Change

Change is all around us. Most of it we can't control. Some we can. I have had a lot of both in my life lately and I'm learning to embrace it. As my life is taking a new direction I decided it was time to take the blog down a new path as well. I will be posting a travel journal of sorts to document our simple journeys and I would love to share it with you. Welcome!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wildflowers, poetically speaking


Or more accurately, 
just some pretty weeds.



I have found myself out and about much more than usual lately, both in the early mornings and late afternoons.  Since my camera comes along to capture the action, (and more action) I have also grabbed a few shots close to the ground.


They make for fun editing while I watch the Rangers.


Just a little tweaking to enhance the beauty in the eye of the beholder.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Play Ball!


We do love us some baseball around here. ("How 'bout them Rangers?")  This past weekend in North Little Rock we took out some time from Operation Baby Prep and celebrating the earth to take in an Arkansas Travelers game.  


 The Travs are the minor league team for the Los Angles Angels.  On this home series they were playing the Arkansas Naturals, the minor league team for the Kansas City Royals.


The Friday night game we had tickets for was rained out, so we got to do to a double header on Saturday. 
At one point during the game I got a text from my Texas son-in-law reminding me we were cheering for future Angels.  Oops.  Kind of a conflict of interest, there.  Oh well, we buckled down and rooted for the home team.  The Travs won both games!






Little Rock skyline

Night sky

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Earth Day in Arkansas


We were out and about this weekend visiting Kristin and Matt in Arkansas.
This was our last pre-baby visit.  The next time we are there will be BIRTHday!!

What started out as going to a cloth diaper event ended up on the campus of Heifer International at the Earth Day Festival.  Below are some pictures of my perspective.  For the low-down, see Kristin's blog.









Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nicaraguan Food Fun

I have a whole long post I want to do on the Nicaraguan food that we enjoyed there, but until I can get it all put together, here are a couple of interesting things I wanted to share.

I'm pretty much consumed at the moment (all week & counting) performing my civic duty, and so tired I can hardly string words together, so this will be quick.

Notice the interesting way the salads are presented, stacked carefully in little pyramids.  And most salads come with a slice or wedge of beets.  This was a theme we observed the entire trip.


Of the four salads above, we only ate the one on the blue tablecloth.
 More about that in the food post yet to come.


I didn't discover this next little oddity until I was editing pictures for the afore mentioned 'food post yet to come'.  On several occasions I captured my eyeglasses/sunglasses in the pictures with the food.  It is a habit of mine to not eat in my glasses, but I thought it was funny that they turned up so often in the pictures.  I can guarantee they are just out of range in all the others in the 'food post  yet to come'. 



I will be back when my head clears, hopefully sooner than later!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Poneloya, Nicaragua Part 2

One of the first things that comes to mind when I think about Poneloya is that delicious feeling when we stepped out of our cool hotel room into the steamy tropical air.  The rooms opened onto a breezeway, so we were immediately hit with it and the sound of the pounding surf below.  I loved that blast to my senses that declared: I am in Nicaragua!




The terraced dining area was the hub of all activity at the hotel.  The front desk in the lobby was practically non-functional.  Instead, all business was conducted from the counter nestled in the corner of the upper terrace, in full view of the ocean.  The restaurants, hotels, and homes are all very outdoor/open-air oriented.

The best (only) photo I have of the counter

The main corridor of the hotel opened into a lush courtyard which expanded into the wide terraces facing the ocean.  The first level was tile, the second level a few steps down was sand, four more steps down was the beach.  At high tide the foamy surf would wash across the bottom step





Large lava rock formations dot the beach. The sand is black, colored by the volcanic ash.  On the beach it didn't look that black to me, but on the tile and in the shower it was like ebony.






The first morning when we woke up we were aware that the sun had been up for a while so we assumed it was late in the morning.  We were surprised to discover it was barely eight o'clock.  Seems the sun rises at 5 a.m. in Nicaragua!  It also sets as early as it rises: around 5:30 in the evening.

There was no hot water in the rooms at the hotel, which is fairly common.  But after walking on the warm beach, a tepid shower always felt good.


While we were waiting for our lunch, two little boys 'befriended' us.  They were peddling seashell trinkets they had made.  Real charmers, they were.  We politely told them "No, gracias", so before I knew it, the younger one (about 8) presented me with a rose made from a tightly woven palm leaf, assuring me it was a gift.  I thanked him. With that success, his friend, (I'd guess 12) soon presented me with a palm leaf grasshopper!  We smile, marvel, they chat us up, ask if we are American, ask our names.  By the time the food arrived I had a collection of a palm rose, a palm twizzler, 2 palm grasshoppers, and yes, I bought 2 seashell turtles!  They were adorable kids.










Our room was cleaned while we were at lunch.  A young woman came to the table and asked for our room key.  We thought maybe it was to see our room number to charge lunch to it.  Like the good Americans that we are, we gave it to her.  She took it and left!  When we got ready to leave, Bobby figured he would get it back when he signed the ticket for lunch.  Not so.  That's when we decided it was the maid that had asked for it.  Sure enough, when we got the the second floor breezeway, she handed it to us.  Our towels were folded like starfish in the center of our bed.  An interesting thing they do here:  The bed is made with the top sheet folded and placed under the pillows.  We found that on more than one occasion.




We made more friends at dinner that evening. Yes, I bought
a necklace from each of them!









View of the dining terrace at night

Our second and final morning at Poneloya, we got up at 6 a.m. to walk on the beach and soak up all we could.  We went back down to a little fishing village wrapped around a bay that we had spotted the night before after sunset.  I wanted to see it better in the daylight.  






Moon rise over the bay




Bay at dusk

Dusk

See the volcano?




The bay and fishing village




Early morning on the beach

Surfers watching the sunset



Sunday, April 1, 2012

Poneloya, Nicaragua

It has been "suggested" by more than one reader that I continue chronicling our Nicaraguan adventure.  With a busy couple of weeks and work kicking me in the teeth I lost momentum but I think I'm ready to head back down memory lane.

I left us lingering in Leon a little longer than I intended, let's move along.  After an afternoon visit there, we made our way to Poneloya, a little beach town on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua.

Like all of our accommodations, I had found our hotel online. The very thing that drew me to Nicaragua in the first place continued to be a fascination throughout the entire trip:  the street side of the houses (and now for the second time, hotels) are very deceiving.  You cannot judge a place by its curb appeal.  It's what's on the other side of that plain, nondescript exterior that counts.

Suyapa Beach Hotel

Who would imagine that lurking behind this utilitarian facade was a tropical paradise?

Straight ahead are the two outdoor dining terraces
 and the Pacific Ocean!



An upstairs balcony

View from the balcony


We got checked in and made it to the beach just at sunset. It was nothing less than spectacular!




We enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner at ocean-side and then said good-bye to our traveling companions as they returned to Leon to spend the next 2 days with family.  

After 2 days of traveling, Bobby and I looked forward to the lazy beach days stretching out before us.

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