Good morning and welcome to anywhere that isn’t where I am (and 8 degrees F this morning). (Author’s Note: This blog is posted two days behind its creation). 8 degrees feels like a punishment, a retribution for the complaining done by my sons and Labradors. Lots of complaining when it is too hot and too cold. I guess one begat the other. Although in fairness the labs only complain when it is hot. Most of their complaining is subtle, let’s slow this roll a little type, in the winter they are happy to be out and about.
Funny how that little bit of complaining goes a long way.
I won’t make any polar bear and seals in the living room jokes today. It is so cold I am trying to warm my hands with Ice Cubes. I guess you know it is really cold when ice cubes are warm.
Anyway, the standup routine for today is now over. Our trip to Hawaii was comprised of two parts. The first was the Norwegian cruise amongst the islands. The food on that cruise was average to below average. The sights and stops were amazing! We visited several of the islands. My favorite stop was the volcano national park. Just to see the volcanos, I had read about my entire life was beyond amazing!
Plus I now realize how big those volcanos are. When you see an eruption on video it looks like a small crater pumping out lava. It isn’t small. It is a huge crater. Plus the entire park is filled with volcanic steam vents.
I am sticking with my during cold weather posting warm pictures as often as I can. It isn’t helping as it is still cold. I wonder what would help other than adding a woodstove to every room of the house. Just like the pioneers did 200 years ago. Basically, in that scenario, you have the furnace heating the house to just less than 68 degrees to keep things constant. Then the woodstoves are burning to bring the actual air temperature up to a nice roasty 88 degrees.
88 degrees is a number I picked out of thin air and is intended as a joke.
Winter is a season that passes just like spring, summer, and fall.
Hawaii is a wonderful sojourn for a time. A respite of warm in the cold. Plus there were so many wonderful things to see on our trip. My favorite part was the horseback ride we took the second day, but there were so many other wonderful memories. We did get to see Cool and the Gang in person, yes a few years after they were chart-toppers, but they were there in person less than 5 feet from where we were standing. That was a cool experience!
Back to warm Hawaii, when the temperature hits single digits, it is cold outside. This morning the low, horrible temperature was 8 degrees (Fahrenheit), Single digits are hard to awaken to in the morning. It is worse as a high temperature for the day, but for now, it is just cold. As is my new tradition started this year, continuing to share pictures of warm when it is cold outside.
Returning to our Hawaii Trip of 2008. Warm every single day without a single snowflake, it did rain a couple of times but what is warm water falling from the sky when you consider snow. Today instead I am sending warm pictures. The ocean, warm tropical air and lots of relaxation! No cold, no snow and no snowflakes falling!
The ocean is a theme I return to frequently. Well water is, the ocean is a large body of water. It is a place where I feel most comfortable, water. I suspect there are many reasons for that, but one of them is that my parents also loved being on the water. Anyway, I am trying to warm up by holding my hands up to the screen and hoping the warm from the pictures will leak through!
I awoke this morning to a thermometer trying to get inside the house. Frozen, cold and single digits for the current temperature sends me on a mental journey to warm weather. Off to Hawaii in 2008 Cloudy skies in the tropics are no biggie when it is warm. Ah the warmth of the air itself, not 8 degrees. In 8 degree weather, you have to cover every inch of your body, exposed skin freezes and you end up with Frostbite. I have to say the name Frostbite implies less of an impact than Frostchomp and it feels more like a chomp than a bite.
This was my wife and my first trip to Hawaii, and as luck would have it, my parents were able to watch the kids (who were still in school). Off to a week of relaxation and enjoyment for the adults. Every night was a different event, a different celebration, and we had a blast. This was the last big vacation we took without the kids. From that point on the kids came with us as we ventured off to another place.
I think my favorite part of the week in Hawaii was the breakfast. Every day there was a wonderful buffet filled with fruit that was fresh and amazing. It wasn’t cold back in Indiana; it was cool, we were there in mid-October. Cool air to warm air was a very nice change. Of course, when we got home, It got cold pretty quickly after that. But, since it is cold now, and it was warm in these pictures I am sharing warm!
Wandering back to Europe today to the first part of our cruise on Costa Cruise Lines. First, I have to say in booking the cruise; some people reminded me of the issues that Costa had encountered in the not so distant past. I will honestly tell you that the crew was fantastic. The ship was clean in well maintained. The food was beyond amazing. Honestly, the food was good enough that we didn’t feel the need to go and have dinner at the add-on restaurants (we did once).
(Basketball goals on a cruise ship seem odd to me, but maybe that is just me)!
I highly recommend the Viking cruise on Costa. You get to see Norway, cruising down a Fjord and wander three different cities in Norway. You end up with a chance to spend a day at the original Legoland, and to visit the world famous Rostock Zoo. I have a flash character from Zootopia in my car, that was purchased in the gift shop of the Rockstock zoo. Long story for another day as to why flash was purchased for me, but for now, it was an awesome gesture.
The day at Legoland is one our family is going to remember for many years goes come. The day at the Rostock Zoo was another amazing day. The Darwin Exhibit of the zoo is an incredible journey, on a side note, I highly suggest you watch where you are walking when in the final two exhibits, I didn’t and ended up falling. The result of my falling was three cracked ribs and pain for the remainder of the vacation. I also cracked a 1000 dollar lens on my camera. A painful reminder that is looking down is critical!
One of the cool things the 365 photo challenge does is it forces you to take a picture almost every day. Or at least take several pictures (more than 7) once every seven days. The rules are the pictures are to be from the last seven days. It makes for a fun gallery of images when we consid3er the images of the past few posts. Today we are mostly in the 20’s and 30’s plus a few pictures taken by my cellular phone that I haven’t shared.
There are also a couple of images taken by my weather station; I shared one a few days ago. It is really important that you backup your cellular phone pictures! All it takes is one mistake, and you lose all the pictures you have on the device. The cloud backups are usually behind the contents of your phone so be aware. In the best sense of sharing, I did delete one photo from the collection as it had information in it, that I didn’t want to share openly.
The other side is, of course, this is a travel post, in that it is both Bloomington Indiana and Germantown MD. It was funny in the end; it snowed before we left Germantown and snowed when we arrived in Bloomington. Then when we got back to Germantown, it snowed again. Last year, 2016 to 2017 it snowed (measurably) four times. We have already had two measurable flurries of snow this year. Last year we didn’t get a measurable snow until late Jan 2017. We aren’t even in 2018 yet! (well, we are now!)
As a warning to folks, if you aren’t going to be home, don’t post pictures of where you are. It is quite easy to grab someone’s social media or blog and quickly determine that your home is empty when you are not there. Ergo, I post family vacation pictures after we are home, not while we are away. Don’t make it easier for someone to rob well you blind. The joy of posting is the same if you do it two days after, as it is doing it at the moment of actually being somewhere else! Friendly blogging, Facebook, twitter, rule.
More images of our pre-Christmas family celebration. One year when I was little, I had three birthday celebrations, three Christmas parties and frankly, that was a great year. But that only happened once. It is always fun to remember though. This celebration was fun, we all got to hang out and share both what we had and what we got. For me, the greatest joy now is giving my kids things. I know that deep inside I can hear my father laughing. He said there would be a time when giving was better than getting.
Author’s Note: Look you take better pictures than I do, everyone does. Don’t post them while you are away from home. Wait. There is not expiration on cool pictures. Share them when you are home. Keep honest people honest! Don’t advertise that you aren’t home!!!!
Although admitting my father was right is difficult. I would have to say that was because my dad was more right than I care to admit. Part of the father-son reality that so often impacts us growing up. Anyway, dad, you were right about giving. Being a house with four dogs also means you have to have dog presents. My daughter and my wife made special treats for the dogs this year. Handmade, high-quality dog treats. Of course, the dogs still got presents as well. But the treats were enjoyed!