FLORIDA - Venice - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 4 - A Review


The house and pet sitting assignment in Venice is completed, now it's time for a review.  We'll talk about anything unusual around the house, the local area, and my recommendations of things to do when you visit Venice.

NORTH CAROLINA - Sylva - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 2 - The Weather is Coming



Watchful eyes are watching me
Imagine, lying in your bed all warm and cozy under a down filled comforter.  Feeling rested your mind races as the clock in your brain says it's time to wake up but your body says, why.  Then the bed moves, and you know you went to bed alone.  You feel a cool draft enter the warmth of the comforter, you turn to the edge, looking into a pair of large brown eyes; Simba, the castle guard is watching.

Realizing I'm a stranger, I talk to the guard in a calming voice.  Soon he removes his long nose from the comforter as he wags his tail; he now knows I belong here.  Welcome to the first morning of a house and pet sitter on assignment.

NORTH CAROLINA - Sylva - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 1 - Florida boy heads north



Another house/pet sitting journey has started.  I just finished an assignment in Venice Florida on 2 November and this assignment started on 9 November, a mere seven days.   But before driving to the mountains of western North Carolina (NC), I'm going to stop in Savannah Georgia (GA) to visit my "brother of a different mother" and his family.   

Let's start this posting with the drive, including a two-day stop in GA.

FLORIDA - Venice - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 1 - Arrival & Touring



I've just started my sixth house and pet sitting assignment since May of this year.  Two of them were on the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, and this one, like the rest of the others have been in the state of Florida.

FLORIDA - Naples - 2014 - House Sitting - With "The Ice Bucket Challenge"



Another house and pet sitting assignment has come and gone with one caveat; I spent most of this one with my arm in a cast.

I recently had carpal and cubical tunnel surgery on my right arm thus making typing a bit challenging. After a day of trying to type I bought a dictation software program; now I have to learn how to use it. So far, it's straightforward and while I'll have to edit manually, the majority of typing is done with the software.

FLORIDA - Tampa - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 1 - A Great Bungalow Revisited





Shortly before departing for two house/pet sitting assignments in Puerto Rico, I received a call from Letty, a previous client; they wanted me to sit their home and two dogs, Scooter and Miso.  The winds of good fortune were with us and I was available the week they needed.

PUERTO RICO - Vieques Island - Tips and Reviews - Updated June 2014


GETTING THERE

Arriving through the San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU-Luis Munoz Marin Intl.) or anywhere on the main island of Puerto Rico you will have a couple travel options.

PUERTO RICO - Vieques, Puerto Rico - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 7 - Same Island, Different House


My final night at the Esperanza Inn was again uneventful.  Carol picked me up around 1030 hours and after dropping her off at the airport my next assignment has begun.

 

PUERTO RICO - Vieques - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 6 - In and Around Esperanza


Esperanza is the small town (more a village than a town) on the touristy side of Vieques.  It's mainly comprised of lodging, bars, restaurants, and excursion businesses.  There is a grocery store where visitors can obtain necessities and household items.

Horses wander the streets

PUERTO RICO - Vieques - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 5 - One Assignment Complete and Tourist Time



With the return of Chris and Elisabeth, the first of two house/pet sitting assignments here is complete.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog series, the home also has rental units, here's the link Vieques Countryside. 




PUERTO RICO - Vieques - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 4 - Sounds of Nature and Isabel Segunda


Being on an island with plenty of cars, but not a single traffic light, gets a person to thinking.

I realize motorized vehicles are a big part of our daily lives.  But, it's now obvious to me, we don't need to awake to racing engines, honking horns, or the constant whirl of passing vehicles.  Since being here, all my mornings have started with nature's songs; branches rustling in the gentle breeze, birds singing, and roosters crowing.  Couple that with the sweet smell of blooming flowers mixed with ripening fruit and citrus,  it activates your senses of sight, touch, and taste; NOW get your ass out of bed, a new day has arrived.


PPUERTO RICO - Vieques - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 3 - Life on the island


Arrival and orientation completed, homeowners departed, it's now time to experience 'life as a local' on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.

PUERTO RICO - Vieques - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 2 - Home Owners Depart


Sunday was spent helping Chris and Elisabeth around the house and in the evening, a few friends gathered to watch the sunset.  It's more a less a ritual for some residents, either watching from the beach or patios and terraces at home; what a great way to end the day.

Monday morning started early, as Chris and Elisabeth had to be at the ferry terminal by 0600 for a scheduled 0630 departure.  For the ferry, "scheduled" simply means that's the plan, and plans change; as they often do for the ferry.

PUERTO RICO - Vieques - 2014 - House Sitting - Chapter 1 - Getting There & Introductions


Assignments accepted, flights booked, bags packed, personally excited, it's time to hit the road.

I've been home, well at least in the US, taking care of family and personal matters for the past few months.  During this time, I've been blessed with a new grandson, a college graduate, a new son-in-law, and confirmed health. 

Now it's time to continue my adventure of helping others see the world through their eyes, while I share my experiences with you as we "Travel Thru My Eyes, Let's GO!!!".

Our first trip of the summer will start on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Punta Cana - A Family Wedding ; Amanda and Casey


Let me start this series of postings by explaining the reason I did not post daily.  The internet was not all that reliable and it was slow as hell.  Well that and I was having fun just hanging out with my two oldest daughters and enjoying the special time with Amanda and Casey.



Amanda and Casey's Destination Wedding
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Monday, May 12, 2014



TUESDAY TRAVELER - April 2014 - Family Matters


A few weeks ago, we talked about reasons why we don't travel; and family was one of them.  Well, family is also a reason for us to travel. 


Why, because Family Matters

TUESDAY TRAVELER - April 2014 - Travel includes your hometown



Many of us "travel", but how many of us consider day and weekend trips to nearby locations as traveling?  Until a couple months ago, I only considered it traveling when I would spend a few days to several weeks away from home.  Is that how you feel?

TUESDAY TRAVELER - April 2014 - Clearwater Beach, FL Sugar Sand Festival


If you like being near the water and having sand between your toes, you'll love the "Sugar Sand Festival".  It  started last weekend and will continue through 13 April at Pier 60, located on Clearwater Beach.

NOTE:  The reason it's called "Sugar Sand" is because of the texture of the sand on Clearwater Beach.  It has the consistency of sugar, but not near as sweet.

This weeks Tuesday Traveler will have very few (if any) words but will have some pretty cool pictures of sand sculptures.

This is my edited version (added the sky) of the welcoming sign 


TUESDAY TRAVELER - March 2014 - FL - Tampa Food Truck Rally

This is the longest time I've been home, at least consecutively, for at least 12 years.  Between working and now travel writing I spent a lot of time away.  It wasn't until recently that I started paying attention to what goes on around "my hometown".

So this week we're going to take a look at another local happening in the Tampa Bay Area.  Since we all like to eat, especially when somebody else is doing the cooking and cleaning.

Let's partake of some "street food"



TUESDAY TRAVELER - March 2014 - Safety Harbor, FL Bloom and Chalk Art Festival



The local sheriff blocked Main Street for about 6 blocks, merchants flowed out in the street, and crowds began gathering.  Soon I heard music coming from the center of town, and the smell of popcorn, hamburgers, and barbeque filled the air.


TUESDAY TRAVELER - March 2014 - An Excuse

Remember a couple weeks ago we talked about reasons why we don't travel?  Well, as life would have it, I didn't get a chance to write our weekly "Tuesday Traveler" last week.  In not writing the post I was reminded of a few things.
"We are not in control of life".  It throws us fast balls when we're looking for a slow looping curve.  That's exactly what happened in my family; thus my excuse.

My newest grandson - Oliver

TUESDAY TRAVELER - March 2014 - Sometimes We Must Stay Home

As you may or may not know, last week was my first trip since I was house/pet sitting in December.  Sometimes we just can't fit traveling into our lives.  This week we'll talk about some of those times, more specifically reasons why I put traveling aside from time to time.


TUESDAY TRAVELER - Road Trip - February 2014 - Savannah GA



I know this posting is a little late, but I spent a good share of the weekend working on becoming “the best uncle in the world”.  You know the drill, playing with kids, spoiling them, and of course giving them stuff I knew they would like.

With most of my appointments, projects around my house, and crappy weather gone I packed my bag for a road trip. 

TUESDAY TRAVELER - 18 February 2014 - US Slang - Not For Traveling


I think this week's Tuesday Traveler will bring a smile to many faces.  Some of you may even be able to personally relate.

Give me your feedback and add some slang words or phrases of your own.

TUESDAY TRAVELER - 11 February 2014 - What Makes A House/Pet Sitter


Most of you know that a good amount of my travels are done as a house/pet sitter.  That's what we're going to talk about this week; the type of people I know as house/pet sitters.

With house and pet sitting growing at a rapid pace, homeowners not only need to know what they can expect from a sitter, but what kind of people are house / pet sitters.

TUESDAY TRAVELER - 4 February 2014 -Traveling Solo

I'd like to hear and share your travel stories.  If you have pictures, include your best shots so not only can we read your words but see you photos too.
Send them to me at:  TravelThruMyEyes@gmail.com. 

But for now, we'll talk about traveling solo.

While I may be solo, I am never alone

TUESDAY TRAVELER - 28 January 2014 - Beach or Snow




This week we're going to talk about the weather.  For many people, including myself, it's a deciding factor when we're planning a trip. 

So, with the amount of cold weather we had throughout most of the US since the start of 2014, where would you go?

I'd wager to say that while some would love hit the slopes; there are also a large number that would hit the shores.  Which one are you?



TUESDAY TRAVELER - 21 January 2014 - Prepare to Travel



This week we'll chat about preparing to travel.  We all have own way of preparing and don't always realize that what is normal for us may not have even been considered by others.

I'll take you through my planning process focusing on my leisure travels versus what I do for house sitting assignments.  Please share your planning process with us and we can all compare notes.

Let's GO!!!

TUESDAY TRAVELER - Dominican Republic - A chat about traveling

Without traveling or house/pet sitting much lately, I've been racking my brain to come up with something that would be of interest to you, my readers

Well I came up with what I call "Tuesday Traveler".  So, what is it?

It's an open forum concerning anything to do with travel.  With this format you will have the opportunity to tell us (now your readers) about your travel experiences and share your pictures.  Your submission can be where you want to go, where you went, how you plan, what you did.  You can recommend stuff like places to stay, eat, or attractions; ask questions, whatever, it just has to relate to travel.

Realizing some folks prefer to remain anonymous when making comments , here are the three ways currently available for submissions:
                -  Simply write it in the comment section below
                -  Select the "Contact Me" button
                - Send me an email (primarily for photos and video) to:  TravelThruMyEyes@gmail.com

Until I your submissions start coming in, I'll toss something out there for you to read, ponder, and reply as you see fit.

So without further ado, Let's GO!!!


2013 IN REVEIW - Welcome 2014











As with everything, there is a beginning and an end.  The year 2013 has ended and 2014 has begun.

Many people have made resolutions, wish lists, bucket lists, set goals, or whatever we want to call them for things they want to accomplish this year.  I too am guilty of making some of these and yes, I am equally as guilty of not following through on them. 

In my opinion the easiest way to accomplish things in life is to have a plan.  This not only applies to your professional life, but to your leisure life as well.  For me, since retiring at the age of 56 my professional and leisure lives have combined into one. 

Traveling and writing were by-products of my profession.  I traveled where my employer sent me and my writing was instructional, technical, and rather mundane.  That has all changed, thanks to you.

Here's a brief look at 2013, my year in review.