Tag Archives: photography

The Parkers in the Virgin Islands

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I got to spend ten days or so in the Virgin Islands with my sister’s family (Jana and Bill Parker, and their ‘kids’ Tyler, Caitlin (in pink dress) and Grace.  We stayed on St. Thomas and then St. Johnr.  In the middle, we took a sailboat trip to Jost Van Dyke (one of the British Virgin Islands, which gave the Parker clan a chance to get a real stamp in their newly-minted passports).

These few pictures surely don’t do the place justice, but since most of our activities were water-based and my camera isn’t waterproof, there weren’t many pictures except for a few on the sailboat trip and an impromptu photo shoot the final night’s trip to dinner.  The stranger is Captain “Hollywood” Joe, who owned the sailboat.

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Alaska with Joyce and J.B.

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My first post-retirement priority was to take a trip with my Mom and Dad.  Most Alaska tourists apparently spend their time on cruise ships.  I had raised this option with my Dad.  Predictably, his response to the cruise ship idea included a good bit of profantity and the word “prison.”  So we flew to Anchorage in mid-June, rented an SUV, and for two weeks traveled the majority of the relatively-few roads that exist in that section of Alaska.

Along the way, we chartered a small boat for a private glacier cruise, took a horseback ride in the Kenai peninsula, took a ‘flightseeing’ plane trip to McKinley (including a landing on the Glacier), and spent a day on those terrible old school buses that are the only way to actually go into Denali National Park.

If you get off the tourist-beaten path, you can really have the place to yourself.  One day, for example, we drove into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park — the largest national park in U.S. at 13 million acres.  There are only two roads in, so we picked one and drove 2 hours, which was as far as you could go in a vehicle.  In that time, we saw maybe one or two other cars of sightseers.  Meanwhile, most of the visitors to Alaska were sharing a boat with 2,000 other tourists, or at best sharing bus with 40.  I think my Dad was right.

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Spain 2011 – Barcelona & Ibiza

I jumped the gun a little.  On the first official day of my retirement, I was actually already in Spain.  A friend of mine is living in Barcelona, so I spent a few days there, and then a long weekend in Ibiza.  (It turns out that Ibiza is an island in the Mediterranean, a hundred miles or so south of Barcelona).

The best picture from Barcelona is one I didn’t have the nerve to take.  Nudity is legal (and not uncommonl) on Barcelona beaches.  (No, I did not — thanks for asking.)  One day, just off the side of the busy beachside boardwalk lay an older, fairly-heavy, very-tanned Spanish gentleman, sleeping buck naked with his head resting on his own artificial leg (which he had removed, apparently for use as a pillow).  I didn’t have the nerve to go over there and take a picture.  So…no Barcelona beach pictures.

The first several pictures below are actually at Montserrat — a hilltop monastery outside Barcelona.  Then there are a couple at the relatively modern and decidedly odd Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona — designed by the architect Gaudi, after whom was coined the word “gaudy,” for reasons the cathedral makes apparent.  The pretty beach is Ibiza.  

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