When I grew up in Belgium, New Year’s Day was more important than Christmas. Yes, we had a live Christmas tree with colorful balls and twinkling lights in the living room, but the presents underneath would be distributed on the first day of the new year. On Christmas Eve, my brother and I would have a quiet dinner at home with my parents. Sometimes, my dear oma would join us. My dad retrieved the “gourmet set” from the cellar and my mom picked up trays of bite-sized, raw meat and vegetables (and not to forget, pancake dough) at the butcher. For hours, we would each cook our own dinner in tiny pans and on top of the “communal” electric grill plate in the middle of the table. This food experience was called “gourmetten”. We all loved it and finished the meal off with mini-crepes. Then, we would play board games until bedtime. Continue reading
This is my last “Then and Now” post for the time being, and I think it is perfect for Wordless Wednesday as well! 🙂
Then – San Blas Islands, Panama, 2012
My favorite yoga spot of all times – Good Morning, East Lemmons!
Looking up from my towel
East Lemmon Cays
Here is another topic for my “Then and Now” series. This festive time of the year has been different for us, over the years, as my article “Caribbean Christmas Afloat” in All At Sea magazine partly depicts. Underneath is a glimpse into our Christmases then (mostly during the time we lived and sailed on Irie) and now, at our current house sit.
2008 – Culebra, Puerto Rico
Mark, Darwin, Kali and I were ready to explore the real Caribbean in our 35′ sailboat. Unfortunately, the day after Christmas, our sweet girl Kali passed away and nothing would ever be the same anymore.
A special breakfast with bacon grease for Kali and Darwin
2009 – St. Pierre, Martinique
One of the most beautiful anchorages in the Caribbean was our location on Christmas in 2009. It was just the three of us enjoying a quiet day of giving Darwin a bath and exploring the town.
A bath for Darwin
2010 – Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Continue reading
I am sticking with my Friday “Then and Now” theme for a few more weeks, since I am having fun with it. I wonder whether these amazing and interesting skies would fit into Cee’s Odd Ball category for photography? While sunsets are beautiful, they do create some odd shapes and colors into the sky. 🙂
When you live on the water for eight years, there are numerous sunsets to enjoy. The best of them occur when there is a clear view of the horizon, in my opinion. In October, I posted one of my favorite sunset photos and here is another small selection of the – yes, you can believe it – hundreds of sunset photos I took or witnessed over the years.
Grenada, Caribbean – 2009-2011
Martinique, Caribbean – 2010 Continue reading
I am a couple of days late for my Wordless Wednesday post and WordPress photo theme of the week, which was “relax“. The reason: my first Wednesday of every month is devoted to a writing update as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The advantage of my delay is that I can add this theme to my Friday “Then and Now” series, and that the weekend is already upon us; time to relax!
Samara, Costa Rica, 2006
Luperon, Dominican Republic, 2008
British Virgin Islands, 2009 Continue reading
Last week, Donna from Retirement Reflections suggested I do a “Then and Now” post about my birthday. While the thought had crossed my mind, I was hesitant to pursue it, because I thought I could do something bigger with that topic than “just” a blog post. See, a little while back, I played with the brief idea to make my variety of birthdays a thread in the memoir I am writing, or at least incorporate my last decade into an article, “Sailing through My Thirties” or something like that. As always with most of my genius ideas, not much ever happens with them. So, why not turn the thought into a blog? Some parts will still make it into my book, so I can’t reveal any juicy details or you won’t buy it. 🙂 The photos will not be able to make it into the memoir, so… here are some birthday galleries!
30 – Monterrey, California, USA
My birthday in 2005 was a bit stressful and exciting at the same time, since our sailboat F/Our Choice/s (on which we were living) was getting hauled out of the water in the morning and undergoing an inspection to be sold. Or not… We spent part of the afternoon in the amazing aquarium and went out to dinner. We both love Monterrey, especially the wildlife, like sea otters swimming by the boat.
31 – Belize, Central America
This blog follows the theme from last week, but with much less color! 🙂
Thanksgiving didn’t mean anything to me as a Belgian, until I started visiting the US over a decade ago. Being married to an American made me appreciate this day of thanks, and I am always happy with an extra day off, of course. Thanksgiving is Mark’s favorite holiday, since it is not commercialized and involves no gifts. Instead, the focus is on good food (lots of it) and being with friends or family. Continue reading
Now that Mark and I have been house and pet sitting throughout the US for over a year, we often think back about then, when we were still full-time cruisers on Irie. I am hoping to post a few photos about the difference in lifestyle, views and perspective the coming months. For this one, I was inspired by Terri’s blog link-up Seasonal Sensations – Autumn Leaves.
Autumn in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (2009)
Autumn in Venezuela (2011) Continue reading