Category Archives: Travel

Hilton Head Island

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Saturday 12th August

  

We left Daytona Beach Shores this morning and drove four and a half hours north to Hilton Head Island ~ two hundred and eighty miles, stopping once at the Georgia/Florida state line.

We have stayed many times here, and you loved the quietness of the resort, the pools and beach. Oh, and the fountains at Coligny Beach. 

August 2010, the fountains leading down to the beach


We wish you were with us, playing chicken with the fountains again, laughing and joking, then going to Java Joe’s for a cold drink.

Miss you so very much sweetie

Precious Angel son

xxxxxx

Dames Point Bridge, Jacksonville, over the St John’s River

Driving into Georgia

Driving into South Carolina

A thundery sky on arrival

The sign in the Piggly Wiggly always makes me smile

St. Augustine

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Friday 11th August

  

This morning we drove (slowly, at the speed limit of 35mph on the A1A), sixty miles north of Daytona Shores to the oldest city in America: St. Augustine. In the 1500’s Pedro Menéndez explored and colonised the city, on instruction of King Phillip II of Spain. In the 1700’s English troops besieged and then burnt the town to the ground ~ a reason why there are no buildings older than 1702 in St. Augustine today. 

We began by checking out the Visitor Information Centre, and armed with a map, we began our stroll in the midday heat down narrow streets lined with tourist shops, bars, restaurants and palm trees. Spanish colonial influence was everywhere, from the names of the streets to tapas bars, and even in the public toilets where a ‘potted’ history of waste disposal is given!

We walked down St George’s Street to the basilica, across to the marina, and back again. It was hot; we felt wilted. We had a great lunch at the Bull and Crown pub, along with copious amounts of iced water, and completed our eating with a wonderful tub of pecan and toasted coconut ice cream from a gelateria just around the corner.

Our drive back was much faster, as we drove down I95 at twice the speed of the outbound journey.

The late afternoon was spent walking along the beach and paddling in the sea, watching pelicans fly and dive for fish, right in front of us.

I think you would have liked St. Augustine, my darling, with it’s ancient cemetery, torture chamber museum, ghost stories, pirates and dark history. Not sure about the heat though ~ it was sweltering.

We miss you poppet

Love you forever

Beloved Angel son

xxxxxx

Sparkly sea this morning

The oldest schoolhouse in America

Typical tourist stores

Casa Rodriguez

The basilica

Cathedral and basilica 

Looking down St. George’s Street

The Grinch came to lunch

And also enjoyed the ice cream

Restroom information

The old city gates

St George’s Street

Threatening looking sky as we head towards I95

Back on the beach ~ Daytona Shores looking north

Daytona Shores looking south

Beach selfie

Tchau

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Tuesday 25th April
  

And so our Spanish/Portuguese holiday comes to an end. Waiting in the airport, where it 24°C outside, blue sky, and most pleasant, I check on the temperature at home ~ it is hailing, with a real feel temperature of 2°C. Oh. My. Goodness.

Don’t think you’d like the sudden drop in temperature my darling ~ far too chilly, compared to what we’re used to.

Safely home, sweetheart.

Love you always.

Precious Angel son.

xxxxxx

A public holiday in Portugal today, with many shops shut

A few people out and about

A quiet cobbled street

In need of exterior painting, but pretty nonetheless

A final cold beer with Frankie Angel Bear, before heading off

Strange white sculptures just before the airport, all looking skyward


  

Bones

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Monday 24th April

  

Between morning coffee and afternoon coffee we wandered and mooched, meandered and strolled, traipsed and sauntered and roamed the fabulous cobbled streets of Faro.

Our first stop was the Igreja do Carmo, a great example of the Algarve’s artistic heritage: woodcarvings, paintings and sculptures adorn the interior of the church. Then outside there is the Chapel of Bones built in the early 1800’s, where the bones and skulls adorning the walls and ceiling were taken from the adjoining cemetery.

I’m not sure of your thoughts on the chapel, my darling……. would you have found it too ghoulish, or would you have been quietly fascinated by the strange interior, and likened the place to Skeletor’s abode?? You did so like HeMan battling Skeletor for the power of GraySkull’s castle. I’m not really sure what you would have made of it at all. Wish you were here to talk to, and tell me.

Love you my Angel

Precious son

xxxxxx

Morning coffee

Afternoon cappuccino and pastries

The Church Of The Venerável Ordem Terceira de Nossa Senhora do Carmo

Fabulous altar

Inside the Chapel of Bones

Utterly fascinating, but scary at the same time

A strange mannequin looking over one of the shopping streets

Café street life

The sun’s going down

Sunset over the low tide marshes

A day in Portimão

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Sunday 23rd April
  

We spent time after breakfast walking to the end of the pier to reach the lighthouse. It seems that many other people also do the same as part of their daily exercise.

Much of the town was cordoned off close to the marina, as the powerboat races were to be taking place. Having managed to find an elusive parking spot, we made our way to the River Arade and sat on the water’s edge with a great view of the F1 powerboats as they competed in the UIM F1 Campeonato Do Mundo, Grande Prémio de Portugal.

Later on, our son drove us to the train station where we caught the train to Faro, and he drove back to his home in Badajoz. 

It has been wonderful spending time with him and his girlfriend, traveling to many new places, eating some terrific food, and helping him to celebrate his thirtieth birthday.

How I wish you were here with us too. I think you would have had a blast.

Missing you poppet.

Treasured Angel son.

xxxxxx

The view with breakfast

Interesting tile work

The long walk to the lighthouse

Dad and your brother

The lighthouse

Praia de Rocha

View from the top of the steps

Fortaleza de Santa Catarina

Dad in a doorway

Some of the F1 powerboats

Such a noisy craft, but exciting

Algarve

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Sunday 16th April
  

We left Faro early this morning and drove westwards towards Albufeira. Dipping down a steep and windy road we parked above a spectacular beach called Praia do Carvalho, accessible only by an uneven set of steps, hewn into the rock, inside a tunnel.

We spent a couple of hours here, watching the waves, swimming, and being amazed by the patterns in the cliffs, the caves and passageways that had been carved into the rocks high above the sea.

We drove on to another, much more touristy beach for lunch. Many holidaymakers were wandering, eating ice creams and drinking, listening to disco music, or being transported around in a sightseeing train pulling blue and white carriages.

By late afternoon we were ready to hit the road again, and our son drove us North to his house in Spain, where we will be staying for this coming week.

It was a long day, but the beaches were superb. I’m sure you would have loved exploring the nooks and crannies of the secret tunnels. 

We do miss you my darling, as we travel to new destinations, and can only imagine how you would react to the places we go now.

xxxxxx

Our first view of the beach

Seems to be quite popular

Starting down the steep tunnel of steps

Narrow and uneven

A cliff with steps, hand holds, passageways, arches and tunnels

Colourful layers of rock

The sea looks perfect

The entrance to a cave

Such clear water

Beautiful colours

People on the beach, and on the top of the cliff

Time to leave

The dark doorway to the steps

One last look around

Onwards and upwards

Safely back at the top

The beach at Cavoiera

Hot and sunny

Lots of space left

Boat trip

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Friday 14th April
  

This morning we took a boat trip to the outer islands surrounding Faro. The weather was glorious, not too hot, but plenty of sunscreen was applied beforehand. Out first stop was Isla Deserta, not really a deserted island, as apparently there is one inhabitant and lots of day trippers, plus a restaurant that has been there for twenty or so years. We had a little explore over the sand and dunes, picked up a few shells and saw a starfish. Lots of bird life make their home on these islands, and we saw terns, egrets, cormorants, oystercatchers and a white spoonbill.

Another short boat ride took us to Farol Island where we stopped for some lunch, and further exploring. The Lighthouse Island. 

Upon our return to land, having been recommended by our boat captain, we tried the local firewater ~ Medronho Aguadente ~ seriously strong licor. Much more to our taste is Beirão ~ smooth and wonderfully palatable.

And of course, Frankie Angel Bear came along for the trip. Think you would have enjoyed yourself, and I’m sure the captain would have let you have a go at steering the boat, like another young chap was allowed to do.

Missing you on this holiday my darling.

xxxxxx 

Blue skies and sea

Such clear water

Starfish in the shallows

Across the dunes

Our pontoon boat

Stopping for a cold beer

Boats on the beach

Sparkling water

Enjoying a walk on the sand

Fabulous aloe

Passing the old city as we head back

Will we fit beneath the railway bridge, as we head back to the marina?

Beirão with Frankie Angel Bear

John Pennekamp 

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Tuesday 27th December
  

We started the day with a typical American diner breakfast at Waffle House, and ended it with burger and fries at Wendy’s. 

Hmmmm. Your brother wanted his girlfriend to experience his favourite fast foods. You would have liked his choices, I’m sure.

In between, we spent a few hours at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, enjoying a kayak trip through the mangroves.

I think you would have liked exploring the waterways, especially when we saw a huge, ugly iguana sitting in the trees, looking at us.

I wish you could have been here today 

Love you so much sweetheart 

Missing you like crazy.

xxxxxx

Leaving

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Thursday 21st April

Today we say goodbye to our younger son and his girlfriend. Having spent fifteen days in Spain with them both, we went off to Lisbon by coach, ready to fly tomorrow.

Before leaving, we stopped in Elvas, a frontier, fortress town, built within twelve-point star-shaped walls. We walked up and down narrow cobbled streets, peering into shop windows selling embroidered linens, silk flowers, and even cockatiels and lovebirds. Nearly all the buildings are whitewashed, with yellow ochre accents.
A coffee and pastry at a pavement cafe, time spent people watching and listening to the local sounds, made for a very pleasant morning.

The coach journey, (the first one we have made, since I don’t know when), was very comfortable. We drove through rolling countryside, covered with vineyards, olive groves, cork trees with stripped trunks, leaving a deep iron-oxide, rich brown colour, and fields of cows and sheep. The land is certainly well utilised.

The hotel, The Lisboa Tryp is excellent, and a short walk tomorrow morning to departures.

So there we are, the end of our non-sunny, Spanish sojourn.
You would have enjoyed this break, I’m sure. You loved travelling to anywhere new, taking in different cultures, language and food.
I miss you so much not being with us.
It’s just so very different.

Sweet dreams sweetheart.
Travel far and wide.
Love you forever.
My Angel son.

xxxxxxx

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Arched entrance to the fortified town of Elvas

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One of the many churches

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Ancient doorway

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Steep cobbled street

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The main shopping street

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Cappuccino at a pavement cafe

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Beautiful cobbled walkways with ironwork balconies above

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Entrance into the town, for pedestrians and vehicles

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Part of the towns' walls

Ever

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Sunday 10th April

“No matter where I go,
I take you with me in my heart.
No one could ever replace you.
Ever.”

We spend a quiet day with your brother and his girlfriend; walking around the old town of Badajoz, sipping coffee in the square, marvelling at the intricate mosaic work on the buildings, and ambling through the gardens of the Alcazaba.

Love you sweetie.
With me always.

xxxxxxx

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The gardens of the old castle

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Wooden doors with an old coat of arms above

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The cobbled walkway

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Plaza Alta

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Sundown this evening