Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 Highlights

Our strange and wonderful year.



Craters of the Moon National Monument

San Antonio Missions
Rocky Mountain National Park
Hiking in the Pacific Northwest

My 2019 New Year's Resolution:
To continue traveling as much as possible
but embrace the "in-between"

Friday, December 21, 2018

Portland's Grotto at Christmas

Driving into Portland, Oregon to see the Christmas Lights is an annual event in our household.  This year we bought tickets for the choral festival at the Grotto, a Catholic shrine, located at 8840 NE Skidmore.  Such events kick off the holiday season with a joy that is nostalgic and memorable.

We allowed the spirit of Christmas to wash over us as we listened to a children's choir sing carols and then walked around the beautiful gardens, glowing with colorful strings of lights.  Instead of driving home, we booked a room at a nearby hotel and spent the next day shopping.  Gone are the bah hum-bug days of my working life in retail.  Christmas is once again my favorite time of year.

May it be yours, too.
Happy Holidays.

                                              Marea and Mimi  

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Zanzibar's East Coast

Once again we turned to our trusty Lonely Planet guidebook.  The authors raved about the beaches along the eastern side of the Michamvi Peninsula.  "The stuff of advertising posters," they wrote.So off we went for the final leg of our six-week odyssey in East Africa.  We booked a room at the Dongwe Ocean View Hotel, an all inclusive small resort, and spent four idyllic days on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach we've ever seen.

This ends my posts on what my travel buddy and I now call our "strange and wonderful trip" to Kenya and Tanzania.

So long, Africa.
Until we meet again.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Jozani National Park

Exploring Zanzibar

To spot the rare Red Colobus monkey was the sole reason my travel buddy and I booked a tour to Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park.  These adorable little creatures can only be found on the island of Zanzibar.  We were thrilled to see several of them up close while we hiked with a guide through the forest.

This is the only national park in Zanzibar and a very important one.  The small patch of mangrove trees still intact are very important for flood control.  A boardwalk wove its way through the grove of red, black and white mangroves.  Our guide talked about conservation and care of these trees with the passion of an activist.  He was deeply concerned about the future of the island; indeed, the entire world with climate change and its grave repercussions.  The entire island used to be covered with forest; now, this one small area is all that is left.

The tour also takes you through a forest of mahogany trees and a bed of lush verdant-green ferns.  We had come here to see the Red Colobus Monkeys, but we saw so much more.

Blue Monkey

Red Colobus Monkey