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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Aruba, Eat, Drink be Happy

Tomato CharliesEating in Aruba can be quite expensive. Everything on the Island must be brought in which up's the price. We had a one bedroom condo with a kitchen and cooked most of our meals; but did go out a few times while there. One day for lunch after being on a tour of The Island we stopped and got pizza. Not just any pizza...probably the best pizza we've ever had. You must put Tomato Charlies on your list of place to go.
pizzaLook how yummy it looks. The crust was nice and thin and crisp, love it that way. We got the veggie pizza, and as you can see it's loaded, not skimpy at all. Nice big pieces of fresh veggies. It was so good, we considered going back a 2nd time; but didn't as we wanted to try a few other places. We will though return here on our next trip to Aruba. I do recommend it, HIGHLY. This location is on the main drag across from the beach, so it's easy to throw a wrap on and walk up from the beach for lunch. Inside and outside eating is available.

Balashi Beer TshirtWhether you dine in or out, drink Aruba's Beer, Balashi. Hubby says it's quite good. I'm allergic to beer, but did taste it and agree. Balashi, beer made right there in Aruba, not brought in like everything else is highly recommended.
Azzurro's at nightWe love Italian food, and so found Azzurro's right on the beach. We had reservations, and did dress for dinner; though I did see some folks in shorts, I had a summer skirt. Nice atmosphere. You eat outside, but under a Palopa . Service wasn't particularly good, in that it was slow; but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. Food was good, not great. The best part is it's on the beach, carry your shoes and walk down the beach in the moonlight; stop at one of the many water stations to rinse the sand off your feet, slip your shoes back on........then go to dinner.
Azzurro's during the dayHere it is during the day where you can see The Palapa. It's great...you're outside but in shade during the day, covered at night with fans if it's too warm. Truly the best of both worlds and you're right on the beach. It's located at Playa Linda's Resort, right next to our favorite place for Happy Hour, Claudia's.
Carrots! Don't rub your eyes, you are seeing correctly. They are HUGE. One day shopping at a local groceries, I spotted them and felt the need to take a picture. These carrots, the largest I've ever seen were several inches in diameter.

For our special night out (we do that once a trip), we ate at Gianni's. Excellant food, better service than Azzurro's, though they owned by the same folks. Gianni's is known for being "real" Italian from everyone we came in contact with. What I didn't like though was it's very loud and large. Normally, good Italian Restaurants are small cozy and romantic. We had so so Martini's and would not recommend them. We probably will return here on the next trip as the food was excellent. We ate outside, but perhaps indoors would be less hectic. We were here on a Sat evening, and probably would have enjoyed it more had we gone through the week. The night we were there was day 1 of Spring Break for folks from Venezuela. We understand that week is crowded everywhere on The Island. I wasn't able to get any photo's there, sorry folks.

We at dinner our first night The Pelican Bar and Grill on the beach, but do not recommend it, and will not go back there on our next trip to The Island of Aruba. Service was slow, drinks lousy (we only had Vodka and Tonic and Gin and Tonic which are pretty hard to mess up), food wasn't good.

We recommend Link and Sons Grocery, but be sure you get good directions as it's not on the main drag and is behind 2 other grocery stores.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Farm country, corn fields, barns...a rural area. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was just that prior to The Civil War. This picture from afar shows a cloudy day where it's hard to think about a battle, any battle going on here........let alone the bloodiest battle ever in the history of our country. July 1st through July 3rd of 1863, 51,112 people were killed, wounded or went missing. 28,000 of those were The Confederates, making The North-The Union the winning side.

Ziegler's Grove at the northern end of cemetery ridge might have been considered picturesque with Oak, Hickory and Chestnut Trees providing shade. However, this area marks general positions held by General Alexander Hays, Division of the 2nd Corp. In fact he used the adjacent farm, The Brian/Bryan Farm as his headquarters. Heading southward a long stone wall provided great protection for The Union forces, during the well known Pickett's Charge. Confederates attempted to cross about 200 feet away at Emmitsburg Road and were repulsed with the aid of The 8th Ohio Infantry

There are approximately 1,328 monuments to see, read, and photograph at Gettysburg. Some honor an individual, some honor a corp or company, and some honor a specific state. Some of the monument are bronze, some stone, and some a combination thereof. All are impressive and require time to stop, read and think about. We took hundreds of photo's and with stormy conditions, and then bright sun, many aren't readable which is disappointing. Perhaps we'll get to return. There's so much one really can't absorb it all in one visit anyway.

It's an awesome experience to be there, to see, to feel. I encourage all to go, to spend time. I encourage all to try and understand, what I know we can not fully understand...brother fighting brother. And though we can not fully understand, it's important to try.

Some of the Monuments I thought impressive.

28th Ohio Monument29th Ohio Infantry Monument, showing tent and supplies, very interesting. This monument was erected in 1887. Additional information listed on the monument says Engaged 332, killed 7, wounded 31 (2 mortally), total loss 38.
DelawareBeautiful, moving Bronze image of battle, from the state of Delaware.

Battle LinesShowing Battle lines and distances of who was where.
Ziegler's GroveZiegler's Grove

A very impressive monument from the state of Pennsylvania listing every name of those who served from that state. It also indicates who died. This monument is the largest in the park, and was dedicated in 1910. They are 8 large, very impressive statues standing tall on this monument. They are President Lincoln, the only non Pennsylvanian to be so honored; Andrew Curtin Governor of the state during the war, and 6 homegrown military hero's: General George Meade, General John Reynolds, General David Birney, Alfred Pleasonton, David McMurtry Gregg, and General Winfield Scott Gregg.

Rev. Father William CorbyRev. Father William Corby, Chaplain of the 88th Regiment New York Infantry, Irish Brigade. He was President of Notre Dame from 1866-1872 and 1877-1881. From The Congregation of the Holy Cross, shown here given general absolution and a blessing before the carnage of Gettysburg began. This monument was erected in 1910 along the southern end of Cemetery Ridge on Gettysburg Avenue.

This is a very brief view, there is sooooooo much at Gettysburg.
My G post for the Z-A challenge.


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Monday, May 23, 2011

Hocking Hills, Ohio

Hocking Hills State Park has much to offer anyone who enjoys outdoor beauty. This is NOT a place suitable for wearing flip flops unless you're taking one of the paved physically challenged trails. There are 6 area's to hike and picnic in: Old Man's Cave, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, Conkle's Hollow, Cantewell Cliffs, and Rock House. Each are unique and interesting. Each are beautiful. You definitely want your camera. Some of the areas are more suited to adults, some are easy enough for children. Above I believe is Old Man's Cave. That space between the rocks...a rather tight squeeze.
This is very popular Ash Caves, a bit more opened. That's hubby going across to reach a waterfall on the other side. Ash Caves is generally very busy in summer months, but less so in early Spring and Fall.
Tall Hemlock Trees are beautiful and let light filter in; but many areas of the trails are slippery from moss covered rocks, and dampness from water falls.
The base area of Ash Caves is a sometimes spot for an outdoor wedding. Picture quality isn't good, but I stayed my distance wanting them to have their privacy.
Many of the trails are filled with interest plants, bugs, and other insects. I kept walking slowly to get a picture of this one.
Behind the water all at Cedar Falls here. Cedar Falls is also known for a large population of Snapping Turtles, another good reason to wear hiking boots.

Come and spend the day, picnic and hike there's much to see and enjoy. A large variety of rock formations, wild life, waterfalls, overlooks, visitor center, and naturalist cabin. Or spend more time and camp in the camp ground. Maybe you're not that "into" being outdoors and want more then a tent for the night; no problem. There are many cabins for rent both in the State Park and privately in the area.

Old Man's Cave is probably the most well known of the 6 areas and was named for Richard Rowe who lived in a cave there after the Civil War. Sadly, he killed himself; though historians say it was an accident involving his gun. It is said he was buried there in one of the caves by the local Native Tribes; but where...no one knows. There are 25 miles of hiking trails in the State Park, with a wide range of degree of difficulty; something for everyone.

My H post for the Z-A Challenge

Hocking Hills in Winter Post Here

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mexico, Day of the Dead

street vendorsPicture is a bit blurry, as it was taking out the window of a moving van. The Day of The Dead is a busy holiday in Mexico. People of all ages are out and about. Kids are out of school. Up and down main roads you see people walking, riding motorcycles, riding bikes, getting off and on public transportation, and parking cars. People lining the streets to buy and sell tokens,
cemeteryIt's hard to see how ornate the cemeteries are, or how decorated they are. I was a good distance away here, and the only one in the group interested in cemeteries; thus the van continued to move along towards it's destination.
Day of the DeadBeyond the entrance here is a cemetery and if you click to enlarge, you see the large numbers of people inside it's walls. Graves are decorated with food, drink, pictures, flowers-mostly paper wreaths, and other memorabilia.
decorations for gravesHere you can see lots of items for sale. The day of the Dead dates back to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess, Mictecacihuatl. The Aztec calendar was a 9 month calendar, August it's 9th month was the month of the celebration. Now days, with some differences state to state in Mexico, Nov 1 is the day for infants, while Nov 2, is the day for adults. Nov 1 is referred to as the Day of The Innocentes.

People go to the graveyards to be with the souls of the departed and build alters, (the food, drink, pictures,etc.) It is believed this action encourages visits from the souls so they'll hear your prayers. Many families picnic at the graveside. Often the visits last a full day, and many families sleep there the night. Before the alters are built the stones are cleaned.

In some areas of Mexico, the day has taken on some resemblance to our Halloween, in that children go door to door for treats.

**This my post for M in the Z-A challenge, all Z-A posts Here
If you like to see and read more about traveling to Mexico:
Not a Typical Day at the Beach, Manzanillo Mexico
Villa Paraiso, Manzanillo Mexico
Kicking off our Travels to Mexico
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Outdoors

Long ago, skiing when I was young enough it hurt less when you feel. Hubby, me and DD. DD is now 27...does that tell you how long ago this picture was taken? Anyway, we're in Utah I believe, or maybe Colorado. Not sure which trip this was. Outdoors. Outdoor activities are good for the family. Now I currently don't want to think about snow, not after this long will it ever go away winter; but summer will be here and the kids will be out of school. People need to think about getting outdoors. Do family outdoor activities. Everyone doesn't need to be in their respective place with their laptop and or game boys. Go "Outside".
Another great outdoor activity. Hiking. Get out and see nature. This beautiful water fall was in Colorado, but there are hiking trails, state parks, metro parks everywhere. Find one and go explore. You might have a water fall too.
Another year, after a hike up to the top of a peak in The Great Smoky Mountains. Was beautiful up there. We rest a bit before hightailing it down the mountain, as it quickly got cold and stormy. Who wants to be up high with lightening and wind...not me. Quick stepping down the mountain with our poncho's on being careful not to slip. Rocks get slippery when wet.
A favorite place, Meeker Park in Colorado, in The Rockies. DD, hubby, and Me. This was our home away for home for 3 weeks. We used to take nice long vacations and camp our way all around. Our tent was small, a dome style with a vestibule; but we always stayed dry. Some of the larger lodge style tents just don't do as well.
Hubby and I backpacking here, I think this was also somewhere in Colorado, because DD I belief was taking the photo.
Now this one really goes back. We were camping at the race track in Mosport, Canada here. We were newly weds so believe this was the fall of 1972. Picture over time has faded, and it's one of those mat finishes which looks grannie but was the favorite style of processing back then. We had a very small pup tent, you had to lay down to pull your pants on. I'm changing socks and we're warming up before breakfast by the fire. We were there for The Grand Prix. Facilities were really lacking, but we had lots of fun there and went year after year for a long time.

Reviewing this pictures, hubby has no beard, has a beard, has lots of hair, has very little hair and it's getting gray, my hair style changed too throughout the years. And...um our weight...these pictures cover a wide span of years folks.

**This is my O post for Z-A challenge
post on this blog are:
V post here
U post Here
P post here
R post Here


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Friday, May 13, 2011

Picnic with the Pops, Columbus Ohio

Stage veiw of Picnic with the PopsPicnic with the Pops. A wonderful summer time activity suitable for young and old alike. Our symphony performs outdoors several times in the summer, it's casual, it's fun. Truly a great summer tradition in Columbus, Ohio. Here's a general view of he stage area. You see people in chairs, on blankets, at tables. Some get dressed up, others come casual. Some bring feasts, others bring snacks. Truly it's your choice.
Patriotic LadiesThere's always a patriotic concert that's quite popular. We ladies dressed appropriately. Pictured left to right: Karen, Jane, and yours truly-Sandy. This years Patriotic Concert will be July 2, Sat evening.

Ernie and IHubby and I. You can see coolers and people behind us. Everyone claims a spot and settles in.

DancingPeople come and picnic before the concert. Gates open at 6 pm, and the concerts begin at 8:15 pm. Price for adults is $20.00 and $8.00 for children, with kids under 2 being free. Concerts are held on the lawn at Chemical Abstracts, 2540 Olentangy River Road in Columbus. Tickets can be purchased ahead or at the gate. Discounts available for groups and early purchases. Coupon books for $160.00 hold 10 no date tickets. The series Picnic with the Pops runs from June 18th through July 30th this coming year.

Sometimes there's dancing! Ernie and I cutting a rug as they say. He always dances better after wine, lol. Entertainment varies. This coming season will host the music of Michael Jackson which I'll make a point not to go to. Didn't like him when he was alive, no reason to pretend I do now that he's gone. Always a favorite though is The Ohio State Marching Band they pull in quite a crowd. Others listed are: The Spinners, Chris Botti, Daryl Stuermer and Phil Collins.

And who doesn't enjoy a pretty sunset while sipping wine and enjoying friends and music!

Do you have outdoor family appropriate concerts in your area? If so, I encourage you to turn off the tv and go. Celebrate the season, get outdoors.

More information available about tickets, tables, and kids concerts by clicking on the link at the beginning of this post.

**This is my P post for Z-A challenge.


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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ryans Daughter, Baltimore Maryland

enterior of the pubRyan's Daughter. Known as a neighborhood restaurant this classic Irish Pub is one you must put on your list of places to visit, eat and enjoy while touring Baltimore, Maryland. It's located at 600 E. Belvedere Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21212. Hours are: Monday through Sat 11 am til 2 am. They serve Sunday Brunch startingf at 10:30 am, except for special Sundays like Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc. On those special days they open earlier and have a special menu.
enterior of Ryan's DaughterDoesn't it look cozy, inviting? They have snug's, and open areas. Whatever is your preference.
brunchWe had been working, cleaning and moving when we had to stop for a late breakfast. It was tasty!
The PubThe menu is varied whether you're there for a quick lunch, a snack, happy hour, or dinner. Happy hour specials run from 3 pm to 6 pm daily and include both drinks and food. For traditional Irish Music don't miss Friday and Sat evenings from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. This comfortable, fun Irish Pub also caters. This picture shows one of the sectioned areas which would work well for a group.

My daughter spent lots of time here during her 2 years in Baltimore and she always loved it. The music, and the food, and the service...all good. Put this on your list and enjoy!

**This is my R post for the Z-A Challenge
V = Vintage post Here
U= Urbana post Here

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