Is golf for me?

Photo by tyler hendy on

I live on a golf course so why am I asking this question. I am surrounded by noises of carts and individuals grunting and raving about their putt. So, after 2 years of this I finally decided to visit the golf house or whatever it’s called.

Since trepidation was in my veins I brought Biscuit with me for protection. We were greeted by a charming woman who worked one day a week and while her information was limited she eagerly gave what she knew.

Leaving the clubhouse, ah yes that is what it is called, I held the information on the women’s league in my hand. Time will tell as I add up the costs of clubs, balls, perhaps shoes, lessons and fees. These costs verses a trip to Switzerland? Which money is better spent?

As Biscuit and I continued our stroll we past my condo on the way to his home. In front of my condo was a golf ball in an unlikely spot. Was this a sign? Switzerland verses golf is a hard choice. Perhaps they golf in Switzerland?

Thursday Art Group: Cuba Closing???

Several times a month on Thursday I attend an art group. The four gals of the group are talented and since I do not possess that gene I watch, happy to be in their presence. The conversation is insightful and lively. Our leader has cruised extensively and I receive many travel tips from this gal.

Today I learn that regulations on visits to Cuba from the US are changing. I listen closely as Cuba was and is on my bucket list for travel. While on the Jordan trip many had been to Cuba, however, they were residents of Canada or the UK. When I arrived home from Jordan I reviewed the travel agencies they used and found them to be too “active” for me. While I long to see more than Havana, mountain biking in home stays is not the accommodations I seek. I also believe time is of the essence before the doors are closed.

Returning from art group I scanned sites as I had some time free in April. I found a 4 day cruise on a bargain site using a reputable cruise line. I depart in 3 days. Need to pack my bags! Cuba, here I come…

Photo by Leonie Fahjen on

Dud Storms

I have always loved storms. They are exciting, fun to watch and if they aren’t hurricane, tornado, blizzard or sunami level, a necessity to Mother Earth.

Today in Florida a downpour was predicted and the forecasters certainly got it wrong. I ran out and purchased all sorts of bulbs and plantings for my garden pre-storm. We had a spattering of rain and one crash of thunder. I was disappointed. If only the sun didn’t shine so much in Florida. Need to stop writing and tend to the garden. Tomorrow rain is predicted..

The Power of a Wave

All my life I have been a fan of the Royals. What I particularly find mesmerizing about them is their wave. For the past 5 years I have incorporated their wave into my repetoire as I cross streets throughout the US, Europe, Asia and even Africa.

This idea happened quite by accident. One day when crossing a street I thought I knew the individual in the car. I waved and though I didn’t know him he looked up. That momentary lapse gave me the extra seconds to cross the street without being hit.

Give it a try the next time you need those additional seconds. It works.

Buying A Suitcase

My two companions on the road

Recently I decided I needed to buy a new suitcase. I have two however a larger size was required. While I abhor paying baggage fees the time had come. Cramming things into a suitcase is no fun and especially disconcerting when trip purchases are crammed. We want those treasures to return home safely.

My two current suitcases arrived after a year of incidents with suitcases damaged beyond repair. If your suitcase must die pray it does so in China. They have a wonderful system where upon visiting customer service the damaged bag is viewed then the rep goes in a back room and returns with a new one. This saves time and energy. When the other incidents occurred it involved trying to find a new bag on the journey then writing the airlines once home with receipts etc.. post in airport claim.

While at JFK the other day I saw a flowered pink bag which no one would grab in error off the conveyor belt. Since I talk with everyone I approached the gal and she told me it was a Ross purchase. Now why didn’t I know that? For the past three weeks I had been researching suitcases evaluating their construction, inner linings, handles and of course the most important part – the wheels.

In my research I realized the best wheels for a case are round however found none made in this fashion. While this pink beauty did not have round wheels I thought I’d investigate again. Today at Ross my dream came true with one thing missing. See if you can guess..

Meet BCBW Black Case Blue Wheels

Next I’ll have to spruce her up with a dash of color. Red initials? That bag diva would never be mistaken. Will keep you posted. 🙂

Walking Biscuit


Recently my neighbor was feeling under the weather so I volunteered to walk her dog. Biscuit is a 10 pound male pekingese who I have known for 2 years. He has always been a friendly host on my visits with his mom however things changed when I attempted to attach the leash. Biscuit sat on his laurels and refused to allow the leash to be connected. My neighbor laughed and said this was typical behavior even when other family members walk him. Eventually he acquiesced and we began.

Once out the door this behavoir continued for another five minutes. As I dragged this precious animal along I became concerned that someone would be contacting the humane society. Then as if by luck or chance the game changed and Biscuit became his own man happily trotting and taking command of “the walk.”

On the way

After numerous stops along the way smelling random items and selectively choosing which to christen our time together came to a close. Hearing his mom’s voice Biscuit picked up his pace and quickly ran in the open door of his home. He eagerly allowed me to remove the leash, took a lap from his water bowl, and hopped on his couch sheepskin. As I watched him close his eyes I wondered if he was dreaming of his walk.

Reflecting on the walk

Easter Parade

The Star of the Show

Each year St. Augustine has an Easter Parade and for the last 3 years I have been lucky enough to attend. It is the highpoint of my Easter aside from church and every year it gets better.

Since St. Augustine has a Spanish history of over 450 years the parade begins with a tribute to its founders.

Spanish Ancestry
Fun Royalty
And a little Spanish bravado

And then the Parade moved on to..

Military Processions
Animal Characters
Music festival floats
And of course mermaids dropped by from the ocean to visit.

But perhaps the best addition to this years event was the old cars.

An early station wagon
Two Classy Numbers
Some more beauties

Then came the fast cars..

And the Jeeps..

Happy belated Easter greetings to all and if you are in St Augustine at Easter please come to the Parade. It’s the Saturday before the big day at 9 and runs from Kings Street through downtown.

Dedicated to our former Mayor Nancy. Hope to see you at next years Parade.

Chrism Mass

Main Altar

While I publish this blog on April 23rd it is the Wednesday of Holy Week in the Catholic Church as I sit in the extraordinary Cathedral of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, Florida. This 450 year old church is perhaps the oldest in America and filled with tradition.

Needing a boost in faith I sought out a mass to attend. While I am a believer and follower I have never been to a Chrism Mass in my 62 years as a Catholic. Chrism is the oil used during the sacraments of the church for the anointing of believers during baptismal and confirmation rites. Each year the bishop blesses this oil to be used for the year at this mass.

Also at this mass the priests of the diocese renewed their vows. The basilica church is filled to capacity with priests, deacons, altar servers and the congregation. I always feel such strength and the presence of God when a church is filled with believers as it is today.

The mass is two hours long and as I observe those women around me I note one woman wearing a lace mantilla. Growing up Catholic I watched the demise of hats by women of the church. As a child I recall during the Easter season there was a mad dash to locate this millinery to keep our head covered during services. Then by 10 years of age hats were replaced by lace mantillas which by my teen years became replaced by a small circle of lace quietly placed on the top of the head. Shortly thereafter this item disappeared to no fanfare. We still believed the same minus this headgear.

As I recently returned from the Middle East I think of the Hijab the women of the Muslim religion don. While I don’t understand the entire concept I see the world changing quickly and wonder of this millinery’s duration. Perhaps that too will see the same fate? Does millinery such as this unify or ostracize? Does it make us any more holy? And if I have offended anyone please accept my sincere apologies.

However, this is something to consider…

Departure Time

I departed from my Jordan hotel room at 12:30 am to wait for a 1:30 hotel to airport pick up. The night was cool and balmy as I waited for my chariot and the English speaking security guard befriended me. Time went quickly and was filled with laughter as he professed a mini-course on Jordanian life.

Gazing at my watch I noted it was 1:33 and with no chariot in site my new friend made strategic calls and a car appeared at 1:45. This came with the added bonus of the hotel management paying for this. Apparently, they were connected to the tour company.

The drive to the airport was swift with a non-English speaking driver playing somber Jordanian tunes on the radio. Upon arrival I popped out of the car quickly, pulled my bag from the trunk, shut the trunk and waved thank you to the driver still in the car.

With time of the essence I noted an additional pre-check at the Queen’s Airport in Jordan. My bag failed this x-ray check due to rocks I had procured from various Jordanian fields, however, after much ado I was allowed to keep them.

Off to the ticket counter where I received my tickets and left my bag. Then on to Duty Free where I met friendly staff who helped me use my dinars in combination with USD for purchase. These folks even smiled at this hour. What champs!

At 4:30 am the plane departed and I was off to Cairo Airport for a four hour layover till next flight. I sought out the Cairo Airport Food Village and set my alarm clock to within 2 hours of flight and attempted to snooze. After this I went to the gate and met friendly Americans eager to discuss their trips. It was here I discovered I had a middle seat for the 12 hour flight. This is a no can do for an older gal with a teensy bladder. A very gracious Egypt Air staffer changed the ticket and found me a seat on the aisle, back of plane near the loo. Prayers answered..

The long ride to JFK was quiet. There were no screaming babies and I was grateful. Egypt Air has an easy to manage video system and Johnny English Strikes Again was a hoot. Rowan Atkinson at his finest. How do they think of such slapstick?? Food was basic but had taste and the attendants pleasant so the 12 hours went by slowly, but by.

Arriving in JFK was another 4 hour wait with 45 minutes or so on the tarmac since fog was present and planes backed up. The Delta staff was accommodating and gave frequent updates speaking slowly enough for this old gal in her 28th hour of commute to understand.

We touched down in Orlando after midnight. Bags arrived quickly and the parking company van was at the appropriate site for passenger pick-up. At the parking lot the car ignition worked and by 3:30 am I was at my abode. If only I could say this was a 4 hour commute.

However, as I gaze at my Jordan rocks the images of this beautiful, history filled country persist. Visit Jordan it’s a trip you will always remember fondly…

Jordan rocks in my garden.

Day 6: Amman Free Time

This was our last day of the tour. My plans fell through so trip companions dragged me to Rainbow Street. Arriving early I knocked on a recommended tshirt shop door and they let us in to browse.

Phenomenal t-shirt shop

I worked with the employee and now have a tshirt with my logo. I also bought a sweatshirt.


Since my companions were under time constraints we also found other shops which helped complete our retail needs.

Great Shop no pressure

Departing from my tour mates I found the corner where I needed to turn for my Haman Treatment.

Way to the Al Pasha Turkish Bath

For 25 dinar they wash, scrub and massage you. What an amazing experience and don’t forget to tip. Box in the changing room. Takes one to two hours and thanks trip mate Cindy from Malta for the info.

Did I say it’s around the corner from Jordan Valley gift shop? Well, it is.

Next stop was an Uber to the Royal Automobile Museum. As a carophil, if there is such a word, I am one. I spent 3 hours here enjoying and drinking in history. Behind almost each car was video of the King using the vehicle.

Here is a bullet proof Cadillac given to the King by President Eisenhower.

Bullet Proof

And for those millennials here is the first BMW.


During the visit movies were also shown. I caught one that the actual King made promoting his country. He is amazing and quite a dare devil.

There is also a Children’s Museum in this complex, however due to time constraints I was unable to visit. I am told this is another valuable experience.

So, go to Jordan and visit the sites. You’ll return impressed with much to talk about.