HAITI….my first visit.

Habitat for Humanity invited me to see their operations and experience first hand the situation in Port au Prince. Observation: The people of Haiti are awesome. They are well dressed, smiling, working at doing something and surviving. They desperately need a break…and a good plan to rehab that town might be the answer. I think to myself, what would I be like if my world rumbled to the ground and I had little or no way to produce income, not much food, no red wine, and had to walk thru mud to get anywhere. I don’t want to think about that.

You can stay in a nice hotel there if you want to visit. I stayed at a beautiful hotel called the Ibo Lele, up on the mountain overlooking the city. We had lunch at the Olafson Hotel which is so full of charm you can’t imagine. It is the real deal…in original condition!

Took lots of video…with a new sony camera I can’t figure out how to edit, so pics will come later.

KRANK IT UP!!! Roger that gud buddy. how you say that in creole?

A Magical (time of) Year

I woke up today and went to church. However, the schedule today was different….I missed the service completely. So I went to Starbucks on Peachtree in midtown Atlanta and sat down with a coffee and the New York Times, which btw has a great story about what happened when the Horizon Drill Rig blew up. A guy behind me asked one of the barista’s about a refill coffee, and they said, ‘it is 54 cents’. He just sat there, so I turned around to give him a dollar for a refill. He was not in Sunday clothes to say the least and his hours spent last night and/or this am in the frigid cold and snow was telling. He was happy to be inside the safe Starbucks….hoping not to be kicked out. When I left, he approached me to thank me and asked for a little more money for breakfast….I gave him 2 more dollars….(it was that or a 20 dollar bill). I’m sure me giving him money was at the dismay of the good employees at the Starbucks that have to deal with the homeless so often.

Later this afternoon, I went to the gym at LA Fitness Ansley Mall. After working out a friend called just as I was leaving. I went to sit down inside where it is warm while talking to him, but noticed trash on the chair. Oh, just pick it up I thought and sit down. Well, the trash was a wadded up 10 dollar bill. God paid back my small deed quite fast today I guess. ūüôā I am just hoping the person that lost it didn’t need it. Is this what giving is all about? I know many others have similar stories. The more you give, the more you receive. From my experience, it really is true. It doesn’t usually happen like this!

I’m quite a spiritual person as most of you know…as are most of my friends. I’ve noticed the coincidences and unexplained happenings on the rise…probably because I’m paying attention, but maybe not.

However, I also notice little things at my Church that have ‘evolved’ in the attempt to be welcoming….but as I reflect on that, I admit I’m not sold on that. The imbalance of the world without ‘organized religion’ is not something I want to experience so I guess we all just have to tolerate the process of religion if we don’t totally agree or understand. Or do we?

Merry Christmas and a very prosperous, caring, giving, get involved, be concerned, and open to the opinions of others….NEW YEAR!!!

ARGENTINA

Mendoza wine country is spectacular….as is the town of Mendoza. The wine industry here is improving….to the point that I must say that the higher end highly crafted wines are world class. The cheaper wines are delicious for the money as you know.

Buenos Aires has changed alot since I was here last in 1997. What a place! I put this city at the top of the list of must see places way back then and now it is back there.

The Malbec and a blend to taste at this boutique winery Carinae.

What is all that DUST? The Andes sent down some amazingly strong winds….SONDA WINDS. Gusts nearing 60 mph.

Calatrava bridge in BsAs.

GREEN FLASH

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the ‘Green Flash’ that occurs immediately after the sun sets…It is so hard to see because it usually only lasts a fraction of a second and your eyes are already toast from you glaring at the sun anyway. ¬†Well, here are some pictures I took on the Florida Panhandle over Thanksgiving. As a note, the beaches were beautiful.

What’s not to like about a sunset?

And the mysterious Green Flash….

Nantucket…..Tuckernuk Island

Located just off the west end of Nantucket, this island has maintained the charm of old Cape Cod.  We caught fish for dinner several nights and dug up clams for others.  Alex, Kate and her brother Christian and I caught the weather just about perfect.

Early to bed….early to rise and catch this view.

A lone walk followed by footprints in the sand.

You must try my fish cassarole sometime.

Alex can actually cook when he’s not birding…..

…..or cleaning up the beach.

Kate, Christian and Alex stop for a picture while discussing the future of film and the environment.

This girl can dig up a clam faster’n most and lawd her lil brother made us some fried clam fritters!!!!

Gogo arrived and immediately picked over the bones of a seal carcass. Can’t wait to see that jewelry creation.

 

OIL Damnit

I know….I’ve not posted a picture of me and Jimmy Buffett on the panhandle at the beginning of April….yes I do have pictures of the master stopping the bud truck drivers….but since then the oil has poisoned the Gulf of Mexico….it is devastating to watch. ¬†I hoped it was over days later, and now months later we all morn the Gulf. ¬†When I went to France ballooning….the oil poured….I went to Hannah’s wedding on Cumberland Island, the oil poured…at least 10 times more than the fuckers admitted at first….ONE LOVE ONE OCEAN….I am going to visit the homeland of south Alabama very soon…..pray, stay tuned…go down and spend money.

Gary Downs didn’t know what he was about to encounter when Jimmy showed up at his Bud Truck. Funny how a regular day turns into something else quickly.

Berlin….Rocks!

Why is it that nobody talks much about Berlin? ¬†Well, I’m have to say that it is one of the most amazing places of my journeys. ¬†Traffic is not bad even though it is spread out. ¬†There are young people scattered about with older people that appear young and hip. ¬†Neat cafe’s all around, fine dining that is affordable, and art galleries from one end of town to the other. ¬†Miles and miles of canals, remnants of the wall, modern architecture mixed with old, safe taxi’s, and most everyone speaks English. ¬†In fact, at the new SoHo House bar, English was the basic language as people from all parts of the globe united with one common language.

This famous Berlin bunker is now the residence of a nice couple that invited us to dinner. Their modern (often wild) art collection fills the building and they live on the beautiful addition to the roof.

The Berlin Wall didn’t cross the canal here, so many oppressed tried to cross. They were shot. Those figures represent those that died. Apparently few survived the swim.

Sebastiaan showing off his art in the studio. www.cultofsebastiaan.com Art galleries are trying to get these guys to temper the art to make it more salable….hmmm. The contrarian investor in me pays attention.

Hawaii

A friend turns 60 and that is just a fine excuse to go anywhere, especially the Big Island. Hanging out in Kona for a few days, and then over to the other side of the island for some yoga and hikes around the beautiful lava!

I don’t know why living in paradise is so appealing when it is all on top of an active volcano, but it is.

Cheeseburger PLEASE!!!

Cedar Key, Cumberland Island, Palm Beach…..2010 off to a good start!

Cedar Key is a tiny fishing village on the Gulf of Mexico….foreign tourists don’t miss this place when they come to Florida yet most Americans have never heard of it. I suggest you go there expecting that you will wonder why you’re there when you get there! Just poke around, eat some seafood, and learn the history. You will want to go back I’m pretty sure, and yet you still won’t know just why.

Cumberland Island once again lured me for New Years Eve. A pig roast at the barn with a wonderful array of people and great music is not a bad way to ring in the new year.

Palm Beach….the wealthy people that reide here over the winter appear immune to the recession ….it really was beautiful, and one friend was entertaining in the surf when he isn’t entertaining on tour!

A happy surfer…lookn for a shaker of salt.

Bobbo Air on Cedar Key tarmac

This is all there is, and plenty enough to enjoy! Cedar Key rocks.

Cumberland Island

Gogo lookn for bones

Pig Roasting on an open fire….

Ben and I and a couple of HdeM Galahad’s

VENICE

There are only a few places in the world that I have experienced awe the second visit as much as the first. ¬†This second visit to Venice was as powerful as the first. ¬†I’m hoping to find a place to rent for a month there. There is yet another island to blame for my love of travel.

I hear the air escaping your lungs as you look at this picture.

Bonjourno to you too!!

Now THIS is a GREAT picture. Vic and Kip after dinner at Da Ivo…wow wow wow.

Eduardo and Richard.

The fog draped this magnificant sculpture

Richard and Kip at not just another lunch….I’m sayin.

I want to rent this room for a lifetime.

Sabine and I