Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Israel...20 years later

Back in May, 2014 I had the chance to go to Israel for an exercise with the Israel Defense Force (IDF). I lived in Egypt for a year back in the 90s and frequently went to Israel for weekend trips or for work purposes.  It was very interesting to get back after almost exactly 20 years.

We were living near Tel Aviv, so got up there a few times and it still reminded me of what Miami Beach must be like (Miami is one of the places I've not yet been).

Tel Aviv beach

Sunset in Tel Aviv


Pretty girl on cool electric skateboard

We also had some time off and the chance to go to Jerusalem.  The last trip was "Dave's Hardship Holy Land Tour, where I and 3 friends took a cab from the tip of the Sinai peninsula where we lived, got out at the border, crossed on foot, and rented a car to drive up to Jerusalem.  We used it as a base to wander around through the West Bank (throwing a Kiffeyah on the dash to keep from getting kidnapped), into Galilee, and up into the Golan Heights.

Jerusalem, at least the old part, hadn't changed visibly to my memory.  It is still an amazing place, full of photo ops, and history.  I tried to recreate some of the photos I'd done years ago when I just put my Canon 1000NF on the Green Box and mushed the shutter button.
Garden of Gethsemane and Church of All Nations

Looking toward the wall separating Israel from the West Bank

Wailing Wall



Really old grafitti

Lamps inside Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Tower of King David

Mount of the Beatitudes

Overlooking the Sea of Galilee

Part of the Synagogue in Capernum


Windsurfing on the Sea of Galilee

Flowerbox at the Jordan River

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Moving to Sand and Tsunamis 3.0

Sand and Tsunamis is moving to a new hosting site at Squarespace.

Please continue to follow us there at  Bookmark it in your favorites.  Stories of our latest ventures are now being hosted there, including trips to Italy, France, Spain, Tunisia, and scary Ukraine in the middle of all the craziness!  Come see what's going on!

Squarespace is an all in one hosting option for pretty much anything you need to do on the web.  If you're online, or want to be, you owe it to yourself to check them out.  I'm not being paid by them, but so far am very happy with the site and especially the real people that will help you if you get confused.   They have options for a simple website all the way to a specially designed site to conduct your business.  Visit them and find out how they can help you at today!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

A second visit to Latvia

Went back to Riga again back in April, and had a great visit.  Busy, work wise, but nice.  The first night in, I wandered out for a bit (Chili Pizza and a couple of delicious Latvian beers), and ended up perfectly in the Golden Hour for some dusk shots. 


We squeezed in a family trip with the dogs to Amsterdam and Holland...very nice, and we stayed at quaint, boutique hotel called "The Neighbor's Magnolia" that was simply excellent. 

Amsterdam was very interesting, although we did have to explain to Isabella why certain women were in their underwear in the windows.  And truly, we did try to avoid "those" areas, just missed one that was not along the red marked area on the map.  Oh well.  Our Reisehunden enjoyed the beach as much as Isabella did, as well as the pancakes at Zaanse Schans.  All three of the kids (human and canine) fit in a gigantic wooden shoe.

And who knew they had windmills in Holland!?!

Rusty not too eager to climb the super steep steps

Die Reisehunden

The Baltics (Latvia and Lithuania)

More business travel, this time to the Baltic countries of Latvia and Lithuania.  Interesting being in former Soviet states, especially while Russia is in a bit more aggressive posture than recent years past. Beautiful country, fantastic old town of Riga, and interesting side trips to Lithuania.  Only complaint...after getting used to an average speed on the highways of 130 kph (upwards of 80 mph) with sustained stretches at 160 kph (100 mph) not uncommon, the 90 kph max speedin these small countries made their relative size larger than necessary...I had a 12 hour driving day  that could have been cut down considerably.  Still, it was fantastic to visit a hithertofore unvisited place (for me, anyway).   Quick tip...Latvia is on the Euro, Lithuania is on their own currency, so you'll have to change money. And, it's bloody expensive.

Riga's Old Town

President of Lativa and the King of Sweden (older guy w/ glasses)
Latvia's First Lady

Lithuanian Sunset

Lithuanian Church

Riga Opera House

Latvia's Freedom Monument