Sharon B. Juhnke


Sharon B. Juhnke

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island May 27th 2014

Today we checked a "must-do" item off our tourist list and made the trek to Milford Sound. We boarded a bus at 7 AM and 6 hours later arrived at the sound for a 2 hour boat ride to the ocean and back, then rode the bus straight through, arriving back in Queenstown at 7:30 PM, having traveled 600 km, according to our bus driver. Never thought it would be so exhausting to just sit and ride for a whole day. But the specular scenery (made even more dramatic by recent snow) on the drive was worth the "ordeal". So much of it was difficult to photograph through the bus window, but will reside forever in my mind's eye... We started off in the dark driving around the south arm of Lake Waikatipu, and gradually the ... read more
Lake Te Anu where we stopped for a coffee break on the way to Milford Sound
Stop at Mirror Lakes
Mirror Lakes.2

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown May 26th 2014

It snowed all night, and we woke to a few inches of snow frosting our balcony and nothing visible out on the lake. The snow continued into the morning, so we decided to bundle up and walk into town. Much to our surprise the snow stopped a few minutes into our trek and the skies brightened a bit. With the clouds lifting we began to appreciate the dramatic after effects of an early snowfall! Many Good Things today which we both agreed upon: We enjoyed exploring the wharf area and walking around the point, then through Queenstown Gardens. Next we headed over to the base of Bob's Peak, which looms over the town, and caught the gondola to the top where we ate lunch in the bar, while being entertained by the bungee jumpers and enjoying ... read more
Queenstown under snow
Walking into town
Atlas Pub's contribution to the winter scenery

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown May 25th 2014

(Note to self: You are too old and cranky to book yourself into any more 24-plus hours travel ordeals ever again!) Somehow we survived the first leg of our journey and arrived in Auckland, where our connecting flight, once again, was delayed--this time due to weather (wind) issues in Queenstown. While canceling the flight was considered, we ended up being the last one to land in Queenstown for the day. Some good things eventually came out of that situation (see below), and we arrived safely in a very wet and windy Queenstown, minus a few fingernails, but otherwise fine. Sharon: Good Thing--The fortuitous last minute gate change and delayed flight (Auckland to Queenstown) that resulted in us sitting next to Frasier, a Queenstown resident, in the gate area, who gave us advice about things to do ... read more
Home away from home for a few days...

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Queenstown May 25th 2014

We're off to Oz, with a few days detour in Queenstown, New Zealand... Refuse to get bogged down in blogging this trip, so will format using "good thing/bad thing" for each day, which faithful blog readers will remember from our Italy trip last fall. Oh, and I promise there will be lots of photos! Day 1/2: May 23 (and the ghost of May 24) Sharon: Good Thing-- Binge-watching Orange Is the New Black on individual screen during flight and surprisingly good airplane coffee (though not served often enough for my needs). Bad Thing: Spilling red wine ALL over myself while trying to shift my legs in the smallest area of leg room and narrowest seat I've ever experienced! Dave: Good Thing: Lots of viewing selections on the plane, and Ambien!! Bad Thing: Sitting in VERY cramped ... read more
View out the window while we wait...
Brilliant marketing

Europe » Italy » Campania » Paestum October 8th 2013

A note to my loyal blog readers: This is my last entry--yay! About time, since we've been home for 2 weeks! I just want to tell you all that your encouragement and positive comments spurred me to carry on while on the trip, fighting with bad internet connections and too little free time in which to blog. Once home, I felt committed to finished up my take on our adventures for my own record/memories. I appreciate those of you who have continued to follow along, clicking through my ever increasing text and number of photo uploads! ;-) Cheers to La Bell'Italia--hope you all have your own adventures there someday that you'll share with me... ****************************************************************************************************** It's hard to believe today was our last full day in Italy--and full doesn't begin to describe it! We rose at ... read more
Buffalo Barn "Spa Area"
Massage Machine
Hanging Out on the Mud Beds

Europe » Italy » Campania » Ravello October 7th 2013

We woke to blue skies, FINALLY, and were excited that we'd have clear weather for our visit to Ravello and would be able to appreciate the killer views from there that we'd been reading about. Now all we had to do was get there... After a short wait, the bus came along to the stop right outside the pensione. We could see from a distance that it was packed and our prospects weren't good. But amazingly it stopped and the middle doors opened to reveal an interior crammed with folks, with no obvious room for more. This was a switch! Could we even force our way on? This bus driver obviously believed his bus wasn't yet full, so why should we doubt him...or was he just playing with the tourists?? We jammed ourselves onto the steps ... read more
Spotted on the Streets of Ravello
Vegetable Garden With a View!
Unassuming Entrance to Villa Cimbrone Gardens

Europe » Italy » Campania » Praiano October 6th 2013

Happy Birthday, Dave! The day dawned wet and gray again, so we let the birthday boy sleep in--plus he's fighting a cold :-( Everyone at the pensione seemed to think it was bound to clear up today, so after another huge breakfast from Luigi (we actually had to ask for less food), we formulated a plan to visit one of the medieval watchtowers down the coast and stop in at one of the tiny beach towns, Conca di Marini, nearby. We were aided in our adventures by Angela, who once again helped us when we failed to catch the inconsistent and overfull buses in the rain, by driving us out of town far enough that we could walk the rest of the way. Fortunately, the rain dissipated just about the time we got going, but our ... read more
Looking Back to Where We Started
...And Ahead to Where We're Going
Just Around the Next Bend...

Europe » Italy » Campania » Amalfi October 5th 2013

The rain that threatened yesterday arrived during the night, and we woke to wet, dreary weather. But given our limited time on the Amalfi Coast, we felt we had to do SOMEthing today, and our room's atmosphere isn't exactly conducive to just "hanging out", so opted for the destination that offered the most possible indoor activities--Amalfi, about 30 minutes away by bus. By the time we'd finished the sumptuous breakfast provided by Luigi--fruit, eggs, tomatoes, prosciutto, cheese, yogurt, toast with homemade spreads--the rain had turned to light sprinkles. We decided to walk over to Praiano, 5 minutes away, check out the town, see the church (of course), then catch a bus to Amalfi. Sounded good at the time. The first part of the plan went smoothly. We got to explore some of the tiny streets of ... read more
Tile Dome, San Giovanni Bautista
Bronze Busts of Sts. Luke and John Incorporated into the Church Doors
Interior Tile Floor.1

Europe » Italy » Campania » Praiano October 4th 2013

We bid Sorrento a fond farewell, and vowed to return someday, as the song says... We realized a few days ago that there was no way we were going to be able to make the transfer between Sorrento and our next destination, Praiano, on the other side of the peninsula on public transportation, not with all our luggage and accumulated odds and ends. So we hired a pricey driver for the 45 minute drive, but in the end he was worth every Euro. From the minute Maurizio loaded our numerous bags into his van, he was friendly and knowledgeable, pointing out sights, imparting historical, cultural, architectural, geological tidbits, to improve our understanding of this area, all while negotiating the road with amazing grace! Once on the Amalfi Coast Drive, he stopped at an overlook, so we ... read more
Breakfast with a View!
Rooftop Pool Area, Hotel Minerva
The Goddess, Herself

Europe » Italy » Campania » Capri October 3rd 2013

Yeah, yeah, I know we're home, and I've got to stop living in the past... But all these images and memories are still swirling around in my head--and I'm determined to get them down on "paper" for my sake and for a keepsake of our trip. So please feel free to ignore these last few entries if you choose, knowing they are the product of an addled mind, which is still partly back in La Bella Italia! ********************************************************************************************************* October 3, 2013 (Our 32nd anniversary!) After yesterday's experience with crowds, we decided on a couple of things in an attempt to make our day on Capri more enjoyable for us--we'd get an even earlier start and we'd forgo the classic "Blue Grotto" experience in favor of some hiking around the island. Despite our lack of experience with ... read more
View From Capri Town
No Addresses, Just Names
The Dream

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