Archive for the ‘Variety’ Category

Moonrise over the Amazon

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Moonrise over the Amazon

If you are looking for a truly memorable adventure, an awe-inspiring vacation, then set your sights on Brazil and the Amazon River.

At first glance, the dirty brown Amazon is confusing, but once you get into a small wooden boat or canoe, and head off down one of its tributaries, it will all come clear.


Florida Keys and the Everglades – See the Gators close up at Gator Park!

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

“Go ahead, make my day!”

We can’t bear heading straight home to our climate of snow and ice after spending weeks in the tropics. Having just finished off a 14-day adventure through the Caribbean islands and up the Amazon, we felt a short stay in the Florida Keys would help to ease the pain of transition. And so it did, in spite of the unusually cool temperatures.


How to Take Care of Your Digital Camera in Cold Weather!

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Frosted Leaf or Standing out from the Crowd

Special Care is Necessary When Using Your Digital Camera in the Cold!

It’s that time of the year for many of us around the world, when the dreamy warm days of autumn slip into the bone-chilling, teeth-chattering days of winter.

But wintertime can be the best time for getting fabulous shots like the frosted leaf showing here. While there are gray days, there will also be days of brilliant blue skies, bright golden sunshine, and sparkling snow blankets, dazzled in twinkling diamonds. How can anyone resist shooting photographs under those conditions? I certainly can’t.

But along with wintry conditions comes cold, and digital cameras (and their batteries) don’t like extreme temperatures of either variety, hot or cold. So, you must take precautions when using your digital camera outdoors in the winter.

Read on . . .


How to Choose the Right Cruise Ship for Your Family!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Bored kids?  Bored grandparents?  Bored you?  Is there a cruise line that is perfect for the entire family?  Yes.

With the huge number of cuise lines to choose from, and the even bigger number of individual ships in the line, the task of choosing a ship that will be perfect for your family might seem impossible.

There is hope.  And help.  One of the Internet’s most popular social sites for cruisers has come up with it “Editors’ Picks” for 2008.  Among the site’s conclusions includes the BEST family ships and the BEST ships for fitness buffs.

Read on . . .


Don’t just let them sit there! Post your photos to the Internet!

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Directions, please!

Are you taking photos and letting them sit in your computer’s digital dungeons, or worse, on a memory card? What a shame since sites like Flickr are just a mouse click away. I spent several hours at a harvest festival outside of our city this weekend. The colors and the festivites were so vibrant; there was no end to photo opportunities.

This little Halloween teddy bear came into my possession (my husband won him in a “fish pond”). I loved his strong orange color and decided to add him to my shots. He turned out to be the perfect subject, so well-behaved and so patient.

I could have posted this photo of him as I had taken it, but Flickr also offers this cool photo manipulation program called, “Picnik.” And well, using Picnik, is as much fun as a picnic. And it’s so easy.

You can do it, too. Like I did, you can manipulate (tweak) your photo’s colors, contrast, and midtones. And you can add a frame or text, like the orange text I added to the white sign. It was just crying out for a little creativity.

Flickr is so easy to use and it’s free unless you choose to go “Pro” and even that is ridiculously inexpensive.

Go on. Get your photos out of your computer’s digital dungeon and share them with friends and family. Or the world.

Happy Halloween!

Wishing you safe and happy travels,
Sheree Zielke

Urban Blight: Graffiti Art or “Street Soul”

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Sundown Graffiti by Sheree Zielke

Some of us call it urban blight, some of us call it street soul, some of us call it a shame, while others of us simply call it, “beautiful.”

Is there a city or town in the world that doesn’t sport its share of graffiti?  Our city in central Alberta is no different.  And while our city has sent out its graffiti-removal brigade, thank goodness the cleaning squad hasn’t found all of it.  This artwork, with its nasty invectives and racial slurs, especially viewed against the backdrop of the setting sun, can be very intriguing.

Read on . . .


San Antonio – An Awesome Value Vacation Especially After Labor Day!

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Yellow Rose Named Leonardo

San Antonio, Texas is, simply put, one heck of a great vacation destination.  It is family-friendly, it is easy to navigate, it offers many activities and adventures, and there are no crowds right after Labor Day.   But even when there are crowds (like on the Labor Day weekend), San Antonio is a must-see.  And, a caution here, a couple of days just won’t be enough time.

Read on . . .


Hurricane Gustav has its perks! You could wind up in San Antonio!

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Mission San Jose by Sheree Zielke

(An early morning view of the beautiful Mission San Jose in San Antonio’s Missions National Park.)

Thank you, Hurricane Gustav.  We are sitting high and dry in one of the loveliest cities in North America, San Antonio. We are supposed to be in New Orleans. But thanks to a little convincing by Gustav and American officials, we changed our plans.

On the day we were set to arrive in NOLA, evacuation orders forced nearly two million folks to leave the southern seaboard.  We had planned a holiday riding the rails, the Amtrak rails, but the trains were needed to take people out of New Orleans, so Amtrak cancelled our reservations.

We were in Houston (another area slated to be hit by Gustav) so we had no choice but to rent a car and head north to San Antonio.  In fact, on our way, we passed a convoy of 2 dozen buses that were heading south on a rescue mission.  Later, on TV, we watched as an endless line of buses, filled with those folks escaping the storm, headed away to safer zones like Dallas and Houston.

Now we are watching as the eye of Gustav makes landfall — the good news, maybe, for New Orleans, is that the eye will be passing farther to the west than expected.

But in the meantime, we are in San Antonio, where we have rented a comfortable house, we have walked the famous Riverwalk, we have ridden the canal boats, we have paid homage to the Alamo, and we have made an early morning trek to the old Spanish missions.  What a joy!

Read on . . .


Digital Camera Lessons – They are FREE online! Just Google them!

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Alford Lake by Sheree Zielke

Have you been told to shoot in RAW?  Have you looked at photographs that seem not up to par?  Are you having trouble getting great shots from your expensive DSLR?

Then maybe you should put down the camera, and do some reading instead.

Read on . . .


Get off the Strip – Visit Old Downtown Las Vegas For a Really Good Time!

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Plaza in Las Vegas at Night by Sheree Zielke

My husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary yesterday.  Our formal plans had us dining at a very cool eatery called “The Bootlegger Italian Bistro,”  in South Las Vegas. We had eaten there when we first arrived in Vegas and thought it would be a nice place, with its classic old gangster ambience, to have our anniversary dinner.

But our plans changed.  Vegas has a way of doing that to plans.  So, we cancelled our reservations in favor of another place.  And we are so glad we did.  We had one of our best times yet in Las Vegas.

Read on . . .