2016 Photo Highlights: 4 Continents, 9 Countries, Lots of Transition

Mandala Suci Wenara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

In February, when both our girls said goodbye we wondered what our empty nest would be like. After 18 years of living, learning and travelling together as a homeschool family of four, would hubby and I have anything to talk about once the girls left? The answer is yes. We rose to the occasion, to […]

Giant Redwood Trees of California Put Life in Perspective

In Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Oregon, USA

It’s a strange feeling, standing amongst the giant redwood trees of Northern California. They surround us with strength and power, towering over us so tall we can rarely see their upper branches. They provided a sharp contrast to the wide open coastal views we had been enjoying as we drove from Astoria along the Oregon Coast. Actually, […]

Multnomah Falls: Another Reason to Fall in Love with Oregon

Multnomah Falls and Benson Foot bridge in Oregon

One look at Multnomah Falls and I knew why people fall in love with Oregon. It’s a short 30 mile drive east of Portland with easy parking and a short walk to this natural masterpiece on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. An Interesting Story from Wikipedia: On Labor Day in September 1995, a 400-ton boulder, loosened by erosion, fell […]

Sarah’s Snapshots – La Redonda in Santa Fe Argentina

Leonardo Da Vinci swing, La Redonda, Santa Fe, Argentina. Photo copyright ©Sarah Albom 2016

My host sister here in Argentina works at a local community centre that I’ve visited multiple times. An old converted train station, La Redonda is now an art and public centre that’s open on the weekends and during holidays. It’s great for kids, with plenty of arts and crafts activities located along the walls, and also […]

Chihuly Garden and Glass, A Vibrant Must See in Seattle

Mille Fiori at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle Washington

Few places leave me silent and staring. Yet, the vivid colors and fluid shapes of the glass creations at Chihuly Garden and Glass somehow caught me off-guard. The artist, Dale Chihuly, offers, “I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in a way they have never experienced.” For me, his quote is a better description to […]

Eating Onboard: How to Cruise Without Gaining Weight

A dinner time favorite, I loved this scallop dinner when I sailed with Princess cruises.

I am pleased to say that I gained very little weight after 19 days eating onboard the Island Princess. We sailed from Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal and up to Vancouver. If you have never been on a Princess Cruise ship before, I am here to tell you the food is expertly prepared, appetizing, […]

Sarah’s Snapshots – My School in Argentina

Argentinian school. Photo copyright ©Sarah Albom 2016

I was homeschooled in New Zealand, so going to school is a new concept for me. School in Argentina occurs in two segments – in the morning, or in the afternoon. Some students have to go to both segments, but this doesn’t occur in my school. For my school, the students in 3rd, 4th, and […]

Sarah’s Snapshots: Argentinian Life

Street in Argentina

I’ve been here in Argentina on my AFS student exchange for about 2 and a half months now, and life is starting to settle down. Argentinian life is more relaxed than New Zealand, and food is very important. A common drink here is mate (pronounced maht-tae), which is hot water poured into a cup full […]

Sarah’s Snapshots: Rosario City in Argentina

National Flag Memorial from a distance in Rosario, Argentina. Photo copyright ©Sarah Albom 2016

Sixteen-year-old Sarah checks in on some Sundays from her AFS student exchange in Argentina. AtoZ blogging challenge will resume tomorrow. In the Santa Fe province where I live there is a city called Rosario, which I visited  with my host family on Easter weekend for a family gathering. The first day we went to a […]

Flowers – #AtoZ Postcards of New Zealand

Flowers seen at the Auckland Domain Wintergardens in Auckland New Zealand

F is for flowers . . .  or fragrant. Practical Information:  I took this photo in the Wintergardens on the Auckland Domain. It is a Salpiglossis from their Royale mix series. New Zealand, being a relatively isolated island, has one of the richest bio-diverse flora on earth offering a wide range of flowers, with 80% of flora being native. […]

Sarah’s Snapshots: Asado in Argentina

Cooked meat from an asado, or Argentinian barbecue, in Santa Fe Agentina. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016

An asado is a traditional-style Argentinian barbecue, and a common occurrence in Argentina homes. There is always an assigned cooker, or Asador (Asadora if she’s a woman), and the meat (ranging from pork still on the bone to blood sausage) is cooked on metal grille over a fire. I’ve been at two so far, and […]

Sarah’s Snapshots: Argentina Adventure Begins

Macro image taken in Santa Fe, Argentina. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016

It’s been a week since I’ve arrived in Argentina, and in that time I’ve eaten 10 Bon o Bons. They’re definitely my new favourite food. Bon o Bon is an Argentinian sweet, with a chocolate-coated outside and a filling that reminds me of cream or peanut butter. I would show a photo of what they […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #40 – New Zealand photos

Pink flowers at the Wellington Botanical Gardens in Wellington, New Zealand. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016; for more New Zealand photos, visit the blog

These are some of my favourite New Zealand photos I never shared. I thought it would be nice to have a mixture of general random photos from the past few years as my last New Zealand photos post, since I’m leaving for a year in 4 days (4 days!). When I’m in Argentina on my […]

100 Strangers Project Completed in Wellington NZ

100 Strangers Project in Wellington New Zealand

For some reason the 100 Strangers Project was a huge challenge for me. I am almost embarrassed to admit that I started it in May 2014. A year and a half later I am pleased to report I have completed the 100 Strangers Project. This beautiful stranger was my final shot: I have read lots […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots – Te Muri Camp New Zealand

Swimming at Mahurangi West beach in Auckland, New Zealand. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2016; for more photos of Mahurangi West, visit the blog

Last weekend I went on a camp with friends at the Te Muri campgrounds in Mahurangi West regional park, about an hour and a half north of Auckland City. Summer here has been glorious and hot, and we enjoyed the cloudless days with plenty of swimming and walking. I also went to Mahurangi West regional park last […]

Four Stunning Waterfalls: Auckland to KeriKeri, New Zealand

Waterfalls on the North Island of New Zealand

Driving north from Auckland, it took only minor detours to see incredible waterfalls. It didn’t take long to remind us that New Zealand landscape is some of the most vibrant and dramatic in the world. It’s not just the South Island that one must visit for the natural beauty one expects to see in New Zealand. We took our time as we headed to […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #38 – 2015 Photo Highlights

Leaves, Kapiti Coast in Wellington, New Zealand. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2015; for more photos of Wellington, visit the blog

Wow, it’s 2016 already! Time feels like it just flew by last year. Although this is technically my first post of the new year, here are my (Sarah’s) 2015 photo highlights, the majority are from New Zealand (links to each article the photo can originally be found on are in the descriptions): Lips of Temptation […]

Albom Adventures 2015 Photos: A Year In Review

Auckland Skyline as seen from the ferry coming into the city.

Looking back through our 2015 photos, I can see this was the year we fell deeper in love with New Zealand, our adopted country. Our overseas travel was limited as I was unwell for much of the year (I am cleared now). Plus both of the girls had good reason to stay around. Melissa focused on her […]

DeJa Vu: New Zealand’s Rainbow of Random Hair Color

Random hair color in New Zealand

Random hair color seems to be everywhere these days. I am not that brave, although mine has changed quite a bit in the past year. When I read about the deja vu blog fest these random hair color images were the first thing to pop into my head. Simply put it is hosted by DL Hammonds, […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #37 – Kapiti Coast Textures

Leaves, Kapiti Coast in Wellington, New Zealand. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2015; for more photos of Wellington, visit the blog

Last weekend I was on an AFS camp on the Kapiti Coast north of Wellington and, naturally, I brought my camera along. With only carry on for the flight (limiting my weight to 7kg) I brought my new lightweight 24mm lens for the weekend. Following the theme of several previous posts, I decided to take photos […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #36 – Sydney Textures

An extreme close-up of one of the artworks in Hyde Park, Sydney, Australia. Copyright Sarah E. Albom 2015; for more photos of Sydney, visit the blog

Last weekend we decided to hop the ditch and take a weekend over in Sydney, Australia. One of the first things we did was to buy a few new camera lenses, and I had plenty of fun over the weekend trying out my new wide-angle lens (Canon 24mm) on some of the Sydney textures we saw. […]

Photos of Sydney Australia Testing Limits: Olympus 14-150mm

Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney Australia

Today I am taking you on a photo tour of the little things that made our weekend in Sydney Australia so special. It was a quick trip. Our first stop was the camera store where I got a new Olympus 14-150mm lens. I switched to the mirror-less micro four-thirds technology over a year ago, and […]

Sarah’s Sunday Snapshots #35 – Armageddon Expo

Pepper Potts - Iron Man

One of New Zealand’s largest annual pop culture events, Auckland’s Armageddon Expo occurred this October and drew more than 65,000 people over the four days it ran. Taking place at ASB Showgrounds, it holds everything from gaming to costumes in several large halls and in the outside area. What is just as impressive as all of […]

Celebrating Remission at the Colorful Parnell Rose Gardens in Auckland

Parnell Rose Gardens in Auckland New Zealand. Photo by Rhonda Albom

Today the world seems to be bright, colorful and smiling back at me. After a successful doctor visit, we headed to the Parnell Rose Gardens in Auckland’s oldest neighborhood. With the Festival of Roses less than two weeks away, we took a chance that the roses would be in bloom. And what we found was […]

Great Views of Auckland from Extinct Mount Eden Volcano

The Auckland city skyline seen while looking over the 50 metre crater of the extinct Mount Eden Volcano, Auckland New Zealand.

Being built on a volcanic field of 48 cones, the city of Auckland is loaded with great views. Many of these views are free and sit at the rim of an inactive, dormant or extinct volcano, whilst others like the viewing platform on the Skytower or the Auckland Bridge Climb offering tourists (and locals) an […]