My husband Bob and I have been travelling two to three months a year for the past 12 years, around 110,000 miles so far. We've gone all over the US (except Alaska and N. Dakota) and Canada, particularly the Maritime area. And for the past four years we've included two of our cats as they're good travelers and good company.
Bob drives the truck which pulls a travel trailer, currently a 22' Big Foot camper which was made in western Canada and thus well insulated. That's a good thing as we were caught in an Arkansas blizzard for almost a week over the past holidays.
I began these blogs in 2009 and they work well in showing our friends where we've been -- the attractive stuff, the weird stuff, and sometimes, if we're lucky, some funny stuff.
We hope you enjoy our travels!
Paula & Bob
April 14, 2013
April 27th 2013
Hi, All -- My first couple of days in Louisiana were spent driving around the outskirts of New Orleans with Sandy (Sandy driving), visiting a couple of plantations and enjoying the countryside. The first plantation stopped at, Houmas Plantation, has an outstanding garden and that's where we spent our time as the plantation house didn't look that interesting. The second -- Laura: A Creole Plantation -- is well visited as you can see from the sign. On a good day, hundreds and hundreds of tourists pour through the house and grounds. The poor tour guides were bumping into one another on the day we were there. Fortunately, our tour guide was excellent, quite a good story teller. And there's a lot of story to tell here. By the way, this is where Br'er Rabbit originated. According ... read more
April 27th 2013
On our last day, Sandy and I wandered the French Quarter and did the usual stuff -- chicory coffee and beignets at Café du Monde, wandering around Jackson Square, visiting the St. Louis Cathedral, listening to musicians along the river, getting our tarot card readings . . . Sandy works in downtown New Orleans, teaching photography to junior high kids attending the Trinity Episcopal Church's private school and also serving as the Church's photographer. And this was my 6th or 7th trip. So we were able to home in pretty quickly on some good photo opportunities. It was a lovely day and the French Quarter was in full bloom. Next and last blog -- plantations and other stuff. Take care. Paula... read more
April 15th 2013
Hi again -- Following are photos taken at Gnomewood Farm, which is owned and run by Noel, a good friend of mine for some 25 years, and her sister Renee. It's located in Covington, LA, almost directly across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, a little beyond where you get off the bridge. Sandy and I spent one of our photo days there. Noel and Renee have been raising alpacas for a couple of decades (give or take) and currently have 21. As you can see, they've just been sheared, a procedure that takes place around Easter each year. The fleece then goes to an alpaca co-op and results, for Gnomewood at least, in clothing -- mostly scarves, socks and yarn -- which they are able to sell. I got several pairs of these delicious feeling socks, ... read more
April 12th 2013
Hi, Friends -- These photos (plus more to come) were taken last week when I visited a friend of mine, Sandy Courvoisier, a photographer, for a glorious week of shooting photos all over the New Orleans area where she lives. This was our third week-long photo trip -- one was a week around Blowing Rock, NC, and last year we spent a week on Anna Maria Island, FL. As you will see over a few blogs, we visited cemeteries, an alpaca farm, plantations, and, of course, downtown New Orleans. This first blog has photos taken in three cemeteries -- Metairie, Lafayette, and St. Louis No. 1. (I think that's right, but I'll check with Sandy later). I'm enchanted by crypts, especially the very old ones with ferns and other plants poking out their cracks. In a ... read more
January 6th 2013
(For those of you who've already seen these photos and read our story, please excuse me for sending it again. I wanted to get this on TravelBlog so that around 30 other people could see it. And it's hard to mess with the list of people receiving this blog.) ______________________ Dear Friends -- These of some photos of Bob's and my recent Christmas adventure. We both wanted a little cold and perhaps a sprinkling of snow this Christmas, being northerners at heart, so we decided to drive to Arkansas' Ozark Mountains as the location wasn't too far from home and we thought the mountains might help in our cold/snow search. Where we stayed was only 100 feet lower than the highest point in the state. Well, "be careful what you wish for," as they say. We ... read more
December 6th 2012
Dear Friends -- These are photos taken during our drive back home in mid-October. The first photos are of the Saturn IB rocket in Huntsville, Alabama where it was built. The next photos were taken at the Little River Canyon National Preserve located on top of Lookout Mountain in Alabama. Next we visited my cousin Lyn, her husband Brooks, and Sylvester the Cat at their farm in Kentucky. The last photos are of Rainbow Springs where we spent our last night. Several years ago Bob and I kayaked into the town of Dunnellon from the campground, had lunch, then kayaked back, about a three hour trek. At that time the springs were almost crystal clear from the source to the town and so beautiful. They're still beautiful, just not quite as clear. And this is the ... read more
December 5th 2012
Smith Falls and Parry Sound, Ontario are two of our favorite small towns in Canada. The first photo was taken from our campsite in Smith Falls, right on the Rideau Canal. Parry Sound has a cruise ship which takes passengers around the 10,000 islands (give or take a few) in Georgian Bay. We took that cruise some years ago and were amazed by the number of little islands that had just one or two houses on them, pretty interesting houses at that. Note the black squirrel. We saw several around this area although we had never seen them anywhere else. These compost bins were in Algonquin Provincial Park, our next destination. The Ontario park system takes composting very seriously. The last photo is of our traveling kitty cats. They've been traveling with us for the past ... read more
November 26th 2012
Hi, Friends -- These photos are going back a bit in time as we visited Knoebels Resort back in mid-August, the beginning of this year's fall trip. Even though Bob is from PA and had heard about the resort for many years (after all, it's 85 years old now), he'd never visited it before. Our first surprise was the huge number of people there the day we went, many thousands in fact. There is no admission, most of the rides are $1 to $3, the food is good and inexpensive, and there are big trees everywhere, making the park shady and cool in the hot weather such as the day we attended. And the number of rides is amazing. From Wikipedia: "Knoebels Amusement Resort is a family-owned and -operated amusement park, picnic grove, and c... read more
November 21st 2012
This Butterfly Conservatory is a delightful place. Located at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, it has three levels, a huge assortment of plants and flowers in a lush, tropical setting, and contains between 2 and 3 thousand butterflies depending on the time of the year. At present, the Conservatory has around 45 species of butterflies, mostly non-native according to my cousin, Lyn Atherton, a well known "butterfly person" who looked at my photos. (Lyn is also a "bird-spider-and-other-unusual-bugs person.") These photos are nothing like as sharp as Lyn's photos. But they're the best I could take considering that I didn't have a tripod or a macro lens. It's the colors and designs that I find so wonderful, particularly how the butterflys' colors so often match the flowers they favor. Look at #9 and how that butterfly ... read more
November 19th 2012
Hi, All -- Considering that Bob and I got married on this trip, it seemed appropriate that we spend a little time at Niagara Falls, that well known honeymoon place. I wonder if people still honeymoon there . . . The Maid of the Mist vessels, and we could see four -- two on the Canadian side and two on the US side, have been transporting people under the falls since 1854. The first Maid started as a ferry service between the Canadian and American sides in 1846, but after the first Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge was built at the site, the Maid became a tourist attraction instead. Not only did we spend time at the falls, we also visited the Niagara Botanical Gardens, although most of the flowers had faded away by the time we ... read more