"I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.” ~ Gilles Peress

I've always said that I believe very little of what I hear and only some of what I see.  The same goes for photographs as I know now that they can be edited and manipulated in many ways.  I still often get asked by many of my friends and people why I would want to visit some of the places I do - especially Antarctica and Tanzania in Africa

It's great to be able to punch a few buttons on my cell phone and pull up some images from my Instagram account and show people a few pictures of these places.  I can tell by the looks on their face that they understand why I would want to travel so far away into places that many perceive to be dangerous.   At least I can show them why I wanted to see certain places in person.

You can use any of my photos in a variety of sizes for free without worrying about getting in trouble as they are free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.  My profile on Pixabay is HERE

Blogg1Above is a photo of myself in Paradise Bay and below is Paradise Bay which I thought was the most beautiful part of Antarctica which is saying a lot.

Blogg111This ship seemed so small compared to the other ones I saw and compared to the glaciers surrounding it

Blogg111The sun would go down around 11:00Pm and come up around 3:00 AM
Blogg1The glaciers were so much bigger than I expected and it really was not as cold as I expected.  It was generally around 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blogg1This was the closest thing I saw to a sunset and it was almost midnight

Blog11111The following photos were taken on in Massai Land and on safari in Tanzania.


  These zebra kept running back and forth past these lions.  I was so scared they would get caught playing their "game".Zebras-278084_960_720

Thank you very much for stopping by my blog.  Please feel free to leave any comments or questions.  I really enjoy hearing from my readers.  I hope you are all having a wonderful week.   







Why I Visited Florence Italy Two Times in One Year

Perhaps it seems a little silly that I would visit the same city in Italy in just a little more than a year I actually almost stayed in the exact hotel I had in 2014.  At the last minute I decided to stay in a different location that was closer to the train station as I knew that I would be taking several day trips

When I visited Florence last summer it was very crowded on the streets.  It was wall-to-wall people on some days in some areas.  I was told that November was a very slow time there.  I noticed a slight difference in the amount of people but it was very slight. 

The good thing about my trip was November the weather is quite unpredictable in northern Italy and it did not rain a single day of the ten days I was there.  There were many days that I walked around with short sleeves on as it was close to 70°F.  When you're doing a lot of walking as I do in Italy you warm up pretty quickly, 

I took day trips to Cinque Terre, Rome  as Tuscany .  I left a couple of days open to visit Venice .  The weather, however, in that area of the country looked quite chilly and rainy so I decided not to go.   Although I am glad I saw Rome I would never go on a day trip to such a large area again the same goes for Tuscany.

  If you have been following my blog you know that I have visited Italy a lot and been to several areas.  I would have to say that Tuscany is on the top of my list for places I want to revisit.   I felt my trip to Rome was quite rushed. I did not get to see much of anything.  I did learn that it is a place I would like to visit for a longer period of time and spend at least five days there.  I was afraid of going to Rome as it is such a big city, but I won't be in the future.

   Florence also has pretty easy access to areas such as Tuscany and Cinque Terre.  There are several museums and offers everything a very big city does, but is not nearly as big as Rome.  Here are some of the photos I captured during this visit it is tough to go wrong with the Arno River as the architecture is so beautiful and interesting on each side of it and the sunsets are lovely. 

The Arno River is such a beautiful scene and a great place to have dinner or coffee:

Wandering and searchingAt sunset:

Wandering and searchingHere is the Duomo which is way, way too big to capture in one shot, but it literally took my breath away the first time I saw it!
Wandering and searchingMy hotel had a great view of the Duomo.  Below is a self portrait otherwise known as a selfie:

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Below is a carousel in the middle of town and I was lucky enough to see a couple of princesses riding it!

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Below is a photo of the Santa Maria Novella Cathedral.  I was lucky enough to witness another lovely wedding.

Wandering and searchingThe interior of the cathedral:

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Here is the ceiling of the breakfast room at my hotel.  No wonder I love eating breakfast in Italy which is something I never do at home!
Wandering and searchingMy hotel had a lot of lovely antiques (another self portrait)
Wandering and searchingHere is a lovely coffee shop I stopped in on my last day for a cappuccino.  I was sitting there relaxing after walking for miles when the owner brought me these yummy confections:

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The hospitality never fails to surprise me in Italy!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog.  Have you ever visited a far away city two times in a short period of time?  I love hearing and reading your comments!  Have a great week. 






Searching For the Perfect Wave on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii


Wandering and searching Island Girl  (1 of 1)-206_ppThe above photo is of myself and my friend Lori of 25 years and the biggest reason I wanted to visit this Hawaiian island.  We both definitely have the wind blown look in this photo!  She was a wonderful tour guide and I was able to see and learn so much more of the island having a friend who lives there.

While visiting Oahu, Hawaii I stayed in the Ko Olina area at the Marriott Beach Club, but did spend a day exploring the north part of the island which is known for its beaches and great waves for surfing.  The north part of the island is a great place to get away from the city and the crowds.  I don't know a lot about the northern area of the island, but it's very picturesque so I thought I would share a few photos,

I visited the Aloha Tower on my way back and had dinner at a great place overlooking the water I love staying in Ko Olina but might consider staying on the north side of the island the next time I visit.  It reminded me of Kauai which is my personal favorite island in Hawaii and the northern part of Maui.

Below you can see a popular beach called "Eternity Beach" that requires one climb down quite a distance.  Unfortunately I wasn't dressed for the walk down.  I am tentatively planning a trip back to Oahu in 2016 and want to swim at this beach when I do!

Hawaii-1034539Although there are many beautiful beaches on the northern part of Oahu, the water does get really rough and the tide is very strong so therefore is not recommended in many areas even for the best of swimmers and surfers. 

As you can see this area of the island is quite peaceful and definitely away from the busy city area of Honolulu

Hawaii-1034539I didn't see any surfers, hike Diamond Head, or any of the other lovely areas on the Northern part of the island.  Those things will go in my bucket list for my next trip!
Hawaii-1034539I visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation which has a great tour of the grounds and the cost is for adults: $8:50 children: (4-12): $6.50 and children under 4 are free.  They have a fantastic gift shop and restaurant.  I bought all of my souvenirs there.  I saw these fantastic su rays as I was leaving the plantation:
Hawaii-1034539Here is a giant pineapple sculpture at the Dole Pineapple Plantation:
Hawaii-1034539This cool sign is in the plantation's garden:

When you travel to the same area do you like to stay in a hotel which is tried and true or do you like to stay somewhere new?   If you think I should stay on the northern section of the island, do you have any suggestions?

Thank you very much for visiting I would love to hear any stories you have about your adventures in Hawaii or which islands you have been tempted to visit.   Have a great week!




Paradise Found - in Ko Olina Oahu, Hawaii


I can't say it any better than Bruno Mars:

"I can't even speak Hawaiian, but if you go there and listen to a Hawaiian song, you get captured because it's so beautiful, like the melody is just gorgeous and you know Bob Marley is on the radio every single day. It's very reggae-influenced down there. Basically, you haven't been to paradise if you haven't been to Hawaii." ~Bruno Mars

Whenever anyone asks me where my favorite places are that I've visited Hawaii is always on the top of the list.  When I visited Oahu for the first time I expected to only see a big city, but this island has everything!  I stayed in the Ko Olina section which is absolutely fabulous!  The rest of the island is just as beautiful with plenty of fun and adventurous things to do!

This was my sixth trip to Hawaii in case you needed any more proof how much I love it!  Truth be told I never would have visited Oahu if I didn't have a friend who I've known for almost twenty-five years there.  This is my truly awesome and beautiful friend Lori and I:

Wandering and searching Island Girl  (1 of 1)-31She made sure I had healthy snacks in my hotel room at the lovely Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club:

There was a lovely lagoon behind the resort.  People felt safer swimming in the lagoon in light of the recent shark attacks around Oahu



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There were many fun pools and slides around the resort.  They were set up to look like a real beach:

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The kids were so happy to have a sandy beach to play in right beside the pool:


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There was a beautiful koi pond on the property:
The gardens and walkways were gorgeous and so well kept:
I was lucky enough to see this beautiful wedding on the beach right next to the resort:
Hi1One day I walked across the street to the golf course and saw a bunch of black swans.  They all just walked up to me and sat beside me.  I'm guessing they were hoping I had food!

Hi1I will write more about my trip to Oahu as I saw many parts of the island besides Ko Olina, but Oahu is definitely a lot more than just a big city!  Here is a photo I took from the plane flying in:


Have you ever visited Hawaii?

Thank you so much for visiting.  Please leave comments below as I treasure every one of them.  I hope you all have a wonderful week!






My Wonderful Stay at the Hotel Olivi Thermae and Natural Spa on Lake Garda, Italy

I really want to give a nice review to a wonderful hotel I stayed at in Lake Garda.  this hotel is in the area of Sirmione and is called the Hotel Olivi Thermae and Natural Spa.  The views from the rooms were spectacular of the lake and I could see the Scaliger Castle  as well. 

Some of the best things about this hotel where the people who worked.  The employee who worked at the reception desk helped me book my trip to Isola del Garda.  The employees went out of their way to make sure I  was having a good time and was comfortable.  They brought me champagne on my first day as a welcoming gift.  I regret that I didn't take a photo of their presentation on a silver platter.  I decided to not accept as I rarely drink and wanted someone else to enjoy the nice gift. 

The breakfast buffet was spectacular and on Sunday morning they had a piano player who played so beautifully that it brought tears to my eyes.  I would recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Lake Garda.  I will share some photos of this beautiful hotel.  As you can tell from the name there is a spa which I did not use but many other customers said it was spectacular. 

Thank you Hotel Olivi Thermae and Natural Spa for a wonderful stay and vacation!

Here is a view from my balcony at dusk:

BlogThere were many beautiful and healthy looking fruit trees growing on the hotel grounds
BlogThere were mature grapes all over the premises!

BlogThere was a gorgeous outdoor dining area:

BlogThe view of the sunsets over the lake were spectacular:
Here are a couple of photos of yours truly.  I'm standing on my personal balcony.  As you can see the pool area is very spacious and attractive.  There is a restaurant that serves a full menu and drinks all day.
BlogYou could easily see Scaliger Castle from my balcony:

Here area few photos of the lovely town of Sirmione which is a just a few minutes walk from the hotel:

BlogThe spectacular Scaliger Castle was only a 10 minute walk away as well:


One night when I was eating at this hotel's restaurant I told the waiter I was thinking about ordering dessert.  I didn't have to order anything as they surprised me with this lovely array of delicious confections!


I will leave you with my personal favorite view from my balcony.  It is a photo of the ferry (that runs throughout the day) returning to Sirmione at sunset.


Thank you for visiting my blog.  Please feel free to leave any comments or questions.  Have a great week everyone!