Autumn in New Jersey.

Ailsa’s Travel theme this week has given me a chance to share a few pics of our visit up north to see the family. It was the first time we’d seen our son’s new/old house. Like father, like son, he has recently bought a really neglected property and is having it totally renovated. Unlike us though, he has rented out his other house, which was all nicely done, and the five of them are living on the top floor of the new one, in the newly redecorated three-bedroom guest suite. We stayed at a nearby hotel, but for future visits, this suite will be our accommodation. The leaves were turning, and the unkempt garden definitely had an autumnal look about it.

The children were so excited to see us, especially as they knew we’d brought them each a ‘goody bag’. Taylor’s class was going on a school trip to Melicks Town Farm the next day, so we decided to tag along. Here she is trying her hand at making apple juice.


The hay ride, was a first for me. What fun, sitting on hay bales, and bouncing along the bumpy track up to the apple orchard.


Taylor was so excited that granny was coming too. Dad and Granddad followed along behind.


There weren’t many apples left on the trees, but we did manage to pick a few.


This friendly bear was just waiting for a hug.


Loads of pumpkins everywhere, but which one to choose, and they’re all so big and heavy too? “Daddy, I want this one. Can you please help me?”


The following day, we were at the park, and ‘Max the Fearless’ was eager to show us that he could climb right to the very top of the Tarzan frame.


Of course he would rather clamber up the slide than slide down it. The little girl waiting at the top, was so patient. Thankfully she didn’t decide to slide down and kick him in the teeth.


Two sisters swinging side by side.Ā  This reminded me of my sister and I so many years ago. I never imagined that one day, in the autumn of my life, I’d be watching my own grandchildren doing the same thing. Where did all those years go?


I’m back in Florida now, where autumn doesn’t really manifest itself, although we have had a couple of cooler days and nights to remind us that winter is on the way. I’m so happy that we decided to take the trip up to New Jersey, not only to see family, but also to experience some of the beauty of their autumn.

To see more entries for Ailsa’s Travel theme, just click here.











Cee’s Oddball Challenge: What’s this fascination with old loos?

Cee invites us every week to post some of our ‘Odd Ball’ pics, which to me means, the ones that we’re not sure why we took, as they don’t fit into any other category than ‘Odd Ball’.

The centrepiece of UShaka Marine World in Durban South Africa, is a wonderful aquarium, set in a recreated, rusty old cargo ship from the 1920’s. The crew’s ablution section, especially the toilet area, seemed to hold a great fascination for most people, including our family. This first picture was taken by hubby when our two South African grandchildren came to stay with us for a holiday. My mom was game to have a seat and rest her weary legs; the children just did as they were told, but as you may notice, I avoided sitting on the loo in public.


When our granddaughter came over from New York, some ten years later, we took her to the aquarium, and of course it was mandatory that she should also have her pic taken on one of these loos. Family tradition, I guess. šŸ™‚ I’m not sure what happened with this photo, but it sure looks really weird. Love the sparkly shoes though!


Do you have any Odd Ball pics that you’d like to share, or maybe you just want to smile at other people’s. Click on the badge below.


My Most Memorable Cups for Ailsa’s Travel Theme.

As some of you may know, we’re busy packing up our home in South Africa in preparation for our move to Florida. Some items aren’t going with us, as we already have a house full of stuff over there, so I’ve had to decide what to part with. Years ago, I fell in love with this Royal Albert tea service, and when we lived in Johannesburg, it was used regularly at tea parties, together with gold spoons and cake forks. The trend has since been towards mugs instead of dainty bone china cups, so it’s been unused for about ten years, cluttering up my cupboard. I advertised it for sale, and the person who managed to get here first at breakneck speed, just pipped a couple of others at the post. I had no idea it would sell so easily, but she was absolutely over the moon with her bargain. I felt a little tug at my heart strings as we packed it up and watched it disappear down the driveway, but I’m sure it’s gone to a good home.


This blackĀ  ceramic coffee set was a wedding present in the late 1960’s, and also hasn’t been used for years, so it’s also up for sale, and someone is coming to look at it tomorrow. It travelled over from England with us in 1970, and holds many memories of after-dinner cups of coffee, accompanied by the lively chatter of good friends.


More up to date, is a delicious cup of Chai Tea Latte sprinkled with cinnamon, just the way I like it.


Now for some really cute waterlily petal cups full of smiley grandchildren.


A particularly proud and memorable moment, was when our eldest granddaughter Tamsyn, won these coveted cups for academic brilliance.


To see more entries for Ailsa’s “World Cups” travel theme, just click here.

Sunsets, a Hummingbird, and Birthdays for Ailsa’s Theme.

Ailsa’s Travel Theme ‘Glow’, had me searching firstly for sunsets.

I really miss the rosy glow of a Florida sunset.


I was mesmerised by the orange glow of this sunset in San Antonio, Costa Rica.


Of course, this gorgeous blue Hummingbird we happened upon in the rain forest there, has a glow all of his own.


Then I thought of the luminous glow of youth, which is very hard to replicate as one gets older.


Taylor’s older sister had a beautiful glowing birthday cake last year.


Today is my daughter’sĀ  birthday, and the glow of her smile can really light up a room. Here’s to you, Mandy!


To see more glowing entries for Ailsa’s theme, just click here.





WPC: My Model Family

This week’s Photo Challenge is ‘Family’. In October last year, we were visiting our son and family in New Jersey, and on the Saturday, went with them all to the Brooklyn ‘Ice Cream Factory’ for a photo shoot.

Yesterday, I noticed on Facebook that my son had posted pics of the results of that very busy day. They do a lot of modelling, but I think this is the first time they’ve all been together in the sameĀ  ad. (click on any image to enlarge).

To see more family pics for the challenge, just click on the badge below.


Ed’s Sunday Stills: Christmas Decorations

We’re almost at the end of our journey, and have just stopped for lunch in Delaware. In a couple of hours or less, we’ll be arriving in New Jersey, where we will no doubt be enthusiastically greeted by our three little grandchildren. There are three goodie bags in the car, because the “What have you brought us?” syndrome is always alive and well when the grandparents arrive.

I’m not too sure just how much time I’ll have to keep up with your blogs over the coming week, so I’m wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays with your family and friends. It’s been so great getting to know you through your blogs this past year, and I’m looking forward to more of the same in 2014.

Here is my entry to Ed’s Sunday Stills challenge “Holiday lights and decorations.”

This pic was taken in Zarcero, Costa Rica, at the ‘Parque Francisco Alvardo’. I will show you more of this whimsical garden of magic and wonder in a future post, but for now, here is the gorgeous Nativity scene, which since the 1960’s, has been set up every year, complete with offerings of traditional Costa Rican food and drink to the Christ Child.


To see more entries for Ed’s challenge, just click here.