Vacation Planning

Ever wonder how I come up with my ideas for vacation? A former co-worker said she couldn’t imagine the things I’ve done and plan to do! Poor thing must not have much of an imagination because if anything, I have too many things I want to see and do.

I thought of this because my most recent issue of “Vacations” just arrived.  What’s the Headline title? 83  Great Escapes for 2015! 83! Imagine that. If I were even interested in half it would take more than 1 year!


So lets see if there’s anything interesting on the list.

How about a tour of Costa Rica where you can visit a cloud forest, a volcano or a coral sea reef?


Back on the Big Island of Hawaii we could snorkel with the Manta Rays on the Kona side of the Island.


Or a river cruise up the Amazon.


Train ride…The Rocky Mountaineer crosses the Canadian Rockies with 5 routes to choose from. A Globus (that’s a tour company) offers  a nine day trip from Denver to New Mexico and Colorado. Along the way you ride vintage railroads including the Durango & Silverton and the Pike’s Peak Cog Railroad!

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Galapagos made their list and it’s on mine too. Some day I’ll get there!


For photographers…face off with a Bengal tiger or catch colorful clouds of butterflies. Natural Habitat Adventures helps capture these moments.

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I don’t know who I was talking to recently but they said they had been to Alaska and to Yellowstone and they saw more bear  at Yellowstone than they did in Alaska.

Another place I get ideas is from the news. This morning NECN (our local news station) ran a short story about an ice castle in New Hampshire. The castle is an acre in size and features tunnels, archways, an ice slide, glacial waterfalls and colored lights.


I want to see this! It’s a hike up to Lincoln NH. I vacationed there once and to appreciate the lights I’m guessing you go at night. More research is needed. I will keep you posted!

So I get vacation ideas everywhere, from a chance conversation to a 60 second news bite. A magazine cover might catch my eye or a story in AAA Horizons. The ideas are endless!

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To The Beach and Beyond!

Gurnet Light came into view shortly after we left the snow buntings behind. That signaled we had to be approaching our turn-around as this was the end of the road. To my surprise Dave parked the van and invited us all out to follow him over the dunes to the beach beyond.


There was a lot of bird activity here. No Snowy Owls but enough other feathered friends to hold our attention.


Ducks bobbed on the waves. A seal popped his head up for a quick look around. Several Cormorants stretched their wings to the sun drying their feathers before their next dive. A flock of snow buntings winged past, banking sharply as one before swooping back past us.

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Through all this activity the  deep blue ocean made a breath-taking backdrop.


Closer to shore the breakers were dropping their bits of sea grass before receding.

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A Sandling raced up and down the edge of the waves.

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A relative to the Sandpiper this comical little guy didn’t stay still for one second.

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Finally it was time to go back to the vans for the return trip. We spotted a finch and a sparrow and Dave began to explain the difference when a flock of snow buntings swooped over the van and settled on the fence next to the road. Dave pulled the van to a stop but before anyone could move there was Mr. Copper’s Hawk dive bombing the little gathering. We didn’t see him catch anything but he got an A for effort as Snow Buntings scattered in all directions.

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Show over we moved on a bit further until Dave once again stopped the van. He set up the scope and all he said was take a look and there it was. Our Snowy owl was still right there on the ice but he was a bit more active now. He still had the remains of his breakfast and he hopped up and down on the carcass. Even as far away as we were he seemed to sense us and slowly his head swiveled around and he latched that golden-eyed stare right on us. Those of us at the scope let out an audible sigh before he turned his attention back to his meal.


We watched with scope, binoculars and cameras for quite  awhile as he put on his little rapter show but eventually all things must end and we left Mr. Snowy to his lunch.

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This was a great experience. I was disappointed that we only saw one owl but it’s better than none. I was also disappointed that he was out of my camera range but at least I got to see him. The hawk was a great encore. I loved the hawk! The sandling and snow buntings were a plus as well…and I was warm the whole time!

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I’d call this experience a success!


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Let The Owl Prowl Begin

We pulled out of the parking lot onto a posted dirt road. The first 100 yards or so weren’t too bad but once that ran out you understood why you needed a 4 Wheel Drive to navigate. As we bumped and bounced from pot hole to pot hole we all laughed about the damage we must be doing to the suspension on the vans.

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We were traveling along a narrow peninsula that runs from Duxbury to Plymouth. At the tip is Gurnet Light marking the entrance to Plymouth Bay. The homes located out here are all private and access is restricted. The length of the peninsula from the Powder Point Bridge to Gurnet Light is about 5 miles.


We hadn’t gone too far when Dave pulled off the road into a little turnout. He told us all to get out of the van while he ran around to the back to take out a spotting scope.  Sally’s van was pulled up behind ours and she was busy getting out another scope. Once they were set up Dave told us to take a look. A snowy was sitting on the bank of ice with the water just behind him. Without the scope it was really hard to see the little fella. Dave confessed that he knew it was there because they had seen it that morning when it caught a duck for its breakfast. He’d checked just before he picked us up to be sure it was still there. It was a long way out but the scopes really made it pop out. My best guess photo wasn’t so hot.

Can you tell which snow chunk is the owl? He’s just left of the building in the background.


Here it is a MAXIMUM ..that gray blotch is the owl. He was much clearer in the spotting scope.


We stayed there taking turns with the spotting scopes until some of the less hardy souls began to drift back to the van. Once about half of us had left Dave announced it was time to move on.

Back in the van Dave was chatting about the owl when he spotted 3 little birds setting down in the grass on the dune. While he was concentrating on that I let out a shout..HAWK!. It was diving right toward us! It wanted one of those little birds for lunch. They took off and the hawk swooped right past us, Dave identified it as a  Cooper’s Hawk. That was exciting. Almost as good as seeing the Snowy.


A bit further on we stopped and piled out of the van again. This time the spotting scope showed us a flock of snow buntings scratching in the dune sand for seeds.



They paid no attention to us and once again we watched until about half of our group had returned to the van. Still no great photo ops except for the scenery but I was having fun.




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Bright and Cold

It was clear and sunny and bright but the cold of the last few days continued to linger. At least the overcast and snow was over. There was still a little snow on the ground but it is January in the northeast so what else can I expect.

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I’m heading off to join the Audubon Society on a Snowy Owl Prowl at Duxbury Beach. The 8 am excursion was booked but they decided to have a 2nd trip at 12 and I managed to get a spot on that one.


It was time to break out the winter camo. Time to see if it was as warm as the sales pitch said. I skipped the pants because I’d be in and out of a warm van and I figured it might be too much. Instead I pulled on a pair of “leggings” and then the size too big jeans that I bought to keep the waistband from irritating my shingles rash. No one would ever know I was wearing 2 pairs of pants and I figured the extra layer would be enough to break the wind for the little time we would be out of the van.


I packed up my sunglasses, a snack to prevent low blood sugar, a water bottle  and the big camera lens in case I had a chance to use it. Then, looking like an extra from Wild West Alaska I headed out.

Arriving at Duxbury Beach I could see that the sea ice had frozen. Since it’s sea water with a lot of salt it isn’t really solid but it looks like regular ice from the shore. While I waited for the Audubon crew I hoped out to snap a picture of the Powder Point Bridge.

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Immediately the wind hit me. But after a second I realized that the cold wind was only hitting my face. The rest of me was comfortably warm. That was all it took for me to fully accept my “camo” winter parka. (This is my “concentrating” look as I try to take a “Selfie”)


Shortly after that the Audubon Vans arrived . There were 2 of them and probably 9 of us so we were very comfortable, not crowded at all. I got the front seat with our driver and guide, Dave.

Sally drove the 2nd van and checked us in. Once she was sure we were all present and accounted for we were off.

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More Beau

For those of you who have not followed Beau on the Facebook page. Here is the latest update. Good news!

TEAM BEAU: Legal Update


Bryan Mauldin has updated us for the legal team. Most importantly- we have hearing dates and are moving forward.

There are two hearings set up with motions pending in both City Court (with Judge Dedmon) and Circuit Court (with Judge Moore).

The City Court hearing is first on TUESDAY JANUARY 27th at 4:00 p.m. This hearing is asking Judge Dedmon to set aside and vacate his trial court order, declare the ordinance void and FREE BEAU. This motion goes straight to the main issue in the case and took awhile for the legal team to have proper jurisdiction and basis to file.

The Circuit Court pleading is the response to a motion filed by the city for a CASH BOND of $7,500 to secure the costs of Beau’s boarding ($12 a day) during the appeal we were granted. Legal feels that the motions was simply intended to prolong the litigation and hopefully bleed us dry so we would lose or quit. That is the purpose of the second Go Fund Me just in case this ridiculously high bond had to be posted.

However, legal is happy they filed it because it opened the door to simultaneous jurisdiction in the Circuit Court and the reasons they are not entitled to bond goes to the heart of the case. NO bond because Beau is being held unlawfully because the Ordinance is void. This allowed legal to file a response that argues the central issue in the case and puts the ordinance in front of this court. The CIRCUIT COURT date is THREE days after the CITY COURT date on JANUARY 30th at 9:00 a.m.

This is finally an important move forward. We are sincerely hoping that the city court will overturn their ruling and allow Beau to go free.

We ask you continue sharing our information, as we are in a critical time frame now.

Please share the original petition and sign it if you didn’t at:

There is a second petition at:…/save-life-innoc…/qmf1WGKb

Our website is:

We need to remain BEAU STRONG now more than ever. Your voices count and we are moving forward in the court system finally!!

We hope this is Beau’s time and that the city and courts will agree to righting this horrible wrong!! Without your support, we would not have gotten this far!!!

Stay strong and thank you all!!


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Baby Its Cold Out There

The latest update in my Facebook feed on Beau is that he is still alive and still in captivity. More sharing and social media rabble-rousing is planned. I think the authorities in Tennessee could take a tip from the movie Frozen and “Let it go, Let it go, Let it go”. A terrible abuse of power.


But on another note, what does everyone think of this cold weather. Friends in Florida tell me it’s cold there too. Is anyone warm?


Last night the winds were howling and making a real racket when I went to bed. I lower the heat at bedtime down to around 60. I can’t sleep if its too warm and since I’m in a condo with units above, below and on each side, throw in the heated common areas and I’m usually pretty toasty warm. I knew it was cold when I woke up this morning and heard the furnace running.

I remember growing up in the Adirondacks and hearing my folks comment on the cold. I remember plenty of below zero days back then but as a kid stuffed in a bulky snow suit I didn’t really care.


If the cold froze the tops of the snow to ice we’d just take cardboard boxes and use them as sleds. Sometimes we had to crawl back up the hill because the ice crust was so slippery. Of course wiping out on that kind of snow was guaranteed to leave a blood trail! That crust could cut like glass!


I don’t know how cold it got last night but there were lots of reports of frozen gas lines and dead batteries in cars and school buses. I did not even put my nose out there! I can work from home so I was not about to brave the cold even if I do have a snugly warm snowsuit just like when I was a kid.  I’ll be trying that out for the first time this weekend.

FedEx  was working in the cold. At about 10 am I had a knock on my door. The man standing there looked like Nanook of the North. He had a mustache  and a hooded jacket with fur around it.


I think I just stared. I don’t know who let him inside the building but that poor man looked frozen. He didn’t say a word, just handed me my package and left. I think he just wanted to get the day over with so he could get out of the cold. His brief stop at my door probably didn’t give him much time to get warm before he had to go right back outside.

So, how’s the cold where you are and how are you coping? Am I just a wimp?






Posted in Life, Weather | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Beau Update

I may have more links. I couldn’t find this one when I wrote the original post. I believe you can find the facebook page here:


Here is the most recent post from my facebook feed.

Team Beau:

Good morning. This is a thank you for remaining BEAU STRONG!

Since this all started, the admins on this page have been dedicated to saving Beau’s life and we remain that way. Beau is still incarcerated but is remaining strong and so are we.

You, as supporters, are Beau’s most vital asset. The legal process can grind slowly and it becomes even more frustrating when city officials send mixed messages. There are two lines of attack, one is working on continuing to spread Beau’s situation and message. You can do that by inviting friends to like this page. Numbers do count, and each and every one of you supporting this cause make a difference.

You can share the original petition, or ask friends and co-workers if they have seen it.

On a second front, there is a further movement on billboards and ads that people have asked for. As that formulates, you will be kept updated.

Please remember that without you, the city would have already euthanized Beau and walked away. It is only the public outcry and with your help that Beau has a chance to survive.

As soon as there is any update whatsoever, we will pass it along to you. We all continue to strive for Beau’s release.

Because of you all, your sharing and support, we remain BEAU STRONG! Thank you again for your support. It takes a community to save the animals, and you are a great community of voices and supporters!


Beau is a 2 and 1/2 year old Golden Retriever/White German Shepard mix with no history of aggression or biting. But after Beau allegedly killed a duck that wandered on to his own property, he was seized by animal control and the city of…
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