Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WIN Dance Rally

After I got back from visiting my father and my granddaughter (and her parents), I headed over to my favorite event of the year, the WIN Dance Rally.

We had dance lessons during the day, and dances at night. We had a formal dance -

And a Patriotic Dance -

Where we honored our many veterans.

We had 140 attendees, about 40 more than were expected, which made for some scrambling as far as food was concerned. (Hot breakfasts are served every day.)

Before the Patriotic Dance, we had a Talent/No Talent Show. I was definitely in the latter, but I participated with my new Baritone Ukulele.

There were various skits in the show, including an interview with Dr. Mal Practice.

But the best part of the Dance Rally? It was held at the Fountain of Youth Spa and RV Resort, north of Niland, CA.

The pools and hot tubs were great.

My favorite was the Mineral Hot Tub.

We're planning to have the Dance Rally here next year too, and you don't have to be a WIN to attend. And if you've never been to Fountain of Youth before, they'll give you a great deal.

We had great sunsets just about every evening -

And the Super Moon was out while we were there.

One day, we went on a rather strenuous hike on the Ladder Canyon Trail. After a mis-start, where we went up, then had to go down again, we did pretty well.

There are three ladders to go up.

A group photo on the way up.

We then continued up to the top-

And back down again.

We made it down to the wash, which was the way out.

Unique geological features along the way.

The whole loop is 5.3 miles, a little longer than I usually do, but it was worth it.

One more ladder down, and we were out. A great hike!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Another Post by my Granddaughter

Just 10 days after getting back from Ecuador, I went back East to visit my father and my granddaughter. I flew out of Phoenix and saw Roosevelt Lake from the air.

Ever since her first post when she was just a few hours old (here), my granddaughter has done posts on the blog. So the rest of this post is hers.

Hi! I don't get to see my grandma very often, but I knew we belonged together when she wore her Minnie Mouse shirt when she came to see me.

Grandma had gone to see Great-grandpa before she came to see me, but she forgot to take any pictures. (BAD GRANDMA!)

But Great-Grandpa was coming down to Great Falls, MD with his camera club, so we went over to meet up with him. Mommy took a picture of the 4 generations.

There used to be a boat ride through the locks here -

But the boat is undergoing a renovation.

There was even a big turtle down in the locks.

We walked over to see the Great Falls of the Potomac.

There wasn't very much fall color left, but the falls were very pretty.

I can't believe people actually kayak down them.

Daddy was trying to get a picture of me and Mommy, but I was posing for Grandma instead.

Halloween was coming up, so we went to a couple fall festivals while Grandma was here. I got to go horseback riding in my very-appropriate cowgirl costume.

Daddy taught me how to carve a pumpkin.

And FINALLY, Halloween was here! After the obligatory pictures in my cat costume-

It was off to go trick-or-treating! Nothing scared me, because I got candy from even the scariest people!

All too soon, it was time for Grandma to fly back to Phoenix, following the setting sun.

Come back soon, Grandma!

Monday, November 14, 2016

All Good Things Must Come to an End

The next morning, we woke up in the Port of Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz island.

Santa Cruz has the largest population of the 4 populated Galapagos Islands.

We left our yacht, and got on a bus to go across the island to the airport. On the way, we went by some interesting cemeteries.

And we made a stop at the Charles Darwin Research Center, where we got to see some giant tortoises.


From the airport, we took off to return to Guayaquil.

We were sad to leave.

Coming into Guayaquil. This must be where the rich folks live.

We sort of got a look at one last volcano.

We spent one last night at a hotel in Guayaquil, the the next day I flew back to Quito, where I took an overnight flight home.

What a great trip!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Day 4 on the Galapagos Islands

Day 4 started off with a very early landing on Santa Fe Island. Once again, sea lions had taken over the beach.

The island is unique for several reasons. We went for a short hike to see the prickly pear cactus, quite unlike what we have in the US in that they have trunks with bark on them.

We got a close look at a Galapagos Hawk.

And the Santa Fe Iguana, only on this island. They are a slightly different color than the Galapagos Iguana that we saw on the other islands.

After breakfast back on the yacht, we went snorkeling close to the shore. Almost immediately, I saw a huge school of thousands of these fish.

A short video.

This was the prettiest fish I saw - a King Angelfish.

I also saw a big school of Yellow-tailed Surgeonfish, like I did the other day -

And a bunch of Sergeant Majors.

And a Green Sea Turtle.

Back on board, we motored over to Plaza Sur Island, just off the coast of Santa Cruz Island. More cactus here, and some interesting red vegetation.

We went on a mile trail that was a little rocky, but not too bad.

Nice pose!

This island has a lot of Swallow-tailed Gulls.

Oooooo! A baby!

Looking back at our ship.

We walked up to the top of a cliff. Gee, they must think we're stupid.

We were here to see Red-billed Tropicbirds. We did see some, but they never landed and they were pretty far away.

Back at the dock, our guide had a difficult time getting a sea lion to move so we could get by.