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Lamanai Mayan Ruins in Belize

Out of our 3 excursions on our family cruise, I wanted variety. In Cozumel we played with the dolphins on the beach, in Honduras we discovered a little island with exotic animals, the third day we had a history lesson viewing the Mayan ruins in Belize.

Lamani Ruins in Belize

I decided it was the best day to wear our matching anchor shirts that I made in the days before our departure. The port in Belize doesn’t allow big cruise ships to pull right up to land because it would damage the reef below. So we had to “tender” which meant we got off of our big boat, directly onto a smaller boat that held around 100 people, and taxi’ed in  20 minutes to the shore. That took a little while, and we were 40 minutes late for our 8:30 tour. Luckily, they waited for us, and within a few minutes, we were on our way.

It was quite a distance to the ruins. I knew that. I knew it would be an hour in the car and an hour on a speedboat. I figured we’d see the countryside and all would be well. It was ok, but looking back, I might have picked the closer ruins to tour. We went to the Lamanai ruins, the closer was Altun-Ha.

Anyway, probably my most favorite part of this day was chatting non stop with our driver and tour guide, Raymond.  I love immersing with locals wherever we go, and the first day didn’t lend itself to that much,  and the second day was so busy, I didn’t take the chance as much. But we were in a car, traveling the country, with free reign on questions, and Raymond was happy to share. He is starting his own tourist group called Foothills Adventures. I talked to him all about starting a website and said I’d help him get it started. In the meantime, email him at raymondbrakeman@yahoo.com and he can help you on your trip to Belize!  He’ll run it with his siblings (he’s one of 13 kids) and his sweet mom (who lives in the country without electricity.… Continue Reading

Friday Freebie~Fall Foliage

I love the fall foliage. Who doesn’t? Sadly, in Texas, we don’t see much of it. I convinced my hubby he wanted to go to Vermont in October for our 10 year anniversary trip a few years ago, and I was in a photographers heaven. We drove from New Hampshire to Vermont through the Lake Winnipesaukee area, and onto the ocean shores of Maine in just 4 days. I’d definitely love to do that again. In the next few weeks, I’ll share some images I took there, and you can dowload and print as you’d like. I’d just love to see if you display them!

Here are three for today with my watermark on the blog, but free of watermark on the downloaded image (scroll to bottom for download).

To download the zip file of these threee images, click here. Next week, a few covered bridges;)

Come back tomorrow for a giveaway from a new etsy shop!

My hubby and me in Alaska

Kindly, Katie Cannon snapped a handful of pics of my hubby and I while we were on a mountain top in Alaska, and I’m so grateful. It was cold, we were au naturalle (I took off my earring which I feel naked without with no sprucing of hair or make up) and he was wearing his random Virginia baseball cap (it’s fine, we just have no allegiance to the school he went to for a conference earlier this year).  It was about 2 minutes of snapping, but I love these images.


Just in case you are wondering, I’m working on the next installment of Our Love Story

17 things I learned on my trip to Alaska

I’ve been asked a bunch how my trip to Alaska was, and to even try to describe how fabulous it was would be futile. It was breathtaking, so instead of a travelogue of stories, I thought I’d share the list of things I learned while I was there.  Mostly about the state itself, but facts in general that left my husband and I stumped that we had gone this far in our lives without knowing these facts–brand new information, I tell ya. I’ll mix pictures in, and short details in {} under each image.

1.  Alaska has the largest vertical rise in the world from ocean to mountain.

2. Whittier, Alaska has the longest tunnel in North America:  2.5 miles long, single lane, took us 12 or so minutes to drive through.

{Anchorage Mormon Temple just across the parking lot from the church building}

3. There are more than one type of salmon:  king salmon, red salmon, sillver salmon, & pink salmon… who knew???

{This swimming bear was not in the wild, but in a conservation center/zoo type setting}

4. Most of those living in Alaska refer to the rest of us as “the lower 48″

{This eagle was also behind a fence, but we saw many eagles up in tree’s all over the state. My hubby’s favorite animal, it was cool to see.}

5. Hundres of glaciers, form from ice fields up in the mountains

{we stayed in the hotel down below, and rode this tram to the top of the mountain to eat at a restaraunt}

6. Alaska was purchased from Russia for .02 cents an acre

7. 750,000 people live in the entire state of Alaska–less than the city of Austin!

{Above was a pedestrian tram that one is able to ride in and pull the rope to get across.  Sadly, it was closed, which was good because I may have been to scared to ride it anyway.}

8. Half of the 750,000 that live in Alaska live in Anchorage

9. Cut Alaska in half and they are both still bigger than Texas;) People liked to tell me that when I said we lived in Texas.

10. There was an earthquake in 1964 that was 9.2 on the Richter scale, big part of their history

11. Dogs off of their leash are the #1 killer of baby moose.

12. People tend to own a sea plane over a boat (see first picture above).

13. You cannot travel to Juneau (the capitol) from Anchorage by car, only by boat or plane.

14. A reindeer is just a domesticated caribou

15. Locals can pick fresh blueberries wild in the mountains each September

{4th of July, a huge race that locals have a lottery to participate. Mount Marathon is like a reunion of types to those in the Anchorage area (held in Seward 2 hours away). Right image look closely and you can see the trail of colors going up the mountain.  A BYU grad (my alma mater) won this day–left image on the left with no shirt.  Another man broke his leg coming down the steep mountain incline}

16. There is a yearly resident stipend for each  person living in Alaska that averages $1000 a year.

{The above bear we did see in the wild. We were about 100  yards away, he was on a mountain side.}

17. Locals get on the “moose kill” list for when a moose gets hit by a car, they are notified, pick it up, and butcher it for meat.



There you have my favorite landscape images from Alaska. Did you know any of the 17 facts that I listed above?