Monday, December 19, 2011

Hacked, sacked but enjoying the season!

The trip went smoothly. No major delays, fairly easy airports to no airport stories...
BUT, of course there is a story!
Let's go in the order of the title of this post:

My email was hacked while we were in our overnight layover. Most everyone on my email list received the following email. My notes are in red, while theirs are in black:
Greetings to you,(never would I put these words) I urgently need your financial assistance of about 1200pounds.(why wouldn't I contact someone personally if I so desperately needed money?!) i had a quick trip to UK(luckily, most people knew which way I was flying, not through the UK) and Unfortunately i was robbed on my way to the hotel,all my personal possession including my wallet was taken from me. Right now I'm stuck here in Manchester and unable to Get back home. Kindly let me know if you can be of help? i have been to the embassy but they are ready to help me with a temporary passport which i can use to travel back home.(contradiction from the last sentence...I'm stuck in Machester and unable to get home, yet in this sentence, it states the embassy is giving me a temporary passport to use to get home?!)
i will appreciate any amount you can afford to help me with.I made inquiries and have been told i can only receive money via western union or money gram. i will like you to act fast on this and let me know if i should send you my details so you can send me the money. i await your reply.(terrible grammar, not my style, hehehe)

So, this was not the most pleasant way to start the trip, but hey, with a long converation with a yahoo representative, a few changes here and there and all seems to be fine now. It is a shame that these hackers do not use their intelligence more wisely and for the betterment of society!

Well, just your usual time change jet lag. Lack of sleep, waking up at odd hours of the morning or night, going to sleep much earlier than we usually do.
At least we are in our beautiful house, enjoying the weather and relaxing to the fullest!

Enjoying the season:
It has been so much fun to have my own home to decorate again. Here are some of my favorite decorations that I put up this year:

Hoping that you are all enjoying this festive holiday season.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Expat curveball: Learning from mistakes

Last year, we made one big, huge $3,500 mistake at Christmas time...
here's how it happened:

Leaving Atyrau, Kazakhstan always tends to be nerve racking. You aren't sure if the planes are on time, and boy oh boy, were they ever late in December 2010!
The plane we were supposed to depart Atyrau on was scheduled to leave at 9:30 am. The connecting flight was at 1:30 to London...where we were going to take our children to a show, or maybe to ride the London Eye...or whatever fun, holiday event the evening would provide.
The next morning our flight to NY and the Pittsburgh was set.

Well, the night before our flight leaving Atyrau, a friend called and asked if I had seen the internet for Air Astana...the flight was already delayed by 2 hours...from the previous night!
So, I still hoped for the best, thinking oh, two hours is still plenty of time to make our flight.
Then the morning came, and the flight was delayed even longer...but it still, left us with an hour to make our flight.

Side note #1:
I am ok with running through airports. I do not care about the stares one receives while running...I most likely do not know who is laughing or gawking at me, nor will probably ever see them again.

As the morning wore on, it became quite obvious that we would not make our 1:30 connection. So, I call a popular US airline that had the rest of our connecting flights. Unfortunately, when I book online with the local airline, that's where the buck stops. So no one was responsible for the change fees and change of fare that I was charged except for me!

Side note #2:
This was only about $2,900.

So, I bit the bullet, what else could I do? I changed the connections to London to the 4:30 flight. Surely we would make that, right?
Well, one would think so, but one would be wrong when dealing with this airline!

The morning turned into past lunchtime. We were finally called to the airport for our flight to depart at 3:30, landing at local time with one hour to spare. Again, perfect...see side note #1. An hour is plenty of time to make a connection.

Well, there we sat on the runway...over an hour more...
we landed at 4:15. By the time we taxied and I ran to the connections desk, the flight to London was lost. So what does a travel weary yet determined expat do?
Spend quite a large sum of international roaming call money, to call once again, our airline....
change the tickets for only the cost of the change fee...a mere $600.


We arrived into London around midnight, found the hotel, slept a short, few hours, and got up the next morning to leave for the US. Now, at first, the next airline claimed we didn't have tickets, but you can imagine how there was no way I was letting them claim this....
let's just say me, a supervisor and a few choice words got us onto a flight. I'm not even sure it was the same flight I booked the prior evening, but on we flew.

But what lessons does one learn from these experiences?
Book a hotel room to stay overnight, and continue the journey the next day.
As I look outside my window right now, with my flight looming tomorrow morning, and the snowflakes falling, skies a cloudy, misty mix of snow and moisture...
yea, I feel good about the lessons I learned.
Hotel is booked and waiting for us, no matter what time we arrive!
(as long as we arrive tomorrow...there is another tale from Atyrau of a friend whose plane did not take off for over 36 hours!)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It was a crazy week....
We had caroling around the neighborhood, a Christmas party with white elephant gift exchange and Santa for our children, a holiday play, and then a cookie swap!

Here are my cookies, pizzelles and Russian balls (how appropriate, right?!) that I took to the swap:

...and here is Bella enjoying the crumbs!

Now onto packing and getting ready to return to our home and families for the holidays!
Merry, merry...
pass the cheer
6 more days
till we will be there!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

A day for family
Though our extended family is far away
We wish for you
to enjoy the day

Turkey and dumplings, pizzelles and pies
it makes my mouth water
and even a tear in my eyes

I look forward to the coming month even more
because we will be together
to share the joys of Christmas
and hopefully some snowy weather!

Happy Thanksgiving to our family
We are thankful to have you all in our lives
and hold each and every one of you close to our hearts

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The house story

I wake up one Sunday morning to an email in my inbox from our house contractor/caretaker with a subject line that reads:
Someone crashes through your gate

Yes...our house became famous in a high speed police chase.
It is a very sad story, and our gate is the smallest detail, but nevertheless, it still involved our house.

The whole story is that a man was speeding on the road from Key West northward. A policeman on motorcycle started chasing him. The man, ingesting cocaine, drives down a street, (yes, our street,) to the end and crashes through our gate, down our boat ramp and into the Gulf of Mexico!
He was rescued, taken to a hospital for all the drugs he swallowed, and arrested there.
The car was his ex girlfriend's, mother of his child, and missing since a few days before this incident. Sadly, he led police to her body and is now charged with her murder.

There you sad that this had to happen to this lady...
but at least our gate, and the Gulf of Mexico, stopped him from getting away

Friday, November 18, 2011

Winter is here

We had our first snow a few weeks ago.
It was so pretty watching the big flakes fall. It was a little warmer as usual when it first is Bella and I were able to go out comfortably, (instead of freezing), protect my camera
and get a few shots of the beauty.

We are really on a countdown..
3 weeks, 4 days and we leave for our house!

Oh there is a whole house story to tell...
that can be a weekend post, something for you all to look forward to this weekend!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Making pasta

If you remember from last Christmas, my best present was my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.
Well, we have been using it to the max...

Now we are making our own pasta!
It is fairly easy, just a little time consuming. but hey, here on camp there isn't much to do, so we have plenty of time.

First you start by making the dough

then roll it out with the roller attachment

hang it to dry

then switch to various cutter attachments:

this is our fettucini:

and here is our ravioli
So fun, and so yummy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Busy. busy, busy...

The time has flown by. I have not had a chance to write and update...
basically here is how it has been:

1. Organizing a Halloween Carnival Fundraiser
Our middle school children came up with the idea of having a fundraiser for Halloween. The children all paired up and set games for the children to play, with prizes to win, while I set up the decorations, with a lot of help from both the parents and students.
It was a great success that seemed to be enjoyed by all who came.
Here are a few photos:

2. Christmas play practice
Once again, and with much joy, I am helping out with the middle school Christmas play. It takes up only about an hour a day, three times a week. It is a lot of fun to see the children in their roles, and try to help them be the best actors they can be!
This year we are doing "Christmas in July"
It is a cute play about the new year's calendar getting all messed up when the person taking over drops the calendar, and the days become scattered. Very cute!

3. The weather has certainly changed for the colder. We have had really cold winds even though the sun still shines. Last night there was a light dusting of snow...
Winter is here and has come on quickly! it doesn't seem like too much, but between these events, exercising every day, fixing meals, walking Bella, our dog...
oh yea...I forgot...

Bella was attacked by another dog here on our camp. It was not a pretty picture, and truthfully, I thought the other dog was going to bite her throat. Luckily, she didn't, and someone came to help pull the other dog off Bella. She has a few, minor scratches, but it was scary. I am very upset at the owner because she is very lackadaisical when it comes to the safety with her dog. It is a delicate situation because it is strongly suggested to not bring animals here (for other reasons), but this makes it even more difficult because I do not want to upset that delicate line of being able to bring them in.
between all this and that, really just daily life, my blog has been neglected!
I will try to post more often, but the reality is that it may not be as often as my readers like.
I will do my best...

Happy Winter!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A stroll through the village

The weather was so beautiful the other day that Bella and I went for a stroll, camera in hand.
The path felt like it was lit by the sun bouncing off the trees and houses.

This is a beautiful time of year, and one that I have missed since being in tropical locations before we landed here in Atyrau, just about one year ago.
The colors are turning, bringing the beautiful Autumn reds and yellows:

The seed pods make a calm, rustling noise as the cool breezes rush through them.

Bella was surprisingly patient while I took my photos, but then again, she had fun with this cat that was frightened of her
The last of the roses are finishing up their blooms
and the butterflies are drinking their last sweet nectar before the cold winds and icy snowflakes begin to drop....
I hope Autumn lasts a little longer!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nature's beauty

There have been some beautiful, sunny days here in Atyrau recently. The weather is certainly turning colder quite quickly. We have been lucky to have such sun around...though the last few days have been gray and dreary with dampness and rain in the air. The colder, winter months are upon us, knocking at the door.

Over the weekend I was able to capture a few pictures of creatures enjoying the last of the sunshine before the winter sets in.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm full of surprises

This time I surprised my niece, my Goddaughter.
She was graduating from law school, and I decided to go to it.

Long story is that we have been a big support for her throughout her three years, and even before that, deciding whether or not to even go to law school. I have always felt that I missed a lot with my nieces, my big brother's girls. I have always been very close to them.
So, when the email came that ended with...
"Love you, miss you, especially next weekend"....referring to her graduation weekend, I sprang into action!

I had been looking for an opportunity to get away from Atyrau, seeing as we are not going away during fall break, which is when the children have off a week from school. Most families leave the camp and get out during these breaks. The school has them every 8 weeks....but this year, we are saving up vacation days for my husband to spend with us at Christmas, and staying in town. So when that email came...I jumped at the chance!
I am so lucky to have such a supportive husband. He was the first one to say, why don't you go?! I couldn't say no now!

So, off I went, through Amsterdam, to Detroit, Michigan, and on to Auburn Hills, Michigan, which is where my niece graduated from Cooley Law School.

The autumn colors were just starting to show, which is one of my favorite times to be in the US.

I got there a day earlier than the rest of my family, seeing as I had much to do. I had to get papers notarized for our upcoming remodel/addition to our house, My gray hair was badly calling to be covered up, my nails were in desperate need to be painted....
and of course, I had to do some shopping to fill our cupboards in Atyrau with all our favorite treats from the US.
So there I was, driving around the rolling hills and green grasses of Auburn Hills.

Once Saturday came, I waited to surprise them all. First, there was the graduate, her sister with her adorable 8 month old baby, that I couldn't wait to see again, my Sister in law, who is the only one who knew I was coming (well, I had to get directions and hotel info from somebody!), and my niece's boyfriend. Since my SIL knew, she was texting me as to where they were on their drive. When she let me know that they were pulling in to the parking lot, I made sure to be sitting with my back to the open windows.

My nieces saw me first...and the surprised look on their faces was precious. The one that was graduating said...
You know, I looked in the window and thought, hhmmm, that girl looks like my Aunt. Then I realized it was you! We all had tears in our eyes and the hugs were warm and wonderful!

Next up, my dad, mom, sister and her son. So, the nieces went to pick up my brother at the airport while I waited, again. They were letting me know where the next batch of family was because they were texting them, and then texting back to me. So, again, I knew when they were pulling into the parking lot. My dad walks in, and I was sitting on a couch. He looked towards me, then took a double take, fixed his glasses, bent forward and said, Oh my gosh, BG, what are you doing here?! It was another wonderful moment.
I sneaked out, walking behind him, to surprise my mom and sister while they were still outside in the car. My sister yelled into the phone conversation she was having, Oh my gosh, BG is here, and my mom jumped out of the car and wrapped me in her arms.

I didn't get to surprise my brother in person. My SIL had mistakenly mentioned, while talking to him on the phone while he was waiting for his flight to Detroit, that they had brought their bags into my room while waiting for their rooms to be ready. It was so cute...she put her hand over her mouth and we all just laughed at the surprise she had given away. He was still quite shocked, just not in person.

It was one of the sweetest moments to be able to do this. I am so happy that I was able to be a part of my family in this very special moment.
Congratulations to my niece!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday's Photoshop

It seems like the group I am going out with for learning about our cameras and photo taking keep picking Tuesday.
So here are my favorites from our excursion yesterday to a local graveyard.

Kinda eerie I know.
Imagine walking around on a mish mash of nice straight rows, some without markers, some kinda above ground and covered in dirt, others deeper and more what we come to know like a graveyard.
The ones with this star symbolize they were part of the communist party...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years and still fresh

I would like to pay my respects to all of those lost on
September 11, 2001.
It has changed all of our lives, forever.

I was walking outside of our house in Texas, ready to take my son to his Mother's Day out program. Neighbors were huddled in the street, calling out to me to join them. I was a little late already, but I still went over to their group. They were all talking about something inconceivable..
I asked innocently, What are you talking about?

They explained to me what happened. I missed the live coverage, but of course, saw the replays. My husband was sent home from his tall tower in downtown...everyone afraid that it could happen in their city. Ours was a city rich from oil, and in their minds, a possible target.

What we all didn't realize, is that we would forever feel like a target. It lessons with time...and of course, I do not live in fear of being a target. But my life and how I look at my fellow passengers on a plane, is certainly changed.
Let me say, I do not judge people. I try not to stereotype. I am quite tolerant of different cultures and religions.
It just is a sad reality that we live in a world where we have a guard up...
even if there isn't anything we can do about it.

So, I cried through the reading of the names today, and I watched those that are still suffering.
I thank God that it didn't affect my friends or family directly, as much as it has so many others, yet it still affects every one of us...
in every nation, in every religion, in every walk of life.

War on humanity is what needs to be stopped, in my opinion. We need to respect others.
It seems so simple, but then power and superiority gets in the way.

May all those that perished rest in peace.
God Bless America
and every nation

Thursday, September 8, 2011


This is my new word.
It describes how I am feeling here in Atyrau. And it makes me happy.

When we first arrived and through most of the year until we left in June, I felt unsettled here. There were good days and there were bad usual in any place really. For me though, it felt unsettling. I felt like there wasn't anything that interested me here...or was it that I was looking for too much outside of myself, and not enough inside of me.

This year (and yes, my "years" right now run on school years-August-August), I feel different.
Atyrau is a good place for me to be right now, to find me, to define me, to find what is interesting to me. There is a lot of time to do all this discovering here!

So, what is it I have been up to?
Well, I have been trying to enjoy the beautiful Autumn weather we are having right now.

I'm trying to spend a lot of time outdoors...either biking, walking Bella, or just sitting in our beautiful back patio.

The flowers have been blooming beautifully for us. Check out these sunflowers?!
They are massive!

They make me smile every morning.

I have been catching up where I left off last year with my Italian lessons. Yes, Italian lessons in Kazakhstan. I could learn Russian or Kazakh, and maybe it would be beneficial while I live here, but I get by. The locals and I have a great hand language going on, as well as a few words in each of our respective languages. So, I get by.
And I learn my favorite language that I have been wanting to learn for years, Italian.
My husband calls me the Italian Princess....well, I was actually the Italian Junior Honoree from the Italian Heritage Society of Pittsburgh, a few years back, when I was 17.
I have a scroll with my name on it to prove it, hahaha!
I have been learning it through the widely used computer programs found today.
Va bene..

I have started to learn more about how to use my camera, and what all those knobs and buttons mean. Usually I was randomly turning and pressing them, and now, I'm actually learning why I did that, and which way I might want to try next time!
It is still a long work in progress, but fun to try.
So, that's what's been happening in my world in Atyrau. I'm really enjoying life right now.
It feels good to be comfortable!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The daily routine begins...

Here we are at the beginning of another school year. Last Monday was the first day of school...filled with the promises, energy and hope for a great new learning experience.
My daughter was the most excited because she gets to join middle school...even though she is only in the 5th grade.
Here in Atyrau, since the class sizes are quite small and there is a limited number of teacher visas, the grades are combined. 5th is combined with 6th...therefore jetting her into middle school a year earlier than in most US schools.
Her eyes were wide with excitement, and she has loved it all...well, at least for the first week!
We have a new head of school who is brining a lot of new energy and excitement that was badly needed from what I saw last year.

The first days of school always remind me how precious time is, and how quickly it passes. This past summer flew by on the Key West breezes. I miss the relaxation of our home, but I framed it for us to remember those lazy days while we are here in Atyrau.

We have already booked the Christmas tickets and have the weeks marked on the calendar, counting backwards until we leave with tomorrow bringing week 15 :)

The weather is gorgeous here right now. The days still have the warmth of the sunshine but the air is crisp. The seasons are so true here. The summer was very hot, now in fall, we are warm and cool at the same time, winter is frigid and spring is a gorgeous explosion of color with the warming air to de-thaw everything it touches...(including me!)
I am hoping fall lasts for a long time...I'm not ready for the cold and snow yet.
Enjoy your week!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Then came Saturday...
(sorry it took me so long to finally get to Saturday....see previous post if you are lost!)

We had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to make our flight to pick up the children.
Now, normally that would have been hard....and it was for about 30 seconds, and then we both realized what we were going to do. We got up, took showers, finished the last minute packing items, and off we were. I think we were both so excited to become a complete family again!

We took the flight...(hurry up!), split between getting the suitcases (me) and renting the car (my husband) and getting on our way. Our split system worked great seeing as by the time I got the suitcases and made the trek to the rental car counter, he was signing on the dotted line and off we went. The drive took about an hour and a half. (hurry up!)
Of course the scenery was beautiful, Switzerland always is, but we seemed to almost not even notice. We were more looking at which car was going to get in our way (hurry up!) and how we could pass them!

Then we got to camp, and there they were, sitting watching a movie. Our cool, collected son waved and said hi. Our daughter's eyes grew about 3 times their size, a huge smile crossed her face and she gave her friend a hug and was in our arms in no time flat! The feeling was mutual from both of us to both of them. It felt so good to be back with them, hearing all their stories...
even our son talked quite a bit about his adventure. They both learned a lot...kept busy and had us entertained during the drive to Zurich, where we were spending the night.

What a great feeling...our children with us, the scenery, which we finally saw again beautiful, the air crisp, the raspberries we bought at the local store so sweet...ah, in our heaven!

And they both thanked us for letting them go to this camp...
and asked if could they go back next year.
Can you see the smile on our faces?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

London calling...

What a whirlwind of a week it was...
First part:
my husband and I jetted off to London...where I took in the sights, sounds, smells and crowds of this great city.
I tend to like big cities. I like that I can walk around feeling anonymous and no one is looking or caring what I have on, what shape my face is, the funny language that I speak. This is what usually happens in the different countries I live in, but not London. There are people visiting and living in this city from all corners of the Earth.
(I always found this a quant phrase, going back to when the world was flat!)

I love to walk...and London is the perfect city to walk in. I like the craziness of the mid-day lunch crowd and the bits and pieces of conversations that you overhear. Then again, the Underground of this city is fabulous and easy to understand as well. I like the combination of the two.

I did hurt my foot, unfortunately. I do not know how it happened. One minute I am walking through the beautiful St. James park,

and the next minute, the side of my foot is starting to throb. I figured it best to see the doctor in a big city, as opposed to the SOS clinic they have in Atyrau. She seemed to think it was nothing more than a sprain/strain, no need for an x-ray in her opinion....
but a week later, swollen foot, serious pain when I walk more than 2 feet continuously, I'm starting to worry. I may have to give in and have it x-rayed here in Atyrau.

Of course this didn't stop me from touring St. Paul's Cathedral,
the main church for the Church of England.

I learned a bit while listening to the audio tour...some interesting tidbits on the people buried there, the reasons for certain structures in the church...
Strolled through Covent Garden...quite a flurry of excitement amidst the shops, restaurants and bars. The pub is the place to be after work obviously.
My husband and I noted how you do not often see people hanging out on street corners surrounding the nearest bar in the US. I know that there are happy hours and people do congregate, but it seems different in London. The vibe is very energetic and outside!
Maybe we have lucked out and had sunshine every time we have visited London...well, one day of some rain this trip, but not the gloomy skies I always heard about!

We ate at some nice restaurants..a tapas bar with yummy Spanish treats and wine, an Italian fish restaurant where we were entertained by an Italian couple from Puglia that my husband works with, the local Starbuck's for breakfast ;)

It was fun and exciting.
and then came part two: Saturday....

Monday, August 1, 2011

Empty nesting...

It is a strange couple of words...empty nest.
It is so often used for couples whose children have "left the nest".
What I have always found in the bird world, though, is that the Momma and/or Pappa bird is exactly trying to do that with their little ones. They do feed them and grow them strong, but with the purpose that they can thrive on their own and fly.

So, that is the opportunity we have given our children for two weeks. They must fly on their own.

They have been in a camp in Switzerland, while I returned to Atyrau to be with my husband. It has been a strange mix of emotions for me. I have had my son take school trips before, but never the both of them at the same time.
It was hard to see them going to the different stations to check in for the first day of camp...they had the registration desk, the bank, the health desk, the French language desk for our son and the activities desk for our daughter. They seemed so strong and capable, which made me feel very proud. My daughter got her room assigned, and with a kiss and hug, up the elevator she went to unpack and settle in. My son took a little longer because he had an on-the-spot French chat to gauge where they would place him. He is always the one to sort of shoo me out the door though. Once his room was assigned he waved and said see ya!

Then there I was...on my own. without my two little ones needing me. I spent the night in a hotel close by and kept checking out on the balcony, hoping to see a sort of "Sound of Music" group of children, that of course would include my own, traipsing through the beautiful hills that surround this area of Switzerland.
The next day I arose, and still no sounds of any children..and weighing heavy on my heart, all the children lost to the maniac in Oslo, Norway.

The trip home started well, got to Istanbul, spent the evening in the hotel and was on my way the next morning to be with my, wait a minute...there I was, of course paying for my overweight baggage, when the phone rings. Now I normally would not have answered it, except that I looked at the number displayed for some reason, and noticed the country code was Switzerland! Uh-oh...did I make a mistake? Did someone get hurt?
No, it was just my daughter, missing me. It was hard to be strong for her because I missed her just as much. I wanted, in a way, to run to her and hold her. But I knew she would be fine as the days wore on, and that she would have fun. My husband and I hope that she, and our son, grow from this experience of being away.
That is our get them ready to fly out of the nest.

Oh, and my empty nesting home? It has been a wonderful week and I only expect it to get better. I marvel at how my husband and I have overcome many things in our lives, and we still find the magic that binds us together.
We leave for London tomorrow...a business trip for him, that I get to tag along on because I'm empty nesting. We go for the children on Saturday, which will be another high point in my two weeks, where we fill our nest again, to help them continue to grow. It goes so quickly, so we cherish every moment that we have, even if that means letting them go, sometimes ;)

Monday, July 18, 2011


I have been lost in the blog world. I have read some of your blogs, randomly here and there.
My desire to write has not been strong.
How quickly time passes.

We traveled to see family and my Mom ended up in the hospital. She does not have very good lungs from years of smoking, and therefore, any little cold sets her in a downward spiral. She and my Dad missed their cruise with my Sister and their trip to visit me here in our Key West home.
Luckily, thanks to many prayers, she has improved greatly. she is now home and continuing to improve every day. We bought them an Ipad 2 so that I can see them on Skype. It has been great to see them and communicate with them while seeing them! I was teasing my Dad that he is now a techie...YES! It is going to be such a blessing to see them while we are in Atyrau!

My new grand niece is just the most adorable little girl you ever could imagine. She is very smart, and of course, quite beautiful! She has dark blue eyes and fine light brown hair, chubby everywhere like a cherub angel! She is quite determined and has a good set of lungs on her! It was hard to say "see you soon" to someone so small. But again, we got them to set up Skype on their computer, so we can see them at least on the video!

We visited Sea World in Orlando. That was a fun day. We got to "pet" stingrays and dolphins. There were good animal shows. I have always loved the sea and it's animals. Sometimes people say that it is cruel to keep them like that, but I do believe that it is a good way to study these elusive animals and learn from them. I have always dreamed of being a trainer in Sea World, but my life took a different path. I still wish sometimes that I could have had it both ways...but then I most likely would not have met my incredible husband and had the beautiful family that I have!

So these have been my days...coming to the time we have to leave our paradise...
more from the other side of the world later!