Travel

What I Bring Home when There is No Room in our Suitcases

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On our last cruise we traveled a very long way and had to be prepared to encounter all types of weather. We traveled from Singapore through Southeast Asia and India and the UAE, through the Suez canal to Rome, then to Scotland and on to Canada. The trip was in March through June. I knew that we would encounter hot steamy  and hot and dry weather, then possibly cold and rainy in Scotland and Canada. Although I am well versed in layering my wardrobe, and packing conservatively, this trip was a challenge!

To top it all off, after traveling for months, when we were to fly home our bags could not weigh over 40 pounds each. That severely limited our souvenir purchases, not that we buy many anyway. Our favorite souvenirs to buy are artisan made ceramic plates and local salt. We have a small collection of both from all around the world. This trip precluded buying much of anything, so besides the thousands of photos I took (which I still have to organize), I brought home some watercolor paintings I did while we traveled.

watercolors

They are nothing spectacular, but framed they are a nice addition to our wall. Every time I look at them, I can remember where we were and why I chose that subject to paint. Each is a little capsule of memory. It was extremely easy to pack the paintings because each is just a sheet of watercolor paper.  Framing happens at home.

So now you know about one of my other hobbies, beside sewing and gardening!

Until next time,

Toni

 

 

Where Did I Go?

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Again we have be doing some extensive traveling! It would take me the rest of the weekend to write about all of the places Mr. M and I have been to since last fall.  In October, we did a Mediterranean cruise which I won’t write about since I have done that before here, here,  here, and here.

Our latest travels were quite different . We started out in Florida, where we live, and basically went around the world. We spent about 10 weeks traveling through Southeast Asia,  the Suez canal area, Scotland, and Canada, to finally arrive back home in time for a week Caribbean cruise with 14 other members of our family.

I am planning to write about some of the areas we visited and to post some our travel photos. In the meantime, I am very busy sewing and gardening. I had to leave our little raised garden beds fallow while we were gone but as soon as we returned I planted them.

Before planting, this year I put drip irrigation, in the form of an “ooze tube”. It seems to be a good addition. I have found that keeping raised beds irrigated in the Florida heat too much for hand watering! Now I just  attach the hose to the tube, turn the water on just a tad, set a timer and, basically, forget about it for a set period of time, usually about 90 minutes to two hours. So much better!

Although I had to plant the gardens in late June, I chose heat loving plants and they seem to be pretty happy right now. I know they may look a little crowded, but I do that purposely, to help shade the soil. Also, I am hoping to “outfox” the wildlife here that regularly check out our homegrown produce. We actually lost a pineapple to some marauding raccoons!

Here is a photo of the ooze tube, most of it is buried about 2″ deep:

irrigation

 

The tomatillo garden:

 

tomatillos

The green bean and zucchini garden: Note that the yellow arrow here indicates where some purported bush beans seem to have become pole beans! I was unprepared for this, hence the jury-rigged trellis!

beans

And just for fun, our first bunch of bananas this year. They are Blue Java, also known as Custard Ice Cream bananas: (guess what they taste like!)

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If you are curious about the brown spots on the two bananas on the right, it is from the latex-like sap of the banana tree. It stains everything it touches, especially clothing! Ask me how I know!

Until next time!

Toni

When in Greece

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When in Greece, take a chance on Gyros:

Authentic Greek Gyros
Authentic Greek Gyros

It was a huge feast!

Costiera Amalfitana, The Amalfi Coast Road

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The Amalfi Coast Road
The Amalfi Coast Road

If I ever get another chance to visit the Mediterranean, I would love to do the Amalfi Coast Road again. It is a World Heritage Site for good reason. Beautiful. Breathtaking. Amazing. There just aren’t enough words to tell about it. If you ever get a chance to go take it! You won’t regret it! Having said that, I have one caveat: do NOT ride the road in a bus! Take a car ,or at most, a van. The road winds along the steep Amalfi coastline high above the Mediterranean Sea. Read the rest of this entry »