Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Of Windjammers and Anniversaries . . .

Our 26th wedding anniversary trip is about to begin!

Due to Blogger site issues, I will be posting from my new author's website blog: http://jarmdelboccio.weebly.com/blog. Join me there in a few days— or better yet, sign up for emails notifications here so you won't miss a minute of your armchair travel experience.

Our voyage coincides with research for my MG work-in-progress novel set in La Coruña AND onboard a ship similar to the one we will be sailing. Talk about marrying business with pleasure!

Here is our fabulous sailing vessel:

Be ready to set sail soon!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Miranda Paul Shares Her Latest Book, 10 Little Ninjas

Sorry! It's been a while since I have posted . . .no fabulous trips in the near future.

But, I do have a fabulous author's interview for you to enjoy. . .Miranda Paul and her latest book, "10 Little Ninjas", voted an "Amazon's Best Book for August 2016."

Come join us. . .I guarantee you will learn something new about Miranda, her book, and the publishing process.

Find the post here: Miranda Paul

And while your at it, please peruse my new author's website, and sign up for the latest blogposts.

See you there!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Ultimate Safari

There are safaris, and then there is THE safari experience, where you have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to nuzzle a white lion cub.

While in Zambia on our elephant ride, we were told by an avid animal lover about a stellar park close to Johannesburg where one could not only see lions (our small safari park near our lodge did not have them because they would decimate the population very quickly), and actually handle young lions. 

Since we were going back to Jo'burg, Andrew took us to the Lion and Rhino Park about 45 minutes outside the city. We were in for a delightful surprise. Not only did we find many species we had not previously encountered, but, I did indeed nuzzle a white lion cub, and pet two others. Here's the video to prove it. Towards the end, the cub licked my forehead, and grabbed my bangs and pulled! It reminded me of the way our two cats play, so I wasn't afraid. Maybe I should have been??


Two adorable white lion cubs

                                                                                    Wild Dogs . . .

Ostrich. . .

                                                                Ibex. . .

Zebra. . .

                                                               One of my favorites. . . Warthog. . .and her young!

The Terrain . . .

Andrew's car and the end of the journey. . .his car is black!

A beautiful end to a fabulous journey!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Johannesburg's Apartheid: Remains of the Day

Now that we are back in Johannesburg, it's time to explore this city and its volatile past. First thing on our agenda, driving through the downtown area, was to visit the Carlton Center, and the tallest tower in the city. Its 50 stories rises above other later buildings, as a monument to one of the last structures built in a pre-apartheid community.

From here, you can see many of the other business structures in the downtown area. 

 Below the Carlton center, is an artistically constructed two-story shopping mall, originally for the white population of Dutch and other Europeans. This day, we were the only whites in the mall from what we could tell! It's always good to experience what others have in the past, especially when it has included segregation. 

 Check out this African style prom dress:

Although Johannesburg, and in fact, all of South Africa is under black rule, things are still sorting themselves out, as was evidenced by a trash collector's strike occurring under our noses while we sightseeing. They wanted higher wages, and so, went about the downtown area, upsetting all the trash cans. 

This was the result:

What a contrast to the clean and orderly mall above!

And so, life goes on:

Evidently, the current government (ANC: African National Congress: center-left wing/i.e. social democracy)  is more communistic than democratic, where the guys at the top have it all, and offer very little, including education, to the common folks. Just goes to show that in any culture the 'all about me' mentality never works!

Here is their charter, which sounds good written down, but not necessarily in practice:

This was Nelson Mandella's dream party, although somehow, I think it became corrupted due to the old tribal mentality. Not too sure he had the present government in mind, when he went to prison for 25 years for supporting it. 

Many old buildings, built during European rule, have been left to ruin, as the post office above. . .

But, there are signs of progress (?) such as the Casino . . . I question the wisdom of tempting those with little money to take a chance. I'm betting it has sent some to economic ruin. 

Lastly, this photo of the casino clock tower. . .

Is it telling us that time is running out? There is no time like the present? Or time is insignificant in South African culture? 

Take your pick!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Victoria Falls: Wonder of the Natural World

Since there had been barely any rain, even though it was supposed to be the rainy season, the Falls on the Zambian side were completely dry. Thankfully, we were able to purchase Kaza visas (combined Zambia/Zimbabwe entry) just in case.

We were picked up at the lodge at precisely 7:50 am, and headed for the Zimbabwe border. Thiswas definitely a third-world experience. People and cars everywhere. Trucks lined up. People lined up at the emigration office. It was a miracle we got through in a matter of minutes. 

Check out this stowaway. Turns out these baboons are as common as squirrels in the US.

A short bring spanning the grand expanse between the two sides of the Falls:

Anyone up for bungee jumping into the great expanse? No thanks!

Before we took a step down the path to the Falls, we ran into this adorable pair:

Expert garbage pickers!

Our first sight of the glorious falls. . .with a rainbow as an added blessing!

Crazy kids paid $140 dollars each to have a guide bring them to the brink of the falls, in order to lay back over the edge for a daring shot for FaceBook. No thanks! It made us nervous just watching them from across the gorge.

I had no worries about safety. . .these thorn bushes kept us in line. One step to far, and the pain would catapult you backwards. Ingenious. . .the Zimbabwean version of the electric fence. 😉

Of course, no trip is complete without a photo next to Dr. David Livingstone (I presume?) who discovered the falls!

A panoramic view. . .

The happy travelers!

So good to have our missionary friend, Martha Logan join us in our Zambian/Zim adventures. . .

Fire Balls!

Heading back accross the border from Zimbabwe to Zambia. . .but not before snapping a photo of this adorable baby!

And believe it or not, by 11:30am, we were at the airport, ready to board our flight back to Johannesburg!

Journey into the Promised Land

Journey into the Promised Land
From Egypt to Israel