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About the Header Image: Idlebrook Wendy Darling Evensen "Wendy" one of our four Labrador Retrievers.

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day - United States of America

Arlington National Cemetery

Freedom is Not Free


Today I remember all who have served, especially my brother
Lt. Col. Donald A. Thomas, Sr. USAF, Retired, 1932 - 2002.

One of those young airmen carrying my brother's coffin is his son/my nephew.  I'm so very proud of both of my brothers who served and two nephews, one of whom is serving in the Middle East today. 

Who are you remembering today?

I hope you all have a beautiful Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Walk Down Duval Street - Part 2 of 2

Good morning,

Today we will continue our walk down Duval Street in Key West Florida.  If you missed it, Part 1 is here.

Each week we see this lady here making her great drawings of visitor's faces.

Here's a little Key West fashion that I've threatened My Honey I will buy and wear.  ;)  Nah, I don't think this will work for a trip to the grocery back home. 

There is plenty of real estate available if you want to open your own shop.

We came upon Hog's Breath Saloon, another famous Key West spot.  We have eaten here before some years ago.  I think their wings are too well done and dry, but they do have a great burger.  Hog's Breath doesn't have the class or good food of the Grand Cafe, which was our first choice, but we were there too early today. 

This is the outside part of the bar/restaurant.  There's a web cam that's fun.  You can call someone back home on your cell phone and wave to them on the web cam.  Or, maybe that's not a good idea.  ;)

The decor is classic Key West and lots of fun.  :)

Here's lunch:  cheeseburger (very, very good), slaw, pickle, and iced tea.  We each had the same thing and the bill came to $28. before tip.  This is a tourist area so that's not a surprise, but be warned that everything is a la carte.  The cheeseburger comes with potato chips.  You can add the slaw for $2 which we did.  What we didn't know was that when you ADD the slaw for $2, they don't serve the chips.  Go figure.  As I said, the burger was good, but we will wait until the Grand Cafe or another restaurant opens next week.

Back on Duval Street we stopped at CVS Pharmacy to pick up a couple of items we didn't find earlier at Walgreens...

...then past a dockside restaurant to go back to our ship, Majesty of the Seas.

We passed the Old Customs House on our left, now a museum, then went on board the ship where we found...

...a friend holding a Scandinavian treat:  waffles with strawberries and ice cream.   He let me take the picture of the one he had just been given while ours were being made.  :)  We're glad we came back to the "mother ship" for dessert!

So, I hope you've enjoyed walking down Duval Street in Key West with us.

Very best,


Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Walk Down Duval Street - Part 1 of 2

Good morning,

Today I invite you to join My Honey and me as we stroll down Duval Street in Key West, Florida.  We are in Key West every week and never miss a chance to go into town.

We had cut over to the 500 block of Duval from the Post Office to go to the, uh, what is that up there in that picture?  Is it a theater?

No, it's Walgreens.  There are plenty of businesses we recognize in buildings we don't recognize on the famous Duval Street.

After picking up a few items, we crossed the street and started walking toward the port.  Here we are coming upon a very famous spot...

...that is always crowded.  There's plenty of music, food, and of course, stuff to buy here.

Then past Fast Buck Freddies...

along this crowded street of tourists and tour vehicles.

Across the street this old church offers free concerts of beautiful music every day at Noon.

Here is another familiar business in an unexpected building.  This is Wendy's.

Back on our side of the street we pass the Oldest House in Key West that is now a museum...

...to where we had hoped to eat lunch, the Grand Cafe.  We were too early today, though, and they weren't open yet.  We didn't have time to wait, so continued our walk...

...past open air artist shops...

...behind the beer delivery man walking on the crowded sidewalk.

On the next corner is The (famous) Bull and the (clothing optional inside) Whistle Bar above.  No, we haven't been to the Whistle Bar with its outside bar arranged so patrons can whistle at people below.  It's a popular part of Key West night life.

We stepped around the corner on Caroline Street to snap a picture of Captain Morgan who guards the front door of Mr. Cheapee's Liquor Store...

...then walked around the block past Capt. Tony's Saloon, the oldest bar in Florida.

Back out on Duval Street, we passed Sloppy Joe's Bar.

We still hadn't found lunch.  Stop back tomorrow as we stroll on down Duval Street past famous places to where we found our lunch at Hog's Breath Saloon.  It doesn't have the class or the good food of the Grand Cafe, but they were open and we were hungry.  ;)

I hope to see you here tomorrow for lunch!  Click here for Part 2.



Friday, May 28, 2010

Flower Stories and a Friendly Garden Critter

Good morning,

Do you have stories about the flowers in your garden? I love the idea that there are so many stories about the various flowers in my garden because I have had the pleasure of living in the same home for 31 years. I have a few flower images that I haven't published here and stories about them that I would like to share.

Warning to my friend Sherry or others who don't like snakes: There is a picture of a beautiful, harmless garter snake at the bottom of this article. If snakes bother you, please do NOT scroll down. :)

The beautiful white iris above is one of the older classic varieties popular before all of the color mixing that has produced so many more beautiful color combinations. This one was a gift from my friend Barb. Her daughter was moving and dug up a few of her rhizomes to take with her and share with her Mom. Barb shared a few of those rhizomes with me and that beautiful white iris is a bloom from one of those rhizomes.

 This is another of the classic iris colors. I know I planted these, but I don't remember how many years ago. This image was taken as soon as the sun came out after a gentle rain.

This is a newer addition to my garden and was a gift from my friend Carol a couple of years ago. I took this image while it was still opening.

This peony bud had attracted the ants that myth tells us are required for the buds to open. In reality, the ants are attracted to the marvelous sweetness of the buds. I left on a trip before the buds opened. Perhaps my daughter has some images of the blossoms for me? I hope so. :)

The honeysuckle were in bloom when I left and the bees had found them.

These pinks are brand new. I bought a flat of them and planted some in the back of the house, some in the front, and some in my daughter's raised flower bed at her office building. In addition to Iris and other flowers, my mother planted Pinks. These flowers bring back wonderful memories of her garden.

And, here in the front garden, sunning himself (or herself?) is a harmless garter snake that is growing fat on all of the snails and slugs that are found in the garden. I always welcome garter snakes. I was able to walk up and take several pictures and he never moved. He is very brave to be out sunning in such an obvious spot because we have hawks in the neighborhood that are big enough to kill and eat starlings, doves, and pigeons. I am sure this fellow would be a tasty treat for one of those hawks.

So, that's a little story about what was blooming in the garden when we left at the end of April for a trip. I look forward to seeing the changes in the garden when we return in June.

Every year when these flowers bloom again I remember the friends and events that brought them here. Do you have stories about the flowers in your garden?

Very best,

Tennison Ridge German Bearded Iris Rhizome - New

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Miami's Commercial Seaport

Good morning,

While sailing out of the Port of Miami, guests can watch from the deck 7, Promenade deck, of Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas. These images were taken while passing Miami's Commercial Seaport. 
One of the commercial enterprises is the Fisher Island Ferry that transports cars and pedestrians between Miami Beach and Fisher Island, a place of luxurious homes and condos at the mouth of Government Cut on Biscayne Bay.
This shipping container operation is one of the biggest in the world.
This is where the containers we see on trucks on the Interstate Highway System enter the country.  Those giant cranes move the containers on/off of ships and on/off of trucks so the merchandise within can be delivered all over the Eastern United States.  Goods the United States exports to other countries are in containers loaded onto ships for the return trip.
On the opposite side of Government Cut is a smaller container shipping operation. 
The process loading and unloading the ships is fun to watch.
This is one of the smaller container ships.  Here you see the container being lowered into the ship.

So, I hope you've enjoyed a few different types of images than we usually see about cruising.



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back to Key West, Florida

Good morning,

Here we are in Key West again for just a few pictures today.  We are here once a week and I always go ashore. 

The picture above is of the shops at the dockside.  There are often some VERY gorgeous privately owned yachts tied up here and there are plenty of shops here to provide whatever items the people on those yachts might want. 
Another walk through the Truman Complex, this time past a lovely water fountain.
And this is the really cool picture I wanted to share today.  This Banyan tree was obviously here before the fence here in the Truman Complex, but the sidewalk was here before the tree.
And, finally, here is a little vehicle perfect for getting around the Island of Key West.  It's definitely not for big or tall people.

We'll be back in Key West again soon.  I will have some images of the famous Duval Street coming, too.

Very best,