Thursday, January 31, 2013

Touring in Virginia

We have had a couple of great vacation days. Yesterday, we toured the Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia. It is the world's largest naval place. 54,000 military folks and 14,000 civilians work there. The tour on a bus was excellent..  Photography was permitted on only part of the trip. Photos were not permitted on battleship row. That certainly would have been the most photogenic part of the trip.  Three aircraft carriers were in port including the recently retired carrier, The Enterprise...and many battleships. The tour lasted almost an hour. This base is a city. It is an experience not to be missed. The tour was reasonable at only $5.00 each for seniors. 

Today we toured the Shirley Plantation, Virginia's oldest. It is still run by members of the original family who live on the property.  Most of the artifacts displayed in the mansion are original.  The docent who conducted this tour was very good.  This trip was reasonable at only $10 each with a AAA card. Photos are permitted only on the outside of the property. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Traveling in America's Birthplace

We have been traveling in Virginia this past week. We started the week with cold (20 degrees) and snow. The weather warmed to 75 degrees yesterday. Go figure. Lynn and I had been  to Colonial Williamsburg 39 years ago (whew!). It was fun visiting this 18th Century village again which was originally funded as a non-profit foundation by John D. Rockefeller in the 1920s. This is where America as we know it today began. The reenactors here are very knowledgeable and interesting to interact with.

We also drove to Thomas Jefferson's beautiful plantation and home, Monticello, near Charlottesville. Our guide, Aurelia Crawford, was excellent. Jefferson had a curiosity about everything and some of his innovations are displayed in the house. Our 3rd President and members of his large family are buried in the cemetery on the property.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Walking in the dark.

I had an interesting experience this morning.  I got up early for my daily 4 mile walk.  I shaved and got cleaned up, took the dog for a walk and got Lynn's coffee ready for when she gets up in a few hours.  I downloaded all of the photography apps that I listen to when I walk. I let Lynn know that I was heading out.  As I left the house I looked at the clock for the cable tv...and realized that the time was 6:00 AM...not the 7:00 AM when I normally leave.  So, here I am more than 19 hours later trying to get this blog together before you wake up this morning!

Walking through the park at 6:00 AM is a little bit creepy.  The park doesn't open until 7 AM, but the walking gates are open at each end of the park earlier.  But, walking at this time in the morning does have its advantages since some of the most beautiful sunrises happen before sunrise.  The sky goes from pink to red and it really sets off the darkness of the trees.  You can see the lights marking the sides of the causeway to Tampa.  It is really a pretty scene.

I returned home to see this beautiful male cardinal in our Crepe Myrtle tree behind the house.  What a great start to the day!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekending in Sebring

Lynn and I spent the weekend in Sebring, Florida at the Sebring Regional Airport.  We visited the hangar of Bob Tulius, a famous 12 Hours of Sebring winning driver and owner of his own racing team.  He is also an avid aviator and owns a small collection of very unique airplanes.  Following our visit to his hangar museum we drove about 20 minutes south of Sebring to Lake Placid.  This central Florida town is famous for its huge caladium farms, citrus and it's many interesting wall murals.  I took a few photos of some of the murals.  I used the photo stitch assistant in the Canon G1X to build panoramas on a few of the huge murals.  The murals signify  important historical events and features of this attractive community.  They are really quite good and usually have hidden features that one needs to study to find.  Here are a couple of my photos of  this art:

If you are in the central Florida area you owe it to yourself to take some time in Lake Placid to enjoy this interesting art.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

I spent the day with Lynn getting ready to host a party for a group of 14 people that may be interested in traveling to Poland this summer or early fall for a culinary vacation similar to the one that we did in September.  What a great time we had.  I have put together a You Tube video which outlines the culinary portion of our trip with photos from great sites, great cooking lessons and wonderful accommodations and restaurants.  If you would like to see it, please e-mail me at

The traditional soup of Poland.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I just noticed that Gosia, our incredible guide in the Pomerania Region of Poland is my first subscriber to this new blog.  We were so fortunate to be able to spend a week with Gosia this past September on a Culinary tour of this intriguing area of Poland along the Baltic Sea.  She showed us villages, history and sand dunes. Yes, that's right.  Some of the most beautiful giant sand dunes are in Poland's North.

We were introduced to Westerplatte, the site where the first shots were fired in World War II.  We visited a produce market.  We learned to cook the Polish way...both in the homes of Kashubian ladies and at a famous Culinary school.  We ate.  Boy, did we eat.  We were served some of the finest meals that we have ever had.  We dined in the Gothic Restaurant in the World's largest castle, Malbork Castle.  The castle is also the largest brick building in Europe. We also dined at Pod Lososiem, an elegant small restaurant.  Gosia also took us on a tour of Stuthoff, a large intact concentration camp.  Stuthoff was the first concentration camp opened by the Nazis as well as the last camp closed at the end of the War.  A moving experience indeed.

Gosia at an outdoor War museum that we visited.
You can see many of my photos from our incredible Poland experience by visiting my website,
Lynn and I are putting together some travel opportunities to Poland in the coming months.  If you would like to hear more about them please e-mail us at


It is a new year...2013.  I have just come to the realization that this blog has not been updated in a couple of years.  Oh joy!  And, now with my regular presence on Google+ I find that Blogger (another Google product) is only a tap away.  So, I have decided to make a constant effort to do a better job to keep this blog up to date.  So, please keep score.  Leave comments.  I can use all of the encouragement that I can get.  On with the show....