Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Travel An Amazing Giraffe Hotel! Africa’s Most Incredible Safari Adventures! by John Rieber


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Time to welcome another regular contributor to the Archive series John Rieber.. this time I am going to be selecting the posts from his extensive archive.. and I am sure you will enjoy. This post is from 2016 and features a hotel I have seen in a documentary and would love to visit.

An Amazing Giraffe Hotel! Africa’s Most Incredible Safari Adventures! by John Rieber

giraffe

I need to pass along some important information from a friend of mine:

GIRAFFE-MANOR

Don’t Bogart That Giraffes’ Meatloaf!

That’s right, here’s an amazing place to stay – as long as you don’t mind sharing your food with the locals!

Giraffe Manor safari

Welcome to iconic Giraffe Manor, located in Nairobi, Kenya – one of the most unique adventures you could ever experience!

amazing safaris

There is an incredible company called “The Safari Collection”, and they run
Giraffe Manor, one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings – here is how they describe it: “set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi and with verdant green gardens, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards, it harks back to the 1930s when European visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris.”

unique giraffe hotel

The most fascinating thing about Giraffe Manor is not its beautiful façade or elegant interiors: it’s the herd of resident Rothschild giraffe. These beautiful creatures often visit morning and evening, poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary.

Check out the video!

Giraffe-Tongue-Orchestra

Thanks to “The Safari Collection” for posting this on youtube – what an amazing video! I have a lifelong goal of going on safari, and if I do, this will be on my itinerary!

Giraffe Hotel

And of course, if you go on safari, remember one very important rule:

Don’t Run! Food Runs!

dangerous safari animals

Here is a link to my story about some of the most entertaining stories told by a seasoned safari guide – including the most important rule ever: “don’t run! FOOD runs!”: https://johnrieber.com/2014/09/08/wild-travel-adventures-safari-rule-1-dont-run-food-runs/

You can find many more adventures on this amazing continent: John Rieber/Africa

©John Rieber 2016

About John Rieber

I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, “everyone eats!”

Connect to John via his blog and social media

Blog: https://johnrieber.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnrieber
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.rieber.71
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-rieber-041430/

My thanks to John for permitting me to browse his archives to share with you… please head over to his website and enjoy all that they have to offer.

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – Are Blogging Friends Real Friends? by Darlene Foster


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Children’s author and travel writer Darlene Foster is a regular visitor to the blog and has shared some amazing posts.  She gave me permission to explore her archives in search of more treasure. This week the pleasure in meeting blogging friends face to face.

©Darlene Foster.

Are Blogging Friends Real Friends? by Darlene Foster

You may have read on a previous post that one of the items on my personal “bucket list” was to meet my blogging friends in person. I am excited to say that I have met three recently.

During my last trip to Canada, a blogging friend showed up at my presentation at a Calgary Library. I was delighted to meet Sue Slaght from Travel Tales of Life. She is as delightful in person as she is on her blog. A prairie girl like I am, she enjoys travel too. Her blog provides excellent articles written with a great sense of humour and filled with interesting details and pictures. She is game to try anything and have it videoed by her patient, eye-rolling husband. Check out her blog. It’s laugh-out-loud funny and the stunning pictures will entice you to visit the many locations she writes about. I am so glad to have met Sue in person.

With blogging buddy Sue Slaght in Calgary, Alberta

Another blogging friend I met recently is Fatima Rosales Naya. I have been following her blog, Saysell Travels for a few years now. She writes about her travels with her husband and cute dog, Beano, around France and Spain in their motorhome. They find the coolest places to stop and explore and writes about them. They happened to be near Alicante recently so we arranged a meetup. It was like seeing a best friend at long last and we chatted nonstop for two hours. I’m sure we were sisters in another life. Check out her blog, with fabulous pictures HERE

With long-time blogging friend, Fatima in Alicante, Spain

While in Liverpool I had a coffee with Alison Sandilands of her former blog Seemy Travels who lives there. We had met once before when she spent six months in Canada five years ago and made a stop on the west coast. I wrote about it in an earlier blog here. After a coffee, snack, and catch-up, she took me to a historic church and gave me great ideas of things to do while in Liverpool. She was the one who suggested I stop by that fabulous library. It was so wonderful to see her again, especially as now she has a sweet little girl. Her former blog is a mixture of travel and lifestyle articles. She is now a Freelance copywriter and Journalist.

With Alison and her baby in Liverpool, UK.

There are those who question whether blogging friends are real friends? I for one have always felt they are real friends and meeting some of them in person, makes them even more real. It is so great to have friends scattered all over the world. You can never have too many friends!

Have you had the opportunity to meet a blogging friend?

©Darlene Foster

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband Paul.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind”  to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

A selection of  books by Darlene Foster

One of the recent reviews for Amanda in New Mexico

Amanda and her sixth-grade class are on an educational field trip from their hometown of Calgary, Canada to visit, explore and document their experiences in New Mexico, USA. As the class tours Taos, New Mexico and the surrounding area, their trip is interrupted by ghosts present and past. In “Amanda in New Mexico—Ghost in the Wind,” Foster has written a contemporary fiction story through which middle grade students will not only learn about the region’s geography, architecture, and artifacts—they’ll learn invaluable life lessons along the way. Students and teachers are sure to want to follow Amanda through further adventures in this well-written series.

Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Available for Pre-Order September 2019..https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Holland-Missing-Action-Travels-ebook/dp/B07L9LVK4J/

Connect to Darlene via her website and social media.

Website: www.darlenefoster.ca
Blog: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

My thanks to Darlene for allowing me to browse her archives and share them with you..

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Reblog – My Big Fat Mexican Vacation – Part 1 – Getting There by D.G. Kaye


In this month’s Travel Column Debby Gies (D.G. Kaye) shared the background and attractions to be found in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, where she has been for the last two months… now she begins to share the personal details of the journey and stay in a series of posts on her own blog…

My Big Fat Mexican Vacation – Part 1 – Getting There

My recent vacation was so jam-packed full of fun and activities that I was flummoxed with where to begin, so I decided, why not begin from the beginning. As many of you know, I enjoy writing about my travel adventures, and ‘getting there’ always entails some of my observations and rants. So for this first post on my recent trip I’ll begin with the flight to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

What could be possibly go wrong?

I was ready. Every detail had been looked after. I managed to get ourselves bumped up to first class for a not bad fee. I’d previously booked ‘preference’ seats in economy costing $55 per seat, each way, allowing for bigger seats and more leg room. On top of that additional fee, it was going to cost another $80 per person for 2 checked bags each, and still, no food was free with those seats. I made a point to mark off ‘wheelchair’ request on my husband’s booking because I learned from previous trips that not only did that speed things along for us for the very long walks to security checkpoint and worse – to the gate – a trek my husband can no longer endure, but being in a wheelchair at the airport definitely has its perks. An airline assistant wheels my hub through to security with no lines to await in because we’re taken through to wheelchair access line, and me being his companion gets to share in that perk. The assistant proceeds to wheel him through to the gate, and of course, we’re granted priority boarding before the masses load on and chaos ensues with everyone trying to fit their often over-sized carryons in the upper cabin bins.

When we were offered to upgrade, I was sent an email from Air Canada offering the upgrade if I placed a bid on a sliding scale of how much more I’d be willing to pay per ticket for the opportunity. I figured out the cost and took a chance with my bid after figuring that the bags and seat I’d already purchased per person were already adding up to $135 per person and settled on offering $300 more each toward the bump up. If they accepted it (on what I felt was a fairly empty first class section, after checking seating availability first), I was really paying about $170 each for the upgrade and the previous seats I booked and paid for would be reimbursed to me, plus we’d be given meals. I had nothing to lose.

Please head over to Debby’s blog to read the rest of this post… and learn from her experiences…..https://dgkayewriter.com/big-fat-mexican-vacation-part-1

About D.G. Kaye

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for P.S. I Forgive You on Goodreads

Another wonderful read from author D.G. Kaye. I admire Kaye’s courage in sharing her story of a strained, abusive and then estranged relationship with her mother. How she overcame her guilt for letting go and saving herself from further damage from her own mother was rewarding to read.

As well, the very thought of ‘leaving a parent’ goes against all that we learn and what societal norms tell us is right. Therefore, we must be horrible people to cut off a parent, right? Wrong. Sometimes there is no other option if you want to live a fulfilled and happy life. Especially when said parent is a text book narcissist. Kudos to Kaye for making the break and following through with tough decisions regarding her toxic mother.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
MeWe: mewe.com/i/debbygies
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D. G. Kaye – Welcome to #Curacao #Lesser Antilles


As we all freeze and huddle around our computer screens to keep warm, D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies continues to bring sunshine into our lives… This month it is Curacao…not just blue seas but also a wonderful blue liqueur.

Welcome to this month’s edition of the Travel Column. Today we’re going to Curacao.

Curacao is classified as part of a group of the ABC islands – Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. These islands are part of the  Lesser Antilles. Curacao lies approximately 40 miles north of the tip of Venezuela, and is considered a Caribbean island along with Bonaire and Aruba. They are part of North America, despite them lying on South America’s geographic plate.

History

Formerly part of the Curacao and Dependencies (1815 to 1954), Curacao is now formally called the country of Curacao, along with its 1.7 kilometres long, uninhabited sister island – Klein Curacao. The capital of Curacao is Willemstad.

The first inhabitants of the island were the  Arawak People, migrating from South America centuries before the Spanish came in with the Spanish expedition of 1499, using the Arawack people for slave labor.

In 1634 Netherlands became independent from Spain and began colonizing the island. Curacao had previously been ignored by colonists because it lacked gold deposits, but proved valuable for trade. The natural harbor of Willemstad was the perfect location for trade.

In 1662, the Dutch West India Company made Curacao a center of Atlantic Slave Trade, selling slaves to other islands and South American mainland. Although a few plantations existed, the main source of trade came from their salt mines. Many Dutch colonists grew rich from slave trade and the city grew with impressive colonial buildings. A wide range of historic buildings had deemed Curacao a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, ownership of the island had changed hands several times between British, French and the Dutch. In 1815, after the Napoleonic wars, the island was incorporated into the colony of Curacao and Dependencies. During that time, the language spoken on the island was predominantly Spanish. In 1863 slavery was abolished.

In October of 2010, Curacao became a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The first language of the island spoken today is Dutch, followed by Papiemento (creole), English, and Spanish.

Fun Fact:

Legend has it there are two stories to how Curacao got its name. The first tell us that back in the 16th and 17th centuries, sailors on long voyages became ill with scurvy because of lack of Vitamin C. According to old accounts, sick Portuguese sailors were dropped off to the island, and when their ship returned, these sailors had miraculously recovered from the abundance of availability of fruit. The Portuguese referred to the island as ‘Island of Healing’ – Ilha da Curacao. A different belief is that the island’s name derived from the Portuguese word for heart ‘coracao’. With the Portuguese pronunciation, the first ‘o’ is pronounced as a ‘u’ sound, making the word for heart pronounced as ‘kuresaw’. The Spanish kept the name as did the Dutch.

Willemstad

This capital of Curacao is Willemstad, and its downtown core is a World Unesco Heritage site boasting an array of pastel and primary colored buildings that line the waterfront market (Handelskade – merchant’s wharf). In 1918, then governor Albert Kickert wasn’t happy with the whitewashed looking paled out buildings and ordered up some color be painted on those buildings. As it turns out, the governor coincidentally owned a paint company, and consequently, not long after this discovery it prompted Curacao to put in a new law that politicians are not allowed to have private economic interests. But these colorful Dutch colonial buildings give off a feeling of old-world European charm.

Willemstad has a kind of artsy feel to it with the colorful buildings and the numerous galleries, outdoor cafes, and interesting stores lining the wharf and surrounding streets. At night the citylife lights up with plenty of bars and jazz clubs, and don’t forget to have a ‘blue’ drink and buy a bottle of Curacao’s own liqueur – Blue Curacao.

Curacao is ranked one of the best and affordable islands in the Caribbean. You can actually drive around the whole island in just under two hours. Of course, your best deals to visit this island for vacation will be found April through September in their low-season. And another good point is that Curacao is located away from the hurricane belt so it’s predominantly unaffected by vicious storms.

Transportation

Taxis and buses and cars are all available on the island. But it’s interesting to note that most people walk or get around by bicycles.

Climate

The climate in Curacao is semi-arid with January through September being mostly dry. The wet season is typically October through December. Average temps range between 80 – 85 degrees year-round.

Sightseeing

When Curacao was taken over by the Dutch in 1634, they built a fortress which still stands today, Fort Amsterdam, to protect the island from pirates and other invaders. You can walk to this fort conveniently located past the local town shopping core before approaching the pedestrian bridge, Queen Emma Bridge to get across the water (St. Anna Bay) to the Merchant’s Wharf, connecting both the  Punda and Otrobanda. This bridge opens to allow ships to pass. And don’t worry if you miss the bridge opened when you’re ready to cross as there is a ferry boat awaiting to take passengers to and fro across in between bridge openings. There are also 5 additional forts still standing in Curacao.

Christoffel National Park is Curacao’s largest national park, a favorite for hikers, boasting eight trails of varying difficulty. You can hire a guide or take a pickup safari for a mini tour. Or you can visit Shete Boka National Park, named for the picturesque coves carved out of limestone along the coastline meaning ‘Seven inlets’. Powerful surf crashes into a cave in the cliffs. Walk or drive north along this coast and you will find smaller inlets with many turtle nesting grounds.

For more things to see and do in Curacao click HERE

Below you will see the pedestrian/bicycle bridge connecting the two sides of the island. When the bridge closes, it sweeps to the side and stays against the open cement edge.

Cuisine

The local food is called Krioyo, pronounced ‘criollo’ – the Spanish word for Creole. These flavors usually consist of Caribbean and Latin. You will find plenty of fried plantains, soups and fish dishes. A traditional breakfast food is called ‘pastechi’, which is fried pastry with various fillings from cheese to tuna, to ham or ground meat. There are also many Chinese restaurants serving Indonesian foods. And there is always plenty of American food to be had in the various cafes and pubs.

Some recommended places to eat can be found HERE

Fun Fact

Prostitution is illegal for residents, but legal for foreign women who obtain a temporary work permit for the large brothel called ‘Le Mirage’ that has been in operation since the 1940s. Curacao regulates this industry by giving them a safe environment and access to medical professionals.

Shopping!

We can’t forget about shopping! There are many interesting shops and markets in Willemstad. The island is not considered ‘duty-free’, but still, ‘duty-relaxed’ as the island pays low import taxes and passes it on to consumers. There is plenty of jewelry to be had as well as some interesting stores with handcrafted wares and artisan goods.

Other items of interest you will find in the stores: A wonderful selection of European clothing, French perfumes, Japanese electronics, Irish crystal, English china, fine Italian leathers, Chinese embroidered linen tablecloths, Indonesian batik clothing and accessories, just to name a few. My prized souvenir is a Fendi watch I’d been eyeing for awhile which held a hefty price tag of $3000 US dollars in the States, but my husband bargained vigorously for it and we purchased for $1600 US, a real bargain!

For a good list of shopping and stores, visit this LINK

Beaches

Curacao is home to over 35 beaches! Two popular beaches are Playa Knip – with its white sand and azure water, and not many rental activity places, but a less known and less busy beach than more of the popular beaches offering a slice of paradise. And Playa Lagun offers a perfect spot for snorkeling. You can find a list of the many beaches and what they have to offer HERE and HERE

Where to Stay?

I’ve visited Curacao a few times, but I’ve yet to spend a staycation there. You can find a nice selection of hotels and what they have to offer HERE

Have you ever been to Curacao?

Please let us know if you have experiences of the island that you would like to share, and as always a huge thank you to Debby for sharing her own travel expertise.

About D.G. Kaye

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for Words We Carry.

Once in a while you come across a book that really speaks to you. Reading ‘Words We Carry’ by D. G. Kaye was like having friends over for coffee and revealing our innermost secrets or speaking to your mentor about life and how to make it better. The author, who has natural psychology opened my eyes and made me ponder why I react the way I do to certain things or certain people. I enjoyed author, D.G. Kaye’s writing style––so friendly and warm. This book is well written and is easily one that can change someone’s life. I recommend this book to anyone who ever felt insecure, self-conscious or inadequate. An easy 5 star read.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s travel column and we look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally and Debby

Smorgasbord – Posts from Your Archives – #Travel – #Thailand – Down on the farm making charcoal by Carol Taylor


Welcome to the last in the travel posts from the archive of Carol Taylor, our resident food expert. This week the process of producing charcoal, one of the primary cooking fuels in Thailand.

This is the mud charcoal house where the charcoal is made primarily for fuel to cook…no mod cons here at all. Well not yet pretty much everything is done how it has always been done through the generations. The skills passed down and that is what I like here so much tradition still and in the main so much happiness.

But the lifestyle is hard there are some concessions to this and progress is slowly coming but much is still done the old way and by getting your hands dirty.

Making charcoal is an art…me I just said do you just throw the wood in and light it?….The look this crazy English lady got was a look of I suppose bemusement.

Of course you don’t, for a start the charcoal house cannot be built on or close to the water table or where the drainage is poor.

The wood must be properly stacked so that when it burning the air can circulate correctly but the beauty of it being on your land is that you can stack over a period time as you come across the wood.The wood must of course be dry and the time needed to complete the burn does depend on the moisture content of the wood and also the evenness of the stacking of the wood so this is all very important.

SAM_8713

WOOD DRYING PRIOR TO BEING STACKED.

Once it is correctly stacked it must be stacked vertically into the charcoal house then a fire is started or burning coals are put through the air vent at the top of the charcoal house once this has taken then the door must be sealed effectively to ensure proper air circulation.

The initial smoke which comes out through the top air vent and the air holes around the base is dense white smoke which after a few days turns to a blueish colour finally it becomes practically clear smoke.

Once the burn is complete then the opening at the top of the charcoal house is sealed as are the bottom vents.

This then takes 2-3 days to cool down, when the earth kiln is cool it can be opened but there must be a supply of water available in case there are any red fires still burning as they need to be extinguished.

carbon-592598_1920 charcoal

Once the charcoal is completely cold then it is bagged or put in baskets for home use or sale.

A typical fire for cooking on.

SAM_8461

Cooking the steak

This is a time-consuming and back-breaking task no one has an easy life here as I am finding out but kudos to them I am often just amazed and it has made me realise what an easy life I have had. With my running water, gas, electric all the mod cons and it has changed me and I hope for the better. When the house is built here yes there will be some luxuries but you know what I am not so bothered anymore.

I won’t be cooking over a small charcoal fire unless it is a BBQ but lots of things I used to have no longer hold the same allure for me it is definitely an eye-opener and maybe not the life for everyone. Just for this crazy, whimsical English lady, it is the life I have adopted and I love it!

If you missed my previous posts on Down on the farm I have added the links below. I hope you enjoy these posts please let me have your thoughts. Down on the farm Jambulan Plum

Thank you for reading about my life in Thailand I do hope you enjoy it 🙂

©Images Carol Taylor.

You can find the posts in the Food and Cookery Column in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Thank you for dropping in today and apart from this post and others on travel, you will find plenty of other topics covered on Carol’s informative and entertaining blog. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Travel – #Jersey: Occupation Liberation Celebration by Sherri Matthews


A welcome back to Sherri Matthews with the third in her travel series of posts from her archives. Sherri has over 40 photographs of the Island of Jersey and goes into detail about the occupation by the Germans in the Second World War.. please head over and read the entire post.

Jersey: Occupation Liberation Celebration by Sherri Matthews

Before my recent and first-ever visit to the beautiful island of Jersey, I knew of its famous Jersey cows, delicious Jersey Royal new potatoes, and stunning coastline. I also knew something of its occupation under Nazi Germany in WWII, but, and to my shame, I knew very little of its impact on the people of Jersey. All that was about to change.

As I crossed the English Channel by Ferry with my mother on May 7th for our much-anticipated getaway, as soon as I caught sight of the delightful view from our hotel room some seven hours later, I knew we were in for a treat.

View from our room

The next day – after taking in the surprising results of the General Election back home – we set about exploring. And learning.

Although closest to France, Jersey has been part of the British Isles ever since William of Normandy’s invasion in 1066 ~

Courtesy Jersey War Tunnels

Courtesy Jersey War Tunnels

Some 100 miles south of British mainland and only a mere 14 miles from the Bay of St Malo in France, Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands despite its 14km by 8km (9 miles by 5 miles) size.

It is home to a varied landscape of lush valleys and fields inland, and unspoilt coastline of golden beaches, rocky coves and hidden bays, all with stunning views of the Atlantic.

Jersey boasts a 450 mile roadway made up of fast routes and rural lanes, so that whether driving, walking, cycling or even horse riding, anyone can explore this beautiful island to their heart’s content.

Take a drive - or walk, or bike or horse ride - with me along this delightful island of Jersey (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Take a drive – or walk, or bike or horse ride – with me along this delightful island of Jersey
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Corbiere Lighthouse shines its beacon of light for many a passing ship to warn of strong tidal waters and treacherous, submerged rock formations ~

Corbiere Lighthouse, Jersey (c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Corbiere Lighthouse, Jersey
(c) Sherri Matthews 2015

Please head over and read this detailed post on Jersey and enjoy Sherri’s photographs: https://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2015/05/18/jersey-occupation-liberation-celebration/

About Sherri Matthews

While bringing her memoir, Stranger in a White Dress, to publication, Sherri is published online and in print magazines and anthologies with memoir, essays, poetry and flash fiction. Her short story, ‘A Walk in the Woods’, is published in Prima Magazine, and two of her short memoir entries are longlisted with FISH Publications. Sherri raised her children in California for twenty years before returning to her home in England, where she lives today in the West Country with her husband, Aspie youngest and their pet menagerie fondly called ‘Animal Farm’. Sherri keeps out of mischief gardening, walking and snapping endless photographs, the better ones of which, along with her (mis)adventures, she shares on her blog, A View From My Summerhouse

Here are the anthologies that Sherri has contributed to. Click the covers to buy.

Connect to Sherri.

Blog: sherrimatthewsblog.com
Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/aviewfrommysummerhouse
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterSherri
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sherri-matthews/60/798/aa3
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/103859680232786469097/posts

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about travel.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

The deal is that you also help promote the post by sharing on your social media and responding to the comments.

Previous participants are more than welcome

The theme for the new series is travel.

  • Places and countries you have visited,
  • Different cultures,
  • Exotic food you have discovered when travelling,
  • Modes of transport – cars, bikes, horses, RVs
  • Camping Trips,
  • Road trips,
  • On the road for work,
  • Train Journeys,
  • Travel themed music,
  • Planes and airports,
  • Ships and other marine vessels,
  • Humorous adventures etc.

Thank you for popping in today and look forward to hearing about your travel adventures… Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Travel – Almost Taken by Sharon Marchisello


Welcome to author and financial expert Sharon Marchisello who shares her experiences of Docents… the locals who can see us coming a mile off when we land in a strange country and are not used to the local currency or transport systems.

Almost Taken by Sharon Marchisello

The “docents” saw me coming. I’d stopped to read a sign about ground transportation and got temporarily separated from my husband as we exited the customs area at the Santiago airport.

“Lady, can I help you?” The “docent” reached for my tote bag, which was about to topple from my rolling suitcase. (“Docent” is the term my husband I have assigned to those obsequious locals who suddenly become your best friend and offer to escort you around their city, or the monument you’re trying to visit, usually in expectation of remuneration.)

“Lady, where are you going?” The docent’s partner approached. Sharks were closing in. They had spotted a rich, gullible American tourist, bleary-eyed after an overnight flight, lost and bewildered, definitely in need of some Latin chivalry.

“I’m looking for my husband.”

Helpful docents immediately started assisting in the search for my husband. In a few moments, we were reunited. And surrounded by my new amigos.

“Did you find out where to catch the bus to Valparaiso?” my husband asked me. Fortunately, I had done some research ahead of time about ground transportation options. Taxis from the Santiago airport to Valparaiso cost approximately $150, but there was a public bus from the airport to Pajaritos station, where we could board another bus bound for Valparaiso, for approximately $10 each. Frugal travelers that we are, we had settled on this plan.

One of the docents pointed out the location of the public bus stop. “But you don’t want to do that,” he advised. “To get to Valparaiso, you have to go all the way into Santiago and change buses. And the bus will drop you off downtown, where you’ll have to take a taxi to your hotel. Three changes of transportation, carrying all your own luggage, and it will cost you about 50. For only 60, you can take the mini-bus directly to your hotel in Valparaiso. And you can pay with a credit card!”

Minibus? I hadn’t read about one, but in many of the cities we’ve visited, there are semi-public buses leaving from the airport that make the rounds of area hotels, often for less money than a private cab would cost.

“Come.” Docents started pulling our suitcases toward the minibus boarding area.

“Sixty what?” I asked as I trotted along after my baggage. “Dollars? Pesos?”

“You’ll pay in pesos,” one docent replied. “By credit card.”

“How many pesos to the dollar?” my husband whispered to me.

“The exchange rate is six to one,” said one of the docents.

“Sixty pesos sounds pretty good to me,” my husband said.

But something wasn’t right. I couldn’t remember the exact dollar to peso exchange rate, but it seemed like there were a whole lot of them to the dollar. Sixty pesos was probably less than a dollar. No way was anyone going to drive us two hours to Valparaiso for 60 pesos.

“Do you mean 60 dollars?” I asked. The last time we’d taken a cruise out of Valparaiso—about 10 years ago—we’d taken a shuttle from the airport to the cruise terminal for about 60 dollars each, and my husband still felt like we’d gotten ripped off.

“Six to one,” replied one of the docents.

We passed a currency exchange booth and I glimpsed the rate for U.S. dollars: 656 Chilean pesos. Not easy math to do in your head. “He can’t mean 60 pesos,” I murmured to my husband.

The official taxi stand I had passed at the customs exit posted prices starting at 90. At first glance, my addled brain had assumed 90 dollars but now it sunk in that the price had to be in pesos. The 90 in large print was followed by three tiny zeros. Ninety thousand pesos. But still, a ride directly to our hotel in Valparaiso for 60,000 pesos didn’t sound bad.

We reached the minivan. It looked like a large private taxi, not a community-type minibus like I’d seen in other cities. The docents loaded our baggage into the trunk. The driver opened the passenger door.

“Wait,” I said to the driver. “How much are we paying?”

He grunted and pointed to the credit card machine.

“Sixty dollars,” said my docent friend. “But you pay in pesos. With credit card.”

“Sixty each,” said one of the other docents.

“Sixty each?” I looked at the driver, the one who would be collecting the money and holding our bags hostage until we paid. “Cuantos pesos para las dos?”

He typed into the machine and thrust it toward me: 120,000. Sixty thousand. Each.

“No! Too much.” I didn’t have time to run the numbers through my calculator but I knew that amount was way more pesos than we wanted to spend. We grabbed our bags before the docents could close the trunk and headed back to the public bus stop.

“Lady! Wait! What’s wrong?”

After a stop at an ATM, we boarded a bus for the 20-minute ride to Pajaritos metro station, paying 1200 pesos each. There we purchased tickets for Valparaiso for 3000 pesos each, with comfortable assigned seats for the 90-minute ride. From the downtown bus station where we arrived, we caught another public bus to a major square for 300 pesos, where we hired a taxi for 1100 pesos to take us up the hill to our hotel. A little less convenient than the private taxi directly from the airport, certainly, but our savings covered our two nights in the hotel. Not to mention getting a little local color in the process.

Several lessons we learned—or rather, reinforced—from this experience:

  • Do your homework.
  • Know the exchange rate.
  • Don’t engage the docents.

What rip-offs have you encountered while traveling abroad? I’d love to hear your comments.

Sally: You don’t have to go to a foreign country to be ripped off… our own currency exchange firms do a very good job of that! https://www.lovemoney.com/news/15610/best-foreign-currency-exchange-rates-travel-money-dollar-euro-2018

About Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello is the author of “The Ghost on Timber Way,” part of a short story anthology entitled Mystery, Atlanta Style, featuring fellow Sisters in Crime members. She has published a personal finance e-book entitled Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, as well as numerous travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals.

Sharon grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California. Now she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, with her husband and cat.

Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she does volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society. Going Home is her first published novel. The murder mystery was inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, which prompted her to wonder what it would be like to interview a witness or a suspect who could not rely on her memory.

About Going Home

Michelle DePalma expected to jet into Two Wells, Texas, check on her elderly mother, and hurry back to her orderly life in Atlanta, where she has a happy marriage and satisfying career. Instead, she finds her mother, Lola Hanson, hovered over the bludgeoned body of her caregiver, Brittany Landers.

Since the events of 9/11, one month earlier, Lola’s memory loss has amplified, and the family suspects Alzheimer’s. Now Lola can’t tell anyone what happened to Brittany.

The agency that provides home care for Lola promptly withdraws its services. Michelle is stuck in her home town longer than planned as she cares for a mother with whom she has never been close and tries to prove her innocence. The police officers who investigate the crime are old antagonists from grade school.

A secret thought to be long buried—that Michelle bore a son out of wedlock and gave him up for adoption—surfaces when a surprise daughter-in-law and granddaughter show up, distracting Michelle from her quest to solve the murder. And then she stumbles upon a motive which makes Lola look even more guilty.

“Going Home” was inspired by the author’s mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and explores the challenge of solving a murder mystery when a potential witness cannot rely on her memory. Written from the prospective of a baby boomer forced to reverse roles with her parents, it crosses into the mainstream genre of women’s fiction and touches increasingly common issues such as elder abuse and end-of-life decisions.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Very Good By Don S and TeamGolfwell on December 4, 2017

I really liked “Going Home” by Sharon Marchisello, and found it to be an excellent and exciting mystery. I am familiar with the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s Disease and the author wrote an excellent mystery with many interesting characters. Ms. Marchisello has a lot of talent as a writer and I enjoyed it very much.

 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Marchisello/e/B00NH6N4WK/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sharon-Marchisello/e/B00NH6N4WK/

Read other reviews and follow Sharon on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4297807.Sharon_Marchisello

Connect to Sharon.

Blogspot : https://sharonmarchisello.blogspot.com/
Blog WordPress: https://smarchisello.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SLMarchisello
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Live-Cheaply-Be-Happy-Grow-Wealthy-494073360780648/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SLMarchisello

A thank you to Sharon for this post that is a reminder to  us all that when landing in any strange country if something looks too good to be true.. it probably is. Let us know if you have experienced something similar… it helps all of us stay safe and holding on to our spending money.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about travel.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

The deal is that you also help promote the post by sharing on your social media and responding to the comments.

Previous participants are more than welcome

The theme for the new series is travel.

  • Places and countries you have visited,
  • Different cultures,
  • Exotic food you have discovered when travelling,
  • Modes of transport – cars, bikes, horses, RVs
  • Camping Trips,
  • Road trips,
  • On the road for work,
  • Train Journeys,
  • Travel themed music,
  • Planes and airports,
  • Ships and other marine vessels,
  • Humorous adventures etc.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Barcelona’s Sky-High View! Flying Over Spain By Tram! by John Rieber


It is a welcome return by John Rieber with his travel posts to this series.. Because there tends to be a large number of wonderful photographs in John’s posts, I will give you a starter… and let you head over to his blog to finish the post.  I also recommend that you check out his more recent posts.. a great deal on offer.

This week John and his wife visited Barcelona and enjoyed a bird’s eye view of the city from the impressive overhead tram network.

Barcelona’s Sky-High View! Flying Over Spain By Tram! by John Rieber

barcelona from tram

Time To Fly Over Barcelona!

Barcelona is an amazing city to explore – this is the city’s center, from a bit of an unusual angle – because it’s even more exciting to explore Barcelona when you do it from the air!

View of boats from Barcelona aerial tram

Yep, these are shots of the city – and the waterfront – taken from an aerial tram that flies you over Barcelona – I mean, look at the W hotel on the edge of the Mediterranean!

W hotel Barcelona

Getting High On Barcelona!

I’ve shared a couple of our spanish adventures so far, but this one is from the best angle ever. Get ready to go sky high and enjoy a unique view of Barcelona!

tram wires to water

These are pictures taken from our great aerial adventure over Barcelona – in one of the world’s most unique and beautiful public transportation systems!

tram wires

Barcelona has an aerial tram that operates from the city’s famous Parc Monjuic to their waterfront…the park was home to the Olympics, and it’s a huge area that overlooks the entire city center!

There are another 26 photographs of the aerial views of Barcelona and also some of the street markets and landmarks. Well worth heading over and checking them out. Especially if you have not visited this amazing city but plan to do so in the future: https://johnrieber.com/2013/08/08/barcelonas-sky-high-view-flying-over-spain-by-tram/

©Images John Rieber 2013

About John Rieber

I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, “everyone eats!”

Connect to John via his blog and social media

Blog: https://johnrieber.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnrieber
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.rieber.71
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-rieber-041430/

Thanks for dropping in today and if you would like to share posts from your archive that are older than 12 months then please check out how to do that in this post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archive – Madonna of the Letter and 236 Steps in Messina by Darlene Foster


Darlene Foster gives us a guided tour of the port of Messina with its stunning architecture and history.

Madonna of the Letter and 236 Steps in Messina by Darlene Foster

Have you ever been to Sicily? That island off Italy at the end of the boot. As a kid in school I was always fascinated by that part of the map. I was fortunate that our recent cruise made a stop at the port of Messina. We were greeted by a golden Madonna perched on top of a very tall column, as we entered the harbour. The words – “Vos et ipsam cictatem benedicimus” at the bottom made me curious. Although it rained heavily, I was not deterred and left the ship to explore. I was excited to be in Sicily.

Madonna of the Letter

My first stop was the Duomo de Capanile, the main cathedral in the city. It seemed like a good place to start, and to get out of the rain. The massive bronze front door embossed with biblical scenes was impressive. The vast central nave lined with marble pillars and archways, held alcoves with marble statues of the disciples and apostles. In an elaborate setting at the end was an image of the Madonna of the Letter, the patron saint of the city.

cathedral door

Impressive front door of the Messina Cathedral

scene on door

apostles

Apostles in the nave

I stopped in the gift shop to buy postcards and ask questions. The friendly shop keeper was happy to oblige a curious Canadian. She explained to me that the words under the Madonna at the entrance of the port translates into – “We bless you and the city” This was supposed to have been written in a letter to the people of Messina by the Virgin Mary when they converted to Christianity in 42 AD, after a visit from the apostle Paul. This explained why she is called Madonna della Lettera or Madonna of the Letter. I purchased a ticket to visit the museum and attached clock tower.

church and tower

Cathedral with clock tower

After a quick look through the museum, I ventured next door to climb the 236 steps to the top of the bell tower. It was worth every step. The belfry houses the largest and most complex mechanical and astronomical clock in the world. On the landings I viewed, from the inside, the amazing mechanically animated bronze images that rotate on the façade of the tower at the stroke of noon. At the top levels hang the massive bells that ring out the time. I was fortunate I timed my visit between the ringing of the bells. Once at the top, I was rewarded with a splendid view of the city from all four directions. The rain stopped and the sun shone for my benefit.

clock tower bells

view from the top

The view from the top of the bell tower

I took my time going down, in order to have a better look at the intricate figures, aided by explanations on boards in English as well as Italian. The carousel of life was composed of four golden life size figures representing childhood, youth, maturity and old age, with death in the form of a skeleton following behind. Biblical scenes depicted on other carousels are changed according to the liturgical calendar. One scene was dedicated to the Madonna of the Letter where an angel brings the letter to the Virgin Mary followed by St. Paul and the ambassadors who bow when passing in front of the virgin.

carousel of life

The Carousal of Life

madonna carousel2

Madonna of the letter carousel

Madonna of the Letter Carousel

Once back down, I removed my raincoat and wandered the streets. I found an iron worker creating figures in front of his shop called Hollywood, interesting sculptures including an imposing conquistador, a quote from Shakespeare and the picturesque Church of the Catalans built before Norman times on a pagan site. I stumbled upon an overgrown archaeological dig behind a municipal building which gave me a glimpse of life in Roman times.

Church of the catalans2

Church of the Catalans

wind

Amazing carvings and sculptures everywhere you look

conquistador

bard quote

Shakespeare mentions Messina in Much Ado About Nothing

I purchased a bag of Italian pasta, a great reminder of my enjoyable time in this Sicilian city. The shop keeper told me that Messina doesn’t have anything old as there have been so many earthquakes over the centuries and much had to be rebuilt. The last major earthquake was in 1908. I guess age is subjective.

As the ship left port later that day, I waved goodbye to The Madonna of the Letter with her comforting message sent to the citizens of this city two thousand years ago. A day to remember.

©Darlene Foster 2016 – Images

Thanks to Darlene for these stunning photographs and introduction to Messina and Sicily. For those who might not get to make the trip it gives us a glimpse of something spectacular.

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband Paul.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind”  to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

Here is Darlene’s latest book –  Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind.

About Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.

One of the recent review for Amanda in New Mexico on Goodreads

Dec 26, 2017 Patricia Tilton rated it Five Stars

Darlene Foster has written another lively adventure story for young readers who enjoy traveling, exploring and solving a good mystery. Fans of the Amanda Travels series won’t be disappointed with this fast-paced book which will keep them on edge with a spooky plot and unexplained events.

The story is character driven. Amanda is a fun, upbeat, curious, caring and memorable character that readers will want as a friend — especially since she has keen radar and is always ready to solve a good mystery. And, Amanda can’t resist a good mystery — even if it involves ghosts, cold breezes brushing her shoulders and unexpected incidents. Her friend Cleo is more sensitive to the presences around and finds it safer to sketch the sites they visit instead of explore. Caleb is more pragmatic, the group photographer and a good balance for Amanda.

Readers will learn about history, geography, architecture, artifacts and shiver at the presence of ghosts that are rumored to be haunting many of the places they visit in Taos — the Mable Dodge Luhan house, the Governor Bent Museum, the Taos Pueblo, the Rio Grande Gorge and bridge, Ojo Caliente hot springs, the Palisade Sills, the St. James Hotel, and the Enchanted Circle Pottery. They will have an opportunity to attend the Day of the Dead celebration. Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind is the sixth book in the Amanda Travels series.

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels/dp/1771681209

Also by Darlene Foster

Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Connect to Darlene via her website and social media.

Website: www.darlenefoster.ca
Blog: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

If you are interested in joining Darlene and the other writers who are sharing posts from their archives and showcase your books or blog….. here is the link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Tiptoeing Through the Tulips at Keukenhof by Darlene Foster


Today a chance to tiptoe through the tulips courtesy of Darlene Foster.. Since it brings us all some much needed signs of spring I am going to feature all of the photographs. I am sure you will enjoy as much as I have.

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips at Keukenhof by Darlene Foster

I love tulips. They are by far my favourite flower. So you can imagine my delight when we arrived at Keukenhof, the famous tulip gardens in Holland. Greeted by a sea of tulips in the brightest colours imaginable, I was like a child at a candy store. Covering 32 hectares, over 7 million tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers are on display amongst well kept shrubs, trees and blossoms.

Interesting sculptures and works of art are displayed throughout the gardens. I climbed to the top of a traditional windmill, or molen, to get an amazing view of the surrounding tulip fields. For all you flower lovers, here is a bit of what I saw during my unforgettable visit. The pictures do not do it justice so you need to go yourself one day! And if you have been there, perhaps this will bring back fond memories.

tulips

DSCN4287 (2)

DSCN4288

DSCN4298

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DSCN4326

DSCN4311

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Keukenhof, means “kitchen garden” in Dutch. The site goes back to the 15th century when fruits, vegetables and herbs were grown in this location. In the 19th century it became a castle garden. This world famous attraction has been a permanent exhibition of spring-flowering bulbs since 1949 and is open 8 weeks of every year. I am so glad we planned our visit to coincide with the flowers in bloom. Another dream come true!

“I love tulips better than any other spring flower; they are the embodiment of alert cheerfulness and tidy grace, and next to a hyacinth look like a wholesome, freshly tubbed young girl beside a stout lady whose every movement weighs down the air with patchouli. Their faint, delicate scent is refinement itself; and is there anything in the world more charming than the sprightly way they hold up their little faces to the sun. I have heard them called bold and flaunting, but to me they seem modest grace itself, only always on the alert to enjoy life as much as they can and not be afraid of looking the sun or anything else above them in the face.”  ― Elizabeth von Arnim, Elizabeth and Her German Garden

©Darlene Foster – Images 2016

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband Paul.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind”  to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

Here is Darlene’s latest book –  Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind.

About Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.

One of the recent review for Amanda in New Mexico on Goodreads

Dec 26, 2017 Patricia Tilton rated it Five Stars

Darlene Foster has written another lively adventure story for young readers who enjoy traveling, exploring and solving a good mystery. Fans of the Amanda Travels series won’t be disappointed with this fast-paced book which will keep them on edge with a spooky plot and unexplained events.

The story is character driven. Amanda is a fun, upbeat, curious, caring and memorable character that readers will want as a friend — especially since she has keen radar and is always ready to solve a good mystery. And, Amanda can’t resist a good mystery — even if it involves ghosts, cold breezes brushing her shoulders and unexpected incidents. Her friend Cleo is more sensitive to the presences around and finds it safer to sketch the sites they visit instead of explore. Caleb is more pragmatic, the group photographer and a good balance for Amanda.

Readers will learn about history, geography, architecture, artifacts and shiver at the presence of ghosts that are rumored to be haunting many of the places they visit in Taos — the Mable Dodge Luhan house, the Governor Bent Museum, the Taos Pueblo, the Rio Grande Gorge and bridge, Ojo Caliente hot springs, the Palisade Sills, the St. James Hotel, and the Enchanted Circle Pottery. They will have an opportunity to attend the Day of the Dead celebration. Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind is the sixth book in the Amanda Travels series.

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels/dp/1771681209

Also by Darlene Foster

Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Connect to Darlene via her website and social media.

Website: www.darlenefoster.ca
Blog: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

If you are interested in joining Jane and the other writers who are sharing posts from their archives and showcase your books or blog….. here is the link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/