Teenagers in California

Posted by Pat on July 14, 2016 in Travel |

TSA and teens: "Put the bunny on the belt!"

TSA and teens: “Put the bunny on the belt!”

The challenge: taking two teens, Mikaela 13 and Gabrielle 17, to California and planning excursions they will enjoy. It is a big challenge. What will they think is fun? Where to eat? Mikaela has not traveled to Italy and Spain like her big sister, so will their impressions be influenced by that? There is a big generation gap, as what I think might be fun may not be what a teenager wants to do. But, I have been there and done that with my past foreign exchange daughters, so I might pull this off. Let’s go. Read more…

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Outer Banks North Carolina

Posted by Pat on June 23, 2016 in Travel |

June 23, 2016

Rockin’ and shudderin’ and blowin’ up a storm. Lightening is flashing across the night sky as a tropical storm sweeps in from the southwest over the low country of the Outer Banks here in North Carolina. Thunder rumbles ominously, continuously. I am in a three-story house built upon stilts, maybe 6×8 stilts, but still stilts. I cling to a narrow strip of sand, not much higher than sea level, sandwiched between the Atlantic and the Pamlico Sound. A minimum of 25 mph winds shake the house. Much stronger gusts roar across the peninsula, the most hurricane-prone strip of land north of Florida. I feel the house sway as winds howl in its eaves and rain pelts the windows. I can easily imagine what it must be like in a hurricane. 

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Charlestown South Carolina

Posted by Pat on June 21, 2016 in Travel |

Church steeples of “The Holy City”

16-17 June 2016 

First impressions and reactions? It is good to arrive into a relatively small city with reliable GPS and big parking spaces. But what I will remember the most is the sweat dripping down my face. Charleston’s sun is brutal, humidity is high and breezes are minimal in this subtropical climate. My niece will be glad to know that yes, I sweat.  Read more…

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Savannah Georgia

Posted by Pat on June 21, 2016 in Travel |

15 June 2016 

Forrest has left his bench.

I thought of Sherman marching to Georgia, the burning of Atlanta, Scarlett fleeing a burning city with Rhett, Kevin Spacey in his garden of good and evil, Forrest Forrest Gump. I’ve been in Savannah for 36 hours and now think of Spanish moss, subtropical thunderstorms, 1980s music, beer, oysters and pralines. Life is good. 

Savannah is a beautiful city of 22 green garden squares, huge trees draped in flowing ribbons of Spanish moss, lots of bars and restaurants, a cool river walk, and blocks and blocks of gorgeous architecture. In my time here, I have enjoyed…  Read more…

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St. Petersburg FL

Posted by Pat on June 11, 2016 in Travel |

9 June 2016

June. Heat. Tropical Storms. Potential hurricanes. High humidity. What was I thinking? I’m a desert sort of girl and though I have lived for years with our west coast fog and its humidity, the 65° temps of home make a huge difference in my comfort zone. However, I picked up my flash red car in Miami and after a nightmare inching and crawling out of town, I now rest in St. Petersburg. And why here? Three words: history, Chihuly, Dali.  Read more…

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Adventures Lead to Discoveries

Posted by Gabrielle on May 18, 2016 in Travel |

By Gabrielle Bremer – Through the Lens Photography

me San Lorenzo de El Escorial in SpainSorry, I haven’t posted a lot in the past month. I’m now caught up on school and the school year is coming to an end. I promise I will keep posting more Spain pictures. In the next few week I will be doing some travelling to North Carolina and California, so be watching for those updates.

I’d like to dedicate this post to my travel partner, the person who helped me discover my love for travel. While on my adventures through Italy and Spain, I found a sense of confidence and independence, a feeling that I could do anything. Words cannot express my gratitude for these experiences, new-found confidence, and independence. To be able to travel to luxurious places for weeks at a time and soak up the culture is something I will forever be grateful for. To be able to discover a new passion, something I want to do for the rest of my life, is the best thing anyone could’ve ever given me. Thank you for opening up this new world to me and showing me that I can do this.

 

Awesome! As I wrote in March 2015, before our trip to Italy:

“For what do I hope? To instill a love for travel. To develop a fascination for new places and cultures, thus bringing pictures, books and history to life. I would want my niece to learn about herself and come away with a sense of accomplishment and confidence that is denied those who constrain their experiences to a narrow environment and limit their understanding of others.

Her style of travel will develop over time. But I hope she returns to Minnesota with a desire to research her next destination. Hopefully, she saved her lessons. And if her style becomes one of independence while carrying light luggage, all the better.”

I will consider my goal achieved!  Pat

 

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España – Gabrielle and Pat Wrapping It Up

Posted by Pat on April 12, 2016 in Travel |
Nazarenos with capirotes pointing to Heaven

Nazarenos with capirotes

Beginning 35,000 BC, Celtic, Phoenician, and Romans landed in their turn, by fifth century A.D. Vandals arrived from North Germany, Visigoths from Eastern Europe, and then the Moors out of Northern Africa. A millennium ago local kingdoms arose with El Cid, and by 1469 Isabel and Fernando, the Catholic Kings, ran out the last Moors, reestablish Christianity and established the Inquisition the same year they dispatched Christopher Columbus westward. Isabel’s grandson was the Habsburg Carlos I/Carlos V who became the Holy Roman Emperor in 1519. The Crown passed from the Austrian Habsburgs to the French Bourbons in 1700. Napoleon invaded in 1808. Thus began 167 years of Civil Wars to drive out either the French, the Bourbon monarchy, the Habsburg monarchy, the Carlist, the separatist, the church. In 1936 all Hell broke loose with the Mother of all Civil Wars. Enter the meddling and manipulations of the Falangists, Communists, Nazis, and extreme Nationalist. Enter and exit The Caudillo, Franco.

Today, Franco’s hagiographers are gone, there remain strong separatist feelings, Catholicism is strong, Spain is still struggling to compete economically in the EU world, but its culture is rich. Having travelled two weeks and 1850 miles through provinces of Madrid, Andalusia, Valencian, Catalonia, Aragón, and Castile y León, there is much to love about España.

Read more…

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