Travel Scan: Camping Near a Castle


This is Maiden’s Castle, or Deniz kalesi, which is on an island in the Mediterranean just off the Turquoise Coast in the Mersin Province of Turkey. My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to camp here during our trip through Europe and the Middle East. It was surreal waking up to this view.

According to Wiki, the castle was probably built by Alexios I Komnenos of the Byzantine Empire after the First Crusade. It was rebuilt or repaired during the reign of Leo I of the Cilician Kingdom of Armenia in 1199.

Can’t remember why we didn’t visit the castle, or if it was even open to tours. Anyone been there?

I have to say the Turquoise Coast was one of the highlights of our trip. Incredibly beautiful.

Great weekend, everyone.


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Plaza de España

Whenever September rolls around it reminds me of our honeymoon in Spain. September is a great month to go there…fewer tourists and the weather is perfect.

Plaça de España, Sevilla

I think my favorite place in Sevilla was the Plaza de España. Incredible tile work everywhere. A beautiful park nearby too.

Happy Autumn and great weekend, everyone!


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Living on the Eidfjord

One of my grandmothers lived near a fjord in Norway, and while we were there I wondered what it would be like. The scenery is beyond beautiful, but the winters are pretty harsh.

I took these shots of houses on the Eidfjord.

That looks like an inn or hotel on the left, but I’m pretty sure the red building is a house. I learned that Norwegians paint their houses mostly red, gold or white. Red is the cheapest and white the most expensive, so it’s kind of a status symbol.

Here’s a closer look:

This tiny village might be a little too remote for me. I like having a city close by.

I do like the particular shades of red and gold used here. Can you believe their view?

And then there’s the fjord….

Great weekend, everyone. Mother Nature seems to be on a bit of a rampage these days. Puerto Rico, Mexico, the list just goes on and on. I really hope the natural disasters are done for now.


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Sky Candy

We are lucky enough to see some beautiful sunsets off our balcony. I took these shots a few months ago and was struck by how the clouds resembled cotton candy.

The mountains are just right of center. I love seeing them with snow in the winter.

That tiny dot of white light is most likely a small aircraft.

The colors are fading here, but still some lovely shades of pink and lavender.

Great weekend, everyone!


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Magnolia Bakery

On a trip to New York a couple years back, we stopped in at Magnolia Bakery. I had been curious after seeing it on Sex and the City and several food bloggers raved about it. We went to the one on Sixth Avenue, but I think the one from SATC was on Bleeker St. No matter, it was fun to see.

This is the entire space. Kind of tight, but the goods make up for it….

It was kind of overwhelming to be honest, because everything looked so good. I think I got a red velvet cupcake, my favorite.

This shabby chic caddy is a nice touch.

In addition to baked goods, they also sell t-shirts.

We also went to Ladurée that day. You can see those photos here.

Great weekend, everyone. If you’re in the path of Hurricane Irma, please be safe.


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Hanauma Bay

One of my favorite spots on Oahu was Hanauma Bay. We made a brief stop to take photos from above….

On the left


And the right side.

The “curved bay” was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967.

It’s against the law to touch or walk on the coral.

Great weekend, everyone….especially to the folks down in Texas. The footage of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction is truly heart-breaking.

illustration by @christopherdavidryan via Instagram


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Yuri Takes Over the Guest Room

Sorry I’ve been MIA this summer. A lot going on, but hopefully things will settle down soon. I want to thank all the new followers for joining in. And thanks to my longtime readers who’ve hung in there with me. I won’t be able to return “Likes” at this time, but I’ll do my best to visit your blogs.

Today I took a look at my stats and was surprised to see that the posts on my cat Yuri have kind of taken off. Who knew? A lot of cat lovers out there. 🙂

So here are some shots taken of the big guy in our guest room, which he has appropriated as his “lair,” ha ha.

Yuri loves to hide and then jump out at me. His favorite thing is to leap from his cat tree onto the sofa when I’m walking by. He times it just right so he flies right across me. I can actually hear the air whistling as he flies through the air. We haven’t collided yet, which is pretty amazing since I’m moving at the time. The agility and timing of cats blows my mind.

The caption for this one could be “Put up your dukes.” Yuri had just woken up and had his paws curled in front of him. They’re so big they really should be called “mitts.”

Ever the ham. As I’ve said, I had two other cats long ago, but they weren’t nearly this entertaining. I don’t know if it’s a Siberian thing or we just got lucky.

Great weekend, everyone!


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The Craziest Rainbow Ever

At the end of our cruise in Hawaii, the ship lingered at the Na’Pali Coast on Kauai, one of my favorite places in the world….

We were just about to go inside, because we’d been looking at the coast for at least an hour, but then noticed a partial rainbow. What a great end to a wonderful cruise.

Well, then it started growing.

Here’s the right side:

Then we noticed a faint second rainbow on the left.

And something else. The rainbow looked like it was in the water.

Then the real craziness. The rainbow was an oblong coming towards us in the water! We were freaking out because we’d never seen anything like it.

I quickly switched to video on my iPhone and captured the whole thing. I tried uploading it to WordPress but it was sideways, so I’ve put it on YouTube here. A first for me, but it’s pretty easy to do. (Apologies to those outside the U.S. if you can’t view it.) I’m not a filmmaker, but am OK with the way the movie turned out. If you have the sound on, you’ll hear one of my friends exclaiming, and it still makes me smile whenever I hear it. We were pretty blown away. 🙂

This made us wonder if rainbows are really circles? Turns out, they are, but it’s mostly pilots who get to see them from planes. Usually the rest of the circle is cut off by the horizon. According to Wikipedia, the reason a rainbow is circular is that “a circle is the set of all points in the sky that make the same angle between you, the water droplets, and the sun.” Whatever the explanation, we were amazed.

Great weekend, everyone!

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Oahu and a Movie

I’m having some technical issues, so wasn’t able to do a long post about Hawaii. Instead, a glimpse of Oahu. I’d never seen anything but Honolulu on previous trips, but this time we saw quite a lot of the island and, it’s beautiful.

Then last weekend I saw a really great indie flick, “Maudie.” Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins are the stars and they are outstanding. It’s based on a true story and the cinematography is amazing. I can see Sally Hawkins nominated for many awards.

Great weekend, everyone!


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I meant to get back to blogging sooner than this, but the next thing I knew, it was July 4th and the time just got away from me.
Anyway, I went on a “girls’ trip” to Hawaii and it was fantastic. Here’s a shot I took of a lighthouse on the island of Kauai for now. More later!

Great weekend, everyone!


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