Two friends and I met up in Death Valley for a quick weekend getaway toward the end of the superbloom of 2016. The wildflowers that had blanketed the valley earlier were now confined to higher elevations, but having never visited the park before, I found plenty of beauty. We stayed in Beatty, Nevada, in Casey’s motorhome with Bob the guard cat.
Bob by star light
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Mosaic Canyon trail
A painter and a writer do their thing as the sun sets
Brothel Hot Sauce??? Oh Nevada.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Bob help us plan our day… sort of.
Cottonball Basin Salt Flats
This was a quick, 10-day trip to Ocho Rios with a dear friend. We rented a cute little seaside cottage with a private deck and gorgeous views and a friendly neighbor cat named Kayak. The weather was hit and miss, so we spent a few days hunkered down watching the waves thrash against the rocks, and others out in the sun snorkeling and snoozing in the breeze. Our open-air living quarters invited a variety of insects and creepy crawlies into our sphere, sometimes late at night, which made for some hysterical laughter and frantic batting/fanning/paralyzed-in-fear-so-the-giant-cockroach-doesn’t-fall-onto-my-face/catch-and-release moments. All in good fun.
Our front porch had a lovely view.
This was a stressful way to follow Game 7 of the World Series, but it had to be done. RefreshRefreshRefreshRefre- WE WON!
Crabby McCrabberson, who would hang out near our stairs at night. Watch your step in the dark.
Casey took this and demurely blurred below my neckline.
Bedroom, with a very pretty but functionally useless mosquito net. The night the cockroach climbed up the INSIDE of the net, right next to my face, was the night we decided it needed re-engineering with some hair pins and strategic tucking. The following night when we woke up to a gentle thudding, we discovered that Mothra had come in for a visit and was flying into the wall near our lamp. But he was not IN our netted safety zone, so we deemed our adjustments a success.
Scotchie’s for delicious jerk with our taxi driver, Malcolm (who apparently goes by Mooney).
At the craft market in Ochi
This woodcarver did custom orders and was very friendly while he worked.
Turns out it’s very hard to take clear photos underwater with a GoPro. This was one that is actually discernible.
When the weather was calm, we could see the extensive reef just out our doorstep, and sometimes spearfisherman further out.
This was our cottage- a perfect little hideaway and a great deal.
My buddy Kayak.
Snacks on the porch hammocks
The elderly housekeeper at the main home on this property was named Miss Annette, and most days we hired her to cook for us. She’d give us a shopping list in the morning, and then when we were out swimming, she’d come in and cook delicious brown stewed chicken or shrimp something or other and leave it warming on the stove for when we made our way back to the house. She is a sweet, kind lady and a heck of a cook.
The grotto on the way to the swimming deck
I traveled to Croatia for a couple weeks in the fall of 2012. We spent the first week in a villa on the island of Brač, near Split. It was a gorgeous rental and very affordable for our group of around ten. A smaller contingent stayed a second week and traveled up to Plitvice Lakes National Park, and then back down through a little corner of Bosnia (called the Neum Corridor) and to Dubrovnik.
The view from the window seat in our villa bedroom
Delightful! Became our go-to beverage.
Beautiful outdoor kitchen area
Gifts from our hosts- Croatian olive oil and fresh baked bread
I love barefoot vacations
these kayaks and launch rock were part of the rental
The villa was wonderfully decorated and cared for
Milna was a small town within walking distance of our villa. The people were friendly and put up with our bumbling and wandering, and there was a decent amount of English on menus.
The shop in Milna, where we found great produce and wines for snacking at the villa
Heather relaxes at the beach in Bol
Sunset over our little corner
Jakov was our go-to driver. He was one of my favorite parts- very gregarious and happy to answer our questions, tell us stories, explain graffiti, and suggest day trips. He was really terrific and definitely enriched our time on the island.
A visit to Split
Happy Birthday Kelly!
I would drink one of these right now if I could!
Car show in Trogir
Headed North into the mountains!
Lake Plitvice National Park
Roadside farmer’s stand with honey and fresh fruits/vegetables
Quality control. When Mona apologized to the farmer for our little one’s sampling, the man smiled and said, “Children belong to all of us.”
Headed into Bosnia!
It was slightly intimidating, but the border controls were very simple and straightforward. There were a few guys with their hands up against a wall as police rummaged through a car as we passed through, but I decided against taking any photos.
Mona looking toward Dubrovnik
This lamp was in a wine bar we visited in Dubrovnik.
So much good seafood!
This map shows the destruction from the conflict.
Old Town Dubrovnik at night
Stunning bobbin lacework- I wish I had taken a video. These women created such beautiful pieces that I had to bring some home with me.
A walk around the city wall in the late afternoon
This is a somewhat random gallery of photos from other events, trips, and moments.
Topsy turvy taste of rum
Tucson Botanical Gardens
Yes, you can fly. But can you bring me cupcakes?
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
Michigan farm stand in summer
This is actually the photo that made me fall in love with my (then) new camera.
The World Cup of Beer homebrew competition- all ages welcome.