I started this blog to share some of the thoughts I have along the journey of life. I love to travel and spend time with my family and friends. A good meal, breaking bread with those I love, gives my life meaning. So does travel. I adore dreaming of sites to visit, not just to check them off on a list. Rather, I consider myself a student of life, traveling as an explorer, to open my mind to all the possibilities the world holds in store for me and for others. I love to travel to discover how different the world is in terms of climate, cultures, politics, terrain, economy, etc. but also to discover how SIMILAR the people are. Despite language barriers, much can be communicated with a smile or gestures. Language is simply a means to communicate, yet there are so very many other ways to communicate. Once when I was in French-speaking Canada, I realized that my 7th grade French class didn’t teach me the word for “straw”. However, when I thought about it, I was able to communicate to the very French-speaking waiter in a very French-speaking restaurant about my need for a “cylinder through which to drink” in my limited French vocabulary. Travel challenges the mind and soul, stretching us to problem solve and form conclusions about all that we experience. THAT is the type of travel I enjoy best. “All’s well that ends well”, as they say………….”Life is Good” as well.
With Covid-19 positive cases cropping up here in Florida, combined with the CDC recommendations not to visit places with greater than fifty people, I am strolling down memory lane to visit Silver Springs State Park, which was extremely popular within Florida’s tourist industry, until the early 1970’s when some of the large theme parks opened in Orlando. This park was so popular that a tour boat operator released rhesus monkeys there in an effort to make a Tarzan-like attraction. Now, visitors can spot an occasional wild monkey roaming about the park. If you see a monkey, though, don’t get too close. Many are infected with herpes B virus, which can be transmitted to humans through contact with the monkeys if they bite. Sometimes the monkeys are aggressive, so it is better to stay away from them and live life through your lens with photographs.
I spent the day, with my daughter, “Traveling Teen” hiking through the trails, enjoying the moments as they unfolded before our eyes……..
Although swimming is not permitted at Silver Springs State Park, you can take a glass bottom boat ride for only $12.oo for a half hour. You can even see some statues from one of the underwater scenes from a James Bond movie filmed there.
Many movies were filmed at Silver Springs:
The Seven Swans
Never Say Never Again
Moon Over Miami
Creature From The Black Lagoon
Don’t Give Up The Ship
Tarzan And His Mate
Tarzan The Ape Man
Smokey And The Bandit, Part 3
Rebel Without A Cause
While coping with Covid-19, you can always take a road trip to Silver Springs to create a memory with someone you love as you get some fresh air. If you want to avoid a crowded boat, you can rent kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and canoes there, too.
Life is good; get out to enjoy it whenever you can. Silver Springs is located in Marion County, Florida, north central Florida, just east of Ocala. The blue waters and this park is “old Florida” at its best. Enjoy today; carpe diem……….
Headed to New England a few weeks ago and couldn’t help but look forward to the cold weather. Wish there was a Waterfire going in the state’s capital, but that is reserved for warmer months. Check out this site here: https://waterfire.org/
Waterfire lights up the Providence and Woonasquatucket Rivers in downtown, Providence. Such an artistic effect in Providence’s “Renaissance City”. Definitely something worth checking out if you are in Rhode Island.
Another great place to visit in Providence is the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, a place where I first saw an Egyptian sarcophagus and a fragment of relief from the Egyptian Karnak Temple. This is where I knew I wanted to visit Egypt some day and planted the seed for my wanderlust.
Providence is easily accessible by plane into T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, although the airport code is technically “PVD” for Providence. You can ride by car to Providence from the Airport in about fifteen minutes. A train also connects the PVD airport to Providence for about $3.00-$8.00. Providence is a great city to walk around by foot. In fact, in winter time, you can even go ice skating in Kennedy Plaza in downtown. While you are there, check out some Rhode Island Italian food on Federal Hill, which used to be a little like a smaller version of New York’s Little Italy, but now is more multi-cultural. You can still get some of the best Italian restaurants here like Joe Marzilli’s Old Canteen Restaurant, Enoteca Umberto, Cassarino’s, Venda Ravioli (where you can also purchase fresh pasta in the store), among others. While in Providence, you might want to check out Cafe Nuovo if you want to dine by the riverside with “global dishes” downtown or Al Forno, which is a wonderful Italian restaurant near the river in Providence as well.
While you are in Federal Hill, don’t forget to check out DePasquale Plaza, which has a fountain in the middle of the plaza, which reminds me of a piazza in Europe where folks congregate on warm summer nights. DePasquale Plaza is a short walk from Pastiche, which has many wonderful desserts or Caserta Pizza, which has delicious pizza and Rhode Island style “spinach pies”, a variation of what is known as a calzone in the rest of the country. Simply delicious! Spinach pies are sold in many bakeries here as well as pizza parlors, too.
Several other foods to try while in Rhode Island are “quahogs”, a type of mollusk which is served in chowder (or “chowda” as the locals call it), clam cakes, baked stuffies. Rhode Island is known also for Saugy hotdogs (Cranston) and hot wieners, a type of hot dog served with Rhode Island’s special meatsauce and other toppings like onions and celery sauce. Don’t forget their “party pizza” which is typically purchased at bakeries or grocery stores, not pizza parlors, and is served at room temperature with sauce but no cheese. These traditional party pizza strips, which are often sliced in square or rectangle pieces, are often found at graduation parties, birthday parties, and other social gatherings.
There have been several movies shot in Rhode Island you might want to watch after your trip.
Dumb and Dumber (1994) directed by Peter and Robert Farrelly,
There’s Something About Mary (1998) directed by Peter and Robert Farrelly,
Dan in Real Life (2007) directed by Peter Hedges
The Great Gatsby (1974) directed by Jack Clayton,
Amistad (1997) directed by Steven Spielberg ,
Meet Joe Black (1998) directed by Martin Brestm
Me, Myself, and Irene (2000) directed by Peter and Robert Farrellym
27 Dresses (2008) directed by Anne Fletcher,
Moonrise Kingdom (2012) directed by Wes Anderson,
Irrational Man (2015) directed by Woody Allen
All in all Providence, and all of Rhode Island, is a delightful little place to visit. Consider visits to Narragansett, Block Island, and Newport while you are there, too. Boston is only about an hour away from Providence, and New Hampshire is about two hours away. Parts of Maine (Kittery) are only about two and a half hours away, and Mystic, Connecticut is only about an hour away. There are lots of options to visit New England if you start your trip in Rhode Island.
“Together we touch the sky Wherever we go we fly Forever we know adventure’s in the air tonight Together we touch the sky Wherever we go we fly Forever we know adventure’s in the air tonight”
-“Adventure” by Matthew Parker
It had always been on my “bucket list” to fly in a hot air balloon over the French Countryside. Recently we went to France, and it HAD to be done. My husband, daughter, and I all boarded a hot air balloon in the middle of nowhere in Maintenon, France. The ride was every bit as wonderful as I expected and so very peaceful. It wasn’t scary at all and so very silent until the gas forced the hot air into the balloon periodically. I felt like a bird when we took off at sunset. So much to see, from the ancient Roman aqueduct below, to the deer galloping through the forest, to the medieval cathedral at Chartres. There was this indescribable moment when we were airborne. Somehow, one minute we were planted on the ground, and the next minute we were in flight, yet the transition was somehow imperceptible. It somehow reminded me of life in general, and how wonderful it is whenever we get caught up in the moment without knowing what comes next. It was all about the “now”, not the flight, not the landing, not the weather. We flew for about an hour and landed without much warning in a field of rapeseed plants after assuming a “landing” position, crouched with knees bent, anticipating the worst before landing. Life is good………….