Visiting the Royal Sea Aquarium in Curacao


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When I stayed at the Royal Aquarium Resort in Curacao,  guests had free access to the aquarium right next-door.  I haven't been visiting zoos or aquariums over the past few years.  I've been very involved in animal rescue for about a decade.  My husband and I have had at least 100 foster animals in our care during those years.  We also donate food, money and transfer pets when they need to be spayed or neutered or brought to a safe shelter.                                           

So truth be told if I had not had free access to the aquarium I probably would not have visited it while on the island of Curacao.  However I saw right away that the animals seemed very well cared for and I did do some research on whether or not aquariums and zoos are all bad.  Of course there are some good ones and some bad ones and as with most issues, there are two sides to every story. 

During my first visit to the aquarium, I saw one of the trainers talking to a family who really wanted a kiss from a sea lion.  She was adamantly telling the family that, "today was not a good day for the sea lions as they were not kissing and the trainers were not going to try to make them".  The trainer seemed to care more about the animals than what the people wanted to pay money for. 

I am still sure how I feel on the whole aquarium and zoo issue(s).  I do not believe animals should be used for entertainment or kept in captivity only for that reason.   That said, at this point, I don't see myself making it a habit of visiting zoos and or aquariums in the future.

As you can see from the following links there are some good reasons to have animals in sanctuaries as some are becoming extinct and need protection.  I certainly would not want my cats roaming free they are completely indoor cats.  Perhaps they would be less bored being allowed to go outside but they would not be safe from other predators, automobiles, and diseases. I realize that comparing my domestic cats to large marine life is probably not a great example, but some large animals do need protection for various reasons.

Mystic Aquarium - Animal Rescue Program

Vet Street - How Zoos and Aquariums Help Endangered Species

I did want to share my photos and thoughts.   I am curious to hear what your thoughts are on zoos, aquariums and sanctuaries. Please leave your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.

Most of these photos and other can be found on my Pixabay account.  Pixabay has hundreds of thousands of photos that can be used for free in a variety of sizes and you don't have to worry about getting in trouble as they are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.  Here is my account:  Mariamichelle' photos

Below is a baby sea lion nursing:
Untitled (1 of 1)-32The dolphins put on an amazing fifteen minute show.  There were several mother and daughter dolphins in the show.  The younger ones were still learning their jumps and stunts.
Untitled (1 of 1)-32I did pay twenty dollars for a kiss from a dolphin.  It stuck it's tongue out at me afterward!
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Untitled (1 of 1)-32The sea lions were equally as amazing!

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Untitled (1 of 1)-98The flamingos were as pretty as ever:
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Thank you so much for stopping by and please leave your comments below have a great week.

~  Michelle

I will leave you with a video of a baby sea lion nursing:



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:

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:

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!


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:


you can go to the rice terraced fields in Ubud:
Bali000You can go to the orchid gardens which are beautiful:





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:


 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 do like this picture of two little girls that I bought some fans from.  They were selling them for money to go to school.  They were super sweet and grateful!


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




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!



My Wild and Crazy Dolphin Sighting Trip in Bali

"The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to know that and to wonder at it."
While in Bali, Indonesia in March 2013 I traveled from the southern part of the island to the northern section to a town named Lovina for a dolphin sighting tour.  I LOVE sounds great right?  Well, it was great and it was worth it AFTER I got up at 3:00 AM.  I'm NOT a morning person so that was literally painful for me!  I am also not the type of person who scares easily, BUT the 2 hour taxi ride in the dark through very curvy and hilly back roads had me sitting on the edge of my seat!  As you can see I did get to see dolphins - LOTS of them!  Getting photos of them was not easy though - even with a super fast shutter speed!  It was also dark and the boat you see in the photos is the one I rode in.  It was going very fast in the wavy water and was a very bumpy ride.  In the end it was worth it and I would do it again!  I also got to see an incredible sunrise which is highly unusual for me!  The photos on this post are some of my most popular on Panoramio.  Many web sites have displayed these photos which is fine and I actually am very flattered when my photos are shared as long as I'm given credit and they link back to me.  In case you want to view any of my other photos here is the link:





 "Humans think they are smarter than dolphins because we build cars and buildings and start wars etc…and all that dolphins do is swim in the water, eat fish and play around. Dolphins believe that they are smarter for exactly the same reasons."

Douglas Adams 


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!