Versailles

Paris, you are beautiful to behold. Looking at the reflection of the Eiffel tower in the water, as the fireworks lighted the sky to the left. We took the metro early enough for us to find the places that were mentioned to us by locals. 
Getting to the metro was fun, it was packed with people and many were standing up. The exit for the tower was closed and we were taken to the next station where human herds were moving towards the most famous monument of France.
The streets were closed and full of sexy French men in cops uniforms. I wonder where they got hundreds of very fit and good looking guys to fulfill the security needs of the city during the most pedestrian traffic in the city center. 
We made it close to the tower, but realized it was not where we needed to be. It was time to cross the canal and head towards the two museums that frame the tower and have the fireworks right in front of it. We saw the multitude of people seating there, about 3thousand gathered in a small space, I danced and skipped myself towards the middle where i found a place to seat. But there was something wrong with the location.  Camera-wise not a good location, since the light of the fireworks would overwhelm the tower and only the fireworks will show up. Unless the camera has the settings that are needed, and the person knows how to use them. We moved on, as Thad went back to the bridge where we thought the view and access to good photos would be at, I bought some baggets (very French of us) and got us a nice white wine. I went towards the bridge and found Thad, in a perfect spot, where we could have a small picnic. Meet a Australian couple, traveling for 3 months before school started. It was great conversation.
We sat and enjoyed the baggets and wine, we talked. Thad had picked a perfect area. 
A kiss as we stood under a bridge, over a water channel, with the lighted Eiffel tower in one side and fireworks on the other. 
A date in Paris.

Angela Arvizu

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The metro is known for its high pace, high mobility and high price, sometimes too high. 
Looking at the people that are in the subway, you can see there is something wrong. Women holding their bags with both hands to their chest, men making their personal space. People looking sideways. There, in the subway underground are people that are supported by a low moral system.
As the people grapple their purses and look at strangers with untrustworthy eyes, I consider the social implications of why is this is still happening, specially in this high tech, low forgiveness society. 
Yes, we were robbed, a wallet taken from us by a child and older lady. Who is there to trust? 
More and more you can feel the stress and distrust of people. 
As I traveled through more cities with metro systems, I realize that Paris is the one place the government is not willing to touch. A delinquency supported by the government.
Why am I making such a claim? 
Government cares about money, mobilizing money. Money in the metro is mostly stolen from tourists, the money will still go into the community, and all of it utilized within the city. Why would they want to stop this? Is the tourists that are not important, since they will keep coming to one of the most popular destinations for tourism in the world.
Why are they supporting them? 
By doing nothing, they do some paper work, but that is all. Where are the cameras, where are the undercover cops. The force of the government in Paris is weak, and shameful. Why don’t they look into many other systems in different countries that work, that are free of this kind of metro terror. 
Paris government turns its head and degrades the quality of their people.

Paris city: 8 +
Paris people ( some other French too, thanks captain):  2-

Hope my next visits will make me think of this city in a different way, one can always hope.

Angela Arvizu 

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Paris has created a path for healthy living, even in the worst circumstances, a person is able to acquire clean water. Water fountains are located around the city, a constant water source of clean water for all.
Water should be something that is given freely to all human beings. Counties and cities should have a similar system design to provide a basic necessary human need. 
The fountains were made of metal, dark green in color, cold to the touch, and high up. 
Someone, sometime made a decision that was for the people, for the community. A community action that is for the benefit of health, well being, and a healthy population. 
Paris city, thank you.

Angela Arvizu

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Without a plan, an airport might seem overwhelming. It seems we have shown up at the busiest time for Paris, also since is busy it becomes more expensive. We got the metro pass and we went on to find the place where we will sleep that night.
I won’t go into details, but it ended up with me having to go and mediate the situation. At that time I was impressed at my self. This first time was only the beginning, the last night we were there became a 3 hour project, that ended in success.

Paris, you are beautiful. Your architecture is spectacular, transport, community areas, water fountains. You have it all. 

French people, minus a few of exceptions, left a lot to be desired. I  haven’t been through the whole world, but so far I feel there are more than just a few good French, I just haven’t encounter them. 30 not so good French  against 3 awesome ones.
Stealing, lying, scaming, discriminating, the list goes on. I’m disappointed in how blunt the negative side of the Paris population is. 

Angela Arvizu 

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Sao Miguel in one day

The plane lifted off, we could not stop looking though the window, seeing the expanse of the sea, no longer lacking the knowledge of what it meant to be there, in one of those sail boats floating in the blue …

 

Leaving Flores

Hitching the last ride from Lajes to Santa Cruz allowed us to meet a local man. He drove a work vehicle, and we packed ourselves in like sardines. He spoke little English, but we were still able to communicate. He …

 

Flores bench

Flores  During the first 20 minutes walking around the city of Lodges, I had found the place where I knew I had to seat. This place called to me, and I would desire it every time we would go by …

 

Stranded in Flower Paradise

Have you seen the movie “Cast Away”? It was nothing like that. Cascades, hikes, long refines, cow pastures with perfect green grass, bunnies jumping, butterflies, flowers and more flowers, rows of flowers, on the hill, on the side walk…. Flowers. …

 

Letter to self

Angela, Not every one can get along, there are limits. Even the most sociable person you know has told you they have limits. Striving to make every one happy won’t make every one happy. Remember what your mother told you …

 

Letter to my Captain

Mr. Captain You speak poorly of your wife, and women in general. You are running from the education that your parents, brothers, sisters, and wife have. You live in a small life called Captain. Out of your 7 passengers only …

 

Two weeks traversing the Atlantic

Two weeks at sea  It took two weeks to get to the Acores, Portugal. During the first week, all was calm and pleasant, but it seemed that people stated to separate into two groups. Our captain seemed a little too …

 

Run Angela Run

As Thad and Marc left for the city, I was finally able to go for a run. I was so exited that I didn’t realize the distance between San George and Hamilton. For the first 2/3 of the run about …

 

Bermuda

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The small chaos that comes with docking after a long voyage is fun, knowing that we will touch unmoving land mass is always a very exiting experience. We are ready, and the place looks unreal. We stay behind while the …

 

Arriving to Bermuda

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There it is, in the distance, a beautiful green and white scattering of land. We saw a few ships leaving Bermuda, a military ship with a helicopter on the back. Today was one of the few days I felt comfortable …

 

Into the Rainbow

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As we prepared to set sail for the longest Atlantic stretch, from Bermuda to the western-most island in the Azores, a serious problem was on our minds. Although we were working as crew, and had paid for full room and …

 

A few days before Bermuda

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A few days before reaching Bermuda, Scott decided to leave the boat. A handsome gentleman, with a well worked body that showed definition had become starved and withering. Scott was ready to go back to his splendid life style, where …

 

Bermuda

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When we sailed within sight of Bermuda we were delighted to see land. For the next seven hours we quietly inched our way towards St. Georges harbor. After surviving a tropical storm it was quite strange for our first step …

 

Triangle, and 2013 tropical storm Andrea

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As a desert person, the sea fascinates me. Staring into the distance of the sea blue beauty and wide horizon brought feelings of desired adventure. Like a 4 year old that stares out the window into a world of unexplored …

 

The Bermuda Triangle

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East of Cape Canaveral we turned eastward in response to weather conditions. The winds had picked up, and seven to ten foot swells were coming on strong, row after row. With our new heading we were pulling 10 knots, sometimes …

 

The Calm

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Rounding the bottom of Florida, with the lights of Miami to our distant left and the soft glow of Cuba to our right, we got our very first experience of calm waters. The only waves were small ripples that made …

 

The Sailor’s Life

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Ok, a few weeks back Jeff asked to know what the seafarer’s life was like. I usually try my best to share my adventures to inspire others to follow their dreams and expand their horizons. Rarely do I give a …

 

Sting Ray City

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To visit Sting Ray City we sailed around to the north side of the island, dropped anchor about 50 meters from the reef, and then began swimming to the coveted spot. The reef was more decorated with life than any …

 

Mr. Feathers

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A couple of hours before sunset, 200 knots north of Columbia, which is about as far away from land as you can get in this stretch of the Caribbean, something special happened. An extremely exhausted, about to give up on …

 

Shade

Costa Rica The hottest week of year is upon us, landing hard on our sweat glands. The heat takes shape on the hot pavement, like a mirror being elevated to the sky to remind you of the sun’s power. Around …

 

A crabby experience

Walking on sandy beaches is always a pleasure, your feet touching the usually pleasurable coldness that comes with the sea. Feeling good and healthy Thad and I decided to go on a run, the sun was strong, within a few …

 

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Smooth road and palm trees, introduced the visual numbness of green, identifying it as nature. The time passed and from the road, I see a factory in the distance blowing smoke. The new visual input provided an alternative …

 

The San Blas Islands

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The San Blas Islands are an amazing collection of over 400 small palm tree islands surrounded by beautiful choral and sea life. While there we say a reef shark, several rays, explored a couple of sunken ships, saw a ship …

 

First Watch

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After the sails finally went up we set our course from Colon towards the San Blas Islands. Angela and I had our first watch from 10:00 pm to midnight. We had timed our departure so that we would arrive at …

 

The Lake in the Canal

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Most of the Panama Canal is actually a freshwater lake. Spending the night fastened to a mooring was delightful. As soon as the ship was secure we began diving into the waters, climbing back up the rickety ladder onto the …

 

The Panama Canal

Going through the Panama Canal was amazing. I hope these time lapses that we took relate some of its majesty to you. Watch the huge doors that close around the ship, and then watch how fast the locks fill up, …

 

Panama Canal

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Seconds pass across the Panama Canal, no warning was given, no signs on the road, no outlook for enthusiastic tourists and no pedestrian cross way. For the locals, this is just a passage to work, home and life. Angela Arvizu

 

Impressions: Costa Rica

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These are my personal impressions of Costa Rica. They are highly subjective and the product of reflection well after the fact. I have been to many countries in my life and often try to create an abridged, condensed recollection of …

 

Impressions: Nicaragua

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These are my personal impressions of Nicaragua. They are highly subjective and the product of reflection well after the fact. I have been to many countries in my life and often try to create an abridged, condensed recollection of those …

 

OK, I’m a Wimp.

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Let me clearly state: I am a wimp. Camping is not an activity that is super high on my list of things to do, camping in the jungle and on the beach even less so. Nature is dirty and constantly …

 

The Night of Magic Light

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My favorite night in Costa Rica started as we parked along a pristine shoreline, out of sight of any other humans, ten feet from the high tide line, between palm trees. We stretched out our hammocks, opened cocoanuts with the …

 

Tourist Trap

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If there is a constant in the Universe, it is that where there are tourists, there will be tourist traps. The Costa Rican variety seems to be centered on frogs. These charming attention-drawing concrete advertisements just begged to be photographed …

 

Rainforest Reverie

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This afternoon, after Dave and I spent the day lounging in Santa Alena while Angela, Aubrey and Thad went waterfall repelling, we hiked up a little stream just off the road in Monteverde, Costa Rica’s renowned cloud forest. This was …

 

Wear Sunscreen, Really!

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I think this picture says it all. WEAR SUNSCREEN! ‘Nuf said. Jeff Chapple

 

Llanos Del Cortez

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Llanos del Cortez is a beautiful waterfall in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. It’s a little difficult to find, but asking the locals working the fruit stands on the Pan American Highway by Bagaces will get you fairly precise …

 

Me & Mr. Crab

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After a day in the brutal Nicaraguan sun at Playa Gigante, I crawled into my new makeshift bed under a beautiful tree just off the beach. Beer, stars, sea breezes and my favorite music were to be my evening. Headphones …

 

Escape to Volcano Island

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JP, the father of the family living in the abandoned orphanage recommended that we go to “volcano island” for a day trip, or more properly called Ometepe. After a bumpy, semi-life threatening back o’ the pickup truck ride to the …

 

Serendipity

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Never in a million years could I have imagined that I would be awoken by the gunshot like sounds of mangos falling from their tree onto a tin room that covers my hammock in an abandoned orphanage in a small …

 

Zombie Apocalypse ATL

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Atlanta Hartsfield is one of the busiest airports in the world. From that, it follows that it should be busy pretty much all the time. Well, not so much. I arrived at 11 pm, late but not super late. Already …

 

Belize & Mutant Fireflies

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As we laid down to sleep, we opened the the screens surrounding us, leaving the world outside open to our eyes and closed to the night-bound critters. As we relaxed and admired the sexual dance of the light night bugs. …

 

The Life of Oranges

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After 4 cloudy days, we find ourselves siting in the middle of an orchard of orange trees. I look out the side door  into the trees displaying the life cycle of the orange. The budding young deep green fruit usually …

 

Sandy Fun

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The beach called Chachalacas, a well known spot in the North of Veracruz, sandy beaches, huts selling sea food and blue warm water. After a wonderful run, we encountered the sand dunes, they were calling out to us to run …

 

Cozumel

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We watched for cars, bikers, or anyone else that might spot our crossing spot. “Ready?” Angela asked. “Yes” I replied. “Ninja time” she said as she began lifting her clunky rental bike over the short wall that separated the roadway …

 

Cliff Jump “Nemesis”

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Rainy days are very beautiful, and most of all, cool. Rain also cleans the leaves making the green of the plants become more brilliant and alive. On one of these rainy days, I meet my nemesis and, consequently, learned some lessons. …

 

Real Mexico you say?

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The use of the phrase “Real Mexico” was coming out of my mouth enough times to make me stop counting. The more I used the phrase, the more I realized I had not asked myself the original question. What is …

 

“Doggy Bag” you say?

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As we drive,  I look out of Wiggles’ window searching for oddities and curiosities. Most of the time these are provided by my fellow humans, I will write about an exemption. The oddity has to do with a dog adaptation, …