working on 359pete pics of vacation to Great Britain and Ireland…….

Hello again,  for those of you that stop by every once in awhile to visit this site,

Sorry its been so long in between  postings but several things managed to get in the way……I hope to be back on the blogpress in a day or so…..So many things and places explored while gone and just the sheer amount of photos to look through was daunting. Flew into Paris …then onto England, Scotland and Ireland…….wow!! It was so much fun to take new and beautiful pics of different countries and sites along the way………great vacation!!!   See you soon, maybe tomorrow…

Happy Trails!!

MJ

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Always good to get back home ……..

 

Traveling and a new camera in my possession!

Just as I was getting ready for a marvelous trek to Great Britain and wondering what to take pictures of first to share on this blog, I realized that my camera was no longer really up to date! I went to get another scan disk for extra photos and could only get a 2 gig disk…….The new ones can take as many as 7 or 8 thousand pics!!! Wow! this is something I want to look into!!!!………..And could not get an extra battery for  next day use without getting one online and not from the corner store so I was introduced to this little gem Nikon and had to have it……

My new camera!!
My new camera!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for pics from the British Isles in the next few weeks….Since I retired, I now have some extra time to be Grama and still travel and not be at work…..keep on truck’n………

Happy Trails!!   MJ

At last, Springtime and time for a little crabbing on the Coast…..

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This particular morning , we had woken up to very cool , dark and cloudy outside views from our camper……should we get up?? ” I think we should get going here and make some coffee at least”, I said. The tide chart does not wait for us to get to the bay! Its on a tight schedule and I always back up my time when we get over to the coast and keep that in mind while there….By backing up my time , I mean, if high tide is at 11:00am, and we need to launch the boat, make sure all the instruments are working properly, get thru the no wake zone, move into the bay from the docks, check the weather out in the bay,  check for  any big rollers coming in, get to where we want to drop the traps in, load the traps, check for other peoples traps (don’t want to get line wrapped around the  prop)….then we have to be out on the water by 9:00am!……so Yes, we need to get going and at least get some coffee going!  Premium crabbing is the best around high tide and ebb tide.

 

just launched
just launched

 

 

 

 

 

 

I usually get chicken drum sticks for bait

crab bait
crab bait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we hit the right spot here
we hit the right spot here

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder if there will be any in this trap??....lol
I wonder if there will be any in this trap??….lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are busy for the next couple of hours but there is alot to see while out on the water…….

kayakers out in the early morning when its flat, they like to paddle around by the jetty's and sometimes they fish along here for rock fish or lingcod
kayakers out in the early morning when its flat, they like to paddle around by the jetty’s and sometimes they fish along here for rock fish or lingcod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lazy seals sunbathing for awhile
lazy seals sunbathing for awhile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my drumstick lov'n buddy's
my drumstick lov’n buddy’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

seagulls warming themselves on the piers....a delight to see!
seagulls warming themselves on the piers….a delight to see!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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a view of the bay that we are fishing in this time.....such a nice morning!!
a view of the bay that we are fishing in this time…..such a nice morning!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A tinsy, winsy baby crab....he need to grow up for later! In the meantime, overboard you go!!
A tinsy, winsy baby crab….he needs to grow up for later! In the meantime, overboard you go!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seals are everywhere here......can be a nusanse! 4 or 5 five toegether playing just now......
Seals are everywhere here……can be a nuisanse! 4 or 5 five toegether playing just now…… they grab salmon off your line and run….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to our camp site where an adult drink and a nice warm campfire sounds good
Back to our camp site where an adult drink and a nice warm campfire sounds good

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

night manuvers with the Coast Guard are always interesting to watch!
night manuvers with the Coast Guard are always interesting to watch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun times! Spring is always nice!!

Happy Trails!!

MJ

 

 

 

 

 

Winter go away for awhile………..

Fort Lauderdale Beach  with a light breeze and a good view......
Fort Lauderdale Beach with a light breeze and a good view……

 

 

 

 

 

Since its dark and dreary again today and I so want to go somewhere that is warm and inviting right now, here are some pics that will  make you feel like your on vacation……we were here a couple years ago at the Miami Boat Show basking in Florida sunshine around the first part of February…….

 

A seagull begging for fenchfries on the second story roof by our table.......
A seagull begging for fenchfries on the second story roof by our table…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A terrific day for a sail down by Miami.......
A terrific day for a sail down by Miami…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We toured some of the great fun places that we missed when our daughter lived in this area quite afew years ago…….This was in February and it just happened to be about 80 degrees out on this day……

 

A seaplane in the distance getting ready to land at the fort out south of Florida......
A seaplane in the distance getting ready to land at the fort out south of Florida……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The water was just so perfect while there……sure would be fun to jump in right now……..

Relaxing  on the sand and enjoying the day of doing nothing........Ahhhhh!
Relaxing on the sand and enjoying the day of doing nothing……..Ahhhhh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was about 70 miles south of the Florida Keys, on a ferry boat that took us and about 75 or more people out to Fort Jefferson to explore…….a little pricey but well worth it……

 

Fort Jefferson in the distance in the Dry Tortugas National Park about 70 miles from the Keys.....awesome!!!!
Fort Jefferson in the distance in the Dry Tortugas National Park about 70 miles from the Keys…..awesome!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A view from the Fort......warm and comfortable........
A view from the Fort……warm and comfortable……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful water view......
Beautiful water view……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the afternoon, we lounged on the beach and had lunch from the boat side lunch counter……..there are no cafe’s or anything except a gift shop out there……….One lady lives out on this island and takes care of the shop all week……nice……except if there is a storm or hurricane, then it can flood and if you are not off the island……….well, it would be bad…….when its nice weather though and most of the time it is, you can camp over night here and go home the next day with the boat that brings more tourists out…..they leave at 2pm……2 hours to get there and 2 hours to get back but a lovely boat and excellent food (breakfast and lunch)………

 

 

Super fast ferry boat to Fort Jefferson
Super fast ferry boat to Fort Jefferson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter go away!!!!!!!!

 

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This says it all!!
This says it all!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now thats better, soon it will be spring………….I just have to wait for it…………..

Happy Trails!! MJ

 

 

Target shooting for fun!!

My son coaching me on shooting this 45 caliber hand gun. Target is ahead on a rise in front of us.......
My son coaching me on shooting this 45 caliber hand gun. Target is ahead on a rise in front of us…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After all the xmas cheer, food, games, we all decided to catch alittle  shoot’n time out in the mountains of the Northwest…..We have only about 1/2 hour to some fantastic places that can be gotten to with just a little luck, that  being the gate open…….this gate is the same one that was closed when we wanted to go mushroom hunting the later part of Sept and Oct when it was still fire season…….No can do,……..luckily it was over a short time after we tried the first time and still open when we tried to get past on Friday…….there were 8 of us willing to get going by late in the morning and found some extra shells at the local gun store to take with us. We planned on us not having to hurry and taking our time shooting what we wanted but some of our group had other relatives that they were going to meet around 4pm so that gave us a little bit of a time frame to adhere to …..but we had plenty of time so that didn’t hinder us at all……..

We started out with some light fog in town and as we started up the mountain, it got thicker……a few miles up the road, all up hill, thicker yet but as we approached the summit, partly cloudy skies with blue parts showing through could be seen to the south……..we were looking for a quarry that would give us plenty of room and no chance of anyone else around……..but to our left, there was a clear cut with a small trail in and a turn around at the end of it …….perfect! Also north facing hills looking right at us, most of the trees had been cut some years ago and it hadn’t been replanted yet…….we could put targets up on the old stumps and shoot for a bunch of hours………..no fog here and it was about noon…..Surely it would only get better!………….We had two teenagers that couldn’t wait to get their hands on these guns so they went first……

targets set up, ready to go.......
targets set up, ready to go…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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But pretty soon, the fog started to set in, little by little……….

more targets.......
more targets…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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shadows for trees
shadows for trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

some had gotten new guns for Christmas so a perfect time to try them out……..

I brought my 308 deer rifle for some practice…..

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BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM………………………………………….They are fun to shoot!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Target is on huge stump up ahead…………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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our postage sized target just below this lonely leftbehind douglas fir, for our handgun fun..........
our postage stamp sized target just below this lonely leftbehind douglas fir, for our handgun fun……….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it was starting to mist heavily so we decided it was time to get going………we satisfied our need to shoot for awhile, so we picked up all our casings and blown up targets and paper and started our way back down the mountain……good times

empty casings and targets
empty casings and targets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Trails!!  MJ

 

 

 

Christmas Eve- 2014

6am:

It’s still dark out and I was just thinking about what Christmas Eve  was like when I was a kid……I looked in all the catalogs for weeks to try and figure out what I wanted the most…….In the sixties we didn’t have big department stores around, at least not where I came from (a town of 500) and it was cold cold winter out (Midwest) sometimes below zero so the windows were usually frosted over thick with white frost (only single pane windows then). I would scratch through the frost and put my fingers on the glass so it would melt there to look through and check to see what was going on uptown (we only lived 1 block from Main St.). All white out from fresh snow and the big elm trees with no leaves and only the black bark showing, waving in the wind with drifted snow rising up in all around and blowing to the Southwest. Maybe a county snow plow making it’s way down Main St. and a few cars with white vapors coming out the tailpipe, trialing in the wind but that was all………our tree was up in the living room and under it was a bunch of presents……I had shaken any of them with my name on it a dozen times…….ummmmmm……….what the heck it that??? I would think. Then finally after sunset, maybe around 6:30pm or so , my dad would say “I think I heard something in the back bedroom” so I would go see and check out those frosted windows back there……In the meantime, of course , now I know that while I was in the bedroom , Santa had come from the front door, with a loud smack,  and brought presents, then gone in a flash……my parents asking me if I had seen him in the sleigh from the bedroom……”No, I missed him again!!!!” Dang!!….Now it didn’t matter…..it was time open those presents!! We tore off that paper and threw it aside as fast as we could to see all the new stuff that we could play with……..Finally it was Christmas Eve!!!!!

Everyone have a Merry Christmas and look back on all those wonderful times…..Love it!!!

Happy Trails!!  MJ

Colonial Williamsburg, Va. just before Christmas—-2014

During our last few days in the Williamsburg area staying with our daughter and family, we all decided to walk down this slightly paved and cobblestone uneven street called Duke of Gloucester St (main st.) . and look at all the beautiful old architecture along a 5-7 block area. This day had no rain like the day before so maybe there would be some sunshine somewhere along the way. It was getting late in the morning and we knew where to get a little lunch and a homemade beer from the local brewery (Alwerks) that has some of their brews (since I am a homebrewer myself, I am always interested in the styles and different tastes that other regions of the country serve) at the fine tavern on the corner call the The Dog Street Pub (Dog meaning =Duke of Gloucester) so we made our way in and filled up on expensive grub and ale, after all we were in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg and around that time, these taverns were where George Washington and the boys did business and played hard……

Store owners conjuring up sales downtown.....
Store owners conjuring up sales downtown…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

After that , a much needed walk was in order so off we went  to see more of the realistic  town and how it must have been in those times…….

Many homes with large front yards and plenty of room for horses and carriages
Many homes with large front yards and plenty of room for horses and carriages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple tidying up their garden for the winter that would be coming along any day now, even a nice woodburning fireplace that needed some more wood felt good to standby for a few minutes…….

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fall in their garden patch
fall in their garden patch

 

 

 

 

 

 

A still warm fireplace to warn up by......
A still warm fireplace to warn up by……

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Much history was founded right here in Williamsburg and along the James River as the English settlers arrived in Jamestown, along the James River (the original capitol of Va.)  in 1607…..Colonial leaders petitioned for the capitol of Va. to be moved about 5-10 miles to higher ground at Middle Plantation which was then renamed Williamsburg , in 1699, in honor of Englands King William III who was reigning at the time…..

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Also as Williamsburg began to grow, The College of William and Mary (1693)  flourished educating some of our past Presidents, such as Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler…..The Continental Army was formed and assembled by George Washington in Williamsburg in 1781 as nearby Yorktown would be under siege soon and there they would win American Independence!!  Yae!!!  the capitol of Va. was there until 1780, when it was moved once more up the James River, to Richmond , where it is today……

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Now , Williamsburg is more of a quiet, sometimes sleepy town with many college students and gobs of tourists that come when there is a celebration, to ponder what it was really like, day to day in those times of early independence , to fight for the freedom that we all have today and win with thousands of lives lost and run a government that would eventually be the ultimate nation in the  world that gives every citizen their right to be exactly who they want to be, every day, every year………WHAT A COUNTRY!!

books to educate anyone that wants to learn about the  beginnings of the USA
books to educate anyone that wants to learn about the beginnings of the USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our last Sunday there was a celebration in the evening called The Illumination…….It is a special night set aside to light up the Christmas Tree on main street (Duke of Gloucester St.) with a parade and of course, the Drum and Fife Corp. A little history about them is that while drilling,  they were trained to give preparatory signals  for precise movements while marching etc, also  hours and alarms. There were about 2 fifes and 2 drummers  assigned to about 100 men or so. They also had the job of signaling  when to get up, when to go to bed, when to eat etc. Most were between 10 to 18 years of age.

Fife and Drum Corp on stage at the Illumination...
Fife and Drum Corp on stage at the Illumination…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lastly on this evening, grand fireworks in three places along the route of main st. You could turn around and see it over there or over there, awesome!

oooh! awwwww!
oooh! awwwww!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Extra pics of some of the interesting  sites around this area

I think this was the governors mansion
I think this was the governors mansion

 

 

 

 

 

 

An intown pasture for some of the horses used to pull the carriges
An intown pasture for some of the horses used to pull the carriges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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a carriage delivering a patron
a carriage delivering a patron

 

 

 

 

 

 

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one of the taverns George and colleagues stopped at after work......lol
one of the taverns George and colleagues stopped at after work when they were in town……lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

working long hours every day
working long hours every day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello there!
Hello there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another hangout for Thomas Jefferson
Another hangout for Thomas Jefferson and other friends if important facts came to the forefront

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visitors to Colonial Wiliamsburg really like to take a quick ride in one of these stately carriages.....
Visitors to Colonial Williamsburg really like to take a quick ride in one of these stately carriages…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a fantastic vacation and look forward to doing it again. Williamsburg was definitely a great place for history and  fun!

Happy Trails and Merry Christmas to all !!  MJ

 

 

 

Christmas at Busch Gardens with family

While on vacation to the East Coast, our daughter suggested that all of us go to Busch Gardens for all the beautiful Christmas lights and festive  atmosphere………about 12 of us quickly said yes! and while it took some time to get the tickets lined up, evening soon fell on the park and the lights shown from far away as we all parked and climbed out of our vehicles to start our way into the world of colored landscapes and Santa dancing all around in and out of the fast rides that were open, but not all,that we could get into and felt  like a kid once more

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…….I said” I can’t go on anything that goes around fast” but when I got to them, I realized that the Tilt-A-Whirl ride I’d riden years ago was still  one of the funest rides I’d remembered and hopped on anyway! My two little grandkids were having the time of their lives and so was I …..I liked it still!!!!!! Next , we went on the Tea Cups and another ride that was like an

The Alps ride, very fun!
The Alps ride, very fun!

Alps ride going up and down and around, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! And the  best part, I didn’t get sick, haha……….

 

HOHOHO!!!!!!MERRY CHRISTMAS!
HOHOHO!!!!!!MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

Some of us had split up as teenagers wanted to do” other ” things rather than what some of the little kids wanted so a little later we all met up inside the large Busch Gardens building for some food and drink……In this building , there were some production shows that lasted about 15 minutes each,  sharing Christmas themes with loud music that added to the Christmas theme around the park. Many wooden picnic tables and sliding benches, maybe a 100 were in this huge building  that was in out of the weather (chilly 40 degrees or so outside ) and people could walk up to the cubicle dinner areas and order food and beer, then sit back down and watch the entertainment for awhile and warm up……that was perfect with little ones and then we were ready for more lights and fun………

 

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Of course, a beautiful reminder of why we celebrate this important Season in the first place………….

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All in all , it was a perfect evening for all of us to get together and ride the rides, look at the lights , handle the beautiful wooden soldiers in the gift stores and  remember how fun this night was and being with the ones we love over this Christmas Season…………

 

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Happy Trails!!  MJ

 

Early Morning Walk

This morning after breakfast, I popped out the back door like most mornings that are not completely windy and pouring rain….if so,then I don’t go …….I don’t mind just the dribbling or a light mist or even straight down shower and not windy but if it’s windy AND rainy, I consider it a skip it , day…..Since fall is finally here and we usually don’t  have severe weather this soon,  I took my phone along just in case I see something worthy to share with everyone that checks in on this site……50″s out and a cool breeze in my face is superb for a half hour fast walk. The trees are discarding their leaves for the year and it’s a reminder of our wet weather ahead…….I don’t really mind though because coming from the Midwest and being raised there, it seems mighty mild compared……..We usually have about 2 weeks of below freezing  temps in Jan. but that’s mostly it, so if we want to go somewhere for a month or so , no problem with leaving the house .

I had the whole walking trail to myself today and since it’s only a few blocks from home , I like to figure out what my day will consist of by doing this almost everyday……. 789 791 792 793 794 795 796 797 798 799 800 801 802 803

 

Happy Trails!!