Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm interviewed!

Today I'm being interviewed, and it was such fun!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Reason #7, #6, & #5

Counting down the Top Ten Reasons Why I Love the Caribbean (especially in winter):

7. Tropical animals and plants:

Iguana feeding frenzy in Honduras.

Mama sloth and baby in Costa Rica

Higuero tree in the Dominican Republic (for making maracas, not eating!)

6. Sunsets & libations:

No green flash.

Sailing past Cuba.

A mimosa greets us upon boarding.

5. Shopping!!! (not that I bought much)

Carved mahogany tables in Honduras.

Sundresses in Panama.

The shopping mall in Cartagena.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love the Caribbean (especially in winter!)

Counting down:

#10. It's happy!

Dancers in Roatan, Honduras dance all day on the pier.

Calypso music in Costa Rica.

Panamanian dancers and musicians entertain us on the ship.

#9. There are stunning shades of blue:

Cozumel, Mexico.

A day at sea.

Grand Cayman shines.

#8. Random bursts of color:

Dolls in the Dominican Republic.

Fruit vendors in Cartagena, Colombia.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dominican Republic--Part 3

Santo Domingo is a large, sprawling city of 3 million, complete with urban issues. Like traffic. And pedestrians walking on elevated highways!

The Tainos lived on the island before the Spaniards' arrival, and some of their artifacts are preserved in the Museum of Dominican Man.

Christopher's brother, Bartholomew Columbus, built Santo Domingo in 1496 as the first European city in the New World.

Pigeons flock in front of the oldest cathedral in the Americas.

The Colonial Zone is quaint and colorful.

It's still a center for artists.

A lazy day along the seawall of the Malecon.

Obelisk to the butterfly sisters on the Malecon.

Next up: 10 reasons why I love the Caribbean!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dominican Republic--Part 2

Casa de Campo is two hours east of Santo Domingo on the south coast overlooking the Caribbean shore. We rented a villa that came with a maid/cook and butler, and we felt like royals!

We showered under the palm tree that grew out of our bathroom.

You can jump into the pool from the bedroom and swim under waterfalls.

The neighbors here drive fancy yachts!

A replica of a 16th century Mediterranean village sits on a cliff overlooking the Chavon river and Pete Dye golf courses.

Of course the village has its own Greek amphitheater.

The Dominicans think it's too cold in winter to go to the beach, but we thought mid 80's at Playa Minitas was perfect!

We also enjoyed our "beach bed" at Juan Dolio, which is halfway between Casa de Campo and Santo Domingo.

Next up, Santo Domingo!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dominican Republic--Part 1

The DR feels more like a South American country than a Caribbean island, maybe because of its size. It has a population of almost 10 million--3 million live in the capital, Santo Domingo.

The DR has three independence days, but the one from Haiti on February 27, 1844 is the most important (the other two are from Spain). This explains why we saw so many flags flying while we visited in February.

The DR has some of the best beaches in the world. From Santo Domingo on the south coast, it takes a little over 2 hours to drive to the north coast.

Our semi-private beach at Samana:

An island in the Samana bay:

Pick-up baseball on the beach:

I love this downspout!

And beautiful sunsets.

Stay tuned for Part 2 about the south coast!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Blogging

Today I'm guest blogging over at Terry's Place:

My topic is Self Defense for Klutzes, and I'm writing in as Sue Star, my pen name for traditional mystery. Should be fun!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

11 Favorite Books -- 2011

I tried hard to whittle this list down to 5, but couldn't. I really enjoyed them all! Since my TBR piles grow faster than I can read, these books are not from 2011; that's just when I read them:

Open Season, C.J. Box

Ordinary Thunderstorms, William Boyd

Tell No One, Harlan Coben

Dreaming of the Bones, Deborah Crombie

Finding Nouf, Zoe Ferraris

The Devotion of Suspect X, Keigo Higashino

The Ghosts of Belfast, Stuart Neville

Impact, Douglas Preston

To Fetch a Thief, Spencer Quinn

Amazonia, James Rollins

In the Bleak Midwinter, Julia Spencer-Fleming

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Boxing Day--What IS It?

Boxing Day sales rival any Black Friday--except for the queues.

The elusive sun sets over Hyde Park.

Department stores, ablaze with Christmas lights.

Tower Bridge looks pretty nice, too.

Next day, we stroll through Battersea Park...

And Chelsea, where many writers and artists passed through.

I can't wait to pass through again!

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Merry English Christmas

Santa plays steel drums on the Jubilee Bridge.

German Christmas market still goes strong under the bridge.

The sun breaks out as we ride the Eye!

Upside down Christmas trees along The Strand.

Christmas Eve dinner at Babur, a fusion Indian restaurant serving Brother Cadfael cocktails--how British is that?

We watch the Queen give her Christmas speech.