Archive for ‘Florida’

June 3, 2017

The State of Sao Paulo, this is a new spot in my map: Vinhedo

And this was the end of my twirling tour of inner inland country Brazil last month. I have been to many small towns some just passing and not mention but worth it of a great tour to know the country first hand. I have been many times to Brazil over the year and lived for 6 months in Curitiba in Paranà State, but each time coming back is a wonderful adventure of great thrills, good food, natural beauty ,and beautiful people in and out.

I rode up to Vinhedo in the State of Sao Paulo  ,and part of the municipality of Campinas ,and just 75 km (about 46 miles)  from Sao Paulo.  I came by the main road or Rodovia Anhanguera SP-330.  The days were rainy but did not stop enjoying the place. The tourist info ,history , and grape festival info on the town is here in Portuguese:

http://www.vinhedo.sp.gov.br/cultura-e-turismo/pontos-turisticos/

http://www.vinhedo.sp.gov.br/cultura-e-turismo/historico-da-cidade/

http://www.vinhedo.sp.gov.br/cultura-e-turismo/festas-da-uva-e-do-vinho/

I did not have time to see all in the town but the main points are the Parque Municipal Jayme Ferragut, where the famous Grape Festival is held and the Aquatic park.  The main Church of Saint Ana in city center; The Christ Redemptor statue overlooking the city, the monastery of Sao Bento; and the Adega or Bodega or Wine Estate of Ferragut, where grape juice, season fruits, visit to grape plantation and production of wine and juice is shown with tastings. I believe these are the main ones, and I visited most.

First, I stayed at the wonderful spacious , friendly, good food, and great pool/gym facilities in the Vinhedo Plaza Hotel, centrally located walking to many goodies indeed! The hotel webpage is here: http://vinhedoplazahotel.com.br/en/

I had time to have my breakfasts here and the buffet is very good at the hotel Gala Restaurant.

I ,also, had the time to meet up with a friend and had lunch with his family at a local newer restaurant call Q Maria. The family owners has been here for over 40 yrs offering a fruit and vegetable market and recently decided to open a Japanese/Brazilian restaurant next door, which we visited. The service of course was very friendly as already knew my friend, and the food delicious with a topping of cheese over a fish in a caramel sauce that was to kill for. The wine was from Chile Taparaca and was allowed to bring the bottle in with a cork fee! the whole afternoon was very nice and a chance to speak my Portuguese with local folks in a chatting friendly environment. Memorable indeed. The resto is here in Portuguese. http://www.ciceronevinhedo.com.br/artigo/q-maria-restaurante-e-sushi-e-a-nova-opcao-de-culinaria-japonesa-

Their Facebook page is here too : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quitanda-Da-Maria/694145327275442

I did had time to pass the main Church of Santa Ana in downtown/city center,  a wonderful façade indeed. Parrish webpage in Portuguese here: http://www.paroquiasantanavinhedo.com.br/paroquia/

I went up a wonderful family park where the mirador or lookout Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor)  sits with wonderful views of the city below. It has a permanent collection of Msgr Favorino a very dear priest, and has playground, lunch truck, acoustic shell for concerts and parking.

The expo park and where the great Grape Festival is held, and during my visit an expo on Japanese manga was going on with visitors from that country. The name is Parque Municipal Jayme Ferragut, with an area of 92K m2 and has a gym sports center, artificial lake, walkers trails, picnic areas, water fountain Bica do Boi, skate court, municipal aquatic park, and more!

Next we went up to the monastery of Sao Bento or Saint Benedict  . In 1958 the monks chose Vinhedo to stay and built the place in an uniquely modern fashion. It is a place of pilgrimage in a natural environment where the monks do all the upkeep. You can participate in Gregorian mass and obtain the famous medallions of Sao Bento and many other souvenirs. As a retirement house, the monastery offers the house or Casa Siloé with a complete infrastructure for lodgings in a natural environment proper of relaxation and meditation. More on the official site here: http://www.catolicismoromano.com.br/content/view/1678/42/

They ,also ,have a Facebook page for the Friends of Sao Bento monastery here: https://www.facebook.com/MosteiroVinhedo/

The city has great gates to enter similar to those found in some European cities, and it looks great. I was told many Italians immigrants settled here as well; one reason for the blend of the Italian flag with that of Vinhedo area on the gates entrance.

On my own I set foot all over the city wandering on its beautiful houses and clean streets, finally guided by my own instincts settled for lunch on one of the days there in the Taverna do Chef Nico, and what a find it was! This is classic Brazilian/Italian  home ranch restaurant with many local families and great friendly service including my server who is feature in one of the photos. I have my penne four cheeses here with a great Chilean wine, coffee to end divine a must for next time ,and even my local friend told me it was a good try to meet me there but tight up with visiting family members that I later hook up in the Q Maria resto. The place is recommended more here: http://www.pagefree.net/taverna-do-chef-nico-cucina-siciliana

In all a fitting finale for another wonderful trip to Brazil, now looking forward to the next one next year::) in the meantime, savor the pictures with me and the thrills of been able to visit often this wonderful country. Cheers

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June 2, 2017

The State of Sao Paulo, new places: Cravinhos, and Franca !!!

Back on the road in Brazil, and coming to meet new cities and new ambiances in the country of the State of Sao Paulo. See previous posts for the tourist office of the State.

Cravinhos is in the metro area of Ribeirao Preto and in the State of Sao Paulo, inland in the countryside.  The name of the city comes from the flower Cravina, and the road we took was the SP-330.

The red dirt on the land here was a magnet from families from as far as Rio de Janeiro to settled here and cultivate the coffee of wonderful aroma we can see and taste today. More from the Mayor’s city page in Portuguese here: http://www.cravinhos.sp.gov.br/cidade/conteudo/historia-da-cidade

Passing visiting the real countryside and mingling with the locals I stayed at the nice city hotel  Onyx Inn Hotel right off the road or Rodovia Anhaguera -SP-330 exit 295.  The hotel arriving at night was nice spacious friendly and a good restaurant for a bountiful breakfast. More here:  http://www.onixinnhoteis.com.br/destaques/0/4641/cravinhos

From here we continue almost to the Minas Gerais State line and visit the wonderful town of Franca with its great artificial lake.  A town on the gold rush and founded in 1816 by King Joao VI. Now with a large influence of Italian immigrants the city is know for its shoes making.

We came to Franca on the  road SP-334 named Candido Portinari road.  The mayor’s office with the history of the town in Portuguese here: http://www.franca.sp.gov.br/portal/historia-franca.html

In Franca, we went straight for the artificial lake beach rather nice and now empty but in season it is packed. We had lunch at the Restaurante Barraçao right across from the lake beach.  We had the buffet all you can eat churrasqueria with plenty of meats and a nice brahma beer to boot, just lazy living the best, if I can only be retired lol! More on the restaurant at their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/rest.barracao/

The town also has a nice park with benches and full of shops and restaurants around it .However, the thing here is to head for the beach and just laid low; this is inland Sao Paulo State nothing to do with the city of the same name ::)

We continue onwards to visit another first time city, coming up for the finale; be good and safe travels. Cheers

Cravinhos Cravinhos Cravinhos Franca  Franca  Franca  Franca  Franca  Franca

May 30, 2017

The medieval wonderful Krakow Poland or Cracovie Pologne!

I heard about Krakow from a group of travelers once, and almost made it, but decided  elsewhere. Too bad ,but that is the art of travel, never enough time. You never know where you will be next, and after over 40 years of doing so and 79 countries, visiting one more is always an exciting moment indeed. The food was great with a wonderful quality/price ratio to envy.

This was the case of Krakow, Poland or Cracovie, Pologne, this past mid May 2017.  I was there for a short 4 days but enough to make it one destination to dream of come back to it. Krakow is nice, more on the tourist sites here:

http://www.krakow.pl/english/visit_krakow/2601,glowna.html

http://visitkrakow.com/

http://www.krakow-info.com/information.htm

http://www.staypoland.com/about_krakow.htm

My stay consisted of arriving at Krakow airport and taken a taxi to the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

http://www.krakowairport.pl/en/

http://www.sheratongrandkrakow.com/

While there had time off to see the main areas of the city in the old town. Krakow is compact and very nice indeed in the center.

The main thing is not to missed the Wawel castle, which I did as the tour would have taken too long for my time and on a first visit wanted to touch as many places as possible to better understand the city and hopefully be back for in depth look later on with the family. The castle is wonderful bordering the Vistula river or wisla. Again, plan to see it, the major place to see here. More on the castle here: http://www.wawel.krakow.pl/en/

In the Saint Mary Madeleine square where the existence dates from 1257 ; see the imposing façade of the Church of St Peter and Saint Paul as well as the statue of abbot Piotr Skarga the principal representative of the counter reformation in Poland, writer and preacher in the court of king Sigismond III Vasa ; Piotr Skarga is resting in the Church. The Church itself was built between 1597 and 1619 in baroque style, and it has the 12 apostles statues outside dating from the 18C.

There are many wonderful historical Churches and Monasteries  in and around Krakow, the renown town of Pope John Paul II (Saint John Paul II since 2014);such as the Wawel Cathedral, Corpus Christi, St Mary’s Basilica ,and many to name here. It certainly will take you more than 4 days to see them all ::)

The Wawel Cathedral and the museum of John Paul II are another must to see here time permitting. The museum info is here : http://www.museums.krakow.travel/en/muzea/id,243,title,the-cathedral-museum.html

and the Cathedral site is here: http://www.katedra-wawelska.pl/en/

The Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) is another must see right in the main Grand square or Rynek Glowny. wonderful line up of paintings and gorgeous architecture again for more time on it. More here: http://mnk.pl/branch/gallery-of-the-19th-century-polish-art-the-sukiennice-the-cloth-hall

There are wonderful horse drawn carriages in the city center with beautiful mounts and decorated , a nice ride in the city to make up time for it. Much more info here in English: http://guide-krakow.com/krakow-from-the-horse-drawn-carriage/

the bustle and hustle of Mariacki Square is wonderful with great ambiance, there were demonstrations of all kinds very peaceful and colorful even in the rain when I was there.

The St Mary’s Basilica is another gem to visit while in the city. Goes back to 1222 and many historical moments of the city took place here ; more here: http://www.krakow.pl/english/instcbi/36882,inst,12407,1241,instcbi.html

You can take a look at St Andrew’s Church, from the 11C with Romanesque architecture, Baroque interior of the 17C.  More here: http://www.krakow.pl/english/instcbi/18303,inst,12708,1381,instcbi.html

There is a wonderful Town Hall Tower in the middle of Rynek Glowny or Grand Square. 70 meters high tower leaning 55 cm due to strong winds in a 1703 Storm. Built of stone and brick at end of 13C with the first mechanical clock done in 1524. A wonderful unique site ;more here: http://www.krakow-info.com/tower.htm

The Holy Trinity Church and Monastery is another nice place to visit and it looks good surrounded by quaint streets of great ambiance. More here: http://www.krakow.pl/english/6293,artykul,church_of_the_holy_trinity_and_dominican_monastery_.html

Of course food and drinks are my main points in any city and did have time to try some such as:*

The Biala Roza Restaurant; this is a traditional Polish restaurant of great renown in the city and the food was fantastic. Smoked pork  fatback, Duck breast, and Strawberries macaroons with red wine from the Loire of France! sublime. A must for a nice dinner for two or even the whole family. More here:  http://www.restauracjabialaroza.pl/en/restauracja/

Then, for lunch I went for the classic international of Hard Rock Café in the Grand square corner with Market(Mariacki)  Square ,where the classic rock posters and paintings couple with a great burger and huge jar of beer was the setting for longer walks in the city lol! Hickory Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger, and the local Polish beer of  Zywiec. More here: http://www.hardrock.com/cafes/krakow/

I did try the Sheraton hotel Taras terrace top floor city view place and the Olive Restaurant that are good on a rainy day in the hotel as I was; the grilled Polish beef tenderloins are good deal and more great well this time try the Valpolicella Italian red wine ,not bad… More here: http://www.theolive.sheraton.pl/en

the top roof terrace is here: http://www.taras-loungebar.pl/en

This was great at the top and wonderful views . To top it off, another night went to a delightful wonderful friendly place I will be back; this is the Pod Nosem restaurant.  This is at the ground floor of the hotel  Kanonicza 22. It is an old vault cellar with a twisted stair to dine above,and then you can come down to the cellar below ,where there is a glass floor you can see it from your table. At the cellar there are goodies to drink of the best of Poland; again will be back .  Here I had the  Lamb Chump with young cabbage and potato puree, the local dessert Pavlova with Strawberries and Tokaj Szamorodni, and coffee expresso., all wash down with Polish red wine cannot recall the name…. More here: http://www.kanonicza22.com/en/restauracja-3

In all a wonderful introduction to a new city in Europe and one that will be remembered for a long time. Enjoy Krakow or Cracovie in Poland or Pologne. Cheers

Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow

 

May 30, 2017

The trip: Poland and Brazil, Europe and America

Well I am back ,rather than start telling you about the places visited, let me tell you about the trip itself. To say the least, it has been my worse logistically incredible trip ever. To say, been traveling for over 40 years since very young, and to all kinds of continents and countries, cities etc.  This one tops it all. Ok, I have read of others similar situations and maybe mine is not too bad after all, but for me, individual experience it was horrible.

The going was easier, my father took me to the train station in Auray and took the TER train to Nantes changing trains in Redon (see passing hotel de ville city hall ) for Nantes. At the train station of Nantes took the navette airport bus to the airport of Nantes.  This service I have to say taken it many times and it is wonderful at only 8,50€ the transfer. More here:http://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/acces/navettes

Arriving a day earlier to catch my very early flight to Krakow I stayed in a familiar hotel the Escales Oceania hotel at Nantes airport ,very good deal ;more here: http://www.oceaniahotels.co.uk/promo-special-offer/early-booking/hotel-escale-oceania-nantes-aeroport

At NTE airport (Nantes)  took an Air France flight to Paris CDG. The connection at CDG was done ok,and took my flight on Easyjet to Krakow Poland;all ok. This taking the easy CDGVAL train that goes from T1 to T3 at Paris CDG and parking spaces as Roissypole train/bus  hub. I took a taxi to my hotel the Sheraton Grand Krakow.

airport: http://www.krakowairport.pl/en/

Hotel : http://www.sheratongrandkrakow.com/

As needed to go on towards Brazil, the flight at Krakow on an  Easyjet flight back to Paris CDG ok. Then, took the LATAM airline flight to Sao Paulo airport at Guarulhos in Brazil. All ok

The rides in familiar territory like Sao Paulo State was wonderful and the visit to some old and new places great again in pretty Brazil in country better indeed. The people,the food ,the natural sites are wonderful and even a lake beach; very popular with locals, stay tune for more later. I did venture again into the Minas Gerais State as well and the same wonderful experiences in old territories.

The problem was on the return home from Brazil.

I was to take a flight on LATAM from Sao Paulo Guarulhos airport to Paris CDG at 22h35 or 10:35 pm. This flight for operational reasons not well explained was postponed to leaving from 03h00 or 3am!!! I needed to wait at the Sao Paulo airport for 6 hrs!! too long for my tastes.

As this initial flight was delayed operationally as said, all other flights had to be postponed as well. I arrive at Paris CDG airport at Saturday 19h10 or 7:10pm; here had change of flights from the original leaving of 17H to one leaving at 21h35 or 9:35pm arriving at Nantes on Air France by 22h45 or 10:45pm.

A car rental on Europcar was to be waited for me with the keys at the train station of Nantes Mercure centre gare hotel as the normal hours of Europcar closed at 18h15!! A great service for a train station car rental agency!!!

Once all the paperwork was done with my travel agency.  Still at the Paris CDG airport trying to get the flight to Nantes I received a call from an Europcar agent that they did not received a copy of my driving license for the car , therefore, could not be protected!!! Apparently, my travel agency did not confirm the copy of my driving license was sent or Europcar decided to rent out the car more profitably to someone else!!!

At that time, already almost 11pm, calling the night service of my travel agency FMC, got a hold of an agent who told me all cars were taken as it was the Ascension weekend in France as well as Sunday been Mother’s Day here!!! (Sunday May 28th) lol!  The very same scenario tried to beat out on my taken earlier flights!

I took upon myself to stay the night in Nantes and ask for a train ride back home on Sunday! So I booked myself the Hotel du Grand Monarque in Nantes right across from the Church of Saint Clément. Written several post on Nantes and its monument on my blog.

I took the hotel because saw it quaint and small cozy in a nice good ambiance street of rue Maréchal Joffre. However it has not AC, no elevators/lifts and the room available was in the 4th floor which actually was the attic of the hotel! small don’t ask!!! Not recommended, even if the chain Inter-Hotel is:more on this hotel here: https://en.inter-hotel.com/hotel/western-loire/nantes/du-grand-monarque

I had time in the morning to go for lunch to my fix hub across the train station of Nantes in the Café des Plantes for a nice Andouille steak, café gourmand and nice cold grimbergen blonde beer. This is a busy place at lunch always but never a problem sitting down for lunch ; more here:http://www.cafe-des-plantes.fr/

My return home was finally booked at the next available train Sunday 15h20 or 3:20pm from the train station of Nantes to Auray where again my old reliable father was waiting with my oldest son. I arrive at Auray at 16h44 and home by 17h30 Sunday May 28th!!! Mother’s Day restaurant had to wait for Monday….!

So there you have the adventures of pedmar10 one of a kind for me; as the consolation, there is always a first ::)

Enjoy the trip later pictures and this post, Poland was a first,and wonderful.  Brazil an umpteen times but always great to be back. Tomorrow back to work …………….but then another 3 day weekend forthcoming…..on my belle France!!!

Cheers y’all.

Auray Krakow Krakow Krakow Krakow Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Nantes Paris Paris Paris Redon

 

 

 

March 26, 2017

My travels in the Morbihan ,XXXI

We had a bit cloudy Sunday here with temps in the 14C or about 65F range; bit windy and cool ,but a great day to find out about an old sport played when teen and now here.

I look at my old sports that is Baseball, and looking at the team I knew in France the Huskies de Rouen went into the French federation and found the ligue de Bretagne ! oh well baseball here in Brittany wow! More about them here: http://www.rouenbaseball76.com/

The French baseball and Softball federation webpage is here: https://ffbs.fr/#softball

Looking further into the Ligue de Bretagne, I was surprise to hear that there are about 15 teams in Brittany , many without fields so they share. More about it here in French: http://bzhbaseball.com/

The page on the teams is here: http://bzhbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=87:les-clubs-de-la-ligue&catid=42:slide-show

And surprise there is a team in Grand Champ ,which is only about 11kms from me,and I pass by it everyday to work! So contacted the team , got a hold of one guy, and voilà training was this afternoon at 14h30 and I was there with the entire family. This is the Gregams Griffons. Gregam Breton language in French is Grand Champ or big field or campo grande in Spanish.

The team webpage is here in French : http://www.gregam-baseball.com/

So, we went by the field next to the water tower or chateau d’eau , this is Queneach Guen field.

There was a practice day between the team of Grand Champ and Quimper, that as Quimper has no field they are joining together to hold as one team for now.

There were quite a few enough to make two teams and more, with one referee. They went thru their excersise and warmups and then some batting and fielding session, before getting to play a game on both sides. Quite interesting to see folks here play the sport even in rudimentary fashion.

I was surprise to see Italian and even Cuban here on the team , who ,also serves as coach. Quite an interesting afternoon , and I will check them out again. I have some of my kids old gloves, balls,and bats that will give as they also have an U12 (under 12 yrs old) and U15 (under 15 yrs old) teams and a softball team too.

You never know what you can find in Brittany, and Baseball is certainly one big nice surprise. Something to get involved with in the future.

Enjoy baseball in the Morbihan Breton; cheers and have a great Sunday.

PS. A bit as to why I like baseball, well born in Cuba, our national sport, play in under 15 teams even if was 10, all select all stars of Havana province; left as Spanish to Spain,and there played for the Real Madrid organization in Elipa park on the Madrid junior league with 8 teams; left that for New Jersey USA and played in freshman Perth Amboy High School team and then, Babe Ruth World Series Chicken Delight team reaching finals; also played softball intramural in the University in Florida. The sport stop after high school really, playing it, but following my NY Yankees has continue to this day.

Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ Grand Champ

 

 

 

 

January 30, 2017

An oldie but goodie beach volleyball back in Florida

Well just cruising on my photo albums I gather a photo of my earlier days as a beach bum in Florida’s beaches and playing that sport call Beach Volleyball.

Now an Olympic sport in its two tandem teams we used to play it also, as a regular 6×6 only on sand.  The association for it is here: http://www.fivb.org/EN/beachvolleyball/

Back in Broward county is where I began to play as an organize team event even if had played before in Volusia county.  I am going way back folks maybe 1998-2003.

Some of the rules are still the same today only we not only played 2×2 but also 3×3 and more regularly 6×6. These rules are : the terrain measure 16 by 8 meters, the net is in the middle at a height of 2,43 meters. The ball is play sending the ball on the two ways with the first two match played to 21 points and if a decisive third is needed we go to 15 points; needing two point difference to win the match if it goes beyond 15 points.

The team need to change side every 7 points and each team can touch up to 3 times the ball. As the service is done to the opposite team , and it is touch/block in any way it remains two touches to the receiving team to get the ball on the other side of the net.  The second touch can be done by the player who block or touch the ball first. The ball needs to be spiked and not handle with the hand or fingers.

Another thing we played it Co-Ed or mixing boys and girls/men and women on the team in a corporate league.

And the reason of this post is that I came across the name of my old park where the games were held and the picture. the park was Forzano Park at 2001 Douglas Rd, Miramar, Fl 33025!!! and the info on it from the city of Miramar page is : http://miramarparks.org/Facilities/Facility/Details/Forzano-Field-22

Who knows maybe some of the folks on the photo will show up here lol!! Helloooo!

And there, I even found an old article on the corporate league here: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2001-11-16/community/0111150386_1_spirit-airlines-volleyball-sand-courts

I won’t give away the name of my company or names of players for sake of privacy, (well I am in front left ::))  but the bottom line is, go ahead and enjoy some beach volleyball ,it can rewarding and everlasting friendship. And memories to last ,photo from 2001!!!

Cheers! Miramar

 

September 9, 2016

The fortified towers of Havana. Los torreones de la Habana

As nostalgia sits in, once in a while, looking at my past photos, I came upon the torreones or small fortified towers used for defense along the harbor of Havana. As a boy used to go there with my Mother, and now when back always stopped by. I left Havana, Cuba in 1971 early to Madrid Spain, and came back to it and Cuba in 1984, 1998,and 2012.

The one that always caught my attention was the Fuerte de Santa Dorotea de la Luna de la Chorrera, short for Chorrera. This one was built in 1646! On the English taking of Havana in 1762-63 it was almost totally destroyed and was rebuilt after they left. This tower fortress lies at the mouth of the river Almendares.

The other nice one is the Torreon de Cojimar, built in 1649. This is made famous as it was from where Ernest Hemingway used to go to do fishing and here influenced by it wrote The Old Men and the Sea from which he won a Pulitzer prize in 1952 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.  This one too was rebuilt after the English were expelled unter the Paris Treaty in 1763. Here a bust in memory of Ernest Hemingway was built in 1962.

One more is the Torreon de San Lazaro o Caleta; built in 1665. It was a lookout between the fortress of La Punta and Chorrera tower on a site of the old San Lazaro Hospital therefore its name . This location in the entrance of way of the bay San Lázaro, where many pirates landed and now sits in the property of the park Antonio Maceo by the Malécon.

These are some of the off the beaten path of Havana and well Worth the detour to know the city. San Cristobal de la Habana official name, founded in 1519 by governor coloniser Diego de Velázquez is said by Unesco to hold about 144 buildings from the 14-15-16-17 century , more than any other city in the Americas. More here: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/0204/?gallery=1&index=13&

Official tourist sites on Cuba

http://www.turismodecuba.info/index.php#!varadero

http://www.cubatravel.cu/en

http://www.infotur.cu/destino.aspx?iddest=1

http://www.havanatur.cu/web/inicio.php#

Enjoy my bit of nostalgia and beautiful off the beaten path buildings of my Habana. Cheers

Havana Havana Havana

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November 21, 2015

Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Miami Beach, this is Florida!

OMG, I just look back of my blog and realise not written on these wonderful spots since 2011! Times flies, this was my last stronghold in the USA before leaving permanently to France. I had not been back there since 2009 and now had 3 great days in the area. This is the South Florida area where I still have family.

It has a lot to offers other than the beaches and night life, but I let you mingle and decide on that with the tourist offices there of Miami, http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/  and Fort Lauderdale, http://www.sunny.org/

I was Lucky to have on my way back from Mexico the company ok to attend a finance conference in Fort Lauderdale arriving at Miami airport on American Airlines. http://www.miami-airport.com/  . I must add nothing compares with Air France ::)

My cousin was there to greet me and take me to eat at a local Cuban restaurant now very popular for the last 10 years or so, Molina’s in the nearby city of Hialeah on which hospital my twin boys were born!!! The place was typical of old Cuba and the food very Cuban, something did not had for yearsss! picadillo ,moros rice, sweet plaintains, and a nice corona beer. http://www.molinasranchrestaurant.com/

Afterward I was taken to my conference hotel at Fort Lauderdale, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel; right off the ocean drive and very near Las Olas blvd chic area, http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/FortLauderdale/Default.htm

OF course, the hotel was top luxury, glad was not paying ::) the room well the apartment as it was two rooms with living room and bedroom, TV in both in addition to a smaller one in the bathroom. There had bathtub and shower and lavs for two. The wonderful beachside restaurant was wonderful too. A great place ,location, and friendly prompt service.

The evening had the chance to eat dinner there overlooking the ocean and Fort Lauderdale beach , nice oysters, shrimps, and cocktails mojitos was wonderful right at the bar with a friendly bartender. Needless to say went to bed very late into the morning hours lol!!!

Once the conference was over, we were invited for dinner as part of it, to the wonderful Brazilian charrusqueria Chima’s right on Las Olas blvd and about 15 minutes walking back to the hotel which me and a group of warriors found out. http://chima.cc/site/

Chima has a wonderful front terrace to mingle and drink, and then great laidout indoor tables for the feast of bringing those different cuts of meats charrusqueria style (call here steakhouse) all night long with wonderful glasses of red wines. Good company and pleasant evening afterward on the way back and at the hotel bar ::)

The last day got pickup by my cousin again and given a right in the laberinth of roads and tolls the area has become, really change feld big and different already. Saw the new Marlins baseball stadium, the Lincoln Road Miami Beach area, and the bridges before finally depositing me at Miami airport for the trip back home. A nice nostalgic if short trip to what was once call home ::)

http://miami.marlins.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=mia

http://lincolnroadmall.com/

http://www.lincolnroadmall.info/

At Miami before flight had some snacks at La Pausa in concourse J Mia for a mahi mahi sandwich fries and a glass of California Hogue cellars red wine. A nice send offs. http://www.shopmiamiairport.com/store_profile.aspx?unitid=519

The flight back was my first ever ,believe or not, delays at airport, happening after a heigthening of security tension for the atrocious terrorist acts in Paris, they found two bags checked-in but no passenger so the plane was ask to return to gate!! wait and wait finally departed to Paris. There, as was getting ready to board my last flight to Nantes, once already in the passarelle to the plane we were ask to return back Inside as they was a fuel leak on the plane, wait wait, finally took off. Arrive home five hours late missed by twins birthday outing and needed to catch up today lol! Now ready for another long journey tomorrow to Brazil!!!

Have a great weekend!

FLL FLL FLL FLL FLL FLL FLL FLL FLL FLL FLL FLL FLL MIA mia MIA Mia mia

 

 

 

August 23, 2015

Luxembourg keeps the braves!

Well lots to write about and over 1200 pictures from my latest trips to Germany and Luxembourg passing by my France of course. This is an area I have passed by and always left out, so now took the family in and it was great, glad it was done.

By taking the A3 into Luxembourg and then going around the beltway on the A1 ,and get off at N2 you come into signs on Reimech that also tell you of the cementary. The actual town on which the cementary is call Hamm. The American battle monument association keeps it clean and upkeeps it , their webpage is here

https://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials/europe/luxembourg-american-cemetery#.Vdnwg_3ovIU

this is from Luxembourg tourisme ; http://www.visitluxembourg.com/en/place/misc/american-military-cemetery-luxembourg-hamm

And for the most famous name buried there , General George Patton, US 3rd army , thank you Sir. http://www.pattonhq.com/funeral.html

The entrance is nice and has a wrough iron arch door, with a welcoming house on the left. As you go in, sheer adreline pumps up with so many beautiful crosses. The stone plaque on the floor tells of the debt of gratitude we owe these men. There is a tower with a female angel, and the inscription “Here is enshrined the memory of valor and sacrifice”. There are huge stone walls depicting the battle movement and on the back the names of the fallen.

Inside the tower, there is a nice chapel with flanks US flags and the inscription ” I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish”.

I have not arrive at my lodging destination but already thrill to be here in beautiful Luxembourg. In all I stayed on the German side but criss cross the two countries every day ::) Stay tuned for more in the coming posts.

Enjoy the pictures and remember them, never forget their sacrifice. CheersLuxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg

 

 

 

April 19, 2015

L’hermione en route l’Amérique. On its way to Yorktown USA!

This is the boat that Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette ,the Marquis de Lafayette, came to America and helped  the continental army of Gen George T.  Washington obtain the USA independence from England in 1780, and a birth of a new nation, United States of America. He is now an honorary USA Citizen! And now update it has reach Yorktown PA USA and France is all for it see newspaper in my area.France

The French have done it, they have completely rebuilt the boat taken more than 17 years, but its done, and on its way to Yorktown with a crew of  80 persons. It left the Ile d’Aix in the Charente-Maritime at 22h45 or 10:45PM

The boat big mast is of pure Oregon (USA) pine at 54 meters high or about 182 feet.  The boat will arrive by June 5th at Yorktown and after will do stops at  Baltimore, New York, Annapolis, Philadelphia, Newport, and  Boston.

At  Yorktown will be the big stop as it was the decisive battle in the independence war when American patriots and their French allies won the battle again a strong English army on October 19, 1781.  There will be huge celebrations when the Hermione arrives in the bay of New York escorted by several sailing boats and motorized as well for the big parade of July 4 2015, the date of celebration for the USA Independence while giving a closer eye passing by the Statue of Liberty; another gift of France to the USA by Mr Bertholdi…..

For those who can read/speak French more here in the Le Parisien with a video commemoration by President Hollande of France, http://www.leparisien.fr/poitou-charentes/videos-l-hermione-a-pris-la-mer-vers-les-ameriques-18-04-2015-4705367.php#xtor=EREC-109—-2172612@1

And I have taken the picture from the article in Le Parisien to show it bigger here, a wonderful event and beautiful boat. Thank you L’Hermione, Vive la France et les Etats Unis d’Amérique!!!

France

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