Friday, October 07, 2011

Rome to Fort Lauderdale, November 2011

Rome to Fort Lauderdale
November 27-December 16, 2011

Pre-cruise hotel:  Hotel Nazionale

Cruise Itinerary
Date Port Arrival Departure
Nov 27 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
6:00 PM
28 Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy 7:00 AM 7:00 PM
29 Genoa, Italy (for Milan) 7:00 AM 7:00 PM
30 Nice, France 7:00 AM 4:00 PM
Dec 1 Barcelona, Spain 10:00 AM 10:00 PM
2 At Sea

3 Motril (Granada), Spain 7:00 AM 7:00 PM
4 Gibraltar, Great Britain 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
5 Casablanca, Morocco (for Marrakech) 7:00 AM 7:00 PM
6 At Sea

7 Madeira (Funchal), Portugal 7:00 AM 2:00 PM
8 At Sea

9 At Sea

10 At Sea

11 At Sea

12 At Sea

13 Bermuda (Hamilton) 9:00 AM 5:00 PM
14 At Sea

15 At Sea

16 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 7:00 AM

Yosemite National Park

 Half Dome at Sunset
Yosemite National Park
(The "Ahwahnee Chief" in Half Dome watching over Yosemite.)

Yosemite is truly awe inspiring.  I had never been to Yosemite before, and I loved being there.  I realize that   for more than 100 years, millions of people have been going to Yosemite and taking wonderful photos there; however, I am very grateful that I too was able to go there and take my photos.  I am just sorry that I was not able to stay longer than two days on this trip. 

While there, I stayed at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel, a rustic old hotel.  In any location outside a National Park, this hotel would be rated as a one-star (or lower)  hotel; it is in great need of renovation.  However, the location and convenience were great. 

One drawback of Yosemite was the exorbitant prices at the hotels and restaurants; they were the most overpriced places I have ever visited.  The prices were completely ridiculous. 

While I was there, I took a photo class at the Ansel Adams gallery, and I enjoyed hearing the story of Ansel Adams at Yosemite, as well as going for a photo walk for the morning.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Avenue of the Giants

September, 2011

After leaving Wine Country, drove up to see the giant redwood trees along Route 101. Meandered along the California coast and stopping in Mendocino, a quaint little town, and Fort Bragg.

Stayed at the Benbow Inn, an elegant old inn listed on the National Register of Historic Places and visited by President Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many movie stars.

Visited Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and drove along the Avenue of the Giants. The giant redwoods are awe inspiring; they give one a feeling of awe and peace. Also drove up to Eureka for a few hours, with its old Victorian buildings.

Sonoma California Wine Country

September, 2011 visit to Sonoma County California.

Stayed in Healdsburg, in the heart of Wine Country. Visited several of the more than 50 vineyards and wineries in Dry Creek Valley, including Ferrari-Carano and Sbragia. Also visited two of the wineries in the Russian River Valley -- Sonoma Cutrer and Korbel.

Had dinner at Cyrus, a Michelin two-star restaurant in Healdsburg. The atmosphere and service were great, but perhaps I am a bit too pedestrian for the exotic foods served. I think I prefer more recognizable foods than those served at this restaurant.

Visited Santa Rosa, former home of Charles Shulz, author of the comic strip, Peanuts. Santa Rosa has a very pleasant "old town" section.

Also visited the town of Sonoma, which was having a fall festival. Some of the buildings on the square in Sonoma date back to the Spaniards, and are interesting to visit.