Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Alphabe-Thursday (5th), the letter "J" — Some places I've been starting with "J"

"J" is for some places, countries and cities starting with the letter "J" where I have traveled:

 - Countries:
Japan (only stopped at the Tokyo Airport for a long layover on the way to China)
Jordan
 
 - States: (I've been to all 50) 
No States begin with a "J"

 - U.S. Cities over 100,000 population where I've been:
Jacksonville, Florida
Jackson, Mississippi
 


I am in or around Belize today.

 
This is about all I can post as we HAD to leave (Princess Cruise itinerary map -- FREE for you),
Jordan is a lovely place, overpopulated in the city centers.  I ran out of time to finish a post about our travels there.  Mema, Mrs. Jim's Mom, came with us, that was fabulous in of itself. !!!
We loved Petra (Jordan)


 - Jenny is starting in now on her tenth series of Alphabe thursday.  With 52 weeks in a year and 26 letters in the alphabet she is now in her fifth year.  I am linked to her blog, GO HERE for more participants and their offerings

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Alphabe-Thursday (5th), the letter "I" — Some places I've been starting with "I"

"I" is for some places, countries and cities starting with the letter "I" where I have traveled:

 - Countries:
Ireland
Israel
Italy

 - States: (I've been to all 50) 
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa  
 
 - U.S. Cities over 100,000 population where I've been:
Independence, Missouri
Irving, Texas

   - International Cities:   
Innsbruck, Austria

Lets start with the countries.  I liked them all, not really a favorite. So, Ireland gets the nod, we've been there a couple of times.  Both times we had a rental car (drive on the left side of the road).  It is a pretty country, not overpopulated, and they speak English.  Currency is the Euro which has a better U.S. exchange rate than the British Pound. A favorite thing to do is to visit the Blarney Castle outside of Kilarney.  And you have to kiss the Blarney Stone while you are there.
 
 
 
 
Mrs. Jim went up there also but she didn't want to kiss the stone. I've kissed it twice.  To read and see more please check the original 2007 post, found here.
 
The Isle of Man isn't a country so I can't put it on the list above.  It is a self-governing British 'Crown dependency,' not a country. (Wikipedia link)  It is located off the coast of Britain.  Though there is a ferry that goes there, we flew.  My grandfather's family came from the Isle of Man.  We visited it in 2007 (prior blog posts).
 
The main thing we did in  the Isle of Man was to go from Douglas, the capital city in the middle, where we stayed up to the north by train and then go to the south end via bus.  Lots of site seeing.  We did see evidence of the Corkhill family having been there.  One lady at the information center (above, right) informed us that her maiden name was Corkhill.
 [click picture for full screen]
      
For Italy we took a Grand Circle (travel company) tour of the island of Sicily for two weeks (link).  Since it was by bus, we could explore each part for about a week.

First we stayed at Palermo for a week, then Argrigento (Greek ruins there) one night, and six more nights at Taorminaa small (population 11,000) hillside town on the east coast of Sicily with a nice view of Mt. Etna. We did go onto the slopes of Mt. Etna.


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Then we took a Grand Circle excursion on the Amalfi Coast for another week. 

After that we flew from Naples over to Milan where we rented a car and toured Provence (France) and Tuscany a week each to finish our five week vacation.


Above, to the left is looking out our  hotel window to the north to the sea.  Next, Mrs. Jim and I took a walk up our hill in Sorento (Amalfi coast) and could look over to the Isle of Capri.
I took a lot of motor scooter pictures when I could.  A lot of women ride them in Italy.   To the right we see Mrs. Jim sampling the goodies at the Market in Palermo, Sicily.

Independence, Missouri, is the home of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum (link).  It is a wonderful presidential library.  I have visited slightly more than half of them, seven (7) of the thirteen (13). 

The libraries make a nice goal for seeing places in the U.S as surely if you go by car you will not only explore the state of the library you pick, but also the states along the way (List of all 13 links on left sidebar).  We love to make a sweeping tour and try to not come back the same way we went.  We have been to ALL 50 of the states.
 
 - Jenny is starting in now on her tenth series of Alphabe thursday.  With 52 weeks in a year and 26 letters in the alphabet she is now in her fifth year.  I am linked to her blog, GO HERE for more participants and their offerings. 
 


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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

My Alphabe-Thursday (5th), the letter "H" — Some places I've been starting with "H"

"H" is for some places, countries and cities starting with the letter "H" where I have traveled:

 - Countries:
Hong Kong
Hungary
 
 - States: (I've been to all 50) 
Hawaii (late 1980's on a mission trip with a group of youth and adults from our church)
  
 - U.S. Cities over 100,000 population where I've been:
Houston, TX (we live 50 miles north of downtown Houston)

Hialeah, FL
Hollywood, FL

Hartford, CT
 - International Cities
Haifa, Israel

"H" is for Haifa, Israel, today.  We went there in July, 1980, coming by a small sized cruise ship, then Greek, the Oceanos.  We had left from Athens about a week before and visited Ephesus (Turkey), a couple of Mediterranean Islands (I liked Patmos the best), and had spent the previous day in Egypt (Alexandria and Cairo).
 
When we approached the port a large company of  Israeli Navy divers came alongside and checked out the undersides of our ship.  For bombs and the like I am sure.  Then we docked and disembarked at Haifa, leaving our ship for someone else to take on Mediterranean cruises.  We didn't stay in Haifa, but went by bus to Jerusalem for our week-long stay at a hotel there. 

The Oceanos, launched in July 1952, had a busy life, generally a much more exciting one than with our group.  Our tour leaders were Professors at the Southwestern Baptist Seminary at Arlington, Texas.  Mrs. Jim and I and one other couple were the only ones we ever saw from our group using the Disco Lounge.  But to make up for that there were also a large group of Shrine Lodge members having fun who made good use of the lounge.
(Picture courtesy of Wikipedia) . . . . .
Our ship had an accident later, on August 3, 1992.  It sank in bad weather off the coast of southeast Africa. The crew abandoned ship but all passengers were rescued by South African Navy helicopters. 

The Oceanos has never been salvaged.  Read about the sinking and rescue here.  The YouTube video shows how it all happened, and I found two different videos (Video 1--my favorit,e, showing below)  (Video 2--showing after everyone had been taken off) about the sinking. 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BFux2AAMso
 
 - Jenny is starting in now on her tenth series of Alphabe thursday.  With 52 weeks in a year and 26 letters in the alphabet she is now in her fifth year.  I am linked to her blog, GO HERE for more participants and their offerings. 

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Friday, January 02, 2015

Six Word Saturday -- OP Pictures

my Six Words:
Pictures from where I don't know

 
I don't think my stories repeat
 
 
This one was a hint from _______?

 
I have these pictures stored in a file named "2014 OP" 
which means somehow, by copying, e-mailing,
or whatever I got them from OP
(OP means 'other people')
_ _ _ _ _
 
This one (below) is from file "2015 OP" and it came
from our neighbor who sent us a 'snow picture'
from her back porch at her other place:
 
 click on picture for larger size
 
If you see your picture here, please let me know.  Then we can take care of that, credit I hope.
 _ _ _ _
Six Words Saturday fine print:
Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words for Six Word Saturday. Click the box at right to visit Cate's blog with Mr. Linky showing all the other blogs participating this week. Cate is the boss at Six Word Saturday. She would like for you to participate.

  

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Alphabe-Thursday (5th), the letter "G" — Some places I've been starting with "G"

"G" is for some places, countries and cities starting with the letter "G" where I have traveled:
 - Countries:
Germany
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
 - States: (I've been to all 50) 
Georgia 
 - U.S. Cities over 100,000 population where I've been:
Greensboro, N.C.
Garland, TX
Glendale, CA
Grand Prairie, TX
Grand Rapids, MI
Gainesville, FL


Greece will get the spotlight this time as it is the most recent place on the list where I have visited.    In the summer of 2013 we took a Pacific Princess Ship cruise from Venice to Istanbul to Yalta, Ukraine, and then back to Athens Greece.  And of course we stopped along the way, almost every day of the way.

Our first Greece stop was at Volos for the day.  There we visited a couple of old monasteries high atop little mountains.  Our pictures are below:
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[The last picture shows where we were.]
Click picture to enlarge.  Back Button returns
 
Our cruise ended in Athens, Greece.  We had been there before.  Then we had a nice tour of Athens, so we did that again.  Our tour conveniently ended at the airport.
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 - Jenny is starting in now on her tenth series of Alphabe thursday.  With 52 weeks in a year and 26 letters in the alphabet she is now in her fifth year.  I am linked to her blog, GO HERE for more participants and their offerings. 

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Happy New Year 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!
Another e-Mailing from my friend, John:

 
Date: Wed Dec 31 08:36:12 CST 2014
From: "John" Add To Address Book
Subject: John's howdy
To: "a bunch of us, his friends"
 

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Six Word Saturday -- Got this e-Mail, from ... -- A joke

My six words:
Got this e-Mail this morning from (my BIL, Danny)
 
Note:  if you read this, you will have to highlight between the parentheses because it will make it more than six words. It will show up on my FaceBook just fine, sorry for them.

 
 

Picture credit: (was not a part of the e-mail, Google found this)
 http://www.hootersflorida.com/galleries/2014-hooters-calendar-girls/

It has a joke that he sent:
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Date: Sat Dec 27 10:43:19 CST 2014
From: "d...@gmail.com"
Add To Address Book
Subject: A sad tale of "Hooters"
To: (a bunch of us, even "Fwd'd" showing some others)


A group of softball players, all in their 40's, discussed where they should meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Hooters because the waitresses were young, good looking, had big breasts and wore short-shorts.

Ten years later, at age 50, the softball buddies once again discussed where they should meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Hooters because the food and service was good, they had many televisions to watch the games on, and the beer selection was excellent.

Ten years later, at age 60, the team again discussed where they should meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Hooters because there was plenty of parking, they could dine in peace, and it was good value for the money.

Ten years later, at age 70, they discussed where they should meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Hooters because the restaurant was wheelchair accessible and had a toilet for the disabled.

Ten years later, at age 80, the friends discussed where they should meet for lunch. Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Hooters because they had never been there before.


- - - - - - -

I do remember the only time that I ever was in a Hooters.  I was "chaperoning" my BIL's son when he wanted to buy himself a T-shirt. No problems. 

One other encounter was when I was doing hand/finger therapy after my fall in Ireland (link).  Two Hooters Girls came in with four large paper sacks.  They left two at the facility saying, "Don't forget, we are just around the corner."  I was sitting in the lobby then waiting for my appointment.  Before I left we all devoured most all of the wings they had left us.

Six Words Saturday fine print:
Describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words for Six Word Saturday. Click the box at right to visit Cate's blog with Mr. Linky showing all the other blogs participating this week. Cate is the boss at Six Word Saturday. She would like for you to participate.

 

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Alphabe-Thursday (5th), the letter "F" — Some places I've been starting with "F"

"F" is for some places, countries and cities starting with the letter "F" where I have traveled:
Countries:
Finland
France
States: (I've been to all 50) 
Florida 
Cities over 100,000 population where I've been:
Florence Italy
Fort Collins United States
Fort Lauderdale United States
Fort Wayne United States
Fort Worth United States
Frankfurt am Main Germany
Fremont United States
Fresno United States
Funchal Portugal

Starting with the countries:
Finland:  In the Spring of 2007 we did an eleven-day Baltic Capital cruise.

Places we visited were: COPENHAGEN; DENMARK (two days); Ship: Star Princess (Embarkation Port: Copenhagen, Denmark – 10 Days 07/01/10 (AT SEA) – THU 07/11/10); STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN; HELSINKI, FINLAND; ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (two days); TALLINN, ESTONIA; GDANSK (GDYNIA), POLAND; FRI07/09/10 – AT SEA; OSLO, NORWAY; and back to COPENHAGEN, DENMARK (SUN 07/11/10 – morning and part of afternoon) then back to London for evening. I said that I would be blogging more about some of these as time goes by.  You can search my blog to see how many I missed.


In Helsinki (link for Helsinki CC like) we spent the most part of a day on shore.  Here are a couple of pictures (you can click on any and it should fill your screen):

Overheard in more than one cabin: “Now are our feet pointed forward or towards the back of the ship?”

This white church is a Lutheran church located in Helsinki, Finland. It is beautiful and also very active. Mrs. Jim and I had a snack with the ladies in the basement.

Another commonly heard conversation: “Should we eat breakfast at the buffet or in the dining room? I opt for the buffet because we have a larger selection.” “No, I prefer the dining room because I like to have people bring me my food.”


And one at the diner table: “You were wearing a straw hat yesterday on the tram, were you not?”

“Yes, why do you ask?”

“I was wondering if you ever got to where you wanted to go.”

“Oh, that was you we were riding with. We did. Thank you a lot for helping us figure out that figure eight system the have.”

This couple got off every time from the ‘3B’ tram when it got to where they got on. Had they stayed on they would have seen it switch to ‘3T’ and complete the other loop that they could not get to.


FranceWe have visited France a lot of times, starting in 1992--a European tour by bus from London to Rome and back--with the last time being in 2013 by train with Karen and KP when we road on the Eurostar under the English Channel, if I tried to count them surely I would miss one.  My favorite sight still is the Eiffel Tower.  Again I don't know how many times I have seen it but I do know that I have never been on the top rung as the two lower ones are plenty for my Paris viewing.


   
  
We love to visit Paris.  This is the street leading from our last hotel.  I would like to stay there for a couple or three years.  Just to soak up the ambiance and enjoy.  Contrary to a lot you hear, the French are a very friendly people, at least to us.  Mrs. Jim speaking some French and having French roots helps some here, I am sure.  Her family lives in the Bordeaux area. 
   
 
I love to walk along the River Seine in Paris.  The river meanders back and forth through the city and you never really know where you might find it during your walk. 
 
Most areas have a walkway beside the river.  Following the river is not really a fast way to get to where you want to go as it changes its down stream direction a lot.  But if you are in no hurry and don't really care where you will end up, just follow it.
 
Many of these boats take passengers, mostly tourists.  A land taxi is in order if you want to go some place.  But for tourists they are great to get the flavor of Paris with all the river's windings.
 
Besides taking a river tour, you can also eat on the boat.  We haven't done the eating part, but it is quite a nice romantic ride in the evening.  Just don't drink too much wine and fall into the water.
 
   
 
In Florida last April we flew to Key West for a couple of nights and three days.  The last day we took a shuttle over to Fort Lauderdale to catch a trans-Atlantic cruise that ended in England where we stayed with our daughter for a month plus.  We did spend a week in Wales and Northampton (a couple of days there) where we have friends.  If I make it through the alphabet again I will blog a little about Wales.  You can also search my blog for that before.
 
Key West was a fun town for us, very touristy.  We stayed at an old hotel a coupe of blocks from the main drag.  This hotel was a collection of houses.  Our house was a two-story and there were probably 16 rooms in that old house.  All had been reworked and were fairly modern inside.
 
Most we enjoyed walking around, going places by city buss, and eating. Best for me was the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum:www.hemingwayhome.com   There were plenty of retired hippies there also.  Most retired early.  Noted towns we've found that don't lack for an abundance of these characters are Burlington, Vermont, Telluride, Colorado, and Key West, Florida.
  
 
A cute little Old house in Key West Florida near to our hotel. The chicken is a protected "bird" in Key West.



 Two of my favorite vehicles there.  First choice is the Jeep.  Below, the view from our 'dinner table' one day.
 
 
It seems to me that Key Lime Pie is the Florida State Dessert.  One of my favorites also.  We had a snack here.
 
The garage, top floor, studio of Earnest Hemingway.  Below is a cat on the stairs, deciding to come up or go back down.  The home is a sanctuary for cats. Next are a couple of shots of the inside of Hemingway's office.  I too like to write on a round table I have in mine.  And another cat in the office window.
 
  


 
This picture was taken at the furthermost Southern part of the
continental United States, at the beach in Key West, Florida.
 
Mrs. Jim stuck her toe into the water around the corner here.

 - Jenny is starting in now on her tenth series of Alphabe thursday.  With 52 weeks in a year and 26 letters in the alphabet she is now in her fifth year.  I am linked to her blog, GO HERE for more participants and their offerings. 

 - I am in my fifth series of Alphabe Thusday.  I intend to put on some pictures of my travels when I can find a few.  Some are in albums, pictures I've taken before a digital camera came to me.  I haven't scanned any yet.

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