Dave and Merry Jo Binkley

D MJ Binkley

Dave and Merry Jo Binkley

Photographers, divers, writers, foodies, chefs and music enthusiasts.

Provisional members of Travelers' Century Club: 84 countries & territories (1/2022)

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We live on North Hutchinson Island, Florida. If you are in Florida please send us a private message as we would love to meet you.

Two nurses who are passionate about traveling the world.
Our love of travel, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures will hopefully take us to wonderful places and allow us the chance to get to know friendly people from other countries. Come join us as we explore "the big blue marble" and its inhabitants!


Travel quotes to enjoy.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the things that you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
- Mark Twain


Life is very short, try everything you've dreamed about (within the perimeters of sanity and the law) and regret nothing. Oh, and don't forget the sunscreen." ~Amber Benson




Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián November 5th 2021

Leaving a city like Barcelona is not the easiest thing to do. Sure, it's fairly straight-forward from a logistical point of view, but from a traveler's point of view, it is more challenging. Barcelona is a fabulous place that provided a marvelous time for us. It is no small wonder why people rave about it. But...it was time to move on. We'd been on the road for over 40 days and seen great places, great friends and eaten some stunningly tasty food. With only one stop left before our return to the States, how do you transition from such a lively place like Barcelona? You go to San Sebastian, also known as Donostia, in the north east of Spain. Not far from the border with France, this is one place we would recommend to anyone. It's ... read more
Scenes from the overlook
An explosion of flavors
Romantic City Streets

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona November 1st 2021

Every single time we mentioned to someone that we were going to Barcelona they immediately said, "you've got to do Gaudi!"...... every single person! Remember we mentioned we threw this trip together a very short time before we traveled so our knowledge concerning the places we were going was woefully sparse. As world travelers we hated to admit to our friends we had no idea what or who Gaudi was so we smiled, nodded and kept quiet. Finally, we had time to google and found out he was an amazing Spanish Architect and Barcelona was a showcase for his works. OK, cool, we could get into that! So, at this point, we'd been to Spain, then Portugal and now returning to Spain once again....who planned this? Uh....we did. We book-ended this around the river cruise with ... read more
Casa Batllo
Familia Segrada
Intricate stained glass

Europe » Portugal » Northern » Porto October 27th 2021

Lisbon proved to be a wonderful time, but the real reason for our trip with the Chef was just ahead. We conceived our voyage as one that involved food, fun and cruising on a river boat. The conversation started a few years ago at a restaurant in Burlingame, CA when the subject of "where would you like to travel" came up as usual. Brendan mentioned that a river boat cruise in northern Portugal would be quite the adventure. The idea sat on the back burner for a few years, but now the day was upon us, as we traveled north from Lisbon to Porto, where we would float on the Douro River for a week in the luxurious lap of a Tauck cruise. And so, after four days of fun bouncing around Lisbon having a grand ... read more
Clouds over ruins in Castelo Rodrigo
Architecture in Porto
Lisbon train station

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa October 15th 2021

We immediately liked the feel of Lisbon and could not tell you exactly why. Could it be that Lisbon is nestled among many hills, which create natural divisions for little neighborhoods and each with plenty of personality? Or perhaps that it is next to the water, which is always a natural draw for us? Are we describing San Francisco? No....this is Lisbon and it's charm grabbed us immediately. As we drove across the bay on our way back from the lovely town of Evora, we drank in the scenery and found ourselves eager for our time in Lisbon to begin because it would be spent with friends. World Travelers Unite Our first night in town would prove to be a great one, as we were having dinner with our retired travel agent Angeline and her husband ... read more
Tram 28 Lisbon
We found the arch!
Watermelon Gazpacho

Europe » Portugal » Alentejo » Évora October 11th 2021

A Unesco Town While our time in Spain had temporarily come to an end, we were thrilled and excited to be moving on to Portugal. A new country, a river cruise on the Douro River and reuniting with Travel Brendan . We haven’t traveled with him in some five years and it was long overdue! As we live in the days of the world-wide pandemic, we first needed to get tested in order to gain entry into Portugal, which we detailed in our previous blog. We left Toledo, Spain under the cover of darkness and headed for the Madrid airport. During this trip, we will arrive and depart from Madrid a few times, both by air and rail…but not long enough for a visit. That will have to wait for a future trip. The flight was ... read more
Roman Ruins in Evora
Quaint city streets in Evora
Evora aqueduct

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville October 9th 2021

Ronda There is just something about train travel….not exactly sure what that is, but maybe it’s because we’re Americans who grew up in the suburbs of our respective cities in the 1960’s and ‘70’s and as a result always arrived everywhere by car. America is a nation of highways. That was America back then…you want to go some place, you simply jump in the car and go. There were no train stations in your town anyhow. So now when we have the opportunity, we really enjoy train travel and Europe in this case Spain, has provided that opportunity. Renfe, the train company in Spain, has become our main source of transportation. All that being said…..we took the train from Granada to Ronda for a couple of days and then on to Seville and subsequently to Toledo. ... read more
Colorful Tile in Sevilla
Passionate Flamenco Dancing
Metrapol Parasol

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada October 2nd 2021

Food is everything we are. It's an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It's inseparable from those from the get-go. Anthony Bourdain The day started easy enough in Valencia. We hailed a taxi and headed toward the railway station. We claimed our Prius and slowly pulled away from the lovely city of Valencia and began to familiarize ourselves with the Spanish roadways. Honestly... we've been traveling for a fair number of years and are now absolutely amazed how people navigated before the joys of GPS... and we were those people! The Spanish countryside was dotted with mile after mile of lemon, lime and olive trees. We thought we'd share with you that we took the A-7, to the A-35, to the A-344 to A-31 and ... read more
Granada overlook
Great salad
Cathedral de Granada

Europe » Spain » Valencian Community » Valencia September 27th 2021

When we got off the train in Valencia, Spain we received a very warm and familiar hug from the humidity. It felt great as one of our days in Segovia was a bit cool. Even though we know fall is knocking on the door we are not ready for these temps just yet. Our first train ride in Spain went off without a hitch, due to the fact that we've learned over the years to arrive early to avoid any missteps. We don't have well developed public transportation in the U.S. so when many of us escape to travel we are excited to learn trains, subways, buses or how to drive on the other side of the road. Since we lived in Washington D.C. for a while and have visited NYC we have some past experience ... read more
The City of Arts and Sciences
Cathedral de Valencia
Nothing better than fresh veggies

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Segovia September 24th 2021

Not all those who wander are lost” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien It was simply bugging the hell out of us....we would talk about it, imagine it, even attempt to make plans in the hopes that we could travel....somewhere. We've somewhat mollified this urge by taking a few trips within the U.S., but we all know that the great thrill is to leave your own country and go visit one you've never seen before. That's the thing, right? We’ve spent each day for months longing for travel. Attempting to decide if it was safe, if it was the socially responsible thing to do.. …We’ve studied vaccination rates and we’ve studied the U.S. State department website until we exhausted all the information. In the end we selected a country where many residents have been vaccinated -- since we have ... read more
Cathedral in Segovia
Cathedral of Segovia
Views from the aqueduct

North America » United States » Tennessee » Memphis February 7th 2021

The Memphis BBQ Food Scene is very much a large part of The River City. A BBQ joint is seemingly on every corner and fills every nook and cranny of Memphis. Although larger cities probably have more BBQ places, Memphis certainly has the largest rib joint to per capita percentage in the nation. With just under one million residents in Memphis and surrounding suburbs, that is a bold statement, just like some of the sauces we tasted! Just thinking about it can make your mouth water….superbly slow-cooked meat with a sauce that is just this side of heaven. Meat that literally falls off the bone, having been subjected to several hours of magical heat made possible utilizing the finest wood available. Such is the artistry of preparing barbequed ribs. With great pride many states claim to ... read more
Central BBQ Ranks #1
Memphis Barbecue Co Ranks #2
Great slaw and Mac and Cheese




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