PHEBESS's SparkPeople Blog PHEBESS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community We're in Brazil! Wifi has been very iffy, and sometimes nonexistent. <BR> <BR> So here's the list of blogs - <BR> <BR> Leaving the Caribbean, and visiting Devils Island, French Guiana: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/02/good-bye-caribbean-hello-devils-i<BR>sland.html </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Crossing the equator, and Belem, Brazil: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/02/across-blue-equator.html </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Recife, full of color as they ... Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:26:55 EST Birds, Roti, a Flood, and All is Well We had a great time on Trinidad, first being greeted by a student steel pan band - made me feel right at home! Then we toured by walking around town and being adopted by a lovely young lady who may be Trinidad's next big track and field star. Really! She's a part-time tour guide, had just finished a tour, and somehow found us and adopted us for the afternoon! <BR> <BR> We missed out on Tobago, though - our room flooded that morning, and we had to move. Got a room upgrade in the bargain, ... Sat, 11 Feb 2017 10:24:04 EST Aruba, Curaçao, and now on Trinidad! We're so happy to be back "home" in the Caribbean - after 20+ years on St. Thomas, we've missed the warm sea breezes and aqua blue water! We spend a good part of our time chatting up locals, just so that we really do feel at home again! <BR> <BR> Having a great time! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/the-abc-islands-aruba-and-curacao-bu<BR>t.html </link> <BR> <BR> Oh, and I rode the pontoon bridge as it opened and re-closed - free and fun! Plus everyone is gea... Thu, 9 Feb 2017 10:22:06 EST Life on a Cruise Ship We signed up for a cruise from Florida down to Brazil, around to a number of cities including Rio for Carnival - then up the Amazon a ways, and eventually back to Florida. <BR> <BR> It's a little crazy, and a bit of a splurge, but, well, I explain why we opted to travel this way in the blog. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/cruising-caribbean.html </link> <BR> <BR> And even though the average cruiser gains something like 2 lbs a day (!!!), I'm losing weight. S... Mon, 6 Feb 2017 10:26:24 EST And now, the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls We stayed at the hotel in the midst of the national park, and had an amazing view of the falls. But of course I had to get in some hiking to the falls, though I didn't do all the trails. <BR> <BR> Gorgeous, dramatic, and WOW! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/iguazu-falls-argentinian-side.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a couple of views from the top of the biggest and baddest waterfall of all: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:53:33 EST The Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls On Monday, I went across the river to Brazil to hike along the waterfall trail. This is about 2 miles long - at least, I put on about 2 miles on the trail. <BR> <BR> This series of waterfalls in incredible! Amazing! Gorgeous! Majestic! And just about every superlative you can think of - it really is one of those places where every corner yields a vista that just takes your breath away! <BR> <BR> LOTS of photos: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/01/iguazu-fa... Wed, 25 Jan 2017 16:16:54 EST The Women's March goes WORLDWIDE! This is incredible - you really need to see that on all seven continents, women and the men who support us were out there marching! Pink pussy hats and all! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>21/world/ </link> <BR> <BR> Makes me so PROUD to be a woman!!!!!!! Sun, 22 Jan 2017 09:22:45 EST Up one moment, down the next I fell today. <BR> <BR> It's a good thing I walked four miles yesterday - we headed out for a walk and lunch and I don't know what happened. I was walking and talking with DH, next moment my right foot is sliding off the sidewalk and my left was in mid-step and I went careening into a telephone pole! Couldn't quite grab it to hold on, the momentum kept me going and I kind of slid around the pole and ended up lying on my back in the street, between two parked cars. Without any idea of how I... Fri, 20 Jan 2017 22:49:04 EST Happy Birthday to Lima, Peru! This is the 482nd anniversary of the founding of Lima, Peru, by the conquistador Francisco Pizarro. <BR> <BR> So some of the staff at our local neighborhood casino were dressed in 16th century clothing to help celebrate the occasion! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/happy-birthday-lima.html </link> <BR> <BR> I LOVE stuff like this, so of course I ran around taking everyone's photos! I think the rose and burgundy dress was my favorite! <BR> <BR> <img src="http... Wed, 18 Jan 2017 22:29:28 EST An Odd Musical Deja Vu Coincidence! I was having lunch in my friendly little neighborhood cafe today, and I heard a very familiar melody on their sound system. I listened a bit more closely, and while I couldn't understand any of the words (since I'm in Lima, Peru, and much of the music is in Spanish), I could have sworn I knew the melody. <BR> <BR> I listened more closely, and suddenly I knew - this was the tune for "A Groovy Kind of Love" - a song from my youth! I kind of hummed along, and while there were a few parts that... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 18:17:47 EST Three Kings Day We were just walking down the street, looking for a taxi, when there were trumpeters. And three men on horseback, dressed up as Middle Eastern kings. And, well, it was colorful and exciting and celebratory! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/we-saw-three-kings-bearing-gifts.html </link> <BR> <BR> I took photos as the horses ambled by, and then as we passed them on our way home in a taxi. But this is really the best photo: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.s... Sat, 7 Jan 2017 00:55:23 EST A Very Yellow New Year Yellow is the color for good luck in the New Year in South America - so we hung up yellow balloons, and wore yellow leis. Even the Chihuahua! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/a-peruvian-new-years-eve.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a sample of traditional Peruvian Christmas decorations: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 5 Jan 2017 17:43:08 EST A Salsa Band Playing Christmas Carols! They came wandering by, first playing "Feliz Navidad" but then some more familiar carols like "Joy to the World." Still in their salsa beat, on drums and a few brass instruments. <BR> <BR> Christmas in Lima, Peru, has been exciting! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/the-salsa-carollers-for-peruvian.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Tue, 27 Dec 2016 23:21:57 EST Karaoke party - come over and sing along! I won SparkGoodie points on my daily spin, so I just bought a karaoke machine! <BR> <BR> Come join the fun and add a song below!!! Just a title, singer or group, maybe a few lyrics or the memories the song evokes!!! Mon, 26 Dec 2016 12:39:29 EST Return to the Kitty Park Finally blogged about our first two weeks back in Lima, Peru. Turns out to be easier to get a visa for Brazil here than in the US! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/19-december-2016-we-came-to-lima-for.<BR>html </link> <BR> <BR> And of course I've visited the kitty park three times. Lots of walking. Finding old friends again. Having a great time, we like Lima and the dry warm days. <BR> <BR> And the kitties. As well as local color. <BR> <BR> <img src="http... Mon, 19 Dec 2016 13:05:34 EST Leaving Bellingham (home) and heading to Lima, Peru. <BR> <BR> Because my husband's dentist happens to be there. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2/its-cold-and-were-out-of-here.html </link> <BR> <BR> We're SO COLD and mostly want to get somewhere warm - and south of the equator is heading into summer. Seemed like a good way to warm up again! <BR> Mon, 5 Dec 2016 00:41:25 EST Wedding in Hawaii, and my medical stuff We had a great time at my niece's wedding in Hawaii, and then a big family and friends reception back in the US. <BR> <BR> I'm having weird medical stuff going on - every test is great except my heart is doing weird stuff and no one knows why. As I said, weird. <BR> <BR> But not to worry, we're doing more testing, and we should have a diagnosis after a test on Monday. At least we hope so. <BR> <BR> We're also making contingency plans in case we can't continue travelling at the pace we've... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 02:53:08 EST Chocolate improves brain function <link><BR>more-chocolate-might-make-you-smarter-<BR>new-study-suggests.html?cid=cp01002quartz </link> <BR> <BR> My brother sent me the link to this article. Apparently chocolate helps improve brain functions - this came out of an extensive study of foods and their effect on the human brain. <BR> <BR> Not that we need a whole lot of chocolate. Not denying that too much of the wrong kind of chocolate is high calorie and not nutritious. <BR> <BR> No,... Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:05:20 EST Helicopter Over Hawaii Photos and the story of our helicopter tour of the Pu'u O'o crater and lava flow to the sea, and some waterfalls. Plus views of Mauna Loa volcano as we drove by. Fiery hot gelato. And volcanic rock cliffs. <BR> <BR> Yeah. Hawaii is great! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/pele-is-alive-and-well-and-living-in<BR>.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Fri, 4 Nov 2016 05:29:04 EST Hotel Halloween, in Hawaii We can hear the luau going on right now, but this morning I went trick-or-treating at our hotel. It was so funny! They had free bags to carry, a route to follow to five offices around the hotel, and everyone in those offices excited to see kids coming to collect candy. <BR> <BR> Yeah, I was their first trick-or-treater! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/hotel-halloween.html </link> <BR> <BR> I had fun, chatted with people in every office (who all recognized wh... Tue, 1 Nov 2016 01:14:37 EST The Volcano Blog We had a fabulous day visiting the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii. I've always wanted to see lava, and it was bubbling up and spewing and making me happy! <BR> <BR> The Jaggar Museum was also interesting. <BR> <BR> But live lava - just WOW! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/visiting-pele-goddess-of-volcanoes.html </link> <BR> <BR> Teaser photos: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img s... Fri, 28 Oct 2016 06:30:44 EST Sleeping sea turtles, and black sand beaches! We headed toward the Kilauea crater, but we were sidetracked by our visit to the black sand beach at Punalu'u. Not exactly soft sand, since it's made from tiny bits of black lava rock. But beautiful and dark and different. <BR> <BR> The green sea turtles come out of the water to nap on the warm sand, which retains heat from the sun for hours. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/turtles-sleeping-on-black-lava-sand.<BR>html </link> <BR> <BR> We had such a great ti... Tue, 25 Oct 2016 05:52:19 EST HAWAII!!!!!!! We're in Hawaii, playing for three weeks prior to my niece's wedding. SO nice to be warm and in a tropical setting again! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>0/kitties-and-mongoose-and-saffron.html </link> <BR> <BR> With lovely views and gorgeous flowers. How can we not love this place? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 23 Oct 2016 00:32:06 EST We went up to Mount Baker Gorgeous views, fresh clean air, and hiking around! Had a wonderful time, and probably need to do this more often! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>9/mountain-to-ocean-peak-to-bay-skiing<BR>-to.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:11:57 EST Getting caught up We've had a very busy month in the northwest corner of Washington state - three weeks celebrating my birthday, spending time with friends and family, and taking care of a year's worth of medical visits and tests. <BR> <BR> Busy! And also fun! <BR> <BR> Here's the link: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>9/catching-up-on-everything.html </link> <BR> <BR> And I found plastic cows in the supermarket. Not for sale, though. Just as decoration. <BR> <BR> <img src="... Thu, 8 Sep 2016 03:36:14 EST Ospreys! We have ospreys!!! I went birding - and saw ospreys!!!!!! Parent ospreys, teenage ospreys, kid ospreys, and osprey nests!!!!!!!! Plus some walking around the nature refuge, and climbing the lookout tower - what a wonderful day!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/the-birds-birds.html </link> <BR> <BR> Here's Osprey Junior debating whether to fly or not: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 1 Aug 2016 01:11:56 EST New Jersey, Home of Kitsch New Jersey!!!! The home of kitsch!!! A giant elephant!!! Huge ice cream you can sit in! You'll be amazed!!!!! And then: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/summertime-and-living-is-kitschy.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 23:45:36 EST Hotel Room Workouts An article I wrote for Travel Fashion Girl has been published in her blog. I talk about how we need strength training to maintain muscle strength, especially as we age. And how to use body weight as the resistance for strength training while travelling. <BR> <BR> Here's the link to the article: <link><BR>kouts/ </link> <BR> <BR> And I even cite SparkPeople as a source for some of the info - YAY to SparkPeople! Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:30:41 EST Goodbye Guatemala, Hello USA Or, why you need to wear shoes in developing countries. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>7/were-fine-just-busy.html </link> <BR> <BR> We had a great time in Guatemala City, shopping and chatting and all. I also started sketching, and got a great haircut. <BR> <BR> All while my poor hubby was a bit ill with a stomach thing. Which, we found out today, is a persistent kind of parasite that one can get in a variety of ways. Including walking around barefoot. I've... Wed, 20 Jul 2016 23:15:21 EST What NOT to Wear After Age 50 Women are always told what to do, how to look, what to wear. You know? And as we age and get wiser, we're told not to wear this or that. Don't have long hair. Not too much makeup. <BR> <BR> Blah blah blah. <BR> <BR> THIS! This article tells us what not to wear - except, it isn't about clothing. It's about all the things we take on as women. And what we can do without. Including the attitudes of the rest of the world! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s/wha... Sun, 17 Jul 2016 13:28:00 EST Urban Sketching I stumbled on this organization, called Urban Sketchers. They're an international organization of people who sketch where they live, where they travel, what they see in the world. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> So I joined. Part of the mission statement is that we share our sketches online. I find it easiest to do this by blogging, so I have a new blog site: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> This will take you to the most rec... Thu, 7 Jul 2016 13:26:18 EST Wrapping up our time in Antigua Guatemala We've enjoyed having Antigua as our "home base" for the past five weeks while we've travelled about this region of Guatemala, and northward. But we're heading to the big city, and hoping to make it as far as the Caribbean coast. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6/mellow-life-in-antigua-guatemala.html </link> <BR> <BR> We've had a great time in this city, the old capital of Guatemala. With all kinds of fascinating history. And with volcanoes in the near distance... Sun, 26 Jun 2016 02:00:08 EST Visited an animal wildlife rescue center, talked to the ocelots Well, I talked, they listened. The parrots and macaws talked to me, saying "Hola! Hola!" It was interesting, it was fun, and it was sort of sad as well. The animals are well taken care of, but I'd rather see them wild and free. This area was for education, with animals that are unable to be returned to the jungle for a variety of reasons. (The re-education area, where animals are taken care of but are being trained to return to the wild, is off limits for the casual visitor.) <BR> <BR>... Sun, 19 Jun 2016 16:55:28 EST Tikal, the ancient Mayan city We're staying in Santa Elena, up in northern Guatemala, right on Lake Peten. We came up to see the Mayan city of Tikal, one of the largest Mayan cities yet uncovered. I love visiting ancient buildings and cities, seeing what humans created eons ago, trying to understand how they lived and how they understood the world around them. <BR> <BR> It was incredible! One of those overpowering experiences where you feel like a tiny insignificant speck in the universe, and the history of our tiny p... Sat, 18 Jun 2016 01:29:21 EST More adventures at the Choco Museo It was a cold and rainy Sunday. I can only read for so long. So I joined another truffle making workshop. And was named sous chef by our chocolatier, Orlando. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6/truffles-in-rain.html </link> <BR> <BR> Had quite an audience today, LOL! And a fun group in the class. <BR> <BR> Not to worry, DH gets half my truffles. And I only eat 2 or 3 a day. So for an afternoon of playing with chocolate, I walked away with 7 truffles for m... Mon, 13 Jun 2016 00:04:43 EST We have a huffing and puffing and smoking volcano We seem to be surrounded by volcanoes here in Guatemala - one of them is smoking and sending out ash. Ah well, at least it isn't rumbling and spewing lava. Though I've never seen that, it might be kind of exciting. From a distance, of course. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6/moods-of-mountains.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here's the map: <BR> <BR> <img src="http... Sun, 12 Jun 2016 01:08:41 EST Eight habits of people who lose weight I don't normally post links from other fitness websites, but this one resonated with me. People who lose weight have some things in common. I have to admit, I haven't stuck to all of these, but we all know these make a difference: <BR> <BR> - Eat nutritious foods <BR> <BR> - Plan ahead <BR> <BR> - Do workouts or exercise they ENJOY (my biggie! If it's not fun, I don't do it) <BR> <BR> - Be consistent <BR> <BR> - Build habits that can be sustained <BR> <BR> - Focus on how you feel w... Wed, 8 Jun 2016 19:04:43 EST A rainy night in Panajachel, Guatemala The thunder is beginning, but I want to just add today's post. We leave Panajachel tomorrow, and head back to Antigua before we head north to the jungles. <BR> <BR> It's chilly tonight in the Guatemalan highlands - but there have been amazing views of the volcanoes across the lake! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6/farewell-panajachel.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tue, 7 Jun 2016 00:46:30 EST Dad's hat gets a makeover I washed Dad's hat, which has been travelling with us for 2.5 years, and gave it a new hatband. The hat appreciates it, and had fun on his trip to the lake today. <BR> <BR> Plus I took photos of cute shoeshine boys, and a lady in a store where we bought a few items. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6/maurys-hat-redux.html </link> <BR> <BR> And here's the hat sporting his new band: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 4 Jun 2016 20:43:22 EST Drama on the lake So we're in this little motorized launch, crossing the deepest lake in Central America. And our boat captain gets in a fight with another boat captain. Other guy boards our boat, like a pirate! We end up drifting as they push and shove and argue. Uh, yeah. It was an adventure! <BR> <BR> The full story is in our blog: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6/drama-on-lake.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 2 Jun 2016 16:08:16 EST Can't say enough good things about Guatemala! There are little treasures hidden around each corner, old buildings that are still standing, and equally old ruins that are half standing. Colorful clothes on people, colorful buildings all around. Emotional statues, happy children. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/first-week-in-antigua-guatemala.html </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.... Wed, 1 Jun 2016 02:05:01 EST Guatemala - Amazing color, scenery, people! Wow, we've been in the town of Antigua Guatemala for three and a half days and this place is wonderful! Colorful, busy, and it seems as if something is always happening! People are friendly, the textiles are incredible. Flowers everywhere!!! Loving it! <BR> <BR> The blog: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>5/antigua-guatemala.html </link> <BR> <BR> A few teaser photos: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 27 May 2016 21:42:44 EST Life Without A Scale My Spark friends know that my DH and I retired, sold most of our belongings, and hit the road almost four years ago. We're just travelling the world and doing all the things we've always wanted to do. <BR> <BR> Of course, that means rarely cooking since we usually don't have a kitchen. And lots of walking, since we usually don't have a vehicle. But we almost always have wifi access, and I've been pretty faithful about tracking my nutrition and exercise. I do my ST each and every morning,... Fri, 27 May 2016 01:14:57 EST Lima, Peru again We had a quick eleven days in Peru, warming up after being in Santiago, and while we figured out where to head next. <BR> <BR> The nice thing about revisiting a place is that we can relax and enjoy the places we like best, without trying to fit in tons of sightseeing. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/hello-lima-goodbye-lima.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a lovely kitty: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 25 May 2016 00:21:07 EST Wrapping up Rapa Nui We had such a fabulous time on Easter Island - one of the things to do is to watch sunrise at Ahu Tongariki, the platform on the east side of the island. Dramatic, beautiful, and amazing stars on our drive over there! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2016/05/dawn-over-rapa-nui.html </link> <BR> <BR> TONS of photos, but I think this is my favorite view: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Tue, 17 May 2016 11:27:47 EST Rapa Nui! Also known as Easter Island. We are so blown away by Rapa Nui - this island is amazing! Not only that it's over 2000 miles (3600 or so km) from anywhere. The culture. The history. The moai, which are one of the most awe-inspiring sights! Just absolutely incredible, the whole thing. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/rapa-nui.html </link> <BR> <BR> Even if you don't read it - check the blog and look at the photos. Words can't even express how huge and monumental and overpowering the statue... Mon, 9 May 2016 21:13:16 EST Wrapping up our time in Santiago I should be finalizing my packing and heading to sleep, but instead I'm finishing blogging. Ah well, I don't want to disappoint my public, LOL! <BR> <BR> Here's the blog about the hill by our apartment, and then the basilica down the block: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/farewell-to-santiago.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a few photos: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="http... Wed, 4 May 2016 22:31:13 EST The National Fine Arts Museum of Santiago - Unexpected! I visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago - wow, what a thought-provoking experience! The major exhibit was a collection of paintings that the museum owns, but exhibited in a manner that invites the viewer to question traditional values of masculinity and male behaviors. All I can say is wow! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/museo-nacional-bellas-artes-santiago.<BR>html </link> <BR> <BR> The museum itself is a beautiful building! <BR> <BR> Unfortunately,... Sat, 30 Apr 2016 20:36:09 EST In the art museum neighborhood of Santiago, Chile We're back in Santiago, and we're in a little apartment near the art museums. Whole other feel here, with tons of little cafes, lots of ethnic restaurants, and the huge park that runs along the river. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/our-first-week-in-belles-artes.html </link> <BR> <BR> Here's the building of the Museum of Contemporary Art, and a lovely little painting there: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 27 Apr 2016 23:07:52 EST The Art Museum of Buenos Aires We had our last week in Buenos Aires, and are heading back to Santiago, Chile, early tomorrow morning. <BR> <BR> I finally made it to the art museum - with this wet autumn weather, it was a nice warm place to stay inside but still get in some walking! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>6/04/el-museo-nacional-de-belles-artes<BR>.html </link> <BR> <BR> And a couple of favorites: Berthe Morisot lovely young women, and Edgar Degas's ballet dancers. <BR> <BR> <img sr... Tue, 19 Apr 2016 22:02:47 EST