Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cojimar, Cuba

Cojimar Fort and Jetty

They sat on the Terrace and many of the fishermen made fun of the old man and he was not angry. Others, of the older fishermen, looked at him and were sad. But they did not show it and they spoke politely about the current and the depths they had drifted their lines at and the steady good weather and of what they had seen.”  Ernest Hemingway

A tiny little fishing village near Havana.  A place of warm friendly people, anxious to have tourists stop in their restaurant or gift shop to purchase a trinket or a small bowl of soup. It was here Ernest Hemingway docked his beloved Pilar - a cabin cruiser that played a huge role in his life.   The people of Cojimar welcomed Hemingway and influenced his writing.  The Terrace referred to in The Old Man and the Sea is most likely the one still found here, and although there is no longer a place to dock cabin cruisers or yachts, there is a memorial to Hemingway, reminding all who visit that this was a place he loved and that the people loved him.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hello Havana

Twenty one of us along with our Friendly Planet representative, Amanda, fly into Havana.  We were all prepared for an entry experience that was a bit - shall I say "charismatic? We were pleasantly surprised when everything went smoothly.  We got our baggage in record time, made it through their customs check and out the door into a sea of excited faces of Cuban Nationals  - waiting to greet family and friends.

Once we were on our bus, I pulled out my camera and started taking photos through the window (so expect to see strange reflections occasionally).  I thought about asking the driver to stop every few minutes, but decided that most of my travel partners would be tired of my "picture taking" soon enough - no point in developing any problems the first day of the tour.

Dratted html - I can't figure out how to center the video at the end of this page :(    Enjoy!

Hundreds of classic cars that scoot hurriedly from place to place around the city. 
Marble and plaster columns  surround the store fronts -providing shade and shelter for people going about their daily tasks. Telephone wire strung along the font of the building and across the busy streets - hummm -dialup internet?
Like many commercial building in the center of town  - a bit tattered and worn, but still beautiful.

A visit to  El Castillio De Los Tres Reyes Del Morro
with it's fabulous view of the Port of Havana and El Malecรณn behind us.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Another notch in my belt… I have a long “to do list” of things that must be done before I…  Well you know  - before I get tired, or leave this earth – which ever one comes first.  A ride in a hot air balloon has been way down at the bottom of my list,  but as chance would have it, I decided to drive out to Temecula this morning and watch the hot air balloons launch.   

I was up at 4 am because the balloons were scheduled to take off at 6:30 am – early for me – but I made it.  Driving through the Inland Empire was easy as pie.  Much too early for traffic, so I was able to speed right along.  When I closed in on Lake Skinner it was a different matter.  Not a lot of traffic, at least not in front of me,  it was all
piled up behind me. The fog was so thick I could hardly see the edge of the road, and even though I knew it was unlikely, I kept seeing my car taking a plunge into the lake - so I drove VERY slowly - much to the chagrin of everyone behind me.

I finally made it to the parking lot ( there was a lot of applause from behind me as I turned in and parked).

It was so overcast that morning that most of the balloon owners were driving off to find another spot to launch.  I decided to stay at Lake Skinner and take my chances.  Am I glad I did.  I got a chance to see the balloons inflated and an opportunity to go inside one of the balloons as it was filled with air.  I got in line to ride one of the balloons but felt much like the little boy standing with his family in front of me.... not too sure.  But I jumped in and we were "up, up and away".  It was fun (even though we were tethered to the ground and only went up about six or so stories).  

This last image is a young man helping to deflate the balloon.  He gathered the balloon in his arms, walked backwards and pushed the air out - much like you would squeeze the last drops of toothpaste out of the tube. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Dinner at Leon's

Robert's high school friends still stay in contact with each other and have a lot to talk about when ever they get together.  The other night it was dinner at Leon's in Cathedral City.  

A guest at a nearby table offered to take our photo.  She did a great job getting us all in focus.

An Italian Cioppino

Lamb Shanks over Garlic Potatoes and a Savory Gravy
We may have been the only guests that ordered greens and cornbread - but talk about good...yum.

 We stayed overnight and made our way to Leon's "city" location the next morning.  The food was just a good at Leon's Bar and Grill. 

Robert, Leon and Clint outside Leon's Bar and Grill on Palm Canyon Drive.

On our way to Palm Springs Robert stopped  so I could grab some photos of the windmills. The wind was barreling down the San Gorgonio pass at a good clip - it was too windy to stay out of the car very long.  The next day I was able to capture a couple of city views.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why This Blog

This blog was supposed to be dedicated to highlighting small events I photograph - but I needed somewhere to talk about my travels and share those images too.  They certainly did not fit on my Cynthia Terrell Photography Blog that is dedicated to images of my family portrait work, and they only tangentially fitted on Cynthia's Photo School News and More blog.  I thought these images deserved a home of their own - so for now,  goodbye events -helloooooo  travel.  I plan to scour through the images I've created on my adventures both near and far, and write a bit about my memories from each of those experiences.  The trick will be managing multiple blogs so it all makes sense and I don't go bonkers trying to keep everything balanced.   It should be fun.

Great Ideas from the Smarter Travel Blog

I was reading this post from the Smarter Travel Blog. Great ideas to research and remember.

10 Things to Pack That Will Save You Money
For travelers watching their wallets, it's important to stick to a budget, find money-saving travel deals, and get the best possible exchange rate. Additionally, those looking to save cash would do well to pack strategically. The right travel gear can help you keep costs down while seeing the world. Pack the following 10 items to save money on airline bag fees, laundry-service charges, and other expenses.
Empty Carry-On Travel Bottle
Travel-size products are, to put it bluntly, a rip-off. For example, a travel-size bottle of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion costs $13 for 1.7 ounces on Sephora. The full-size version costs $24.50 for 4.2 ounces. That's a price increase of about 30 percent. Instead of getting gouged, pack your own carry-on travel bottles filled with your favorite products. We like GoToob containers, which have suction cups that let you stick them to bathroom and shower walls for easy access.
Sunscreen Stick
If you're traveling to a place where sunscreen is compulsory, like a beach resort in the Caribbean, any sunblock for sale in local shops will probably be really expensive. And 3.4 ounces (the maximum bottle size the TSA permits in carry-on luggage) of Coppertone won't likely be enough for a good week of heavy-duty equatorial sun rays. The wallet-friendly solution is to buy solid sunscreen at a local drugstore (or order it online) before your trip. Neutrogena and Coppertoneboth offer stick sunscreen, which may be carried onto a plane in any amount since it's not a liquid. Bonus: It will never leak all over your stuff.
Luggage Scale
Overweight-luggage fees are usually as hefty the bags that incur them. Some airlines charge up to $200 for too-heavy suitcases. But those charges are easily avoided if you pack a luggage scale and weigh your bag before arriving at the airport. This one from Magellan's costs $12.50.
Once upon a time, airlines were as liberal with edible treats as your grandma. Now, many airlines sell marked-up bagged snacks that you could buy in the store for a lot less. On some flights, American Airlines charges $5.29 for a bag of spiced nuts. And a bag of M&M's will run you $3 on US Airways. You get the idea. So bring your own bagged candy, crackers, and nuts and save a few bucks.
Duct Tape
Like a Swiss Army knife, duct tape has myriad practical uses. But unlike a Swiss Army knife, you can take it on a plane. Use the tape to put things back together if your suitcase gets ripped by rough-and-tumble baggage handlers, thus saving you from having to spend money on a new bag during your trip. If you're heading to a place with an unfavorable exchange rate, purchasing a big-ticket item like a new suitcase could really eat up your budget.
Other creative uses for duct tape include covering blisters on feet, removing lint from clothing, and creating a makeshift hotel-room safe by taping your wallet and jewelry to the underside of the bed.
Compression Sack
As long as you stay within airlines' bag-weight limits, you can stuff as much as physically possible into your suitcase. As well you should, since every U.S. legacy carrier charges for checked bags on domestic flights—and the more bags you check, the higher those fees climb. One simple way to maximize suitcase space is to use a travel compression sack designed to save space by eliminating air surrounding the contents of the bag. I've used the Eagle Creek brand, which doesn't require use of a vacuum to suck out air. (Who travels with a vacuum?) You just stuff the bag and roll to oust air inside. Listen for the swooshing sound as you deflate.
I'm a book devotee. I prefer paper over screens, ink over interface. But I'll admit that the e-reader beats books to a pulp when it comes to travel. How else could one cart a virtual library of reading material in luggage without sustaining overweight-bag charges? Even a single large hardback book is enough to seize some serious suitcase space. So it's no surprise the e-reader made our list of "Five Things You Should Never Fly Without."
Empty Water Bottle
Most travelers know this trick, as is evidenced by the lines that sometimes form at water fountains near boarding areas. Avoid the overpriced newsstand bottled water by packing an empty bottle in your suitcase and filling it up after you've gone through security. To save space, opt for a squishy, foldable flask like the Vapur Anti-Bottle.
Travel Laundry Detergent
According to our sister site Cruise Critic, "As at land-based resorts, laundry and dry-cleaning charges on a cruise can be steep (approximately $2.50 to $3.50 to wash a T-shirt, for instance)." Even if you're planning to pack enough clothing to avoid using laundry services during your trip, an upturned glass of wine or a leaky bottle in your suitcase could make a mess of your plans.
Pack travel laundry detergent and stain remover to use in case of a spill emergency. We like theTide Stain Stick, which fits in a pocket or purse and, at less than 3.4 ounces, is carry-on compliant. We also recommend Magellan's Laundry Soap Sheets; they're not a liquid, so they're OK to bring on the plane.
Traveling with laundry detergent could also save you from having to buy replacement clothes upon your return. Let certain stains set for too long and they might never come out.
Security Bags, Clothing, and Accessories
If your passport or wallet is stolen while you're overseas, it'll set your budget back, to say the least. You are your first defense against theft. Pay attention and always be aware of your surroundings. If you'd like some back-up protection, though, opt for a security bag like theVaultPro Convertible Backpack or security clothing like Clever Travel Companion undergarments. Security wallets and money belts are also a safe bet; find a whole line of them at Magellan's.