Sunday, June 19, 2022

Mosaic Monday #181: A Bigger Boat

As the family planned our vacation to Grand Cayman, the men finalized the details of a deep-sea fishing trip.  8 hours on a boat.  Hmmm. Not my cup of tea!!!

But they seemed to have a good time!  They all had plenty of turns in the "fighting chair".

And came back with enough tuna for more than two meals!

Check out the videos - the men also pulled in some barracuda, but they are not recommended by the locals for eating.

"You're gonna need a bigger boat." BRODY, JAWS 




So, what are the ladies to do?  Go to the spa, of course!  And enjoy the tuna!  (with plantains, and rice and beans)

December 2012 treated our family to Grand Cayman diving for the first time, and Man with Snorkel booked our dives through Living the Dream Divers.  It's hard to grasp that we have known the owners, Gary and Liz, for 10 years.  We felt an immediate affinity for them, since they are originally from the UK.  But it goes beyond that, to the way they treat their clients, like family!  They have watched our kids grow up, and we have witnessed the growth of their business.  I will write a little more about that in a future post!

For the Fiance, this was his first time diving after he achieved his certification - a special moment!  Man with Go Pro did not take any photos the first dive - the emphasis was on making sure the "kids" had a good experience - even for our children, it had been five years since they had been diving!  (Spousal Unit and I, having arrived a couple of days ahead, already had two dives under our "weight" belts!)  So, the photos I share below were taken over two days and several dives.  Enjoy!



Check out the video of the Green Moray.



I am obsessed with Porcupinefish.  Maybe you can see why in this video.


All this hard work (!) diving makes everyone hungry.


And puts big smiles on all the faces!


"The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul."  ROBERT WYLAND

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Mosaic Monday #180: Sweat, Tears or the Sea

 

"At the beach, life is different.  Time doesn't move hour to hour but mood to moment.  We live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun."  SANDY GRINGAS

This post shares more photos from Grand Cayman.  They are not all from the same day, but they share a common theme: days we whiled away the hours on the beach!

Walks on the beach are soothing and refreshing, especially when that unexpected wave rushes up to nibble your toes.

Perhaps I have become more attuned to flowers, in my retirement, than I was on previous visits.  I certainly don't recall these delicate flowers in bloom on this plant.


This hammock has seen better days!


Seven Mile Beach has several public beaches; Cemetery Beach was less than 10 minutes' walk from our condo.  I love how the white picket fence denotes the boundaries of the public Beach.  Directly off this beach, the natural reef is 165 feet from shore.  With large underwater pinnacles, you will see a wide variety of fish.  On one day of snorkeling, we saw two large loggerhead turtles within 5 minutes.


This sign made me wonder about "Jan's" story ....


One day, we rented a paddleboard.  I spent more time in the water than on the board!  #1 Daughter was pretty adept!


We experimented with several new restaurants during our visit, and Bayside was the standout.  Unique and delicious cocktails.  Staff that were welcoming and gracious.  Great food.  We will be back!


And of course, every beach day worth its salt ends with a gorgeous sunset.






"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea."  ISAK DINESEN

Linking to Wandering Camera

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, June 5, 2022

M M #179: The Beach is Cheaper than Therapy

Welcome back to Mosaic Monday, and do I have some treats for you!  If you like tropical flowers, sunsets, summer cocktails and sea creatures, you came to the right place!  The island paradise of Grand Cayman hosted our family for over a week, and what a joy it was.  Throw on your flip-flops, and let's go!





Originally, this trip was planned for May 2020, as a celebration of #1 Son's graduation from The Ohio State University.  We all know why that trip didn't happen!


Well, some things are worth the wait!  I am grateful to Spousal Unit for navigating the complexities of air travel in an (almost) post-pandemic world.  Loads of paperwork, COVID testing during specific time windows before travel, ensuring we had tests for our return, the list goes on!

Everyone tested negative, but the in-bound flights had challenges.  Our checked bag did not make one of our connections, and arrived the next day.  #1 Daughter and her fiance were informed that their first flight would be delayed by two hours, virtually guaranteeing that they would miss their connection.  Fortunately, they heard this the night before, and were able to change the city of departure.  They jumped in the car right then, and got a few hours of sleep at the house of our future in-laws before being driven to the airport early the next morning.  First-world problems!

Spousal Unit and I landed a couple of days before the "kids", and we immediately re-enacted one of our traditions - lunch at Camana Bay.  The name of the restaurant has changed, but the view is still just as spectacular as it was in 2017, the last time we came to the island!


We stocked up on supplies at the grocery store, returning to the condo with enough time to enjoy the white sands of Seven Mile Beach.  Generally, the island was quieter than our past visits; I believe this can be attributed to 1. Time of year - May directly precedes hurricane season - we frequently came in December; our 2017 trip was in March; and 2. Tourists are just starting to travel again.  Whatever the reason, we didn't mind that we practically had the beach to ourselves!



From the rooster at the grocery store, to the lizards sunning themselves on the sand, to the crabs staying just out of reach of the surf, the unchanging critter landscape was reassuringly familiar.


Can anyone identify the bird in the video below?


"Get outside.  Watch the sunrise.  Watch the sunset.  How does that make you feel?  Does it make you feel big or tiny?  Because there's something good about feeling both."  AMY GRANT


Still photos of the sunset are mesmerizing, but I think video captures the movement of the ocean AND the sunset.



"Because there's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away."  SARAH KAY

Come back next week for more!


Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Mosaic Monday #178: Broughton Castle


Trips to the UK are not complete without at least one castle, so here you go!  Around 1300, Sir John de Broughton, a knight of King Edward I, built his manor house in a sheltered site at the junction of three streams and surrounded it with a substantial moat.  The greater part of his house and the moat remain today.

William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England, bought the house in 1377, and since then it has been in the continuous ownership of the same family.

Sir Thomas Wykeham obtained a license to "crenellate and embattle" in 1406; he added the battlement walls to the gatehouse, thus giving the medieval house a military appearance.  These changes allowed the manor house to be called a castle.  Hey honey, can we crenellate and embattle the log house?


We had a specific time to tour the castle; having arrived early, we invested the time in walking the grounds.  This flower was blooming in the high grass - it was new to me and I loved the unique texture.  Can you see what look like scales or a checkered pattern?  I learned later in the week that this is called Snake's Head Fritillary.  Most often it is purple, but it sometimes appears in white, as you can see in the collage below.


Even with the rationed tour times, the number of visitors made it difficult to take pictures.  Fortunately, my in-laws bought a pamphlet about the house, and I have it to remember the visit.  My pictures, on the other hand, focused on 'artsy' elements of interest to me!



The chapel was not a room open to visitors, but you could take pictures of the stained glass through a squint in the north-east corner of Queen Anne's Room.  The East Window contains stained glass from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, set in a 1994 window by Alfred Fisher.  The chapel is a rare example of a 14th century private chapel.  The fixed stone altar slab supported on three solid brackets and the encaustic tiles on the floor are all of the original date.  

The embroidered pillow below was in the Gallery, remodelled in the Gothic style in the 1760's and redecorated in 1970.  The gallery contains family portraits from the late 16th Century through to Geoffrey, the 18th Lord Saye & Sele who died in 1937.

The unusual compound title of Saye and Sele dates from the original creation of the Baronry in 1447.  It is partly personal, from the connection with the family's French ancestors in Normandy, the Lords Say.  It is also territorial through the ownership of the land at Seal (now on the outskirts of Sevenoaks) in Kent.  (Not sure why the modern-day spelling is Sele rather than Seal ...)


I was fascinated by the Bury Lodge Room.  The wallpaper is by Zuber of Alsace and dates from 1840.  The furniture is largely from Bury Lodge, Hambledon, Hampshire, the home of the 21st Lord Saye and Sele's maternal grandparents.  Just look at this embroidery on the bedcover!


Writing of needlework - this table cover, the work of Caroline Twisleton in 1849, traces the history of the Saye & Sele family in panels of needlepoint.


One of the side rooms had a display about Celia Fiennes (1662 - 1741).  Celia rode side-saddle through every county in England in the late 1690's - enterprising journeys at a time of highwaymen and mud-tracks for roads.  Her diaries about her excursions have become an important source of information for historians looking at life in England in this period.  In the gift shop, I bought a book that contains her diaries.

You may be wondering if there is any connection between Celia Fiennes and the well-known actor Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient, Schindler's List, Harry Potter films and James Bond films).  Why yes!  Ralph, and his brother Joseph (also an actor), as well as the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes are directly descended from Frederick, 16th Lord Saye & Sele.  

As usual, I was the last one to finish exploring the castle, and not seeing any of my party, I hastened to the gift shop.  Not one of them in sight.  Hmmm .... where could they be?  I made my purchase and headed back to the castle.  I found them rounding one corner, and quickly learned that I had missed a staircase to the roof.  I snuck back in and climbed the stairs.  Totally worth it!

To the right is the Ladies Garden installed by Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox in the late 1890s.  In 1895, the Gordon-Lennox family rented the Castle from John, 17th Lord Saye & Sele, and stayed for 17 years.

The castle has had its ups and downs over the years.  William Thomas, 15th Lord Saye & Selem engaged in a life of frivolity and extravagance that resulted in a twelve-day sale, disposing of the bulk of the contents in the castle.  The last items sold?  The swans on the moat.



Within a stone's throw of the gatehouse lies the parish church of St. Mary Broughton.  The church built by Sir John de Broughton is largely early 14th Century, although a 12th Century font in the church may be a survivor from an earlier building.

"Broughton ... the most beautiful of houses, medieval in a 16th century shell with Gothick additions, entered across a moat and through a gatehouse, almost a standard kit for an idyll.  There's a formal garden, great plush borders along the old ramparts and cows and sheep grazing in the water meadows beyond, overlooking all this rambling honey-coloured house ... as magical inside as out, handsome rooms lined with linenfold paneling and a splendid drawing room overlooking the moat.  My wonder at the place makes me foolish and I'm sure I gush .."  Alan Bennett, Writing Home, 1996
***
I may be slow in commenting this week.

****I will be taking a break from posting on 5/29.  Come back to Mosaic Monday on June 5.

Linking to Wanderlust https://www.ue30blogger.de/2022/04/blogparade-wanderlust-ue30blogger-friends.html


Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...