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Joined: January 1st, 1970

Wow, today could have been THREE days, we did so much. Bella Felton stayed overnight with us, so we opened up the bed and the girls had 2 pillows to separate the self-described restless kickers. They did great. Only chatted about 20 minutes, they were so tired! Up around 6:30, a meager breakfast, and off to turtles by 8. only about 7-8 of them :) AND a spotted eagle ray (with stumpy tail, evidently well known in this area), AND an eel, AND a flying gurnard (guess that's what they are that we've been callling band-tailed sea robins. Most rare. Everyone's equipment worked well. Megan's flippers were rubbing, so girls went in before the daddies and Jean. We overturned what looked like a conch shell and unearthed a nest of brittle stars!!! A new discovery - ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba June 5th 2019

Yesterday was all about introducing new people to snorkeling. Bruce & Joann Felton and their 11 year old daughter Bella are from our church in Solon. The girls are getting on famously and we're having a great time. First, to Aqua Windie's to rent equipment. Then to Boca Catalina to find turtles. And we did!!! About a dozen, then over to the area where the boats come in for great variety. Joann was worried about Bella, but she did great, and by lunch time they returned back to that shop to purchase rather than rent. A dry snorkel like Megan's!! We rested in the heat of the day, as usual, and then met up at Arashi. Maybe that was too big a jump in difficulty, but I prefer to blame the shop for getting Bella's mask ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba June 3rd 2019

the week has flown by!! Today was a no-snorkel day if you can believe that! First we visited the Butterfly Farm for our second time - getting there at opening time at 8:30 am, when the butterflies are most active. And they certainly were! It was amazing. Then we visited the nearby bird sanctuary and saw quite few: yellow warbler, skimmers, green heron, egret, moor hens, purple gallinules, and a new bird, which we will post and maybe somebody will tell us what it is. Also posting today some of the photos from last night's fancy meal at Passions. A lovely sunset. After the birds we quickly changed clothes and played in the pool at the Resort. then played in the room and had lunch, played story dice and kings in the corner. Then we drove ... read more

Another full day of sun and fun, but starting with our usual breakfast (out on the lanai for some of us) and then to the New Life Tabernacle church. Wonderful upbeat praise music. There were special speakers today, and it was a bit of a long-winded sermon (translated into Papiamento, of course) so we left at noon before it was finished. Only 2 hours, John. Returned for our customary muesli rolls with gouda cheese and sliced tomatoes, and watched Princess Bride DVD during the heat of the day. -Off for our only-one-snorkel-of-the-day around 3:30 - to Arashi, at the far end of the snorkeling sites. It was jam packed with locals enjoying the beach, but of course it's all relative - we were the only ones snorkeling in the coral reef area, and there was no ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba June 1st 2019

we seem to be having too much fun to keep making these blog entries each day! After all, we are 3 people here, and checking in with the "parental units" every now and then, and exhausted, as usual, each evening. Megan has been having a great time, and has been totally amenable to everything we suggest. However, she did request an "evening in" last night, with take out food and to watch a video. We could oblige with some of that - did carry out from the Indonesian restaurant (good noodles, not so good sate) but it was too late to rent or borrow a DVD player. So we watched half of White Fang on her Kindle. Thursday night we went our Aruban friend Francis' house for Dutch Pancakes, and finally met her husband Nelson, and ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba May 30th 2019

Last night we went to Zee Rover's for fresh Red Snapper, plaintains, french fries, and Balashi. Megan, the super snorkeler, does NOT like red snapper!!! We had a chance to catch up with Michel and Linda, who retired in December from working there. Unfortunately she says the fishing industry is hurting, and many of the men have had to stop fishing - too much competition with Venezuela. And when Zee Rover serves frozen fish they get a bad reputation, and when they run out, the same. It was not as crowded as usual, although we were, admittedly, there early, like at 5:30. We drove past Mangel Halto and the winds were down and the surf perfect - maybe we will go there soon. As you can see from the photos, our sortee into the "big water" ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England May 18th 2018

How wonderful to be around family again. 2.5 year old Zach has not warmed up to me, but has held David's hands occasionally. Sophia is a lovely, easy-going but drooling ferociously. John & Lydia's Thea and Hettie are beautiful, sweet, and spirited, and the 3 cousins (not Sophia) are so sweet and loving together. When we were at J & L's for a quick bite it was all delightful chaos. A farm visit. Parks. Playing loosely and relaxing.... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England May 16th 2018

We spent the morning in the Gloucestershire area, seeing more bluebells along a place where people walk their dogs (very friendly ones), enjoying the views, crossed the Severn on a huge bridge, TOUCHING Wales briefly. We HAD to stop by Chippenham to see our first end-of-row home and have some coffee and really good flapjack at last in the High Street (at what used to be our favorite bakery for a cottage loaf). The house look a little in need of trim and care. Drove motorway all the way, to just south of London, and then up north. Traffic as expected. Rosemary served us a delicious meal and we relaxed for a while before taking John & Robin to their very convenient, very small Air BnB. tomorrow they will catch the light rail just across the ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England May 15th 2018

The visit with the Swans was so wonderful, and our sleep at the Lodge the best ever! Excellent place is Lancaster, a small, discreet city surrounded by farmland and rolling green hills. We drove south, and the surroundings went flatter and flatter, and the traffic increased. Overall, it's been interesting to be here in spring - such a variety of agricultural machines and types of plowing and starting crops. The rape seed is bright daffodil yellow in flower. Traffic around Birmingham was terrible - motor way all the way. We stopped at Tewkesbury Abbey (about 45 mins from cousin Lynn's), which was a delight - Norman columns, beautiful windows and carvings, great history. On the Avon, so we tried to find a place on the water to have tea, but failed. Drove down a lane to ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England May 14th 2018

England at last.HWe left Edinburgh behind, with a bit of conflict between the GPS, Map, and notes we'd taken from the computer mileage/directions site. May have wandered a bit - the GPS chip being slightly outdated. But soon we were in amazing countryside - hilly and daley and full of sheep. After almost 3 hours (considering you can get from Edinburgh to London in about 4 hours on the motorway), we were finally at Haltwhistle and a remnant of Hadrian's Wall (approx 100 AD?) It snaked on and on to the east, essentially from Carlisle on the west to Newcastle on the east coast. Haltwhistle is birthplace of one of David'great grandfathers, so we stopped in the parish church a beautiful historical building, grade I. Then just about 2 miles to a neighboring village and church, ... read more

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