Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida ~ Photos ~ Quotes ~ May 2022

There’s no question dolphins are smarter than humans as they play more ~ Albert Einstein

Several years ago, after watching the beautiful movie, “A Dolphin Tale,” I made a mental note to someday visit the Clearwater Aquarium, which is Florida’s Marine Life Rescue Center. It is an incredible place to spend several hours and one that you can easily revisit.

Your journey to the Aquarium will include learning about the dolphins and otters and pelicans, etc. For those who have seen the movie and its sequel, there are photos and information about parts of the movie which were shot on location plus interesting data about Winter, the star. Winter and the Rescue Center gained world wide attention due to the film and the compelling story of Winter.

The main attraction is the dolphins ~ they are beautiful, mesmerizing and quite memorable.

Their web site has a great deal of information, including special events plus several web cams:

Clearwater Marine Aquarium | Florida’s Marine Life Rescue Center (cmaquarium.org)

Savor your journeys, near or far, real or imagined

Dolphins speak to us of the rhythm of our emotions; breathing in joy before plunging into the depths and rushing to the surface to do it all over again ~ Anonymous

The dolphins and whales have a brain that is actually bigger in proportion to their size than we do. They are very complex. They are thinkers ~ Owsley Stanley

National Hug Your Cat Day ~ June 4, 2022 ~ Photos ~ Quotes

Celebrate with your special feline … and give lots of hugs …. OR hug a friend’s cat OR visit a shelter and hug a cat ….

Journeys are more meaningful with special pals … Savor the moments with your precious felines  … 

A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not ~ Ernest Hemingway

Cats have it all: admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it ~ Rod McKuen

A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution ~ Hazel Nicholson

All cats like being the focus of attention.” –Peter Gray

Time spent with cats is never wasted ~ Sigmund Freud

When the cat you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure ~ Unknown

The loss of a cat is immeasurable. But so is the love left behind ~ Unknown

Tarpon Springs, Florida ~ Photos ~ May 2022

Tarpon Springs, about 13 miles north of Clearwater, has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US. It’s a cute town to walk about and definitely time it for lunch or dinner. The restaurant I chose for a late lunch was fabulous, from appetizer to dessert. I selected the restaurant that seemed to be the busiest – and I understood why once I tasted their food.

Hellas Restaurant ~ A friendly waiter brought the menu with many popular Greek dishes, plus some unknowns. The waiter spent time answering questions and giving recommendations. My favorite appetizer (Taramasalata with pita) was incredible. LOL – there were no leftovers! It was perfect with a glass of a delicious, white Greek wine, Kretikos. Because I knew I wanted dessert, I followed the appetizer with a very nice salad. The dessert menu is very extensive. I chose kataiffi – it’s a rolled type baklava and is terrific. The restaurant definitely warrants many trips to try other items on their menu. Bon Appetit (in Greek: Καλή όρεξη. [Kalí órexi]

Hellas Bakery | Hellas Restaurant | Wholesale and Retail Greek Patries | Greek Festivals | Tarpon Springs, Florida – Hellas Bakery and Restaurant

Savor your journeys, near or far, real or imagined

Clearwater Beach, Florida ~ May 2022 ~ Photos ~ Quotes

Don’t grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach ~ Michelle Held

The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul ~ Robert Wyland 

The beach to me is a sacred zone between the earth and the sea, one of those in-between between places where transitions can be experienced – where endings can be mourned and beginnings birthed. A walk along the beach offers the gift of the unexpected ~ Joan Anderson

 Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone ~ Anonymous

 Isn’t it strange, the way time moves? I could stand here and watch the sea crash beneath me for hours and it would feel only like minutes had passed ~ Sjana Elisa Earp

 We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds ~ Aristotle Onassis

 In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans ~ Kahlil Gibran

I followed my heart and it led me to the beach ~ Unknown

Dunedin, Florida ~ Photos ~ May 2022

Dunedin is a delightful town less than an hour west of Tampa, bordering the St. Joseph Sound. It is also close to Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, St. Petersburg and Tarpon Springs. You can easily get about using Uber or the Jolley Trolley. Jolley Trolley – Welcome Aboard Clearwater Jolley Trolley!

Main Street is fun to browse and explore. Get a map at your hotel and spend several hours leisurely perusing the many shops, including apparel, jewelry, arts and crafts and restaurants.

Favorite restaurants include:

            Frenchy’s Outpost Bar and Grill ~ Frenchy’s has a Tiki Bar, terrific outdoor and indoor dining ~ very good menu, including excellent Fried Zucchini, grilled Mahi Mahi and a super Key Lime Pie

            Criketers British Pub ~ extensive menu ~ Superb Fish N Chips and marvelous Portobello Fingers (fried mushrooms) ~ and the best Moscow Mule drink ever!

Yes, I want to return and explore more of this beautiful part of Florida, including Honeymoon Island State Park.

Savor your journeys, near or far, real or imagined

Journey to Dunedin & Clearwater, Florida ~ May 2022 ~ Photos

My first plane trip since the pandemic was terrific. Flights were full, but on time ~ always a good thing. Rather than renting a car, as I’d never been to the area, I opted to explore using either Uber or the Jolley Trolley. It worked well ~ and next time I visit, I shall rent a car. I stayed at the Hampton Inn in Dunedin, just north of Clearwater and I highly recommend it.

There were two places that for me were “must see.” First, the Clearwater Aquarium, which I have wanted to visit since seeing the beautiful movie “A Dolphin Tale.” The Aquarium lived up to my expectations and more.

Second, I had heard about Tarpon Springs, north of Clearwater, which has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US. It was fun to walk about and the restaurant I chose was incredible. Definitely worth a repeat visit.

I’ll have several more post about the Clearwater Aquarium, beautiful Clearwater Beach (yes, the Gulf is spectacular!), Tarpon Springs and Dunedin plus some favorite restaurants.

Savor your journeys, near or far, real or imagined

Armchair Traveler ~ Greece

Greece is the home of the gods; they may have died but their presence still makes itself felt. The gods were of human proportion; they were created out of the human spirit. ~ Henry Miller

We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, out religion, our arts, have their roots in Greece. ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Enthusiasm is a wonderful thing. In South Africa, they throw flowers at you. In Greece, Greeks throw themselves. ~ Melina Mercouri

Recently, on a rainy day, I came upon some old postcards. Several were of Greece, primarily Athens and they brought back some terrific memories.

A friend and I went to Greece (Athens plus a 3 day tour to Corinth and Delphi) and Rome on our first trip to Europe. Athens has so many memorable sights, including the Acropolis (link below) and a short distance away from the city is the beautiful scenic Temple of Poseidon. Temple of Poseidon at Sounion | The Official Athens Guide (thisisathens.org)

I still recall a fabulous restaurant dinner at Dionysius restaurant which had the most incredible view of the Acropolis. I googled the restaurant and yes, it is still there … with it’s fantastic view and menu. Home | Dionysos Zonar’s (dionysoszonars.gr).

Here is a link about Delphi, one of the most beautiful serene places I have visited. It is a place where you can feel the presence of the Gods.

Delphi Greece – Complete Travel Guide | Discover Greece

The great fun of Armchair Travel is you can go where you want, check out museums, monuments, parks, restaurants, book shops, day tours, etc. And imagine yourself there … enjoying stuffed vine leaves, Moussaka and a beautiful glass of Greek wine. If you are lucky to live near a good Green restaurant, indulge!

Perhaps play some Greek music, watch a movie set in Greece, check out “Aerial Greece” by the Smithsonian Channel  (marvelous 4 part show covering mainland Greece and the islands)  or hunt about for books set in Greece. If you enjoy mysteries, check out the Chief Andreas Kaldis series by Jeffrey Siger. Most of the books also feature the Greek isles … which is definitely another Armchair Travel journey.

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Savor your journeys… real, imagined or virtual, near or far

Home | Acropolis Museum | Official website (theacropolismuseum.gr)

Athens (visitgreece.gr)

Favorite Poem ~ “Nothing Gold Can Stay” ~ Robert Frost ~ Photos

This iconic poem by Robert Frost reminds us that everything beautiful is fleeting, which makes it all the more precious when it’s here.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.