Welcome to my first travel journal of 2013!
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I have only been back in Germany for a week, so I haven’t
had time to travel to any particular place for reporting purposes. Therefore, I’m posting photos from
my month-long vacation to Florida that started on 19 December.
The big news is that Santa brought me a new, high-tech
camera for Christmas this year: the Nikon D800. I’m still learning all the
things this spectacular little supercomputer is capable of, including hi-def
video, but I’m having a ball doing it!
It is changing the way I process and store my photos due to
the fact that, among other considerations, its top resolution is 36.2
megapixels (that is NOT a typo, folks!). Today’s technology is incredible!
Obviously, these digital files claim large tracts on my hard drive’s real
estate, so I have a new external drive whose capacity numbers in TERABYTES!
So here’s a photo from Christmas day in which our friends
Cyndie and Bram (of the neverending bike ride
fame) are modeling
their new aprons I brought them from Germany that make them look like they are
and a Dirndl
Here are some shots from our favorite local park:
And on my birthday, I spent the
day with my good friend Carolyn, who modeled her Christmas elf apron (must have
been an apron theme this year):
We went to a wonderful exhibit at the Tampa Museum of Art
where we saw prints by one of my inspirations, Henri Cartier-Bresson.
When we stopped at the museum cafe for coffee, the staff gave me a free
piece of cake for my birthday!Then we
walked down the block to the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
where we were
treated with photos by another one of my inspirations, Dorothea Lange.
After I returned home, my husband grilled me a fabulous
For dessert, we had a rum cake I’d made for my birthday.
Seriously, this cake is delicious and will get you drunk!
On a sunnier day, we visited our favorite park again:
My wonderful husband with HIS new Nikon:
One New Year’s Eve, we went to the
annual party at Cyndie and Bram’s, which, this year, was also Bram’s retirement
You can see more pics from this party in one of my Facebook album
s.Later in the week, I got to meet my friend Jessica’s husband
for the first time and also their new one, Fiona. Both passed muster in my book!
looking forward to watching this young family experience their lives
together. And ya gotta love parents who dress their baby in shoes like
On a different night, neighbors took us to a new restaurant in Tampa called
for dinner one night. Later, my husband and I returned to sample more of
their Caribbean goodies. I can personally vouch for the “Tuna Nachos” which
consist of seared ahi tuna on rice crackers with guacamole and a slice of jalepeno,
shown on the left in this photo:
We spent one evening with our friends Bob and Sharon and
started off the evening with a shot of Patron XO Café tequila, which tasted
like Kahlua on steroids and went down smooooth…
While there, I attempted the first “Bob” photo with
my new camera:
They treated us to an evening at a
new restaurant in St. Pete Beach called Chill
, which also has an attached
bakery and café called Steam. They serve tapas style dishes with fantastic
service and great sangria. And I can’t recommend the mashed cauliflower enough!
Here you can see Bob wearing his “watch cap” while he and Sharon “watch” each other!
But it wasn’t all fun and games.
Our beloved tangelo tree succumbed to an insect infestation, so we had to cut
it down. The backyard won’t be the same without it. I’ve enjoyed fresh, sweet
tangelos every winter since we moved in; I’ll miss our old friend.
I spent another great afternoon at my friend Lauren’s,
enjoying her creative talents and food. Here she is with her mother, Miss Ella,
who rules the roost:
My friend Sherry and her husband Michael stopped by Lauren’s to say
Here’s Miss Ella enjoying her new addiction: Pirouline
cookies. Doesn’t she look like she should be in a speakeasy with a flapper
feather in her hair, holding forth with a scotch in her hand?
day I shot some photos for my neighbor’s 18-year-old son,
Adam Willard. Adam is a very talented singer, dancer and actor and has
won many awards
at his high school stage productions and in local community theaters. He
needed head shots for an
audition for the Boston Conservatory. I shot the pics and someone else
Photoshopping, but I hope they served him well for the audition. We are
still waiting to see if he’s been accepted, but I don’t think there will
be a problem. Here’s one of
the more sinister shots (he didn’t use this one for the audition, I just
On another day I had lunch with one of my personal mentors, Ralph
Annan. Many of you know Ralph because he wrote the old time radio plays we
performed at the art gallery when I was director there. At 80-something, he is
still going strong, writing plays for repertory theaters and still keeping his
paintbrush wet from time to time. Here he is at “our place” – the super Chinese
buffet in Port Richey:
I don’t have pictures of everyone I visited with and all the places I
went, as you can see, it was a great trip and I enjoyed every minute.
That said, there still wasn’t enough time to see everyone I
wanted to see. Next time around, I’ll host a 2-day party to save me from
running around, but you’ll have to bring your
own sleeping bag!
Photo for No Apparent Reason: