Memorial Day remembrance from Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery, France

American Cemetery which overlooks Omaha Beach

American Cemetery which overlooks Omaha Beach

Last year we visited Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery in France coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing. We were humbled, thankful, teary eyed and deeply saddened all at the same time. I thought it only fitting to repost our visit to this historic site while we here in the USA are celebrating Memorial Day.

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

Memorial at Omaha Beach

Memorial at Omaha Beach

You can read that entire post by clicking here.

Gratitude Moment: How does one adequately give thanks to those who have sacrificed their lives to protect my freedom? After contemplating this question, I can only speak for myself, but here goes:

I will speak words of respect when referring to my country and about those who have served and are currently serving. Show by my actions that I want to keep this country free, strong, progressive, and an example of what is good and right in this world. Live the American Dream and prove that it is still alive and attainable. Get involved where change is needed.

USE MY VOTE!

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Posted in France, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Picture of the Day ~ Morača Monastery in Montenegro

12th century Morača Monastery in Montenegro

13th century Morača Monastery in Montenegro

One of the best known monuments in Montenegro is the medieval Morača Monastery. The name in Serbian is Манастир Морача. Located in the valley of the Morača River in Kolašin, central Montenegro it was founded by Stefan Vukanović in 1252.   Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Montenegro, Picture of the day | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Picture of the Day ~ Blarney Castle, Ireland

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

The first thing that usually comes to mind when ever Blarney Castle is mentioned is kissing the Blarney Stone to receive the gift of gab. But there is much more to see and do here in addition, such as exploring the castle, stroll through the gardens (don’t miss the poison garden), see the Dungeon, the Court and Badger’s Cave or check out the Wishing Steps and the Witch’s Kitchen.  Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Republic of Ireland | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Picture of the Day ~ Wat Pho Thailand

Wat Pho, Thailand

Wat Pho, Thailand

Located in Bangkok, Thailand, Wat Pho is home to one of many giant reclining Buddhas. It is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage.

“Adjacent to the building housing the Reclining Buddha is a small raised garden, the centrepiece being a bodhi tree which is believed to have been propagated from the original tree in India where Buddha sat while awaiting enlightenment.” ~ Wikipedia

Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful to be able to relive fond memories of previous trips through my vast collection of pictures.

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Posted in Asia, Photography, Picture of the day, Thailand | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Bowers Museum ~ Special exhibits are fleeting, don’t miss them.

Bowers Museum Entrance

Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, California ~ Entrance

“The Bowers Museum holds in its collection more than 120,000 works of art. These works were donated from 1935 to the present and represent many regions and cultures of the world. The museum’s largest collections are in the areas of Native American art, Pre-Columbian art, Asian art, art of the Pacific, art of Africa and Orange County history.” ~ Bowers.org

I felt like we only got a morsel of all the Bowers Museum had to offer. Arriving just one hour before they closed, we knew we would be rushed to try to cover everything, so decided instead to primarily concentrate on the special exhibits.

Just past the ticket desk is an entire room devoted to Qi Baishi, considered a Master, the Picasso of China, and widely regarded as the most well-known and influential Chinese modern artist. This is the first time this work had been exhibited outside of China and will be shown here until July 11th.   Continue reading

Posted in California, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Fullerton Arboretum ~ Color, Shape, Form and Texture

Taken at Fullerton Arboretum

Taken at Fullerton Arboretum

I saw some wonderful pictures a friend’s daughter had posted on her Facebook page a few weeks back that were taken at the Fullerton Arboretum. She was very enthusiastic about the 26 acre gardens, so when the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to get my camera out and do some random shooting.

It is located on the campus of California State Fullerton and open daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. There is a suggested donation of $5 per person which can be dropped into a box at the entrance.  Continue reading

Posted in California, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

To walk or not to walk?

The Camino de Santiago route

The Camino de Santiago route

Almost two years ago I posted about my desire to walk “The Camino de Santiago“, a 500 mile trek that starts at St-Jean-Pied-a-Port, France, continues across northern Spain and culminates at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

I had been following a wonderful blog written by Kim, at So-Many-Places.com as she hiked, and day-by-day shared pictures and the highs and lows of her journey. About the time she completed her “Camino”, a documentary movie was released, Walking the CaminoContinue reading

Posted in Europe, France, Spain | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Netherlands, Belgium and France!

My long-time dream is to see the lavender fields in bloom…

Lavender fields in bloom

Lavender fields in bloom (picture courtesy of google images)

I am hoping to make that happen this summer. We are now finalizing plans for our next big adventure and can’t wait!

The trip will begin with us flying from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, leaving on July 9th. We will have three nights there on our own to explore before joining our Gate 1 tour. This one is called 8 Day Classic Amsterdam, Bruges & Paris. You can click here to see the day-to-day itinerary if you are interested.

We are a huge fan of Gate 1, and have met some amazing people on their tours that we are privileged to stay in contact with today.  Continue reading

Posted in Belgium, Europe, France, The Netherlands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Kathmandu, Nepal ~ My heart goes out to you today

It was just a year ago that Tim and I visited Kathmandu. Today I am grieved to learn of a massive earthquake that has devastated the area. As of last count over 1400 have lost their lives and the count is expected to rise. It is being reported that much of the historic UNESCO site of Durban Square had been demolished.

I wrote a brief (for me) blog entry last year and at the time intended to go back through my many pictures and try to give more justice to this deserving destination. Click here to see my initial post and pictures.

I want to remember this area as we experienced it. I know that some of you have also visited Nepal and join me in prayers for the families who have lost so much. Priceless structures, religious icons, and historical sites are now destroyed and can not be replaced.

But mostly it is the people who I am heartbroken about and for. They were kind, warm and welcoming to us, eager to share their story, or simply sit beside you to spend time enjoying the day.

For those of you who have never had the opportunity to visit Kathmandu, I hope that my pictures below will give you a small look into some that has been lost to the world today.

Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Nepal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Picture of the day ~ Bangkok, Thailand ~ Mural in the Grand Palace

Painting with gold

Mural, Grand Palace

Mural, Grand Palace

Thailand has some of the most exquisite examples of Buddhist Fine Arts, and the cream of the crop can be found at Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in Bangkok. The mural wall painting found in The Grand Palace has 178 scenes which tell the story of Ramayana.

Gratitude Moment: Today we are celebrating our 23 wedding anniversary. How blessed we are to have found each other.

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Posted in Thailand | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments