Ailsa’s ‘Liquid’ travel theme.


โ€œWe ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.โ€
~ Mother Teresa

For Ailsa’s theme, I have a few photos to share, all involving the uses of that most necessary liquid commodity, water. Click on any image to see slideshow.

You can click here to see other bloggers interpretations of Ailsa’s theme.

Jake’s theme: Surroundings

This week, Jake wants to see our surroundings, so I decided to share a few pics taken from around where I live.

This pretty drive will take you up to the entrance gate, and as you may notice, it had just been planted out with hybrid Impatiens. When they really get going, it will be a riot of colour.

Just outside my house, is a lovely lake, which isn’t a huge surprise. In Florida, everywhere you look, there is water.

Last year, we had a Mr Smiley who was very much a part of our surroundings,

but now we just have Lizzie, who likes to sit outside my bedroom window or on the garden spray, watching for insects.

Many birds come to the water to do aย  bit of fishing by day,

and even at night.

The people who live here use their surroundings for really strenuous activities, like riding around on golf carts,

or sunning themselves next to the pool. ๐Ÿ˜€

As well as water, we are also surrounded by palm trees.

If you’re feeling peckish, you could grab a bite to eat at the poolside restaurant.

You especially might want to do this, if your oven is sitting in the middle of the lounge area, as mine is at the moment.

At present, in my home, I’m surrounded by tools, piles of wood flooring,

and kitchen units waiting to be assembled.

I suppose I could go and sit by the pool and read a book, but then who would make hubby’s coffee and his well deserved lunch? I just hope that I can find somewhere to prepare it. ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope you enjoyed looking at my surroundings. If you would like to see other bloggers’ interpretations ofย  Jake’s theme, just click here.

Lovely weather for ducks

We have had so much rain here in West Palm, and yesterday whilst out shopping, one of the assistants asked us if we knew about the threat of Hurricane Sandy. Apparently the schools and some businesses were going to be closed today, just in case it should hit here.

Well, the danger seems to be over for us, and Sandy has moved on. I see that the storm is forecast to maybe hit New Jersey, where my son lives, on Tuesday.

Some of our local residents don’t seem to mind the extra water at all.

The Great Blue Heron has come back, and is definitely the king of our lake.

There’s always something to photograph here.

The local air force either stand elegantly on guard,

or entertain us with a spectacular ‘flypast’.

This afternoon, I have to go and visit one of the ladies on our committee. She has been writing the monthly article for our club magazine, and wants to pass the buck on to ‘muggins’ me. She phoned at 10am to say that she was off to her beautician and would only be home by 3pm. That sounds quite ominous. How do I compete with someone who firstly, has a beautician, and secondly, spends 4 hoursย  there, being beautified? ๐Ÿ™‚ Ah well, it’s really terribly windy here, so I’ll probably arrive with my hairย  looking like these palm fronds, and say, ” Just look what the wind blew in!” ๐Ÿ˜€

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, wet or dry. ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t forget to check out Cee’s post to see her amazing water pics.

Boys and their toys.

Jake’s theme this week is “Toys.” My kids are all grown up, and their toys are of the super expensive kind. My son has graduated from Matchbox cars, which he used to buy with his pocket-money, to the far more expensive and larger than life-size Mercedes GL SUV. He needs the space for three small children and all their paraphernalia. I’m so glad I don’t have to provide the pocket money to run it. ๐Ÿ™‚

My grandkids have what seems to me, mountains of toys and stuff. These days are a far cry from the ‘olden days’ when we used to make our own ‘toys’ and games out of cardboard, paper, pebbles, twigs and suchlike. Anyway, I’m sure there is no going back to those days, so we just move forward into an ever more consumer orientated way of life for our children.

I have no toys as such to show you, but when we were out a couple of days ago, we pulled up alongside a ‘Monster Truck’, which was obviously this dude’s pride and joy. These things just crack me up. ๐Ÿ™‚

Last time we were over in the US, hubby saw a couple of these side by side at the traffic lights, on the same stretch of road. The driver of the one alongside him, leaned out of the window and bobbing his head up and down, made a big thing of showing everyone his super cool shades, which were just like this. ๐Ÿ™‚

I do apologise if any of you bloggers, your partners, or your spouses, drive one of these monster trucks, whilst wearing beer bottle sunglasses. I hope I haven’t offended you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks, Jake for always coming up with an interesting theme.

On display in Florida.

Ailsa’s travel theme, “On Display,” was still in my mind, when we went out and about yesterday. I had been busy unpacking our cases for most of the morning, trying to find space for all the ‘stuff’ we’d carted with us. One of the items, was a little Lladro fairy bell, which is the other half of a pair. I’d brought the boy pixie over the last time we came, and he’s had to wait six months to see his girlfriend again, as I only had one custom-made box to put him in. Anyway, they’re reunited at last, on display in my bedroom, so I can stop feeling guilty. ๐Ÿ™‚

On our travels, we stopped in at ‘Whole Foods’ to get some groceries. Love this store, as everything looks so fresh and healthy.

One thing I really enjoy about being here, is that I can buy fresh berries all the time, and in nice big boxes, too. This is something I really miss when we go back to South Africa, as we don’t get many blackberries, raspberries and blueberries, and when we do, they’re in tiny little 125g packs, which are eaten in no time at all.

Outside, was a very cute pumpkin display for Halloween.

Home Depot was our next stop, to look for ideas for our kitchen revamp. A really helpful lady by the name of Jamesetta, gave us loads of literature, and arranged for someone to visit next week to discuss the design. I’m very excited about this, as it will mean all new appliances, and it will be great to have an oven that actually works. ๐Ÿ™‚ The one that came with the house, is original, and I think the thermostat stopped functioning years ago, which makes it impossible for me to even bake one of my cheesecakes. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

On the way out, we went to have a look for an orchid, but although there were a myriad to choose from,

We didn’t buy one, as they were all fully in flower, and I prefer buds which will come out over time.

Also on display were these gorgeous little red cacti.

On the drive home, the sky displayed signs of imminent rain, which we had overnight, together with thunder and lightning.

One of our neighbours told us that it has rained every day since we left here in April. No wonder the grass is so green.

Today we have to drop off the rental car at Palm Beach International airport, which means that I have to follow on behind in our car. This will be my first time driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road since we arrived. Wish me luck, ๐Ÿ™‚

To see more “on display” posts, just click here.

Back in Florida and loving it.

Here we are in Florida. We were awake for 22 hours yesterday, before we finally fell into bed last night. With the time difference, and the fact that it was a daytime flight, we didn’t sleep at all on the plane. I was so engrossed in my book, Kate Atkinson’s ‘Case histories,’ that the time just ‘flew’ by. ๐Ÿ˜€

The guy at passport control was really chatty and friendly; our bags came through quickly, we got an upgrade on the car rental, so everything went really well. On the drive from Miami airport, I was craving a Starbuck’s chai latte and a toasted sun-dried tomato, mozzarella, and basil panini, so we stopped off and had this for supper. Just sitting there amongst the local folk, typically working on their laptops, it was as though we’d never been away. Sorry about the lopsided pic. I snapped it as we were driving away. ๐Ÿ™‚

The drive back was uneventful, although we did see two accidents on the 95, with police already in attendance.We stopped off to do some grocery shopping at our local supermarket, and when we arrived at our little house, it was just as we’d left it. It was nice to get acquainted with all my ‘stuff’ here. It’s funny how you forget what you’ve got when you haven’t seen it for 6 months. ๐Ÿ™‚ After unpacking some essentials, we finally got into bed about 11 pm. What bliss that was!

This morning, we looked out at the lake, but there wasn’t much going on; just an egret having a morning chat to an anhinga on the opposite bank, up by the golf course.

I’m afraid that our trusty old Sanyo camera has just finally given up the ghost. The new one is on order, so let’s hope it hurries up and gets here. Just across from where I’m sitting, there is a gorgeous anhinga sitting drying its wings in the morning sun. It’s a lovely calm, mild day, and there’s a lot to do, so I must get on and do it. I’ll catch up with you all later. Have a great day.

Ships and boats from my travels.

Hi again, everyone. Whilst I was looking for photos forย http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/sunday-post-vehicle/ “Vehicle,” and before I’d read the guidelines properly, I found some pics of boats that I’d seen or been on in the course of my travels. Sea-going vessels didn’t qualify for the theme, but I thought I’d just do a post about water transport. Of course I have a great variety of pics, but here are just a few of my favourites.

This is a Nile cruise ship just in front of ours, on ourย  trip which took us from Aswan to Luxor to see many of the temples, most notable of which were the Temple of Queen Hapshepsut, the Karnak temple complex at Luxor, and of course the Valley of the Kings, which was spectacular. Here, we were alongside the Kom Ombo temple. We spent a very happy and entertaining week aboard, and I even got to impersonate a belly dancer at the fancy dress party.

The hydrofoil across Lake Titicaca took us from a resort outside La Paz to Copacabana, with stop-offs at Moon Island and Sun Island on the way. As you can see, we were the only passengers, apart from our guide. It was a wonderful sensation, speeding across the glittering lake in the bright sunshine, with the snow-capped Andean mountains to our right

These long-tail boats, known as ‘Ruea Hang Yao’ in the Thai language, are on the beautiful Phi Phi Island in Thailand. We did a day trip to this paradise, from Club Med Phuket, which also included a visit to Kho Phi Phi where the film, “The Beach” was made. We didn’t see Leonardo diCaprio, or a giant Marijuana plant. Laughing We have another trip booked there for early next month, and I can’t wait.

Our Venetian gondola ride last year, was a real highlight of our Italian tour, mainly because it was so funny. As you can see, our gondolier doesn’t look like the happy, singing type, and certainly wouldn’t pass the audition for Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta, “The Gondoliers.” We set off under the Bridge of Sighs, and as we sailed along, we asked our boatman to sing to us, but he said that would be extra. LOL! The guy in the gondola in front of ours started to sing “Buona serra senorita,” and ours joined in, albeit somewhat halfheartedly. A local man walking along the path, called out to us in Italian, “He can’t even sing. Why don’t you just tell him to shut up?” We creased ourselves laughing, but ‘Mr Sourpuss’ did NOT look amused. Frown

Here is a vessel we intend to take a trip on when we return to Florida. We went boat watching one day earlier this year and saw the luxury motor boat, The Lady Delray, which takes one on a leisurely two-hour narrated tour from Veteran’s Park through the calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, and past some of the area’s most beautiful mansions. We’ll be able to see a variety of marine life in its natural habitat, and learn a little about the area’s history, all this whilst snacking on tasty morsels and sipping cocktails. I’m so looking forward to it.

This vessel in the play area of our local mall in Florida, might not be a real boat, but it does contain my two gorgeous little granddaughters, so I thought I’d put it in anyway. Wink

Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.