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February 2014
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April 2014

Posts from March 2014

A Beautiful Summer Day Strolling Through "Peace Park" in Queenstown, New Zealand


"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order."

~John Burroughs

The day before I was supposed to start Trey Ratcliff's New Zealand Photography Adventure,  I was feeling a little anxious about meeting a group of new people the next day so I went for a beautiful  and relaxing stroll through Peace Park in Queenstown, New Zealand.  Peace Park surrounds Lake Wakatipu and is right across from where I stayed at the Queenstown, Hilton hotel.  It was a beautiful day in February which is summer in New Zealand.   People were out enjoying the beach, walking their dogs, and taking in the gorgeous scenery.   As you can see everyone seems very happy and it is indeed very peaceful in Peace Park.  There are no natural predators in New Zealand.  It is also a very safe place to live as far as crime is concerned.

Here is a lovely neighborhood I walked through to get there:



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Almost everyone had a furry family member with them

 A lot of boats were out on this beautiful day


 The water never gets extremely warm in Lake Wakatipu, but it was an unusally warm day with temperatures in the 80's that day so a lot of people were swimming and so were the dogs :)

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Here are a few photos of the Hilton in Queenstown.  I stayed in a few places in Queenstown including the pricey five star  Rees Hotel and I highly recommend the Hilton for their prices, the service, the rooms. and the location.



Thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a wonderful week my friends. Please feel free to leave a question or comment and remember your e-mail address will never be published.

 ~ Michelle


Pixabay: Find and Share Images Free of Copyrights

On Pixabay you may find and share images free of copyrights. All pictures are published under Creative Commons public domain deed CC0.  

When I started this blog a little more than 3 months ago, it was basically just to chronicle my travels.  I planned to only use photos that were taken by yours truly.  I still plan to use only my own photos EXCEPT when I am planning to travel to a new place and want advice on whether I should go and or what I should do when I get there - IF I go. 

Here is a photo of a place which I think is my dream vacation.  I wanted to reach out and ask my audience if they have been to this supposed island paradise, heaven on Earth, or most beautiful place in the world?  I got this photo from Pixabay and the photographer is "WikiImages".  You can see 2 photos of Bora Bora at this web address:

Pixabay is very selective of the images they make available for use so you can be assured that you will probably find some nice images to use for whatever purpose you need them for and not be concerned about a copyright violation :)  To view more specific information about using photos from Pixabay please see

Here is a link to my account which I try to add new images to everyday:

Here are my five most popular images:


Dolphins in Lovina Bali



Floating Lone Tree in Lake Wanaka, New Zealand


Lion in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania



The Azure Window on Gozo Island in the Mediterranean



Sunset in Key West, Florida


 If you've been to Bora Bora, please let me know what your thoughts are.   Basically, I want to know if it's worth the high price or is it all hype.  If you loved it what did you do for activities?   Thank you in advance :)

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!



A Mini Vacation at the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida



Last week my husband and I decided to celebrate his birthday by staying at the Sand Pearl Resorton Clearwater Beach for a couple of days.  Although this beach is literally in our back yard, Clearwater Beach is one of the most beautiful I've ever visited.  It is also close to home so we feel confident that our pets will be OK and we can make it back soon if need be.  We are very fortunate to have friends and my dad who come to stay at our house with them while we are both away.  Sometimes we have a cat sitter as well.  We still worry :)

We liked this hotel:

The sand is like baby powder


A pirate ship!


We were very pleased with our panaramic view of the gulf from our balcony:


Me before dinner.  I think this is my first time wearng this much blue


My husband and I at dinner:


My vegetarian dish was excellent but left me so hungry that...


I just had to have dessert ;)



Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!




Why I LOVE Key West, Florida

 "If life gives you limes, make margaritas." Jimmy Buffett


When I visited Key West I had very low expectations, perhaps that is why I loved it.  I suppose staying at the beautiful Marriott hotel and being upgraded to the presidential suite with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with incredible views helped some.  I loved the sunsets, the Ernest Hemingway House, the lighthouse, the beaches, and the lovely Duval Street restaurants and shops!

One of the lovely sunsets I saw


Loved the There are 45 special 6 toed cats who all have names of famous people BTW I LOVE cats!

 Maybe you can't tell but this polydactyl cat - they have 6 toes or more on each paw :)


Here is the ouside of the "Ernest Hemingway House".  They have no trouble keeping the cats from leaving.  Perhaps you can see why!Kw456

 They even have weddings here!


Looks pretty comfortable, eh?
Kw123456Here are some photos of the beautiful Marriott Hotel and the views from the balcony





I loved browsing through the high end stores on Duval Street.  I really wanted this chandelier.  Too bad it only cost $48,600 !!!Kw99999

Visiting the Key West lighthouse was fun as well!

Kw9898View from the top:



I thought the beaches were wonderful!



 Even got to be the 5 billionth person ~ or so to have my photo taken at the Southernmost point of the United StatesKw65432

One final very intense post sunset:


Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!


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

If there is one quote that I have found to be true while traveling around the world over the past several years to be true, this is it!  

“Knowing it and seeing it are two different things.”

~Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

I have stayed in many 5 star resorts in countries with thriving economies and I have stayed in hostiles and guest houses in developing countries.  Much of what I have seen has been good and reinforced and or enhanced my knowledge of history as my trips to Paris.  I wanted to be an Anthropology major while in college, but my parents weren't thrilled with that idea so I majored in Biochemistry and graduated with a minor in Anthropology.

 I desperately wanted to see the world - and not just the beautiful touristy parts, but I really wanted to learn about the culture of the many countries I've visited and see what is "below the surface".  I'm very glad and know I'm very fortunate to have visited all seven continents and seen as much of the world as I have.  At this point, however, I still want to travel as much as possible, but will be staying in the first world during my immediate future travels.  The overpopulation and poverty I witnessed in Indonesia , Tanzania, and Vietnam have stymied my curiousity for the time being.

 How long will this last?  My lack of interest in seeing EVERYWHERE and not just the "pretty places" will probably not last long!  I have already been researching some very out of the way places that are NOT considered tourist destinations.  I guess my point is really very simple.  Traveling teaches you so much as well as opens your eyes!  

 I suspect this will not be one of my more popular posts given that these types of images are not popular on my Panoramio and Pixabay sites.

Visiting AIDS families in Tanzania:      

I used my small camera not my DSLR to take these photos.  The group I was traveling with had permission to take their photos.  I could have used my bigger camera, it was just a personal choice of mine to use my point and shoot...and to only take one quick photo.


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 Trying to help a stray very young pregnant cat in Bali, Indonesia.  I called a vet paid $40 and fed it sugar water all day.  I left her that night with my night gown and AirAisa blanket because I was scheduled to return to the US that day :(


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 Vietnam - looking out my hotel window


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 I'm sure it won't be long before I'm saying this again:

"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center."

 Kurt Vonnegut

 Thank you so much for stopping by.  I promise my next post will be a happy one!  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!