MY TRAVELS #4: IS IT TOO HOT NOW? THEN ENJOY MY BEAUTIFUL WINTER WONDERLAND MONTAGE, REMEMBER? SMILE.
We just been through a crazy winter. People complaint about the cold, the snow, winds, hail, blizzards, the never ending season, well, you get it.
One thing that I tried to capture to digress from all the negative thoughts about this past winter was the opposite, the beauty of it.
It all boils down to the magnificent show that nature puts forward for us to enjoy. Therefore, take your time to enjoy my shots about the 2017-18 winter wonderland season.
Finally, do not complaint about the temperature now, if it’s too hot is fine, will live through it, Ha, Ha, Ha.
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY
I am fortunate enough to live in the Washington Metro Area; an amazing place where in less than 30 minutes I can be walking by any of our National Monuments, Memorials, Museums and Landmarks. The list is almost endless:
The Washington Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, FDR Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, National World War II Memorial, and finally, my favorite memorial of all (for its architectural design), The Jefferson Memorial. The museums list is not short either and two of my favorites are the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History.
Also, you can ride in an elevator to the top of the Washington Monument; the huge obelisk in the middle of the National Mall that was built in honor of George Washington, our first president. All of these memorials are walking distance within our National Mall, and while you are there, walk to see the White House and the U.S. Capitol, with luck you may catch an important hearing.
If you have the opportunity, plan a vacation to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. to enjoy these landmarks, they are free (though you may need entrance tickets for some) and will provide you and your family an experience of a life time.
Photos by Angie
This post may look like insignificant or like it doesn’t make any sense. However, road signs are critical to all when we travel, we could all get lost in a way if we don’t get to see them, smile.
How many of you have experience a long road trip; like going to a national park, or a distant city or a place you never been before and definitely don’t want to get lost. Then boom, you see the sign. Is a happy, happy sight that provides you a sense of tranquility, you have arrived!
Also, is so interesting how different states and jurisdictions design their signs, and how important is the wording and the art used to identify the area.
Again, in an era of GPS and Google Maps, do not under estimate the road signs, it’s old school!
And perhaps these few post may bring you back to memory lane. SMILE.
MY TRAVELS: ROAD TRIP #1: THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A SNOW STORM IS ANNOUNCED AND PEOPLE GO CRAZY ON THE ROAD, TEXTING AND SPEEDING!
Around March, I took a road trip to the Midwest. It was cold but the roads were totally safe to drive. However, in a matter of hours, the weather went crazy and that’s when everything turned ugly.
The temperature dropped to the single digits, wet snow began to fall and the roads became ice skating rings. We started to see all kinds of vehicles passing at speeds not safe for the dangerous roads condition and in an instant, we started to witness cars crashing, trucks spinning like toys and lots of ditched vehicles with drivers still behind the wheel.
The scenario was the cue for us to get the heck out of the road and find the first hotel available to avoid being hit by a car or a truck.
It turned out to be a wise decision, when the storm was over the next morning, we went back on the road and saw the evidence of carelessness driving. You can tell by my photos. Sad isn’t it.
Today you are traveling with me to Belize City, Belize located in Central America. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating at all when I arrived. There were stormy winds, plenty of rain and huge waves; well, just miserable.
On the other hand, there wasn’t much to see there, other than the big turtle that I photographed under a walking bridge. It was over a foot long and the thing was looking at me non-stop. Creepy.
The country's main attractions are natural and nautical, mostly underwater activities like scuba diving, reefs etc. Therefore, since the weather was miserable, I decided to stay away from the water, and explore as much as I could of this small city. All I can tell you is, it’s so tiny that in less than an hour I had seen it all.
So let’s hope that I take off to another travel adventure soon, so we can both enjoy it better, smile.
OK friends, this is the last Costa Maya montage and it is mostly about the beauty of their natural resources, including some friendly cute pets.
My favorite are the street dogs that I found by the beach shops and restaurants. They are homeless and can’t be sweeter and cutest. They were totally unconcerned with anything happening around them, which was a lot; people all over, loud music, foods, etc...
One of them was sleeping in front of a kiosk and to me looked a bit sick. So, I told the guy, perhaps the shop owner, that she looked sick. Then he looked at me laughing and with a strong accent said; “What lady? She is not sick; she just ate 4 tacos and is now sleeping a “siesta”.
Seriously? I doubted.
The lighthouse that you see in one of my photos is located at the actual beginning of the Malecón and in the beach area called Mahahual. There are two tourist’s places that I visited; the Pier and Mahahual.
Mahahual is more relaxing, less crowded and have an amazing beach. It is less frequented by tourist, since to get there you have to leave the Pier area, take a taxi and indicate to the driver where you are going. Most people do not want to venture outside of the main attractions, therefore, missing somewhat the flavor of the local culture and their people.
To be continued…
My visit to Costa Maya, Mexico was perfect and the weather was amazing. This place is huge and packed with places to go and activities to do. I decided to get to know the town instead of going to a jungle, a beach or a lagoon.
Warning: Since there were so much to do in Costa Maya, I will be posting several montages in the upcoming weeks.
Once you enter the tourists Mayan Pavilion Park, you will be exposed to all kinds of Mayan culture, their traditional ceremonies, shops of all kinds, restaurants, etc. Also I was able to capture some interesting old vehicles. However, my favorite exhibit was the old Carnation container, peanut butter, etc. I think these packing products are from before I was born. Smile!
The large pole that you see in some of these photos is a cultural ritual that these men have been doing for centuries. They climb to the top of the pole, grab a rope up there and then begin to descend upside down while the whole thing goes in circles like a marry-go- round. The problem is that there is no protection for these guys if one has the misfortune to fall. You also see Mayan Indians all over performing other cultural stuff.
Anecdote: I walked out of the tourists area where to get to the local town. I found a grocery store and I was in shock to see the prices. A bottle of water was selling for $9.23. When I inquired I learned that $1.00 US dollar = 18.45 Mexican pesos. Therefore, the bottle was really .50 cents. It was basically the only place that I was exposed to the “pesos”, since all stores in the tourist’s area mark their merchandise in US dollars.
To be continued …
Cozumel is the largest Mexican island in the western Caribbean, on the Yucatan Peninsula; located in the state if Quintana Roo in southern Mexico.
I was impressed with Cozumel. The weather was amazing, there are lots of friendly people, tons of restaurants, opportunities for snorkeling, amazing submarine rides, exciting swimming with stingrays as well as Dolphins, plenty of shops and a natural beauty to enjoy, as you walk beyond the tourist area and towards the far end of the island.
The colors are so bright, of course, typical Caribbean. The building you see that looks like a pyramid is a hotel and that tall structure is called a Palapa. They told me that it is the highest Palapa in the island and perhaps in the Caribbean. Finally, at the end of the day you will be so tired, therefore, you have my “permission” to order a margarita, then, sit anywhere you want to catch the sunset.
I am ready to go back! Smile.
I love music, as it is an amazing form or art. Today, I want to talk briefly about two legends in this montage that I admire and did research on; Miles Davis and Charlie Parker.
Miles Davis had a normal upper middle class family life. He was raised in a big farm in St. Louis, with lots of horses, a cook, and a maid. His father was a dentist. Growing up he lived such a secluded life before all this fame. At age 13th he became interested in the trumpet and made it his musical instrument of choice. He was extremely focus and practiced consistently for hours and hours at a time. He became so good at it that by age 19th he got a job with Charlie Parker, his idol.
By age 23, he had developed his own new style, a trumpet tender sound. He went to Paris and was received as a big star. He met Picasso and also had a brief romance. Then he returned to USA and unfortunately, wasn’t even acknowledge at the star level he was. He became angry and some even said he had “demons” in his back. He could not find employment and finally, like many musicians of that era, turned to drugs.
His career became extremely difficult based on his increased drug addiction and made him paranoid. He lost all focus and hit bottom. Then he decided to go back home to ask his father for help. His father just told him that the only one that can help him was himself. And thank God he did. He walked to one cottage in the farm, locked himself in a second floor room and did not eat, drink or do any drugs for 7 days. The pains of detox alone, not medically supervised were overwhelming. However, on the 7th day, the pain was over, he felt great, came out of the room, walk towards his dad, and no words were spoken, they hug and cried. From that point forward his life did a 100 degree turn for the best and immediately, decided to go back 100% to his music.
Charlie Parker was born in Kansas City in 1920. His father was a jazz musician. Charlie’s musical instrument of choice was the saxophone. He began to play it at age 13, his genre of choice was the Blues. He practiced nonstop for long hours and became such a gifted player that at age 15th he was already playing in a professional band. His income made him a member of the middle class and went on to reside in Manhattan.
Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, he also became an alcoholic and in spite of his musical gift he lived a tragic sad life. Married at age 16th. He said he drank in order to stay awake all night to work. He also said that after work, he had to stay awake to practice long hours, therefore, he slept just few hours a day. The lack of sleep resulted in being involved in a tragic car accident, where few of his friends got killed. He ended in a hospital for two months, where he was given morphine daily. At age 17 he was not only an amazing saxophonist but also a junkie. In spite of his fame and talent, his addictions, (food, women, drugs and alcohol) cause him to lose his job, become homeless and suffer mental challenges; reason why he was committed to a mental health hospital, where even there, he played the sax until he was discharged.
Charlie Parker was a genius, versed in science, math and many said, a true intellectual. His music continues to amaze generations of musicians today and will continue for generations to come. Charlie Parker passed away at the short age of 34 on March 12, 1955.
Unfortunately, these legends are gone, however, they will never be forgotten!
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.