December 5, 2020
2019 / Florida / x

Hypoluxo Scrub (May, 2019)

Not far from our apartment, here in Boynton Beach, is a Florida scrub (an area of bare, white sand and evergreens – often named for the dominant plant species found in them) called the Hypoluxo Scrub Natural Area – a protected habitat. We have visited this area many time over the last 10+ years to enjoy the many plants and a few animals, including the gopher tortoise that digs underground burrows/tunnels. Photos from our latest visit – if we have misidentified anything, please let us know: What we love about visiting several of the scrub areas around Boynton Beach is …

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Travel Support (Websites, Apps and More)

A friend, who travels frequently around the world, asked which websites and apps Pat and I use when we travel. I sent him a detailed email which I then decided to expand into this blog post. I preface all my travel talk by pointing out my phone carrier, T-Mobile, and the availability of roaming, particularly data, in over 125+ countries. Unlike ATT and Verizon, this is included in the cost of the service and has served us extremely well in most places around the world. However, with wifi calling, GPS, and off-line maps, we were able to successfully make our …

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Everglades National Park (23 March 2019)

We now live in South Florida and the Everglades National Park is only a couple of hours away (map). Although we had been to parts of the park that is accessible off the Tamiami Trail (the southern-most portion of US Route 41), back when my parents lived in Naples, we had never actually been to the park headquarters, near Miami. When we got to the Visitor Center, the first thing I noticed was a sign listing events happening that day. The event that stood out was an open house at a Nike Missile Base within the park boundaries. After picking …

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Singapore 2018

A lot has changed since the previous post (Costa Rica 2018): we moved to Florida at the end of October, visited The Hunters on Saint Simon Island, GA on our way down and added an new granddaughter, Evelyn, on my birthday (making 11 – grandchildren, not birthdays). In addition, we had visitors to our new home – friends whom were part of our Singapore book club, now living in Minneapolis and visiting their son at university in Florida. At the end of November, my son-in-law, Tom, had to go to Singapore to teach a seminar on film making and asked …

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Costa Rica (July 2018)

We have had Costa Rica on our list of places to visit for quite some time – now we made it with my son, David, and daughter, Michelle. David brought our grandson, Justin; Michelle brought our granddaughter, Claire. It’s been ages since we have all been together. So glad David and Michelle both wanted to go Costa Rica when we did. The biggest problem was logistics, as flights to San Jose, Costa Rica, from Cleveland and Columbus are limited. Although, Pat and I had a direct flight from Charlotte, everyone else had two flights each way. The drive to our …

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2018 / France / Lyon / x

Lyon, France (06-16 May 2018)

On Sunday, May 6, Drew, Drake, Pat and I boarded the train in Nice for our ride to Lyon. The train was comfortable and fast, hitting 181 mph at some point. We were in the first-class section in the upstairs observation deck, with a table between us. There was a single car between us and the dinning car where we went to pickup snacks to last us until we got to Lyon. Being in the upper deck was great, allowing us to really see the passing countryside. Once at the Lyon Part-Dieu train station, we picked up sandwiches to take …

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Cap Ferrat and Around (22 April – 05 May 2018)

We drove from Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer to the Nice airport. It was a beautiful drive through the countryside, hugging the coastline. Jenny and the boys picked us up at the airport and we all headed to the house we would share for a few weeks in Cap Ferrat. This is a peninsula, jutting out into the Mediterranean, located between Nice and Monaco. As with many, if not most, of the towns and cities in France, the roads are narrow, and in the rental car we drove from Toulouse, and the car Jenny picked us up in, too narrow! These roads were not …

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2018 / France / x

France – Driving to Nice (20-22 April 2018)

The bus trip from Andorra to Toulouse airport took a little over 3 hours and passed through some beautiful mountain scenery. In Toulouse, the rental car company, SixT, upgraded us to a bigger car with no drop-off charge because they needed the car in Nice. Turns out a bigger car is not necessarily a good thing in a country with narrow roads designed for smaller cars. Fortunately, we made it to Nice without any dents or scratches (there may have been a few indentation in the interior from us occasionally gripping too hard). We had decide to drive to Bezier …

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2018 / Andorra / x

Andorra (18-19 April 2018)

Pat and I took the 10:30 bus from Barcelona to Andorra, passing through some beautiful countryside, and arriving at Andorra la Vella at 13:45 (1:45 PM). When we reached the border with Andorra, there was no border control. Unfortunately, as with all E.U. countries, we didn’t get a stamp in our passports. Andorra is not an E.U. member country, so technically we should have gone through border control, however Andorra uses the Euro currency and is closely related to the E.U. A bit confusing. We arrived in the Andorra’s capital city, Andorra la Vella, we walked (uphill) from the bus station …

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Barcelona, Spain (13-18 April 2018)

Time to move on to our next adventure! Step One: drop rental car off at the Valencia-Estacio Del Nord train station (the easiest rental car drop off ever! Hardest thing was finding out how to get into the parking lot). Step Two: board the 13:50 train to Barcelona-Sants. The train trip was comfortable and the views of the coast as we approached Barcelona were beautiful in a back yard kind of way – always interesting to see the parts of a city that is relegated to the train lines. At some points, looking strait down from the window, all you …

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