Akaka Falls

See the World for Free

The idea here is to TRAVEL THE WORLD regardless of time or budget. It dawned on me one day that even if I had unlimited time and money (which I definitley do not), I still couldn't see everything in the world that I'd like to see--I'm simply not going to live long enough to do it.

But I had a bit of brain wave and soon after the travel envelope was born. This is an actual physical envelope. I typed the name of every country in the world, plus every state in the US on little slips of paper which I then put into the envelope. In the beginning we (myself, my husband, Dave and daugher Catherine) would draw out a slip at random at the beginning of the month and that's where we would go---at least in our minds. We grab some books about the country from the library and put them in our bathroom to look at. We also check out some videos about the country if any. We check it out on googleearth, listen to the music, try the food, maybe even attempt to learn a dance or celebrate a festival.

After the first two years we discovered that even virtual traveling can be tiring, so we travel now whenever I happen to be in the mood.

It's great fun. I especially love it when people I meet have been to the place I'm "visiting" in real life, or get excited and have some virtual adventures of their own. I hope that anyone who comes across this blog will feel welcome to come with us on the trip!

You have a standing reservation to see it all!

May 14, 2016

Thailand Adventures

May 5, 2016

the Night Market

May 6, 2016

Hopped on a plane to Phuket. All airlines should be this cheerful. 

Dave certainly looks relaxed.

What a view!!

Nice Hotel!

Unfortunately, these lovely pool sheep belonged to the hotel so Dave couldn't bring them home. 

In my opinion, this is the way to do a work trip. First stop by a tailor and get some tailored shirts. Then head for the beach. Thailand is very hot this time of year.

They drove around and passed a big sign that said, "Everything! We just everything!"

our driver drove us around & picked up many people. At one point he gave us stickers. He stopped and told us all #4 people get out. That is all he said the entire trip. Now we wait.

They went to a monkey show. Sounds kind of low-rent. This little kid was delighted with the monkey. The teenager later on, not so much. 

Lastly, the stopped an saw a large Buddha. I think he looks serene.

May 7, 2016

Started the day with some laundry

Some Elephant riding in the middle. 

And ended the day with a beautiful dinner. The macaroon topped with lamb is a little weird, but otherwise looks fantastic.

In an Agatha Christie story, the pick would have been a murder weapon for sure. 

Then, off to bed accompanied by the Gekko under the bed and the cockroach in the bathroom. 

May 8, 2016

Here's the backdoor view of the resort

They took a shuttle to the boat. The next group to be picked up didn't show---unhappy shuttle driver, but he got them there. Looks to be a nice boat. 

An then, the beach! Only an hour--but some hours are VERY good. 

Next stop, Phi phi island. Dave doesn't know why, but they got 1 hour here too. 

May 9, 2016 maybe  days are all confused with the time lapse. 

I believe they spent most of this day doing inservice for teachers. 

I think this is one of the best sunset pictures I've ever seen. Great job, Dave!

And another just to round things out. 

May 10, 2016

Up at 4:30 a.m. to go to the airport to catch the veeeeeeery long flight home. 
Back in the USA, the land of interesting airport art. (San Francisco airport)

This sculpture, which looks Thai to me, is very American, made of cereal boxes. 

May 14, 2016

After visiting the Tangier Galleries, they got to see the Herculus caves. She liked the caves, but thought the tide pools were even cooler.  And saw Cap Spartel--where the Atlantic meets the Adriatic sea.

May 13, 2016

In Tangiers. Not her favorite city, but she got to make flower wreaths, something she's never done before.  This picture looks at Spain from across the straight of Gibralter.

The famous rock of Gibralter

May 12, 2016

Today they left for Tetouan sicne they spend a lot of time on buses, I'm glad the pit stops are interesting.

They visited the shops and medina. The day finished with a spectacular sunset.

May 11, 2016

After classes and lunch they got to visit Akchour.

May 10, 2016

May 10, 2016

May 9, 2016 Monday

Sunrise over the Sahara

No news, so I'll put some other interesting facts here. No doubt of great interest to Catherine was the warm chocolate melting cake that she found.

In Fez there is an American veteranarian place that was started in the early 1900's. It's sponsored by Americans and people can go there and have their animals taken care of for free. Every year the US donates money to keep it open.

One of the teachers has brought his six year old daughter, Elsa along. Elsa is loving all the cats everywhere. She speaks cat. She practices all the time, but is no longer allowed to practice cat on the bus.

If you watch the Abu Dahbi National Geographic Channel, it only shows weird weight loss commercials from the 90's. 

May 10, 2016 Tuesday
Today they are in a city I've never heard of and weirdly, for the area, it's raining.

Turns out this is a city I should know. It's nicknamed "The blue city" for good reason and is one of Catherine's favorite places so far.

They're off to the medina and then Catherine is going to try to clean her jeans and art supplies--thankfully not paper or any art itself, from a shampoo explosion. AS far as we know the shampoo does not smell of divine seduction, but since the label is in Arabic we can't be sure.

May 8, 2016

May 8, 2016

Catherine called for mother's day and was able to fill in a lot of details about her trip. There has been A LOT of time spent on buses.

She enjoyed Fez. Some of the streets are so small it's hard for even one person to walk through. They were in a non-touristy area which she enjoyed greatly.

The jumping off point for the camel trip was a lovely resort. She especially appreciated the soft pillows. Apparently, Morocco doesn't really do soft pillows. Or soft at all. That was what was so difficult about the camel ride. The hump is covered with padding and then a hard saddle is put on top of that. There is no cushioning on the saddle and the ride is bumpy. I can see where that would be tough after about 10 minutes.

Here's a camel parking lot

This is Reginald, her camel. she thought he looked like our cat, Tigger.

My favorite experience that she told me about was in the desert. The rest of the group had climbed to the top of a giant sand dune. Catherine stopped part way up and just let the group go on out of earshot. Then she had the whole huge desert and the sky to herself. She says she's never seen such stars. She just sat there as part of the universe and feeling small.

May 8, 2016

May 7, 2016

May 7, 2016 Saturday

They left for Fez and had lunch in Azrou, visiting the souk afterward. Back to Fez. It sounds like an interesting place.

They got to visit a newly refurbished tannery. These things have been around for thousands of years.

To my great envy, Catherine got a hot stone massage. Only $15 for 30 minutes.
She also picked up some laundry soap. She says that all of her clothes now smell like "divine seduction."  And for Mother's Day, I will be getting some fancy day and night creams made with Moroccan oils.

The hotel in Fez has weird lobby music. "It was motab (mormon tabernacle choir) style organ before breakfast, then Star Wars and now flute versions of Abba songs.  over in Thailand, Dave is getting Abba music as well. Never knew they were still so popular!


May 5, 2016 Thursday


Catherine got very lucky. Two days before the camel trip, it rained for the first time in 4 years. So the weather was in the 70's and breezy. I asked why time wasn't flying? Wasn't it fun? She said it was fun for the first 20 minutes or so for the remaining 3.5 hours it was rather painful.

They rode to Khyams a nomad tent. No pics yet of the tent, but this looks like an interesting oasis stop.

May 6, 2016 Friday

The day began with a sunrise camel ride.

After this they had classes and lunch and then visited a Gnaoua village. The tradition on marriage is for Berber men to give their bride In Berber a metal jewelry box. This box comes apart and is also a bracelet for the woman to wear.

From here they returned to Merzouga, the jumping off place for the camel trip. Catherine was delighted to report that her hotel room came with its very own bug spray. Lucky girl!