Ronda, Spain: a Small Town that Puts on a Big Show

ronda bridge

I’m especially excited about this Library Lady post because it was published on Go World Travel, a site I faithfully follow! 

Photographers beware: Leaning out to get the perfect shot of the magnificent Puente Nuevo bridge in Ronda, Spain, can result in a long drop – 390 feet to be exact. And while the bridge may be the star of the show in Ronda, the supporting cast of awesome views and medieval splendor also draws quite a crowd . . . Read more at Go World Travel.

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Doors of Kauai

It’s time for more of Norm’s Thursday Doors, where door lovers of the world unite!

We’ve recently returned from a trip to Hawaii where I found some interesting doors. Well O.K. not all of these are doors, some fall into the category of entryways – but I think you’ll like them.

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SHARK DOOR!

Shark door was my favorite. Unfortunately, I have no information.  It looks like a residence, although there might be some kind of sign behind that fence. All I know is we were driving down the road, I spotted shark door and our driver kindly screeched to a halt and backed up so I could take a picture. Don’t you wish you had a supersize sea creature hanging in your front yard? The door is pretty amazing too.

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From the wild and crazy shark residence, we go to this lovely and dignified door. It was adorning a 4 million-dollar home in an upscale Hawaiian neighborhood. I believe I could live quite happily here.

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This is the door/entryway to Kauai’s Hindu Monastery. A peaceful oasis that features two Hindu temples and the Himalayan Academy. It’s free of charge and a must-see if you’re in the area.

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The door to the temple is really beautiful, but you’ll have to take my word for it. I lined the shrine up in front of the door because it was open, and as you can see from the sign, pictures of the inside of the temple are not allowed. This is such a tranquil place. The monastery is set in the midst of tropical grounds that stand out even in Hawaii. The following picture was also taken there.

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Another million-dollar home. Another pretty carved door. Hawaii has a style all it’s own.

Allerton Botanical Tour – Doorway to the Garden of Eden.

tourimages_allerton_guideThe Allerton  Garden was another interesting place. We went on a 2.5-hour guided tour of a botanical paradise. I liked this doorway and the Jurrasic Park trees. (A scene from the movie was actually filmed here.)

This is Makauwahi cave and the “door” is a tiny hole that – ordinarily – nothing could induce me to enter. It was dark and creepy on the other side, but off in the distance you could see a beautiful grotto.

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 Well worth the moment of claustrophobia.

What do you think? Ever been to Kauai? What’s your favorite spot?

 

 

 

Banning Group Hugs? & Travel Signs

Today’s post is an eclectic combination of odds and ends, but I’ll start by sharing my Rosanne Rosanna Danna moment. Does anyone remember Roseanne Rosanna Danna from Saturday Night Live? (I know, it was a long time ago).

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As I was listening to the radio this morning I heard the announcer say, ” Today the city of Provo will vote on whether group hugs should be allowed within the city limits.” then they cut for a commercial break.

Someone wants to ban group hugs? I thought. Why would anyone do that? Group hugs are a positive thing, we need more positive things. That’s crazy! What’s this world coming to anyway!

As the announcer returned, I listened with angry ears. “Today the city of Provo  will vote on whether to allow BREW PUBS within the city limits.”

Brew pubs?

Oh. Well.

Never mind.

For those who never saw Gilda Radner / Rosanne in all her glory, I’ve included a  Youtube link at the end of this post.

Next on the agenda are the signs. These are signs I’ve either liked or laughed at in my travels.

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Truer words were never spoken.

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This was a cool sign. We were in Morrocco, in the place where two James Bond movies were filmed. There’s also a famous reference from the old horror movie the Mummy. “Come with me to the Kasbah . . .” I dare you to click on this movie clip – it’s pretty scary funny.

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I get the point but have never heard it put in such formal terms before.
(Rock of Gibraltar. British territory.)

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This sign was posted on the door of a gender-neutral bathroom in Kawaii. Even mermaids are welcome here!

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Speaking of bathrooms – This sign was placed above the toilet on a cruise ship. It’s too small to read so I’ll translate. Flush toilet paper only, please. Dispose of diapers, wipes, and EVERYTHING else in the trash.
Everything? Well, O.K. . . .  but I feel really bad for whoever has to empty these trash cans.

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 This was written on the front window of the Holy Donut store in Portland Maine. There is a line out the door at all times, and people wait cheerfully for ridiculous amounts of time to get their donut fix. That’s becuz, Holy Donuts are FANTASTIC.

Anyway, that’s my everything and the kitchen sink thoughts for today. I hope all is well with you and yours. If not, take a minute to watch Rosanne Rosanna Danna, she’ll make you smile.

 

 

Carry On: Packing Light

These people are bringing too much stuff on their plane trip. Some of it will get lost or broken.

Turning Over a New Leaf

19 Inch Travel Bag and Matching Case

On our trip to Paris France (See Carry On: The French Connection) we experienced the luggage mix up of the century, where – long story short- my husband traveled across town in the middle of the night to exchange suitcases with a complete stranger.

On our next trip, we traveled to Spain. This time we resolved to play it safe and keep our luggage with us.  John and I each brought a 19-inch upright bag with a matching tote that sits on top for easy transportation. You’d be surprised how much stuff will fit into these expandable cases, especially if you do your research and learn how to pack correctly. There are all kinds of ‘travel light’ packing lists online, along with endless YouTube videos, but for now, I’ll share a few things I’ve learned about traveling with carry-on bags.

A Mental Shift

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Day two – same outfit!

Over the years I’ve been conditioned to think its taboo to wear the same outfit two days in a row.  Well, guess what? I did just that in Spain and the world didn’t come to an end. News flash – I travel to see the world, not to have the world see me. So, rather than taking weeks’ worth of clothing and accessories, I learned to pack light.

Mix and Match

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Figure out the minimum amount of clothing you can get by with, then choose items that mix and match. Include a variety of scarves and lightweight accessories that will go with everything and create different looks. The items pictured here fit easily into my suitcase along with lingerie etc. Here’s a surprise, I didn’t even wear all the clothes I brought.

 Consider the Season

Tne reason I didn’t wear all the clothes I took to Spain was that I packed for the wrong season.  Once again, a mental thing.  I was in Utah where the average daily temps were in the 60’s.  Even though I could see online it would be 80 to 90 degrees in Spain, I couldn’t get my head around that and insisted on packing a sweater and too many long pants.

Great Shoes
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Bring 2 pairs of comfortable walking shoes, black goes with everything, but that’s up to you.  I brought one pair to wear with casual clothes and another that worked well enough with skirts and sundresses. (I love my Clarks Cloud Steppers. This pair walked from one end of Spain to the other and is still as comfy as ever.)

 Shoulder Bag

I always roll up an empty canvas shoulder bag like these and stuff it inside my carry-on tote, so I’ll have something to use on a daily basis. You need a small bag to hold necessities like phone, camera, hand sanitizer, and I.D. Your tote is too big to carry around on a daily basis, besides, it’s stuffed with toiletries back at the hotel.

Wash and Wear

One thing that helped us was the fact we usually had access to laundry facilities. If that’s not an option, purchase a small bottle of dish soap to wash items in the hotel sink, then hang to dry on a shower rod or portable clothesline. If you’ll be doing lots of handwashing, make sure to pack clothes that are lightweight and quick to dry.

Carry-On Converts

By the end of this trip, we agreed that traveling with carry-on bags was the best idea we’d ever had.  I for one will never check luggage again.  Carrying my bags with me made it easier to make tight connections, and I was happy to save the time of checking suitcases and claiming it (hopefully) on the other end. But best of all, with this system, my spouse will never again have to rendezvous with a complete stranger, in the middle of the night after stealing her suitcase. Happy travels everyone and Carry On!

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Another reason I will always keep my luggage with me.

On returning from an overseas trip two days ago, I sat in the plane and watched airport employees unloading luggage from the cargo hold onto a trailer. They threw things willy nilly – including skis and a musical instrument – which crashed down on top of each other. The icing on the cake was a stroller, which banged onto the trailer rail. A wheel broke off the stroller and went skittering across the tarmac. The employees did not notice and drove away.

Ever had a problem with items being damaged while in the care of an airline? Any suggestions on packing light? I’d love to hear from you.

(For more great travel tips, read Globetrotting Grandpa’s excellent post!)

Carry On: The French Connection

Travel Blunder #367

It was midnight in Paris. Sound asleep, I was blissfully unaware that my husband was on his way to meet another woman . . . at her hotel.

It all started that afternoon when we flew into the Charles De Gaul airport. Since one of our travel companions wasn’t feeling well, we grabbed our suitcases from the carousel, hired a cab and hurried to the hotel so he could lie down. My husband John and I were eager to explore the city, so we stashed our bags, checked on our friend and set out to see the sights of Paris. Continue reading

Irish Windows

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Arched window and geriatric Castle – St. Cirains’s Monastery in Shannonbridge Ireland.

Have you ever dreamed of going to  Ireland? I did, and when it finally happened, I hardly dared to close my eyes for fear I’d miss something. Here velvet blue skies flanked rolling green hills, ancient stone buildings hovered on every horizon, and age-old rock walls snaked across the fields. Aside from that,  people have remnants of castles in their very own backyards!

From what I understand, these medieval marvels are protected – big fines if you knock one down to make room for your backyard pool – and people in Ireland seem to take all this antiquity in stride. I remember one house in particular which had a laundry line strung from a crumbling castle turret to a tree. There were sheets hanging on the line and cows grazing peacefully nearby.  What would it be like to look out your kitchen window at an ancient ruin? I’d love to find out.

Continue reading

Columbus, Ohio – More Fun than You Think

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I used to believe the only way to have an amazing travel experience was to go abroad.  Of course I was wrong! Our trip to Columbus, Ohio proved there are plenty of fun destinations in the United States which have the added benefit of not including a 16-hour plane trip.

We’d planned to visit our kindred spirit friends who live in Columbus, and while I was looking forward to seeing them, I assumed we’d spend our time playing cards and eating ice cream ( our favorite activities aside from traveling).  Once again – WRONG.

As it turns out there’s a lot see in the Buckeye state. In fact, if I included all our adventures, I’d have to write two posts. For now, I’ll simply hit the highlights. (I’ve included our day by day play by play at the end so you can follow in our footsteps if you want.)

The Parks

For starters, Columbus has an astounding park system. It consists of a series of “Metro Parks”, nineteen in all, which include woodlands, grasslands, wetlands, rose gardens, water gardens, rock gardens, and a buffalo preserve to name a few. We also enjoyed the Franklin Park and Botanical Garden which features a butterfly conservatory.

I’ve never seen anything like these parks before.  Frankly, the word park doesn’t seem like the right term for these massive plots of land. Battelle Darby Creek, for instance, encompasses 7,000 acres, and the amazing part is how accessible they are. One minute you’re fighting big city traffic, and the next you’re in the forest, listening to birdsong and the rustling of Aspen leaves.
Hard to imagine? Take a look.

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Continue reading

Getting There is Half the Fun (?)

businessmanImagine you’re going on a cruise which starts in Quebec Canada.  You live in Utah, so you must travel from point A to point B which involves getting on an airplane.  Flying is not my favorite activity. It makes me nervous, but I’m fine as long as I don’t think about the fact that I’m hurtling through the air in a metal tube 30,000 feet above the ground.

 

So the last thing I want to see is this.

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Yes, this was my tray table on our flight from Atlanta to Toronto.

Now I understand that that things break and cannot always be fixed immediately, but this caution tape was a bit much. What you can’t tell from this picture, is the tape was wrinkled, torn and stretched and had clearly been there a long time. Seeing things like his causes one to wonder about the maintenance of the plane in general. Was there a weathered piece of tape holding the engine together? I sent this picture to the airline since they were apparently unaware of the problem.

Our next stop was the Toronto airport. We knew we had a tight connection, further complicated by the fact that we were crossing the border into Canada. As we got off the plane we had to go through security again. Unfortunately, there were only two lines open for the masses of people who were anxiously assembling. When it was finally our turn my husband’s bag inexplicably set off an alarm. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong and they ultimately let us go, but by now we were getting nervous and began to speed walk. As we turned a corner we ran into a room full of automated PASSPORT CHECK KIOSKS!

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A Mystery is Solved

Here’s my entry for Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge – White

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For those who read my “Quebec is Amazing” post, you’ll remember I was baffled by this giant clown head balloon that appeared to be stuck between two buildings.

“What the heck ?! questions-1922476__340 On our first day in Quebec, we were strolling around the city and stumbled onto this! It looks like a rogue hot air balloon . . . maybe it was running away to the circus? Or could it be a weird Halloween decoration? Are there any Quebecois (not a typo) out there who can shed some light on this?”

Well, no one had any light to shed, so I decided to look into the matter myself. You will all be relieved to know, I now have the answer to this burning question. The sad clown is part of an art installation called Passages Insolites 2019. Sprinkled around the city of Quebec are 14 different creations, all of which refer to passages in some way.  I’m assuming this clown is making an unsuccessful passage through the buildings?

According to Urban Guide Quebec:

Quite possibly the creepiest art installation of Passages Insolites, Fin de partie is inspired by Nagg and Nell, a play by Samuel Beckett. The inflatable clown headsare squished between two buildings on rue Saint-Paul. Interesting during the day, the scene can be a tad more disturbing at night.

I’d have to agree with that last statement. Can you imagine – stumbling onto this on a dark and stormy night? GAHHH!! Cue the horror movie soundtrack.

clown headSpeaking of clowns and horror movies, why is it clowns are always sad or scary these days? Whatever happened to the jolly clowns who made us laugh at the circus? And what about clown college, is that even a thing anymore? With the demise of the circus, it seems like clowning would not be an upwardly mobile career .  .  .

Oh well, enough of my ramblings. If readers want to chime in on any of this I’d love to hear your opinions.

For more interesting white photos don’t forget to check out  Cee’s excellent photoblog.

Bullfights and Bad Guys – Ronda’s Provocative Past

Ronda is one of Spain’s most popular travel destinations. Home to scores of stunning views and a famous bridge, it’s also known for its flamboyant past. Early inhabitants were a colorful bunch, with a large percentage of bandits, highwaymen, and bullfighters filling out the ranks.

This Library Lady article is continued at Ronda Today

bullfighter ronda

Pixabay Photos