Sunday, November 26, 2017

What's in my Camera Bag (& some Cyber Monday deals)

Last weekend, I attended the Festival of the Cranes at Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico (more about that in a future post).  Being there with a hundred or so other serious amateurs and pros and seeing all the giant Canon & Nikon telephoto lenses, I realized that I'd never blogged about converting my camera equipment from Canon to Panasonic last year.

I made the jump when Panasonic released its amazing Leica 100-400 telephoto lens (which equates to a 200-800mm lens in 35mm full-frame format).  The ability to own an 800mm lens/camera system that was significantly smaller and cheaper than Canon was simply too compelling to ignore!  Here's a comparison of what I mean:

From L to R:  Panasonic G85 w/100-400 (eq 200-800), Canon 7D w/500 (eq 800), Canon 6D w/800

Friday, November 24, 2017

Maui Wowie!

After an amazing time in Kauai, Randy, Karen, and I headed over to Maui for our 2nd week in Hawaii.   It's surprising how far apart the islands are from each other-- our Hawaiian Airlines flight took around 45 minutes and traveled about 225 miles.

Our airBnB condo was another great success-- ocean views from each room, and this time, sunset views!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Visiting my 50th State!

I visited my 49th state, Delaware, way back in 2011 and at the time, figured I'd be visiting my 50th state the next year for my 50th birthday.  Millie getting cancer and needing radiation treatment in Arizona nixed that plan the next year, and things just started taking more priority than a long and expensive non-RV trip.

But when I started doing my abbreviated bucket list, visiting my 50th state was now at the top of the list again-- a 12-day trip to Hawaii.  Specifically, to Kauai and Maui!

 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Golden San Juans

While the area around Vail is quite pretty, it doesn't equal the spectacle of southwest Colorado's San Juan range, especially when the aspens peak in late September.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Autumn Summer

We had some wonderfully spectacular sunsets while sitting on the front porch this summer.


After learning that I'd been taken off of chemo in August, my dearest high school friend Sheri (a cancer warrior goddess herself), put her foot down.  We'd been trying to firm up plans all year to reunite, but this news would accelerate things.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Colorado Summer

In early June, Carol and I headed over to Houston's Hobby airport on a sunny, hot, and humid morning.  She had a one-way flight back to Chicago, while my one-way flight would take me to Denver.  Had to fly around one thunderstorm in the panhandle, but otherwise, another smooth and successful flight as a wheelchair patient. 



Saturday, October 21, 2017

5 Months in Houston

I've been conflicted about what to do with the blog this year.  When I first got my life-changing terminal cancer diagnosis in January, I knew I didn't want to turn this RV travel blog into a "look at me, I have cancer" blog.

But, as the year has progressed, I've been able to more traveling than I originally thought (even some travels in the RV with the help of family).  I was also incredibly touched by all the heartfelt comments to my original post (as well as the many reader emails I received).  It didn't seem right to not to give you all an update or two about what I've been doing this year.  So, here goes the first of a few catch-up posts....

Here's the first photo of the year (from my hospital bed in Guadalajara the night before my 12-hour back surgery).  I guess I've "come a long way baby" considering it took me 30 minutes to just get into "feet-dangling off the bed position" after surgery!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mexico-ready '09 View For Sale

UPDATE July, 2017 -- This View has now been sold to some lovely RV blogger friends of mine.  Can't wait to follow their exciting travels in the months ahead (and hopefully meet them down the road)!  If you missed out on this View, stay tuned-- my own WinnieView will likely be up for sale within the next couple of months as RVing is becoming more physically challenging for me these days. Contact me at the email address listed on the sidebar if you'd like to be alerted before it gets listed here.

My Mexico traveling buddies, Hans and Ursula, have recently decided to conclude their RVing travel adventures for a more stationary lifestyle in the Lake Chapala region of Mexico.  If you've ever wished to own a meticulously clean V6 Mercedes Sprinter Winnebago View that can handle Mexico's non-ULSD diesel fuel...read on!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Life Turns to a New Direction




This is a very hard post to write.  Three weeks ago, my life changed in an instant.  No real warning, no time to prepare, no time to do anything but focus on the new firehose of reality that was now rapidly propelling me in a totally new direction.

I know lots of travels and photos have transpired between my last blog post (my summer volunteer ranger gig at Bryce Canyon National Park last summer) and now.  I hope to fill those gaps with backdated posts in the coming weeks as I get the time/energy.  

But this post may very well end up being my last, chronologically speaking.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Trinidad, Cienfuegos & Varadero

After a quick overnight stay at Mariel's Casa Particular in Havana, we headed back to the Havana Libre hotel for our 7:00am bus to Trinidad.  It was another Transtur bus, so of course it was 45 minutes late, but at least this time it was not full and I had both seats to myself to stretch out.

The trip to Trinidad took 6 hours, but the bus stopped at 2 tourist rest stops for passengers to use the restrooms, eat lunch, and stretch our legs, so the trip was enjoyable.

Most of the scenery from Havana to Cienfuegos was rural and undeveloped except for various sugar cane fields dotting the highway.  The scenery became more hilly and spectacular between Cienfuegos and Trinidad as we drove through the Parque Natural Topes de Collantes--


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Cuba's Viñales Valley

After 5 nights in one UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Havana, we were now ready to explore some of Cuba's other UNESCO sites-- the tobacco plantations of Viñales Valley, and the historic towns of Trinidad and Cienfuegos.  As these locations are hours away from each other, we decided to take one of Cuba's tourist bus lines to get us there.


Friday, January 6, 2017

The Streets of Havana

We spent a total of 5 days in old Havana.  Most of our time was spent wandering the streets and photographing the people, colorful old cars, and crumbling colonial architecture.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Historic Days in Havana

For our first morning in Havana, we decided to have the breakfast provided by casa owners Lili and Manolo.  This is a common way for casa owners to make some extra money, and most provide a fairly filling breakfast for US$5/each consisting of eggs, juice, coffee, fruit, bread, and lunchmeat.

When we arrived to Lili and Manolo's apartment, the TV was on and Manolo seemed absolutely glued to it while Lili began to serve us our breakfast.  Even with our language barrier, within a few seconds, we learned why-- Fidel Castro had just died a few hours ago.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Havana Hell-o

When Hans and Ursula asked months ago if I'd like to travel to Cuba with them for a few weeks during our winter in Mexico, my mind envisioned colorful buildings and 1950's cars, stiff mojitos, the aromatic smell of cigar smoke, rhythmic mambo bands, and lots of palm trees.  It sounded idyllic!  Before we left Colorado in October, we also watched a few Cuba travel DVDs, and they too pumped up our excitement about visiting this exotic destination, long forbidden to American travelers.

Cuba turned out to be all those things, but its daily reality was sometimes far from what the idyllic travel DVDs and guide books portrayed.  This would rarely always be a 3-week vacation in paradise.


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