Meredith

Mar 142017
 

Steve and I recently traveled to Lake Tahoe for the wedding of a close family member.  It was my first visit to this magical mountain playground, but it won’t be my last.  While I grew up in the mountains as an avid skier, I lost my fondness for cold weather and any and all sports that go along with it.

I haven’t willingly been in the snow for several years, so I was unsure as to how I would handle the environment in Lake Tahoe in March.  Would I remain inside, huddled by a fire, making every attempt to avoid the out-of-doors except when absolutely necessary (i.e. when leaving the premises for the wedding or rehearsal dinner)?  Or, would I don my snow boots, brave the elements and venture down to the lake to take photos?  Thankfully, my obsession with love of photography took charge, and as it turns out, I had a great time in the fresh mountain air.

Panoramic lake view in Incline Village

Panoramic view of Lake Tahoe

We had two sunny winter days during our trip

We had two sunny winter days during our trip

The sky during a storm which dropped two feet of snow

The sky during a storm which dropped two feet of snow

Steve and me braving the storm

Steve and me braving the storm

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village, which is nestled amongst the evergreens on its own private beach (with pier).  I was very pleased with our lodging choice.  The resort has a beautiful spa, several outdoor hot tubs and a large heated outdoor pool that I used daily.  It also has several good restaurants, a Starbucks and a great gift shop.  And if you ever get a chance to dine at the Lone Eagle Grill – run, don’t walk.  Not only is the food amazing, but the view is one of the best you’ll find in the area.  And for the skiers out there, the resort has a ski valet and is close to Northstar and Mount Rose ski resorts (among others).

The beach at the Hyatt Regency Incline Village

The beach at the Hyatt Regency Incline Village

The resort's pier - no doubt amazing during summer

The resort’s picturesque pier

Close-up of the beach, which was comprised of pebbles in an array of neutral hues

Close-up of the beach, which was comprised of pebbles in an array of neutral hues

Large pinecone were found all along the shore

Large pinecones were found all along the shore

Devouring the Baked Tahoe at the Lone Eagle Grille. This marshmallow-meringue encrusted dessert is pure perfection!

Devouring the Baked Tahoe at the Lone Eagle Grille. This marshmallow-meringue encrusted dessert is pure perfection!

There were a few wildlife sightings during our brief time exploring the lake’s beaches.

A beautiful mallard on the shoreline of the lake

A beautiful mallard on the shoreline of the lake

Well, alright, not exactly wildlife... This is Piper, she travels around the country in an RV.

Well, alright, not exactly wildlife… This is Piper, she travels around the country in an RV.

The wedding that we attended was the perfect representation of the couple’s love for Lake Tahoe and the mountains.  It was held at a beautiful rustic-chic venue near the lake.  The couple attended to every detail themselves, including hand-crafting most of the decor (including the centerpieces).

The Groom hand made the wedding place card holders

The Groom hand made the wedding place card holders

The Groom's father hand-crafted a rustic wooden bench for guests to sign.

The Groom’s father hand-crafted a rustic wooden bench for guests to sign.

Champagne was served on the balcony overlooking the pine forest and snow-capped mountains

Champagne was served on the balcony overlooking the pine forest and snow-capped mountains

Steve and me during cocktail hour

Steve and me during cocktail hour

I can’t wait to return to this paradise, perhaps in the warmer months.  Have you been to Lake Tahoe?  Winter or summer?

Feb 122017
 

The heavier rains that graced the island in December and early January have eased up considerably.  The island has been sunny, breezy and, well, just about perfect.

This week we have hosted family from the US. It’s been a busy and fun week of exploring and playing tourist, as well as a great reminder of everything this island has to offer.

Bananaquit at Cadushy Distillery.

Bananaquit at Cadushy Distillery

Steve with my step father Frank at Boka Onima

Steve with my step father Frank at Boka Onima

Entrance to Germaine's studio at GN Art

Entrance to Germaine’s studio at GN Art

Garden at GN Art

Garden at GN Art

Bird sanctuary area at Gotomeer Lake

Bird sanctuary area at Gotomeer Lake

The shoreline in Playa at downtown Kralendijk

The shoreline in Playa at downtown Kralendijk

With my mom in Playa

With my mom in Playa

Sailing with Blue Bay Boat Rentals Bonaire

Sailing with Blue Bay Boat Rentals Bonaire

Rainbow over Kralendijk

Rainbow over Kralendijk

Tui Dreamliner landing at BON

Tui Dreamliner landing at sunset

Sailboat at sunset

Sailboat at sunset from Rum Runners at Captain Don’s Habitat

Here are some links to the highlights of the week-

Drinking a cactus at Cadushy Distillery in Rincon – It is worth a trip to Rincon to taste their handcrafted spirits and relax in their garden.

Sailing with Blue Bay Boat Rentals – we had a great trip with this operation.  I highly recommend them for a sunset sail, snorkel sail or a daily boat rental.  The owner and crew area very friendly and professional, and the boat was in great condition.

Art shopping with Germaine at GN Art – Germaine’s driftwood art is unique and beautiful, and she is a delight.

Jan 142017
 

The island is still receiving daily rains (and we are still not complaining).  Due to the road conditions in the North, STINAPA has closed Washington Park until January 18 (conditions will be re-evaluated at that point).

Divers from the organization Freedom at Depth are enjoying a stay on Bonaire.  Freedom at Depth is Canada’s premier scuba diving training organization for those with disabilities.  We’ve met several of the divers, and their motivation and determination is impressive.  If you see them diving at Divi, stop by and say hello.

Due to elevated sea temperatures, NOAA recently issued a Coral Bleaching alert for Bonaire.  In December, STINAPA conducted a survey in response to the alert to ascertain the extent of the damage, if any.  The survey revealed that the impact was minor and that the health of the coral has stabilized.  The current situation is one of “No Stress”, per NOAA’s classification scale.

Here are some photos from around the island this week.

Sun rays illuminate Bachelor's Beach at sunset

Sun rays illuminate Bachelor’s Beach at sunset

Have you seen the amazing graffiti at the abandoned Esmeralda resort in the south?

Have you seen the amazing graffiti at the abandoned Esmeralda resort in the south?  It’s worth a look.

A wavy sea at Bachelor's Beach.

A wavy sea at Bachelor’s Beach.

A wet garden=a happy garden

A wet garden = a happy garden.  This is a Jatropha flower.

Reflection of palm leaves in raindrops in our garden.

Reflection of palm leaves in raindrops in our garden.

Jan 052017
 

bachelors-pano-4-3-3

How much would you be willing to pay for a full year of access to:

  • The best shore diving in the Americas, as voted by the readers of Scuba Diving magazine for 24 consecutive years.
  • Over 350 recorded species of fish and 57 species of coral.
  • Prime windsurfing locations, home to five “Top 10” world champion windsurfers
  • Beautiful white and pink sand beaches, which are home to more than 100 nesting areas for 3 endangered species of sea turtles.
  • Swim in tranquil turquoise water that stays between 78 and 84 degrees F (25-29C) year-round.

Plus, access to nearly 14,000 acres (6,500 hectares) of national park, rich in biodiversity, and home to many endemic species including:

  • More than 200 of the island’s 210 known bird species, including large flocks of Caribbean flamingos and Yellow-shouldered amazon parrots.
  • Over 9 miles (15 km) of shoreline, with sandy beaches plus salt flats, mangroves, cactus scrub, caves, and dry forest
  • A network of nature trails that you can hike to the highest point on the island
  • Opportunities to kayak, mountain bike, picnic and more

How is this possible? With a one-year nature tag, which provides access to both the Bonaire National Marine Park and Washington-Slaagbai National Park. It is available from non-profit STINAPA, who manages and protects the parks, as well as from local dive shops and the Tourism Office in Kralendijk.

The price? Only $25 USD, for a whole year. $10 day passes are also available.

stinapa-tag

This is among the greatest bargain in the Caribbean and the world.

We just bought our tags for 2017, and look forward to new adventures in the parks. What are you waiting for?

Dec 312016
 

As 2016 comes to a close, we want to thank you for sharing our adventures with us.  We wish you all a happy and healthy 2017 filled with love and adventure.

Rain, rain and more rain.  That’s been the weather forecast on Bonaire for the past month.  But we’re not complaining.  This desert island, along with its flora and fauna, welcome the life-giving H20.

The increased rains also mean that dive and snorkel conditions have been less than optimal.  But it’s still Bonaire, which means that the diving is still incredible.

Here are some scenes from the island this week.

tattoosh super yacht

Paul Allen’s Tatoosh has been docked in town for several days. She is 303 feet of super yacht complete with a helicopter and two 46 foot boats.

Tattoosh from her stern

Tatoosh from her stern

The Courtyard Marriott has been completed and is open for business.

The Courtyard Marriott has been completed and is open for business.

The Salt Pier - one of the most interesting dive sites on the island

The Salt Pier – one of the most interesting dive sites on the island

A panoramic view of the Salt Pier

A panoramic view of the Salt Pier

Dancing beak to beak in Gotomeer Lake

Dancing beak to beak in Gotomeer Lake

Another pair of flamingo mates at Lake Gotomeer

Another pair of flamingo mates at Lake Gotomeer

Eared Dove atop cactus near Rincon

Eared Dove atop cactus near Rincon

A Blue-tailed emerald hummingbird shimmers on its perch

A Blue-tailed emerald hummingbird shimmers on its perch

How are you celebrating the new year?  As tradition dictates, Bonaire will have multiple fireworks displays on the waterfront tonight.