Archive for the ‘Ports of call’ Category

Planning a trip to Brazil? Here’s the lowdown on the drugs you’ll need

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Yes, drugs. And the accompanying side effects.

It’s not possible to travel to many countries today without first getting topped up with a variety of inoculations and prescription drugs. Take Brazil, for instance. Getting the plane ticket or the cruise ship ticket is the easy part. Then it’s time to roll up your sleeve. The sleeve on your needle arm, that is.

Read on . . .


Adventurous Travel or Dangerous Travel? Which would you choose?

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Queen Isabella Causeway Texas Morning by Sheree Zielke

There’s “adventurous” travel and then there is “dangerous” travel.  Since neither my husband nor I are members of the CIA, nor are we navy seals, we have placed limitations on our travel experiences.   Those limitations recently affected one of our travel decisions: an end-of-summer trip to Belize.

Having reviewed a recent Canadian foreign affairs travel report, we have decided that Belize is not the place for us – at least not this year.

Read on . . .


Shoot People While Traveling, But Do So With Respect!

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Boy with Dad by Sheree Zielke


A man ran up to our table at the local farmers market, and boom, he and his camera were in my granddaughter’s face.  No preamble, no “Hi. How are you?”  No nothing.  Just wham, bam . . . you get the picture (pardon the pun).

I was stunned.  It was all I could do not to grab the guy by his camera cord and demand that he erase the picture.  He stupidly bobbed his head, mumbling something about how he “hoped I didn’t mind,” but I knew he wasn’t asking permission.  He was just reacting to the look on my face. 

He scuttled away like the vermin he had proven himself to be.

Do you photograph people this way?  If so, you are WRONG!  And worse, you are a coward.

As a photographer, I am very opposed to this grab-and-run style of thievery.  In my estimation, it is a type of violence, a rape, if you will.   Without some form of permission, be it a slight nod of acceptance or a full model release, modern day shutterbugs should NOT be zooming in on people, and taking their photos.

Here are some suggestions to ensure you remain civilized when shooting photographs of strangers.  Read on . . .


Most Haunted House in New Orleans is Owned by a Big Hollywood Star!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Most Haunted House in New Orleans

Who owns the most haunted house in New Orleans, Louisiana?  He’s a big star, he’s done lots of movies, he’s an Oscar-winner, and he was once married to the child of a King.  Can you guess?

Okay, here’s another clue: he lives down the street from another famous star, in fact, a pair of Hollywood notables: Brad and Angelina.

Have you guessed yet?  No?

Read on. . .


Mother’s Home Cooking? Try New Orleans, Louisiana

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Mother’s Restaurant - New Orleans

Ignore its dumpy exterior because if you want to eat in this New Orleans restaurant, you’ll have to get over first appearances.  Besides, the place was good enough for celebrities like Steve Martin, Jimmy Buffet, Kathleen Turner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and LeAnn Rimes.

Look for a plain building with a side entrance; one of the entrances probably has a busted door, so you’ll have to go to the side.  You’ll see lots of people coming and going; that’s always a good sign of good eats.  Once inside, don’t stand around waiting for any special attention, just grab a menu, and place your order.

Read on. . .


Dunedin, New Zealand: Cheese, Churches and Beer!

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

I was feeling a tad envious as I watched other passengers board the charming Taieri Gorge vintage train.  They didn’t even have to drive into Dunedin because the train pulled up alongside our Celebrity ship.

However, had I known how wonderful a day in Dunedin, New Zealand was going to be, I would have merrily waved them on their way, without a second thought.

I found out later those folks didn’t get much of a chance to explore Dunedin (Celtic for Edinburgh) and that would have meant missing so much.

Read on . . .  (more…)

Florence, Italy: A shocking encounter behind Dante’s house!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Photo by Sheree Zielke

Favorite travel destinations?  The question is hard to answer because there are so many.  But if I am asked what some of my favorite foreign cities are, the question is more easily answered.

In the number one position is the ancient city of Florence, Italy.

It’s in Florence that I had my best cappuccino, at a sidewalk café; it was so artfully decorated with the image of a fern leaf designed with coffee in the milky foam.  Florence is also the city that introduced me to one of the most surprising street performers I have ever encountered.

Read on . . .


New Orleans: It’s Business as Usual come Hell or High Water!

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Are you wondering about the state of affairs in New Orleans?  Has the “City That Care Forgot” managed to recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina?  Information on New Orleans recovery can now be easily accessed at the city’s brand new “Recovery Projects Information” site.

It’s been more than 2-1/2 years since the Big Easy was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.  The massive hurricane, complete with high winds and high waters, hit New Orleans on August, 29, 2005.  Protective city levees broke, and the majority of the city was flooded.  Luckily, one of New Orleans most popular historic areas, the French Quarter, was spared; that’s where I am headed in a couple of weeks.

According to the Bush administration, it’s expected that it will take a quarter century for New Orleans to fully recover from Katrina.  But where tourism is concerned, it’s business as usual.    Read on . . .


How to Get Arrested, Booked, and Escape in Under 45 Minutes in Melbourne, Australia!

Monday, February 11th, 2008

“Hey, did you guys take the Experience tour yet?”

“The what?” we responded.  Doug was intense with excitement.  He was one of our new cruise ship buddies who happened to be visiting the Old Melbourne Gaol (jail), too.

“You have to do it.  It runs every half hour, but they only take 20 people,” he added.  “There’re lining up right now in front of the building.”

“Okay, thanks.”  We nodded and scurried out of the somber building.

Ned Kelly Death Mask by Sheree ZielkeBut my stomach was feeling a little queasy; I was not sure if I was up for more of this gaol’s brand of “experiences.”  I had already spent an hour inside the Old Melbourne Gaol; the death masks, the whipping frame, and the horrific correctional devices employed by the gaol in its early history were not for the faint-of-heart.  And mine was feeling very faint.

So, it was with a fair level of trepidation that I followed Doug’s advice and joined the queue for the Melbourne Gaol’s “Watch House Experience.”

I began to regret my decision when I met the gaol’s intimidating desk sergeant…

Read on…


Princess Diana: Is she really worth all the hype?

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Princess Diana Exhibit Sign

Sydney, Australia’s Powerhouse Museum and the dainty Princess of Wales don’t really seem to fit together.  But then again, they really do.  Up until early May 2008, the city of Sydney, is hosting a special exhibit dedicated to the late Princess Diana, one of the most influential and powerful women the world has ever known.  So, in that sense, the Powerhouse Museum and the adored Princess are a perfect pairing.

I, as a fan of Diana, could have gone back through the exhibit again and again, but time was short, so an hour was all I could budget.  Here are the hi-lights.