"" Writer's Wanderings

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fire Worms of Florida Bay

About three days after the full moon the waters of the Florida Bay sparkle about an hour after sunset. It's the time for love if you're a fire worm. These little creatures live in the warm waters of the Florida Bay and create a beautiful phenomenon that is fascinating to watch.

There is a dance as each fire worm lights up and sperm is released for their procreation. If you would like to learn more, check out my blog post, Fireflies of the Florida Bay Waters.

Next full moon is March 12 and is called the Full Worm Moon. Three nights later, we'll be on the dock in front of our condo watching the fire dances and enjoying this wonderful bit of nature before we have to return home.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Put A Park In Your Plans

Perusing the website for the National Park Service I was impressed with the many ways you can choose a park to visit. Parks are a great place to include in your travel plans. They do not usually cost much if anything to visit and offer all sorts of programs to enrich your experience. We have gone on hikes, sat around campfires, fed hummingbirds and learned history, culture and about the natural environment of the area.

If you go onto their website you can search for a park by state, by activity or by topic. So if you are planning a trip you might want to take a look and find out what could be of interest to you. If you are a camper it's an ideal opportunity to enjoy the park from within after hours. If you're like us and camping is more like staying at the Holiday Inn, you might be interested in some of the parks that actually have lodges or cabins for your stay.

Be sure to check what the weather might be for the time of your visit. Death Valley National Park would be much more pleasant in the winter than in the summer when the temperatures reach the level that makes it earn its name. Parts of Yellowstone may be closed to you during the winter because of the snow and ice. As we were leaving the park when we visited in the fall, we noticed a crew putting up ten foot snow poles so the plows would be able to see where the road was.

I've been reading a book called The Great Burn that tells the story of a huge fire in the west around the time that Teddy Roosevelt and George Pinchot were forming the rangers organization and trying to get people to be involved in the conservation of natural land in our country. Thanks to their efforts and the efforts of others, we have these beautiful parks. Pick one and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Smell Bad When You Travel?

Ever take a really long plane flight? We do that on occasion when we jump one of the puddles (the Atlantic or Pacific). The Pacific is quite a haul for us since we live closer to the east coast of the US than the west. Plane trips over the Pacific puddle are usually 12 to 14 hours. Needless to say by the time you arrive you have that sleepy smell and "morning" breath even if you are arriving in the afternoon or middle of the night. There are some things you can do though that will help you alleviate that smell and others as you travel. No one wants to be rejected for bad breath or body odor.

The most important on the list is hydrate. Drink water. I know. You don't want to have to use one of those airplane restrooms but think of it this way. Not only are you helping to hold back the bad breath you are also helping your circulation if you have to get up and move a bit.

We try to remember to pack a TSA sized toothpaste and toothbrush and make a trip to the restroom before landing. Sometimes the timing is a little difficult and that seat belt sign comes on too soon but there are always restrooms at the airport and a moment or two spent taking care of dental hygiene will perk you up. That and a freshly washed face. If you tuck an extra shirt in your carry-on, you could even feel fresher.

While you travel, the hydration rule is still in place for more reasons than just cutting down on bad breath. It's also better for your health. Some other things to help make you fresher is a change of shoes or two. One pair can air out while you wear the other. Bring along a few dryer sheets and tuck them in the pair you're not wearing.

Take it easy on the cruciferous vegetables. Gotcha on that one, didn't I! Those are mainly the vegetables like cauliflower brussel sprouts, cabbage, etc. that cause--well, no other way to put it, gas. Not only will you be more comfortable, you'll be less likely to offend.

Easy on the alcohol. I know none of my readers would overindulge but just in case you might be tempted to try all those new drinks remember that alcohol tends to cling to your body and cause bad breath as well as body odor. Oh, and don't get me started on cigarette smoke. Bob could always tell when I'd been visiting with one of my parents who were heavy smokers. The smoke in the air always managed to cling to my hair and clothes. A non-smoker picks up on that smell quickly.

So aside from dousing yourself with Febreeze or some other fragrant deodorizer, take a few of these tips to heart and watch those you meet smile instead of frown when you greet them.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Travel Tips From The Movies?

It's happened more than once. We'll be sitting in a movie and I'll get a poke in the side and Bob says, "Been there!" With some movies like a Bond movie that moves from place to place it will happen more than once. Yes, we've been to a lot of places and often revisit them while on a movie date night. But I never thought of learning travel tips from a movie. Maybe I'm too interested in plot and what's going to happen next to look for travel tips but an article on Smarter Travel pointed out some interesting tips I'd never thought of in relation to a movie story.

Some of the movies they used I've not seen but they pointed out that Raiders of the Lost Ark teaches you to learn to improvise because if anything could go wrong it will. I agree. Improvising is good. Being flexible is even better. Keeping expectations under control helps too.

I had to laugh when they used the movie Titanic to emphasis the importance of travel insurance. As we get older and life takes some twists and turns, we do take out insurance on occasion. A lot depends upon where we're going, how big the trip is money-wise, and what's happening back home that might cause travel plans to change.

The Wizard of Oz was said to teach that when you're lost kindness to others goes a long way. I don't need that movie to teach me that. Kindness when you travel should be top on your list rather you are lost or not. When it comes to learning from Dorothy though, I'd rather click my heels and remember that there's no place like home.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Those Selfies Could Cost You

An article I found that was written a year ago spoke of a charge for taking pictures at Tulum in Mexico. The article made it sound like it was something new. Maybe it is in the way they are charging. Tulum is a world famous archaeological site that sits on the coast. There are great views with the ocean and the beaches and the coastline. Need I say more? Good stuff for a picture or two or three.

Tulum is not charging by the picture, which is good in itself. They are however charging for each device that you carry with you that is capable of taking a picture. Every iPhone, tablet, camera, etc. will cost you around $2.50 to take in.

This is not the first time I've heard of or seen charges for taking pictures at tourist destinations. We've run into this several times. It is rare that we pay the fee. We just usually put our cameras away. There are some exceptions though.

We have paid several times (or tipped) for a picture of something that is culturally significant. For example a lady was dancing her heart out for the tourists in one of the ports in Spain we visited. She was dressed in a beautiful red flamenco style dress and we dropped money into the tip jar for her.

In some of the South American places and islands we have visited there are often children dressed in cultural clothing of the region and will pose for a dollar or two. The one I had to smile at was a child who invited us to take a picture and as we were about to snap it the mother tossed the other child into the picture and charged us double. Two dollars for a picture and a memory.

Many cities have the "statues" that want a money donation for a picture and in Rome there are plenty of gladiators that will happily let you take that selfie with them--for a fee of course.

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