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What I've Been UpTo

Moving Home USA

Settling in with New Additions

Day 1
Favorite Place Watching Birds
Are we Growing Up ?

1st Birthday - Now we are One

Kiki & Neemee

Our Beach - St.Simon's Island



 

Blessing Shrimp Boats - Darien

 

Home

 

 

Unloading

 

Container Arrives USA 

Leaving Cyprus

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Moving to Cyprus

agios neofytos cat sanctuary cyprus

Segway in Paphos, Cyprus

 

Hills of Tuscany, Italy

 

Leaning Tower Pisa, Italy

Segway in Florence, Italy

 

Visitors from USA and Scotland

 

Segway on the Cliffs of Dingli, Malta
 

Buzz Flying
 
Picture by Buzz Flying

 An experience not to be missed!  Having made several flights in light aircraft around the Bahamian Islands, I could not resist this one in Malta.  The previous flights were as a passenger seated behind the pilot.  This one was seating beside the pilot and hands on experience.  The views are spectacular and my little camera did not do them justice.
But here are a few.
Picture by Buzz Flying
Picture by Buzz Flying









 Am I hooked?  Yes.  Will I take lessons?  No.  Not unless I win the lotto and can buy my own plane!

Re-visiting Almost Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago I was enjoying life in our recently re-modeled home that my husband and I spent close to  3 years doing ourselves.  It was a lovely home with pool, boat slip, and RV in Punta Gorda, Florida.  I had my business teaching ‘special needs’ children reading and math.  We converted one of the rooms into a beautiful teaching room and even built an entrance porch.  The porch served as a ‘waiting room’ for any parents who wished to sit and wait for their child.  Little did we know that in eight weeks our house would be hit by hurricane Charlie on Friday August 13th 2004…and that changed our lives forever!













When they predicted hurricane coming we were taking a few days break in our RV visiting friends in Sarasota.  The RV campsite told the campers to leave and move up to Tampa.  We spent one night in Tampa and they told us to leave and go to the east coast.  We drove across to Vero Beach and hurricane Charlie hit Punta Gorda traveling right up the Peace River, over and around our sub-division and house.  Of course with communication lines damaged we could not find out what happened to our property or if it was still standing.  Our trip back was a nightmare, not knowing.  But the worst part yet to come.  We could not even get back to our house.  The roads impassable, the closer one got to our area, especially in an RV.  So we had to find another camp site that would take us, nearly half an hour drive from our town.  Fortunately, we always towed our truck behind the RV.  So almost a week after the hurricane we were allowed to drive most of the way and walk the rest. 



 














Well, our house was still standing.  The roof gone in several areas, windows blown in, pool cage in the pool. Even the hurricane proof garage door caved in one side by a large tree. Too much damage to list.  The most heart breaking part for me was the roof went over my teaching room and all my equipment, over 300 books destroyed, wet and moldy.  Believe it or not, the sail boat only suffered damage to the mast and sail.  My husband had secured the boat in between two banks in our canal.  But we still had a house and fared better than a few others in our area.  So we start to call the insurance company, contractors for estimates and the long road of repair and recovery.  Power lines down and no electricity, fortunately we had a well and pumped our own water.  We bought two generators and moved back into the house.  We put tarps over the roof and suffered another hurricanes, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.  During Frances the trap on our roof came loose and my husband was up on the roof on his own securing it! 



















We fixed the house up mostly on our own and a little help from a few contractors in a relatively short period.  Put it on the market and sold within a year.  No one else was able to sell their house for several years.  We moved to Kingsland, Georgia, bought two small houses, lived in one and rented out the other.  After one year we decided to sell again and move to Panama, Central America and retired for four years.  But life was not that good for us there so we started searching for another country.  And here we are, nearly four years on a tiny  island in the Mediterranean called Malta. And we love it here!  So hurricane Charley did us a favor!


Some Pictures from FEMA

 Ten years ago I was not computer literate, did not have a blog, had not heard of blogging.  I taught myself how to use the computer and began transcribing my deceased mother-in-law’s hand written stories and books.  Searched out our wonderful publisher, Vinspire Publishing and from there on it was no looking back.  Blogging, reading, reviewing and interviewing books and authors.

 

France in Spring

 

The latest trip has been to Burgundy wine country in France.  We went for eight days and scheduled lots of things to do and places to see. 
Our base was a small ‘Gite’ (cottage) in the village of Fontaines not far from several large towns and cities such as,
Chalon-sur-Saone; Macon; Dijon; Beaune; Lyon; and a one and a half hour train ride to Paris. 
 Macon was holding its annual ‘Maconnais Vinestival’, a three day weekend of wine and food tasting under one roof at the Parc des expositions de Macon.  If you are a true ‘wine buff’, there was a three day pass for E25 allowing you to taste and eat as much as you want every day.  But we had many other things to do so opted for a one day visit.  Wow, did we have fun!  E5 each got our glass, which you can keep as a memento, and as much wine and variety of foods we could sample.  There were booths from local vineyards small and large offering samples, and others offering foods such as cheeses, breads, meats, cakes, even sculpted chocolates.
One of the most fascinating tastings was ‘Les elixirs du Druide Tripolix’.  These wines are described to be enjoyed as ‘an aperitif, digestive, or during the meal’.  The elixir is made using ancient formulas solely owned by Tripolix.  Tripolix describe the flavors come from chestnuts, walnuts, and natural plant extracts, to name a few.  Absolutely delicious! http://tinyurl.com/Tripolix website for more information.  The sad thing is they do not ship internationally unless you make a large order.

Now if you’ve never been on a Segway, do try it.  They are so easy to manipulate, just a matter of a balance.  Slight lean forward and backwards and turn to maneuver!  What a great way to get around and see a city.  We became hooked on our Segway tour of Rome on a previous trip to Italy.  So needless to say, we scheduled a trip in France. 
This time it was a tour of Dijon.  On this occasion we opted for the short tour, one and a half hours, which took us around beautiful gardens, park and a taste of the city. We toured the historical inner city by foot.  Of course a car trip around the wineries is a must. We knocked on a few doors of ‘vine masters’, who obligingly opened up their doors (not yet the season for free flowing traffic) gave us a few tastings and good hospitality. 
Next on our agenda was a bike trip of the wine groves ending in a local winery for tour and tastings. Domaine Lahaye is a small family run winery on the out skirts of Beaune. 
In fact, the owner was telling us that it was he and his mother and a few family members at key times in the wine making process.  They are fully equipped from the presses to bottling.  The biking was approximately an hour and a half through and around the groves, including a few stops to admire the scenery.
The tour ended with tasting several delicious wines produced by Lahaye. Then another half hour bike back to Beaune center.  Without falling off the bike!








                                   Do Not Try to ‘Do Paris’ in a Day or Seven Hours! 
The fast train was only an hour and a half from Dijon. 
We took a short ride on a commuter train from our nearest station, Chagney, and picked up the fast train to Paris.  We had reserved seats, which was good as the train was packed and the seats comfortable.  Our arrival time of 10:30 a.m. gave us plenty of time to get the Batobus, hop on, hop off boat. 
The boat was only a few minutes’ walk from the railway station and with a boat every twenty minutes, not long to wait.  The day ticket was only E16 each making circular tour of eight of the key sites along La Seine.  Wonderful, we thought!  Plenty of time to visit the eight, have a scrumptious lunch, and maybe walk or bus to see more of Paris’ treasures.  Oh my, were we wrong!  We chose to get off at the furthest stop from where we embarked, which happened to be the Eiffel Tower…and that is pretty well all we did in Paris. 
We did ‘see’ Jardin Des Plantes, Notre Dame, Saint-Germain-Des-Pres, Musee D’Orsay, Champs-Elyses, Louvre, Hotel De Ville, from the boat, and of course, the Eiffel Tower.  The trip to the top of the Eiffel and views was worth the wait for over an hour in line to get tickets. Another wait to ride the first elevator, take a look, wait for the final elevator to the enclosed top.  Of course we had to make the effort and climb the stairs to the summit. 
Breathtaking!  And what an incredible structure, being able to see the girders on the way up in the elevator.  But by the time we had repeated the process of the journey up, to go down, our precious seven hours was sadly running away from us.  It was way past lunch time, and we were starving, parched for a drink, and of course, dying for a nature break.  But we soldiered on, grabbed a serving of French fries to share, two cans of beer and ran for the next boat.  We alighted from the boat at the next stop, The Notre Dame, in the hopes for a ‘whistle-stop’ visit.  Needless to say the lines were backed up a mile. Well it looked like a mile to us.  So a few photos of the outside and rush back on the boat to the railway station.  The final sight we saw before leaving was ‘the bridge of locks’ or as some call it ‘the bridge of love’
 We made our 5:30 train back to Chagney just by the ‘skin of our teeth’

Do I regret the shortness of the trip? Absolutely not.  Would I do it again?  No.  I will plan a stay of a week or more to truly experience and absorb being in Paris.  Yes, I have been before but as a child, not an adult who can appreciate beauty, culture, history, fine dinning, and romance.   
 

Rome, Italy

30 Years of Marriage - What an Anniversary Experience!
The Wedding Cake

  The Best way to see Rome in the rain - Segway Tour
So much History, So many Relics
Vatican City is Beautiful
Its impossible to do Rome justice with my little pictures









You Have to Go!

What did you do on Valentines Day?

This is what we did! 


Air Malta - Hi Dee please go ahead, permission granted

The Crew

 
Malta from the Love Plane

My husband and I had a very unique experience.  We were 'wined and dined' on the Air Malta Love Plane that flew in a heart shape over Sicily! A young couple became engaged on this flight and the Captain asked his love, an Air Hostess, to marry him!  We will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary at the end of the month.  We became engaged on a leap year in Santa Monica, CA, and drove to Las Vegas on March 1st to Marry in The Candlelight Chapel.  And to celebrate our love and commitment to each other, we go to a special place and renew our vows every Leap Year.  So 'Love was in the air' this Valentine's Day.

Here are a few pictures we took.

Volcanic Ash

Mount Etna, Sicily

 
Just returned from a week in Catania, Sicily, Italy.
Garden 
Stayed in the heart of Catania, at an elegant mansion of the first 900, carefully transformed into a charming Bed & Breakfast.
 Room
This was our room

Explored Catania and surrounding area by foot, bus, train, and metro.
Walking
Bus
Train
Metro
Saw some interesting sights.  A man with the world on his shoulders all painted in gold.

Visited Taromina after Etna erupted and saw volcanic ash.
Eruption





Road and car

...And back to Malta.
Malta

Where Are We?
If you know...
Leave a comment!
Here is another clue.
It Was Switzerland
 Jungfrau & Eiger

Off on a Mystery Trip
A Birthday Treat from Mr. M.
Flying off into the sky destination unkonwn!
Hope it's warm and sunny
Back in a week
 

Wet Summer on the English Canals
A week holiday on a Longboat in the rain of England!

Hatton Locks

 The longboat is picked up and training is given on two relatively easy locks.  Moor up for the night and nice dinner in a pub ready for the start of the trip next day.  We are told by a fellow boater that the next part of the journey involves the 21 Hatton Locks.  No problem we think!
There are 21 sets of locks altogether and they raise the Grand Union Canal to a height of 45 metres/144 feet, over a distance of 2miles/4km. For a narrow boat to make the climb it takes, between 3 to 5 hours, depending if they went singly or in pairs.

Well we did it under the 3 hours with help.  A young couple in their 30's with a small boat.  However, the wife was 7-8 months pregnant!  But that did not stop her from winding up the sluice gates, opening the heavy lock gates, and steering the boat.  If anything, she put us to shame with her energy and abilities!


After fourteen more locks we decide to call it a day and moor up for the night.  All four of us tired out, wet from the several down pours, and ready for a nice drink and pub dinner.

At Lapwoth Locks




Time with Friends
Must be Noon in Valletta, Malta.  The canon is fired.
 In the days of the Knights this was a hospital with your own bathroom.  Each arch is a bathroom for each hospital bed!
A ride through the Azure Window.
Only in Malta!  A view from the balcony.  Beautiful horse learning the ropes for the Malta Trot Racing.


Where did the time go? I cannot believe that has been almost two years since my last post. What have I been doing? Trying to leave Central America.Two trips to Malta and much research has finally brought us to this beautiful little island in the middle of the Mediterranean. The picture is typical, one of the many churches in the towns and villages. Full of history and a unique culture, Malta has many little secrets and surprises. You never know what delights you may find just  around the corner.