Monthly Archives: August 2019

Montenegro Mystery Flower of the Day, Aug 20, 2019

All day long, in between heart attacks peering down sheer cliffs that we were edges from the sides of (me in the seat closest to the drop-off) I kept seeing these lovely little flowers, but we were going too fast for me to get a shot of them.  Then after a day of harrowing but beautiful mountain scenery, we were lined up to get on the little boat to go back to the ship and I saw this little posy stuck into the hatband of the woman in front of me.  It was preordained.  I got my shot!  And survived the day’s ride.  More photos coming up.

Click on photos to enlarge.



For Cee’s Flower of the Day

Ode to the Shipboard Buffet


Ode to the Shipboard Buffet

In the hierarchy of buffets, spaghetti is the king
no matter what competing dishes they may bring
to grace the laden, groaning boards: rich soups and shrimp and cheeses.
They advocate for salads, but somehow no Caesar pleases
half as much as pasta, well-laden with rich sauce:
ground beef, basil and parmesan, tinged with just a toss
of fennel and oregano. It simply has no peer.
We gobble it with cabernet, chianti or a beer.
We leave the smorgasbord serene, replete and full and sated.
Our emptiness has been fulfilled, our appetites abated.
No hunger pangs outlast thin noodles topped with smashed tomatoes.
Spaghetti beats out hamburgers and crisp French fried potatoes.
It beats out cured Virginia  ham. It beats filet mignon.
It beats twice-baked potatoes and things put thereupon.
I’m sorely tempted by ice cream and pastries, cookies, tarts,
but such things aren’t exclusive of main courses that are starts.
A plate piled with spaghetti deserves a proper ending.
Just plan when loading up your plate. Dessert is also pending!



Words for the day are serene, advocate, hierarchy, outlast and spaghetti.

Day 2, Pompeii

Yesterday was hot and filled with a lot of walking, but as you can see from these shots of the ancient city of Pompeii, well worth it.

Here is a description of the destruction of Pompeii. Strangely enough, there was no lava flow. This is what caused the destruction:

The last days (of Pompeii) began on Aug. 24, 79 AD, the day after the Roman holiday of Volcanalia, dedicated to the god of fire. At noon Mount Vesuvius roared to life, spewing ash hundreds of feet into the air for 18 hours straight. The choking ash rained down on the cities in the surrounding countryside, filling courtyards, blocking doors, and collapsing roofs. In the only known eyewitness account to the eruption, Pliny the Younger reported on his uncle’s ill-fated foray into the thick of the ash from Misenum, on the north end of the bay:

… the buildings were now shaking with violent shocks, and seemed to be swaying to and fro as if they were torn from their foundations. Outside, on the other hand, there was the danger of failing pumice stones, even though these were light and porous; however, after comparing the risks they chose the latter. In my uncle’s case one reason outweighed the other, but for the others it was a choice of fears. As a protection against falling objects they put pillows on their heads tied down with cloths.

The next morning the cone of the volcano collapsed, triggering a hundred-mile-an-hour avalanche of mud and ash that flooded Pompeii, just a little over 5 miles away, destroying everything in its path. Pompeii and its smaller neighboring village of Herculaneum disappeared, and were only discovered by accident during the construction of Charles of Bourbon’s palace in 1738. Miraculously, the two cities were nearly perfectly preserved under layers of ash.

(Below are some of the photos I took yesterday. Click on first photo to enlarge all. There are a lot of photos, so If any photo is a bit fuzzy, please give it a few seconds to focus.)

Amalfi Coast

Six o’clock in the morning. My sister’s alarm has been going off for 5 minutes and she is still sleeping soundly. Now that it is light, I can see the Amalfi coast from our balcony as we sail toward Salerno. The pilot boat just came to show us the way…Exciting. The view is a bit misted over by early morning, but we’re expecting a bright day. More review later–but first a lot of walking in Pompeii…

Click on photos to enlarge.



What prompt words I can find for today are review and bright.

Dear John

Dear John

Your sardonic humor and your endless cynicism
has, in truth, created such a deep and boundless schism
that I can let it slide no more. I simply can’t deflect
the fact that you are losing all our friends’ respect.
I’ve finally had enough and so you’ll see my face no more.
You’ll have one more brunt for your jokes as I walk out the door.
I take this way to say ta-ta and bid my fond adieu.
Perhaps this way you’ll finally see the final  joke’s on you.

Further prompts today are cynicism, endless respect and slide.