Travel Theme:Texture of Elephants

Asian Elephant in Malaysia

Caring

The Blind Men and the Elephant

John Godfrey Saxe ( 1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far in Santorini, Greece

Church Bells in Santorini, Greece

Santorini has some of the most picturesque scenery on Earth! The stark white buildings topped with blue roofs are set into the barren brown landscape. The traditional villages sit atop the tall cliffs carved from a volcanic eruption 3,600 years ago.

The Andrew Family and our Cruise Ship in Santorini

Santorini Views

Stunning Santorini

 

The local villages are at the top of the caldera overlooking the blue Aegean Sea. Wandering through the meandering narrow streets is one of the best ways to spend your day here. The architecture is charming, the heights are dizzying, and the scenery is stunning as you gaze out to the lagoon and ocean beyond.

Travel Theme: RED in Vietnam

Huc Bridge Over Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is a vibrant city full of chaotic traffic and sights and sounds buzzing. The color red is prominent in so many places in this city. Peace surrounds the Hoan Kiem Lake where you can cross this gorgeous red bridge to visit the Temple of the Jade Mountain on an island.

Red Shutters at a Temple in Hanoi

Max at the Temple of Confucius in Hanoi, Vietnam

The Temple of Confucius also was a respite from the noise and bustle of the city. The amazing temples and gardens were a temporary haven in the middle of the exciting city.

Water Puppet Show in Hanoi

I loved the water puppet shows where the puppeteers stand in the water behind the backdrop. They move the puppets through the water on long poles.

Travel Challenge: Flowers in a Lotus Garden

Lotus Awakening

Out of dark, dank, dreary mud blooms one of the most perfect flowers, the lotus.

Open Lotus~ Self Aware

The flower rises above the murk to reach the sunlight. In Buddhism the lotus symbolizes how people must rise above the darkness to achieve enlightenment.  This simple flower appears to represents life’s journey through each stage of bloom with the bud signifying a change in ideas and the fully bloomed flower showing full self-awareness.

Lotus Bud~ New Idea

The lotus flower has been revered throughout history by many cultures such as Egyptian, Indian and numerous Asian cultures. The significance of the lotus varies from enlightenment, purity, wealth, perfection, fertility, beauty and rebirth. Regardless of the meaning attached to it, it is impossible not to see the beauty of the flower and to breath in its heavenly scent. Everyone must break free from the mud or difficulties in life and strive to become their best.

New Beginnings

A Garden of Inspiration

Leaving HOME to go HOME

Global nomads, TCKs, and Expats all know the feeling of leaving your one home to go to your other home.  My family and I just made our annual trip of leaving our home in New Jersey, USA to come home to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter where I am, I always am missing something.

Things I miss about HOME in the USA:

  • Family and friends
  • Food-   real pizza, hoagies, American beef, Mexican
  • Road rules
  • Shopping in malls, Target, huge grocery stores and good shoe stores
  • The weather- no humidity and cool

Our Family at our beach in Ocean City, NJ

Kayaking in New York

 

Things I miss about HOME in Malaysia:

  • Friends
  • Food- satay, spicy noodles, curries
  • Not having to obey road rules
  • Shopping in markets and stalls
  • The weather- hot sunny days everyday

Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Rain Forest in Malaysia

 

I guess what is really strange is that the things I miss the most are the things that eventually drive me crazy and make me ready to return to the other home again for a dose of reality!!  I am so lucky to be able to call two amazing places “home!”

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple Skies at the Lake

Sunset at the Lake House

Each summer we are lucky enough to spend time at my sister-in-law’s lake house in New Jersey.  Sunsets here are incredible almost every night especially after a summer storm.  The cool breezes coming off the lake, the chirping of the insects and the peacefulness here keeps us coming back year after year.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside the Pak Ou Cave

Statue Silhouettes Inside Pak Ou Cave

 

Pak Ou cave is located upstream from Luang Prabang on the Mekong River in Laos. A two hour leisurely boat ride beside picturesque villages and lush greenery ends at the strange cave. The cave is not that extensive or impressive, but what is inside is worth the trip. Thousands of Buddha sculptures cover the inside of the cave left by worshipers.  Each statue is unique and reflects the many positions of Buddha. Many of the carvings are broken which I thought made them interesting and charming.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement~ Bald Eagles Soaring

Kayaking in the Hudson Valley of New York can bring many surprises. The greatest thrill we experienced was bald eagles soaring above our heads. Holding the kayak steady to stare into their majestic eyes as they rested in trees was such a magical moment. One day we kayaked at Bashakill and saw a bald eagle nest with an immature eagle and the parents swooping in and out of the roost. The next day we headed to the Delaware River Gap and paddled eight miles downstream where we saw about twelve different eagles fishing and soaring on the wind. Luckily we got to see beavers, dams, herons, deer, amazing plant life and every color of dragonflies also. What a fabulous place to kayak.

Immature Bald Eagle Sitting in a Tree

Bald Eagle Soaring Above the Treeline

Bald Eagle Fishing on the Delaware River

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close… to the Edge!

Max Close the Edge of Bonticou Crag

Each summer we travel to visit my sister and her family in New York State. Our favortie place to hike is up to Bonticou Crag at Mohonk Preserve.  At 1200 feet, this outcrop offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Shawangunk Mountains. Turkey vultures soar overhead and wild blueberries abound at your feet. After a long scramble up huge granite rocks, you are rewarded with the beauty of the preserve and the mountains in the distance. It is not a climb for those afraid of heights, but it is just amazing! We will be making our annual hike in a few weeks. Yeah!

A Turkey Vulture Glides Close By

Brian, Devon and Max Close to the Edge

Anni Resting Close to the Edge

Brian is Close to a Vulture

You Can’t Rest Much Closer to the Sky

Weekly Photo Challenge: Oceans ~ The South Pacific

Swaying Palm Trees in the South Pacific

As my toes touch the refreshing water line, my body instantly begins to chill from the oppressive tropical heat. The salty air rejuvenates my mind as the body begins to respond to the swaying of the palm trees.  White fluffy clouds march across the cobalt sky reflecting on the cerulean sea waves. The South Pacific Ocean is legendary in poetry, music, film and photography as humans try to translate its beauty into art. The South Pacific Ocean cannot be replicated as it is an art form in itself.

Marriage of the Sea and Sky at Gem

Boracay Blue

Dining at the Oceanfront

Boys Frolicking Off Boats in The Philippines

Save the Earth’s oceans for the generations to come to enjoy.

Thanks to http://wheresmybackpack.com/ for another great Travel Challenge! S

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