• Day 13 - Goa, India

    Across from the beach and playground which was our first stop was this fish created from plastics.  The sign in front reads, 
    “By 2050 there will be more plastics in our oceans than fish."

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    Our next stop was a huge open market where people were making fresh flower arrangements and selling fresh vegetables.

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    Latin Quarter in Goa - Fountain’s

    We walked through The Latin Quarter in Goa, also known as Fontainhas, a charming and historic neighborhood in the state capital of Panaji.Many of the houses are over 300 years old.

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    Basilica of the Born Jesus

    The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Old Goa, India. The basilica was constructed in the late 16th century and is a example of Baroque architecture in India. The body of St. Francis Xavier is preserved in a silver casket and displayed to the public every ten years during the Exposition of the Sacred Relics.

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    Spice Plantation

    Our last stop was a spice plantation where we cinnamon trees, all spice tree, black pepper plant, coffee plant, jack fruit tree, and had a buffet lunch of typical Indian food.

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  • Day 11 - Mangalore, India

    The 11th century Kadri Manjunatha Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed to be the oldest Shiva Temple in Mangaluru. The temple also has tanks with natural springs and laterite caves also known as the Pandava Caves.

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    The healing pools within the temple area filled from the natural springs.

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    We were fortunate to be at the temple in time to witness some of a wedding.  The groom is picture above inside the building where the wedding is held.  In the picture below, the family is escorting the bride.

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    St. Aloysius College Chapel

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    St. Aloysius College Chapel

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    The inside of the chapel was painted by Jesuit Brother Antony Moscheni.  In just over two years, he completed 600 square metres of frescoes, and 400 square metres of oil paintings on canvases. Since there were no locally available paints then, and importing them from Europe was not a viable option, Moscheni used dried powder pigments combined with pure water on freshly applied lime plaster for the frescoes. For the canvases, he used linseed oil mixed with dried powder pigments.

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    Mangaladevi Temple

     

    The Mangaladevi Temple is a Hindu Temple located in Mangalore.  The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Shakti in the form of Mangaladevi, for whom the city is named.

     

    Mangaladevi Temple entrance Mangaladevi Mangalore

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    Our next stop for the day was the deep sea port in Mangalore where the fishing boats were returning after being out for sea for two weeks. The port was bustling with activity and we saw many different types of fish on pallets waiting to be transported across the country.

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    The women clean the fish on the side of the road so people can buy the fresh fish.

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    The fish are layed on tarps in the hot sun to dry (in case you ever wondered where dried fish comes from)!

     

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    Cutting jackfruit for us to taste (definitely not my preference for fruit!)

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  • Day 12 - Cochin (Kochi ), India

    Our private driver and tour guide  picked us at the port and drove us to points of interest for the day.  Our first stop was to St. Francis Catholic Church which was built in 1503 and is one of the oldest European churches in India. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gamma died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India.  His body was originally buried in the church, but after fourteen years, his remains were relocated to Lisbon.

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    Here we are outside the church with our guides.

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    The humidity was horrible —felt like Louisiana in August!

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    Where Vasco da Game was originally buried inside the church.

    Our second stop was at the District Heritage Museum at Bastion Bungalow at Fort Kochi. The structure was built in 1667.

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    Chinese Fishing Nets

    Not only did we get to see at least a dozen Chinese fishing nets, we were also shown how to fish with them.  

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    It takes a lot of effort to pull the nets out of the water. Clearly the men helping us were doing the bulk of the work!

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    Pull, Pull, PULL!!!

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    A meager catch for all the effort!

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    One of many banyan trees that we saw on our walk along Cochi’s sea wall.

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    Criminals were burned alive as punishment in these chambers.

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    Jew Town

    We spent an hour or so walking the shops in Jew Town, the heart of the once-thriving Cochin Jewish community during the 16th century.  The Paradise Synagogue and quaint shops around Synagogue Lane and Jew Town Road sell antiques, carvings, Keralan crafts and aromatic spices.

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    Boat Ride through the Mangroves on the Backwaters

    Our final tour of the day was a boat ride through the mangroves where we saw colorful birds, Chinese fishing nets, mangroves and some resorts and beautiful homes.

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    Check out the fish the eagle has in his talons !

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Day 10 - Columbo, Sri Lanka

    We walked off the ship this morning and found a tuk tuk driver to give us a tour of Columbo.

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    It was a hot and steamy day today!

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    Traffic was crazy!  He took us to the railway station where we could get a look at their train system.

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    We went to the St. Anthony’s Shrine (Catholic Church) which was bombed on Easter Sunday April 21, 2019 at 8:45 AM during the service, killing 57 people as they worshipped.  At the same time, three luxury hotels were also bombed.  Two other churches in Sri Lanka were bombed that day killing a total of 269 people.  

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    The sanctuary has been rebuilt since then.

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    Our next photo stop was at the Al Altar Mosque (Red Mosque).

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    The Lotus Tower is a communications tower with a revolving restaurant and observation deck at the top. We rode up to the top to get a view of the city.

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    The view from the top of the Lotus Tower

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    A view of our ship from the top of the tower.

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    Sri Kaileswarman Temple, the oldest Hindu Temple in Columbo

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    Gangaramaya Temple, the oldest Buddhist temple in Columbo

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    Looks like many people have made a wish by rubbing the Buddha

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    The resident Buddha tying a bracelet on Tom’s arm.

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    KFC is all over the world (but no longer in Lake Charles)!

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    The infrastructure isn’t the best that we’ve seen!

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    The tug coming to take us out of the port.

  • Day 9 - Hambantota, Sri Lanka

    Our excursion today was to Udawalawa National Park, an 1 1/2 hour bus ride from the ship to the entrance. Along the way we saw a farmer plowng his rice fields while the birds followed close behind to find the worms that were just exposed.

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    We passed some beautiful scenery and saw water buffloes walking along side the road and grazing in the fields.

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    We passed several small towns with tuk tuks parked in the driveways.

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    When we arrived at Udawalawa National Park, we boarded our safari jeep  to see elephants, monkeys and birds.

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    Our next stop was the elephant sanctuary where we watched them call the baby elephants who came running to get their milk.

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    A house being built that we spotted on our way back to the ship.  Check out the sticks that are being used for studs in the house on the left.

  • Day 3 - Penang, Malaysia

    Pinang Peranakan Mansion

    Our first stop of the day was the Pinang Peranakan Mansion which was built in 1893 and once served as a residence for a 19th century tycoon, Chung Kong Quee.  He was a millionaire philanthropist and known as an innovator in the mining of tin.

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    Our next stop was to the Thean House Temple

    The tour guide told us we had to walk 89 steps up to the temple from the parking lot.  After walking over 300 steps, I stopped counting!

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    We enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch at the Golden Sands Hotel 

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    Our last stop of the day was at the Entopia Penang’s Butterfly Farm

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  • Day 2 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    When we looked out our balcony window, we saw the boat crusing pass.

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    We boarded our tour bus and spent the day seeing the sites of the city.

    Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and the largest city in the country. The skyline is dominated by the Petronas Twin Towers, once the tallest building in the world, but still the tallest twin towers in the world. The town was first developed around 1857 as a town serving the tin mines.  At one time Malaysia produced around 28% of the world’s tin and rubber.

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     Our first stop to see the Old Railway Station. 

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    National Mosque

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    Petronas Twin Towers

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  • Houston to Singapore

    Houston to Singapore

    We left Houston at 1:00AM on EVA airlines and flew 16.5 hours to Taipei where we had a one hour layover and then flew another 4.5 hours to Singapore.  By the time we got out luggage, it was 24 hours since we left Houston.

    The Oceania driver picked us up at the airport, but we waited almost an hour before the driver decided the other couple’s flight must not be arriving.  As soon as we arrived at our ship and the driver left, I realized I did not have my PHONE!!!!  We checked in and Oceania paged the driver who returned with my phone (and credit cards). What a way to begin our trip.

    We are in room 7100.

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  • Dry Tortugas National Park

    After four attempts over three years, we finally made it to Dry Tortugas National Park, our 58th National Park (out of 63).

    It is located in the Gulf of Mexico 68 miles off Key West and is accessible only by seaplane or boat. Three times we have booked a seaplane to take us there (40 minute flight) and three times it’s been cancelled due to high winds. So, yesterday’s flight was cancelled right as we were leaving the guesthouse for the airport. Before we left Lake Charles, we also booked a boat trip as a backup and that’s how we got there today. It’s a 2 1/2 hour ride each way and coming back today the seas were very rough.

    I was very nauseated on the way home, and couldn’t even open my eyes. I was thinking that I couldn’t believe I had PAID to be this sick. Anyway, one more ✔️ on our bucket list!

    The boat company drew my name for a free boat trip back to Dry Tortugas.😳 I said , “No thanks!!!” They gave me a nice dry fit long sleeve shirt instead.IMG 3307

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    We arrived on the Yankee Freedom boat operated by the National Park. The cost was $185 each for seniors. Although our scheduled flight didn’t happen yesterday ($451 per person), today the planes were able to fly.

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    The first European to see the Dry Tortugas was Juan Ponce de León, who visited on June 21, 1513. Ponce de León caught 160 sea turtles there and subsequently referred to the islands as the "Tortugas" (turtles). They are called Dry owing to the absence of surface fresh water on the island. The name is the second oldest surviving European place-name in the US.

     The park's centerpiece is Fort Jefferson, a massive but unfinished coastal fortress. Fort Jefferson is the largest brick masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, composed of more than 16 million bricks.

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  • Key West - Day 2

    We walked to the Southernmost point in the continental USA after breakfast to get this iconic picture. It was only .6 miles from where we are staying. We did a little shopping and then went back to the guesthouse to get ready for our plane trip on Seaplane Charter to Dry Tortugas National Park.  Seeing this park was our whole reason for coming to Key West.  I was just picking up my phone to get and Uber to the airport when the Seaplane Company called and cancelled our trip because of high winds.  Within 10 minutes after their call, it started raining very hard and the winds were blowing hard.  It rained that way for over 1 1/2 hours and then it drying up and was nice the rest of the day.k.IMG 3249

    We walked down to Wendy’s for lunch and then spent the afternoon walking through the different shops up and down Duval Street.

     We also took a wonderful tour of The Little White House. It was built in 1890 as quarters for Navy officers, the Little White House was later used by American Presidents William Taft, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.  Truman used the facility as a vacation home and functioning White House between 1946 and 1952.National legislation was drafted and official government business was conducted daily from the site.  Perhaps the most important of these actions occurred on December 5, 1951, when Truman enacted a Civil Rights Executive Order requiring the federal contractors to hire minorities.  The house is considered the birthplace of the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force.IMG 3289

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    This decoration was made from sponge, shell (the eyes) and animal bones (the teeth).

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    Roosters are everywhere in Key West.

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    We ate dinner at the Viva Argentinian Steakhouse which is right beside where we are staying at the Wicker Guesthouse.

     

     

  • Key West, FL Days 1

    We flew from Lake Charles to Key West on January 6 and got an Uber to the Wicker Guesthouse where we are staying.  It is very centrally located right on Duval Street.  We didn’t need a car because it was so easy to walk everywhere.

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    We walked to the end of Duval Street to the Ocean.  One the way back we saw this Santa and thought he was an actual person, but alas he was just a moving dummy.

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    Joe and Brenda Cimini picked us up at Wicker Guesthouse in their golf car and gave us a tour of Key West.  The city was still decorated for Christmas, so it was very pretty to see all the lights.  We ate dinner at Half Shell Raw Bar and enjoyed a nice evening visiting with them and catching up with the Lake Charles and Montgomery news.

    When we got to Wicker Guesthouse, we enjoyed seeing the Christmas decorations there lit up.

     

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    It was a nice day and we ended up walking 5.2 miles and 11,614 steps.

  • Avenue of the Giants

    We started the day by driving Hwy 101 S from Eureka until we saw the exit for Avenue of the Giants.

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    We stopped at the Humboldt Redwood Interpretive Center.

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    This motorhome was made from a previously fallen redwood donated by the Pacific Lumber Co. Using a one-man saw Kellogg cut off a 22 foot section of the 11 foot diameter tree to build his Travel-Log. He used cables and the Nash Quad to fill the huge log to the work sit. Then he and two helpers began shaping the exterior.IMG 2646

    We stopped at the Shrine Drive Thru Tree to drive through it and also see the two houses made from redwood trees.

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    The beautiful Chandelier Redwood—315 ft. Tall, 21 ft. In diameter with a maximum age of 2400 years.  Leggett, CA

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    Apparently banana slugs are everywhere in this area.  Every gift shop had stuffed animal ones for sale.

  • Redwood National Park

    We made it to our 57th National Park!  Redwood National Park and State Park is combined. In 1884 the state of California and the National Park Service combined their management of these parks.IMG 2587

     

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    The beach at Trinidad

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  • Ft. Bragg, CA - Riding the rails at Pudding Creek

    We started at the Shunk Creek Train Depot in Ft. Bragg and followed a guide on a two person electrically enhanced custom built rail bike.  We rode 3.5 miles to Glen Blair Junction for a 50-minute layover to enjoy walking amongst the giant redwoods before peddling back to the Train Depot.IMG 2256

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    With all the redwoods and evergreen trees is this area of the country, the few tress with changing leaves really stand out!

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    Afterwards, we drove 30 miles to Willits to buy a new tire for the rental car. It took over two hours to get the tire mounted and changed, so it was dark by the time we drove the 84 miles back to Eureka.

    As we were driving to our Airbnb in Eureka, we were stopped by the Christmas parade of firetrucks, tow trucks, and emergency vehicles decorated for Christmas. Good thing there was no emergency in the area at the time because all the emergency vehicles must have been in line at this parade.

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  • Houstonto Eureka to Ft Bragg

    We flew from Houston to Eureka, CA to see the beautiful redwood trees and ride the skunk rail train.  Since our reservation was for 1);30 the next day, we decided to get our rental car and drive down to Ft. Bragg.  Our plan was to ride the Railbikes along Pudding Creek.

    We drove on Rt 101 until we turned onto Rt. 1. By this time it was totally dark, and there were no lights or signage on the road. Rt 1 was a steep, mountainous road with tight turns and no shoulders. We had a blowout of the front passenger side tire. We were in the middle of nowhere, 40 miles from Ft. Bragg, our destination for the night .  We had no cell phone reception and I had to drive almost two miles before I could find a place to pull over so we could change it. We took off the tire and replaced it with the small spare which isn’t supposed to be used for more than 50 miles.  Our plan was to got to a tire dealer in Ft. Bragg the next day and buy a new tire.

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    Tom was changing the tire by light of his cell phone.

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    We ate a devious dinner at The Wharf which was located right next to the water in Ft. Bragg.  I had delicious fish tacos, coleslaw, black beans and rice.  Tom had Fried fish and fries.  We both  enjoyed out meal.

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  • Wormsloe State Historic Site

    We visited Wormsloe Historic Site to participate in Georgia’s "First Fourth” which portrayed the arrival of the Declaration of Independence in Savannah on Aug. 10, 1776,  After the Declaration was read, the reader burned a cloth effigy of a British Soldier and fired a shot to symbolize the beginning of the American Revolution .

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    An effigy of a British soldier was burned to symbolized the end of their reign in the new world.

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    We entered the park by driving over a mile through the beautiful Oak Tree canopy. 

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    Noble Jones’ fortified tabby house was surrounded by eight foot high walls to protect the family from attack by the Spanish and their Indian allies during the War of Jenkins’ Ear (1738-1748).  Construction of the house took almost six years and required mixing more than 9,000 bushels each of lime, sand, oyster shells, and water to make tabby. Large shell middens (a large pile of waste) left behind by Native Americans nearby were mined for oyster shells, some of which were heated in kilns to produce lime-rich ash. Once the four ingredients were mixed the wet tabby was poured into wooden molds to solidify for several days.  After setting, the molds were removed and reassembled on top of the hardened tabby before another layer was poured.  The 1 1/2 story home was twice the required size of Savannah homes and contained five rooms.

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    This is a reconstruction of a small wattle and daub huts used as quarters for Jones’ marines, indentured servants, and probably slaves.Inside walls are pictured below.

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    Pictured below is an oven used to baked bread and pies.The woman get up about 4:00 in the morning and building a fire outside.  Once the wood is burned and turned into ashes, the ashes are moved in the over and the door is shut.  Those embers are left several hours to heat up the over.   The ashes are removed, the bread or pie are inserted, the door is shut and the food cooks.

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    We crossed the Moon River (which is not the river in Johnny Mathias’ famous song “moon River.”)IMG 1867

     

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    Lunch in Savannah

    I drove into Savannah to meet my childhood friend Julie Traylor who lives in Hilton Head.  We hadn’t see each other for over 30 years and had a great visit catching up with old times.

    Skidaway State Park

    We are are staying in Skidaway State Park again today for $30 a night.  It’s a nice campground with big lots, privacy, and a nice place to ride bibles.

  • Savannah, GA

    We took an Old Town Trolley Tour of Savannah with a very interesting tour guide named Ray for the first 3/4 of the tour.  When we got off a the Prohibition Museum and then got on another trolley our guide was Chey and we had a very hard time understanding what she was saying.

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    Prohibitions Museum 

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    Prohibition Whiskey Gutter, Sentember 10, 1926 -Neighborhood children scramble to scoop up whiskey and wine from a gutter after Prohibition agents destroyed barrels with axes and dumped its contents into the streets at the intersection of Van Brunt and Sackett

    Streets, Brooklyn, New York. While nowhere to be seen, the children's parents clearly are behind the scheme and the beneficiaries of the liquor collection. Their presence would likely net their arrest.

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    Waving Girl Statue

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    Tribute to Florence Martus, a Savannahian who is perhaps better known in worldwide maritime communities than in her own. From 1887 to 1931, she greeted ships entering Savannah by waving a cloth at approaching ships from the lighthouse on Cockspur Island, in search of her long lost lover. Her fame spread and ships would return her greetings with a blast from the ship's horn. Many still sound a salute to her statue.

    Rainbow Row

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    Rainbow Row is a collection of charming Carpenter Italianate-style row homes. Each unit features Victorian era details and has its own color scheme that embodies the feel of Savannah and its architecture. 

    Old Town Trolley Tour

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    Skidaway State Park

    We are staying at Skidaway State Park.  The park offers big private lots, beautiful oak trees with Spanish Moss

     

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    There are  bcycle trails within the park and ever better ones right outside the park.  We bicycle about 5 miles each day. Cost of staying here was $30 a night.

  • Crosswinds Campground, Jordan Lake State Park, Apex, NC

    We spent three nights at this beautiful campground (space B5) and it only cost us $30 a night.  This was an especially nice campground with very large spaces.  We had a long private driveway and were totally surrounded by trees.  Probably the best public campground we’ve ever visited.

    We enjoyed roiding our bicycles around the campground.

    The campground was near our friends in Cary, NC which made it easy for us to visit back and forth.

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  • Wright Brothers National Memorial

    Wright Brothers National Memorial

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    A full-sized, accurate reproduction of the 1903 Flyer. The original 1903 Flyer is on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Wings: 40 feet,4 inches long; 510 square feet Weight: 605 pounds

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    The first successful flight of an airplane was made from this spot by Orville Wright December 17, 1903. Just as Orville left the ground, John Daniels, a member of the lifesaving station, snapped the shutter on a preset camera, capturing the iconic image of the airborne aircraft with Wilbur running alongside.He kept it aloft until it hit the sand about 120 feet from the rail. Into the 27-mph wind, the groundspeed had been 6.8 mph, for a total airspeed of 34 mph. The flight lasted only 12 seconds, and the distance covered was less than the total length of a modern passenger airliner. 

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    This marker marks the spot where the flights took off.

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    The brothers took turns flying three more times that day, getting a feel for the controls and increasing their distance with each flight. Wilbur’s second flight - the fourth and last of the day – was an impressive 852 feet in 59 seconds. These white markers mark the distance of the first, second, third and fourth flights.

     

     

  • Lost Colony of Roanoke and Cape Hatteras National Seashore

    We started today visiting the famous DUCK DONUTS which is along the Outer Banks.  All the donuts are cake donuts, but there is a wide array of  flavors for toppings. I tried vanilla and Tom had chocolate.  How adventuresome is that???

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    Lost Colony of Roanoke

    The Lost Colony was an English settlement established on Roanoke Island in present-day North Carolina in the late 16th century. It holds the distinction of being one of the oldest English colonies in the New World.

    In 1585, Sir Walter Raleigh sponsored the first expedition to Roanoke Island, led by Ralph Lane. However, the mission faced numerous challenges, including scarce resources and conflicts with local Native American tribes. Ultimately, they decided to return to England after a year.

    In 1587, a second expedition was organized, this time led by John White. Around 120 settlers, including women and children, arrived at Roanoke Island with the intention to establish a permanent colony. This group was the first English attempt at colonizing families in the New World.

    Soon after their arrival, tensions with the Native American tribes escalated. John White, sensing the potential threat, decided to return to England to gather more supplies for the colony. Due to the outbreak of the Anglo-Spanish War, it took him three years to secure a ship and make his way back to Roanoke.

    When John White finally returned in August 1590, he found the colony abandoned with no traces of the settlers, except for the word "Croatoan" carved on a post and "Cro" carved on a nearby tree. This led to the mystery that still surrounds the fate of the Roanoke Colony and its settlers. 

    To this day, the fate of the Lost Colony remains unknown. Various theories suggest that the settlers may have been assimilated into local Native American tribes, faced hostile encounters, or perished due to disease or famine. Despite numerous efforts and expeditions, the mystery of the Roanoke Lost Colony continues to captivate historians and researchers.

    Virginia Dare was the first child born in the New World, but like the other settlers, no trace of her exists.

     

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    European expeditions in the late 1500s commonly constructed small defensive structures. Soldiers built these earthworks by digging ditches and then forming walls from the removed soil. Ralph Lane, a fortifications expert, led the 1585 English expedition.

    The purpose of this earthwork is unknown. its small size would not have provided nearly enough space for the numbers of 1585 explorers, let alone the more than one hundred settlers that arrived two years later. Documentation shows the settlers lived in a palisaded fort, which has not yet been found.

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    Cape Hatteras National Seashore

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    We briefly walked along the sand (which was VERY hot) and got into the water which was COLD.  Now I sound like Goldilocks ...

    Bodie Lighthouse

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    This is the third lighthouse to stand near this property between Roanoke Island and Nags Head.  It was built in 1872.

     

     

  • Corolla, NC (Outer Banks) Colonial Spanish Mustangs

    We drove 150 miles from Williamsburg to the OBX Campground on the Outer banks where we stayed for three nights. Once we parked and unhooked the car, we drove to Corolla where we had  a tour with Corolla Wildlife Adventures booked.

    Before taking the adventure tour, we stopped at the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. t is one of the only lighthouses in America that still houses its original first-order Fresnel lens. The light continues to flash today at 20-second intervals, serving as a navigational aid. The beacon, which can be seen for 18 nautical miles, comes on at dusk and ceases at dawn.

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    Since we were short on time before our tour, we did not climb the 220 stairs to the top, but it was a nice view looking up the stairway.IMG 6549

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    Corolla Wildlife Adventures

    We joined eight others for a 4×4 off-road vehicle ride onto the pristine northern beaches from Corolla with our knowledgeable tour guide Jay to see the wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs. Through devastating hurricanes, swarms of biting flies and mosquitos, and the constant pressure from developing the islands into prime beach vacation property, these horses, and the people they share the islands with have found a way to live together in a most uncommon accord. 

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    Corolla WildHorses website

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    OBX Campground was $210 for three nights.

    Obx campground

  • Assateague Island National Seashore

    It was pouring down rain when we left the Homestead Campground in Georgetown, DE to drive to Assateague National Seashore which is a barrier island off the coast of Virginia and Maryland.  The island is 37 miles long and can be accessed by car from the top and the bottom, but there is no road to drive a car all the way through.  

    TM Assateague

    We entered the park near the top at the Maryland Entrance which is where the free roaming horses are located. We stopped at the Visitor Center before we crossed the Bay into the park and watched an interesting film where we learned that the horses are not fed by the NP at all, but rather survive on the salty grasses, poison ivy and tree bark and drink water from ponds on the island all day long.

    Map of AssateagueAbout a mile after driving into the Maryland side of the road, we started seeing the horses on the side of the road, walking down the road, standing in the middle of the road, etc.  It was so cool!  

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    The road only goes 5.5 miles into the park, so we parked the car and walked out to the beach to see the water and the sea grass.

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    Assateague at sunrise

    This beautiful picture is from the National Park’s website.  We definitely did not have those beautiful skies. On the way back to the Visitor Center to go down to Chincoteague, we saw a few more horses.

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    Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

    We were so impressed by all the horses we saw at the Maryland side of the island, we decided to drive down to Chincoteague.  To get there we had to drive back out of the park and drive 54 miles down to the Virginia Entrance.  

    We didn’t see any free roaming horses after all that driving.  At Chincoteague all the horses are behind fences—even through the fields were very large.  We didn’t see any horses up close there.  There was a 1.7 mile loop called Woodland Trail where we thought we’d see some horses, so we decided to ride it on our bicycles.

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    Tom was able to get this picture on his tip toes, but I couldn’t see over the weeds to see the horses.

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    Definitely NOT worth the 1.25 hour drive to get down to Chincoteague!  The horses were far away, behind tall grass and and behind a fence.

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    There was 1.25 miles of lifeguarded beach at Chincoteague.

    Driving the 78 miles back to the Homestead Campground in Georgetown, DE was a long one as we got caught in one of those blinding rainstorms where it’s hard to see the car in front.

  • New York City

    We drove into Queen , parked at our hotel and took the Metro  from the Briarwood Station to the World Trade Center.  We walked to see the Vessel,  a 16-story, 150-foot-tall  structure of connected staircases among the buildings of Hudson Yards,  Vessel has 154 flights, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings,with the total length of the stairs exceeding 1 mile. The copper-clad steps, arranged like a jungle gym can hold 1,000 people at a time.

    It opened to the public on March 15, 2019. In January 2021, following three suicides at the Vessel, it was indefinitely closed to the public. The Vessel reopened in May 2021, then indefinitely closed again after another suicide two months later.  Unfortunately, it is still closed and we were only able to walk up one set of stairs.

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    High Line 

    The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan.

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    We ate lunch at Chelsea Square Market before walking to the World Trade Center.  We had hoped to visit the 9-11 Museum, but the museum is closed on Mondays.

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    There was  an Apple Store in the WTC so I stopped to see if I could get a new cell phone battery installed. The store didn’t have a battery for my model, but the Apple Store at SOHO had one in stock so I made an appointment for Tuesday morning to get it installed.

    We walked to the Metro and rode back to our hotel in Queens . We stayed at Best Western which had free parking.  The subway ride to the World Trade Center was $2.75.  We walked 8.5 miles and were absolutely exhauster when we got back to the hotel.

  • Washington's Crossing, Grounds for Sculpture, Princeton University

    We started the day by driving to Washington’s Crossing Visitor Center where we watched a video of the Revolutionary War and walked to the site where Washington crossed the Delaware.IMG 5822

    IMG 5829This sculpture by Seward Johnson is located at the site where Washington and his men crossed the Delaware River.

    Grounds for Sculpture

    A sculpture park and museum located in Hamilton, New Jersey. It is located on the former site of Trenton Speedway and was founded in 1992 by sculptor John Seward Johnson.

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    Forever Marilyn

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    SEWARD JOHNSON

    Shortlv after the terrorist attacks of September 11. 2001. Seward Johnson brought his sculpture Double Check from Ground Zero back to the Johnson Atelier. The bronze sculpture had been lifted from the rubble in the aftermath and set up among the wreckage as a makeshift memorial. The grief stricken citizens of New York and others who were missing loved ones atxed mementos to the sculpture, placing candles, flowers, and other obiects on and around the figure. Seward was deeply moved as he read the notes and studied the photographs and personal articles of the first responders who had been killed. He knew its significance had changed torever.

    To honor the nearl 3.000 people who died, Seward decided to add permanently the commemorative obiects left on and around the sculoture. He carefully photographed their positioning, reproduced them in bronze, and welded them onto a casting of the original Double Check sculpture. He named the new scupture Makeshift Memorial and. on the plaque, gave credit to all inadvertently collaborated on tne sculptures final form.The reinvented work was ceremoniously installed on New Jersey’s Hudson River Waterfront Walkwavy. which overlooks lower Manhattan and the former site of the World Trade Center.

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    IMG 5879CAST BRONZE

    Rat's Restaurant is located on the grounds, and was conceptually designed by Seward Johnson with an Impressionist Claude Monet-styled atmosphere. The scenery surrounding the restaurant features Johnson's own impressionist-inspired sculptures, including a bridge over a lily pond which is an homage to Monet's painting Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge 

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    Princeton University

    We drove to the University and walked around campus and through the Chapel.

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    We ended the day with an ice cream cone at the Halo Pub which had an original oil painting to the Copeland Farm where we are staying.

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  • Stockton, NJ, D&R Canal Bike Path

    July 8

    We arrived at our friend’s home in Stockton, NJ where we will be staying for the next five nights. She invited two of our friends from the Africa trip to her home  for dinner which was delightful.

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    July 9

    We biicycled 8 miles on the Delaware & Raritan Canal bike trail from Stockton , NJ to Lambertville and back—8.5 miles.

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    ✔️ We drove to the Delaware Pedestrian Bridge and walked our bikes across the bridge to eat. lunch at the Black Bass Hotel, built in 1745.

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    We ate lunch at the historic Black Bass Hotel & Inn which overlooks the Delaware River.

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    ✔️Rained the rest of the day.

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