Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Seattle: Baby Boomer Travel Photo – Aix-en-Provence Eating Croque Monsieur

April 5, 2009

favorite-hat
I am in Seattle, sitting at my computer, cold.

And, then I see this old picture of me (pink hat) and two pals. It reminds me that somewhere in time, I am smiling and warm and happy-go-lucky or holly-go-lightly or …. ok, I’ll stop rambling.

We were having lunch in Aix-en-Provence. (About 4 years ago.) I was eating a croque-monsieur sandwich because I knew what it was. I always ordered the same few things. Next time I will branch out into eating a croque-madame.

Anyway, this photo makes me happy. It reminds me of Paul Simon’s song “KODACHROME”. Funny this.

Seattle: Here is a Picture of the Getty Center View (in Los Angeles)

April 4, 2009
The Getty Museum View and my Friend Clementine

The Getty Museum View and my Friend Clementine

You can’t imagine how much I worship this free view and this free museum….and My Darling Clementine.

I also miss the other cheap fun things in Los Angeles like
“Pink’s Hot Dogs” at Melrose and La Brea. Yum.

I like Pink’s better than the dogs in NYC.

Los Angeles: Baby Boomer Travel – Maybe There is Happiness in LA

March 22, 2009

Happiness in Los Angeles resides in a Getty Museum.

I hope to see the other Getty Spectacular tomorrow if our day fits the plan.

The Degas pastel (above) was one of my daughter’s favorite pieces. Good taste, for sure.

Read my feelings about
Getty Center.

Tomorrow we will probably see the Getty Villa or go to the beach or create something California Cool in happy-go-lucky beatnik flip-flops….and hopefully, we will find a way to fit in some tasty Pink’s hotdogs!

Seattle: Baby Boomer Travel – Home Again for Now

March 13, 2009

Qantas All the Way to LAX Baby!

Qantas All the Way to LAX Baby!

Ray and I are extremely and superbly tired. We had a 27 & 1/2 hour journey from Pepper’s Beach Club (hotel) in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia to the front door of our house in Seattle.

We went from the mid-nineties and 75+% humidity (Australia) to a nippy Western Washington low 30’s and clear, cold skies. And, instead of white sand we had white snow.

Now that I have good access to a computer, I will toggle and juggle the travel info in my head and try to give you a better idea of the different aspects of our trip. Right now, it’s time to sleep.

Brisbane to Seattle: Baby Boomer Travel – I Don’t Want to Leave the Kangaroos and Australia

March 11, 2009
I like my Kangaroo Friends

I like my Kangaroo Friends

I did not think I would like New Zealand and Australia.

I came on this vacation because my husband MADE me go with him.

It’s a superb bit of irony:

I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE the Kangaroos.

I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE the warm beaches in Australia.

I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE the beautiful Sydney Harbour.

I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE Melbourne.

I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE New Zealand.

Down Under is the greatest place in the world. The people are “right there” how you want them to be: honest. It’s not too crowded.

I might move to Australia if I can find a way to do it.

I want to go back to Australia. I want to see the kangaroos, the koalas, the dolphins, and even the Tasmanian Devils. I love Seattle, but I might love Sydney even more.

If my kids didn’t live in The States, I’d be packing and moving Down Under.

Port Douglas, Australia: Ray Keeps the “Snake Door” Locked

March 11, 2009

Ray had to look under the bed for snakes last night (because I’m afraid of snakes). Now he keeps the “snake door” locked all the time. It’s really just the sliding glass door to the balcony and the jacuzzi, but I call it the “snake door”, so he does too.

These pics are from our tramp through the small chic town of Port Douglas. Port Douglas reminds me of Lahaina Maui (Hawaii), though with less jewelry stores. We are here during the “off season”…I’m surprised by that. I would have thought that people from the Northern Hemisphere would flock to Australia in February and March.

I know I would rather be on a warm beach than shoveling snow from my driveway!

The “High Season” for Port Douglas is June, July, and August, when it’s cooler and less humid, and many of the critters (hopefully the box jellyfish and the mosquitos) are on siesta.

Read about the “BEST TIME TO GO: to avoid stingers (Jellyfish)”.

During the High Season, people come to Cairns, Port Douglas, and the rest of Queensland (from all over Europe and Australia).

I really like this place. I like the humidity and the heat. My neck doesn’t hurt, my arthritis takes a vaca, and I don’t have Iron Poor Blood. If I could just get used to the snakes. I guess even Eden had snakes…

Port Douglas, Australia: Don’t Read This Until Back Home

March 10, 2009

Well, we were hanging out with some of our travel buddies tonight who told us about someone’s encounter with a large snake. Actually, it was a snake that went from one side of the road to the other. A bicyclist (a Port Douglas Native) ran over this live “road bump” a few nights ago, right near here.

Then we talked to the waitress in town. She just got over Dengue Fever.

During dinner, we discussed other creature in the Cairns / Port Douglas area. Ray saw several giant bats, though he couldn’t find any crocs on the beach. Then one dinner friend told us that she saw a box jellyfish today when she was out snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef.

Now, I can’t sleep even though I’ve checked the room for snakes, so I thought I’d pass along some info to my friends on the OZ trip:

Amethystine Python:
“This is Australia’s largest snake. It is iridescent greenish, grey or brown, usually with dark lines and streaks above often giving off an amethyst sheen. It has large scales arranged symmetrically on the top of the head. This snake lives in rainforest and open forest. It feeds mainly on mammals and birds and is capable of taking animals as large as a wallaby. Length: Up to 5m (largest recorded 8.5m)”
That’s 26 feet of Port Douglas Python!

Black Flying Fox (Bat):
“The Black Flying-fox (Pteropus alecto) is a fruit bat in the family Pteropodidae. It has short black hair with a contrasting reddish-brown mantel with a mean forearm length of 164 mm and a mean weight of 710 grams. This species had been known to travel up to 50 km a night in search of food. It is one of only eight pteropodids in Australia. These bats form large ‘camps’, or colonies, and are native to Australia (NSW, Qld, NT and WA). They rest in mangroves, paperbark swamps, patches of rainforest and bamboo forests, and very rarely in caves or underneath overhangs. They are one of the largest bat species in the world, and have a wing-span of more than one metre.” wikipedia (That’s a wingspan of more than 3 feet. We saw one on the way home from the restaurant and it was a big mutha.)

My friend with bat-phobia might be interested in this link about people who take in wounded bats:

Bat Sanctuaries.

The Latest News on Dengue Fever:
“The Cairns Regional Council says the State Government needs to provide at least an extra $1 million to help it control the dengue fever epidemic in the state’s far north….He says Cairns’ reputation as a safe tourist destination is being destroyed and he is asking for at least a $1 million.” abc.net.au (Mar. 10, 2009) Hey, only ONE person died!

The Croc Found Along the Local Beaches:
“Saltwater or estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the largest of all living crocodilians and reptiles. It is found in suitable habitat throughout Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, and the surrounding waters. Saltwater crocodiles are known in the Northern Territory of Australia as “salties”. The Alligator Rivers are misnamed after the resemblance of the “saltie” to alligators as compared to freshwater crocodiles, which also inhabit the Northern Territory.”

(When we were on the beach today, I sent Ray to the mangroves to see if there was anything lurking. Nothing, thank God!)

Box Jellyfish:

We had a red flag up on our local beach and that means you can only swim within the jellyfish net area.CLICK TO READ MY ARTICLE ABOUT “BOX JELLYFISH IN PORT DOUGLAS”.

Box Jellyfish are pale blue and transparent and bell or cubed shaped with four distinct sides, therefore the name box jellyfish.
Measuring up to 20 cm along each side of the cube or bell, the Box Jellyfish has up to as many as 15 tentacles on each corner which can be 3 metres in length with up to 5,000 nematocysts (stinging cells). The Box Jellyfish shoots itself along up to speeds of 4 knots in a jet-like motion.

“The season for the Box Jellyfish starts with the onset of the wet across the top of northern Australia, usually around October and lasts until April.

Venom:You have virtually no chance of surviving the venomous sting (of the box jellyfish), unless treated immediately. The pain is so excruciating and overwhelming that you would most likely go into shock and drown before reaching the shore. So don’t go swimming alone!”
barrierreefaustralia.com

Well, sleep tight.

Port Douglas, Australia: I Played Hookey Again Today

March 10, 2009

It’s never been a big deal for me to see the Great Barrier Reef, so I stayed in bed again. I know I’ll get another chance to see The Reef in my lifetime. If I don’t, it’s no biggie. I like the scary things (like sharks) neatly tucked away behind glass in an aquarium. Our guide, Udo the Bondi Beach Surfer, said that there was a slim-to-none chance of spotting any sharks. Anyway, I am about to slip into the jacuzzi on the balcony. I forgot my swimsuit, but fortunately it’s behind a louvered screen so I won’t scare anyone. We’ll hit the beach later and look for crocs and deadly box jellyfish. Lots of fun around every corner.

Port Douglas Australia: Last Night I Crashed

March 10, 2009

After a quick three-plus-hour flight up to Cairns (pronounced something like, but not exactly, Cans), I crashed. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the new meds. Maybe I just needed a break from the non-stop touring. Anyway, I slept until this morning and I missed the dinner cruise.

Ray said the food was ok, not great. I don’t know what he had. His version of good food is McDonald’s. My version of good food is Asian-Fusion. So, who knows.

Ray said that one of the best parts of the sail was the bats. The bats had a wingspan as big as a hawk. Brilliant.

Melbourne: I’m Packing for Cairns and I need a Bigger Suitcase

March 8, 2009

Even though I purposely and mindfully left extra room in my suitcase, I am having a tough time making my purchases fit.

Yes, I did find a few hats at Victoria Markets. Also, there was a cute 1/2 price raincoat from yesterday at the Direct Factory Outlet Mall across the street from our Melbourne hotel. And, a cute scarf / shawl.

Everything I buy is a huge discount due to the US dollar – Aussie dollar exchange rate. This country is a bargain compared to Europe!