Archive | May, 2013

MSQLP Field Trip to Point Lobos

29 May

The following is  guest post from our friend, Tammy Jennings, a Board Member of the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project (MSQLP), a gifted writer and wonderful photographer!

(She’s the pretty blonde on the left in the first photo; all other photos were taken by her.)

My first thought was…WOW!  My second thought was…thank you, thank you, thank you volunteers, Conservation Corps, and Pt. Lobos staff for making the handicap accessible trails!  I thought I’d never be able to experience the wonder and awe of Pt. Lobos again.  But now we all can!  I had an unforgettable time.  Continue reading

Hell Hole of the Pacific, or “Hey Sailor!”

27 May

Russell, formerly known as Kororareka, was the first permanent European settlement and sea port in New Zealand. It is situated in the Bay of Islands, in the far north of the North Island.

Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

When European and American ships began visiting New Zealand in the early 1800s, the indigenous Māori quickly recognized there were great advantages in trading with these strangers.  Continue reading

Hole in the Rock Cruise, Bay of Islands

22 May

Our first full day in New Zealand was February 6th, which happens to be a national holiday: Waitangi Day. It was on this date, in 1840, that the Maori people signed the Treaty of Waitangi, ostensibly making New Zealand part of the British empire, affording its people the same rights as other British subjects while guaranteeing Maori rights to their own land.

Naval presence, in honor of Waitangi Day

Naval presence, in honor of Waitangi Day

Although similarities have been drawn to treaties signed between the Native Americans and those who claimed their land, the politics of Waitangi Day are not the subject of this blog. (However, we did visit the Treaty House on the 7th — after the crowds thinned — and found it fascinating and mostly accessible. And that will be a future post.) Continue reading

The Kiwi Adventure Begins!

17 May Auckland International Airport

“New Zealand is a very accessible country,” I had been told prior to my recent month-long trip there. And with very few exceptions I found this to be true. For the next few weeks I will be sharing my experiences in this beautiful land, and when one of the “few exceptions” comes up, I’ll point it out .

The Big Travel Day had finally arrived: Sunday, February 3, 2013

I had prepared for months, researching travel guides and library books, checking Tripadvisor and taking lots of notes. Continue reading

Sunday in the Garden of Dunedin

6 May Lower Garden

The following is a journal entry from my recent trip to New Zealand.

Sunday, March 3, 2013; Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand

The day began with a wonderful, meditative visit to Dunedin Botanic Gardens, the most beautiful garden I have ever seen.

Sunday morning at Dunedin Botanic Garden, New Zealand

Winter Garden Glasshouse, Dunedin Botanic Garden, New Zealand, 3-3-13

It’s the oldest in New Zealand – just celebrated 150 years – and in my estimation the most beautiful and varied. (At one point I found myself comparing it to Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam. There’s really no comparison, as they are very different in type, size and memory.)

After quietly wandering for nearly an hour – we had been dropped off at 8:00 a.m. – I found a beautiful, quietly secluded place to sit and meditate and write.

Those thoughts follow … Continue reading

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