Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Resorts in Fiji - Photos

I’m daydreaming of Fiji, specifically Castaway Island, a resort on a private island, as well as the Nanuku Auberge Resort, which is set on the rainy side of the main island of Viti Levu.

At Castaway island, the North Beach is perfect for an early morning walk. Every morning, I walked out of my beach bure — a traditional Fijian bungalow — and jogged along the golden sands, or hiked a trail along the coastline, being mindful of the sensation of the breeze on my face, and the soft sound of the tide lapping on volcanic rocks.

Some days, at low-tide, I strolled around a rocky point to a more desolate strip of sand. Some people enjoy kayaking there as well. I dream of getting a massage at a portable table that’s occasionally set up along North Beach in a secluded area, far from the myriad water-based activities

Even a type A person (like myself) can easily get into a Zen state of mind at the Nanuku Auberge Resort where a sustainability and eco ethic prevails, including learning how to plant mangrove forests. This property is idyllic, whether it’s the accommodations that have private plunge pools, the creative cuisine in the al fresco restaurant, or the daily opportunities to learn first-hand about Fijian culture.

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Mauritius - SALT of Palmar resort - Photos

Memories of SALT of Palmar that’s set along the languid east coast of Mauritius. A stay at this placid property is all about embracing life, love and learning: love for the environment and the eco- and sustainability-focused ethic cultivated on the property that provides guests with super soft bathrobes made with 100% organic cotton and material from coffee beans, and flip flops constructed of sedge; living a day that begins with sunrise yoga and mindful meditation on the white sand beach; and learning a new skill, such as pottery taught by the same artisan who created all the creative ceramic dishware in their al fresco restaurant.

SALT of Palmar enwraps guests in a tranquil vibe that’s also full of whimsy and playfulness, especially in terms of its architecture. The basic structure is a riad-style complex with nooks and crannies and oculus windows and plant-filled courtyards. But the designers also imbued the resort with some strikingly wild hues and seemingly disparate patterns. This diversity reflects the country itself that’s a melting pot of cultures and cuisine.

One of my many fond memories: An oculus window reveals the peace that’s found in every nook and cranny at this property.

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Sunday, May 10, 2020

Iceland - Reykjanes Peninsula - Photos

At this time, calming travel photos are welcome. Whenever I visit Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, I’m filled with peace and joy, surrounded by dramatic and pastoral landscapes — something I especially crave now.

Though the Reykjanes Peninsula is most noted for bustling Keflavik Airport, I roamed the landscape windswept seascapes and volcanic reminders. It’s  chock full of curious geological features. The second photo below shows off Gunnhver, a geothermal area where I strolled a boardwalk, surrounded by plumes of steam that pour from cracks in the earth. This area is named for Gunna, a female ghost that was said to plague the peninsula until she was thrown into a roiling hot spring. The thick clouds obscure much along the boardwalks, including any apparitions. .

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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Any-Occasion Greeting Cards As We Self-Isolate

As we continue to self-isolate, many of us crave connections with others more than ever, to recapture some of the intimacies we had in the “before time” or maybe to reconnect with those we’ve lost touch with. Sure, we no long send cards and letters to friends and family whether to commemorate a special event or just to say “hi hi.” But at this time, receiving a handwritten card emblazoned with a landscape image that provides travel inspiration and satisfies some of our wanderlust might be especially appreciated. Each of my any-occasion greeting cards features one of my landscape, nature and travel photos from my around-the-world travels, including India, Corsica, Nicaragua and Israel.  Some of the cards are vertical and others are horizontal. (This montage represents a sample of the many photo images available.) They can be purchased singly or as a set of 5 or 12 or more different images. (When purchased, you’ll receive a random sampling of the number of cards desired.)

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Friday, April 17, 2020

Healthy + Flavorful Food Items While Sheltering At Home

As we in New York continue to socially distance and remain in our homes, going out (wearing masks) only when necessary for vital groceries or medication, it’s become more and more difficult to order groceries online, whether from Amazon, Pea Pod, Fresh Direct, to name a few, that require scheduling at odd hours or making scheduling attempts over and over again, often to no avail. Yet, as we are sheltered at home for what seems like forever, we crave healthy and flavorful food and beverages. Below are some small companies that take the frustration out of ordering specific items while also offering plenty of sensory stimulation.

Angelic Bakehouse  produces a variety of wholesome breads, including the Sprouted 7-grain with 3 grams of fiber per slice. The ingredients include sprouted red wheat berries, quinoa, oat groats and rye berries.

Elmhurst 1925 is noted for their plant milks, such as unsweetened almond milk that, unlike most every other almond milk on the market, contains only two ingredients: almonds and water. Among their myriad plant milks are: cashew, oat and hazelnut.

Devocion Coffee works with farmers in Colombia where the beans are dried and then shipped to the roasting facility in Brooklyn, NY. Their network is so efficient that just 10 days or so elapses from the point of origin to the cup. The result: a flavorful brew.

La Tienda is a source of tasty Spain-sourced marcona almonds, including the no-salt, oven roasted product that contains 3 grams of fiber per 1 ounce serving. For anyone not familiar with marcona almonds, they have a different flavor, texture and shape compared with traditional almonds. Anyone who has traveled to Spain will delight in these nuts and, for those who haven’t, they’ll get an introduction to a healthy, tasty nut.

Cook Unity is a company delivering healthy, nutritious, flavorful meals prepared by private chefs. You tell them what you like — such as fish — and what you are trying to avoid — such as sodium. Each week you’ll an aesthetically pleasant set of meals arrives at your door in a zippered, insulated and chilled shopping bag. You’ll even be able to track the delivery vehicle as it approaches your neighborhood and leaves it at your door.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Quebec Maritime Photo - 4

In Quebec Maritime in the village of Sainte-Flavie, some 100 wooden human-like sculptures pepper the shore of the Saint Lawrence River. The sculptures traverse the landscape from the water to the land, with some appearing and disappearing with the tide.

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Quebec Maritime Photo - 3

In Quebec Maritime, art appears in some unlikely places. This contemporary sculpture, Le Cheval Noir, can be found in the town of Trois-Pistoles. And there’s an interesting tale associated with a horse and the adjacent church that, of course, involves the devil.  
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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Quebec Maritime Photo - 2

Quebec Maritime’s Parc Beauséjour that’s set along the Saint Lawrence River is idyllic for an urban cross-country skiing adventure. Numerous outdoor sculptures pepper the riverfront landscape. This scenic, placid park is located in the city of Rimouski. I wish I were there now. 

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Quebec Maritime: Photo

When the thaw started, several colorful ice fishing huts had been pulled off the ice of the Saint Lawrence River in the city of Rimouski in Quebec Maritime. 

As I’m self-isolating and self-distancing, I continue to create by posting photos from my previous travels. Each image inspires and calms me, helping me re-experience all the wonders the Earth offers us. And when this pandemic passes, each of these photos can provide all of us with ideas for future travels.
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