Kenai Fjord Adventure! 

The alarm clock yelled at us at five in the morning to wake up. Diligently we got ready and like soldiers on duty, at 6 am we were walking through the dark and silent 4th Ave. We thought we will find something open to have breakfast, but the small town was asleep. Finally around 6:30 we saw the Breeze Inn open and for our surprise Arthur was our server again, but now in a different restaurant. It was funny to see him again.

Once we finish with breakfast we were doing our registration with Kenai Fjord Tours at seven like was instructed to us. I looked around and saw people so bundle up for the tour that I question if I came prepare enough for the cold winds of  Resurrection Bay. Before starting our tour I got two souvenir, a hoody and a coffee mug. I advise my hubby to buy some kind of hat or hoody to cover his ears because it was going to get cold with the combination of the wind  and  ocean. He didn’t want to, he thought I was exaggerating same as the rest of the people.

Well, it was time to move, the catamaran started slowly to navigate through Resurrection Bay. The wind started caressing Jorge’s ear with cold hands and he looked at me like he was in trouble. The famous “I told you so” came out of my soul, still I gave him my hat that barely fit him and I wrap my head with my scarf and a not so warm hoody that one of my jackets had. Let me show you.

Despite the cold wind, my level of excitement were higher enough to kept myself focus on the outdoor experience.  I had my camera in hand at all time. I was the first one in the bow. I had a great position to take pictures, I did not want to leave my spot. In other hand Jorge tried to keep up with me but he couldn’t, every so often we went inside to hide from the chilly wind.

Our first encounter was with a sea otter right after we left, them we our our first eagle. He was blending with the rest of nature. Moving his head side to side wondering where to fly next. We stop to see it and then we kept going. Everything was so beautiful that I wanted to capture all.



We moved  along through perfect scenery. Big rocks formation merging out from blue-green waters. The morning light trying to get through the maze of rocks and mountains, green pine trees on top of the rocky mountains moving slightly with the soft wind. Then, cute sausages were looking at us. Harbor seals!



On our way to see glaciers, I diligently looked for my whale encounter. Until that wonderful moment that I saw a humpback whale breaching! Everything happened so fast and so slow at the same time. The boat captain didn’t notice, she only saw the splash.  I saw the massive body lift through the waters but nobody noticed it.  I  pointed out to the direction where the whale was, people turned to see what was going on and the captain slowed down the boat. We waited to see if the whale was going to continue with the show. But it didn’t happened. That memory will stayed always within me, because I wasn’t able to capture it on camera.

As we approached the glaciers, the air was colder and the water light green. We passed floating pieces of ice, we were getting closer and closer.


We spent quite some time at the glaciers. We witness the glacier transform. Huge pieces of ice broke, falling to the water making an aftermath of small waves and sounds. The time passes and nobody cared. It was nice to see nature working.


We left the glaciers and I was getting worried that the tour was going to end without any whale encounter. I was still in position, in front, on the bow. I was looking everywhere, like the captain was needing me to give her signal at the first whale sight. And then, it happened.


Everyone was so excited, this time was for real to all those waiting for this moment. Cameras were going frantically. Every time the two whales dived we all investigated all sides of the boat so see where they were coming up again. One of the whales waved at us happy to see us.


My adventure was complete! I was so happy. The only lament that I have was that one of the whales breached so close to us and I missed it. I missed the jump, the whale… everything. The only thing I saw was the splash. Still this tour was amazing  experience. Six hours of enjoyment, also they fed us. That was the only moment went I got inside and sat for few minutes.

Here is a video with a glimpse of our tour. I hope you like our adventure and come with us every time through TravelmyStories.

Until then,

xamlinnette 🙂

The Best Part Of My Beach Day

One of the thing that I love the most beside traveling is going to the beach. I have the privilege to live in Central Florida, where I have beach to the east and west of me. Normally we go to the beach on the east coast because is a little bit closer from us, than the west. But to be honest I like the beaches from the Gulf of Mexico better. This weekend we decided to have a beach weekend. Today (Sunday) is our third day in a row coming to St. Petersburg beach. We absolutely loved it. The water is clear and warm but still refreshing. Not that many waves like in the east coast.

 If you know me at least a little bit, you will know that I love to take pictures, and lately I enjoy taking pictures of birds. What a great combination of a relaxing day at the beach and take pictures of sea birds! 
All the pictures above were from Friday afternoon. That afternoon I noticed a bird that I haven’t seen before. It flew close to shore and to the water. I notice that it was flying so close to the water that the lower part of its beak was touching the water. I got curious and wanted to take a picture but it was impossible, it flew so fast.  
Well, we decided to go back to the beach The next day and guessed what?
 

 You see that bird ⬆️ flying there? It became my obsession for the afternoon on Saturday. You don’t have any idea how many photos I took or better said how many attempted pics I did trying to capture these birds. The flew in pairs. Two of them pass by us many times during the afternoon.
 
After so many tries, I got this two pictures ⬆️⬆️ that I absolutely loved. I love the pictures now, but at the beach with the sun glare it was difficult for me to see how good the pictures were on my camera. So I wanted more, I wanted to have a close up of the birds, I was certain that I have never seen these birds before.
After many attempts I start making a little prayer on my head “Please God order one of these beautiful creatures to stop by for a few minutes for me to be able to take a pic…” “Pretty please my dear Father” “Creator and owner of everything that breath.” And mentally I was doing a pretty please face to God. But nothing happened. 
I was sitting on my beach chair on my own business when my husband said to me: “Hurry come here now!” And I looked at him with a puzzle face like what? He said: hurry, hurry, look! So I stand quickly, left everything on the chair, took my camera and there it was…
Just standing there, taking a break of the so many loops that it have been doing during the whole afternoon. I couldn’t believe my eyes.THE CHERRY ON TOP of my day! Thank you Father God! 😉 
 
 
This cutie is a Black Skimmer, these birds have a unique way of feeding and are the only birds in America that feeds the way they do. They “skim” the water with their lower bill while flying closely to the water until they catch small fishes and/or crustaceans, when they feel something they snaps their bill to keep their prey. The Black Skimmers are the largest of the three skimmers families. There are also African Skimmers and Indian Skimmer.
Well that’s all my story!
Until then,
xamlinnette 🙂
Weekly Photo Challenge: Cherry on Top

It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last.

It was the fist time in my life that I traveled, I was 18 years old and it wouldn’t be the last. Twenty five years later I can testify that, that trip to Disney World wasn’t my last.

 
Back then, I lived in Puerto Rico and I had never traveled before. I used to dream about Disney World, it was like a fantasy to me. The whole concept of traveling to the US it was like a dream. I never imagine back then that eight years later I was going to be living permanently in Orlando Florida. If I never imagine that, less I imagine that I was going to be working everyday on Disney property. Back then was a dream, this day is my every day life thing.
It was my first time traveling and it was my first time at Disney World, and definitely hasn’t been the last. That was just the beginning of Travelmystories I just didn’t know it back then. 

 

In some of the pictures we were at Universal Studios. Actually on that vacation we stayed at Central Florida for 3 weeks and we visited all the parks including Bush Garden in Tampa. My family always took us on vacation, but in Puerto Rico. We visited many places and stayed in different towns during our vacation. But this special one, was our first family vacation in the US. Thank God for cameras, and albums we have now great memories to re-live.
Where did you go on your first travel?
Until then,
xamlinnette:)
 

My Afternoon Trip to Lukas Nursery

Continuing with my search for things to do in my hometown of Central Florida I went to visit Lukas Nursery last Sunday afternoon. I have shared before with you that I am participating on butterflies surveys, but that doesn’t mean that I know butterflies. I am learning about them a little bit more now. I want to keep learning more about them, beside that I love to take pictures of them. I like to go back to the pictures and see the details of them that you can not notice when they fly by. If you pay attention and look closely them is like watching a little alien, or a beautiful monster.

 
I am a person of details, I think details are important to make something ordinary, unique. I like to apply that concept on everything, even when we talk about travel. The details of your travel are the ones that will make your experience unique.
Can you see the proboscis of this ⬆️ little fellow inside the flower? But it’s so little that if you don’t pay attention you won’t notice this magic event. I got some sugar juice in my finger and the little guy just jump to my finger to have a little taste. They taste by their feet!
This ⬇️ little guy is Atala and is very common in South Florida.

Let me introduced to you our Florida state butterfly:
Zebra longwing 
Ok for the next butterfly I did a whole photo shoot out it! I had to follow it all over the place, of course very cautiously, to be able to take these pictures. Some of the pictures you will sense some kind of movement because it was moving a lot. It was flapping its giant wings while having a good meal.
 

 

 But for a moment my little colorful friend stoped and stayed still. It spead its wings like in a perfect formation. I took advantage of 
the perfect moment.  The giant swallowtail is the largest butterfly in Canada and United States.
Did you notice that my butterfly “model” is missing a piece of the left bottom wing? This kind of details are the once that you can notice only when you pay attention.
To finish let’s enjoy the pretty color combination that the next two have with their close wings.
 
Polydamas Swallowtail ⬆️

Black Swallowtail ⬆️ These two did not want to open their wings for me…
That was pretty much my Sunday afternoon, chasing butterflies at Lukas Nursery Butterfly Encounter to take pictures of them. 
 
Until then,
xamlinnette 🙂
#Postaday

Thousand Island… I have to go back!

Before our trip to Canada, I was studying the best route to drive from Ottawa to Buffalo. I like to study my destinations before I go, and in my search, I found about this place “Thousand Island“. When I learned about it, I definitely wanted to stop on our way back. I even thought of taking a boat tour and see some of the mansions. The reality was that we didn’t have enough time on our voyage to stop and tourist the area the way I want it. But we were able to do a quick stop and fall in love with the place.
 


Lucky us, we found this observation tower on our way, that still part of Canada. We were able to have a breath-taking view with a combination of a soft wind and the sun rays reflecting on the water. I didn’t want to get down, I kept taking pictures, like that was going to bring the magic of this place with me.
 
 
There are houses in this area that cost a fortune, according to the man we talked at the top of the tower. Just look their views, only that is half of the cost and value of the house.
 
From the tower you can see the border to cross to US territory.

Plus more amazing views…

 All this beauty is just a fraction from the 50 miles stretch of islands that  covers few towns,communities and two countries. I am planing to go back! That’s for sure, don’t know when, but if you want to learn more of the things that you can do here visit their website or contact me.
Until then,
xamlinnette:)
Daily Prompt:Voyage