My Arrival in Bora-Bora French Polynesia


 When I arrived in Bora-Bora, French Polynesia, I was given a welcome drink.   There is no alcohol in this drink.   There is a photo of me drinking the drink which makes it look like it has alcohol in it, but I was just very jet lagged after being on a plane for 20 hours!  When you land at Bora-Bora airport you must take a water taxi as you can see below to your hotel.  

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I was struck by the beauty of the turquoise water.  The photo above was taken from my airplane window so it's not great, but the water truly is that blue!

The "water taxis":

Bbboatrip-1-36Born-Bora's little airport:
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My non-alcoholic Mai-Tai:
Bbbb1111-1-10Not so great photo of me after traveling for what felt like FOREVER!
Bbbb1111-1-10Walking to my neighborhood of bungalows:
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As you can see my bungalow had quite a view including a glass bottom floor :!
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It was nice once I could finally relax on my deck or dock!  Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

~Michelle


Sunsets in Bora-Bora

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 Watching the sunrises and sunsets was definitely the highlight of my trip to Bora-Bora.  They never disappointed me and were especially incredible in the over water bungalow I decided to stay in.  The sky actually did a lot of incredible things throughout the day!

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Bbbb1111-1-2Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful week.  Take care my friends

~Michelle


Desperately Seeking Sunsets in Santorini

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People kept telling me that the sunsets in Santorini, Greece would be spectacular so my anticipation was high!  While walking around the beautiful streets of Oia, I could have sworn that I had been magically transported to a Detroit deteriorated city like area!  This was not far at all from the place pictured in the top photo of this post.

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I was looking for a place away from the crowds to get the best view of the sunset possible and NO ONE seemed to be in this area.  I thought everything was OK as there was nobody around.  I thought I had found a "special secret" place to see this fabulous natural wonder...until I heard the dogs barking.  This guy convinced me to go find the tourists real quick! 

Pano (1 of 1)-181Sunsets are always pretty in my opinion, but I just didn't see the big to do about the one I saw on this greek isle.  Perhaps I'm fortunate that I live in Florida on the water where almost every night I see lovely, colorful sunsets that are usually accented with clouds.  The clouds and a little more color was what I did not see while here. 

Santorini Sunsets:
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Pano (1 of 1)-181Many people were waiting to watch the "epic Santorini sunset".  There are bars and restaurants in the area simply for people to eat, drink and watch the sunset.  It was a festive atmosphere and a fun experience overall.
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Pano (1 of 1)-178Florida sunset:
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Thank you so much for stopping by.  As always, I love to hear your questions and comments.  Have a great weekend! 

~ Michelle


Some of the Many Benefits of Using Google's Panoramio to Store Photos

One of my most popular photos, taken in Antarctica, on Panoramio with more than 9000 views:

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There are many benefits to joining Panoramio for those who like to take photos for any reason.  First of all you get free storage space for your photos.  They are stored in full-size.  Facebook  does not store your photos full-size.  One can also get a page rank when you join Panoramio.  

I just joined in March 2013 and I have a PR of 2. Here is my site:  

http://www.panoramio.com/user/7406641

You also can join groups in Panoramio similar to how you can join them in Facebook. Members can comment on your photos as well as like and favorite them. Each photo has its own statistics showing how many views it's received, likes, and favorites.  You also can see the lifetime views of each of your photos.  For me it is like social networking for photographers who are both professional and hobbyists.  When one joins panoramio, they can choose for no one to be able to use your photos at all without your permission, or you can choose to let anyone use your photos for any reason.

One of the best things about joining Panoramio is your Photos can be used in Google Earth and Google Maps if they are selected.  There are certain criteria your photos must meet in order to be used.  First of all there cannot be recognizable people in your photo or close-ups of flowers and animals.  I like it for my landscape photography which is probably my favorite thing to take photos of.

Panoramio was acquired by Google so in 2007 so it is probably a fairly safe place to store your photos.  I used AOL photo storage eight or nine years ago.  When they no longer offered photo storage, they did give their users plenty of warnings to move their photos.  Those who did not, unfortunately, lost all of their photos.

  Here is my most popular photo overall based on Panoramio's algorithm,  It was taken on my dolphin siting expedition in Lovina, Bali:

Pano11Here is my most popular photo in Google Earth with more than 26000 views.  It's a research station in Antarctica:
Pano11Here is my most popular photo taken in Antarctica in Google Maps with more than 31000 views:
Pano11Here is my most popular photo which is shown on an external widget of a sunrise in Lovina, Bali with over 5600 views:
External widget 5600Do you use Panoramio?  Are there any other photo storage sites that you would recommend and why?  Thanks so much for your visit and your comments!

~Michelle


Why I'm Glad I Visited Bali and Why I Won't Return

I wanted to add something to this post because it is getting quite a bit of attention.  I don't want to make Bali sound like a bad place to visit.  I simply had a bad experience there.  I am a huge animal lover and have a special place in my heart for cats.  When you read this story you will see that on the last day I was there I tried to save a young very sweet, pregnant cat.  I was traumatized by the experience and that is why I wrote what I did.

 

I made two very big mistakes when I visited Bali.  I had very high expectations and I stayed too long.  For some ridiculous reason I envisioned Bali being similar to Thailand.  Why???  I'm not sure.  I guess because they are in the same continent - Asia.  I loved everything about Thailand and I was hoping that I would feel the same way about Indonesia. 

There are many pros to visiting the so-called island of paradise in  Indonesia.  There are many things to do, many beautiful sites to see, and the activities are not terribly expensive.  I got some really beautiful photographs while there.  The trouble is I don't care to look at them at this point.

Some of the cons are that Bali is a tiny overpopulated island and there is a lot of poverty.  There were many times that I felt as though I were being scammed.   It actually started when I got to the airport and I was asked if I wanted VIP access to getting my visa on arrival which meant jumping ahead of 10 people and saving five minutes.  That cost me about $20 USD.  I then was asked by one of the police officers if I was there because of "troubles at home" - that made me uncomfortable.  I guess the last straw was the ordeal that I went through with a young pregnant cat that I fed  during my final few days there. I did everything I could to help the cat including having a vet visit the hotel and fed her sugar water in my hotel room.  When I ended up needing to catch my flight, I really couldn't get anybody to help the cat.  I called a couple of days later and she had passed away. 

Here is the post with the story about the cat I tried to save :'(

“Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.” ― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

There are some nice beaches:

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At the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Indonesia:

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  Bali000There are so many beautiful Temples in Bali:

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Visiting the waterfall near Ubud was fun:

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you can go to the rice terraced fields in Ubud:
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Bali000You can go to the orchid gardens which are beautiful:
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You can go dolphin watching in Lovina :
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it is relatively inexpensive to stay in a nice hotel.  This hotel is called "The Mansion" and is in Ubud:
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 During my trip to Bali I stayed there for two weeks went on to Melbourne, Australia stayed there for one week and considered buying a one-way ticket back to the United States I tried to justify going back early and buying an extra plane ticket by telling myself I would save money on a hotel in Bali the visa on arrival in the exit tax which totals $50 I wish I had done it now because trying to save the cat was very traumatic to me as an animal lover if I were to give advice to someone who is planning a vacation in Bali I would tell them to stay with their tour group to make sure they don't go too far off the beaten path and beware of scammers.

I will leave you with a hopefully "feel good" video about how to open a coconut:

 

Have you ever "outstayed" your welcome so to speak or been incredibly disillusioned by a vacation?   Thanks so much for visiting!  Until next time

~Michelle