Day 8 of 14…

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Trip going well. Funny, I see little mention of Ukraine in the EU. The only person I’ve seen wearing the Ukrainian flag colors is me. Today in one of the churches there was a banner stating, “Pray for Ukraine,” which was a first.

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Maybe the Europeans are turning a blind eye to the situation???

Don’t get it.

Am enjoying the trip immensely. Touring Hitler’s Eagles Nest tomorrow. It was his hideaway.

Group is pleasant. Will write about the daily journey once able to download pictures.

Four of the folks in the group still have not received their bags. Since it’s difficult to find reasonable stores and clothing sizes one man paid $170. for a pair of jeans!!!!! It has become the tour joke. Hopefully, Delta will pay.

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Closing on that note. Early departure for Eagles Nest in the am…

Dietary Concerns of the Trip

NOTE: This entry contains personal and probably tmi, (too much information). Beware…

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For the last 3 months I have had intestinal problems. These problems have ranged from profuse to stuck, if you know what I mean. With a father who had a colostomy for 30 years prior to departing assumed it was cancer, and figured I have done my time, and am ready.

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Eventually I acquiesced and made an appointment at a big box gastric practice which is the only game in town. Took 6 weeks for the appointment but found the young physician pleasant. We mainly spoke of my then upcoming EU adventure, and I received some medical info to boot.

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The diagnosis: lactose intolerance, which happens in aging. Enzymes either shut down or stop, and avoidance of dairy is key. Dairy means butter, cheese, milk products, however, dairy is in just about everything from granola bars to processed frozen foods. My life has been altered forever, and while not cancer it is a concern requiring planning, and thought.

Crazy as it sounds I always enjoyed reading food labels, but now it is a necessity. Ordering food in a restaurant is a dilemma. The folks in the EU have been extremely helpful especially in Switzerland where everything is cheese. Restaurant staff seem to know even better than I what foods to order, and their culinary creativity in maneuvering this angst has been enlightening.

If only we could only act globally in this way.

Maybe we all should get lactose intolerance now as we’ll only get it eventually.

It would certainly change the world.

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Wonder if cows get lactose intolerance?

Don’t You Just Love A Tubby???

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At hotels throughout the EU only showers are available. Sitting on a bus several hours a day can cause havoc to anyone’s back, not to mention one who has been a nurse for almost 50 years, meaning ME. Having brought much epsom salts on this journey I was hopeful to use them.

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Tonight when the new room once again had a shower I took action. Placing the bathmat over the shower drain I flooded the shower floor, added epsom salts, and lay in this inch of warm water. American ingenuity at its best, and it worked.

My back thanks me.

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Verizon Welcome

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The last 2 days in Europe I have been receiving a welcome message from Verizon. It started with, “Welcome to Italy,” and continued on with, “Welcome to Switzerland.” I don’t want my cell phone company welcoming me.


The greeting explained I had three free days of service. Then reading between the lines I realized I would be paying for the remaining 12 days of this EU journey at $10 a day, incurring an additional $120. to my monthly bill.

It’s always about money.

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I don’t recall ever asking for this service but apparently it’s one of those options included in the 25 page contract you sign. After an hour I located a Verizon chat person. The lovely Miss Anne stopped the service, and assured it was over, however, the Welcome to.. messages persist.

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In tonight’s chat call I “conversed” with the lovely Miss Natalie. The service is now on demand, but the welcome messages will never stop. At least she was honest, and though I feel violated I realize Verizon’s attempts to make a buck outshines my PTSD.

What is next?

I don’t want to know.

Former First Lady: Foster Care Scholarships

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Melania Trump has recently begun to give scholarships to those who are aging out of foster care. Annually, twenty thousand children leave foster care, and currently 400,000, are in foster care. Sales from her NFTs* are sponsoring these scholarships.

Through the Biden Pandemic Act, foster youth aging out of the system have resources to access services to stay in school, job training programs, pay rent and other bills, and transition to adulthood. Nice to see work on both sides for foster children as children are the future.

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* NFTs for sale on this site

Three Parks Left..

Concluded my visit with these three parks..

  • Kanapaha Botanical Gardens
  • Devils Millhopper Geological State Park
  • Ichetucknee State Park

Let’s start with Kanapaha Botanical Gardens…

What a lovely visit. Enjoyed the labyrinth, and the many gardens. Price is reasonable, and there are places to sit, and enjoy the gardens allure.

Chess anyone? The Gardens also have a children’s playground.

Devils Millhopper Geological State Park

While interesting, there is little to see at this Park. For those into geology an outdoor museum explains the sinkhole. It is a National Natural Landmark, and according to the literature researchers have studied fossil shark teeth, marine shells, and fossilized remains found here. There is a picnic area, and nature walk at the park.

The Sinkhole

Ichetucknee State Park

Had heard of this park for several years but never visited. It is a must see! The Park is spring fed, and has areas where one can snorkel, scuba, or take a tubing trip down the river. For those squeamish be aware wildlife abounds. While in one of the waterholes a venomous snake was nearby, and in tubing down the river you may view an alligator on the nearby shore or otters. My photos are limited, however, on my next visit will be sure to bring my camera as the water is smooth, and pictures would be amazing.

Drivers with their equipment. Permission is required for scuba.
A feed to the waterhole.

If bringing children have life jackets as while the pond small the current is strong due to the open crater on the pond floor. There is a rope on the dock should it be needed for dragging someone to dock. I am a strong swimmer but found myself challenged returning to the dock. By circling the pond edge return to the dock is easier.

It is a once in a life time experience.

The light blue area is entrance to the crater.
Another swimming area. This is where the venomous snake was seen in the bushes.

There is a North and South entrance to the Park. Visit both – one will lead you to the tubing area and the other to the swimming holes described above. And as always….


Caveat: This concludes my blog for a bit as I am taking trips scheduled for 2019 and 2020. Will have much to report upon my return..

Butterflies and Music

Next to the Harn Art Museum on the grounds of the Gainesville College Campus, is the Natural History Museum with its Butterfly Rainforest. While the admission pricey, $14.50, it is worth the trip. Here are some photos. There are also places to sit in the Rainforest to relax and watch these gracious creatures.

And what better way to end the day but with music. Attended the University of Florida Concert Bands Spring Concert at University Auditorium. And it was free! What a delight. Am a fan of high brow music as I never can understand the words of songs and rap. The Auditorium was one of great beauty and hats off to the Conductors and musicians.

The Usual Suspects

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Funding for Ukraine was delayed yesterday by a senator from kentucky, no, not mitch, the other one, rand. Unsure why, but, find this logic beyond reason as the valiant Ukrainians are fighting this War for all.

Ever seen the WWII news reels? We sure don’t want a WWIII.

I digress… guess this senator needs a bit of the spotlight, as he’s been out of the media for a bit. Recall his insults of Anthony Fauci, and his trail of covid misinformation?

This decision will affect the people of Ukraine, and their valiant efforts.

This war could easily be on our shores.

Wish this was a Friday the 13th joke, but then rand paul is a joke.

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Who votes for these people?

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What are they thinking?

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Thanks for reading. Need to get this anger out.

Tomorrow, more of Gainesville, and leaving for EU a week from today.

old and young white republicans rats…

As I watch the news, and read about our country I become discouraged. Don’t you? There are so many issues not being addressed, and today we digressed with the inability to codify Roe vs. Wade. Next will be birth control purchase, and gay rights. It’s all on the maga supreme court agenda. However, would they ever outlaw vasectomy???? Ha! Ha!

joe manchin might as well become a republican. Biden told him to rewrite the American Rescue Plan so we could get this passed, he reneged. Biden poll numbers continue to fall, but with the cards dealt he’s moving mountains considering his lack of support. If we had orangeade in that seat we’d be fighting with the russians.

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Which brings me to mc connell, and while spell check tells me I spelled it wrong, and it should be capitalized, he deserves neither. He needs to go, and I refuse to capitalize anyone’s name who deserves no respect. If a republican has any ideas, or balls they are unable to go against the party. Upon republican arrival in DC they are required to sign on to anything the party endorses, or loose campaign money. Power is more important than ethics to these pack animals, and even more important than oath. Thus we have a blocked 50/50 senate.

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I often wonder what the grandchildren of these republicans think of their actions as it affects their world. Personally, it infuriates me as I believe we need to leave our kids a better place. However, not all think that. On a trip to of all places russia I met a Jewish “grandma” from Miami who voted for the orange guy, and when I asked about her grandchildren’s future she said,

“What do I care I’ll be dead.”

Grandma, in my eyes you already were.

And not bound for any place but hell.

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