Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Review of 2017

Twenty seventeen was a tough year, no doubt.  I barely got to see my husband who worked so hard for Delta.  He got his command and is now a captain on the A350.  Yay!  But it took him away from us for pretty much the whole year.  It's all for the greater good anyway.  We started off 2017 when he took me to Amsterdam and we left on my birthday (1/19) for 2 nights then on to Toulouse for 10 days.
Amsterdam, wearing my pussy hat the same day the USA pussy hat protest took place.

Albi, France visiting the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum.  Original Henri Toulouse-Lautrec art.

The beautiful town of Albi.

This was at Carcassonne, France.

We even made an overnight trip to Bordeaux and visited Wine City and had a taste of wine at the end of the tour.  Cheers!

I made a new friend!  Laurie!  We had a blast together.

Delta's Airbus 350 delivery date.  

Laurie and I pretending we aren't cold under the 350 leaning up against the giant wheels.  
My next trip was to Barbados to join my cousin, Debbie and her husband Gwyn who I hadn't seen in many years as well as my aunt and uncle, Wendy and Simon and cousin Tim.  A special visit with my grandfather who turned 103 a few days ago. 
This is what 103 looks like.
In April, we went up for the first time in a tiny airplane with our son, Tyler who's in flying school.
We survived!!  He's a great pilot.
Like father, like son.

How I was really feeling right before take off.  Not really.  But yes!  LOL

In May, Dereck and I flew to Minneapolis to a surprise birthday party for one of his co-workers.  We met up with a dear friend there as well.
In Minneapolis with Gina!  On our way to the birthday party.  Jim, we missed you.
Later in May, I went to the graduation of my "son".  He is now all settled in college and doing well. So proud of you, my boy.
A brother from another mother.  Well done Esco!
End of May, Dereck and I drove to the west coast of Florida and stayed in Naples for a night. 
Somewhere in Naples.

In June, I had the pleasure of taking my BFF to St. Lucia and showing her where I grew up and introduced her to family and lots of friends.  
Welcome to St. Lucia.

Nick and Jenn at this Ital restaurant.  There was no more room in the dining room so we were put outside in the bathroom area.  There's always a first for everything!  LOL The food was good, though.

St. Lucia hadn't seen the last of me yet.....I returned a few weeks later prior to our sail down The Grenadines.
With our captain, Hubert, after our week long trip.  He's the best!

Hubert gave Tyler his personalized set of dominoes.  
In July, we were invited to a wedding.  Andre and Shannon's wedding was one of the most epic weddings I have ever been to besides my own. 
Congratulations to the sweetest couple ever!  Can we do this again soon?  The party bit, that is.....can you make this an anniversary event?  Dereck played guitar with some other guys as the bride and dad followed.  It was truly a well thought out and beautiful wedding.  A real tear jerker.
Besides the epic wedding, I got to stay and meet up with some long time friends.

Lindsay.....long time no see, my friend.

Can't say enough good things about this man. 
Ahhh, Martha.....life just wouldn't be the same without you.  Fooling around with wigs.  I spent a few nights with Martha in Falmouth Harbour.

Thank you Martha for taking me to the church were I got married 25 years ago.  This is where it all started, folks.

In September, I planned on going to India via London, but then hurricane Irma graced us with her presence and for a moment, I didn't think I was going to go, but everything worked out and I went with 2 awesome friends from Florida and met up with my mum.  But first, we spent a day in London where I met up with Nick and Emma and Lorca.
Hurricane Irma aftermath.

Fooling around at the airport, trying on $600 sunglasses. 

Dog tired drinking beer in a London pub with these lovelies. 

Jenn, Lorca, me and Sherry at Paddington station on our way back to the airport.
Finally India!!  I planned this trip for 18 months and sometimes it felt like it wasn't going to happen.
But it did and we had a great time.  In spite of me getting sick with acute pharyngitis, I enjoyed my time in India and left there almost 10 lb lighter.  Can't say much about the food as I couldn't eat much.

Reunited with my beautiful mother in Delhi, India.

The locals are always happy to pose for a photo with visitors.

A bucket list place checked off.  A visit to the Taj Mahal!  Wow!  This is such a beautiful place and built in the name of love.  
My year of travels didn't end in India, I got a big surprise trip as a 25th anniversary gift from my husband to Iceland.  Another place I've always wanted to visit.
At one of the many waterfalls in Iceland.  What an amazing country.  I highly recommend visiting here.  I know I did a part 1 blog of Iceland, but I got lazy and didn't bother to blog about part 2.  But part 2 was the southern part of Iceland with all the waterfalls we visited. 
Another waterfall....it was very windy and cold and it began to rain.  I got caught in the rain minutes after this.  Dereck wasn't feeling well and had already gone to the car.

Right before the rain, Dereck took this.  I want to go back when it's warmer.  

View from our hotel room.  We didn't go anywhere on our last day because we were both sick.  
I did a lot of traveling and I am so grateful for the life I have and for all those who are part of my life.  I couldn't be happier.  All the best for 2018.  I have made some intensions for this year and one involves traveling to spend time with friends and family that I don't see very often.  Let's make this year epic!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Iceland part 1

Iceland has been on my bucket list for ages.  For our 25th wedding anniversary, we visited Iceland.  We stayed in Reykjavik.

We flew to NY, then a direct flight to Iceland.  After checking in, we napped then went to the Blue Lagoon.  If anyone reading this blog ends up visiting Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is a MUST.  Book your time slot first and take your swimwear and I must include this disclaimer about your hair.  Ladies....your hair.....with the blend of geothermal seawater that has silica and sulfur and other minerals....that shit does NOT easily come out of your hair.  DO NOT make this your last stop before heading to the airport or you will have a very long flight with disgusting unmanageable, gross hair.  It takes about 5 or more shampoos before your hair feels relatively normal again.  I am now on my 3rd day here also my last and my hair is still kinda gross.  It's OK though.....I didn't come to Iceland to complain about my hair, besides it has been under a beanie most of the time, so who cares. So besides the hair, it really is advisable to book ahead of time.  You can't just show up and go in.  During the summer months, you need to book months in advance.  Once you get there, you get access to the hot springs, towels, lockers, shampoo and conditioner (ha ha, that's a joke), bar and restaurant.  One must shower without your swimsuit on before entering the lagoon.
Steamy Blue Lagoon.  The water is a gorgeous powder blue.

The next morning we set off to do the Golden Circle drive on our own.  Our first stop was the tectonic plates (A Game of Thrones scene was filmed here).  Þingvellir National Park also a UNESCO World Heritage Site is one to put on your bucket list.  The park is in the valley between North American and Eurasia.  Pretty cool to be able to say you walked from one continent to the next.  
Þingvellir National Park 

At the bottom of the North American plate is Öxaráfoss waterfall.  

 The second stop of the Golden Circle was Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths.  We just weren't feeling it as we were both coming down with some icky cold and the idea of disrobing to walk from the changing room in the cold to the baths just wasn't appealing.  The baths were manmade with spring water.  Maybe next time, but Fontana isn't as popular as the Blue Lagoon, so if you can't get a time slot that you like at the BL, then try Fontana or search for other springs as Iceland is loaded with hot springs.  You can also take a dip in the lake, but that part is cold.  No thanks.  We just walked around the property (see below).

The little holes in the sand in front of Dereck are bubbling with boiling water.  Behind him in the grass, we found some egg shells that someone left behind.  They must have boiled a few eggs.  Surprising as littering is so frowned upon in Iceland.  It's the cleanest country I have ever visited in my life.  

Next stop:  The highlight of the Golden Circle, at least for me.  The geyser field.  I have never seen one before and there are 2 here, one is Geysir and is dormant and doesn't erupt and the one is Strokkur Geyser.
On lookers waiting for Strokkur to erupt.

Strokkur erupts every 8-10 minutes.

Hot spring holes are scattered in the area.

Strokkur erupting.

Another steamy pool.  Some tourists like to toss coins in the pools but are not allowed, it is considered littering.

Geysir, Iceland's most famous geyser.
Then on to this huge waterfall called Gullfoss.  This was Dereck's highlight.  The walk to the waterfall was frozen and slippery and downhill, so most of us hopped over the rope rail and walked in the grass.  There's a lot of parts that you are not allowed to walk on because it destroys the vegetation and it could take many many years to grow back, if at all.  But in the case of the waterfall, it's for your protection but lots of tourists were ignoring the signs and going on cliffs for those epic Instagram selfies. 

The spray creates beautiful rainbows.

The grass covered in frost.

The amount of water moving at such a furious and powerful pace was amazing.  

Yep, trying to get that perfect selfie with my Olympus Pen E-PL2 was not as easy as using my iPhone.


A lone tourists walking where he shouldn't.

You can see the NO HUMANS ALLOWED sign, but yet they still go.

The lower part of Gullfoss.  So strong and powerful AND cold!

Someone offered to take our photo at the top of Gullfoss.  I know, I spelled Gullfoss wrong on the photo. 

Yep, stupid tourist standing where she shouldn't!  It's for your safety so follow the rules!

The final stop was this volcanic crater,  Kerið.  It was formed about 6,500 years ago.  That's pretty damn old!
Kerid crater lake. 

We rushed to see this one as the sun was setting, but we soon realized that the sunsets here last hours and not minutes.

Iceland is amazing and there's so much to see and do.  Three days here was just not enough.  I'd like to return in the summer, but I'd have to battle the crowds of tourists.  Snowmobiling and walking through ice caves are year round activities that I'd like to do in the future.