Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Old Condo Fog...

Thank goodness I'm a morning person...

This is sunrise in Orlando, Florida. Most people don't see it due to sheer exhaustion. Not too shabby. Or, not too chablis as my husband would say. 

There's fireworks every night at Disney. But these morning fireworks are free for all. 

Are you jones-ing for a great new book to cozy around the fireplace with this Christmas? I reviewed three great reads this week, over on my other blog, The Chorus of the Crows

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Portals to Nicaragua

Nicaragua is making news as it battles hurricane winds this week. We'll be traveling there this winter with fingers crossed for moderate breezes, lively jungles, sandy beaches and lots of local color. But between a vigorous fault line sprouting volcanoes like a loaded strand of Christmas lights, the potential calamity of earthquakes, and now, 100 mile per hour winds, well, are we doomed? I hope not. We've been to Central America 9 times. And we want number 10 to be memorable in a good way. A colorful way....

All of these portals were taken on a photo safari in colonial Granada, Nicaragua. 

I'll be back visiting blogs nest week. I hope I've turned your Black Friday into a rainbow!

What do hurricanes and waffles have in common? Find out over on my other blog, The Chorus of the Crows

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Monday, October 31, 2016

The Oldest Cemetery in Central America

The Granada, Nicaragua Cemetery just might be the oldest in Central America. That's a lot of ghosts. Colorful and Colonial Granada was established in 1524. The city is awash with painted architecture, grand churches and history. This white washed cemetery certainly was grand with its ornate granite carvings, grand mausoleums and cows. Yes cows! Nine Nicaraguan presidents are buried here. And beautiful volcan Mombachu looms in the distance. We entered during a hot and fiery afternoon. The white mausoleums resting against a deep blue sky looked absolutely Grecian. Simply striking. But, we were melting. Next time we visit, we'll go when the sun isn't so harsh.

Cows! I love it. Only in Central America.

I read that most mausoleums have basements built underground. Housing more of the dead. But, I didn't take a subterranean gander.

As soon as we entered we were trailed by a sad hustler. Actually, he just followed us, mumbling, inaudibly, about the different tombstones. But, luckily, there was a funeral going on and living security guards roaming on foot. So he left to stalk some other tourist. Or ghost.

I've always been fascinated by cemeteries. I don't know why. Maybe it is because of the fine line between the living and the dead... 

Did I mention the dead? Hide the crayolas! Halloween month comes to a grisly and ghostly end.... 

Over at my other blog, The Chorus of the Crows

Happy Halloween!

I'll be back in December!

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Birds of Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens, near Tampa, Florida is beautifully landscaped. We had a great time there last March. I loved the combination of exotic bird encounters, zoo animals and thrill rides. 

A wily octopus.

A sleepy Tawny Frog-mouth in the Kookaburra den. (Thanks to Stewart M. for identifying)

Duck or goose ballet.

A monster.

Cheetah run.

This is how I felt after roaming around the park all day.

An ibis of a different color.

The innocent beginning of our parrot encounter...

We fed little parrots in a boisterous enclosure. We both look like we're terrified. Or grossed out. That was not the case. But, my shoulder parrot was freaking out. He was so upset that the red bullies were getting all the food. So, I thought he might peck me in the face. He didn't. But he cried and begged pitifully the whole time. I'll never forget the desperate mews. Right in my ear.

See, my husband grimaced too! He's really loaded down here. We loved it. Really!

Did you know that flamingos stink? Clothes pin style.

Look at how they sleep. Awkward. Pretzel style.

A scarlet Macaw close up.

Of course, there's rides too.

Oscar waves goodbye!

Meanwhile, Halloween month really gets serious this week. We visited the lonely Sand Hill Cemetery last summer. Oh, and it's haunted...

Visit my other blog, The Chorus of the Crows for the gory details...

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Mayowood Mansion

The Mayo Clinic is legendary.

I've never been there. Thank goodness. But we did tour Mayowood.

 Dr. Charles H. Mayo built the 38 room Mansion in 1911. At one time, Mayowood was the center of a 3,000 acre estate near the Zumbro river. I asked the docent how the Dr. made all of his money while we toured the site. It might seem like a stupid question, but I just couldn't believe that a mansion was built, not from oil, not from railroad or timber, not from vast properties or mining, but from doctoring. I guess I always think of the old days, when doctors received a chicken or a bag of potatoes for their work. Obviously, a doctor of the caliber of the Mayo clinic, was in high demand. 

William Worrall Mayo, the founding father, arrived in Minnesota in 1863 as the surgeon examiner of the Northern Army, before the civil war.

To learn more about the Mayo father and sons click here!

My favorite part of the tour was the patina on the cellar out back!

And I was immensely intrigued by the crumbling, spooky building below the Mayowood Mansion. If I remember right, the family lived here before they built Mayowood. 

If walls could talk...

Meanwhile, Halloween month continues over at my other blog, The Chorus of the Crows  Find out what lies beneath an abandoned limestone quarry in Rochester... 

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