to you you all soon.

Wordless Wednesday: Wisdom personified

“A wise old owl sat on an oak: the more he saw the less he spoke:The less he spoke the more he heard: Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?” ~ Charles M Schulz

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“Happy Wordless Wednesday, dear friends! It’s time to share your favorite family friendly photos – with or without words – at the friendliest party in town!”

Word a Week: Clouds #2

One of my favourite songs is this one, and it seemed rather apt for Sue’s challenge.

Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all  ~ Joni Mitchell

Here’s my second take on Sue’s ‘Word a Week’ Cloud challenge. Yesterday I got a bit sidetracked by the sweet little love birds, but today I’ve decided to give you some serious clouds. Just click on any photo to get a slide show.

I hope you enjoyed my cloud pics. To see more, just visit ‘A Word in Your Ear’, by clicking here.

Kissing above the clouds

Sue, of  ‘A Word In Your Ear’, has given us ‘Cloud’ as her Word a Week’ challenge. I have so many sky pics with clouds and sunsets, but I just came upon this really cute one. The clouds are not the main focus, but the love birds really caught my attention. They thought no-one was watching them. 🙂

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To see Sue’s beautiful cloud pics and links to other bloggers’ contributions, just click here.

 

 

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Multiples

Coins in the fountain

Coins in the fountain

 

When I saw Ailsa’s new theme, I thought I might not do it, as I was sure I didn’t have any suitable pics for it. However, going through some of my photos, I was amazed to find lots of multiples in them.

To see more examples of  ‘Multiples’ just visit Ailsa’s blog.

Back in the Sunshine State, and kitchen remodel pics.

Yesterday afternoon, we arrived back at our home here in Florida, after two weeks away in New Jersey. I was so happy to see my first “Florida” road sign along the way and to know that our three day journey was almost over.

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The drive was good, and we didn’t encounter much traffic, but when we got to Jacksonville, we saw that a truck had jack-knifed on the other side of the highway, blocking the entire road.

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The traffic was backed up for literally miles and miles., and I was so thankful that we were going in the opposite direction.

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On Wednesday we’d stopped for lunch at ‘South of the Border’, a very colourful rest stop on the border between North and South Carolina.

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Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go in and see the Great White Shark.

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The weather started getting much warmer, the closer we got to home, and it was great to be back in the land of palm trees, blue skies and sunshine, and as soon as we got in, it was off with the warm clothes, and on with the shorts and flip-flops.

This morning, we both headed for the gym, and did a great workout. We’d been away for almost two weeks, and really missed the exercise. Some of our friends were there too, so there were lots of ‘Happy New Year’ wishes flying around. One elderly lady came over to inform me that she had a new great grand…..wait for it…….DOG! I was in the midst of congratulating her on the new great grandchild, when I heard the word ‘dog’ instead of son or daughter.  Different 🙂

When we got home, hubby resolved, with a little gentle persuasion from me, to move the light fitting in the kitchen, to centre it over the island.

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After he did the remodel, it was totally in the wrong place. This entailed going up in the roof of course, but he did it, and whilst he was up there, I had two phone calls for him. “Sorry he’ll have to call you back, because he’s in the roof.” I’ve got quite used to saying this over the years, as he has spent quite a lot of time either in or on the roof at our various houses, whilst doing renovations. Finally it was done, and I took a couple of photos to show you the new kitchen. We still have to do some tiling on the walls, and crown moldings around the top of the cupboards, and also install the stainless steel kick plates along the bottom of the cupboards, but that can only be done after we’ve laid the wood flooring which is nicely stacked in the study at the moment. We will start this tomorrow, and there is about 1,200 sq ft of it to lay right through the living area.

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Anyway, I did promise to show you some pics when the kitchen was finished, so here are the before and after pics.

This was taken last year, shortly after we moved in, and before all our furniture had been delivered.

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This is what it now looks like. Hubby did it all by himself, with a little help now and again from me. 🙂

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We leave for a week in Belize next Thursday, so I don’t know if the floor will all be down by then, but we can resolve to try.

To see more posts on the WordPress ‘Resolve’ theme, just click here.

New year, new beginnings

“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick up one of those pieces and begin again.”  ~Flavia Weed

A new year is often a time when people start thinking about changing their lives for the better. Fortunately for us, any time is a good time for a fresh start, and dreams don’t have deadlines. A new beginning opens up so many possibilities, as we embark on things we’ve never tried before. People do reinvent themselves, and for many different reasons. Sometimes it can be because of what is often called by those who wish they had the nerve to do the same, a ‘midlife crisis’. The re-inventors however, prefer the term, ‘finding themselves’, but George Bernard Shaw once said,  Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Many people have been brave enough to take that leap of faith into something entirely new and have found that it was the best thing they ever did. There are many examples of  people who did just that.

For example:

Bestselling author John Grisham was a criminal lawyer, before he decided to take up writing full time, and becoming one of the world’s most successful authors.


UK BAFTA winning comedian/actress/writer, Jo Brand, who has been listed as one of the funniest acts in British comedy started her career as a psychiatric nurse.


Actor/comedian/director/producer, Danny DeVito began his working life as a hairdresser in his sister’s beauty salon.

Harrison Ford worked for fifteen years as a carpenter stagehand, before being offered an uncredited role as a bellhop in ‘Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round’ (1966), and then a huge one in ‘Star Wars’. The rest is history. 🙂

Singer/songwriter, Ray LaMontagne, worked 65 hour weeks at a shoe factory in Maine, until he one day decided to teach himself to play acoustic guitar, and at 30 years old, he quit his day job and went into music full time.

Life is short, and we only get one crack at it, so if it’s a new beginning you want, why not do some careful research, plan your strategy and then just go for it? Who knows, you could be the next Richard Branson, who in spite of suffering from dyslexia, and having a very poor academic record at school, is now a billionaire and the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom. Some of his ventures didn’t work out, and he has lost more money than most people could dream of making in their entire lifetime, but he has never given up. It is his daring and willingness to give things a go that has seen him succeed, and he’s always come back stronger than ever. He’s such an inspiration, and reminds me of that 1930’s song,

Nothing’s impossible I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off,
Start All over again.

I found a few quotes to encourage us as we start out on this new year. :

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth… not going all the way, and not starting. ~ Buddha

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Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect. ~Alan Cohen

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I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.  ~ J. B. Priestly

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Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose – not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember. ~ Anne Sullivan

You don’t need endless time and perfect conditions. Do it now. Do it today. Do it for twenty minutes and watch your heart start beating. ~ Barbara Sher

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Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Don’t wait for something big to occur. Start where you are, with what you have, and that will always lead you into something greater.  ~Mary Manin Morrissey

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Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. Maria Robinson

Wishing you all a very happy, prosperous and fulfilling year.