I am joining up with the Alisa and her traveling backpack…this weeks Travel Theme is UP!
We will be looking UP at the Key West Lighthouse from outside and also from within…
Check out Alisa at Where’s My Backpack…for the latest travel themes…you just never know where the day will take you.
In 2008 we took a little vacation south of the border…and landed in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We took up residence at the Iberostar, Quetzal all-inclusive resort located on the beautiful Playacar Beach.
Our visit was filled with food, fun and sun…we swam, snorkeled and parasailed. We shopped in the small town of Playa del Carmen…and enjoyed the entertainment at the infamous Carlos and Charlies.
About 4 days into our little getaway we decided to spend the day at Xel Ha. The worlds largest aquarium…if you have ever gazed into a saltwater aquarium and wondered what it would be like…or if you have ever seen the Don Knots movie, The Incredible Mr. Limpet and thought “I wish I were a Fish”, then Xel Ha can make that dream come true.
Xel Ha is a natural park composed of a group of inlets, lagoons, cenotes and caves. A low deciduous forest and water system that is a mix of the salty waters from the Caribbean Sea and fresh water from springs from underground rivers from the Yucatan Peninsula. Xel Ha’s rainforest is home to over 100 species of birds and over 230 varieties of plants, flowers and trees. It’s lagoon is home to more than 90 marine species.
Xel Ha offers a wide variety of water related activities. We floated through the mangrove forest…we did a little cave diving…we snorkeled…we hung out in the greatest hammocks ever made…and we swam with the fish!!! It was like swimming in a giant aquarium with Mr. Limpet.
This week’s topic for our A-Z ARCHIVE Tuesday’s photo challenge: the letter “Q”: introduce one photo of your own archive with a “Q” keyword for example Quintessence(like me) or QUEEN, QUILT, QUESTION etc. – get some inspirations via frizztext’s “Q”-Photo-Archive at
– I’m sure you’ll find a picture in your own shoe boxes to scan – tag with “A-Z Archive” and put a link on your page to my site, so we’ll get a trackback-list including your post!
Quintessence of Quiet…the pure and concentrated essence of the perfect embodiment of the heavenly bodies of air, earth, and water.
For the past 3 weeks I have been consummed with contacting, training and assigning over 200 volunteers to help out with the Welcome Ministry during our 7 Easter services. It is such a blessing to have so many individuals voluntarily offer their time to help with “the chores” at the church. These volunteers greeted, served and seated over 7,500 people. Some of them served during every service…and they did it with a smile on their face and joy in their heart.
The Church Leadership team has given the staff today off as well as an additional day that can be taken before the end of the month.
Today is a day of rest…my body needs it…my mind requires it…my soul desires it…Wishing I was back here…in this Hammock…enjoying my day off!
This post is part of the Blogging Challenge: A to Z April Challenge. Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “H”!
This week’s topic for our “A-Z Archive” photo challenge: the “N” archive: introduce one photo of your archive with a “N” Keyword. – I’m sure you’ll find a picture: tag with “A-Z Archive” and put a link on your page to FrizzText, so we’ll get a trackback-list including your post!
This picture was taken on a weekend trip to NOLA in August of 2011. We were standing on Royal Street looking East towards the Business District located on Canal Street. It is a great contrast of the 1800′s Spanish influenced architecture and modern New Orleans.
Some of my favorite things about NOLA are the balconies,
and the courtyards…not to mention all of the great live music and delicious food!
This week’s topic for our “A-Z Archive” photo challenge: the “E” archive: introduce one photo of your archive with a “E” Keyword. – I’m sure you’ll find a picture: tag with “A-Z Archive” and put a link on your page to FrizzText, so we’ll get a trackback-list including your post!
A-Z Archive: E! Challenge…Excitement, Enjoyment, Enthusiasm, Exuberance
A-Z Archive: E! Challenge...Excitement, Enjoyment, Enthusiasm...
Durango Mountain Resort…Lower Styx…E! Challenge
- A-Z Archive: D! Challenge…Decisions (nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com)
- A-Z Archive: A Challenge (nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com)
- A-Z Archive: C Challenge (runningnakedwithscissors.wordpress.com)
- A-Z Archive Challenge B (nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com)
- A-Z Archive: B Challenge (2e0mca.wordpress.com)
The A-Z Archive: E! Challenge Trackbacks….
The hubs and I took a little road trip this past weekend. He managed to find us a Bed & Breakfast with Victorian county charm…Texas style.
I have wanted to stay at a B&B for sometime, but the opportunity never really presented itself. This past weekend the chain hotels were either booked or asking $199 per night. The hubs found this out-of-the-way B&B for $116 per night. It included great company, an evening dessert and a wonderful homemade breakfast.
Check out where we stayed…
Victoria Country Charm...Texas Style
We were greeted by the home owner Patty and her companion Scooter…
Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style
We were welcomed into a Victorian wonderland and quickly introduced to the other man of the house, Patty’s husband Bobby.
Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style
Patty is a retired teacher and Bobby is a retired football coach. They are the most delightful couple.
Victorian Country Charm...Texas Style
This beautiful B&B sits on 20 acres in the east Texas town of Edgewood. Edgewood is just north of the town of Canton, Texas. Canton is home to one of the largest Market Days in Texas. Canton Market Days is held the weekend before the first Monday of every month. There are hundreds of vendors that carry everything from vintage americana to homemade arts and crafts. If you ever find yourself in East Texas and in need of a place to lay your head…I recommend the Victorian country charm…with Texas style of Willow Pond Bed & Breakfast.
Louisiana Swamp Tour
This past weekend was the family reunion for my Mom’s side of the family. There were 37 family members and friends in attendance. We began our reunion day with a Louisiana swamp tour. The weather was cool and breezy which was great for us but it limited the wildlife experience.
I grew up in swamp country. My paternal Grandparents raised 9 children on the bayou we toured. I played with my cousins, fished and crabbed on the banks of Bayou Manchac. The tour company was doing a brisk business on this October weekend. It was great to see so many people taking an interest in the bayou way of life.
There were alligators aplenty but the stiff breeze kept the birds and water fowl hidden from view. This was a bit disappointing because Louisiana is called the Sportsman Paradise and is home to hundreds of different bird species.
Here are few pictures of our morning spent on the bayou…As I mentioned there were plenty of gators for the tourists. The alligator found in Louisiana is the American alligator. It has remained almost unchanged since the Cretaceous period. Louisiana has the largest alligator population.
Louisiana Swamp Tour...American Alligator
There are an estimated 1 million alligators living in the Louisiana swamps. The American Alligator lives in freshwater environments such as ponds, wetlands, marshes and swamps. The American alligator will grow to be an average of 13′ long and weigh as much as 800 pounds. Large male alligators are solitary territorial animals. When a female alligator is mature enough to reproduce she will build a nest of decomposing vegetation during the summer months. The decomposing vegetation creates heat and the heat inside the nest determines the sex of the alligators. The mother will defend the nest from predators and assist the newly hatched babies into the water. The babies will remain with the mother until they are about 18 months old. Smaller gators like the one in the picture are more tolerant of being in close proximity to other gators. However, the larger alligator of the group will defend prime territory.
The jaw muscles of an alligator are extremely powerful. However, the muscles that open the jaw are much weaker in comparison. An adult human can hold an alligator’s mouth closed with a bare hand. Alligators main prey is smaller animals that can be eaten in one bite. Alligators are typically timid creatures and will avoid humans. However, when humans feed animals in the wild they begin to associate humans with food. This will eventually will cause the animal to lose its fear of the humans and can become a greater danger.
Our swamp tour was on Bayou Manchac near what was once the fishing village of Frenier. Frenier was a fishing village that during the late 1800′s grew to be home to more than 300 residents. The black storm (hurricane) of 1915 destroyed the village and killed most of the residents. The survivors soon abandoned the village. Today Frenier is home to 75 full-time residents and 12 part-time residents.
Louisiana Swamp Tour
Here is this weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Path
Here is a glimpse down a path that has existed for 300 years…well certainly not the bricks but the path between the oaks.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Path
The double row of live oaks were planted in the early 18th century. The canopied path is approximately 800 feet long. The trees are believed to be 300 years old.
They were planted long before the current home was built. But now they grace the front lawn of Oak Alley Plantation.
I have been giving this path a bit of thought and my mind has wandered to the days, years and even centuries past.
I can imagine at one time this breathtaking entrance was filled with the comings and goings of horse-drawn carriages. Handsomely dressed Gentlemen and elegantly dressed Ladies arriving for lawn parties or evening soirees.
I can imagine there have been more than a handful of Southern Belles courted by southern gentlemen as they sat and enjoyed a mint julep on the veranda.
I can also imagine the difficult lives of the men and women who worked this plantation. There were fewer who worked it out of desire than those who were enslaved to it.
I can imagine the armies camped out under the trees and the home housing the officers of the North or the South.
I can imagine the tears that have been shed over the years for lost love and loved ones lost.
Oak Alley has stood the test of time and she is a Grande Dame still holding court on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Until next time! … À la prochaine!
We, there were 24 of us, just recently returned from an extended stay in my hometown of Historic New Orleans. Before I go any further let me just say that I do not recommend a trip to New Orleans in August. Not only is the heat oppressive but the humidity is so high it feels as though the air is dripping without a drop of rain in sight.
Even with the extreme temperatures the heat was in no way a deterrent for “passing a good time”. Most of the group flew into the New Orleans International Airport and that is where their “only in NOLA”experience began. Their courtesy bus driver was a true New Orleanian and welcomed them to the city with authentic southern hospitality. The commute from the airport to the downtown hotel left them with plenty of stories to share for the days and weeks to come. Even a NOLAgirlatheart such as myself learned a new NOLA catch phrase from their colorful self-appointed tour guide…”Ya heard Me?!!” It typically comes after a sentence and is meant to make sure you understand so as to not require repeating of the same information more than once. “Ya heard me!”
This was mine and my husbands first trip with this group of bring the fun with you, try anything once, fun-loving group of travelers. Almost immediately upon arriving at the hotel a “text-group” was set up so that we could all stay in touch. This turned out to be an exceptional way to communicate with such a large group of individuals with such diverse agendas for the trip to NOLA. At any given moment we would receive a text message announcing a group was meeting in the lobby at a designated time for a particular outing. Some may be heading off to try their luck at the casino, others would be heading out for a bite to eat, to shop or take a dip in the pool. Everyone was invited to join in on every activity. However, the choice was yours. A meeting time and place was announced, a grace period was extended and then the group was off, with or without you, no worries!
It is obvious that this group of traveling friends really enjoys one another and they did manage to come together as a group at least once a day to try a new restaurant, take in a historical tour or even stop and enjoy the rich culture of the area; appreciating the incredible architecture, the art galleries or the live entertainment!
However, if you found that the group had chosen an activity that did not suit your taste or even if the group was moving too slow for you, you were free to follow the one and only rule that the group has…don’t get mad, just move on…choose your own path…bid the group adieu… and you are off either on your own or with a friend or two in tow.
This is the best advice any group of traveling friends can adopt. It will certainly save hours and hours of trying to decide on one activity that will appeal to all of the travelers at the same time, which by the way is virtually an impossible task. Also, it allows for you to choose from a variety of activities with a diverse group of individuals at any given time of the day or night. You will be a happier traveler and so will your traveling companions. Not to mention that when everyone is back together the conversation will be like a big pot of NOLA gumbo full of color, spice and flavor.
Remember…there is only ONE Rule…LIVE…LAUGH…ENJOY LIFE…or NOT, its your choice!