Month: June 2017

Thursday Doors: Antigua, Guatemala

On our Panama Canal cruise in March, we stopped at the port of Puerto Ixtapa, Guatemala and from there we took a bus to Antigua. In Spanish, antigua means “ancient” – this historic city was founded in the early 16th century and spent 200 years as the colonial capital of Guatemala. Surrounded by volcanoes and earthquake prone, the city was largely destroyed in 1773 by an earthquake. However, many of its historic buildings were preserved as ruins.

We took a walking tour of downtown Antigua and were captivated by the charm of this small city, whose population is about 45,000 inhabitants. Here is a sampling of Antigua’s doors:

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Bilingual sign at the entrance to a Thai restaurant, “Rocio”


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Many shops that sell handicrafts are housed in old buildings with walls damaged by earthquakes.

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Cathedral of Antigua

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The same door from the outside and the inside:

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Norm’s Thursday Doors 6/22/17

WPC: Transient

The sky is constantly changing as clouds move across it, rain falls from it, the sun rises and sets, and sometimes rainbows form. Rainbows are special because they are transient, especially double rainbows!

On our Dakotas trip in May,, Dale and I were returning to South Dakota after making a side trip to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Right after we finished a picnic dinner outside the park, it began to rain. We drove through several miles of rain, but then the clouds parted and the low late afternoon sun returned, forming rainbows and as an added treat, a gorgeous sunset!


Weekly Photo Challenge, 6/21/17

“Museum of Tomorrow” – Rio’s futuristic (?) museum

November 25, 2016

Today we had tickets to see Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), which my sister-in-law had purchased online in advance. This would allow us to avoid long lines to pay admission and just go right in.


I was both impressed and disappointed by my experience at the museum. I was impressed by the way the information was presented and the educational quality of the information (plus the fact that much of it was available in English or Spanish as well as Portuguese, which made it a lot easier for my husband, who is monolingual, and for me because I didn’t have to translate everything for him).

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I was disappointed by the fact that there really wasn’t anything futuristic or speculative. For example, the section on climate asks the viewer to think about what climate change is doing to our planet and how it affects or may affect them in the future, and presents the facts as they currently are about the issue, but it does not make projections about the future. I think it would have more impact if we could step into a mini virtual environment of the future where climate change can be felt.

This globe hanging above the waiting crowd’s heads changes to show different aspects of the Earth. We were waiting for admission to watch a video.

If you want to learn about a particular ecosystem, you can find it here. You can spend quite a bit of time reading the material available, but you need to pick and choose or you will never finish seeing everything!  That is what happened to me. Exhibits are also  presented in innovative ways using the latest interactive technologies.

DNA wall
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This room has a variety of species that you can select via touchscreen to learn more.

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Enter this cube to learn about the diversity in the human species.
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Inside the cube: Panels tell about race, economic activities, housing, and much more in the human experience.
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Step inside this structure to see…
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The architecture was futuristic, simple and functional with sleek lines, in keeping with its theme and purpose, inside…

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and out…

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Replica of the “14 bis”, the plane flown by early aviator Santos Dumont, considered by Brazilians to be the father of aviation. This was an interesting contrast to the futuristic look of the museum: Look to the future, but remember the past!


Just outside the museum’s exit, the “Plant Man” introduces himself to a young boy.


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And since it was 2016, year of the Rio Olympics, large letters spell out “Olympic City.”
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The backside of the letters were all painted with colorful scenes of Rio by Brazilian artists.


Yours truly sitting on one of the letters.





FOTD: Cactus flower

My neighbor, who is an avid gardener, was excited to show me something new in her garden: her prickly pear cactus has bloomed! Having lived in the desert, I know how special this is and that cactus flowers do not last long. Here it is in all its glory!


Here’s a wider view of the prickly pear cactus (it’s very hardy – it grows even here, in northern Illinois!)


Cee’s Flower of the Day 6/21/17

Copacabana: View from the Rio Othon Palace Hotel

November 23, 2016

On our first night in Rio de Janeiro, my (former) sister-in-law took us to the bar at the top of the Othon Palace Hotel in Copacabana.  We sipped caipirinhas as we waited for the sunset. The views from up there were spectacular!







Welcome to a cidade maravilhosa! (“the marvelous city” – nickname for Rio de Janeiro)