Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2 Dec - Cancun

A stopover in Cancun on the way home.

30 Nov to 1 Dec - Last day in Havana

An evening and a morning to try to capture the spirit of Havana.

Monday, December 9, 2013

28-29 Nov - Cuba tour - Maria la Gorda

Trip to Maria la Gorda, a diving centre on the far west of Cuba. This resort is a good example of what happens when your employment arrangement gives you no incentive to strive for excellence.
The name of this resort, by the way, means "fat Maria" named after a woman who used to meet the needs of ravenous traders and pirates!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

26-27 Nov - Cuba tour - Vinales

Staying in the sweet country town of Vinales. The valley of Vinales is surrounded by limestone outcrops called magotes. Farmers continue to farm in traditional, sustainable ways.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

24-25 Nov - Cuba

First few days of our Intrepid Tour

23 Nov - Playa Del Carmen

Mayan villages and temples. A full and fascinating day.

Monday, December 2, 2013

22 Nov - Cancun

The luxury of a beachside resort and an encounter with turtles.This was the best day of our trip!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

20-21 Nov - Miami

A trip on the everglades. Last day in the USA.

19 Nov - Florida

Travelling south.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

18 Nov - Orlando

The family arrives and we launch into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Here are a few of the many 100s of photos we took. You could not wipe the smile off Zoe's face in the morning. The park seemed very quiet. It was fabulous being able to take the shortcuts through the seemingly endless winding queue lines. I would have hated to be there on a busy day!

Monday, November 18, 2013

14 - 16 Nov - Charleston

Four days in an extraordinary city! Here are the first three

14th Nov

15th Nov

16th Nov

Thursday, November 14, 2013

13 Nov - Savannah

Computer glitch discovered and fixed. We took a walking tour of Savannah and I was able to re-take some of the shots I'd lost from the day before. Our tour guide (from Old Town Tours) was charming. We managed to find time to visit Bonaventure Cemetry in the afternoon and do some Christmas shopping in the afternoon. We dined a the famous Lady and Sons restaurant owned by TV cooking celebrity Paula Deen and then had the time of our lives at the Jukebox musical production.

12 Nov - Savannah

In the morning we took a walk to photograph birds. Because of a computer glitch I lost all of those photos :( Here are some of the photos I captured on my Olympus camera in Darien and Savannah

11 Nov - Georgia

From St Augustine to Darien Photos still to come. It appears that I lost most of my DSLR photos from today. I'll blame my low spec computer. Rather discouraging :( I wil post some of the few photos I do have shortly.

10 Nov - St Augustine

We begin our road trip. We arrived in St Augustine to see pirates wandering the streets. What a hoot!

Monday, November 11, 2013

9 Nov - Tampa

This was our last day together in Tampa. After breakfast we caught the trolley to the quaint holiday town of Dunedin. Many, many photos were taken! We finished with a highlight of the trip - a dinner cruise. We talked and danced and took 100s of photos - much to the amusement of the other guests on the trip!

8 Nov - Tampa

Today was all about spending time with the girls. We had a dolphin watching boat tour booked just for our group. It was quite a hoot, but no dolphins dared show themselves! After dinner we Aussies made our first smores (toasted marshmallows with chocolate and dry biscuits). It is such fun finally experiencing these things that the other ladies talk about so often.

5-6 Nov - San Diego

Last two days in San Diego

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

4 Nov - San Diego

We went for a run in the morning. Carol's idea. I felt compelled to join. I soon developed a cramp in my shoulder and started lagging behind. We ran and walked along the wharf area past the Columbian sailing ship, the Midway aircraft carrier and various groups of homeless people. It was almost an hour later when we returned to the Hotel.
After breakfast we headed up to the Zoo via Balboa Park. I knew that there were some things to see in the park but I was very surprised by the architecture of the museums and other buildings lining El Prado avenue. Carol and I were almost beside ourselves with excitement when we heard a group of Navy reservists running towards us with their classic chant. We stumbled across an artisans colony in what looked like an old town. The first stall was run by a guy who makes silver jewellery out of silver wire. It was unique and stunning. Eventually we arrived at the zoo and stayed until closing time. As we wandered back over the bridge to Balboa Park the sun was just setting and we had a brilliant view over the freeway to the city. We stopped to take a bunch of photos.

3 Nov - San Diego

Debi drove us north to La Jolla (pronounced "La Hoya") which is a very pretty seaside resort. We walked along the beach to see scuba divers galore. We drove on to La Jolla Caves and found the cliffs just below the park are covered with sea lions and cormorants and pelicans. We stood and watched them for ages. They were so entertaining!
It was already mid afternoon by the time we arrived back in San Diego. We just had time to see the Gaslamp District Festival. It was the funniest thing with colonial costumes and all sorts of local fare. We couldn't resist getting dressed for a photo!
We drove over the Coronado bridge with spectacular views of the island and back towards the city. Debi couldn't stop on the bridge, so Carol and I hung our cameras out the windows for some quick shots.
On Coronado Island we made our way to the Hotel Del Coronado. The hotel has featured in a number of movies. We walked along the beach and found some magnificent constructions by the Sandcastle Man. He was quite happy to chat and pose for some photos (especially when we deposited some money in his tips bucket).
Then we boldly went for a wander in the Hotel itself. It was quite magnificent, like something from Miss Marple murder mystery with intricate wood paneling and exquisite chandeliers. As we left the sun was setting and the lights were coming on in the hotel making it so pretty - and irresistible to a scrapper with camera in hand!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

7 Nov - Tampa

We flew in early in the morning. Myra met us at the terminal. There was no mistaking Mira. She is the prettiest, daintiest, sweetest person. We went for breakfast and a bit of a road tour of Tamp and then arrived at the Sand Pearl to meet the other team members. It was quite overwhelming meeting everyone. At times all we could do was sit and stare at these other people that we knew quite well in 2D from the Designer Digitals website, and here they were in 3D. Some were short, some tall, all with different accents.
After checking into our room we toured the beach.
Other team members kept arriving during the day. Each arrival was as mid-blowing as the one before.
It was an extraordinary day.

2 Nov - Arriving in USA

The big trip from Melbourne to San Diego. This day seemed to go on forever. We arrived at San Diego at dawn - effectively a few hours before we left Melbourne. Luckily Carol and I drank lots of water on the flight and did our best to catch some sleep. We felt remarkably good when we arrived. Debi picked us up at the airport which was fantastic. We travelled south via Newport Beach and San Juan Capistro. We arrived in San Diego about 4pm to settle into our hotel which was every bit as quaint and delightful as I'd hoped.