Sailing away on the Smoke and Roses Catamaran in SW Florida

“We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery,

Guided by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate.

The world is all gates, all opportunities”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

One of the things I loved the most about traveling to sunny Southwest Florida, most specifically Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, is that I got the chance to participate in activities that represented real challenges, allowed me to face my fears and finally conquered them!

Besides learning River Kayaking (in an area where crocs live), I also had the chance to go sailing on board the Smoke & Roses, the largest private sailing catamaran in Florida.

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

Captain Dan Long and Captain Agnes Long are the owners.

Captain Dan and Captain Agnes Long, Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

Their story not only is inspiring, it is incredible! I really loved learning about how they left behind their successful careers in order to follow their dreams. They say that if you follow your heart, success will follow. It couldn’t be more true!

Originally from South Dakota, Dan was a retired firefighter and Agnes owned a Rose business, that’s how they came up with the name Smoke & Roses :) Both have always had a true passion for water. They are US Coast Guard Captains, certified PADI Scuba divers and hold many ASA (American Sailing Association) sailing certifications!

They purchased the 47 feet, luxurious Leopard sailing Catamaran in 2004 and they worked in the charter business in Tortola, British Virgin Islands for a period of 8 years. Then they decided to move to Southwest Florida, to Port Charlotte which is where they currently live and operate from.

They offer private charter excursions for groups of 6 persons maximum. They start from a sunset cruise (2 hours) to half a day/full day cruise (4 & 8 hours) and longer voyages (2 days to a full week) are also possible.

We were invited to go on a sunset cruise, sadly that day it was a grey rainy day, however that did not stop us from embarking on an adventure!

We arrived at their lovely home, where their spectacular vessel is docked.

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76We got on board and toured the impressive interior.

Salon

 Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

Kitchen

 Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

There are 4 queen size cabins and each equipped with an en suite bathroom.

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, captain sleeping sign, TS76

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, cabin, TS76

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

Exterior sitting area

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

Bimini shaded cockpit

 Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

The wheel

 Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

 

As soon as everyone was on board and once we got ourselves comfortable, we set sail for Charlotte Harbor.

 Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

Stunning houses (actually mansions) can be admired along the way. One can always daydream right? :)

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

Leaving everything behind and going into the open water.

  Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

   Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

What amazed me the most was the absolute feeling of calmness, tranquility and just be in awe at what is right in front of you.

It really does relax you and take away any worry, any fear and just concentrate on appreciating the present and that special moment.

Was I happy? Well, if you add a nice hot chocolate in a mug and a nice blanket, you bet :)

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76, blanket & hot chocolate

Now I am quite curious and restless by nature, so I was observing what the Captains where doing.

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76So I started asking them questions. They say that curiosity is the sign of intelligence eh? :)

Well little did I know that I was going to be asked to help even if it was for a few minutes. Being at the helm? Great, I kicked my fear right into the water!

 Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76
As I mentioned earlier, it had been raining since we set sail and now the wind was picking up so they needed to adjust the sails. Therefore I was given instructions to hold on to the wheel for a couple of minutes and I did under a watchful eye!

Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

I sure had a blast!

Captain Agnes deployed the mast and it was just an amazing to see her in action!

Captain Agnes, Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

She was very focused, fast and this was the final result. Way to go :)

Mast, Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

Afterwards it was smooth sailing as Captain Dan took control once again and I just sat back & enjoyed the rest of the trip :)

Captain Dan, Smoke and Roses, Catamaran, SW FL, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, TS76

Smoke and Roses, catamaran, SW Florida, Florida, sailing, private charter, Charlotte Harbor, travel, photography, American flag, TS76

Now I definitely understand what it means to sail away and let fears go!

I am quite grateful and happy that I had the chance to experience and feel the exhilaration.

I now have more respect for people who love the sea and work hard but do it with so much passion. They literally put their heart and soul into everything they do :)

Sadly all things come to an end and we wish we had seen the sunset on our last day in Charlotte Harbor but trust me incredible feelings and unforgettable lessons learned will be something that will stay with me….forever!

If you are ever in Southwest Florida, I highly recommend going on a sailing trip. It is the ultimate expression of freedom. It is so much fun and very relaxing.

To learn more or to check out their latest adventures, you can go visit their site http://www.smokeandroses.com

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dan and Agnes Long for their warm welcome, kindness, patience, fantastic & adventurous spirit and specially for trusting me even if it was for a brief moment. They helped me face my fear and believe in myself more than they’ll ever know. They truly are professionals and I loved seeing them live the biggest adventure of all, the life they always dreamed of ;)

Now I know what this quote means

 “Life isn’t about waiting for the winds to change…

It’s learning to adjust your sails”

 

No matter what comes at you, face it, change directions, have fait and you’ll come out stronger than ever :)

Thank you also to Charlotte Harbor CVB & Above Water PR for organizing this memorable and exceptional journey. It sure will go in the history books and will definitely help me go on my first cruise!

Now, it’s your turn!

Tell me,

 

Have you ever gone sailing?

Where was it and what did you learn from it?

If you haven’t yet, would you like to or are you afraid?

 

Tell me all about it!

I really look forward to reading from you, so don’t be shy & share it with us.

Until next time,

I wish you all the best and happy sailing!

Love always,

Kay

 

 

 

More adventures in Charlotte Harbor & The Gulf Islands to read:

An adventure on the Boca Grande bike path

How a kayak adventure helped me conquer my biggest fear

Shop, eat, stay and play at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda, Florida

Waterfront Dining Options in Charlotte Harbor, Florida

Posted in adventures, Bucketlist, Charlotte Harbor & The Gulf Islands, Discover USA, Dreams, Florida, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Around the World in a Day: Aiins World

Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Being able to travel around the world in a day? But how is that even possible you may ask. Well actually it is and you can do it in only couple of hours at Aiins world, a very cool and original theme park I found and visited in a city called Bucheon which is located approximately 45 minutes west of the South Korean capital, Seoul.

A unique collection of small-scale replicas of some of the world’s most famous landmarks are awaiting and will surprise visitors to the park.

Divided in different areas, each one of them represents a continent. From North America, to South America, to Africa, to Europe, to Oceania, you can admire incredibly detailed miniature landmarks and it makes you feel as if you are right in front of the real monument! You even forget for a moment that you are actually in South Korea and transported to the actual location thousands and thousands of miles away ;)

Now I have already visited several of them in person but I was truly surprised! They are indeed impressive! Many others are on my travel Bucket List (or need to be added) and I definitely see myself visiting them in the near future.

They say that the power of visualization is very effective, so let the following pictures inspire you! Sit back and enjoy the ride around the world!

Europe

England

London Bridge

 London, London Bridge, UK, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

 Big Ben and House of Parliament, London

London, Big Ben, UK, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Buckingham Palace, London

Buckingham Palace, London, UK, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

France

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Arc De Triomphe, Paris, France, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Paris

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Paris, France, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Austria

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna

 Vienna, Austria, Schönbrunn Castle, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Italy

St-Peter’s Basilica & square, Vatican City

Italy, Vatican,  St-Peter Basilica, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

The Colosseum, Rome

Rome, Italy, Colosseum, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Milan Cathedral

Italy, Milan, cathedral, Milano, catedrale, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Spain

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain, Sagrada Familia, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Greece

The Acropolis, Athens

Athens, Greece, Acropolis, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Russia

St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

Moscow, Russia, St-Basil's cathedral, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Middle East

Jordan

Petra

Petra, Jordan, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Africa

Egypt

Pyramids of Giza

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Abu Symbel Temples, Nubia

Nubia, Egypt, Abu Symbel, temples, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Morocco

Medina  of Fes

Fes, Morocco, medina, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Tanzania

Mt-Kilimanjaro

Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

America

Times Square, New York City

Times Square, New York City, USA, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Grand Central Station, New York City

Grand Central Station, New York City, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

The Capitol, Washington D.C

Washington D.C, Capitol, USA, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

The White House, Washington D.C

Washington D.C, White House, USA, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Mount Rushmore, North Dakota

North Dakota, Mount Rushmore, USA, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Mexico

Teotihuacan Pyramid, Mexico City

Mexico City, Ciudad de Mexico. Teotihuacan, pyramids, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Chichen Itzá, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Mexico, Quintana Roo, Chicen Itza, Pyramid, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

South America

Machu Picchu, Peru

Peru, Machu Picchu, ruins, mountains, South America, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Asia

Forbidden City, Beijing

Beijing, China, Forbidden City, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China, China, wall, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Yangtze Grottoes, China

statues, Yangtze Grottoes, China, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Taj Mahal, India

Taj Mahal, India, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Cambodia, Angkor Wat, temples, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76

Malaysia

Petrona Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Petronas Towers, Miniature, Aiins World, Bucheon, South Korea, Theme Park, travel, photography, TS76 

I hope you enjoyed this quick tour of Aiins World!

Now over to you!

I want to know,

 

Have you visited a theme park lately?

If so, where was it and what is so special about it?

 

I am looking forward to reading all about it and seeing your photos!

Until next time,

Happy travels!

 

All the best,

Kay :)

More adventures in South Korea to read:

The day the Korean Police escorted me to the Latin American Cultural Center and Museum

A weekend in Jeonju

Wandering around Chinatown in Incheon, South Korea

The colors of Gaemi Maeul: Ant Village in Seoul, South Korea

Petite France, South Korea

Posted in 5 continents, adventures, Around the world, Bucketlist, Culture, Discovery, Inspiration, Korean Tourism Office, Photography, Travel, World landmarks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Balnéa Spa: A great day getaway

 

Water is the driving force in nature.” 
Leonardo da Vinci

There comes a time when the hustle & bustle of living in the city and daily routine really becomes too much, so a break is necessary and very welcome. Recharging batteries is just what any doctor would prescribe. That is exactly what my sister-in-law and I did. We got away from it all!

Now you many not know this but going to a spa became almost a weekly ritual during my stay in South Korea.

Spas over there are a little different from the ones we know in the West. However I did end up going to a few great ones at some large hotels in Seoul! Oh there is nothing better than getting pampered, treating yourself and letting go.

Road trips are among the list of my favorite things in life. I truly love driving and hitting the road makes my heart skip a beat! It allows me to truly feel free, empowered and see the landscape of the country side go by.

Since I am a responsible and more experienced driver, I was given the keys to the vehicle! No surprise :) So we left the city early the morning and we headed south to Balnéa Spa for a day of absolute relaxation in most picturesque surroundings.

Nestled at the foot of a mountain and facing Lac Gale, this establishment is located in the Eastern Townships, approximately an hour south of Montreal. It simply is an oasis of calm and tranquility.

I had Googled the directions & printed them the night before. However I was very happy to see that there were road signs along the highway which showed the way. It is quite practical and very helpful for first timers. The winding, unpaved road leading to the spa makes you feel as If you’re in for a rollercoaster ride ;)

It is a very popular destination, according to the number of cars we saw in the parking lot. Luckily we arrived a little bit after the opening, so we parked in a great spot!

We had to walk a bit to the main building but it was such a nice walk! We were already wowed by the scenery. It’s like you are in a whole other country altogether!

All guests must register at the entrance. They are given a wrist bracelet with key to your locker (the number is printed on it and is also used to buy food or other items which are then charged once you leave), a comfy, hooded white robe, a hand towel and an empty water flask which can be filled with spring water in the changing room as well as other locations on the property.

It is important to mention that one must bring our own swimsuit, flip-flops, an extra towel and small bag to carry your belongings (such as a book or case for sunglasses) outside.

This private thermal reserve opened its doors to the public in 2009. It offers a great variety of packages of massages and treatments (reservations are a must) also:

  • Traditional Finnish saunas with panoramic views
  • Turkish baths
  • Outdoor hot tubs
  • Beach club
  • Forest pool
  • Thermal waterfall
  • Natural springs
  • Sweat lodge
  • Solarium
  • Lounges
  • Patios
  • Cinespa, which consists of resting area with a tank full of tropical fish in the room
  • Many relaxation areas
  • Incense at the entrance and throughout the spa
  • Café
  • Restaurant with fresh & delicious food
  • Private lake
  • and so much more!

After getting ready, we visited the different rooms and decided to first go down to the beach club and then just enjoy the view.

It was a gorgeous sunny, day, so we wanted to soak up some natural vitamin D & enjoy Lake Gale, which was calling my name!

Let me take you on a mobile photography tour around the premises through the following images.

Enjoy!

Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

Lac Gale, Lake Gale, Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

Lac Gale, Lake Gale, Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

Lac Gale, Lake Gale, Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

champagne, champagne glass, Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

waterfall, Spa Balnéa, Balnéa Spa, Balnéa, Bromont, Quebec, Spa, relaxation, nature, Quebec, Canada, TS76

This was by far one of the most MAGICAL days I’ve ever experienced and being in spectacular surroundings made it even more amazing. My sis-in-law was without a doubt very happy I took her there (away from the 3 restless kids, my nephews) & she raved about it to the rest of the family.

So I did select a fantastic spa and we simply cannot wait to return! Next time we will book a well-deserved aromatherapy massage & jump back in the lake (especially me) ;)

Where is it located?

BALNÉA SPA

319 Chemin du Lac Gale
Bromont, Québec
J2L 2S5

1 866 734-2110

www.balnea.ca

 

 

Now over to you!

Tell us,

 

When was last time you visited a spa?

If so, where was it?

What is was special about it?

 

 

I look forward to reading from you and if you have photos, include them! You know how much I love photography :)

Until next time!

All the best,

 

Love,

Kay

 

Note: I was not paid to give a positive review of Balnéa Spa. I did my own research online, contacted the PR person & let them know I was going to be visiting & take photos. As usual all opinions are my two cents and will always be!

Posted in adventures, Canada, Inspiration, Lakes, Nature, Photography, Quebec, Road Trip, Spa, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Exploring Santa Ana, El Salvador

I’ve always heard my parents, relatives and friends (as well as some bold & adventurous travel bloggers) talk about Santa Ana, the second largest city of El Salvador. It is one of the most emblematic cities renowned for its pastel-hued buildings, blossoming coffee culture & trade, spectacular volcanoes & lakes, and also a stunning neo-gothic cathedral.

So after touring The Ruins of Tazumal, a very important and historic Mayan site in the Northwestern region, I asked our private driver to take us there and confirm what everyone had said for years!

The major economic activities of the city revolve around manufacturing, agriculture and the coffee industry. There are many coffee plantations in the area and the final product is of very high quality and is exported to many countries around the world!

As you know I just LOVE coffee and sincerely wish I had gone on a tour & taste fresh, delicious, organic, mountain-grown coffee and bring back some like I did in Alajuela, Costa Rica.

We only had a short time therefore we proceeded to a walking tour of the main attractions from the main square.

Palacio Municipal / Municipal Palace

Palacio Municipal, Santa Ana, El Salvador, travel, photography, architecture, ES impressive, TS76

Palacio Municipal, Santa Ana, El Salvador, travel, photography, architecture, ES impressive, TS76

Teatro de Santa Ana / Santa Ana Theatre 

Right across from the municipal palace is this beautiful theatre which was built back in the early 1900’s.

Theatre and opera performances used to be showcased. Today art exhibits and stage performances are held inside this lavishly decorated building, the oldest in Central America.

Teatro de Santa Ana, Santa Ana Theatre, architecture, building, El Salvador, travel, photography, TS76

detallles de la fachada, Teatro de Santa Ana, Santa Ana Theatre, architecture, building, El Salvador, travel, photography, TS76

Zooming into the details

Fachada, Teatro de Santa Ana, Santa Ana Theatre, architecture, building, El Salvador, travel, photography, TS76

Balcony of the theater

Door, green door, Teatro de Santa Ana, Santa Ana Theatre, architecture, building, El Salvador, travel, photography, TS76

Main façade, fachada, Teatro de Santa Ana, Santa Ana Theatre, architecture, building, El Salvador, travel, photography, TS76

Main façade

Main façade, fachada, Teatro de Santa Ana, Santa Ana Theatre, architecture, building, El Salvador, travel, photography, TS76

Santa Ana Cathedral

This impressive building really leaves you speechless. Now I have been around the world and I have been to so many churches in Europe that I lost track of the number.

However I can assure you that this cathedral is quite remarkable! Signs of the time & elements are obvious on the exterior. It simply adds more character and personality :)

Fachada, cathedral, Santa Ana Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, travel, photography, architecture, TS76

Fachada, façade, cathedral, Santa Ana Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, travel, photography, architecture, TS76

Details of the façade

Fachada, façade, cathedral, Santa Ana Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, travel, photography, architecture, TS76

Fachada, façade, cathedral, Santa Ana Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, travel, photography, architecture, TS76

Looking up and close

If the exterior is quite a sight, the interior does not go unnoticed!

Door, door details, cathedral, Santa Ana Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, travel, photography, architecture, TS76

Door details

arches, architecture, interior. cathedral, Santa Ana Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, travel, photography, architecture, TS76

Arches galore

Interior, arches, architecture, cathedral, Santa Ana Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, travel, photography, architecture, TS76

A replica of the Shroud of Turin is found inside the cathedral!

Replica of the Shroud of Turin, religious artifact, religion, cathedral, Santa Ana Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, travel, photography, TS76

view, door, Interior, arches, architecture, cathedral, Santa Ana Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, travel, photography, architecture, TS76

View from the inside out

view, exterior, nature, cathedral, Santa Ana Cathedral, Catedral de Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, travel, photography, architecture, TS76Mountains on the horizon

After spending a few moments in silence and giving thanks to the source for everything, we left and walked around a bit more.

I stumbled upon the Centro de Artes / Center of Arts

Centro de Artes de Occidente, Santa Ana, architecture, exterior, travel, photography, TS76

Centro de Artes de Occidente, Santa Ana, architecture, exterior, travel, photography, TS76

Last but not least, I saw something that surprised me. Can you believe it’s a casino?

Casino Santaneco

Casino Santaneco, Santa Ana, El Salvador, Centro America, Architecture, travel, photography, TS76This beautiful, baroque style white building was designed by architect Armando Sol in 1942.

It was a meeting place of affluent people but it did not have any machines as we know them today.

What really surprised me about the visit is how different, clean and orderly this city is compared to the hustle and bustle of the capital!

I really enjoyed going back in time (I really felt as if I was back in the 1950’s) and enjoyed exploring Santa Ana with my family members and being welcomed by the locals who are some of the nicest & kindest I have ever met.

Now I know that there are still places where you can go and feel safe, marveled and fortunate and clearly this is one of them.

Even though it was a very short time, I certainly will return in the future and stay a few days to discover other attractions such as Parque Nacional Cerro Verde, Santa Ana Volcano and magnificent Lago de Coatepeque which was nominated as a natural wonder of the world!

Now over to you!

Tell me

Have you ever traveled to city just for its architecture?

If so where was it? 

 

I would love to read all about it and if you have photos include them!

Until next time,

Saludos,

Karla :)

Posted in adventures, Architecture, Central America, El Salvador, Photography, Road Trip, Tourism, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Inspirational Sunday: The Optimist Creed

I believe it is no secret that I am an avid reader, a certified bookworm, a lover of books yes, I proudly admit it :)

I read every single day, it keeps my mind active and since I am an educator, I am always looking for inspiration and share my discoveries with you all!

As you know I receive daily many messages my readers from all over the world asking me for advice related to travel, blogging or emails of personal nature. They simply share with me whatever is going through in their life at the moment.

I am flattered and honored that they consider me as a person they can confide in and who can see the situation from a different angle, offer possible solutions, give them words of encouragement or perhaps inspire them. By no means am I an expert but I can assure you that I’ve seen and experienced difficulties in all colors of the rainbow! Did I pass and overcame those obstacles!

Now I may not exteriorize it or share it publicly like some people do on some social sites (ahem, FB is where people let it go). I simply take some time off to reflect, look up and send out a prayer. Deep inside I know that there are trial times and things will just work out. A healthy and extra dose of patience is required in the meantime.

Now just recently I came across this great poem by Christian D. Larson, a Norwegian writer & thought leader which  left me speechless and quite motivated. I thought it was just the right answer and the right words to relay to those people who reached out to me. He couldn’t have said it any better!

Read it and let me know what you think. Hopefully you will love it as much as I did and refer to it when you need an energy boost or when your batteries need to be recharged.

 

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.

To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

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Christian D. Larson, Poem, inspirational poem, The Optimist Creed, truth, motivation, TS76

 

Until next time!

All the best

Kay :)

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