Friday, January 29, 2010

Today's Vacation

Blimp that followed us around all day

WHEN? Friday · January 29

WHERE? Mobile & Baldwin Counties · Alabama

After this morning's VA appointment in Mobile, we paid a second visit to The Museum of Mobile to take a few pictures we missed on our first visit. We've combined the photos from both visits, and there's even a couple of short videos:

The Museum of Mobile - 2 visits
on flickr

While in Mobile, it was interesting to see how SO PREPARED Mobile is for their many Mardi Gras Parades. Mobile had the first 2010 Mardi Gras parade on January 16, the day we left on the Caribbean cruise, another one on January 23, and another will be held tonight. Thirty-seven more are scheduled before the parades are over for 2010.

We also took the opportunity to swing by the USS Alabama Battleship and get our photos at the anchor, which is a family tradition going way back. It was not a good day for pictures, but we took a few anyway, which you can see on Flickr at Battleship USS Alabama.

Market by the Bay
Market by the Bay · Photo credit Traveling Shoes

We had an early lunch at Market by the Bay in Fairhope (365 South Greeno Road, 251/929-7203), which has quickly become one of our favorite restaurants in this town. Although they don't appear to have a website, word-of-mouth has evidently worked for them. We both think they have the biggest fried shrimp and oysters we've ever eaten in any restaurant. That just may be why they always seem to have plenty of customers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Filipino Inmates Learn Dance

WHEN? Tuesday · January 26

WHERE? The Philippines in Southeast Asia

Here's the first thing we saw this morning on Yahoo:

Michael Jackson's Choreographer Teaches
Dancing Filipino Prisoners 'This Is It' Routine

This reminded us that we did not share with you some of the good activities we enjoyed on the Carnival Fantasy Fun Ship on our recent cruise. One of the things we never miss on these cruises are their evening shows in the main theater. They have a group of performers that are very entertaining. Our favorite shows were nonstop dancing and singing. The last one was a tribute to The Beatles. These were young people. They had to be to perform the way they did. About the time we thought they would surely slow the pace because of exhaustion, they'd crank it up again.

Let me put up a disclaimer for the other vacationer associated with this travel blog. This probably would not interest him in the least. He may not have a box in his brain to even cover this subject. However, he does enjoy shows like the ones we saw on the Fantasy. We are moving into our Netflix mood again now that some of the TV sports we watch are about to wind down for awhile. We need some recommendations for music and documentary videos to watch. If you've seen any really good movies, those would interest us as well. Forget the action movies, we're interested in stuff like Forrest Gump and Driving Miss Daisy.

Here's those videos that came with the Yahoo article:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Back from the Caribbean Cruise

Carnival FantasyCelebrating our 51st wedding anniversary — no tea party for us! We liked cruising with our new Alabama friends so much last year, we decided to do it again.

We were on the Carnival Fantasy cruise ship when it departed from Mobile on January 16, but it did not leave at 4 P.M. as scheduled. I think it actually started moving out of Mobile Bay something like 9 P.M. Fog was the problem and other bad weather. Some people reported they saw the Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan area way after midnight. By the time we all got on the ship, we were all so exhausted from endless waiting, very little enjoyment was part of Saturday. But things improved considerably on Sunday.

The original itinerary of this cruise was altered so that both Sunday and Monday were fun days at sea and the port of call of Progreso, was eliminated altogether. We did go ashore in Cozumel, Mexico on Tuesday. Wednesday was another fun day at sea, and we arrived in Mobile on Thursday later than expected — arriving back in Magnolia Springs about mid-afternoon.

We have posted 248 photos and a video of the cruise at Western Caribbean Cruise 2010 on Webshots. If anyone objects to their photo being there, just let me know and it will be promptly removed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In Cozumel

We are in Cozumel today.

Thanks to Adam on Flickr, we have this beautiful photo of the Carnival Fantasy in Cozumel. As soon as I can get to it, we'll put up some photos of the cruise. I am leaning toward "raw" photos without any improvements on them with edit by Adobe Photoshop because so many photos have already been taken. I plan to put them up by days on my Flickr at 2010 Western Caribbean Cruise.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Puerto Progreso, Yucatán

This looks like the four-mile-long pier at Progreso. This port of call was eliminated from the cruise because of bad weather, so we did not get to see the pier or any of Progreso.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Slideshow 'Anna Kostenko Painting+1'

WHEN? Probably never except by armchair

WHERE? Possibly France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Spain, etc...

An email correspondent sent me a powerpoint slide show attached to an email. The email claimed the images were paintings instead of photographs. I have serious doubts about the images being paintings instead of photographs. In spite of this, I feel there is the opportunity to see some beautiful images. The second slide describes the artist thusly:

Anna Kostenko was born in 1975 in Kiev, Ukraine, and lived and worked in Kraków (aka Cracow), Poland since 1991. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, where she studied painting from 1993 to 1998. She has had three exhibitions of works of art in Jorgensen and created many beautiful paintings since its release in 1999. Her fascination with different cultures has led to extensive travels that inspired her work, which has been shown in many countries, including Poland, France, Germany, Ireland and Spain.
I invite you to look at this slide show as armchair travel even though I am convinced it is a hoax of sorts. You might even try to guess what the images depict and make up your own mind on whether the artist described could have possibly created this many paintings in her short life of 35 years. I think someone is really having fun with us on this one as in LOL!

Anna-kostenko_Painting 1

See more presentations by vfreire

Apparently there is an Anna Kostenko who is an artist and painted a painting found at Anna Kostenko Artist - Anna Kostenko Paintings.

Friday, January 1, 2010


(see animated version of above photo)

Another fresh new year is here ...
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!

William Arthur Ward