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 […]

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, […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Photo: Moon Rise on a Cloudy New Zealand Night

Moon Rise over Shakespear Park in Auckland New Zealand

“Wow, look at the moon rise.” I grabbed a camera as I turned, just in time to see the top edge duck under the cloud cover. This time we were on the wrong side of the planet to see the eclipse, yet our super moon rise was still pretty spectacular. The sheep in Shakespear Park […]

Photos of Frolicking Adorable Baby Lambs

Adorable baby lambs bouncing through the field in New Zealand

There are hundreds of reasons to visit New Zealand and adorable baby lambs actually shouldn’t be too high on the list. However, I asked last week, and the general consensus was that my readers want more cute lamb photos. These were all shot last week, the first four with my Olympus OM-D Em5 and the last […]

Kauri Trees: New Zealand’s Oldest and Largest Natives

Kauri trees along the path in Parry Kauri Park, Warkworth, New Zealand

The 800 year-old McKinney Kauri greeted us as we walked towards the boardwalk of Parry Kauri Park in Warkworth, New Zealand. On the day we visited, a group of students were at the base of the tree listening to their guide talk about the largest native tree species in New Zealand, growing only in the […]

Does the Auckland Sky Tower Look a Bit Like an Alien Ship?

Auckland Sky Tower lit up at night looks a bit like an alien ship flying over Auckland New Zealand

The rain was light but steady, eliminating my opportunity to take a photo looking up at the Auckland Sky Tower without the rain landing on my lens. I have often seen it lit up in colors from a distance, but I am infrequently walking in town at night. I waited for the shot as this […]

Meet Steve Winter – National Geographic Wildlife Photographer

Tigers in Bandhavgarh Natl Park India ©Steve Winter

Some of us do get to live out our dream. National Geographic Wildlife Photographer Steve Winter is one of those few. Aside from being an incredibly talented and patient photographer, Steve Winter is a nice guy.  Down to earth and friendly, he speaks with a passion and enthusiasm that beams through in the stories he […]

Photo: Cliffs at the Golden Hour in Okoromai Bay, Auckland

Golden hour on Okoromai Bay, Shakespear Park, Auckland New Zealand

Golden hour* on a cloudy night, the last bit of sunlight sneaking through and lighting up the cliff:   *Just before sunset the colors get softer and redder. Photographers call this the golden hour. To improve your golden hour photography check out these 5 Tips for Golden Hour Photography from the Digital Photography School. Last […]

An Eerie Morning Fog over Shakespear Park in Auckland

Eerie morning fog over Shakespear park in Auckland New Zealand

This is the view that greeted me today, an eerie morning fog that gave a painted look to my photos and started my day with a smile. The white dots on some of the hills are sheep: The sun crept through and dramatically changed the view.  The time between the first shot on this page […]

Essaouira: We Saw Surfers, Horses, and Camels on this Moroccan Beach

Essaouira Morocco on Horseback

Essaouira Morocco with its warm days, exotic aromas, cobblestone streets and an eclectic mix of beach goers was the first image that popped into my head when asked by Lexa Cain to join a blog hop about my favorite summer vacation spot. I have been to cleaner, more beautiful beaches on tropical islands like Fiji […]

Photos: Colorful Mushrooms Seen While Hiking in Auckland

Colorful Mushroom in Jaggers Bush, Auckland New Zealand

Last weekend I came upon the most interesting, colorful mushrooms while hiking in Jaggers Bush in Auckland City. Now that I am temporarily grounded, I am really enjoying local discoveries. Jaggers Bush Reserve is located in the Western Springs district of Auckland. We walked on a trail from Meola Reef Reserve to the back entrance […]

Go Confidently in the Direction of your Dreams!

Weekend Travel Inspiration: Dreams

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams . . . Are you living the life you imagined?  Some days I think I am exceeding it, others not so much.  A few of the items ticked off my bucket list: Living in beautiful New Zealand Walking on the Great Wall of China Going inside the […]

Weekend Travel Inspiration: Sail Away

sail away, tall ships sailing in Auckland harbour, New Zealand

What inspires you to travel? Is it dreams, photos, or just an opportunity to sail away . . . “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade […]

Pied Shag – Bird Watching in New Zealand

Pied shag in Shakespear Park, Auckland New Zealand

New Zealand is currently home to over 170 different types of birds so it’s not surprising that we see interesting birds like the pied shag when we go hiking.  This one was spotted in Shakespear Park, north of Auckland. While I took this shot on the east coast of the North Island, I have previously […]