Having a Great Time in Huntsville

It’s been a whirlwind of activity since arriving in Huntsville Thursday afternoon. Keynote speakers, breakout sessions and amazing parties every night.

I’ll write more later, getting ready now for another party at a place called Campus 805. It looks like an amazing venue, but I doubt it can beat the US Space & Rocket Center last night. πŸ™‚

Huntsville CVB has really done a fantastic job of hosting the TBEX and all of us travel bloggers. πŸ™‚

Travel Journey of the Week: New Orleans

I was looking around at the list of blog events for the Zero to Hero assignment for Day 22 and I found this one I thought would be interesting. It’s called the Travel Journey of the Week from Melissa at the Liberated Traveler’s blog.

I liked her idea of asking other people contribute by writing a post and linking back to hers. Since she seems to be focusing on FOOD, which of course New Orleans is deservedly famous for, I thought I would add to hers by posting some photos of places to find some great food in New Orleans.

I’ve got everything here from the Cafe DuMond for their famous chicory coffee and beignets to Rouses grocery store for the best muffaletta to the old JAX Brewery. World Famous restaurants Arnauds and the Bourbon House compete with less known but just as good local favorites.

You’ll find everything from classic French to Cajun and Creole. Old style steak houses. Oyster bars. Fresh seafood and local delights like catfish and alligator fixed a dozen different ways.

If you just have to have it, there’s always a slice of pizza to go with your daquiri. Hot dog standsΒ supply snacks you can eat as you wander down Bourbon Street with your Hand Grenades and Hurricanes. It’s hard to miss a good meal in the French Quarter! πŸ™‚


Here’s a link to the original post: Travel Journey of the Week: New Orleans at the Liberated Traveler blog.

Zero to Hero- Day 3: Bypass the Gatekeepers!

Todays assignment for the Zero to Hero Challenge is to ‘write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog’.

OK, well I didn’t really have any particular ‘post’ on my mind when I decided to start a blog. It was more like a general idea.

I have been trying to find a way to make a living without having to be out on a boat all the time. Yeah, I still like sailing. Yeah, I still like my job (most of the time, most of the things about it). But I’m getting to the point where I’d like to do something a little different. At least for a while.

I’d been hearing for a while about how it’s possible to earn a decent living by working online. Writing, stock photography, copy-writing, etc. I’ve even taken a few short courses/workshops to try and learn how to do it.

I’ve enjoyed going to the workshops. I’ve learned a lot in each one of them. But I’ve never managed to pass muster (yet) and get anything I’ve done accepted for publication.

I admit, I haven’t spent a lot of time trying to ‘sell’ my product; my writing and photography. I tried a couple of times to get some of my photographs accepted onto a couple of the stock photography websites like istock.com.

So far, I haven’t had any luck. My photos were rejected and I had to take a course to even begin to understand what the heck they were talking about when they told me why they rejected them all. πŸ˜‰

I haven’t even sent in any of my articles to anyone yet, tho I have sent a few queries to a couple of magazines I thought might be interested. One magazine even told me they were interested but they never got back to me and I let it fall by the wayside due to all the other things I’ve been busy with.

FOCUS! I think that’s what I need. I’m pretty sure if I had all the time in the world and no ‘real’ job and wasn’t busy with a dozen other projects, I could find the time to hound the gatekeepers of the publishing world until they let me in. πŸ˜‰

Too bad I don’t have that kind of schedule right now.


I decided to start a blog instead.

My plans for the blog have changed a little bit. I’m not focusing so much on putting my magazine type writing on here. Maybe one of these days I’ll post one and see if I can get some feedback from the blog world. I’ve been spending a lot more time just posting about things I find of interest.

I’ve really been posting a lot more about what gets ME going, what interests me, what turns me on, what turns me off. I enjoy catching peoples attention and trying to make them think.

Of course, I am still trying to work on my writing and photography. I still plan to try again to get my photos accepted online and my articles by some magazines. I work on that stuff when I can find time too.

I figured if I started a blog, I could get my work out to people WITHOUT having to go through an editor. Just get it out there and let it stand on it’s own merit. Either people will like it. Or they won’t.

Of course, the original purpose was to find some way to make an income. I’m told you can do that as a blogger too. So far, I haven’t the slightest idea of how to do that, but still hoping to learn. πŸ˜‰

In the meantime, I’m enjoying myself here. I especially like interacting with people all over the world. It’s really fascinating to me when I look at my blog stats and see people have visited my blog from places like Namibia, or Ghana, or Pakistan, or Ukraine.

I wonder what was it that interested those people and why? I have seen a lot of people online who have so many similar interests. It seems a great community here, even if it’s only ‘virtual’.

It’s great that we can all have blogs now, no need to hold back, just get ourselves out there and the whole world is open to us! πŸ™‚


A Word a Week Challenge- Arch

I finally got off the ship (DB-50) in Singapore and stayed over a couple of weeks. I wandered around and found this art museum. It had a lot of interesting things and the buildings were very interesting in themselves. It used to be a school (if I remember right) πŸ™‚

Arches, Singapore Art Museum



A Word a Week Challenge- Arch

Singapore Art Museum

I finally got off the ship (DB-50) in Singapore and stayed over a couple of weeks. I wandered around and found this art museum. It had a lot of interesting things and the buildings were very interesting in themselves. It used to be a school (if I remember right).


A Word a Week Challenge- Arch

Paris Las Vegas

Another one from Las Vegas. I was there for the Freedom Fest a couple of years ago. I had to miss it this year since I couldn’t get off work. πŸ™

Here’s a link to the original post…http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/a-word-a-week-challenge-arch/

How Long Have You Been a Sailor?

How Long Have You Been a Sailor? | gCaptain

sir stuffington cat

What a cute kitty. Too bad it looks like its already been through hell. πŸ™

I would adopt it if I could. Anyone need a good ships cat?

So, how long have I been a sailor? Almost as long as Sir Stuffington. πŸ˜‰

I wasn’t born on a boat but my brother almost was. He’s only a year younger than me so that’ll give you some idea. For sure I could swim before I could walk. My family has always been close to the water.

When I was very young, we spent a lot of time playing on the beach and our families had boats we would go out on. We spent a lot of time around Long Island NY. My grandfather had a nice old cruiser we used a lot. We would go to Montauk, East Hampton, Jones Beach, Fire Island…

We settled down in Florida when I was ready for 1st grade. My father fell in love with the Island Girl. She was a large (LOA 72′) staysail schooner built in Detroit in 1910. He bought her and sailed her around from Miami to Madeira Beach where we spent the next few years working and living aboard (part time).

He eventually turned the Island Girl into a commercial fishing boat which is where I got my start working on the water. Between fishing trips, he would take friends out for fun sails around the Gulf of Mexico. We had such a blast with that boat. She was well known around Florida for years.

Island Girl

I moved on to the party boats down the street as soon as I could. That was a much more fun job for me. I could make a couple of trips on the weekends and earn enough to pay my dad rent for the month. I know it was unusual to rent an apartment from my dad instead of living with him but it worked for a while.

I was able to go to high school with the Oceanics. That was a HUGE opportunity for me and I jumped on it. It literally changed my life. I was able to sail around the world and I decided on that trip I was going to be a sea captain (instead of a Dr). πŸ™‚

I’ve been working toward that goal ever since. I moved to Texas to go to school to get certified as an AB/QMED (Able Bodied seaman/Qualified Member of the Engine Department).

I finally earned my license from the US Coast Guard as Master Any Gross Tons just a couple of years ago. I was SO happy! I still haven’t had time to properly celebrate that accomplishment. If any of you reading my blog are sailors, you’ll know what I mean.

I do plan to have a party one of these days. As soon as I can find both the time and the money to spare, we’ll be having one to remember! πŸ˜‰

So, here’s my question to my readers… how long have YOU been a sailor? Tell us your story. I’d like to hear it.

I’ll call it the ‘How long have you been a sailor’ challenge. Write up your story: when did you start sailing? why? do you still like it? or not? what kind of boat (it doesn’t have to be a sailboat!)? where? If you have a blog, do a link from your blog back here (pingback). If you don’t have a blog, don’t feel left out, just post it as a reply.