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.

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: Friendship is a Gem on Gem Island

Friends Looking at the South China Sea

The beauty of friendship is what makes life worth living. Traveling with friends just makes life perfect! For the years we have spent in SE Asia we have been fortunate to make lifelong friendships and share special vacation travels with them. One of our favorite spots is Gem Island on the East Coast of Malaysia. It is a tiny island with only one resort right off of Kapas Island. The snorkeling is gorgeous, the turtle sanctuary is uplifting and the peace and quiet is priceless. We laze in the sea snorkeling or frolicking in the gentle waves, comb the beaches for turtle eggs and shells, swing in a hammock and eat picnic lunches in the cabanas. After a nap and a shower in the garden inspired outdoorsy bathroom we head to dinner in the quaint dining room overlooking the ocean. It is a perfect family getaway and a great chance to unwind and rejuvenate with family and friends.

Frisbee on the Beach at Gem

Cocktail Hour by the Sea

Friends on the Dock at Gem

Gorgeous Gem

Dinner After a Perfect Day

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hands ~ Kecak Dance in Bali

Kecak Dance in Bali

The Kecak (Ramayana Monkey Chant) is performed by 100+ bare-chested men with checked cloths tied around their waists. The men line up in concentric circles around a fire as they sway, throw their arms up, wave their hands, lay prone and even create the illusion of a giant snake as the story progresses. This performance does not use any music except for the cacophony of synchronized chanting, “Ke, cak, cak, cak”. The backdrop of the dance we saw was an ancient temple and the central fire was the only lighting for the stage. As the story unfolds the rhythmic chanting sets a trance-like atmosphere as the audience sits transfixed watching the swaying of hands in the firelight. Pure Magic!