Here you will find my daily journal of small stones and inspiration!
|Grab those boys, we are off for a great day.
August 13th We'll be heading out at 8am today
Our day tour will take about 9 hours so be sure to dress comfortably, we're leaving right after we lock up our gear.
Visit Verona, the setting of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ on this day trip from Venice. Soak up the city’s history, architecture and culture as you check out castles, churches, frescoes, Gothic landmarks, charming piazzas and Verona’s renowned amphitheater. A knowledgeable local guide will bring the city to life on this small-group tour limited to 15 people. Highlights Verona day trip from Venice See sights related to Romeo and Juliet, as well as other historical landmarks Skip the line at the ancient Roman amphitheater Pass by the Verona Duomo and the famed Juliet balcony Walk along the river past Casa di Romeo Learn about the city as you walk along its streets with an in-the-know guide Small-group tour limited to 15 people provides a more personalized experience
Read more about Romeo and Juliets Verona Day Trip from Venice - Venice | Viator at: https://www.viator.com/tours/Venice/Romeo-and-Juliets-Verona-Day-Trip-from-Venic...
Dinner is at Ristorante Enoteca Cangrande
I know it's tempting but please don't feed the pigeons when we are walking past St. Marks.
I know it's a long day but please have all your stuff packed this evening, we're leaving very early.
We've got a 5 hour train hour ride, but it's a beautiful scenic ride to Vienna. We've got bag lunches so we can begin our day once we leave our stuff at the hotel.
Oh! What a lovely day. I adored the Amphitheater. I can not even imagine the history that this unique building has seen. Could I be standing in the same spot that Caesar once stood? Amazing! Venice is such a beautiful city and the tour highlighting Romeo and Juliet was top-notch.
Oh! What light in yonder window breaks?
Oh it is the East and Juliet is the sun....
not bad for reading it some thirty years ago, eh?
Lyn , where did you find this restaurant? The food is exquisite. I had the Beef Cheeks and they were superb! The sauce they were served in had just the right amount of garlic - just a bit over the Dracula-killer level! The meat just melted in my mouth! The house wine was fantastic and only about the price of a boxed wine in the states - and much better I might add!
I wish I had read all of the instructions from Lyn regarding the pigeons because here I sit again...
Those nice policemen would not believe that the bread just fell out of my pockets!
|Think I figured it out...these should work. Sorry again for the inconvenience.
I finally made it! You guys have got to keep a better eye on me...I get lost so easily. You would think that would be difficult being a rather large black and white bear.
Lyn , these apartments are wonderful, much better than what I slept in while in Morocco! I mean, I don't think I should have been sleeping with the camels!
Jellyfish , thanks for meeting me at the airport! I loved your sign... did you paint it yourself? In case the rest of you didn't see it, it read "Hey Panda! Over Here, and I brought your leash!" VERY FUNNY! HAHAHA!
I expected that we would be serenaded by a real Venetian but instead we got this from Fivesixer ☮ and friends... https://youtu.be/jSrT1suSLfE
|August 8th Hello Monaco and a bit of luxury at the Fairmont Monte Carlo. 12 Avenue de Spélugues, Monaco MC 98000.
Where is everyone? I have been around and around. Where is Fivesixer ☮ and Lyn ? I mean seriously, I have been in Morocco for three days waiting to find out where the next stop is and nothing! Nobody to be found anywhere! I have had enough drinks at the Casablanca Bar to kill a small animal (good thing I am a large bear). I think I better reread the itinerary again just to make sure I am not lost here...
MONACO....I am supposed to be in MONACO? Good grief! This could be one of the worst trips I have ever been on! Then again, wait until I show the pictures to everyone! I saw some real hotties here!
|In this email, I have given you the day's itinerary, your task is to check out the links and talk about what you've seen, what you liked and what you've eaten. Happy Blogging!
Hey Guys! I am still at the airport! I never knew that as a Panda, I am considered a Chinese National! I only have my US passport and these Custom guys are a nasty lot. I was right behind Lyn when they nabbed me and took me to a small gray room with no windows. There is one table with three metal chairs (rather uncomfortable chairs). One oversized 'gentleman' came in and offered me a coffee but when I took it, it was very cold and bitter.
I think I heard Jellyfish and Prosperous Snow (Neva) go giggling past the door, but I couldn't yell loud enough for them to hear me. Somebody has got to get me out of this mess! Lyn , can you talk some sense into these guys and get me back into the fun of backpacking?
We land in Madrid on 8/2 where we all meet up at Las-Musas, We will be in Madrid until Aug. 4th then we are onto Barcelona, then Montpelier, Monaco, Florence, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Paris ending in London. Hope you are ready for an adventure!
You get a red-eye on the 30th back to civilization.
I've got things to do in each city, we are traveling by train to each location, we are staying in hostels except for one splurge in Paris where we are staying at a hotel.
Your first prompt is packing your backpack and familiarizing yourself with staying at hostels. Have you ever done this before? What do you think they are like? Have you traveled in Europe before, what was it like if you have? If you haven't what are you hoping to explore?
I can't imagine spending a month in Europe with only a backpack. I go to my cousin's house for a weekend, and I manage to fill a small suitcase. I always have extra socks and underwear! But here I go...
Can we pretend it is a really large but rather light bag?
Okay I need the essentials-
undies and bra
2 pairs shorts
(I assume I can do wash fairly frequently)
a book to read
sneakers 2 pairs
5 pairs socks
I have never stayed at a Hostel and have never looked into it. I am sure my fellow travel buddies will help me along the way.
I figure anything I have forgotten, I will be able to purchase once we get to Madrid!
|We were gonna head to the ship's lounge for a mellow night of listening to some classic crooners...but there are signs posted up all over advertising a Talent Show! That sounds like fun! Are you performing? Is it a solo act, or part of an ensemble? Or are you content with just watching us and conferring with the judges?
What fun! The talent show was a hoot! There was one tiny little mishap, some guy was juggling chainsaws and missed. They managed to reattach his arms, but he lost about three inches in armspan.
Snow Princess Megan Rose got a few of us girls together to sing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. We freakin' stole the show! There is no way we are going home without first prize! Fivesixer ☮ videoed the whole thing and here it is...
|OMG! I have found my blog again... buried in the depths of piled up papers and to-do lists.
Let's wind down another month on the Magical Ship by taking in some of the on-board entertainment...I hear there's a funk band playing on stage in the ship's casino. Who's ready to try their luck? Who wants to get down and boogie? Tell us about it...the sights, the sounds, the action, etc.
We have all found our way to the casino. Andre has arranged for the funk band to wrap up so we can get some karaoke in! Above the din of the plinking quarters and bells and whistles Fivesixer ☮ takes the mic. He sings a wonderful rendition of "Purple Rain" to honor Prince. I personally can't believe how great Norb can sing! Bravo! Bravo! Purple roses and underwear litter the stage.
Brother Nature is next in the queue. He raises his glass and begins bellowing "Fat Bottom Girls".
Andy~52 in 52: Prince & Pauper was too busy collecting his winnings from the Poker Table to sing and next up are Apondia and Noyoki singing a variety of Dolly Parton songs. Lovely job ladies!
We can't locate skeason , but I understand she had tickets to the Chippendales Show in the next lounge over. (I gave her a bunch of one's)
A few of the members of our group Snow Princess Megan Rose , Prosperous Snow (Neva) , and BlueMoon have decided not to partake in the karaoke. They just keep cheering us on!
Finally, me and my girls get to take the mic and the stage! We are ready to set the night on fire! Alexi is thankful for each day , Jellyfish and I begin with "Shake it Off". We have the crowd on it's feet! After Taylor Swift, we move on to "Roar". The stage is flooded with flowers and the guys are having all the drinks we want! What a trip... I wish I hadn't missed so much of the trip. I never should have brought my real life on the trip!
|In 1909, the first gold medal to a perfect-score bowler was awarded to A.C. Jellison by the American Bowling Congress. Are you good at any particular sport? Care to share a memory of your own with us? Or are you pretty not great at sports, and have a funny story about that?
When I was in elementary school, everyone in gym class had to participate in the Track and Field events. To prepare for Field Days, we all practiced ALL the events in gym class. One of the events was the hurdles. Now, I was always a heavy child, and I was NOT cut out for excelling in Field Days. One day, our gym teacher, Coach Page, had us all lined up to run the hurdles. I knew that my fat ass was not going to clear the hurdles. I 'jogged' halfheartedly to the first hurdle and walked right through it. The white cloth fell to the floor as I did the second and then the final hurdles.
I can not remember what Coach said to me exactly, but it was quite the lecture on not trying. There was something about at least everyone else tried. I HAVE NEVER BEEN QUITE AS EMBARRASSED OR ASHAMED OF MYSELF! I learned a lesson that day, it would have been a great deal better to have jogged jumped and missed, then to just walk through the hurdles without even trying!
|Complete the sentence and explain your position: "________ will be the end of society as we know it."
Full Definition of complacency
: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies
"Complacency will be the end of society as we know it."
Our own satisfaction with the status quo, not wanting or being willing to make the changes necessary to advance will end society as we know it. We won't make the changes needed to combat Global Warming. We won't react fast enough to stop the lunatics of the world like Kim Jong Un. We will keep ignoring the mass shootings that are occurring. We will sit back on our couches in our comfortable living rooms and watch it all occur on some cable news network. Then, all of a sudden, our world will change, and we will wonder how it all happened...
|Do you believe in reincarnation?
I don't really believe in reincarnation. I joke sometimes that my dog used to be a human in a past life, but that is just joking around. There are times that I think I may have lived in a different time period, like the Victorian Age, but again, that is just fooling around. I really don't believe in it, and that is because of my strong Christian faith.
Christians believe, at least the way I interpret it (from what I have been taught), that when a true believer passes they either ascend into Heaven or descend into Hell. They will then spend eternity in glory or despair. Now, that doesn't leave much room for reincarnation, does it? Of course, there are other religions that are based on reincarnation. That doesn't seem to leave much room for Heaven, does it?
Does make you wonder if I was a panda in a past life or if I will be one in the next, no?
|March 7th was National Cereal Day. What are your top three favorite breakfast cereals (and here's a non-official ranking , for reference).
PANDA'S TOP THREE CEREALS - of All time!
#2 LUCKY CHARMS
#3 CRACKLIN' OAT BRAN
Funny story about Lucky Charms. When I was little I would eat all the marshmallows out. I would then take the bowl of crunchy things and put it on the floor. I ate the cereal out of the bowl like a cat. The cereal reminded me of Cat Chow...my parents didn't approve!
Funny story about Cracklin' Oat Bran. My good friend in college and I finished off a whole box of the stuff in the Dining hall. Neither one of us knew how much fiber was in it, but we soon found out...
|New category this month! Motivation Mondays! It'll basically just be your thoughts on a random quote.
Bret Easton Ellis, an American author born on this day in 1964, once said "I feel like I'm not smart enough to answer the questions I'm asked." Your thoughts?
I think sometimes people over-estimate me. Sometimes, people ask me questions that I can not answer, but the true test comes with the answer of those questions. Some will make up an answer and BS their way through. This is a cop-out, you have not only done a wrong to yourself but to the person who relied upon you. Now, they will repeat your answer to someone else, and they will be called out, and YOU WILL BE TO BLAME! Others will simply walk away and ignore the question, thereby attempting to save face.
The truly smart person will stop and process the information. This person will then say they don't have the answer BUT I WILL LOOK IT UP AND LET YOU KNOW! Then everyone learn. Everybody wins!
It is not an insult to not know an answer! It is a crime to not acknowledge you still are learning!
|On Sunday, the circus elephants of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will perform in New York City for the last time (here's a New York Times pictorial about it). Should events like the circus, which use trained animals in some acts, be considered cruelty to animals? What about other forms of entertainment that may feature live animals?
I think large circuses like Ringling Bros. are, for the most part, treating their animals ethically. I believe they are under a great deal of scrutiny, and, if one of the animal rights groups became aware of maltreatment and neglect there would be hell to pay. Now, the smaller little groups, the ones that all of a sudden just kind of show up, those probably need to be stopped. There is little regulation on these and county fair type carnival acts and these animals might be mistreated.
I have no issues with large Aquariums and Zoos as well. The amount of good they do is unbelievable. The breeding programs and education alone are impressive. That being said, I think that they need to be investigated and regulated, like any other business to make sure the "employees" are being taken care of.
Of course, this opinion is coming from a panda!
Pick a movie and give it an ending you'd much rather watch.
I just love 'tweaking' (not twerking) the prompts...
For your amusement...
Top Gun - Maverick's plane takes a nose dive off the end of the carrier
Finding Nemo - They all find out they really live in a Sea World Aquarium
Finding Nemo - Cut away to a Sushi Bar
Charlotte's Web - last scene - the farmer having a pig roast
Miracle - The Russian team wins
JFK - Kennedy shows up at the hearings
Silence of the Lambs - Clarice is actually Buffalo Bill
Oh how the list could go on and on and on....
See you in the comments....
|Fun Fact Friday!
On this day in 1997, US President Bill Clinton barred federal spending on human cloning. Do you have any thoughts on cloning, whether it's animals or people? Would you want to be cloned?
I don't really have any 'ethical' feelings about cloning. When I studied Animal Science at Cornell in the early nineties there was a great deal of research and talk about the subject. I had a concentration in Animal Genetics so there was a lot of discussion about optimizing the breeding in livestock animals and cloning was one of the research opportunities. But that was twenty-something years ago...
As far as wanting to be cloned. OH HELL NO! One go round is more than enough. And it is not like my personality would SHINE through the new me anyways. That is one thing I don't understand. I have heard of people cloning their dead pets. They seem to think that the clone is going to be the same as the one that just passed. It isn't. It will look the same and be the same genetically, but it won't have all the experiences that the original had. It won't be the SAME EXACT pet. I think I would rather just start off with a new one that I could love just as much...
|Do you have a favorite quote about writing? Tell us about it. Here are some examples ; you're more than welcome to pick from any of these or find another one, of course.
I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.
– Erica Jong
I never really had a favorite quote for writing. I have some favorite quotes FROM writing, but, alas, that that would be a totally different blog prompt - like that ever stopped me before! Anyways, I found the quote above when I googled "writing quotes" it was from http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-quotes .
I picked it because it seems to fit how I write, right now. I put the words down and I leave them. I leave them to rot on the page or in cyberspace, in this case. I never go back to them. I never edit. They just sit, waiting. I tell myself, each January, that this year I will submit to National Magazines. Then, in December, I look over the year, and I say to myself, "Yup, I didn't submit anything this year, either."
Maybe, this year will be different. Maybe, this year, I WILL submit something to somewhere. But, that will leave me exposed; naked to the world. It will leave me to be judged and perhaps ignored, neglected, discarded. Yes, discarded, like last week's leftovers. The ones that molded in the back of the refrigerator. The ones that were so bad you couldn't even give them to the dog!
Huh, I wonder why that quote appealed to me as much as it did?
|The prompt: If we didn't have our priorities, we'd have...
I wouldn't need to...
-go to work
-pay my bills
-take the dog out
-write my blog
-wash m hair
-fix my truck
Oh wait, I may have confused priorities with responsibilities...
It is a fine line my friend...a fine line indeed...
|Now, your prompt for March 1st:
Tell us about the last book you've read or are currently reading. Would you recommend it?
I have been reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. My cousin lt me borrow all the books in the series because it is so good. I am on page 124. I can't get into it. I can't become invested in the characters. I find I don't care about them. Hence, my dilemma;
Do I continue to try an plod my way through this AND all the other volumes of this seemingly endless story. Or do I put the book down, back away slowly, and grab one of the books that I picked up at the library used book sale?
I really don't want to stop reading these books in case I decide they ARE good. But, I have several large paper bags that are full of books I choose. There are at least two James Patterson novels. There are two historical fiction novels about the Civil War. I picked up at least two dozen novels by Clive Cussler!
I think I may have answered my own question, but I will pose it to my blog readers...
DO I PUT OUTLANDER DOWN, Or do I continue to plod through it?