Aug 31, 2009

From flickr to your travel blog...how to add pictures!

River Winds
River Winds

Columbia River Near Arlington, Oregon
image by b

I have already written about our trip home from Arizona last spring. This picture is one of my favorites from this trip. I love windmills and stop to take pictures anytime we see them along the horizon.

That is not the information I want to share with you today. For those of you that love to write a travel blog, you know that pictures are an integral part of the whole when you tell a story. Blogger has a wonderful picture loading function that really does make it so easy. Many times though, I want to use the pictures I have saved on my flickr site (torristravels). It saves the time it takes to go through over a thousand images to find just the right one.

Last night I was adding a couple of pictures when I discovered a HTML function on my flickr account that allows me to add a a picture by copying the code and then just inserting it into my blog (click on Edit HTML just above your post page, add code from flickr and go back to compose. The image should appear on your post page.)

The secret flickr button is located on the page that opens when you click on the image in your flicker home page. The picture will open and just above it you will find options for your use of that image. Right in the middle is a + sign with the words "all sizes" When you click on this, your image will appear, choices for the size you want are given and below that is the HTML code that you can copy and paste onto your blog post page.

I have given you the large and medium images so you can see the differences.

Hope you find this useful.

b

If you want to use my pictures, you will need to ask for permission.
I will add...do not change your flickr account pictures that you are using on you blog...they won't come here on the blog if you do. Trust me-I know!!!
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Aug 26, 2009

Portland, Oregon...river front dining for the out of town visitors!

DSC07230Image by pondskipper via Flickr


River Place on the Willamette River is located very close to the core of the city. Portland is one of those beautiful places that reflects its location. Bridge Town is the nickname locals have chosen for this little gem of a big city. The downtown area faces the Willamette River. A wall built to protect the city from the ebb and flow of the Pacific Ocean tides allows Naval Vessels to dock on Tom McCall Waterfront Park during the Rose Festival. Bridges open to allow tall sailing vessels approach the city and locals use the waters for water skiing, fishing and pleasure boating.

Image by Barbara Torris
iphone
This last Saturday my husband drove downtown for dinner. We had chosen a restaurant in River Place before hand so we were not faced with all the choices for dining once we arrived. It was not the best restaurant I have ever eaten at but the location....WOW!! We sat outside on the sidewalk so we could watch people and the parade on the river. On a warm summer evening it is the perfect place for outdoor dining. In the winter month indoor seating allows for almost the same view at most of the restaurants up and down the promenade.

Mccormick and Schmick's has a wonderful restaurant here with outdoor seating under umbrella and is a very popular place on the weekends. Even though this is a chain, the restaurant originated in Portland so the menu reflects the food available locally. AND they have a wonderful happy hour which appeals to senior's for obvious reasons. It seems we like smaller portions, would prefer to eat a little earlier and the prices??? ...ridiculously low.

We have driven over the freeway that you see in the background many times. I have always wondered if the noise was deafening down below at the marina or the promenade that follows the water front. I was surprised when I realized that we could not hear it at all...at least not on a conscious level.






Marina at River Place, Portland, Oregon

Image by Barbara Torris
iphone
There are two hotels in this location. RiverPlace Hotel is located at the north end of the promenade. Residence Inns is probably the more affordable of the two and is located at the south end...under the freeway that flies across the sky in the background of the picture above.

I just thought you would want to know!

b
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Aug 23, 2009

Death Panel = Advanced Care Documents Requirement? Not a chance!!!

I recieved an email the other day from a person with very good intentions. It was a letter written with another persons interpretation of H.R. 3200, the health care initiative. It is being circulated in the Catholic community so be careful if you get one of these letters. I am selecting just one line to give you an idea as to the tone of the letter:

Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3: Govt provides approved list of end of
life resources, guiding you in death. (assisted suicide)
It was the assisted suicide comment that caught my attention.

FYI

If you are a talk show host follower you might need to know if you don't already that the "death panel" part of the health care initiative being discussed in congress actually was an opportunity for doctors to discuss your Advance Care Document. And it was set up in such a way that doctors could do this with you every 5 years. The wording went like this:

SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION.
16 (a) MEDICARE.—
17 (1) IN GENERAL.—Section 1861 of the Social
18 Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x) is amended—
19 (A) in subsection (s)(2)—
20 (i) by striking ‘‘and’’ at the end of
21 subparagraph (DD);
22 (ii) by adding ‘‘and’’ at the end of
23 subparagraph (EE); and
24 (iii) by adding at the end the fol25
lowing new subparagraph:
VerDate Nov 24 2008 12:51 Jul 14, 2009 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00424 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 C:\TEMP\AAHCA0~1.XML HOLCPC
July 14, 2009 (12:51 p.m.)
F:\P11\NHI\TRICOMM\AAHCA09_001.XML
f:\VHLC\071409\071409.140.xml (444390|2)
425
1 ‘‘(FF) advance care planning consultation (as
2 defined in subsection (hhh)(1));’’; and
3 (B) by adding at the end the following new
4 subsection:
‘‘Advance Care Planning Consultation
6 ‘‘(hhh)(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the
7 term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a
8 consultation between the individual and a practitioner
9 described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning,
10 if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has
11 not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such
12 consultation shall include the following:
13 ‘‘(A) An explanation by the practitioner of
14 advance care planning, including key questions and
15 considerations, important steps, and suggested
16people to talk to.....

You can down load the H.R. 3200 for free at Buy the Bill.

As senior citizens or just plain citizens it pays to check before you forward emails or believe talk show hosts or even former vice-presidential candidates. They have in this case done us a real disservice.

b

Aug 17, 2009

Choices in Retirement Locations...ARIZONA VS FLORIDA

ARIZONA VS FLORIDA (not a football game)

If you are looking for a retirement locations, here is some information you may find interesting.

Florida it seems has fallen under the cloud of pessimism. Retirees from all over the nation have flooded the state with their presence and their money for heaven knows how many years. But when our country fell into a recession, seniors could have been the first to pull back and cover their losses. It could be that it has influenced Florida's real estate market causing a big bust and unemployment has risen to over 10+ percent. I am thinking that Florida is not where I want to be...but then it never was! You may decided differently.

Arizona, the state I fly away to in the winter, has an unemployment rate at a little over 8 percent. But then Arizona could be a little bit more down to earth. There are some very high rent districts but for the most part, it's people are not rich. For those that migrate in the winter to warmer climates looking for sunny weather and affordable living this is the perfect location. People from as far away as Scotland and Nova Scotia, Canada think our RV resort is the answer. And this resort is one of many many spread through out the state. In Tucson the small park models sell for anywhere from $5,000 up. Not bad for a place that you can live in for 6 mo. out of the year.

We are selling our RV and being paid in part with a trailer in Mesa. The units is 12 ft wide and 55 ft long. It is very old but in great condition. It is valued at about the same as the park models but has 2 bedrooms and two very large awnings. These places should last forever if they are cared for and they only need occasional cosmetic changes to make them into winter "doll houses". They are actually Arizona's version of a cottage at the lake. Nothing fancy but located in parks with activities to fill the days and nights. Cards, dancing, swim exercise classes, art facilities, woodworking shops, photography clubs....and the list goes on...are enough to keep everyone occupied. I have found that residents don't really want to go home when the season ends...it is pretty boring back home they tell me!

In the end, it is about trying a few places out and finding the state and community that works for you. If you are thinking that Florida is the place for you, there may be some great real estate deals for you. But if you are looking at Arizona, I know for sure that, even with a limited income, you can have lots of fun and keep a little change in your pocket.

No matter what happens in the "real estate" market, snow birds can live in a world all their own. Sunshine can always be found...optimism keeps everyone healthy and the life span of happy retirees should be longer than those that live in places that are filled with gloom and doom. This particular segment of society has learned to keep it simple. The boomers are going to learn a lot from them.

Just thought you would want to know.

b

Top Retirements.com
Arizona's Golden Corridor
Retire Net



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Aug 16, 2009

Sold the RV....holy cow martha...did you know what a loss you take on those things!

Moonrise over the RV resort
2008
iphone



How to Sell a Motor Home
in the know information
(from a RANK amateur)


We have sold our motor home, a golf cart, given away a refrigerator, sold a park model and donated a pick up load of books to the library...all with in the last year. The things we gave away were things we absolutely could not sell. Believe me we tried.

We sold the RV by putting a listing on Craigs List...with almost no information!!! It said simply 35' RV for sale NADA price...$55000. We had two calls in one day. I have had it on Craigs list with a complete description forever and NOTHING!!! Very interesting. We sold the golf cart in one hour. I may sell my husband...we are on a roll!

The books were just a truck load of memories so we did not miss them...not yet. The refrigerator was older than God so we figured all we needed was for it to find a good home. The park model went to a 80 something woman that loved it...and we had bought another for the same price so it was a good trade...no extra money out.

But the RV...how cow Martha...did you know what a loss you take on those things. I feel like we have been sucker punched. Now I don't blame the buyer. I do blame the seller AND I blame myself. That had to be the dumbest thing we have ever done!!!! We are a whole lot wiser (notice I didn't say smarter) but there is no was to get it back.

But do I regret it...not one little bit. We traveled all over this country and saw things from the ground that we had flown over countless times. The experiences were worth every minute of it. The money would have been spent in other ways if we had not bought it and we would not have done all the things we did. When I say "life is not what happens, it is how you see the journey" that is what I mean. We shared experiences with our children and grandchildren, friends and we pleased ourselves! It was so much fun.

The deal will be completed within a week or two. There is still more money to be spent by us before we can complete this part of our lives. Then we are moving on to another adventure.

Oh, by the way, we will probably have a trailer (55/12, two awnings and a shed) to sell in a Mesa resort. And so it goes....sigh!!!

b+

Aug 5, 2009

FREE Travel Idea...Tour Guide/Friend

New York City SubwayImage by chad davis via Flickr

I mentioned the other day that I learned to travel independently by taking tours. It occurred to me that even a retired teacher could do what I did and get their trip free. You hear what I said....FREE.

My husband was a principal at a small school in eastern Oregon and he felt that the students needed a chance to "see the world" and at a reasonable price. So he proposed the idea to me that he would see if he could get a group of students together, find a tour company for students and I would accompany them as a chaperon. Not only would the student get to see the world...so would I. Now I had never been on an airplane ever. A huge city was Portland, Oregon or Boise, ID. I was an innocent in the travel world. But I was game.

The short version of what turned out to be a great adventure is we did it. I went alone the first time with eight students and the wife of a teacher that needed to get away for a while. She was my ninth "student" and my responsibility. We flew into New York City, stayed in a small hotel just off Broadway and had a wonderful time doing all the things any tourist needs to do. We saw Broadway Shows, ate Italian food, walked at night to the Empire State Building. But we also learned to use the subway, bus lines and taxis. We traveled by bus to Washington, DC, then on to Williamsburg and made other stops along the way. We walked long distances (by choice). We were gone for most of a week. It was so much fun.

I noticed that Edu Trips.com has the same program available now. They provide tours to Europe, Hawaii, Canada, the east coast of the United States and Los Angeles. They will pay the chaperone's travel with 6 paying students. It could just be the chance of a lifetime for a church leader, scout group or even just your child and their friends. Check into it if you are interested.

Just thought you would want to know.

b

Other tour companies:

Educational Tours
Mariden Educational Tours
EF Educational Tours

Technorati Tag: Travel

Aug 4, 2009

More (the magazine) + Travel Cheap at Christmas

Magazine Recommendation

I have a new favorite magazine...it's for women that are 40+! So here is the deal...my old "old" is now my new "young"! (or something like that!) That is why I love More magazine. It is designed for women who are over forty ("Celebrating 40+" is the byline). The articles are pertinent to my life style even though I am in my late 60s and are a very good read. In a recent edition Phyllis Le Chat wrote an article called "How Not to Act Old...RAVE". And boy did she RAVE with gusto about a subject I find interesting!!!

We all tend to do this once in a while, rave that is...even those of us that are guilty of some of the sins she described. We don't "keep going" at the grocery store and tend to block the aisles while we try to find the right hair dye color, we don't text with our thumbs and well, we probably all still leave voice mails. Most of us wear watches and if we leave it at home, aren't smart enough to just check our cell phones for the time. Many of us are walking office or cocktail hour "archives", spouting more information than anyone ever wants. La Chat was just plain irritated by all these things and thought that, if you were still working, you should avoid doing these things...especially in front of your co-workers. In her mind, they just made you appear older than you really were.

I had to agree with her in that we do tend to do things that are "old" acting. The walking "archive" is a sure give away as is the stopping in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store (I do that and need to stop stopping in everyone's way!). After all the place is not a museum and if I can't find it, I should keep walking and ask someone standing in a corner.

Now this is where the new "old" is the new "young" for me. There was a time when I thought 50 was old. But not any more. I am 67, I don't work and all the people that I know that do are much, much younger than me. A working 50 year old woman seems a very youthful person to me. I am very interested in what they do and how their world works. They don't want to talk about it or anything in their lives for that matter, at least not with me...hence my interest in More. Many of the articles and features show clothing for women over 20, hair styles for a grown up woman, models my age and so much more (no pun intended). It is just good to see something, anything in a magazine that does not talk about getting older in a "wheel chair" tone of voice. You just might want to check on it.

FTI: More.com has most of the articles from the last issue.

Travel

We just purchased our tickets home from

City of TucsonImage via Wikipedia

Arizona for Christmas the other day...wow were they cheap. Going through Expedia we scored seats on Delta. We will travel round trip from Tucson to Portland for about $240 each. We will travel on Dec. 16 (Monday) returning on January 5 (Tuesday). We have an American Express card that gives us airline miles money that we can apply toward the charge for our airline ticket. We like to use them for big trips but we could have done this on this trip too. We would have had a free ticket.

Just for Fun

I think it was Steven Cobert from The Cobert Report that said "aarp" was what old people groaned when they got out of a chair. Or was that me? I am just not ready to belong to an organization with that name. When I get old maybe! (smile)

Have a wonderful day.

b
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Aug 3, 2009

Tour Company VS Independent Travel

People's Square
Shanghai, People Republic of China


Guided Tour vs Independent Travel???

FYI...Nomadic Matt posted a blog about a guided tour company called Contiki Holidays. The article, Would You Contiki?, targeted travel mode choices, specifically back packing vs a tour company. He pointed out that we need to beware of tour companies claims that they are cheaper than independent travel. Back packing is probably not going to be my mode of travel. But I still find independent travel to be inexpensive and...well...independent.

Here is where I add the caveat. I have traveled with a tour company and it was just the perfect thing at the time. I was innocent and inexperienced. It would not have worked for me to travel independently in anyway. But, after doing the tour thing a couple of times on the east coast, I learned how to do it myself. A little research and a lot of common sense has allowed me to travel in a some exotic places.

So don't get rid of the travel pamphlets...you could take a trip with a tour company, learn what their tricks are (pick their brains folks) and then do it yourself. Go back to that wonderful place you didn't get enough of the first time and just hang out, doing things at your own pace and enjoy!

b