Just another day in New Orleans

I traveled to New Orleans in January 2010 for a wedding. It was a fabulous wedding that I will talk about in another post.
One thing that is for certain in New Orleans is that you will either run into a parade or party or both. While we were there one of the parades we got to see was Buddy’s Brawds. That year the Saints finally made it to the superbowl. A local celebrity so frustrated with the Saints never making it to the superbowl proclaimed that he would wear a dress if the Saints ever did make it to the superbowl. Unfortunately Buddy Diliberto (1931 – 2005), the voice of the New Orleans Saints, died before he had a chance to make good on his promise. In January 2010 the Saints did make it to the superbowl and thousands of other men made good on that promise in his honor. It was a fun parade to watch.

Kids played along too.

 Always a large crowd in the french quarter.

Sporting the “Golden Girls” look.

Pigs are flying

Wait – Is that Johnny Depp?

Nice jewels

This guy was fun. We stopped to talk to him for a while.

Santorini Day 2

Our second day at Santorini we decided to do a tour organized by our travel agency. We started the day with a boat ride to the caldera on Nea Kameni.

We got to walk around on top of the volcano. Notice the volcanic rock.

There is Fira off in the distance.

After our visit to the caldera, we visited some hot springs on Palia Kameni – but only after you jumped off the boat in freezing cold water and conquered a pretty long swim to the springs. Once there, you were rewarded. Unfortunately there was another long swim back to the boat.

Little church by the springs.

We finished our tour with a visit to the island of Thirasia. It is a sleepy and scenic town away from the bustling of the mainland.

Our path up and down Thirasia.

When we arrived back to the mainland I made Carlos take donkeys instead of walking up another steep path.

Lots of lazy dogs live on Santorini

For our last night we decided to watch the sunset from the famous Oia. It was unbelievable. Even the dogs couldn’t help enjoying the sunset.
These guys below were rounding up their friends.

Santorini Day 1

Santorini (or Thira or Thera)  is one of those island getaways that one dreams about. Relaxing atmosphere, great food, and beautiful sunsets. I have so much to share about Santorini that I decided to break it down in two posts.
Santorini is famous for its caldera (or volcano) and for its spectacular sunsets.

We arrived early evening and settled in at our hotel Lilium Villas. The hotel was very beautiful and only a short walk down to the main town of Fira.
We decided to have a drink and a meal the first night in our resort and were able to see our first Santorini sunset.

The next morning we toured around the island on our own.

We wandered around ancient Thira as well.

 Remote control

Our favorite gyro place

Funicular to the boat area. You can also take a donkey. I made Carlos take a donkey the next day. He wasn’t too pleased. He wanted to walk up the stairs.

What would make a romantic meal more romantic? A donkey parade.

Our second sunset over the caldera.

Tuscan Towns : Cortona & Chiusi

During my last trip to Italy I was able to spend a few wonderful days in Tuscany. I shared a villa in Foiano della Chiana near Cortona with some girlfriends (and Carlos). We were required to rent a car to get from town to town to explore. We had to get one of the larger cars with trunk space due to the the requirements to hold luggage for 4 women (and 1 guy’s backpack). It proved challenging at first to try to maneuver the car around the roads but we soon got the hang of it. We made sure that enough of us got international driving permits so the driving was distributed among us and not one taking the brunt work of driving everywhere.
Trying to find our villa was very difficult. The directions were vague, and in kilometers (we are not used to the metric system). After a detour down a bumpy dirt road through someone’s farm (my friend swears we were supposed to turn down that road) we eventually find our villa. I wish I had taken more pictures, it really was a great and relaxing villa to return to after sightseeing all day.

Our first night this happens.

This guy is staying with us as well.

The villa contained 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths and a full working kitchen that we used a few nights to make our own dinners. The weather was perfect for open windows and outdoor dining. Out by the resort style pool was a magnificent view and rows of rosemary and lavender bushes in bloom. It really was blissful lounging by the pool, hearing the sounds of bees and nature in the background, and smelling lavender and rosemary while you are reading a book. I can’t think of too many better things in life….except maybe food. Food is kind of great too. I would say my only complaint was the washer that took took 2 hours to wash clothes. I didn’t mind hanging them to dry (I prefer more environmentally friendly) except we did have rain one day and all our wet clothes got more wet.
Exploring near by town of Cortona was fun.

Cortona

Chiusi

One of the day trips we took was to Chiusi. Chuisi has some of the best Etruscan tombs. Unfortunately I did not take any photos but I do have video that I will hopefully upload one day. During our visit to the city center we got to witness a day of games from the bell tower.

National Archaeological Museum

A day in Glasgow

While visting Edinburgh we decided to take a train ride to Glasgow for the day. Conveniently my friend was in Glasgow for a layover and we were able to meet up while we were there. Glasgow is full of interesting architecture. Although we did Glasgow as a day trip, I wouldn’t have minded spending the night there to explore more.

One of the highlights of the day was the tour of the Glasgow School of Art. This tour must be booked in advance. Charles Rennie Mackintosh is responsible to designing the school inside and out. He is famous for his contributions to the Art Nouveau movement. I couldn’t begin to describe the magnificent detail that went into this building. One must come visit for themselves. We couldn’t take any pictures at Mackintosh s masterpiece…. but I did snap a pic from the team room he designed (but it was already closed)

More interesting Glasgow structures.

Meeting Kerri in town!!!!!

Preparing for the freeze

My plan to use the EZ-UP to make a tomato tent was a failure (see the closed tent to the right). I rushed home from work to put the tomato house together but I could not put the tent up on my own. After trying for about 30 minutes I gave up on that plan and went back to what I know – sheets. I had a couple of coverups that were given to me as a gift last year. Two of them were used but the third completely fell apart (see photo below). What the &*&(*&???

I tried really hard to secure both of my square foot gardens with what sheets I had. I think I did an ok job but there might be a little hole or two. We will find out after tomorrow’s freeze.

 
Possible hole….
 
 
Finally some tomatoes are ripe. I took this opportunity to do a quick check and harvest ones close to ripen.
 
 
 
I ran out of sheets was too lazy to cover the citrus so I decided to pick the good key limes to prevent them from getting damaged in the freeze. Looks like some cocktails are happening in the future.