Alcatraz: Ai Wei Wei and More


Been to Alcatraz lately? It has been more than ten years since we visited and toured the island even through it is almost right outside of our back door and we see it daily from our windows. Although we certainly enjoyed our initial tour, we didn’t really feel a need to return. That was [Read more …]

Colon to Panama City


All good things must come to an end. After 7 days on our boat the Sea Lion, we were at the end of our journey though Costa Rica and the Panama Canal. We started by exiting the canal (and our boat) at Colon, Panama and made our way to Panama City by land. Colon, Panama. [Read more …]

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute


After we got through the first set of locks on the Panama Canal at night, we anchored for the evening. Following a beautiful sunrise, we were pleased to learn that we would be making a visit to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). This world-renowned research facility was created and operates a biological reserve on [Read more …]

Cruising the Panama Canal


You might say that if you have been through one canal, you have been through them all. Yes, that’s true. But how many times do Americans get to go through something the size of the Panama Canal. That was our main purpose of taking a 7 day boat cruise on the 60-person Seal Lion run [Read more …]

Exploring the Wildlife In Panama

Panama’s Coiba National Park Continuing on our Costa Rica/Panama Canal cruise with Lindblad National Geographics, we left Costa Rica and entered into Panama and arrived in Panama’s Coiba National Park. This group of islands, once a penal colony to hold President Manuel Noriega’s political enemies, is now one of Panama’s newest national park. It is [Read more …]

Cruising through Costa Rica’s National Parks


We are not cruise people. But we have been on some cruises when absolutely necessary to experience particular destinations. For example: Yangtze River in China, which we took while the Three Gorges Dam was still being built and we saw first hand China’s relocation of what would end up being 1.3 million people during the [Read more …]

Cartagena Restaurants and Hotel

  Our perpetual dilemma in any city: so many restaurants and so few meals at which we have a chance to try them. The following is a list of the best of those we did try, in descending order of our impressions of them. Dinners Carmen. This was a wonderful dining experience, from the atmosphere [Read more …]

The Museums of Cartagena


No visit to a city is complete without us exploring some of the more interesting museums. Cartagena was no exception. Palace of the Inquisition The huge and beautifully restored palace, at the head of Simon Bolivar Square, has gruesome history which is told in the first floor of the museum. It was the local headquarters [Read more …]

Cartegena By Area

balcony with flowers 02_01

Old Town Like many tourists, we chose to stay in and devote most of our visit to the Old Town area, surrounded by the ancient walls and the sea. As we explored the Old Quarter, we ran into block after block contained beautifully detailed, fully restored, colorfully painted 300-500 year old buildings, many with bougainvillea [Read more …]

Cartagena Colombia


Cartegena, which had been settled since 4000 BC, was founded by the Spaniards in 1533. It rapidly grew into the country’s largest port in the Americas and a major trading center, especially for gold, silver and slaves. The resulting riches attracted more merchants, who built stately homes. They also attracted multiple attacks by pirates and [Read more …]