Yoga Trapeze Training

Those of you who know me well, know that I am infatuated with my yoga trapeze. I purchased it last spring and spend a great deal of time upside down these days after work. It really makes my neck – which has a tendency toward stiffness – feel so much better. It’s been particularly beneficial in this year of a new job that keeps me at my desk and computer more than ever.

As a recently certified yoga instructor I have been dreaming of going to Barcelona to get the teacher training on the yoga trapeze, and . . .
DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

This is the year! I am going to Barcelona in November to train with Yoga Body and become a certified yoga trapeze teacher! Yahoo!

Once completed, I hope to offer classes on the trapeze – trust me – you will LOVE it! Until I get my own studio built (which will have big beams for hanging the trapezes) I will be looking for a location that 1. can accommodate the trapezes, and 2. won’t cost me a fortune to lease, so I can offer reasonably priced classes!

It’s so exciting when you have something to look forward to!

The Crystal Coast 2016

The Crystal Coast is an 85-mile stretch of coastline in North Carolina that extends from the Cape Lookout National Seashore, which includes 56 miles of protected beaches, westward to the New River. ~from wikipedia

According to the “Insiders’ Guide: North Carolina’s Central Coast and New Bern,” the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce coined the term “Crystal Coast” to describe the area’s extremely clear waters and brilliant white beaches.

Dave and I first discovered the Crystal Coast about five years ago when we took two weeks to travel from Vermont south, along the eastern shore as far as in Pine Knoll Shores in North Carolina. Read about that trip here.

We so loved the Atlantis Lodge for its convenience and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean we decided to head there again. This time we would drive through, without visiting other places along the way and have 10 glorious days in Pine Knoll Shores at the Atlantis.

On day one, before we even checked in, we headed directly for the beach.
home away from - Copy

Part of the joy of this location is that you can walk the beach for hours in either direction. These are not beaches like Long Sands Beach in York, Maine ~ which I love by the way. The North Carolina beaches are relatively quiet, with few people. At the Atlantis, the resort has it’s own section of beach with beach chairs and umbrellas available. It’s kind of my idea of perfection!

morning at the pier - Copy

The rooms at the Atlantis all face the Atlantic and they all have either a deck or grounds access from the room. We were on the ground floor this time around and enjoyed it very much. In addition to easy access from our room to the beach (actually all rooms have easy access), we enjoyed sitting on the front lawn sipping coffee and watching the birds in the mornings.

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bird watching - Copy
black and blue bird - Copy
bird bath - Copy
Dove - Copy
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Though we have our share of beautiful flowers this time of year, the flowers we saw in N.C. were a bit different and fun to photograph.

august blooms in nc - Copy
magnolia - Copy

Across the road from the Atlantis is the Crystal Coast Golf Club, so we spent several late afternoons there. I enjoyed seeing the wildlife and the views on the course as much as I enjoyed playing the game.

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unknown species partner - Copy
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golf course - Copy

I will share more adventures of our trip later, but all in all, it was a fabulous and very relaxing trip.

Life is Good

Life is Good

The Villages

Recently I was fortunate enough to visit a dear friend who purchased a second home in The Villages, Florida. Click on the link to learn more.

As many of you may know, The Villages were built as retirement communities for seniors from all over. Begun by Harold S. Schwartz, the area now known as The Villages is home to more than 110,000 over-55s.
the founder - Copy

Besides the much warmer temperatures and lack of snow, many retirees like the lifestyle of The Villages for the many activities there are to do there.

Here are shots of typical homes and streets in parts of the The Villages:
typical neighborhood - Copy
village street - Copy

My friend is enjoying here new life there in the winter months for all the many things there are to do. She is a golfer and can access any of dozens of courses there; she has joined a rug hooking group and is learning to play Mahjong; there is a pool just a short walk from her house; and she can enjoy a wide range of shopping opportunities within a few miles from home. One of the most enjoyable conveniences is being able to walk her dogs without bundling up in winter gear.

Sharis pool - Copy

In the short time I visited The Villages it was evident that many, many people have found pleasure in life there. The many opportunities for people to gather and celebrate and the listing of events happening daily certainly make it appealing to those who previously lived in areas where activities were either limited, or difficult to access.

In The Villages neighborhoods most people can easily get around with their golf carts. Anywhere we traveled there was a long line of carts parked on the streets.

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The few short days I was in Florida I most enjoyed the warm weather and greenery all around. It was lovely sitting in the sun in Shari’s backyard next to the orange and lemon trees watching the Cardinal and the Hawk.

A new experience Shari shared with me was a Polo match. Having never seen Polo before I found it entertaining, a bit frightening, and a delightful way to spend an afternoon.

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Being a big fan of peace and quiet I appreciated that aspect of The Villages – it is very quiet there. Though, if you are more inclined to surround yourself with revelers there is opportunity to do that. We attended the St. Patrick’s Day parade, where there were cheerleaders:

Villages cheerleaders in parade - Copy

Belly Dancers:

villages belly dancer - Copy

Bag Pipers:
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and much more.

What struck me about this parade was that it was composed of all senior citizens, and it was being watched by nearly all senior citizens. There were only a handful of children present. I have never been to a parade before that didn’t have multitudes of children in attendance, so it made me wonder. What would it be like to live a community where you seldom see children? I know I’m not ready for that kind of living, but who knows – maybe some day.

Special thanks to my superb host! It was a relaxing, enjoyable week!

sun

Bonaire, Netherlands 2014

I’ve been wanting to post a travelogue of our trip to Bonaire, but with my PC down down down, and all my Bonaire photos on that PC I have been waiting (and hoping) for its healthy return.

Good news! It’s back with all photos intact. Whew. So here goes. . .

Bonaire is an small island in the Dutch Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela. It is one of a group of islands known as the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Well known as a scuba diver’s paradise, the island hosts 63 shore dives all around its perimeter.

We visited the 2nd and 3rd weeks in June and the weather was perfect! 80-90 degrees with a 10-15 mile an hour wind most of the time. Just enough to keep it comfortable. The water temperature was about 80 degrees. Usually in the mornings it was a bit cloudy, but by mid morning the clouds dispersed turning into glorious sunny days.

As scuba divers our first priority was to get set up at the dive shop. We stayed at the Eden Beach Resort in Kralendijk and the Wannadive shop was right there. STINAPA Bonaire is a non-profit foundation that manages the marine park and the Washington-Slagbaai National Park, and requires a mandatory dive orientation before diving. In addition there is a $25.00 Nature Fee for divers. WE arrived Saturday afternoon and Wannadive scheduled us for the orientation first thing Sunday morning. It lasted about an hour and Boy offered some great tips and suggestions for our diving experience.

Set up with a flat rate per week, we had access to all the air we wanted and a safe place to store our dive equipment at the end of the day. We did our first dive right at Eden Beach at the site known as “Front Porch” directly after the orientation. As it turns out, this was one of the best sites we experienced in two weeks.

While my husband could have dived all day, every day, there were a few other things I wanted to do while there. More about diving in another post!

On two occasions we explored the Washington Slagbaii National Park on the northern section of the island. There is a short loop and a longer loop you can drive. The roads are dry and rocky and the going is slow. I definitely recommend the longer loop as it brought you around the northernmost point along the beautiful shoreline. Pictures can express it better than words:

Turbines and Rock

Turbines and Rock


Dry and Scrubby

Dry and Scrubby


Waving Lizard

Waving Lizard


Wind and Water

Wind and Water


Playa Chikitu

Playa Chikitu


Playa Chikitu

Playa Chikitu


Fossil

Fossil


The most beautiful beach on the island at Playa Chikitu

The most beautiful beach on the island at Playa Chikitu


The expanse!

The expanse!


Ruins

Ruins


Suplado!

Suplado!


Salina Bartol

Salina Bartol


Flamingo

Flamingo


Seru Grandi

Seru Grandi


Yellow Necked Parrot

Yellow Necked Parrot


Billy Goat, Billy Goat!

Billy Goat, Billy Goat!


Iguana

Iguana


Pelicans

Pelicans

It took us most of a day to really enjoy the big loop of the park. We did stop and take a lot of pictures and did two dives while there. When you enter they give you instructions about when you should make a last dive, as the park closes at 5:00.

After leaving the park we drove south to Lac Bay, which is known for its Mangrove swamps and wind surfing on the lake. There are two dive sites outside of the lake, but it’s not recommended that you dive there without a guide.

Lac Bay

Lac Bay

Another day we drove to the town of Rincon, the first settlement on the island, to visit the Cadushy Distillery. We were intrigued by the idea of a drink made from the Cadushy cactus.

Cadushy Distillery

Cadushy Distillery


Cadushy is the base for all the liquors

Cadushy is the base for all the liquors

Driving along the main route south from Kralendijk, are Bonaire’s salt flats, where sea water is pumped into smaller ‘pools’ so the water evaporates, eventually leaving nothing but salt. This salt is Bonaire’s only export. Once the water has entirely evaporated the salt is plowed up, reminding me of home.

Salt Flats

Salt Flats


Plowing Salt

Plowing Salt


At two places around the salt flats you can see these slave huts that are built in 1850. Originally the roofs of the huts were thatched, but have been replace with marine grade plywood to reduce the need for on-going maintenance. During the 19th century, slaves working the salt pans by day crawled into these huts to rest. When we stepped inside they were amazingly cool.
Slave Huts

Slave Huts


Slave Huts

Slave Huts

In my quest to find sandy beaches we came across many lovely sites.

Ruins

Ruins


Pelican

Pelican


Palm in the Breeze

Palm in the Breeze


Coral Beach

Coral Beach


Sails Down

Sails Down


One legged gull

One legged gull


Seven O'clock Sunsets

Seven O’clock Sunsets

Our last day, when we couldn’t dive, we took a water taxi out to Klein Bonaire, a small, uninhabited island off the coast. The ‘taxi’ driver dropped us west of the beach so that we could snorkel with the current for about 45 minutes. That is the only place in Bonaire where we found significant sandy beaches.

Water Taxi

Water Taxi


Klein Bonaire

Klein Bonaire

It was a fantastic trip and we would definitely go again, if there weren’t so many other islands to explore! For a scuba diving vacation, however, it was amazing!

The Foursome!

The Foursome!

Why the Caribbean is so Peaceful

Sharing a few more pictures from vacation that get at the peacefulness of this place, where it doesn’t take long to get into relaxation mode.

The practice of meditation.

The practice of meditation.


Music on the beach.

Music on the beach.


The sound of palms swaying in the breeze.

The sound of palms swaying in the breeze.


Sunsets.

Sunsets.


Dinners on the beach.

Dinners on the beach.


The sound of the surf.

The sound of the surf.


Colorful quotes.

Colorful quotes.


The crackling of the nightly fire.

The crackling of the nightly fire.


Taking selfies in the deep.

Taking selfies in the deep.


A hammock at the end of the day!

A hammock at the end of the day!