Christmas Eve Romance? You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

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 This morning, Christmas Eve 2015, I sighted these reindeer (ok maybe not REINDEER!) right in our backyard. The one above sported a really nice set of antlers. 

Just off to the right, was another, apparently eyeing the first.

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Male, Female – whatever. Before I knew it they were drawing closer. (Important note here: Female REINDEER do have antlers. You, the viewer can draw any gender or breed conclusions you want! DSC_0358

 

The rest speaks for itself, although I’m not sure what was being said! DSC_0359

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They parted ways shortly after, seemingly quite content with their supposedly romantic encounter. Maybe this amorous behavior was sparked by the very unusual warm, spring-like weather  here in New Jersey.

None the less… Ho! Ho! Ho, what a sight, and watch for these two ….in the sky tonight

Thanks for viewing, click on for close-ups, and comments are always welcome. M  🙂

ARUBA… We’ll get there fast, than we’ll take it slow…

About three weeks ago Jeanne and I and some friends took a brief break to this tropical island, a mere 18 miles off the Venezuela (S.A) coast.  

Short on time?… just view the twelve images, and CLICK ON for higher resolution.

Greeted by these MONSTERS at the resort, whom we quickly grew fond of, the iguanas proved friendly, interesting, and to be all over the place.

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The “Occidental Grand Aruba Resort” featured, among many other amenities, its swim-up pool bar. 

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Steps away was the beachfront with thatched-roof covered lounges, and tiki bar. I see a pattern here!  

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The soft, sandy beach proved to be a pleasure to walk along, and the leeward shore of the southern Caribbean Sea beckoned as a calm, iridescent water playground.

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Above, the California Lighthouse was visible from the beach, looking picturesque enough for me to include it as a photo-op visit for the following day. 

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But what the short cab ride brought me to was anything but picturesque. In fact, this day, scaffolding was being erected for a long-term restoration project of the admittedly neglected beacon built in 1915 and named for a steamer wrecked off the point 24 years earlier. Note: there was no scaffolding in the previous day’s image!

With camera in hand, my obvious dis-satisfaction apparently proved humorous to the (mockingly) waving workmen, as I hastily retreated to my cab.  On the way back, I did manage to get a glimpse (not the kind the Beach Boys were likely implying in their ode to Kokomo,) of the arid, primitive north-east shore of Aruba, seen in the featured image on top of this post.

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To ease the disappointment of the lighthouse fiasco, we caught this pretty view of the setting sun behind the beach front tiki hut, back at our resort. (Click for closer look)

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The night-life in this tropical oasis stretches among the numerous resorts, offering great food, tropical drinks, and soft warm breezes on what would normally be a cold December night back home.DSC_0178 - Version 2

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Aruba is located a little less than 2000 miles (3200 km) south of New Jersey, as seen at the lower left in this Google Maps image.

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Thanks for viewing, and  comments are always welcome. M 🙂

UTAH: Day Three and Four – Lake Powell, Natural Bridges and Salt Lake City

 

Our four days exploring in Utah, continued early Saturday morning, 11/7/15, at the ‘outpost’ of Bullfrog, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area where we rented a small boat to explore nearby parts of Lake Powell, specifically Moqui Canyon. Later we would view the remarkable terrain in Natural Bridges National Monument, spend the night in Salt Lake City, and fly home Sunday, 11/8/15. 

This post contains 18 images most with comments. Browse through quickly, or click on for higher visual resolution.  

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From our lodge, early morning…houseboats moored at Bullfrog Marina
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One of the last days of the season, there were virtually no other renters despite what I considered perfect weather.
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Easily enduring chilly morning temperatures, the stunning sceanery kept the cameras busy, as Holly focuses here. 
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Seven year old Tyler was no exception.
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Moqui Canyon is one of hundreds of flooded canyons of the Glen Canyon portion of the Colorado River.
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The winding waterway, in just this one “side” canyon, goes on for a number of miles, twisting and turning with one incomparable view after another.

 

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We beached here where Holly, Steve and Tyler climbed and explored, as I relished in the awesome surroundings.
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All three are in this image, as photographed from the boat.
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Steve , camera in hand, explores around the bend.
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The weather today was cool, crisp and perfect; while summertime brings temperatures near 100 deg. F. (38 deg. C.) …with an abundance of houseboats and pleasure craft, many rented for a week at a time or privately owned.
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Steve, Holly and grandson Tyler

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I believe Lake Powell has only three access areas in its 186 mile (299 km) length and 1,960 miles (3,161 km) of shoreline, leaving plenty of exploration room.

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After returning the boat, driving for a few more hours, and seeing virtualy no one on the road, (except  a mounted cowhand coaxing his small herd of cattle,) we explored Natural Bridges National Monument in the later afternoon.
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A spectacular scenic roadway provides viewpoints for several bridges, this being  Kachina, 210 ft. (64 m) high.
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We continued late into the night to Salt Lake City and our room. Sunday morning, day four, 11/8/15, the Wasatch Mountains caught the early sunlight as seen from our hotel (see feature image at top of this post,) and the view above was of the Utah State Capitol building as we headed back to the airport.
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The Colorado Rockies are below our regional jet to Denver, then the long flight home – ending our otherwise short and memorable adventure.

As usual, thanks for viewing and comments are always welcome. M 🙂