Posts tagged ‘Willa Reynolds’

A Furry Friendly Family

A beautiful Newfoundland

As you may know, I have always been a lover of animals.  From the time I was a small child I had a connection to all animals so it is logical that in my retirement I would end up being a Pet Nanny, loving and caring for these precious furry companions. 

What you may not know is when I was a young girl living in the small town of Wenatchee WA, some neighbors of mine had several Newfoundland’s who needed to be exercised several times a week, so my sisters and I took on the job.  We were to take the big dogs out to the large orchard behind their house, walk them around and bring them back home. Now I have to admit I did more cuddling on these big gentle giants than walking around, but I loved the time I spent with them.  Gwyneth and Bruce Mitchell were the neighbors, and in 1967 they donated their home and land and founded the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society, fulfilling their dream of giving hope and homes to homeless animals in the Wenatchee Valley.

The story and connection continue with my family and this Humane Society.  I love the fact that my family shares my love of animals and have committed their lives to them.

The Mitchell home was converted into a thrift shop and my Aunt Fern volunteered there for many years, supporting and helping to fund the Humane Society.

My son Ben Baker became involved in working at the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society when he was in high school. Always an animal lover, this was the perfect fit to further his love and understanding of them. Over the years he has rescued several dogs in need, giving each of them a loving home.

One of the many poems my son Ben Baker has written

Ben Baker with his constant sidekick Angus

Little did Ben know that his son Christian would find his way to the same Humane Society many years later to achieve his passion as an Animal Control Officer.

Christian Baker heading out on a call

My grandson Christian Baker is a Wenatchee Valley Animal Control Officer serving the animals and residents of Chelan and Douglas counties.  Its mission is to help protect the safety and well-being of the citizens and animals of its jurisdictions through compassion, education and law enforcement.  There is no one better qualified for the job than Christian.  He has always been a sensitive, compassionate person towards people as well as animals which has made this occupation perfect for him.

Christian has shared a few stories with me.  Some heartwarming, some sad.  But all showing his compassion for this very important journey he has undertaken in his life.

Jordyn Baker with her horse Ahsoka

Christians wife Jordyn is also an animal lover who enjoys her horse Ahsoka whom she has broken herself! 

Jordyn also finds time to do some pet sitting in her spare time and of course Hilly, her close companion and sweet little partner in crime is always by her side.

Jordyn Baker and Hilly

My daughter Heather Kalinowski has always loved animals since she was a little girl. She wanted to be a veterinarian but when she shadowed a veterinarian in high school she almost fainted from the blood and realized, to her great disappointment, that veterinary medicine was not in her future.

Ava welcoming Heathers son LJ into the family
Little Ava with my daughter Heather

Over the following 15 years, while focusing on a career in journalism, she volunteered her time fostering and caring for dogs. She fell in love with the Italian Greyhound and spent years dedicated to fostering and finding forever homes for this very special breed.

In 2010 she joined a pet insurance company as a blog writer and found that the company was not just focused on ensuring pet owners could afford the very best care for their pets, but it was also a company dedicated to pet health and veterinary wellness. She stayed with the company for over ten years, even managing the non-profit organization the company’s Chief Veterinary Officer founded, MightyVet.

MightyVet is dedicated to supporting veterinarians and veterinary staff members in their career and personal well-being. Did you know that veterinarians are among the most likely professionals to commit suicide? You would be surprised at how stressful their job is, dealing with pet owners who may not have the money to afford the very best treatment for their pets. They get yelled at daily, are under tremendous financial strain with school loans, work around the clock, and don’t make much money (relative to other professions). MightyVet aims to help reduce the suicide rate among veterinary professionals by ensuring they are aware of and prepared for the challenges they face in practice.

My daughter Heather Kalinowski with her family and two latest rescues Molly and Lucy

Recently, Heather left her job and is pursuing other opportunities. I just found out she is planning to go back to school to pursue a zoology degree and will be celebrating her upcoming 40th birthday with a trip to South Africa to volunteer with an organization that supports the conservation of African wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and zebras.

Me with my newest little fella I’ve been looking after, 7 month old Louis.

And me? Well after 14 years, I’m still pet sitting and loving every minute of it!

April 17, 2021 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

7 Tips For Caring For Your Pet This Winter

By John Gilpatrick 

When temperatures drop and snow starts to coat the ground outside, it’s important to adjust your pet’s daily routine so you can keep him happy, safe and comfortable until the buds of spring begin to bloom. Caring for your pet in the winter is a multi-pronged effort that will require some thought and preparation. Here are seven things you can do to make this your pet’s best winter ever.

1. Take Care of Your Dog’s Paws

A dog’s legs, tail and ears are most susceptible to frostbite, says Dr. Rebecca Ruch-Gallie, service chief for the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s community practice. While there’s not much you can do for the tail and ears—besides keeping your walks short or walking during daylight hours—dog boots will provide some welcome warmth to your dog’s paws. Dog booties can also protect your dog from harmful chemicals like deicers. While some ice melts are clearly marked as safe for pets, many others are not. If your dog licks his paws after walking on deicer, he may be at risk of getting sick. For dogs who refuse to wear booties, you can use a towel to wipe their paws after a walk, Dr. Ruch-Gallie says. If you notice your dog stepped in salt, rinse the area as soon as possible.

2. Adjust Daily Calories for Changes in Activity

A dog’s diet is precisely calibrated to give him all the vitamins, minerals, and calories he needs to thrive. But when a dog’s activity level changes drastically, as it can in the winter, adjustments need to be made to ensure adequate nutrition. Dr. Ruch-Gallie says this can happen in both directions. “My dog loves the snow. She’ll go out five or six times a day when it snows to play. On those days, she may need more calories because of the increase in exercise,” she says. “Other dogs don’t like to go out at all—even for potty breaks. Because they’re less active, they should consume fewer calories.” If you’re unsure what’s best for your dog and his activity level, consult with your vet to come up with a plan.

Andiker Dog Puzzle Feeder Toy

3. Play with Your Pet’s Food

When it comes to how you feed your dog, there are fun, creative things you can try that will both satisfy his hunger and give him a bit of a workout, says Dr. Deborah Linder, research assistant professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. “For dogs that are food-motivated, you can encourage activity by spreading meals throughout different parts of the house or throwing kibble to have your pet chase it down a hallway,” she says. “Mentally stimulating dogs can also be a great way to get them moving with food-dispensing toys and interactive or puzzle toys.”

4. Block Off Heat Sources

Dogs, and especially cats, may seek out sources of heat in your house as nice places to cuddle up or take a quick nap. Dr. But Ruch-Gallie warns that these spots present burn risks for pets, because they aren’t aware of how hot they can get. “Cats may try to curl up next to a radiator or jump up on a wood-burning stove,” she says. “Owners should make these places inaccessible to their pets during winter months.”

5. No Off-Leash Time

While your dog might love running around outdoors off leash, it can be especially risky when the temperatures drop. Dr. Elizabeth Rozanski, associate professor of emergency and critical care at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, says falls through ice may occur if a body of water isn’t fully frozen. Additionally, dogs are at an increased risk of being hit by vehicles, including snow plows.

6. Increase Intervals Between Baths Moisturizer is your best friend during the winter, but your pet doesn’t have the same luxury. Baths tend to dry out their skin the same way it does yours. While it’s not the most serious of problems, dry skin can cause an animal some discomfort. Dr. Ruch-Gallie says it’s not advisable to cut out baths altogether from December to March—not only for the obvious (smelly) reasons, but also because some animals have allergies and require regular baths. That said, you may want to cut back on the frequency of baths, and speak with your vet to find a dog shampoo that’s more moisturizing than the average one, Dr. Ruch-Gallie suggests.

7. Keep a Blizzard Checklist Handy

If you live in a part of the country that’s prone to the occasional blizzard, it’s critical to have a checklist handy. This will help ensure you have everything your pet may need, in case you’re stranded for a few days. Dr. Ruch-Gallie says the same list you might have for yourself will apply well to your pet—dog blankets for warmth, battery-operated flashlights in case you lose power, clean water, plenty of dog food, dog medications and something to stay entertained. She adds that you may want to keep all these things in one place. “If you’re thinking about leaving before the snow, make sure you have all these things together, in case you need to get out quickly,” she says.

For a more detailed list of items to include in your kit, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Pet Disaster Kit Checklist (images above)

The thoughts and opinions listed above are those of the author of the article. 

February 21, 2021 at 7:51 pm Leave a comment

Hawaii…in style!

I’ve visited Hawaii before. My friend and travel partner took a cruise there in 2011. It was an amazing trip. We visited four of the islands, snorkeling on the Big Island, kayaking on Kauai, swimming on Maui, seeing whales as we sailed into Honolulu, and watching lava flowing into the water as we were departing the islands (check out my blog from March, 2011). But this trip was totally different!

When my son and his wife decided to take a trip to Hawaii, I was thrilled when they asked me to come and join them for part of the time they were there. Now I know that they like to travel in style, but I had no idea how high in style they were going to take me!

Elegant entrance to the Halekulani Hotel

Tuesday, October 30th – When I arrived at the magnificent Halekulani Hotel my daughter-in-law Wendy met me and took me to a private elevator. I should have had a clue then what was in store for me but it still didn’t register. The elevator opened into a foyer where a desk sat for their personal butler (which I’m happy to say they declined to employ) and to the left was a beautiful suite complete with a queen size bed, sitting area, desk area, veranda with a plush lounge and a table and chairs overlooking the water, a magnificent bathroom with a dressing area, soaking tub, cozy terrycloth bathrobe, special soaps and lotions, and the list goes on and on. I thought this was our room. That I would be sleeping on the couch and I was happy! This room was bigger than my studio apartment I live in and I thought, man this is luxury!

My bedroom

After admiring the beautiful room, Wendy walked me through the double doors off the foyer. When I first peeked in I was confused. Here was this huge room with a formal living area complete with a grand piano, a cozy TV area, a full kitchen and dining area to accommodate 6 people, a wraparound deck with a view of Waikiki Beach and Diamondhead. I thought she had taken me to an elaborate corporate conference venue to show me what was available in this beautiful hotel. I was still puzzled at what I was looking at, and why she was showing it to me, when my Son Ben walked out of the kitchen. WELL, this was the rest of the suite! I hadn’t even seen the huge master bedroom off the living room with its grand bathroom with a walk-in closet and dressing room. This was crazy! The “suite” Wendy had shown me in the beginning was MY bedroom. And this was the rest of the Royal Suite, all 3300 feet of it!

The Royal Suite looking towards kitchen and foyer top picture, and TV and dining room bottom

The Royal Suite Livingroom and veranda

Next on the agenda? A spa treatment of course! Wendy had arranged to have massages for the two of us in the room. Soon the two masseuses arrived and set up massage tables in the master bedroom. We lavished in the calmness of a 90 minute traditional Hawaiian relaxation massage while Ben left to explore other things. What a glorious way to start out a visit to Hawaii!

Master bedroom

When I returned to my room, I found a lovely welcome basket of fruit and chocolates waiting for me. I devoured the delicious papaya and rested in my big fluffy robe until showering and dressing for the evening.

Welcome fruit and chocolates

We started out at the elegant L’Aperitif cocktail bar at the LaMer, Halekulanis 5 star, 5 diamond upscale French restaurant. The bar is famous for their craft cocktails paired with high end snacks to compliment the drink. We all ordered something different and sipped on our fancy drinks and snacks while sitting in the richly decorated, dark paneled décor with a view of Diamond Head through the open doors. Afterwards we went to dinner at A House Without a Key enjoying delicious prime rib and lobster dinners while listening to traditional Hawaiian music. As the sun set below the horizon, we finished our dinner with the light and creamy traditional Haupia coconut cake. Pure heaven!

Drinks and high end snacks at L’Aperifif

I returned to my room to find turn down service with a pair of terrycloth slippers by my bed, a small gift, a lovely quote for the day and an ever present orchid flower. I was pleasantly surprised to find that each night I found a new gift and quote. How lovely is that! I sank into my comfy bed with dreams of what a wonderful day I had.

Coffee on my veranda

Wednesday, October 31st (Halloween) I ordered room service to have my coffee on the veranda while watching the beaches come alive with walkers, surfers and sun bathers.

Halakulani Orchid pool

Then we put on our suits and headed to the pool. We spent most of the day lounging by the Orchid pool with the beautiful mosaic design of an orchid on the bottom, created from over a million blue, white and green imported glass tiles. The staff brought by little tidbits every hour…A mini muffin in the morning, a bite of pineapple, frozen grapes, little bites to enjoy while basking in the sun. And of course we had to have a Mai Tai which the hotel says it’s famous for. And I must admit it was pretty good!

Drinking Mai Tai’s at the pool

For dinner we went to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. I’ve never been and have heard how good it was but really wasn’t convinced that a meal could be THAT good. After all, I’ve had some really delicious steaks in my day. But believe me I was wrong! I have never had a filet minion like I had that night. It was absolutely melt in your mouth tender! Add the creamed spinach, mashed potatoes and side of succulent shrimp and wala! Dinner made for a queen!

Dinner at Ruth’s Chris

After dinner I walked along the streets going through some of the shops and watching all the fun people in their Halloween costumes.

Thursday, November 1st – Snorkeling day! One of my absolutely favorite things to do is snorkeling. There’s just something so magical about being in the quiet, serene waters and watching the sea life below you. And every time I go I think about my cousin Bruce who introduced me to this beautiful activity so many years ago. So of course Ben and Wendy arranged a day of snorkeling! We boarded the catamaran and cruised out to Turtle canyon where many, many resident sea turtles hang out. Not only did I see dozens of turtles up close and personal, but there were hundreds of colorful fish skittering around as well! I will NEVER go snorkeling without an underwater camera again!

Ben & Wendy on the catamaran

I could have kept snorkeling for hours longer, but since everyone had returned to the catamaran except me, I reluctantly made my way back to join the others. We then sailed around the bay having a great view of Diamond Head, the Waikiki beaches and a Hawaii 5-0 helicopter flying overhead as they were filming. SO Hawaii!

A happy snorkeler!

Friday, November 2nd – Our last day…We walked around the area finding the mall and a path to Waikiki Beach. Along the way we ran into some men and women picketing the hotels next to ours. Their grievance was that the hotels wouldn’t hire them full time so they weren’t eligible for benefits. The cost of living is so high in Hawaii and they couldn’t afford to work only one job to survive and pay their bills, most had at least two jobs. We sympathized with the situation and wished them well. And of course my generous kids gave them some money to help with their cause.

Picketers next to our hotel

We then whiled away the afternoon at the Tommy Bahama 2nd floor restaurant enjoying the cool breeze coming through the big open windows overlooking Kalakaua Ave. below. We watched people and birds in the park below, the traffic of tour busses, unique motorcycles, limos, and all kinds of vehicles passing by while enjoying drinks and the best scallop sliders on earth! Wendy re-created them when she returned home and served them as appetizers for Thanksgiving. I have to say she nailed it! SO DELICIOUS!

Last night in Honolulu enjoying scallop sliders at Tommy Bahamas

That evening I listened to the sounds of the ocean as I drifted off to sleep for the last time. What an experience of a lifetime!

Aloha Hawaii!  Mahalo Ben and Wendy! I love you so much!

My lovely daughter-in-law Wendy and son Ben

 

December 1, 2018 at 12:05 am Leave a comment

Cancun! Beautiful, Relaxing, and fun in the sun!

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to write about my trip to Cancun.  I suppose it’s because my friend and travel partner Susie and I took an amazing tour of the Cenotes while we were there and I had a terrible experience getting our pictures back from the company.  When I did finally receive them, after many weeks of correspondences with many people, some of the pictures weren’t even of us and we were missing many that were taken.  But that’s another story…

View from our room overlooking the pools and beach

My friend Susie and I have been going to Puerto Vallarta for the last several years but decided since we hadn’t gone to Cancun we would change it up this year and try the Caribbean side.  I am so glad we did!  It was a totally different experience for us.  We stayed in a little studio apartment at the Aquamarina Beach Hotel.  The complex had two pools, a relaxation pool, awww! and a pool for games and activities.  It also had three restaurants, one nicer one, a snack bar by the pool, and a buffet.  A bar in the lobby, a convenience store, a gym, I could go on and on.  Everything we could possibly want.

It also had hammocks on the beach which is definitely my thing.  I absolutely LOVE laying in a hammock with the ocean breeze caressing my face,  Double awww!

Relaxation pool, activity pool, kids pool and beach at the Aquamarina Beach Hotel

 

Crazy foam party in the pool

Susie at the foam pool party

Although Susie and I enjoy a quiet beach, I have to admit we had lots of fun with the music playing and all the fun activities they had at the complex.

Taking off in the golf cart in Isla Mujeres

We decided we had to spend at least one day in Isla Mujeres.  So off we went on the water taxi to the island.  We were told the only way to see the island was to rent a golf cart.  Apparently everyone else had the same idea.  We went to several places and all were totally sold out.  Finally we stopped at a place where they told us to wait a few minutes because one was due to come in.  It finally arrived and off we went!

Lunch at Captain Dulche’s

Pool at Captain Dulche’s

Sculptures, pelicans, herons & iguanas, Oh my!

We stopped at Captain Dulche’s to have lunch under the huge palapa while enjoying the ocean view.  Lots of people were relaxing in the sitting pool/swim up bar and cabanas.  There were swings for bar stools at the two bars and a huge ship in the center of it all.  What a kick!

Lighthouse and one of many cairns at Punta Sur

Statues and sculptures along the trail at Punta Sur

Magnificent waters at Punta Sur

Ruins of a Mayan Temple

Then we made our way to the south end of the island to Punta Sur Ecological park & lighthouse. We walked along the path amongst the many statues and sculptures to the crumbled ruins of a Mayan Temple. Not only was it an awesome area, but the waters below were incredibly beautiful!

Susie at Playa Norte

Finally we hopped back in our golf cart and zoomed back to El Centro to return the cart and walk to Playa Norte to get our feet in the Caribbean.

Ziplining into an open Cenote. Yes I did!!!

The highlight of the trip was our tour of four different Cenotes.  Cenotes are underwater caverns, tunnels or sink holes filled with crystal clear water filtered by the limestone surrounding them.  Some are up to 66 million years old.  The youngest ones are still covered overhead, the oldest are open above.  Not only was it an amazing experience seeing the caverns, but we had fun getting into them.

Snorkeling through a semi-open Cenote to find stalactites overhead along the edges of the pools

 

Kayaking through a Cenote

 

What a beautiful ride through a Cenote

You could either go down a zip line or waterslide to enter the next Cenote.  We opted for the waterslide.  What a rush!  Then we swam through a corridor lined with roots falling down to the water, beautiful flowers, and even a few turtles before ending in another cave.

Swooping into a Cenote on a VERY fast slide

 

The end of the line for this Cenote where the brave ones jumped off a cliff above.

The last Cenote we visited was the best of them all!  It was a huge closed cavern deep and dark in the ground.  Many rappelled down through the small opening above, including Susie.  She was the brave one this time.

Stairway to the closed Cenote below, and me hanging out in the deep dark waters

Basking in the serenity of the Cenote

I opted to take the stairs down to the cavern.  Before any of the others started rappelling down, I let myself into the cool, dark water surrounded with fiscus roots trailing down from the earth above into the water below and basked in the quietness and serenity of this spiritual place.  All I can say is it was absolutely amazing!

Brave Susie rappelling into the Cenote

Susie having fun jumping off a high platform into the water

Just another amazing trip!  I thank my stars every day for how lucky I am to be able to experience such wonderful places!

The end of an amazing tour of the Cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula

November 11, 2018 at 12:05 am Leave a comment

Easter at Grandma Kathys

I grew up in a very modest two and a half bedroom, one bath stucco house that sat just across the street from the elementary school that my sisters and I attended.  I never remember my mother or father saying that we didn’t have enough room, enough food, or enough money.  They always welcomed friends and family into their home with open arms and an open heart.

For as long as I can remember Easter was a big day for our family.  Not necessarily for the religious aspect like it is for many, but more to celebrate new beginnings, of spring that had finally arrived, and a day to spend with friends and family.

Wonderful group of friends and family that gathered for Easter this year

Every Easter my sisters and I would get all dressed up in our new outfits and wait for the relatives to show up so we could go out to hunt for our Easter baskets to see what fun things the bunny brought us that year.

Mom loved taking pictures of us three girls.  How nice to be able to look back at these pictures and remember the special memories.

 

A yester-year picture of my sister Bonnie, me and my cousin Bruce all in our Easter best

After we grew up, married and had children of our own we continued the tradition, all gathering at the family home where we grew up.  We all felt so fortunate to be able to share this wonderful tradition with the next generation, in the same house.

My son Ben and niece Christi running to find their Easter eggs

Years went by and our kids grew up.  My dad passed away and my mom was no longer able to host the big gatherings so I started having Easter at my house.

Group shot of friends and family at my house on Easter of 2001

Eventually my sister Kathy moved back into our family home and started hosting Easter again.  There were several years that there were no small children so we decided to act like kids :-).  One year everyone wore bunny ears

Adults being silly and acting like kids

and one year we had an Easter Bonnet contest.

An Easter Bonnet contest, just for fun!

As the second generation grew up and married, along came one baby, then two, then before we knew it there was a whole group of new kids in the family!    Now my sister Kathy has never been married or had children of her own, but all the kids and grandkids have always called her “Grandma Kathy” and she truly is their special Grandma!

Grandma Kathy coloring Easter eggs over the years with LJ and his little brother Declan

And it makes the holiday all the more fun having all the little kids again!

Two new arrivals for 2012.  My daughter Heather with son LJ, with Christina and her son Oliver

 

Enjoying the beautiful spring weather of Easter 2013

 

Cousin Bruce with family, and little Declan in 2015

 

Asher and Declan having a quiet moment in 2016

And the bigger kids having a blast in the bouncy house in 2016

And this year was another successful Easter with kids, family, friends and fun!

Boys, boys and more boys! Braxton & LJ eyeing the chocolate bunny, and Asher, Elliot & Declan checking out the Easter basket.  (Photos taken by Jordyn Benson)

 

Our climbers LJ and Mason in the apricot tree.  (Photo taken by Jordyn Benson)

 

Ava, Oliver and Asher with their Easter baskets.  (Photos taken by Jordyn Benson)

 

The ever present tulips that arrive every Easter, and our newest arrival Mara with mama Grace.  (Photos taken by Jordyn Benson)

What a wonderful tradition!  We are so fortunate to be able to continue having these special holidays in the same house for generation after generation.  Thank you Grandma Kathy for welcoming us into your arms and your heart!

Three generations enjoying Easter at our family home.  Top photo was taken in the 1950’s, middle 1980’s, and bottom 2017.

 

 

May 3, 2017 at 3:23 am 2 comments

Puerto Vallarta and Yalapa, then and now

After vacationing in Puerto Vallarta last year with my friend Susie, we decided we had to come back again this year.  Susie and I have been the closest of friends since preschool.  Her husband doesn’t like to travel much so we’ve become great travel partners!

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After a harrowing trip from Wenatchee across Stevens Pass, we made it to my apartment in Seattle to spend the night before flying out in the morning.  We thought the worse was behind us but in the wee hours of the next morning, we found out that we were still in for a few challenges.  I had scheduled the taxi the night before and after calling several times and waiting for him to arrive for about an hour, he informed me during my last conversation with him that he was stuck in the snow and wasn’t coming.  Thank goodness for the Uber driver!  I gave him a call and he was there in 8 minutes and we were soon on our way to the airport on the snowy, icy roads of Seattle.  We discovered that the flight was delayed after all so we were there in plenty of time!

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We arrived in sunny Puerto Vallarta and to our condo just in time to have our favorite guacamole and chips and of course an ice cold cerveza as we watched the sun set on beautiful Banderas Bay!

We were blessed this year to see whales and dolphins swimming and playing in the bay below our 11th floor veranda.

A perfect view from our 11th floor veranda to watch the whales, dolphins, stingray in the water below, and the pelicans in the air.

A perfect view from our 11th floor veranda to watch the whales, dolphins and stingray in the water below, and the pelicans in flight right in front of us.

It’s always fun to go to the Saturday Market in Old Town.  Susie met up with her friend Chantel who sells jewelry made from vintage silverware, and I got a new supply of lotion from Banderas Soap Blends.

Music, bakery goods, arts & crafts, and so much more at the market

Music, bakery goods, arts & crafts, and so much more at the market

We also met up with some other friends of Susies who have the pleasure of staying in PV for several months each year.  I totally enjoyed Pam and Zach’s company and the time we spent with them!

Spending some relaxing time on Playa Los Muertos with Pam and Zach.

Spending some relaxing time along the boardwalk on Playa Los Muertos with Pam and Zach.

One day we all took a bus up the Cuale River to El Rio BBQ for an early supper.  What a beautiful spot!  And look at those ribs!!!

20170301_093941And this year we decided to go to Yalapa for a day.  So we hopped on the bus to Boca where we took the water taxi to Yalapa.  It was an exhilarating ride to say the least!

Yalapa today

Yalapa today

I was anxious to go because I had been there about 25 years ago.  And boy did it bring back memories of that trip so long ago.

My daughter Heather who was 10 at the time and I were with my cousin Bruce along with his wife and son Dustin.  And what a wonderful trip that was!  It was the first time I had gone to Mexico, well, except for a trip to Tijuana but that’s another story 🙂 and when I totally fell in love with it.  I still can’t believe how lucky I have been to be able to see so many different parts of the world on my limited income.  This was not the last time I traveled with my cousin Bruce.  He is such an inspiration to me and has the same love of traveling.  Thank you Bruce for including me on these wonderful adventures of yours!  Not everyone would let an out of shape, inexperienced old lady travel with them, but he was such a good sport to let me tag along.

This is what La Cruz looked like when I was there 25 years ago

This is what La Cruz looked like when I was there 25 years ago

We rented a little house in La Cruz for a month.  La Cruz was just a small fishing village on the northern most point of Banderas Bay, but I hear that it’s grown up so much now that I wouldn’t recognize it.  I felt like I had gone back in time to a simpler, more relaxing moment in history.  We frequented little cafés like 3 Amigos and Ballena Blanca where the food was so fresh and delicious I can still taste it.  The kids walked to the neighborhood grocery store to get an ice cream every day, and I remember how good the granola and yogurt was that we had every morning for breakfast.

The Huichol Indians came down from the mountains one day to sell their crafts.  I couldn’t afford to buy much but couldn’t resist getting a small item.  I decided on a beaded prayer bowl made from a coconut shell.  I have it displayed in my little apartment to this day and think about that trip every time I look at it.

A Huichol prayer bowl similar to the one I purchased.

A Huichol prayer bowl similar to the one I purchased.

One morning I woke up early and decided to take a walk before everyone got up.  I found myself at a little café and decided to have breakfast.  I ordered eggs and toast and a cup of coffee.  As I was waiting for my breakfast (a VERY long time compared to US standards) I was smiling and thinking to myself “Are they waiting for the chicken to lay the egg?”.  But I wasn’t impatient.  As I sipped my delicious Mexican coffee I fell in love with the idea of no hurry, no worry!

Bruce had his sailboat moored at Nuevo Vallarta so we decided to take an excursion to Yalapa which is at the southernmost end of Banderas Bay.  As we sailed along, the water got very rough.  In fact so rough I was really seasick.  Bruce saw a small inlet with a palapa on the beach and a house up on the hill behind it so we pulled in for the night.  I will never forget getting off that boat and onto shore with the owner/proprietor greeting us.  He was so kind and let us sleep under the palapa for the night.  In the morning he made delicious huevos rancheros for all of us.  I was joking (kind of) that I was going to marry that man and stay there forever.  But alas, we got back on the boat and continued our sail to Yalapa.

Sailboats moored at Yalapa today

Sailboats moored at Yalapa today

Wow!  What a cool place this was!  Very few people with a few palapas on the beach.  There was no electricity in Yalapa and we met a man who had built a solor powered house on the hill behind the beach.  He said he spent half the year here and the other half running a café in Alaska.  What an amazing life!  In the evening we went to the ‘Yacht Club’ to dance.  I remember it was a slab of cement close to the beach with a great band playing.  My kind of yacht club!

We took a hike up the mountain to the waterfall and a little café.  Along the trail was a creek where women were washing their laundry.  And the waterfall was beautiful and so refreshing after a long, hot hike!

Beautiful waterfall at Yalapa

Beautiful waterfall at Yalapa

On the beach were ladies selling slices of pie.  Heather wanted chocolate coconut so that’s what we got.  The best pie EVER!  And at night we stayed in a thatched covered room along the water.  It had a nice stone walled shower in the bathroom that was so refreshing!  It was lit with kerosene lanterns and I remember thinking that these were pretty comfortable and modern facilities for an area as remote at this.  Well, that is until I was sitting on the steps on the morning we were leaving and watching my room being cleaned and prepared for the next guest.  The maid pulled the sheets back and swept the bed before remaking it.  She then swept the floor and mopped it with kerosene to keep the critters out.  I’m sooo glad I hadn’t seen that before staying there, ha ha!

Pie lady and rooms to rent in Yalapa

Pie lady and rooms to rent in Yalapa

Today Yalapa has been discovered by all.  Tours leave every day from Puerto Vallarta for guests to spend the day snorkeling, hiking to the waterfall, or just lounging on the beach.  And water taxis leave several times a day to bring people down for the day.  It’s still a quaint and fun place to go, even with the new hotels and hundreds of umbrellas and lounges on the beach, but it’s not what it used to be.  There are a couple of things that haven’t changed however.  The pie ladies are still there selling their delicious slices of heaven, and the rooms I stayed in so very long ago are still there.  Hopefully they’re not still sweeping the sheets between guests any more though!

 

 

 

 

March 1, 2017 at 10:45 pm 2 comments

My European Vacation – Ireland and Northern Ireland!

After arriving in Dublin we checked into the Trinity Hotel.  A fabulous, but a bit ‘over the top’ for my taste hotel!

Excessive décor of the Trinity Hotel

Excessive décor of the Trinity Hotel

Then off to explore more of Dublin.  I loved the colorful doorways and homes, and oh my goodness all the pubs!

Dublin is famous for its colorful doors

Dublin is famous for its colorful doors

 

 

Pubs, pubs and more pubs in Dublin

Pubs, pubs and more pubs in Dublin

 

And of course we had to visit the famous Temple Bar, tucked away on a side street in Dublin

And of course we had to visit the famous Temple Bar, tucked away on a side street in Dublin

 

I was hesitant to try it, but I discovered that I REALLY liked Guinness!

I was hesitant to try it, but I discovered that I REALLY liked Guinness!

During our stay in Dublin as we were out sightseeing, we just happened to hit the centennial of the Easter Rising revolution.  We watched its largest ever military parade as it marked the 100th anniversary of the botched but historically significant rebellion against British rule.

The Easter Rising Centennial parade and Peace Garden

The Easter Rising Centennial parade and Peace Garden

The next day we were off on another tour to visit the Hill of Tara, Loughcrew cairns, Bective Abbey, Trim Castle, Monasterboice and the town of Deogheda.

On the ancient Hill of Tara, from whose heights the High Kings once ruled all Ireland, from where the sacred fires in pagan days announced the annual resurrection of the sun, the Easter Tide, where the magic of Patrick prevailed over the magic of the Druids, and where the hosts of the Tuatha De Danann were wont to appear at the great Feast of Samain, to-day the fairy-folk of modern times hold undisputed sovereignty. And from no point better than Tara, which thus was once the magical and political centre of the Sacred Island, could we begin our study of the Irish Fairy-Faith. Though the Hill has lain unploughed and deserted since the curses of Christian priests fell upon it, on the calm air of summer evenings, at the twilight hour, wondrous music still sounds over its slopes, and at night long, weird processions of silent spirits march round its grass-grown raths and forts. 1 It is only men who fear the curse of the Christians; the fairy-folk regard it not.

Evans-Wentz, Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries, 1911

This is just one of the many legends we heard from many of our tour guides.  Legends are still very much a part of the Irish.

The oldest building at Tara is a small chambered cairn on the summit of the hill which is known as the Mound of the Hostages. This mound, dating to about 3000 BC (can you imagine!  3000 BC!), lies just within the northern edge of a massive enclosure known as Rath na Rig, The Fort of the Kings. Within this great enclosure are a pair of cojoined ringforts, the Forrad and Teach Cormaic, and within the Forrad is the famous Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny.

Hill of Tara fertility stone and Mound of the Hostages

Hill of Tara fertility stone and Mound of the Hostages

Next we stopped at Bective Abbey.  The Abbey was founded in 1147 and was used as a location for the movie Braveheart.

Bective Abbey

Bective Abbey

 

I loved exploring through Bective Abbey. These ancient buildings just fascinate me!

I loved exploring through Bective Abbey. These ancient buildings just fascinate me!

Trim Castle was our next stop.  It is the largest surviving Norman Castle in Europe.  Built in 1176, the castle took over 30 years to complete.  It was the center of administration for the Kingdon of Meath during the middle ages.

Our first glimpse of Trim Castle

Our first glimpse of Trim Castle

 

Walking across the moat into Trim Castle

Walking across the bridge into Trim Castle

 

The Keep inside the walls of Trim Castle

The Keep inside the walls of Trim Castle

The Keep in the center of the fortress is unique because it was built in the shape of a cross and has 20 corners.  It is quite an impressive building.

Bathroom solutions in the Keep

Bathroom solutions in the Keep

 

The curtain walls of Trim Castle

The curtain walls of Trim Castle

 

River Gate

River Gate

 

Other gates into Trim Castle

Other gates into Trim Castle

On our way again and on to the Loughcrew Cairns, the ancient burial tombs which housed the remains of great chieftains of the time.  Loughcrew is a passage tomb built about 3200 BC (possibly the oldest cemetery in the world!) which has some of the best preserved stone carving in Ireland.  During the equinox, the sun illuminates the passage chamber and ancient art of the cairn.

Loughcrew Cairns

Loughcrew Cairns

 

Stepping back in time in the Loughcrew Cairns

Stepping back in time in the Loughcrew Cairns

Monasterboice was our next stop.  An early Christian settlement founded in the 5th century.  The site contains important celtic high crosses, two churches, and one of the tallest round towers.

Celtic high cross and 92 ft. tall tower at Monasterboice

Celtic high cross and 92 ft. tall tower at Monasterboice

On the bus again and into the town of Drogheda.  While the others on the bus toured around town, I went straight to the Clarke & Sons Pub.  Clarke & Sons is one of the few traditions Irish pubs with old style snugs.  It had beautiful mahogany counters and drawers for various grocery items.  The bartender was so nice and told me all about the history of the place.  I sat in one of the snugs and had a pint.

Clarke & Sons Pub

Clarke & Sons Pub

The “snug”, sometimes called the smoke room, was typically a small, very private room with access to the bar that had a frosted glass external window, set above head height. A higher price was paid for beer in the snug and nobody could look in and see the drinkers. It was not only the wealthy visitors who would use these rooms. The snug was for patrons who preferred not to be seen in the public bar. Ladies would often enjoy a private drink in the snug in a time when it was frowned upon for women to be in a pub. The local police officer might nip in for a quiet pint, the parish priest for his evening whisky, or lovers for a rendezvous.

The next tour we took was to Northern Ireland to see the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, the Giants causeway and Belfast.

Carrick-a-Rede is a rope bridge that links the mainland to a tiny island.  Local fisherman erected the original bridge over the deep chasm to check their salmon nets.  While Han went to cross the bridge, Margriet and I stayed behind.  The wind was howling and I’m not too fond of heights anyway, we chose to take a quick picture and go inside for a cup of hot coffee.

Carrick-a-rede rope bridge in the distance.

Carrick-a-rede rope bridge in the distance.

I did however brave the wind to explore the Giants Causeway, a place that I have wanted to see for many, many years.  I was not disappointed.  It was an absolutely awesome place to just sit and look at the pillars spilling out into the ocean.  Legend has it that these are the remains of the bridge built by Fionn McCool between Ireland and Scotland.  Some say it was caused by a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago.  You be the judge.  I prefer to believe the legend ;-).

The awesome Giants Causeway

The awesome Giants Causeway

 

Taking in the magnificent view of the Giants Causeway

Taking in the magnificent view of the Giants Causeway

On our way back to Dublin, we made a short stop in Belfast.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland

On our last day in Dublin we had to go to the Brazen Head, officially Irelands oldest pub dating back to 1198.  We had a nice meal and a good-bye toast to Ireland.  What a fantastic trip this was!

Toasting good-bye to Ireland from the Brazen Head

Toasting good-bye to Ireland from the Brazen Head

 

September 13, 2016 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

My European Vacation – Ireland!

On our way to Ireland!!!

On our way to Ireland!!!

After having a wonderful time in Holland visiting family and seeing the sights, my cousin Margriet along with her husband Han and I boarded a plane to explore Ireland.  I have always wanted to go to Ireland, mainly to see the castles, and I was definitely not disappointed!

Castles & towers everywhere, old and new

Castles & Towers everywhere, old and new

Our first night in Ireland we stayed at Clontarf Castle Hotel.  The site of this castle, and its history, began in the 12th century and played a key role in the Battle of Clontarf.  The current castle was constructed in 1837 and refurbished into a hotel in 1997.  What a thrill it was, and a dream come true, to actually be able to spend the night in a real castle!

The beautiful Clontarf Castle Hotel

The beautiful Clontarf Castle Hotel

 

Central rooms in Clontarf Castle Hotel

Central rooms in Clontarf Castle Hotel

 

Interior walls in Clontarf Castle Hotel

Interior walls in Clontarf Castle Hotel

 

Lobby and restaurant in Clontarf Castle Hotel

Lobby and restaurant in Clontarf Castle Hotel

 

St. John the Baptist Cemetery just steps from the Clontarf Castle

St. John the Baptist Cemetery just steps from the Clontarf Castle

As soon as we got checked in and settled, we hopped on a bus and headed back into Dublin.  First stop, Madigans Pub for a pint!

What a fun way to start out our stay in Dublin. A pint at Madigans Pub

What a fun way to start out our stay in Dublin. A pint at Madigans Pub

Dublin is a bustling city with lots to see.  I was so intrigued by its many beautiful bridges that cross the River Liffey that flows through the city.

Just a few of the many beautiful bridges crossing the River Liffey

Just a few of the many beautiful bridges crossing the River Liffey

 

The 394 ft. tall Spire on O'Connell Street, and a street artist in Dublin.

The 394 ft. tall Spire on O’Connell Street, and a street artist in Dublin.

After an afternoon in Dublin, having a fabulous dinner at the Fahrenheit Grill, and spending night at the Clontarf Castle, the next morning we took a taxi to the train station to go on our tour of Bunratty Castle, Galway and the Cliffs of Moher.

During the pleasant train ride meandered along small towns and fields, we passed vast tracts of peatland (another one of my fascinations about Ireland) and the town of Athenry (remember the song The Fields of Athenry?) before arriving at Galway City.

Galway City is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe but still has that small fishing village feel.  We enjoyed listening to street music, walking along the winding streets and the seeing the waterfront.

Enjoying street music in Galway City

Enjoying street music in Galway City

From Galway City we boarded a bus and headed to Bunratty Village.  We checked into our hotel and headed to the castle to dine at The Earl’s Banquet!  What a fun evening!  The Ladies of the Castle, aided by the Earl’s Butler and a kilted piper welcomed us at the door and entertained us while enjoying a goblet of mead during the reception and the four course feast!

Magnificent Bunratty Castle!!!

Magnificent Bunratty Castle!!!

The Earl's Butler and a kilted piper greeting us to the castle. Above is entertainment during the mead reception.

The Earl’s Butler and a kilted piper greeting us to the castle. Above is entertainment during the mead reception.

 

The fun and delicious Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle

The fun and delicious Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle

 

Looking back at Bunratty Castle after the banquet. And looking at the castle from our hotel

Looking back at Bunratty Castle after the banquet. And looking at the castle from our hotel

The next morning we took a tour of the castle and village.  Bunratty Castle, built in 1425, is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland and contains furnishings, tapestries, and works of art from the period.  I was in my element!  My dream come true!  I used to have actual dreams of me sitting in front of a massive fireplace in a castle and spinning wool.  And now I was really there!  I explored every nook and cranny of the castle and could actually feel the life of the bygone residents and really felt like I got a glimpse through a window of the past.

Han and I in front of a couple of fireplaces in Bunratty Castle

Han and I in front of a couple of fireplaces in Bunratty Castle

 

The Great Hall, South Solar, Chapel & North Solar

The Great Hall, South Solar, Chapel & North Solar

The Great Hall was the original banquet hall and audience chamber of the Earls of Thomond.  The Earl gave judgements while sitting in his Chair of the estate.  The walls are hung with French, Belgian and Flemish tapestries.  The oak dower-cupboard is dated 1570.  The South Solar held the guest’s apartments.  It has a rare spinet dated 1661.  The North Solar was the private apartment of the Earl and his family.  The oak paneling dates to c.1500.

Just a few of the steep and narrow stairways in the castle

Just a few of the steep and narrow stairways in the castle

 

A cozy sitting area, the Earl's bedroom and kitchen, and an entrance to the dungeon

A cozy sitting area, the Earl’s bedroom and kitchen, and an entrance to the dungeon

The Main Guard was the main living room of the common soldiers and of the Earl’s retainers.  A small gate leads to a dungeon from this room so the guards could keep an eye on the prisoners.  The medieval banquet was held in this room.

One of the many stained glass windows in the castle, and a huge oak table in the Main Guard

One of the many stained glass windows in the castle, and a huge oak table in the Main Guard

I could have stayed in the castle for hours more, but alas, the bus was waiting and I had to pull myself away.

Saying good-bye to Bunratty Castle

Saying good-bye to Bunratty Castle

 

Replicas of buildings of days gone by outside the castle

Replicas of buildings of days gone by outside the castle

The pictures above are some replicas of rural farmhouses, village shops and streets recreated and furnished as they would have appeared at the time according to their social standing.  Top left is the Blacksmiths Forge, the blue house is a simple two-bedroomed home of a fisherman.  The timber would have been salvaged from the sea and the floor is of rammed clay.  The yellow building is a poor farmer’s mountain farmhouse.  This type of home was found on the borders of Limerick and Kerry.  It has a loft for extra sleeping space.

On the bus again and off to the Cliffs of Moher.  We drove through the market town of Ennistymon with its many pubs and traditional shopfronts.

Traditional storefront of Ennistymon

Traditional storefront of Ennistymon

Then on to the majestic Cliffs of Moher.  These are among the highest sea cliffs in Western Europe and an awesome sight.

Margriet and I at The Cliffs of Moher

Margriet and I at The Cliffs of Moher

On the way back to Galway City to board the train to take us back to Dublin, we passed through beautiful pastures with rock fences and the barren Burren.  The unique lunar landscape of limestone makes up the national park.  It was described in 1649 by one of the Oliver Cromwell’s men as: “No tree to hang a man, no water deep enough to drown him and no soil deep enough to bury him”.  That pretty much sums up the Burren.

Countryside lush and barren

Countryside lush and barren

 

On the train back to Dublin. What did our tour guide serve us on our way back? Irish whiskey of course! You don't see that in the states!

On the train back to Dublin. What did our tour guide serve us on our way back? Irish whiskey of course! You don’t see that in the states!

We arrived back into Dublin and checked into the Trinity Hotel.  A fabulous, but a bit ‘over the top’ hotel!

Next we will continue our travels through Ireland and Northern Ireland!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 29, 2016 at 7:39 pm Leave a comment

My European Vacation – Spain!

004 April 273 BarcelonaAfter a wonderful week in the Algarve in Portugal, Donna and I hopped on a plane and headed to Barcelona, Spain to spend our next week.  What an exciting and busy city!  We stayed in an apartment in the center of the city, just a block away from the Plaza de Catalunya.

The square just outside our apartment

The square just outside our apartment

A short walk around the corner was the cathedral where we watched street performers.

The majestic cathedral and talented street performers

The majestic cathedral and talented street performers

The beautiful Plaza de Catalunya

The beautiful Plaza de Catalunya

The Plaza de Catalunya is a large public square, and the city’s busiest square.  It’s located between the old city and the Eixample district where nine streets meet including the Rambla and Passeig de Gracia.  The beautiful square is surrounded by trees and home to several works of public art and monuments…and pigeons!  It’s an absolutely lovely place to just sit and relax, but is also a main stopping place for public transportation and tour buses.

There were so many things to see in this bustling city, and we saw as much as we could in the time that we had.  Here are some of the highlights of the city.

Tapas bars and bicycles

Tapas bars and bicycles

Amazing architecture! German Pavillon on the bottom

Amazing architecture!

Picasso Museum and motorcycles

Picasso Museum and motorcycles

I was surprised while going through the Picasso museum.  I have always known of Pablo Picasso’s abstract forms of art, but had no idea he had so many other forms.  It was enlightening to see the phases he went through as he struggled with his life and art throughout the years.  The museum has more than 4,300 works of art from Picasso’s early years of apprenticeship and youth to his ceramic works later in his life.  I discovered that we shared the same birthday, October 25th!  And that he died in 1973.  I was 22 years old.  How did I not know that?

Overlooking the city and Poble Espanyol de Barceloa

Donna and I overlooking the city, and Poble Espanyol de Barcelona

Built in 1929 for the Worlds Fair, the Poble Espanyol (meaning Spanish town) is one of the biggest attractions of the city.  The outdoor museum features exhibits on contemporary art, with streets, houses, parks, theater, school, restaurants and artisan workshops.  It was a great way to spend a few hours.

Having lunch at a local bar while listening to some good music!

Having lunch at a local bar while listening to some good music!

La Boqueria

La Boqueria

La Boqueria is an enormous indoor market with a stone floor and metal roof and one of the largest and most famous marketplaces in Europe.  In 2005 it won the prize for the best market in the world.  Many of the stall owners are 3rd and 4th generation traders.  Everything under the sun is sold here.  From bull’s tails and black eels, to hand-made pasta and seafood, to meats and cheeses, and on and on.  At the entrance to the market are Jamon shops where I purchased some of the best Jamon iberico I’ve ever had.  It was at a premium price, but what a treat!

Torre Agbar and the Columbus monument

Torre Agbar and the Columbus monument

The Agbar tower is the headquarters of the Barcelona water company, a building of ever-changing colors that has become the third tallest building in Barcelona and the new symbol of the city.  The Columbus Monument was constructed in 1888 as a tribute to the discovery of the New world (America) and to mark the Universal Exhibition of that year.  Columbus stands on a pillar adorned with images of Africa, Asia, America and Europe.

The Flamenco Cordobes

The Flamenco Cordobes

Of course while in Spain, one MUST go to a Flamenco performance!

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Another must, if you don’t see anything else while in Barcelona, is the absolutely fascinating Sagrada Familia.  In 1882, the foundation stone of the project conceived by Francisco de Paula del Villar, the first architect of the church, was laid.  A year and a half later, Antoni Gaudi took over the works and turned the initial project around to create, all these years later, an outstanding, innovative church, which is still under construction today.

Standing outside of Sagrada Familia

Standing outside of Sagrada Familia

The detailed carvings on the exterior of the church

The detailed carvings on the exterior of the cathedral

At present there are two completed facades adorned with motifs taken from nature and Baroque decoration and 8 completed towers.  After Gaudi’s death in 1926, the building continues following the plans and models he left behind.  The hope is that the construction will be complete in 2026 which marks the centennial of Gaudi’s death.

Interior of Sagrada Familia

Interior of Sagrada Familia

Donna standing inside the Sagrada Familia

Donna standing inside the Sagrada Familia

The interior of Sagrada Familia is as fascinating as the exterior.  Everywhere you look is impressive.  There are pillars that resemble thick trees and the ceiling is a remarkable vaulted structure where the “branches” of the trees meet.  The intimacy combined with the spaciousness is that of the forest.  The light from the ceiling of the central part of the church illuminates the rows of tiles and makes the green and golden triangles shine.  It’s an absolutely beautiful, abstract, unique, fascinating place to visit.

Casa Mila and Arc de Triomf

Casa Mila and Arc de Triomf

Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera, is one of the Barcelona buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi  It was built between 1906 and 1912.  All of Gaudis buildings are unique and most unusual!  Arc de Triomf was built for the Universal Exposition in 1888 as was the Expos main access gate.

Casa Amatller and Casa Lleo-Morera

Casa Amatller and Casa Lleo-Morera

Casa Amatller and Casa Lleo-Morera stand together with Gaudi’s Casa Batllo and is called the “Block of Discord” because of its unique architecture.

Casa Ballo

Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo was originally built by a middle class family and in 1904 Gaudi was commissioned to refurbish the building.  Casa Batllo reflects Gaudi’s playful side and the strange and fantastic style he is known for.  The exterior, covered with a mosaic of colored glass and ceramic fragments,  was made to curve and bend like a wave.

The roof of Casa Batllo

The roof of Casa Batllo

The top of the building looks like the back of an animal, generally referred to as a dragon.  It appears to have scales and a spine adorned with round pieces of masonry which seem to change color as you look at it from different angles.

Interior of Casa Batllo

A doorway and cozy nook in Casa Batllo

The interior of the house

A window and hallway of the house

The interior of Casa Batllo is just as fascinating as the exterior.  There is a staircase banister which looks like the spine of an animal; a room that is decorated to look like it’s under water; relief glazed tiles; a wooden elevator which still functions; a huge central skylight; stained glass; mosaics and unexpected details in every corner.

Saying "Good-bye" from the top floor balcony of Casa Batllo

Saying “Good-bye” from the top floor balcony of Casa Batllo

And from the tiny balcony high atop Casa Batllo, we will say good-bye!  We are now off to The Netherlands!

 

 

 

August 21, 2016 at 5:02 am Leave a comment

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