Secrets – The Vine

On our last trip to Cancun we stayed at Secrets The Vine.  It is an adults only all-inclusive resort in Cancun along hotel row.  It is such a wonderful place to relax and enjoy time with your special someone.  There are three pools at this hotel with one located up on 12th floor and the other two are located just steps away from the beach.

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The Vine is a designed in a modern style and it is the tallest hotel on the beach in Cancun.  The rooms are comfortable and the staff is impeccable.

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The gym is well equipped and has a great view.

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The food and drinks at the resort are wonderful and there are several different restaurants for you to choose from when you are hungry.  In addition, there is a constant stream of entertainment throughout the day and night.  The video has highlights of what we enjoyed while we were there.

The best part is spending time with your loved one and reconnecting.

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Lukas Nursery

When you visit Lukas Nursery you are visiting a piece of Central Florida history.  Paul Lukas and Mary Klimek emigrated to the United States from Czechosovakia.  Mary in 1899 and Paul in 1905.  They met in Cleveland, Ohio and got married in 1908.

In 1911, Paul and Mary had enough of the city and decided to live the life of farmers.  They left Cleveland with six other families settled in the Oviedo area and began their farm in 1912.  They named the area where the farm was located as Slavia.

Over time that farm became Lukas Nursery.  In 2012, they celebrated 100 years of doing agriculture in the same location the family settled.  In fact, they even wrote it in a sidewalk on the property.  The inscription reads; ” 100 years 1912 – 2012 In agriculture at the same location.  We love our customers.  Thank you!  The Lukas Family”


The nursery has a big selection of very large pots that are not normally found anywhere else.


Of course, the nursery has a huge variety of plants.


And sprinkled throughout the nursery are all sorts of garden statues, fountains, and interesting finds.


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Victorio’s Oyster Bar and Grille

This family run restaurant was started in 1979 as a tiny pizzeria.  It has grown over the years to four locations in the Central Florida area.  Those locations are in Longwood, Apopka, Titusville, and Oviedo.  Since we were in the Oviedo area and were looking for some lunch we decided to to stop by Victorio’s.  I am sure glad we did.  Everything was delicious.  Since their specialty are oysters we decided to give them a try.  The oysters were fresh and tasty.


Next we had a Create Your Own Seafood Platter.  When you create this platter you get a choice of two seafood items such as Jumbo Shrimp, Scallops, Fried Clams, Crab Bites, Pangasius, Grouper Fingers, and Fried Oysters.  On our platter we chose Grouper Fingers and Grilled Jumbo Shrimp.  The platter also came with Hush Puppies, Cole Slaw, and one additional side.  For our additional side we got the fresh vegetable of the day Broccoli.


Our next entrée was the Grouper’s Cousin Sandwich.  It is a sandwich with Pandasius that can be served in one of three styles.  We decided on the fried style.  It came with seasoned fries.


It was all really good and I know we will be back to this restaurant again.

The Market of Campo di Fiori

Located in the heart of Old Rome is one of the oldest markets known.  Campo di Fiori has been holding daily markets in this square since 1869.  The daily market is open to the public and several small individual vendors sell vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, flowers, and souvenirs.  At night the square changes to become a gathering place to enjoy the outdoor restaurants.

The square also has a very dark history.  It used to be the location where public executions took place in Rome.  In 1600 the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burnt alive at the stake for heresy against the church.  In 1889 a monument was built to him on the exact spot that he was executed.  In fact, his statue faces directly at the Vatican in defiance of his charges.

When we went to Rome this was a location we had to see for ourselves as we love fresh vegetables.  We bought for ourselves some nuts and souvenirs.  The slide show gives you a good idea of the fresh market we found.

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The Oracle of Delphi

On a hilltop over looking olive groves is where the famous Oracle of Delphi resided.  Pilgrims would travel from all over the Mediterranean to get her sage prophecies on their future from the god Apollo.  It is said that Pythia would sit above a chasm in the earth and breath in deeply the fumes emitted.  The fumes were said to be hallucinogenic and Pythia would slip into a trance where she would speak forth the prophecies she received from Apollo.   The Oracle of Delphi was the most feared window into the will of the gods.  The Oracle waited for her pilgrims in a cavern hollowed down in the depths of the hillside, underneath the great Temple of Apollo.

On our visit to Greece we got a chance to see the Temple of Apollo and hear the story of The Oracle of Delphi.  Here are some pictures of our visit.

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The Vatican

The Vatican is a place of inspiration, beauty, and history.  It is the center of the Roman Catholic Church as well as a city all to itself.  It is hard to describe all the splendor one encounters when on a tour in the Vatican.  Nevertheless, we will share with you only a small portion of the works of art we saw when we went.

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Cookies and Tamales Our Christmas Tradition

At one time or another we have lived all over the USA.  Over time we have picked up a few traditions that we follow at Christmas time.  Two of those traditions are baking cookies and making tamales.  Both are given as gifts to friends and family both near and far.  We picked up making cookies while living in the Northeast and picked up making tamales while living in the Southwest.  It is an all day family event where everybody helps out in the kitchen because it all takes a lot of love and care to make these up and package them.

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The tamales we make are made with corn wrapping or banana leaf and different types of stuffing.  Some with beef, some with chicken, and others with pork.


Our cookies are also a large variety.

It is a lot of fun and our friends and family love their special care packages.


Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden

Kylemore Abbey and the Victorian Walled Gardens were built in 1868 as the family home of Mitchell Henry and his wife Margaret Vaughan Henry.  Mitchell built it as a token of his love for Margaret.  The house was sold in 1903 to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester.  Upon the death of the Duchess’s father the two lost the house as it was too expensive to maintain.  In 1920 the Benedictine Nuns took over the property and are still there today.  Through the years the Nuns have operated an international girls boarding school which was closed in 2010.  Nevertheless, the Nuns maintain a close relationship with Notre Dame University of Indiana USA and has become one of their Global Gateways for learning and social exchange.

We were lucky enough to enjoy this wonderful piece of history when we visited Ireland.  We hope you enjoy this video of our tour there.

Irish National Stud and Gardens

We visited Ireland’s famous Stud Farm in County Kildare were prize winning thoroughbred horses are raised.  The idyllic surroundings and best care make for a wonderful afternoon of exploration in the Ireland countryside.  The guides are very knowledgeable of all the horses and even know them all by name.  One of the highlights of our trip was to see the new-born colts and their famous sires.  The gardens surrounding the property are beautiful and serene.  Their Japanese Garden is renowned throughout the world as one of the best in Europe.  It is hard to put into words one of the prettiest places we have ever been to.  To share this with all of you here is a video of our visit.


100th Blog Post

Today we are posting our 100th blog post.  This has been a wonderful adventure and we will continue to enrich our readers with the sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences we enjoy.  Thank you to all of our followers new and old.  It is hard to believe that on August 14th we started this blog and here we are only four months later and we are still going strong.  Please keep reading and give our YouTube channel a try when you get a chance.


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