More from my Greek vacation

“Look at that sea, girls–all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.”

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My Aegean Vacation Escape: “Mamma Mia”

“The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece! / Where burning Sappho loved and sung, / Where grew the arts of war and peace, / Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung! / Eternal summer gilds them yet, / But all, except their sun, is set.”

I love to travel, and lately I have been doing some solo trips. The trips are a reward for a full-year of being a mom, and spouse. I know – life is not fair. My solo trips allow me to set my own pace, breathe, dictate my own schedule, and spend some time with me.

There are downsides to a solo trip, the most consistent being the language barrier. In most places I am fortunate to find someone who speaks English, and more importantly is willing to help me. There are generous individuals the world over.

The second problem I typically run into – and this is in my role as photographer – is that I am unable to go out at dusk or dawn, the best times to take awesome pictures. I am adventurous, but I am consistent in going places that are generally safe, going during daylight hours, and observing reasonable standards of safety. It is hard at times, but it is the trade-off for a solo vacation. Plus, in the back of my head I want my family – with reasonable certainty – to be able to say, “she would never go out at night alone.” It gives them peace of mind, and it is something I want them to have.

Whenever I edit pictures from some of my trips, I envision how great they could be, if only they had the proper light, a tripod, and fewer distractions, and on and on I go. But lately I have stopped myself; I am there to refresh, to decompress, to rest, to “smell the roses.” The pictures are merely incidental, a reminder that I visited, but the best moments are in my heart.

The following are some of the incidentals from my trip to Greece. I stayed in Athens, and visited a few of the islands. Hydra was my favorite. Enjoy!

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My love of Summertime and Sunsets

“A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.” ― The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

I love summertime. I love the warmth, the flowers, the smell of the sea, kids running everywhere. I love being able to wear flip-flops; I love the long evenings, and the walks with family. I love summertime.

Summertime makes me happy; summertime reminds me of home, the tropics, the beach.

But the thing I love most of all are the sunsets. I love watching the sun hide behind the clouds as it bids us goodbye, and in its own way promise us the same beauty tomorrow. I love the kaleidoscope of colors, and the brilliance of the parting. I love the way it makes me feel – in love, alive, breathless, reflective, in awe of its grandeur.

At that moment right before its final goodbye, I grab my camera, and I capture these – for posterity, for keepsake, for enjoyment. Forever!

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Appreciating life: The view from a balcony in Jamaica

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How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.
— VIRGINIA WOOLF, THE WAVES

Last time I visited Jamaica, I stayed in the parish of St. Ann at this beautiful inn right by the sea. The view was spectacular; my surroundings were quiet, peaceful, and unspoiled. Each day I would sit on the balcony and gaze out to the sea, and thank God for allowing me to wake up to this.

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Nautical Experience – Battery Park, New York

“We clear the harbor and the wind catches her sails and my beautiful ship leans over ever so gracefully, and her elegant bow cuts cleanly into the increasing chop of the waves. I take a deep breath and my chest expands and my heart starts thumping so strongly I fear the others might see it beat through the cloth of my jacket. I face the wind and my lips peel back from my teeth in a grin of pure joy.” ― L.A. Meyer, Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber

I love summers in NY. I love the hustle and bustle, and the crowds of people pressing together. I love hearing the diversity of languages, and seeing all the different faces. However, my best moments are spent by the water, watching the boats bobbing, and leaving ripples in their wake. I love the stillness and breathtaking beauty of it all.

The pictures below were taken on my last visit. I am hoping summer arrives soon, so I can live again.

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Nautical Experience, Battery Park, NY

A Maine Vacation – Acadia National Park

Visiting the Bar Harbor region of Maine, and especially Acadia National Park had me mesmerized, captivated, awed and refreshed. I left with an enhanced perspective on beauty, serenity, adventure and reflection. The natural beauty, undomesticated land and seacapes, and panoramic views reminded me that God does give us things to enjoy.

Equally important is that I got a chance to enjoy family, relax and leave the hustle and bustle of daily life and be in quiet contemplation, if only for a brief moment. The pictures here represent day six of my vacation, which I titled “Misty morning.” I think the reason is obvious; I borrowed the song of the late, great Bob Marley with similar title because I think it requires a genius to do justice to the beauty of Mount Desert Island (MDI).

Enjoy a little bit of Maine as seen through my eyes!

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